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 November 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.
I knew nothing about this show when I started it - hadn't heard anything about it and decided to give it an episode to hook me. Now after finishing it, I can say it is one of the best murder mystery/whodunit/dramas I have ever seen. Without giving too much away, the story starts with a dead body and the mystery to be solved is where this dead body came from. This show combines elements of so many different genres including science fiction, period pieces, and murder mystery...it's really not like anything I've seen before.
The acting is excellent - truly - the characters are convincing and complex. The story is complicated and multi-layers which I really enjoyed, and the ending is also well done. I read yesterday that they considered doing a second season, but instead opted for ending the show in a satisfying way, which I can appreciate. Really good - if you like any of these genres I highly recommend.