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Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

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View Poll Results: What did you think of Red Tails?
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It was good, not great
21.74%
It was just alright
4.35%
Sorry, it sucked
13.04%
Will wait until Blu-Ray to watch
8.70%
No interest in seeing it.
52.17%
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Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

Old 01-21-12, 12:50 PM
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Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

Trailer:

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/6YjUUT7G55c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Synopsis:


A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0485985/


Writtten by John Ridley and Aaron McGruder

Directed by Anthony Heminway (Fringe, True Blood)

Produced by Rick McCallum

Executive Produced by George Lucas


Okay, I noticed in the pre-release thread there isn't a single person who gave an actual review of the movie. Just a bunch of snarky comments and people ripping the trailer. So, if anyone actually wants to talk about the movie, here's an actual review thread. I'm very interested in seeing this. I like WWII movies and I like the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. Might check it out later today or tomorrow.

Last edited by DJariya; 01-21-12 at 01:06 PM.
Old 01-21-12, 04:03 PM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

This is all you need to know:

German pilot subtitled during an airfight: "Die, you foolish African"

No other reviews needed...please close thread
Old 01-21-12, 04:38 PM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

Originally Posted by Jaymole
This is all you need to know:

German pilot subtitled during an airfight: "Die, you foolish African"

No other reviews needed...please close thread
Alright, this joke is officially not funny anymore. Stop mentioning it.
Old 01-21-12, 05:08 PM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

Originally Posted by Dragon Tattoo
Alright, this joke is officially not funny anymore. Stop mentioning it.
What joke?
Old 01-21-12, 05:09 PM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

Writtten by Aaron McGruder
Whoa. Had no idea he was involved. That infamous line sure must've got Uncle Ruckus' approval!
Old 01-21-12, 08:20 PM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

George Lucas produced "Red Tails", a film about the Tuskegee Airmen who broke down racial barrier in WWII and demonstrated that dogfighting in the sky wasn't something only white pilots could do well in combat.

The direction of this film was tame, or uninspired. The script is a little flabby in spots, as there are many pilot characters in the film, and it was a little difficult keeping up with the various subplots for the main characters, and the screenwriting wasn't engaging, felt disjointed, threadbare in characterizations, and lacked confidence and bite. It felt like the first draft of a screenplay in many scenes, and didn't really flow well. The actors did the best they could with a weak script.

The aerial scenes were fine, as it is its main marketing point in its advertising.

I give it 2 stars, or a grade of C.
Old 01-22-12, 09:24 PM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

Okay, so I guess I'll be the 2nd one besides Patman who actually saw the movie and will share some comments.

I liked it, but it definitely had some problems.

The Good:

1) The Red Tails were definitely a memorable group of characters. Nate Parker was good as Easy, who was the leader of the squad. Lightening, Deacon, Smokey, Ray Gun worked well together and sometimes they were actually quite funny.

2) Awesome dog fighting sequences. I think the war sequences were probably the strongest parts of the movie.

3) Good production value


The Bad:

1) The Germans: They were terrible cartoon characters.

2) Lame attempt by the script to tackle racism. Alot of it was been there, done that.

3) Weak attempt at a love story with Lightening and Sofia, played by Daniela Ruah from NCIS: Los Angeles. I think the HBO series The Pacific handled a love story better with a soldier romancing one of the locals.

4) Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad getting 1 scene.


For his feature film debut, I think Anthony Hemingway did an okay job. He would have been better served with a stronger script that fleshed out the characters and some scenes more. Don't know how much Lucas was involved creatively, but the ILM special effects were pretty good.

Overall, I would give this a B-

Last edited by DJariya; 01-22-12 at 09:36 PM.
Old 01-23-12, 02:15 AM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

Red Tails stutters short due to an anticlimactic third act despite a lot of promise being built up in the first two acts. Which I thought was ironic as black guys are known to have a lot of stamina. Or, so, that's what pornography has taught me...

The actors, as charismatic as they are, are given absolutely nothing to do in a script penned by the creator of The Boondocks himself. By that logic, the film should've been aces, but shall we not forget that we're watching a Lucas production. It also doesn't help that at times the film comes off as racist due to the fact it has no idea if it wants to be a B-movie action romp or a serious drama. It also doesn't help that Lucas and company single out one, poor German schmuck to be the film's villain. Isn't this a World War II story? It's pretty obvious who the bad guys are. I didn't think the script needed to vilify a single individual. Why? It's lazy screenwriting, that's why.

The fighting scenes are entertaining, but the final action sequence spends too much time focusing on characters' deaths than embracing the chaos surrounding it. The first two acts build up to a potential third act that should be absolute bonkers, but instead runs to the finish line rather than letting the story close itself up.

Red Tails happens to capsulate an entertaining film somewhere inside its two hour course, but ultimately fails due to incompetent storytelling. There's a "been there, done that" feel to the entire production and it hinders the entire thing from succeeding. Even with ILM's A-team at bat, Red Tails is just a forgettable picture.
Old 01-23-12, 04:18 AM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

^^ Fair enough. You made some valid points and I think expanded a little more on what I said. Although it sounds like I enjoyed the movie a little more than you. I do agree with your assessment that the movie didn't really know if it was a B action flick or a serious historical drama.

Overall, I thought the HBO movie The Tuskegee Airmen handled the subject matter better. Kind of weird that Cuba Gooding Jr. was also in that film.
Old 01-23-12, 07:37 AM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

Putting aside anyones bias towards Lucas, I just have one question before I see it or rent it someday: Does the focus on the movie on the story and characters, AND then action sort of like Platoon, or is this a Michael Bay CGI fest that focuses on Action AND then the story and characters?
Old 01-23-12, 09:53 AM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

I'm guessing it's more Pearl Harbor than Platoon. If you read the interview in the other thread he pretty much says that is what he wanted.

