Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Two-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy
Actors: Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh
Genres: Action & Adventure
Studio: Tcfhe/mgm Release Date: 05/19/2009 Run time: 120 minutes Rating: Pg13
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Tanya B. from SUNDANCE, WY
Reviewed on 3/22/2011...
This is an awesome movie! DVD and case were both in excellent shape!!!!
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Magazine articles proven wrong...again
Nicanor Journey | Houston, Texas | 03/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
Forget all the negative hype surrounding Valkyrie, because I assure you it is false. Bryan Singer has made a well-crafted thriller that kept me and my family on the edge of our seats until the end - even though we all know what the story's unfortunate outcome. Also, many tabloids were making this out to be the movie that would permanently cripple the career of Tom Cruise. This is entirely false. Cruise delivers a fine performance, and this hatred I can only assume is related to his rather odd personal life. Tom Cruise is as strong of an actor as he ever was, and I won't let something like turning Oprah's couch into a playground deny the fact that the man has talent, and is a truly passionate actor (and seriously, he does have a slight resemblance to Stauffenberg).
The movie is based on the last of fifteen known attempts on the life of German dictator Adolf Hitler (I'm sure everyone will have him in a nice "Five Most Evil People" list), and has Tom Cruise playing Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, who of course was the key player in the assassination attempt. Ultimately this attempt failed (as we all know Hitler would die by suicide nine months later), but that doesn't keep Valkyrie from being an addictively engaging film.
Every member of the cast does their part well, not jockeying for superiority in any way. More importantly Cruise does not grandstand in this movie, fading in with the rest of the cast, rather than trying to stand above them like you'd expect, given his past films. Cruise gives a performance similar to 2005's War of the Worlds, where he does a good performance, but he never tries to overpower the other members of the cast. In Valkyrie Tom Cruise is a being a good team player, not trying to steal any glory, and never once does he overact the part.
Using very little CGI Valkyrie is also a wonderful film to look at. The vintage automobiles and aircrafts make this film have a distinct authentic flair that few other war films have (CGI looks like it was only used for the climatic assassination attempt). You can look at this and tell that this is the real deal, with the production team putting careful care into how they want this film to look, unlike most Blockbuster films that try and inflate every aspect of the film rather than aim for reality. Like the performance by Tom Cruise they don't try and overpower the audience with special effects, they simply let the characters slip into the realistic settings.
Also, the complaints about the accents I truly feel are desperate attempts to bash Cruise's performance. It was director Bryan Singer's concept to not use false German accents, and not that of Cruise, or the primarily British cast. I agree with Singer's concept that if feels false, and inaccurate to have people speak in English, but with foreign accents. I know several Germans in real life, and they do not sound very "German" when they speak in English, because the accent is not intended for the English language. I personally feel the desire for English being spoken in German accents comes from decades of WWII films where we've categorized every-single member of the German army, and by them speaking in that accent only is to cliché them and separate them from American audiences. They can speak in German accents, but only if they're speaking in German, because if they aren't it seems to be a tool to keep your common American moviegoer from relating to the characters.
Don't go into Valkyrie expecting to be greeted with a horrifically bad film that you will be able to poke fun at with friends. The movie has been released, and I feel the rumors, and negative hype of been proven decisively false. This isn't a movie to kill Cruise's career, but it won't help him regain love in the American community either (as previously mentioned he doesn't shine so much as mix in with the rest of the cast). It is a very enjoyable dramatization of a true event, and I don't think the material could have been handled much better, even with a full German cast, because Singer's style and method of conveying this story are all very well-done.
Go out and enjoy this dramatization of one of the darkest periods of human history. It is worth every second of your time, and all though it isn't Oscar-worthy it is certainly worth two-hours of your time."
Faithful to History, well done
A. Vander Meulen | Boston, MA USA | 01/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All Historical Dramas faithful to the actual events run the risk of being dry and boring. Fortunately, although it is a bit dry here and there, the producers of Valkyrie didn't stray too far in that direction. The story is well-told, and I did not feel that it dragged or got into excessive and boring detail at any point. If you are a student of WWII, and particularly this famous failed attempt to assassinate Hitler, you will be pleased with the quality of the film, the acting, and the film's faithfulness to facts and to the tone of the times. The film brings forth many details of which I was not aware, and the historical facts I know-of from past research are accurately portrayed.
It is clear computer graphics are used extensively in this film, since many of the scenes could not have been filmed in any other way, more than 60 years after events took place. The special effects are for the most part well done, and are not intrusive - clearly used only as needed to support the story instead of being an excuse to show-off a studio's CGI capabilities.
As for acting, this story was an excellent vehicle for Tom Cruise. I feel Cruise's portrayal of Colonel von Stauffenburg, who was a central figure in the assassination plot and this story, was excellent and believable. Some may argue that the characterization is a bit wooden, but I suspect this may be intentional on Cruise's part, and in keeping with the historical figure: a decorated soldier filled with anger towards Hitler, who could survive in the upper levels of the German Army only by masking his true feelings.
The rest of the cast is phenomenal. I was amazed at the number of familiar and respected actors and actresses that appeared in relatively minor roles throughout the film. Not a single performance was less than I would expect from such a cast.
The film is not a light-hearted one, nor does it end well for most of the characters. There are several bloody scenes, but none of the violence is gratuitous. As such, this is a film that will be appreciated primarily by those interested in the history of WWII, or are solid Tom Cruise fans. I am well pleased with the film as a whole, and feel the end product meets the goals of both the producers and their intended audience. I'll give it Five Stars."
Outstanding film, a must see for all history buffs...
Marcos M. Sendon | Miami, Fl United States | 01/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a history buff, I was complelled to see this film from the get go. The fact that critics were particularly brutal led me to believe this was indeed an excellent film. I was very pleased to see it stuck to the facts even if some of the details are rather mundane. The cinematography does an excellent job at placing you in the era as if you were a bystander to the events before you.
The acting was simply top notch. Tom Cuise elevated himself with his performance. He was quite believable and true to the accounts of Colonel Stauffenberg. I reject the accounts by critics that this was a Gerry Maguire performance in uniform. The supporting cast is award worthy. it is rare to find a cast that works so seemlessly together. I believe the director deserves particular credit for this achievement.
Bottom line, Valkyrie is a top quality film worthy of your time. Forget what all those bitter, envious critics says, see it for yourself and then judge the film in it's merits."