UPDATE: It turns out that roughly 80% of the quotes in this memo came from FirstShowing’s Alex Billington. I should have known. ;) Alex’s glass is 80% full.

Not content with being owed one million dollars from Harvey Weinstein, vigilante blogger Nikki Finke has published an MGM internal memo that breaks down the online perception of Valkyrie 2.0 aka “Play down the eye patch and Valley Boy voice, win over graphic designers.” It makes for a pretty fascinating—if typical—look inside the Hollywood hype machine and how the Internet is a giant, throbbing Krang-like barometer. Make no mistake, all of those “awesome”s and “FAIL”s add up. Here are some enlightening highlights from the memo…

Currently, reactions to the Valkyrie trailer are significantly favorable (approximately 80%) within Entertainment, Fan-Boy, Video Sharing, Social Networks, Social Bookmarks, and Fan communities. Fans deem the trailer “fantastic,” often praising the “stylistic” way that the footage was cut and asserting that it is “way better” than the initial teaser.

But what about “the haters?” Will they “sink” Valkyrie‘s suped-up battleship? No, their numbers have diminished and were “greatly exaggerated” to begin with…

The limited amount of unfavorable discussion (5%) stems from critics expressing general disinterest in the film, contending that the trailer makes Valkyrie look like “another Hollywood action movie.”

The surge is “working”…

The [new] poster comprises the majority of discussion, as fans laud the “stylized design” and hope that it represents the “gritty” feel of the film. “I definitely want one of these up on my walls right away.”

But when the “actors speak,” the buzz stumbles…

Lack of German Accents Still an Issue – While the majority of buzz about the lack of German accents is neutral, the topic is fueling discussion among online audiences. Critics contend that their absence creates a “lack of cohesiveness” while supporters believe that their inclusion would make the film appear “cheesy.”

The bottom line “…”

“the film has the potential to be “awesome” [but some viewers] still have their doubts based on the initial critical buzz.”

If a memo about this memo’s impact on viewers is leaked, we’ll let you know. Do you think Congress is privy to this type of futuristic and “extremely accurate” buzz-measuring?

Discuss: Give a number or stat that best illustrates your “anticipation.”

Valkyrie Movie Trailer

United Artists have released a new movie trailer for Bryan Singer‘s Valkyrie. The new desert war footage and the addition of the tick-tock time-bomb score leads me to believe that the film might be a little more intense than I had first believed. The use of split screens seems forced, however, I doubt they are used in the actual film. I do love the way Singer frames his movies. And who doesn’t love the shot of the cigarette burning the fly? Watch the trailer below. As always, please tell me what you think in the comments!

Plot Synopsis:
In a country in the grips of evil, in a police state where every move is being watched, in a world where justice and honor have been subverted, a group of men hidden inside the highest reaches of power decide to take action. Tom Cruise stars in the suspense film, VALKYRIE, based on the true story of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) and the daring and ingenious plot to eliminate one of the most evil tyrants the world has ever known. Director Bryan Singer (THE USUAL SUSPECTS, X-MEN, SUPERMAN RETURNS) re-teams with Academy Award®-winning USUAL SUSPECTS screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie to bring to life the story of the men who led the operation to assassinate Hitler. The film also stars an acclaimed cast including Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Carice van Houten, Thomas Kretschmann, Eddie Izzard, Christian Berkel and Terence Stamp.

A proud military man, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg is a loyal officer who serves his country all the while hoping that someone will find a way to stop Hitler before Europe and Germany are destroyed. Realizing that time is running out, he decides that he must take action himself and joins the German resistance. Armed with a cunning strategy to use Hitler’s own emergency plan – known as Operation Valkyrie – these men plot to assassinate the dictator and overthrow his Nazi government from the inside.
With everything in place, with the future of the world, the fate of millions and the lives of his wife and children hanging in the balance, von Stauffenberg is thrust from being one of many who oppose Hitler to the one who must kill Hitler himself.

