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Thread: Valkyrie

  1. #1
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    Valkyrie

    I'm in general not Tom Cruise's biggest fan, but Valkyrie was, IMO, an outstanding picture. The best movie I've seen in a long, long time, and I daresay nigh close to a perfect film.

    I only was attracted to seeing it in the first place because the trailer had neat vintage WWII airplanes in it...so I thought what the hell. I figured there was more than a high likelyhood that it would be another dumb, thin-plotted Hollywood flop with Tom Cruise playing Tom Cruise, and I had to drag my family to the movie virtually kicking and screaming, but we were all left very, very impressed, and all saw it together a second time the following night.

    I DO certainly think Cruise's role (von Stauffenburg) would have been far better portrayed by someone else (a challenge to see the character through Tom Cruise), but I was still impressed by his performance nonetheless.

    I've seen it twice now, and there are enough layers of critical detail that I will probably need to see it at least once or twice more to soak it all in. Very interesting film -- story, characters, cinematography -- everything. Recommended.
    Last edited by BenWA; 01-03-2009 at 07:30 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenWA

    I DO think Cruise's role (von Stauffenburg) would have been better portrayed by someone else
    Edward Norton.

  3. #3
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    good story but the German officers speaking w/ a British accent and the main character not even attempting a German accent was distracting.
    you might as well have gone to Taco Bell and had a Zima while dropping a blotter and snorting Tabasco. OMFG. ~ttug

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutfiddle
    good story but the German officers speaking w/ a British accent and the main character not even attempting a German accent was distracting.
    Definitely true, I agree. It especially took me some getting used to in the beginning when the narration transitioned from German to English.

    Nonetheless...

  5. #5
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    German accent was distracting.
    I'm not sure what's worse, not even attempting one, or a really bad german accent, which is usually the case. I haven't seen the movie but probably will (I'm familiar with the history and agree with Cruise, that it makes for a great thriller), and give them credit for not even bothering with the fake accents. I might change my mind seeing it, but I doubt it. And I'm definitely not a big Cruise fan, but I have enjoyed some films he's been in: Minority Report, Vanilla Sky, Collateral (except the lame ending).

    Very interesting film -- story, characters, cinematography
    From what I've seen and heard of it, it does sound to be really well done.

  6. #6
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    do they kill Hitler?

    That line in the trailer really puts me off:
    "we must kill Hitler."
    I don't normally "do people." - Dr. Roebuck

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by weltyed
    do they kill Hitler?

    That line in the trailer really puts me off:
    "we must kill Hitler."
    he ends up killing hisself, not in the movie but you know in real life.
    you might as well have gone to Taco Bell and had a Zima while dropping a blotter and snorting Tabasco. OMFG. ~ttug

  8. #8
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    do they kill Hitler?
    Kimmel was interviewing Cruise and asked a pretty funny question, along the lines "Did you consider a feel-good, Hollywood ending where Hitler gets killed?"

  9. #9
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    I think the film sacrificed an incredible amount of quality by switching from German to English. Tom Cruise was the worst part of the film. A great story, very well done, but horribly cast in terms of von Stauffenburg.
    Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit. -Bernard Williams

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    Quote Originally Posted by weltyed
    That line in the trailer really puts me off:
    "we must kill Hitler."
    That put me off, too...and contributed to my assumption that it would be another dumb eye-roll-worthy Cruise movie. But it proved me wrong.

    Speaking of Hitler, the tension in the first scene in which they meet with Hilter is painfully gut-grinding. Awesome.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by paint
    I think the film sacrificed an incredible amount of quality by switching from German to English. Tom Cruise was the worst part of the film. A great story, very well done, but horribly cast in terms of von Stauffenburg.
    Everyone knows English accents mean evil in the movies. We all learned it from star wars. The most evil movie ever produced? The English Patient.
    (but that was not due to the English accents)
    I don't normally "do people." - Dr. Roebuck

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by paint
    I think the film sacrificed an incredible amount of quality by switching from German to English. Tom Cruise was the worst part of the film. A great story, very well done, but horribly cast in terms of von Stauffenburg.
    I agree. Cruise was definitely the purple elephant in the room in terms of the films flaws, but his performance wasn't bad enough to completely spoil the film IMO. But there were definitely a number of nuances in the film that suffered entirely because it was Cruise playing the part.

