May 20, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I & III • Page 31 Cruise stars as renegade German officer in ‘Valkyrie’ by Dennis Seuling During World War II, there were several attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler. The most famous, and nearly successful one, was the attempt by a group of Hitler’s top officers to blow him up at a meeting scheduled to discuss the disintegrating fortunes of Nazi Germany against the Allies, who were closing in on Berlin. These events are depicted in “Valkyrie” (20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment). Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) is a war hero and a believer in a noble Germany. Perplexed by Hitler’s erratic leadership and the degeneration of Germany’s war strategy, he recruits other high-ranking officers in an effort to assassinate the Fuhrer, disband the SS, and begin negotiations to preserve Germany from total destruction. In movies when the outcome is known, the director must nonetheless maintain suspense and keep the viewer involved. Director Bryan Singer manages this well. Colonel von Stauffenberg boldly offers his plan to fellow officers, knowing full well that even the suggestion is an act of treason. His confidence and ability to draw upon clear military logic and patriotism energize a plot that depends on precise, methodical planning, divided responsibilities, and luck. All involved realize that failure will mean death for themselves and either death or ruin for their families. During production, there were reports that Cruise was miscast or at least over his head as the German colonel. But he turns in an above-average performance and his star power resonates with von Stauffenberg’s ability to win over like-thinkers to his dangerous scheme by virtue of his heroic war record and larger-than-life personality. More than a star vehicle, “Valkyrie” has the look and feel of a well-staged ensemble piece, with good moments for all the major actors, including Kenneth Branagh, Terence ian accents, wear capes, or have fits when a clove of garlic crosses their paths. The series is set in the rural Louisiana town of Bon Temps and focuses on Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), (continued on Crossword page) State Line Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (left) sets in motion a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler in ‘Valkyrie,’ starring Tom Cruise (right). The Best Got Better! 375 State Highway 17 North, Mahwah Open 24 Hours, 7 Days Join Us For Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Diner - Restaurant 201-529-3353 Stamp, Tom Wilkinson, and Bill Nighy. David Bramber is effective as Hitler -- a bent over, nearly defeated leader who is fast cracking under pressure. Filmed in Germany, “Valkyrie” has a lush, big-budget look. Extras include two featurettes on the making of the movie and a 43-minute documentary, “The Valkyrie Legacy,” which discusses the actual events depicted in the movie and how they affected Germany. There are interviews with von Stauffenberg’s descendents and surviving co-conspirators and a discussion of what happened after the events depicted in the movie. “True Blood” (HBO Home Video) draws upon the ongoing popularity of the vampire, that mysterious, dangerous, alluring, hypnotic creature of the supernatural. But the vampires of “True Blood” don’t speak in thick Hungar- Now Serving Cocktails, Espresso & Cappuccino $ 00 On $10.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 1 $ 00 VT On $20.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 2 VT ��������������������������������������������� ������������ ������� �������� ������������� �������� ������ �������������� ���������� Grand Opening Sabu Sabu Deli ����������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ ��������������������������� ������� ������������������������� ������ ������� ������ ������������� ���� � ����������������� �������� ������������������� ��������� ������ � ������������������ ������������� ������������� ���������� �������� �������� ���������� ����� ������������ ������������ HAPPY HOUR ������������������ �������������� ������������� � �������������� ��������� ������� ���� �������������� ����� ������������������� �������������� � �� ������������������������������������������������ ����������������������������� ���������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������ ������������������������������������������� ����������������������