Valkyrie hits theaters on December 26th 2008. Watch the trailer in High Definition on Yahoo.

A lot of new posters have hit the web in the last 24 hours. Cinematical has the final US poster for Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut Synecdoche, New York, which shows the life size replica of New York City that the main character builds in a warehouse. I think its cool but I actually prefer the international poster which featured Philip Seymour Hoffman in front of the tables of index cards. Ropes of Silicon has the poster for Bryan Singer’s WWII movie Valkyrie. It seems oddly stylistic, maybe because they are trying to appeal to younger audiences. The MPAA recently announced that the film is rated PG-13. A PG-13 Nazi movie?

ComingSoon has the final poster for Quantum of Solace, which seems kinda stock compared to the other two theatrical posters for the film which featured Daniel Craig walking down the street with his huge gun. And lastly there is the poster for Clint Eastwood’s Changeling. The one-sheet is even worse than the film’s title, who woulda thought?

The /Filmcast: After Dark – Ep. 13

The /Filmcast: After Dark is a recording of what happens right after The /Filmcast is over, when the kids have gone to bed and the guys feel free to speak whatever is on their minds. In other words, it’s the leftover and disorganized ramblings, mindfarts, and brain diarrhea from The /Filmcast, all in one convenient audio file. In this episode, Dave, Peter, Devindra, and Adam, discuss the possibility of another Superman film with Bryan Singer, find even more things to debate about The Dark Knight, and discuss some geeky tidbits about the making of Back to the Future. Also, Dave laments the thrashing that was “The Yamato Affair.”

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Valkyrie on December 26th 2008

When Bryan Singer‘s Valkyrie was moved back to 2009, everyone interpreted the move to mean the film was not good enough for Academy Award consideration. Well MGM has announced that they are moving the Tom Cruise Hitler Assassination thriller up to December 26th, a prime date at the close of Awards season. But the studio claims they made the move not because of award consideration, but instead because they believe the film will play better to audiences in the holiday release, instead of in mid February.

I find it a bit strange that the film is being released on the 26th, when a boat load of films are being released one day earlier for Christmas. That line-up includes Frank Miller’s The Spirit, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Bedtime Stories, Marley & Me, and the limited release of Gran Torino. Also, David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button hits theaters one week earlier. Seems like a crowded week to release the film, and if MGM isn’t doing it for award consideration, then why did they make the move at all?

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

New Valkyrie Photos

Filmz.ru has found a batch of new photos from Bryan Singer‘s Valkyrie. Yes, the movie where Tom Cruise plays a Nazi Colonel who attempts to assassinate Hitler. Trust me, after the world sees Cruise’s hillarious appearance in Topic Thunder, I’m convinced everyone might forget about all the weirdness.

Valkyrie is scheduled to hit theaters on February 13th 2009.

/Filmcast Episode 3 – Kung Fu Panda


Kung Fu PandaIn this episode of the /Filmcast, David, Devindra, and Adam debate how good the Religulous trailer really is, remember the good old days when Eddie Murphy used to say “Fuck,” try to ignore the hype/hate behind the Valkyrie trailer, and geek out about Kung Fu Panda. Special guest bloggers Mike Sonders joins us from Great White Snark and Myles McNutt joins us from Cultural Learnings. Have any questions/comments/suggestions? Feel free to e-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com.

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Valkyrie Movie Trailer


The bad buzz for Bryan Singer‘s Valkyrie has been building over the last few months. additional photography, added with a complete release date shift to February (after Awards Season), resulted in the release of negativity in Hollywood. It also doesn’t help that Crusie’s last film Lions For Lambs bombed. But so far everything I’ve seen about this film has been very impressive. From the screenplay, to the first production photos which included a comparison shot of Tom Cruise against the real life Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, to the teaser trailer that was released a few months back. Even bitter, angry Variety editors have recently written “several people I trust have seen VALKYRIE and testify that it’s a superb thriller. ‘Bryan Singer is back in form,’ says one source.”