    For example, in the first meeting with Hilter when von Stauffenberg made his final plea for Hitler to read the revised Operation, the unrelentless bravery demonstrated by him to do so was subtly corny, entirely because it was Cruise playing the part -- it came across to me like "I am fearless because I am Tom Cruise!" rather than "I am fearless because I am von Stauffenberg." Kind of hard to explain what I mean, I guess.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_John
    I'm not sure what's worse, not even attempting one, or a really bad german accent, which is usually the case.
    Frankly, in a perfect world, I think the film would have been most effective in German, with sub-titles.


    Overall, the *feel* of the movie is what modern day James Bond movies wish they could achieve -- depth, mystery, complexity, continuity, interesting characters, all put together with no need for dumb, gimmicky special effects and far-fetched comic book feats and gizmos (unlike "Quantum of Solace" -- a cinematic disaster of pacadermian dimensions, IMO).

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenWA
    I agree. Cruise was definitely the purple elephant in the room in terms of the films flaws, but his performance wasn't bad enough to completely spoil the film IMO. But there were definitely a number of nuances in the film that suffered entirely because it was Cruise playing the part.

    For example, in the first meeting with Hilter when von Stauffenberg made his final plea for Hitler to read the revised Operation, the unrelentless bravery demonstrated by him to do so was subtly corny, entirely because it was Cruise playing the part -- it came across to me like "I am fearless because I am Tom Cruise!" rather than "I am fearless because I am von Stauffenberg." Kind of hard to explain what I mean, I guess.
    No, I know exactly what you mean because I thought exactly the same thing.

    I have to say, though - my heart dropped to my knees when they showed Hitler for the first time. Talk about an excellent character portrayal. Completely gut-wrenching.



    PS - I hope Defiance isn't ruined by Daniel Craig in the way that Valkyrie was by Tom Cruise. I've been so looking forward to it.
    Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit. -Bernard Williams

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by paint
    I have to say, though - my heart dropped to my knees when they showed Hitler for the first time. Talk about an excellent character portrayal. Completely gut-wrenching.
    Yes that was indeed excellent portrayal, and a great scene. You could sense that everyone in that room was basically shitting bricks.

    PS - I hope Defiance isn't ruined by Daniel Craig in the way that Valkyrie was by Tom Cruise. I've been so looking forward to it.
    I know, I am curious to see that one as well. I know the ladies like Craig, but acting as James Bond the guy might as well have been a block of wood as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps he'll have a more compelling peformance in Defiance.

  16. #16
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    i guess i am the odd man out. against my better judgement i saw this flick, based on the reviews here. i know i went in with low expectations, but i find that usually makes the movie seem BETTER for me.

    this
    movie
    sucked

    it feels like it was rushed out of the studio. quickly green lighted once they found out cruise wanted in on it. the soundtrack was a horrible, trite, cheese waffle. the direction was so bad. when the family goes into the cellar during the bombing and the needle is jumping around...come on. that scene should have focused more on a nonchalant view the children and wife had on the bombing. voncruise, still shellshocked, should have seen calm in his wife and children and realized this was normal for them, and how evil it is for something like that to be everyday for his family. how he was away at war, fighting for something he didnt believe in, while his wife and children learned to live with potential death. his fear, anger, and pride in germany, lacking in his children, are the deciding factor in his choice to try and kill hitler.
    instead, singer decides to take that scene and hack it up with the, "oh, wow. listen to that. the record player is playing wagner's ride of the valkyries. and for those that dont know that song, here is a gross CGI effect to show you the title of the song."

