Der Bunker · Nikias Chryssos · 2015

“Der Bunker”

This is one of those movies people may fear you or are in doubt of your authority after you recommended it. So, I am quite sure only a fraction of the readers are ready for this disturbing, weird and funny film of Nikias Chryssos: an Oedipus complex situated in a claustrophobic setting with a wackily beautiful (tiny) ensemble and a plot which assumes you are spectacular open minded if you enter the cinema.

The line I loved most: “Genug gelacht für heute.” I doubt I am able to translate this properly. The father performs a ritual to read (questionable) jokes to his small family, leaving us and the student stranded: what got we into?

It’s neither a comedy nor a horror movie, although it deals freely with elements of both. I suppose my gentle attitude mainly results from the characters who are particularly picturesque and grotesque the same time: David Scheller as father, Oona von Maydell as mother, Daniel Fripan as son and Pit Bukowski as a student seeking for tranquility for his research in this isolated home (a ground bunker in the middle of a wood).

Der Bunker · Nikias Chryssos · 2015
The whole ensemble · Der Bunker · Nikias Chryssos · 2015

You got it: I liked this movie and you are warned to watch it. But at last let’s have a look at the movie pulse, because this is mainly my intension: recording and reading the movie pulses of various kinds of movies, to find comprehensive results interpreting those heart rates.

One must not be a mathematician to see two facts:

  1. the trend line has one steady direction: slightly upwards until the end
  2. the amount of raised periods is larger than those of the calm ones

These findings correspond with the subjective impression I had while I watched the movie: This is all so weird, unexpected and bemusing – what do we see next and how will this come to an end? I even can explain the large green area after the last red peak around 1:12 : O.K. now we are back in a kind of normal plot, it’s about friendship and role reversal. I do hope no to spoil the end – with which I was not satisfied with, because of my raised expectations.

Der Bunker · Nikias Chryssos · 2015
Der Bunker · Nikias Chryssos · 2015
Heart rate of the movie "The Hateful Eight" by Quentin Tarantino · 2015

“The Hateful Eight”

I have been persuaded by friends of mine – this movie was not my choice. The trailer already gave me the feeling that this would be a long and boring time in cinema. And I should go with my instincts.

But after having recently so many movies I was fond of – I have to admit it was somehow curiosity. If things go that bad: How will the Movie Pulse look like, of a film I don’t like? According to my feelings I went near sleeping pulse after the opulent and impressive introduction of the characters and the setting. Only the visuals by Robert Richardson kept my attention, I was basically trying not to be disturbed by the loose tongues of the cast. I slightly had the impression having a bath tube shape of heart rate: great expectations, low outcome in the middle and an effectuated raise at the end.

Btw. What did Tarantino say to Tim Roth? Look at Christoph Waltz characters in my recent movies and copy what you like? But please don’t be that good?

If we now have a look at the graph, one must say I was somehow wrong, but not completely. There is a longer increase time at the beginning, a longer decrease time at the end and you can see the valley in the middle, which is not that extraordinary as expected. But the “waves”, the trend line my heart rate performs, could be interpreted as turning points: having a raise until approx. 0:47 – then going down until 1:30 to catch my attention up to 2:20. The “Schlachteplatte” at the end could not attract interest for the rest of the movie. 2 hours and about 45 minutes of my lifetime I could have spend with movies which really matter. Again: the DOP helped making this bearable.

This is a single, subjective and yes, prejudiced interpretation, which points out the future of Movie Pulse: there must be a solution to anonymously compare graphs of other people which have seen the same movie. A solution to render an average graph of multiple sources and compare your own with that.

How would a Tarantino enthusiast’s graph look like, in opposite?

Heart rate of the movie "The Hateful Eight" by Quentin Tarantino · 2015
The Hateful Eight · Quentin Tarantino · 2015

“The Big Short”

Do we have a collective amnesia? No, we have Adam McKay! I am a little bit surprised by having this movie now: another time, almost another generation and probably other major problems. Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley – name it – and the years 2007/08 is an incident we have to keep in mind. And never forget: who really knows if the problems are solved? Banks are about to establish new products, which are almost identical to those causing the crisis.

McKay made an entertaining and enlightening movie out of the dry and complicated context.

The movie is so “wow” because the characters, based on real persons and events, are a bunch of strange anti-heroes whom we follow willingly en route to disaster. The movie has its own intelligent style to deal with facts we have to understand. Besides the remarkable Christian Bale playing Michael Burry, I was astonished by loving the character I hated most at his first appearance: Steve Carell’s insane hedge funds manager Mark Baum.

It’s no surprise seeing my heart rate slowly but constantly moving upwards.

I miss a low and high peak at the first 30 minutes, which might be an app fault. But there is as well a gap of data records at approx. 45 to 55 minutes, which I assume is a non-recording Apple Watch failure. Hopefully this will not occur many times.

