Jump to content
Hauksbee

The "Red Tails" are coming...and the news is not good.

Recommended Posts

It looks "Red Tails" is just "Flyboys", but twenty five years later and they've all graduated to P-51's. I found the following review (heavily edited here) after watching the trailer. If the laughable football huddle scene (where they're chanting 'pump-it-up' things like "Through adversity to the stars"...seriously! ) is any indication of what we're in for, I may take ear-plugs to the theater, the better to watch Messerschmits get their butts kicked.

"In "Red Tails," the famed Tuskegee Airmen get the John Wayne-style heroic rendering they very much deserve, but in a hackneyed and weirdly context-less story that does them a disservice...Long a pet project of his, George Lucas self-financed the film and has said he hopes "Red Tails" will prove there's an audience for all-black movies. That's a laudable goal, but "Red Tails" reduces a historical story of deep cultural significance to merely a flyboy flick....

 

Instead of creating something authentic and new, "Red Tails" superimposes the tale of the black World War II pilots on a dated, white genre of 1940s patriotic propaganda. "Red Tails" is blatantly old-fashioned, just with a change in color....

 

In medias res hardly says it: "Red Tails" opens in the midst of an aerial dog fight while the credits are still rolling. Director Anthony Hemingway plunges right into the action, skipping all that pesky backstory of black men braving the segregation of Jim Crowe America and, against the odds, rising up at the Tuskegee Institute...

 

That history was stressed in an earlier 1995 HBO film, "The Tuskegee Airmen" which benefited from Laurence Fishburne's sturdy presence. A co-star from that movie, Cuba Gooding Jr., is here, too, as the pipe-chomping Maj. Emanuelle Stance. The other higher-up with him is Col. A.J. Bullard, played with unnatural speech by Terrence Howard, whose smooth voice fails to find the register of a commander....

 

The film is centered, though, on the pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group, which earned the nickname of Red Tails from the painted ends of their P-47 fighters. These first black military aviators in the U.S. armed forces flew more than 150,000 sorties over Europe and North Africa during WWII, often escorting Allied bombers. Sixty-six were killed in action....

 

Our group of thinly sketched pilots all come with cliché nicknames: Joe "Lightning" Little, Marty "Easy" Julian, Ray "Junior" Gannon, Andrew "Smoky" Salem, Maurice "Bumps" Wilson and Samuel "Joker" George...

 

The biggest flaw here is the corny script by John Ridley and Aaron McGruder, the Boondocks cartoonist. There's a fine, swaggering vibe, but a curious hesitance to really tell the Tuskegee story. Half of their two-front war (at home and in battle) goes largely without depiction, except for one or two minor scrapes with racist officers. Neither is any hint given to the less than rapturous welcoming the men would get on their return home.

 

The whole thing is unrealistically sunny, both literally and metaphorically. The skies are always bright blue (better for highlighting the digital trickery) and hardly anyone dies. Though this is film about one of the most violent clashes in history, little seems at risk. The racist generals are back in Washington and the free, Italian base is a happy world away from the segregated U.S. The German fighters are cartoonishly evil...

 

 

Hoo-Rah!!

Edited by Hauksbee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh dear!...Once again, the ingredient of something good, is taken lovingly....and mixed with Cat Sick! (again) :this:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's Hollywood, what did you expect, authenticity? :dntknw:

 

That's why I prefer Documentaries and research published on the Net.....This Hollywood stuff get's on my wick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Hollywood, producers have the last and biggest word.

They believe they are the ones to know best, what the people want to see, and tell the director to go and change it that way.

What a waste of good spirit and energies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember the old classical joke about the Hollywood producers. A producer has a walk in his studios and stumbles on one of his biblical shootings:

- Who are those twelve shabby dudes?

- They are the Apostles, sir.

- Pathetic! Put at once sixty more of them on stage!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good one, Capitain - makes you wonder, why they stuck with "Three Musketeers".

They must have understood something there.