    for the most part, tension was not built using characters. singer resorted to the "ticking time bomb" method of hack suspense.

    and you could tell the actors felt like the dialogue and scenes were poor.

    during the movie i was hoping this rookie director would never get another silver screen gig. i felt like i was watching some made-for-history-channel movie, like that old NBC "Dirty Dozen: The Next Mission" (at least with that film there is a twist: they are supposed to kill a general who wants to assasinate hitler and take control of germany, but hilter is also within shot! what should we do?).
    then the credits rolled. somehow i didnt know singer was the director of this flick.
    i loved Usual Suspects. didn't see Apt Pupil. liked X Men. almost walked out of X Men 2. nearly gave my eyes the oedipus treatment while watching a dvr'd Superman Returns.
    I don't normally "do people." - Dr. Roebuck

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutfiddle
    he ends up killing hisself, not in the movie but you know in real life.
    Or DID he????

    http://www.blackraiser.com/nredoubt/index.htm

  18. #18
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    Did Cruise run in this movie? Seems like every movie I've seen him in, he has to have a scene where he runs.

  19. #19
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    yes, he runs a little. and he didnt run fast enough at one point, so he was disfigured/wears facial covering. which has also been in his contract since days of thunder.




    Quote Originally Posted by jch2112
    Did Cruise run in this movie? Seems like every movie I've seen him in, he has to have a scene where he runs.
    I don't normally "do people." - Dr. Roebuck

  20. #20
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    Just saw this movie. It wasn't great. I don't think Cruise stunk up the movie at all. For me, the movie didn't emphasize Staffenberg's internal conflict enough. You knew Cruise was going to be a good "Nazi" so the movie went on autopilot.

    I'm impressed with the attention to detail in the film, especially the uniforms. I think the German uniforms (all branches) are the best looking evar!

    Film Flub? In the opening scene where the 2 Junkers JU-52 were flying to the Eastern Front I could have swore the two escort fighters were Spitfires. They had fat wings and a pointy propeller cap. The subsequent fly overs were CGI Me-109's though.
    You'd think we were here for something other than fun. - Ishmael

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    Quote Originally Posted by JaeP
    Just saw this movie. It wasn't great. I don't think Cruise stunk up the movie at all.
    As much as I like the subject matter of this movie, I just know when I see it Cruise is going to ruin it. Cruise only does Cruise well, he is not a good actor.

    Every once in a while an artist can do something exceptional, but many reviews I've seen have even called Cruise's performance "laughable".
    Last edited by Dwayne Barry; 01-07-2009 at 07:05 AM.

  22. #22
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    Here in Germany people were and are still very upset to have this role played by Cruise. Von Stauffenberg is an important national hero for Germans. Unfortunately, not only does Cruise symbolize the crappiest aspects of hollywood culture but he is also a Scientologist which is very much looked down upon in Germany. The Germans should make their own version of this film.

  23. #23
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    i remember reading about near-riot demonstrations while they were filming, mostly based on a scientoligist playing vonStauf, along with the use of the true swastika.

    it is ironic that there demonstrations against an actor playing that role based on religion. while many (myself included) do not believe scientology to be a true religion, the irony is still there.
    I don't normally "do people." - Dr. Roebuck

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    Quote Originally Posted by weltyed
    i remember reading about near-riot demonstrations while they were filming, mostly based on a scientoligist playing vonStauf, along with the use of the true swastika.

    it is ironic that there demonstrations against an actor playing that role based on religion. while many (myself included) do not believe scientology to be a true religion, the irony is still there.
    Just out of curiosity, what constitutes a true religion?

  25. #25
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    that is a sticky question, as i am not a very religious guy anymore. but i can say i believe a "true" religion would not be started by a science fiction writer.

    of course, you can always call into question those that have written down any religious text.
    I don't normally "do people." - Dr. Roebuck

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