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Valkyrie (2008) [Blu-Ray]


DVD Cover
Four 1/2 out of Five

Movie

Rating: PG-13 (violence and brief strong language)
Length: 120 minutes

Video

Widescreen 1.85:1 Color 1080p

Audio

ENGLISH: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1

Captions

Cantonese, English, French, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish

Purchase

Plot

This film examines the true events surrounding the most successful attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler towards the end of WWII. It begins with a failed attempt to blow him up on a plane (also true) to the group recruiting General Stauffenberg and organizing an attempt that if not for some freaky unexplained occurrences and a lack of courage amongst some of them, would have been successful.

Pros

First and foremost, except for a few minor details that didn't play a major role, they got it right. I've read tons of books on WWII, both theaters, and spent much of the time reading everything about the Third Reich I could get my hands on so I was very pleased they took this story seriously and did get it right. This film, like "Das Boot" shows everyone that not all German soldiers were Nazis; quite to the contrary, most were just soldiers. The extras are a mixed bad, many just trying to convince everyone how important it was to have Cruise as the lead, but there is a two-hour documentary taken from the History Channel that is a must-see; it alone is almost worth the price of the DVD. The acting for the most part was top-notch and well casted.

Cons

Ok, you knew it was coming. Tom Cruise as the lead role in a historically correct WWII film? Huh? Yes, after awhile if you try hard enough, you should be able to see the character he's playing not Tom Cruise, but it might take some work. Part of me also wishes that this film would have been filmed by and in German like "The Downfall", it just would have been more authentic (for the record, there were two B&W films done in Germany in 1955 on this subject; the same year Germany joined NATO).

Extras

  • Audio Commentary by Tom Cruise, Director/Producer Bryan Singer, and Co-Writer/Producer Christopher McQuarrie
  • Audio Commentary by Co-Writer/Producer Christopher McQuarrie and Co-Writer Nathan Alexander
  • "Reel Pieces with Tom Cruise and Bryan Singer" Recorded live at New Yourk's 92nd Street Y
  • "The Valkyrie Legacy" Documentary
  • "The Journey to Valkryire" Featurette
  • "The Road to Resistance" Featurette
  • "The African Front Sequence" Featurette
  • "Taking to the Air" Featurette
  • "Recreating Berlin" Featurette

Recommendation

A must-see for any WWII history buff and anyone that still believes that all Germans in WWII were crazed Nazis. Even if you're a Tom Cruise basher like so many seem to be today, you should get past that and watch this film.

Director

Bryan Singer   [Apt Pupil, Superman Returns, The Usual Suspects, X-Men, X2: X-Men United]

Actors

David Bamber - Adolf Hitler
Christian Berkel - Colonel Mertz von Quirnheim
[Black Book, The Downfall]
Kenneth Branagh - Major-General Henning von Tresckow
[Conspiracy, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Wild Wild West]
Kenneth Cranham - Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel
Tom Cruise - Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg
[A Few Good Men, Collateral, Interview with the Vampire, The Last Samurai, Magnolia, Minority Report, Mission Impossible I/II/III, Rain Man, Top Gun, War of the Worlds]
Tom Hollander - Colonel Heinz Brandt
[Gosford Park, POTC: Dead Man's Chest, POTC: At Worlds End]
Eddie Izzard - General Erich Fellgiebel
[The Avengers, Ocean's Twelve, Shadow of the Vampire]
Thomas Kretschmann - Major Otto Ernst Remer
[Blade II, The Downfall, Immortal, King Kong (2005), The Pianist, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, U-571, Wanted]
Kevin McNally - Dr. Carl Goerdeler
[Conspiracy, Entrapment, The Phantom of the Opera (2004), POTC: Curse of the Black Pearl/Dead Man's Chest/At World's End]
Bill Nighy - General Friedrich Olbricht
[The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Hitler's SS: Portrait of Evil, POTC: Dead Man's Chest/At World's End, Shaun of the Dead, Underworld, Underworld: Evolution, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans]
Jamie Parker - Lieutenant Werner von Haeften
David Schofield - Erwin von Witzleben
[Cleopatra (1999), Gladiator, The Musketeer, POTC: At World's End]
Terence Stamp - Ludwig Beck
[Elektra, Get Smart, Red Planet, Star Wars Episode I, Superman I/II, Wanted]
Carice van Houten - Nina von Stauffenberg
[Black Book]
Tom Wilkinson - General Friedrich Fromm
[Batman Begins, The Ghost and the Darkness, The Patriot]

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