From May 26, 2012
I finally saw George Lucas’ movie about the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII.
Apparently filmed back in 2009, the film wasn’t released until January 20, 2012. I haven’t found out the reason for the delayed release (I guess Post-Production took a while?). [UPDATE: Turns out that Lucas couldn't get any Hollywood studios to agree to front the money to distribute the film because, even though it's 2012, no studio would agree to front the money for a film with an all black cast. Lucas revealed this on the Daily Show in early 2012. That's sad social commentary.]
As Wikipedia says, Red Tails is the first Lucasfilm production since the 1994 film Radioland Murders that is not associated with the Indiana Jones or Star Wars franchises. It’s nice to see Lucas do something new and I know that he’s been working on the idea for this film for a long time.
Overall, the film was ok. The dialogue (as with any Lucas picture) is not so great. Blah blah cliché blah blah. Ok.
But the movie is fun to watch. And the aerial dogfights are really very well-done (which is pretty much the whole reason Lucas made this to begin with. Hell, it’s the reason he made the original Star Wars in 1977, because he loved both the real WWII dogfight reels from the War and films made by Hollywood about said dogfights.) So it’s really great to see Lucas be able to go hog-wild on the dogfights. They’re really interesting to watch and look VERY realistic.
The end battle is very cool and it’s the only time that the acting gets really good. Yes, the acting in the last 15 minutes of the movie is worth sitting through the ham-fisted acting in the previous hour and 45 min.
While not as good as the recent Captain America or The Rocketeer from the ‘90s, I recommend watching Red Tails because it’s fun (and because I basically love anything having to do with WWII).
• I think Cuba Gooding Jr. did a good job in this film.
• I think Terrance Howard did ok, but I actually wish that he had played Gooding Jr.’s character and vice versa. I think Gooding Jr. would have been better as the Col. Howard doesn’t have the gravitas for the role.
• Some shots in the film appear to be directly copied from some of the Star Wars movies and the Young Indiana Jones series. I think that was intentional.
• There is some really obvious/weird ADR going on in this film.
• I liked that the tavern in Italy where everyone goes looks vaguely like Jabba’s palace in ROTJ.
• I noticed that anytime the characters are outside (and sometimes when they’re not) you can hear birds chirping… but it’s the SAME bird sound clip each time. Tsk tsk tsk, guys.
• I really liked the rendition of “America the Beautiful” played during the end credits, especially the beginning part that has only a trumpet and a piano.