The desire for this film to be a failure is massive. Everyone has purchased a pair of hater pants from the anti-Tom Cruise store (metaphorically speaking, I hope). I think everyone needs to watch the Valkyrie movie trailer below (note: it’s not new), and form an opinion based on what is shown. Forget what you’ve read about the production, and put your passive aggressive Cruise-bashing feelings away. Tell me what you think in the comments below.

Official Plot Synopsis: The “July 20 Plot” on Hitler’s life is one of the most heroic but least known episodes of World War Two. Severely wounded in combat, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg returns from Africa to join the German Resistance and help create Operation Valkyrie, the complex plan that will allow a shadow government to replace Hitler’s once he is dead. But fate and circumstance conspire to thrust Stauffenberg from one of many in the plot to a double-edged central role. Not only must he lead the coup and seize control of his nation’s government… He must kill Hitler himself.

Valkyrie hits theaters on February 13th 2009.


“Slide to the left, now slide to the right.”

The Internets today: Tom Cruise‘s career is on life support, yadda yadda. Is the Internets correct? I’m not fond of talking about Tom Cruise around the water cooler, but I’d say the Internets are wrong. Does that make me a relevant revolutionary? United Artists, which is headed up by Cruise and Paula Wagner, has pushed back the release date for Bryan Singer‘s expensive kill-Hitler flick, Valkyrie, from October ’08 to February 13th, 2009. Yes, that means Tom Cruise will battle Jason Voorhees. Amazing.

This marks the second calendar move for the poorly buzzed and semi-mocked war film. Previously, Valkyrie was set for a release this June, but when the original trailer–which lacked the kinetic action of a summer blockbuster and memorably showed Cruise as an eye-patched Nazi who talks like a Santa Cruz sensimilla dealer–bombed the film suddenly became a “prestige picture.” Fall called. Now President’s Day Weekend calls. Here’s what MGM’s distribution president, Clark Woods, had to say to The Hollywood Reporter

“When an opening became available for Presidents Day weekend, we seized the opportunity. Having seen a lot of the film and how great it is going to play once it’s finished, moving into a big holiday weekend is the right move.”

Over at The Hot Blog, David Poland speculates that Cruise will rev up Mission: Impossible 4 for a start in September in order to get a sure thing in the basket. Poland doesn’t give specifics but says he’s 90% sure that M:I 4 will happen. Really? Given how poorly M:I 3 did domestically, I can’t imagine Cruise resorting to Ethan Hunt for the save. Peter disagrees, but I think Cruise should follow-up his cameo in Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder, which has great w.o.m., with another comedy. Hardy Men with Stiller needs to happen, stat. After Lions For Lambs (which cannot be blamed on The Cruise, it was a terribly marketed talk-fest war film) and Valkyrie (which clearly has identity issues), I really don’t think audiences want to see this guy in another serious role.

The only way for Cruise to avoid more stabs from Perez Hilton’s ilk, boisterous Scientology haters and the Net’s endless celebrity career strategizers is to take aim at the very notion that it’s getting to him. Showing American audiences how fast The Cruise can sprint from million-dollar missiles is not going to prove anything at this point.

As for Valkyrie‘s new date, I think it’s actually smart. It meets expectations for the film, and while February is considered a dead zone, The Wolf Man and The Pink Panther 2 were formerly parked there. When it comes to marketing, the main thing with Valkyrie is “what in the hell is it?” At this point, it just needs to be entertaining and not accidentally hilarious. If it flops during Valentine’s Day, there will be less eyes and less surprise.

Discuss: Do you think M:I 4 will happen? Would Cruise be better off following-up his Valley Nazi with Hardy Men or even Risky Business 2? Is it action film or bust at this point?

Valkyrie: Two New Photos


Yesterday I posted a new Behind the scenes photo from Bryan Singer‘s Valkyrie. Turns out the Empire Magazine has two more, which can be seen above and below.