:grin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:good:The three Musketeers, Treasure Island, A Xmas Carol, those were written and filmed by people who loved their craft. It seem now its more like slop it together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are good exceptions.

The latest film with Robert Downey jr. for example: "Iron Man" 1 + 2, and Sherlock Holmes.

Both intelligent entertainment with good mix of atmosphere, action, and good acting.

Peter Jackson' "King Kong" or "Lord of the Rings" comes to (my) mind.

There are good ones among the load of crapp, still.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Historical accuracy" and "Hollywood" are not compatible with each other. That has been proven so many times that there's no point to expect things to be any different with this film. That's just the way things are in the film industry, and not only in Hollywood. There are exceptions of course, but they are rare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good one, Capitain - makes you wonder, why they stuck with "Three Musketeers".

They must have understood something there.

:grin:

Yet, it was Alexandre Dumas himself, actually about the alleged historical inaccuracy of his "Three Musketeers", who stated: "No matter you violate History, as long as you give Her nice children". The same could be said about a handful of fine films. But to some extent only...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks "Red Tails" is just "Flyboys", but twenty five years later and they've all graduated to P-51's. I found the following review (heavily edited here) after watching the trailer. If the laughable football huddle scene (where they're chanting 'pump-it-up' things like "Through adversity to the stars"...seriously! ) is any indication of what we're in for, I may take ear-plugs to the theater, the better to watch Messerschmits get their butts kicked.

"In "Red Tails," the famed Tuskegee Airmen get the John Wayne-style heroic rendering they very much deserve, but in a hackneyed and weirdly context-less story that does them a disservice...Long a pet project of his, George Lucas self-financed the film and has said he hopes "Red Tails" will prove there's an audience for all-black movies. That's a laudable goal, but "Red Tails" reduces a historical story of deep cultural significance to merely a flyboy flick....

 

Instead of creating something authentic and new, "Red Tails" superimposes the tale of the black World War II pilots on a dated, white genre of 1940s patriotic propaganda. "Red Tails" is blatantly old-fashioned, just with a change in color....

 

In medias res hardly says it: "Red Tails" opens in the midst of an aerial dog fight while the credits are still rolling. Director Anthony Hemingway plunges right into the action, skipping all that pesky backstory of black men braving the segregation of Jim Crowe America and, against the odds, rising up at the Tuskegee Institute...

 

That history was stressed in an earlier 1995 HBO film, "The Tuskegee Airmen" which benefited from Laurence Fishburne's sturdy presence. A co-star from that movie, Cuba Gooding Jr., is here, too, as the pipe-chomping Maj. Emanuelle Stance. The other higher-up with him is Col. A.J. Bullard, played with unnatural speech by Terrence Howard, whose smooth voice fails to find the register of a commander....

 

The film is centered, though, on the pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group, which earned the nickname of Red Tails from the painted ends of their P-47 fighters. These first black military aviators in the U.S. armed forces flew more than 150,000 sorties over Europe and North Africa during WWII, often escorting Allied bombers. Sixty-six were killed in action....

 

Our group of thinly sketched pilots all come with cliché nicknames: Joe "Lightning" Little, Marty "Easy" Julian, Ray "Junior" Gannon, Andrew "Smoky" Salem, Maurice "Bumps" Wilson and Samuel "Joker" George...

 

The biggest flaw here is the corny script by John Ridley and Aaron McGruder, the Boondocks cartoonist. There's a fine, swaggering vibe, but a curious hesitance to really tell the Tuskegee story. Half of their two-front war (at home and in battle) goes largely without depiction, except for one or two minor scrapes with racist officers. Neither is any hint given to the less than rapturous welcoming the men would get on their return home.

 

The whole thing is unrealistically sunny, both literally and metaphorically. The skies are always bright blue (better for highlighting the digital trickery) and hardly anyone dies. Though this is film about one of the most violent clashes in history, little seems at risk. The racist generals are back in Washington and the free, Italian base is a happy world away from the segregated U.S. The German fighters are cartoonishly evil...

