What happened
United Artists announced on Tuesday that it was postponing—for the second time—the release of Tom Cruise’s latest movie Valkyrie. The film, in which Cruise plays a Nazi soldier attempting to assassinate Hitler, will now open in February 2009. (AP)

What the commentators said
Valkyrie has been pulled apart like warm bread,” said Roger Friedman in FoxNews.com’s blog 411, and rightfully so—it’s “one of the worst ideas for a film ever.” Moving it to February 13, 2009 certainly isn’t going to help matters: That’s “not only Presidents’ Weekend, but it’s also Valentine’s Day on that Saturday.” Is MGM/UA really “expecting audiences to go to a violent, nearly all-male (and over-30-male, to boot) film about heroic Nazis who get themselves murdered by Hitler”?

Tom Cruise “hasn’t really got anything approaching a film career right now,” said Stuart Heritage in the blog Hecklerspray. “After his increasingly bewildering behavior kicked the legs out from underneath Mission: Impossible III,” Cruise has “struggled to make films again.” He was “sacked” from Paramount by Sumner Redstone, and “then the big Tom Cruise comeback movie Lions for Lambs died a violent death at the box office.” Now this.

“Movie release dates get pushed back all the time,” said Ben Barna in BlackBookMag.com. “It usually isn’t a big deal, and could be done for a number of reasons.” The fact that the delay of Valkyrie “is being treated like news” is really just “a testament to Tom Cruise’s utter fame.” We’d like to believe “that Lions for Lambs was an anomaly, and that Mr. Cruise—he of near-perfect box-office record—still knows how to pick ’em.”

Well, “our source hears that Cruise wants to create some space before this film is released to help himself and the studio he’s supposed to be reviving, United Artists,” said Kim Masters in Slate. Supposedly, “he wants to lighten up, perhaps get another project going, possibly something with Ben Stiller.” It “seems clear” that “Cruise has begun to appreciate the magnitude of career damage that he has inflicted upon himself, though he may not completely grasp the cause.”