Monday, December 29, 2008


Last night I went to the movies to see the new Tom Cruise movie, "Valkyrie". This film is based upon actual historical events that took place in World War II Nazi Germany. Based upon the trailers and considering that the film's director, Bryan Singer, had previously directed X-Men and Superman Returns it appeared that I was going to be in for a great action movie. And if an action movie is what you want then this film is not for you. But if you enjoy tense political thrillers you'll find "Valkyrie" right up your alley.

Cruise portrays Nazi Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg. He was amongst many within the German military that realized Hitler was a madman and had to be stopped. Of course, their plan ultimately failed, but the film tells a brilliant tale of how this plan came about, and how close they were to succeeding.

Singer did an excellent job of maintaining the tension level throughout the film. The story moves along quite quickly, and you have to be paying close attention to the details to fully understand exactly what's going on. It's feels a bit strange seeing Nazis as good guys. I can only think of one other movie that had a Nazi protagonist, "Schindler's List", and even then Schindler was the lone good Nazi in the story.

The fact that this was based on actual historical events surprised me. I never knew that a German Resistance existed during Hitler's reign. It comes as a comfort and a relief to know that there were Germans, members of Hitler's military, and members of the Nazi party that were persons of conscience and acted upon that conscience. I can imagine the amount of courage it took these men and women to take action against Hitler. Hitler was a dynamic, charismatic leader. He led Germany from utter poverty to being a world power. Despite the horrible things Hitler did, I can understand how a German citizen could turn a blind eye to those things and go along with Hitler's agenda (I know that's horrible of me, I'm just trying to put myself in their shoes).

Tom Cruise doesn't disappoint in his performance. His portrayal as dedicated, resolute character with along with being a strong family man has you rooting for him from the first minute of the film. If you can appreciate this kind of movie genre then I highly recommend "Valkyrie".

By the way, I've been told that if you file for divorce and the other person doesn't respond then you are automatically granted the divorce (in California, that is). If anyone knows anything about this please let me know.

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