 

 

Hoo-Rah!!

 

Hauksbee's review is Dead on. I watched the film today and it is another Fly boys. I do enjoy watchin airplanes so I liked it although I wish they were or filmed like they were real. The acting is not so great: 2 or 3 of the minor actors do stand out and The Actress who played the Italian female lead was a sight to behold when she smiled. Otherwise, the actors are just there for the paycheck. One the plus side, The theater sound is great. The cannon and machine gun sounds are wonderful along with the sounds of aircraft being damage a thrill ride of rocks hitting a trash can.

Edited by carrick58

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hauksbee's review is Dead on. I watched the film today and it is another Fly boys....

Actually, carrick58, it's wasn't my review, but one I found on-line and edited down. But I too, saw it this afternoon and will second carrick58's opinion. I've since found two more on-line reviews and it's more of the same. The best actors going could not breath life into that turkey of a script, so I'll not flog a dead horse. The flying scenes weren't too bad, tho' in typical Hollywood fashion, they tried to cram as many planes as possible into every shot. They had Messerschmitts flying wingtip-to-wingtip, four abreast through the bomber formations. All aerial gunnery took place ay point-blank range; the better to see it on screen. On the last engagement on screen (which was their first escort mission all the way into Berlin) a B-17 drops out of formation and tries to limp back home. Three P-51's leave formation to cover the bomber. This flies in the face of everything I've ever heard. Their responsibility would be to stay with the main formation which had not even dropped their bombs yet.

 

I'll wait for it to be released on disc, and rent it at least once before I decide if I want to buy it. For a good exposition of the Tuskegee Airmen, I'd go with the History Channel's "Dogfights" version. 'Just enough backstory, and the flying scenes look really good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:dunno: There is the T.V. Version I think it was called the same thing. Closer to History and better Acting. I cant remember about the Flight scenes ? :fan_1:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is the T.V. Version I think it was called the same thing. Closer to History and better Acting. I can't remember about the Flight scenes ?

I think it was just called "The Tuskegee Airmen" with Laurence Fishburne in the lead. It was a made-for-TV with a minimal budget and production values, and to tell the truth, I can't remember much about it either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've learned to be wary of the History Channel's narratives, but I highly recommend "The Tuskegee Airmen" on "Dogfights", Season Two, Disc 4. They deal with the Jim Crow back story (conspicuous by its absence in "Red Tails") in a brief and to-the-point way and then get on to the main event which is the flying. The cameo interviews with the pilots themselves say more about them as men with problems in the real world, than the ginned up love affair between 'Lightning' and Sophia or 'Raygun's return-from-the-dead escape from Stalag 18. And the flying is better than George Lucas's pack-every-scene-with-as-many-planes-as-possible cinematography.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And the flying is better than George Lucas's pack-every-scene-with-as-many-planes-as-possible cinematography.

 

That's a problem with modern computer-generated graphics. It's so easy to do things with computers that it gets out of hand very often. When they had to use actual models with wires and things like that, there was no room to pack every scene full of aircraft. The aerobatics would also look more believable in their own way, with no totally crazy manouevers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lucas was involved in the project-- that means it was going to be bad history and bad film-making.

 

 

this is the same guy who's convinced that "Vietnam taught us that a primitive civilization could defeat an advanced civilization. you can see that in my work when the Ewoks defeated the Empire, or when the Gungans defeated the droid army"

 

 

maybe they didn't have the same advanced infrastructure, running water, and personal comforts we take for granted in the west-- but last I checked AK47s, Mig 21s, SAMs, and radar were all fairly "advanced" tech that was being supplied to the NVA by the Russians and the Chinese!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lucas was involved in the project-- that means it was going to be bad history and bad film-making.

Give the guy a break; he's been making children's films since the very first Star Wars. Now he makes his first foray into reality by swapping out the TIE Fighters for P-51s. Little wonder he comes up short.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..