Posted by: da_nibbler | November 19, 2008

Tom Cruise “laughable” in Valkyrie

Variety reports on the first impressions by a test audience after an initial test screening of Tom Cruise’s new film Valkyrie. The thriller, directed by Bryan Singer, sees Tom Cruise’s Claus Von Stauffenberg attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany during WWII.

According to people from the test audience the film is far from being a thriller. But reportedly worse seems to be Tom Cruise’s performance as Claus Von Stauffenberg even going as far as saying his performance elicits inappropriate laughs.

Variety mentions a few examples test viewers have given after seeing the film and after reading what was said I have to voice my opinion on it.

First example:

A scene where Cruise’s character, Claus Von Stauffenberg, is forced to give the infamous “Heil Hitler” salute. “It’s an unsettling scene but you almost start to laugh,” the source says. “His character is resisting it but you never forget it’s Tom Cruise saying ‘Heil Hitler.’ It’s funny and shocking at the same time.”

I am actually more shocked by what the quoted “source” said. How can your own inability to distinguish between the actor and his character be a fault of the film? Sounds more like someone who seems to be having a hard time getting into the film just because Tom Cruise stars in it. I know many people that have that problem. Maybe it’s because I am not a Tom Cruise fan that I don’t seem to find it difficult to separate the actor from his character. Not that the “source” sounded like a fan. But I guess Tom Cruise haters have the same problem, just on the other side of the spectrum. I don’t fit on either side. I just don’t care about the guy. Maybe that makes watching his films easier. I am seriously hoping that Variety quoted that particular “source” to show how ridiculous that statement in itself is. Your own perception is not the fault of the film. Go and watch films without stars attached so you won’t have the above problem. Dr. Six is here to help.

Second example:

Sources also described a scene where Cruise’s character Claus Von Stauffenberg removes a false eye. “It was disgusting,” said one person who saw the film. “It was like watching someone pluck their contacts out.”

The film is about the attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler. It takes place during wartime. If you can’t stomach something like the above mentioned eye-removal this might not be the film for you. While I am sure I will be finding said scene very disgusting I applaud realistic portrayal of situations. I have not seen the film yet so can’t say whether it is realistic. But calling something “disgusting” and then comparing it to a ritual that millions of people perform every morning and every night is just ridiculous.

Onto the third and last example:

“The film just isn’t a thriller at all” said one “Valkyrie” viewer. “It’s a bunch of white guys in Nazi uniforms. It’s too bad.”

How a film about a “bunch of white guys in Nazi uniforms” is by default (that’s what above statement sounds like to me) not a thriller is a statement I can’t even comprehend to understand. The “viewer” seems to say it in a way that sounds like stating a fact. Which it isn’t. But the real problem I have with what was being said is the line about “a bunch of white guys in Nazi uniforms”. Did that viewer actually expect to find some non-white guys in Nazi uniforms? Because Nazis are so well-known to represent ethnicity and minorities.  Does that person even know what a Nazi is, other than German? Read up on the history of the content you are making comments on.

How ignorant and uninformed are these people that studios test screen to? Oh right, test screen audiences are supposed to mirror the mainstream masses so studios can tweak the film for a broader appeal and make more bucks. I guess every test screen audience has to have an ignorant and  uninformed moron in their midst, representing this unfortunately rather large group. It’s for people like these that I am happy films like Valkyrie are getting made. How many people didn’t know about the attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler? Too many. Unfortunately nowadays we look to film and tv to educate us. More films like Valkyrie need to be made. Maybe not attach a big star as to not ruin it for certain people.

I can’t wait to see this film. Despite all the bad luck the production has been having the film is going to be released December 26. Not quite the holiday film I was expecting, but the more mainstream people learn about historical facts the better. And I hope all those Variety “sources” were wrong. I will truly know when I have seen it for myself.

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Responses

  1. Agreed 100%!


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