This time I am not really able to point out what caused my high and lows, because the movie was so packed with information. But I am quite sure the lowest point at 0:32 is the bath tube champaign scene and one can obvious tell what caused the peak at 1:52, where everything hangs in the balance. McKay closes with the remark that only one person in charge has been prosecuted. Another reason raising my pulse at the very end. A short research on that topic seemed to confirm this as a fact. So, remember.

The Big Short Adam McKay  2015
The Big Short · Adam McKay · 2015


Joy · David O. Russell · 2015


I remember seeing a trailer for “Joy” and marking this movie mentally as “definitely worth seeing”. This was some weeks ago and I forgot any information the trailer probably gave me. I remember of course having a grumpy DeNiro in it…

And here I am: in the middle of an american dream – the modern allegory of a fairy tale. The difference is, that those american fairy tales became reality – such as this life of Joy Mangano, a woman who invented the Miracle Mop. A what? Yes, and this is so fantastic! I loved the film very much – seeing ordinary american people struggling with everyday life in pure capitalism. Please read elsewhere about the story, I won’t go any further on this, just “reading” my pulse is exactly how i felt:

Around 1 hour and after my empathy with the female hero was so intense.

But the dark side on this movie is available to find in the graph as well: the end felt so unbelievable wrong. Having a woman that personality now becoming a Joan Collins like character damaged my enjoyment.

Joy · David O. Russell · 2015
Joy · David O. Russell · 2015

"The Revenant"

Wow, the use of Movie Pulse seems to offer some surprises. Although me and a colleague have recorded a few pulses, this graph is kind of special. At first: I haven’t read any reviews or plot summaries of “The Revenant” beforehand – which is my preferred cinema experience.

What can I say about the extraordinary first 30 minutes of my pulse? If this app would be an analog TV set, it looks like it needed some force taps. And of course I am not sure if the generated trend line is perfectly calculated in all situations. But one can identify large parts of intensity as well as those of relaxations.

The extreme change of large calm and excited moments is so unique. After the first 30 minutes my pulse gets more comparable to heart rates measured with other movies. But the trend line now reflects my feelings: the emotional tension goes up and up.

What an archaic story! Great movie, great actor. Two things bothered me: The unmotivated water sound, where no water is (especially around/after 2:00) and two of the three cases of breaking the fourth wall: the fogged lenses by DiCaprio’s breath and the bloody snow at one fight scene. Maybe it’s been used to prepare the last look onto us, the audience.

I can’t wait to see the movie pulse of my colleague. We both agreed to watch “The Revenant”.

And how about yours? Would be interesting having more pulses of the same movie. Please send in, we’re not after your personal data, just the anonymous graph while you where watching the same movie.

The Revenant 2016-01-17_22-25
The Revenant · Alejandro G. Iñárritu · 2015
Legend · Brian Helgeland · 2015

Movie Pulse of "Legend"

Another dilemma is, of course, the absence of plot information. We might be able to improve this in future somehow. But for now I can just speculate about obvious peaks like the hammer scene and other brutalities in this movie.

The less wavy trend line seems to match my feelings about the story overall: flat.

But there is one thing, one man – or two if you like – Tom Hardy is great in this kind of “Jekyll-Hide” character.

Legend · Brian Helgeland · 2015
Legend · Brian Helgeland · 2015

Btw. I had to manually change the poster, because the “Open Movie Database” has not offered a “legend” movie of the year 2015. If you have other problems finding movies – tell me.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens · J.J. Abrams · 2015

Star Wars · Another Try

A colleague of mine watched as well “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. She used the watch and app as well, and so far I can tell – there are differences (besides the fact she’s not seen the movie in an energy drop time of the day).

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens · J.J. Abrams · 2015
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens · J.J. Abrams · 2015

Different person and heart rate

This looks more “spectacular” to me, which has been the reason to use this pulse for the default movie – not mine.


Victoria · Sebastian Schipper · 2015

The movie which gave me the kick

The idea for this app has been kept, stored in notes, put aside. Summer came, summer left. Another app needed an update, illness, laptop stolen, such things.

Then something happened to me: I saw a movie which got hyped all over Europe. Exaggeration, words of praise, few of blame. In such times I tend to avoid those movies. At least I try not to read and hear about it. I managed it.

And the I saw “Victoria” – spontaneous, unprepared and unspoiled. It worked, I went with those naiv adolescent night strollers in realtime without editing through their story. And I promise: I am sure, my heart beat never ever run that fast.

I knew instantly: drop everything else, make Movie Pulse work!

Thank you so much, Sebastian Schipper, for directing this fine piece of film history.

Victoria · Sebastian Schipper · 2015
Victoria · Sebastian Schipper · 2015

One note of watching movies and measuring heart rates in parallel: too bad – this will work in such intensity only the first time…