Some of us in the office are movie and show enthusiasts and we want to share with you some of the best we've seen. (last updated May 2023)
9/10 (very good)
A few years ago, I listened to Dan Carlin's recounting of World War I on the Hardcore History podcast and it changed the way I thought about WWI completely. To be transparent, I didn't know much about WWI prior to that podcast so it was a low bar to clear, but I digress. Anyway - WWI was basically the last large-scale imperial war and is the kind of war that I hope could not happen in the modern age. It was a brutal land battle where millions of lives were lost defending incredibly small strips of land - and it only ended, in large part, because Germany ran out of men and boys to send to war. This movie is an adaptation of a book by the same name, that was written by Erich Maria Remarque and published in 1928.
The movie reminded me of some of the scenes that Dan Carlin described in the aforementioned podcast series (Blueprint for Armageddon parts I-VI)...trench warfare in 1914-1918 must have been a uniquely terrible place to be in terms of human history. Constant shelling, constant gunfire, constant carnage - and all of that on top of the ever-present stench of decay and death, absolutely horrific intra-trench conditions and the misery of being out in the elements 24/7. This movie made me feel the hopelessness of war and also a keen sense of desperation - that we are not so far removed from that time in history as to be incapable of repeating it. The types of things that contributed to the countless lives lost could happen again. I don't think trench warfare would ever happen like that again because of modern military technology, but the senseless killing in the name of ideals, resources, or the like, is not out of the realm of the imagination. Even if you don't like war movies, this one is worth forcing yourself to watch - the book is one of those classics, and this movie will be right up there with it.
8/10 (really good)
I'm a documentary junkie AND I like true crime AND I especially the shows and books where they interview the investigators who worked the case...so this was a trifecta for me. I'll never forget the Boston Marathon bombing for two reasons: a) I was huge into running at the time and I was watching that marathon getting inspiration for my marathon in 2014 and b) I was following it on this new thing called Twitter and I remember seeing tweets about how something had happened near the finish line and then frantically searching on news website to find out what had happened and they had nothing...it was the moment I realized how fast Twitter was as a source of news.
This documentary specifically focuses on the law enforcement response following that the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15th, 2013. They talk about how they went from virtually zero information, to identifying and capturing the two perpetrators within a week's time. To me, it was fascinating how they pieced together little pieces of information here and there to figure out the puzzle and then once they made the identification, how things fell into place that led to the capture of the two terrorists.