Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Tuskegee Airman is ready for combat in RED TAILS.

Red Tails... I saw the film earlier today, and it was pretty entertaining. Overlooking the historic racial aspects of its storyline, Red Tails is what 2001's Pearl Harbor should've been if it wasn't deliberately treated as Titanic set during World War II (and if you briefly set aside the obvious calamity that took place at the U.S. naval base). The movie, produced by George Lucas (who also directed some scenes during reshoots) and Rick McCallum (who produced the Star Wars prequels for Lucas), definitely wasn't perfect... The red-colored font (and even the design of the title itself) for the opening credits made it look like they were typed using Final Cut Pro (not that I have anything against FCP—I love this editing program), and it was pretty noticeable that Red Tails was shot with a digital camera. I'm a celluloid-lover, FYI. Leave the digital camera to TV sitcoms, thanks.

A U.S. B-17 Flying Fortress is attacked by German fighters in RED TAILS.

In terms of casting, Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Oscar nominee Terrence Howard were respectable in Red Tails, and it was amusing to see Bryan Cranston (of TV's Malcolm in the Middle and Breaking Bad) play a racist U.S. Army brass in this flick. Never heard of Daniela Ruah until today, but she looked gorgeous playing the Italian love interest of hotshot pilot Joe "Lightning" Little (David Oyelowo). Ne-Yo, who I remember from last year's sci-fi film Battle: Los Angeles, played Andrew "Smoky" Salem. As for the rest of the cast, some of them look familiar but not familiar enough for me to mention in this review. Not to be rude or anything.

Dozens of P-51 Mustangs, piloted by the Tuskegee Airmen, are ready for a dogfight in RED TAILS.

One last issue that I want to point out about Red Tails was the ending. Not to spoil it for those of you planning to see this flick, but I found it clunky: The Tuskegee Airmen were mourning the loss of one of their best pilots after a major sortie over Berlin, but suddenly cheered when another pilot—who had to bail from his damaged aircraft and was taken prisoner by Germans on the ground earlier in the film, and later presumed dead—abruptly showed up at the airbase to celebrate and declare a new random nickname for himself. Apparently, this guy didn't get the memo that a memorial for a fallen flyboy was taking place at the time. (This moment may have happened in real life, but still, it was clunky.) Anyways... Other than that, if you want to see awesome World War II aerial combat, then Red Tails is the movie for you. Industrial Light & Magic worked on the visual effects, so you can be sure that you'll be watching a lot of cool (computer-generated) dogfights in this action flick. Carry on.

The Tuskegee Airmen in RED TAILS.

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