Here's the quote"

“They have a right to have their history just like anybody else does,” Lucas said. “And they have a right to have it kind of Hollywood-ized and aggrandized and made corny and wonderful just like anybody else does. Even if that’s not the fashion right now.”

Love him or hate him, I admire the guy for doing exactly what he wants. With a fairly modest budget of $68 million, I'm sure he will make some money back.
Old 01-23-12, 09:57 AM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

Originally Posted by DJariya
Okay, so I guess I'll be the 2nd one besides Patman who actually saw the movie and will share some comments.

I liked it, but it definitely had some problems.

The Good:

1) The Red Tails were definitely a memorable group of characters. Nate Parker was good as Easy, who was the leader of the squad. Lightening, Deacon, Smokey, Ray Gun worked well together and sometimes they were actually quite funny.

2) Awesome dog fighting sequences. I think the war sequences were probably the strongest parts of the movie.

3) Good production value


The Bad:

1) The Germans: They were terrible cartoon characters.

2) Lame attempt by the script to tackle racism. Alot of it was been there, done that.

3) Weak attempt at a love story with Lightening and Sofia, played by Daniela Ruah from NCIS: Los Angeles. I think the HBO series The Pacific handled a love story better with a soldier romancing one of the locals.

4) Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad getting 1 scene.


For his feature film debut, I think Anthony Hemingway did an okay job. He would have been better served with a stronger script that fleshed out the characters and some scenes more. Don't know how much Lucas was involved creatively, but the ILM special effects were pretty good.

Overall, I would give this a B-
Old 01-23-12, 12:12 PM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

Originally Posted by SmackDaddy
I'm guessing it's more Pearl Harbor than Platoon..
This is nothing against Lucas, but I'll pass if its more Pearl Harbor. This is the reason I rarely see any new movies anymore. I will go to see any movie if its got an interesting story and good characters no matter who's directing it, and if its all about CGI and action first, then its not for me. Give me a good drama over a good action movie anyday of the week.

Now I am not saying I'm in the majority as these summer blockbusters rake in the money, but I pass on all the CGI-first crap these days.
Old 01-23-12, 12:54 PM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

I'd argue that action and character development/story are equally divided throughout. Again, my biggest gripe is that first two acts build promise that the final action scene should be something of glory. Instead, it's a five-minute sequence (whereas the prior actions sequences are significantly longer in length) that is more focused on killing off key cast members to end the film shortly thereafter rather than building up to a more natural conclusion.

However, the character development and story is meh. The characters are likable, it's just that they're given nothing to do other than be cannon fodder or be plight to racism. They're really just there. We know how the story begins and ends with the Tuskegee experiment and Red Tails offers nothing new with what we've already seen and heard.

While the ""Die, you foolish African" subtitle is on screen for barely five seconds, what really caught us off guard is a comment made during the ("Why is this scene here?") POW camp escape sequence. To paraphrase the dialogue delivered: "Oh, you're colored, they won't see you at night anyway."

I'd recommend renting it rather than paying to see it.
Old 01-23-12, 01:46 PM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

I gotta admit that I'm quite surprised that those of you who saw it, don't seem to absolutely loathe the film like I thought you would.
Old 01-26-12, 08:02 AM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

I agree with most of what has been said in the thread so far - The first 2/3 are a very entertaining B movie, with some great action sequences and a lot of fun (for a movie on such a serious subject)... but then the movie doesn't know what it wants to be and tries to cram so much stuff into the last act (POW camp, the drinking problem, the love story etc.) that it really drags it's feet to the conclusion... It didn't help that I had to take a massive piss and was counting down the seconds, but the first 2 acts felt brisk, while the last act takes forever to get where it is going.

The acting was typical for a Lucas production, with ADR really taking a lot of the nuance out of the performances - whole scenes have clearly been looped and make you feel like you're watching a TV movie. Terrance Howard and Cuba bring it the whole time, but much of the younger cast either had nothing to do (Michael B. Jordan) or didn't really rise to the occasion (Tristan Wilds).

Nothing worth running out to see but if it's on TV one afternoon, it is worth a look.
Old 01-30-12, 12:07 PM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

GF dragged me to see this, and perhaps my enjoyment was too tainted by all the bad reviews. I went in expecting Pearl Habor, and found it hard to get emotionally involved in any of the characters. The flyers came off as goofballs to me, clowning around, and never seemed to be stressed out during the missions.

I would say it's a throw away movie, on par with Flyboys.
Old 06-04-12, 08:43 AM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

I finally saw this last night. Overall I enjoyed the movie but like others have stated the movie was leading up to a much better third act than what materialized. Also the Germans were a joke and the characters were not really developed even with the movie being over two hours long. The documentary on the blu-ray was very good though.
Old 06-06-12, 03:54 PM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

My Emotional Black side liked this movie a lot. It wasn't perfect, but it still had some interesting stuff in it. I think the HBO "Tuskegee Airman" film with Fishburne was better in some ways, but this was still pretty good. The sfx were pretty good.

My White side....Hated this!!

Old 06-18-12, 02:47 AM
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Re: Red Tails -- The Reviews Thread -- Opened 1/20/12

I'm no fan of war/flying films and went to see this because:

a) it was the final opportunity to catch it at my local cinema
b) I wasn't doing anything Sunday morning
c) I have a free admission card that I bought at the beginning of the year.

The comments here pique my interest for the HBO production that'll probably never air this side of the pond.

I didn't find it any better or any worse than your standard war film and agree with most of the comments here regarding sterotypical villains and stupendous flying sequences.

It makes a change to see something concentrating on Black American history but some of the building bridges scenes between races were very clunky and felt shoe-horned in.

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