Excerpt: It’s been seventy years since World War II and I’m perpetually amazed at how much influence it still has on our daily lives. Granted, the men who fought in the war are dwindling in numbers as the days pass and maybe it takes a movie like Red Tails to really show us how far we’ve come in that short amount of time. To be honest, I’d not really heard of the movie, only seen a brief preview of two and knew that Cuba Gooding Jr. was in it (where has he been hiding).
Excerpt: "Red Tails" features some fantastic aerial dogfights and an inspiring story, but a weak script, inconsistent score, and disappointing acting prevent it from being the great film it could have been.
Summary: One of the filmmakers remarks that this is not just a black story, but an American story. He’s right, and the film has plenty of the patriotic flair that we used to see in our war movies. Unfortunately, the film couldn’t sell its message at the box office. It only pulled in about $49 million, far short of its budget. It did well for two weeks and tanked after that. Part of the problem was the lack of a promotional campaign. Another issue is the January release dates.
Excerpt: I first caught wind of Red Tails back in the late 1980s or early '90s, when George Lucas had stepped away from the Star Wars legacy he'd birthed, and returned to his roots producing and nurturing films like Radioland Murders and Tucker: The Man and His Dream . But fate had George step back into that sci-fi galaxy far, far away, and his more personal projects would have to wait.
Conclusion: The real story of the historical Tuskegee Airmen is just about as amazing as it gets - but 'Red Tails' isn't their story. No, it's contrived and dull. Just like the 'Star Wars' prequels, George Lucas having his hand in every part of this potentially fantastic story has ruined it. The result is popcorn fluff – but not the good kind (hence why it wasn't released during the summer). The true story behind 'Red Tails' is botched here.
Excerpt: The Film How do you like that, Mr. Hitler? The Tuskegee Airmen have been the subject of films before -- with Cuba Gooding Jr., even. The most notable was probably 1995's The Tuskegee Airmen , an HBO film with the Oscar winner in a supporting role. Of course, it's hard to complain about the legendary crew getting another shot in Hollywood. They are deserving enough that another film wouldn't hurt -- unless that film was Red Tails .
Summary: As an aviation history nerd, I always geek out at the possibilities of another big-budget dogfighting film. But since I've been burned recently— Flyboys , I'm looking at you—I approached Red Tails with cautious expectations. Now, I had no doubts that executive producer George Lucas—who worked on this project for 20-odd years before getting it off the ground, so to speak—could impressively recreate WWII-era air battles. I wasn't worried about that in the slightest.
Excerpt: World War II has been so thoroughly mined by the movies that it's shameful to realize how few of them have focused on African-American soldiers. There's no doubt that the story in Red Tails , about a Tuskegee Airmen unit based in Italy, deserves to be told, but it's a shame this important bit of history comes wrapped in such a garish and ungainly package.
Excerpt: About halfway through, Red Tails coughs up a memorable scene amid a lot of dull drama played out by unmemorable characters and not-so-impressive CGI dogfights. A group of the film’s heroes, the African-American World War II pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen, head into the Italian town near their base to engage in some well-earned R&R.