Red Tails - is the movie any good?

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by JediMasterKeno, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Well, John Ridley wrote the script and had Lucas' approval for it. I just really think George was tired of the whole thing and wanted to retire from it all. Perhaps red Tails came a decade too late in Lucas' career? Maybe he would have brought something more relevant to the screen then or back when he was first working on it 20 years ago? But visually and sound-wise the film is first-rate.
    But George has clearly rediscovered his passion and energy regarding his innovative art museum proposal.
    Last edited by ShaneP, Mar 17, 2013
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  2. BoromirsFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2010
    star 4
    The only dialogue I couldn't stand was the stereotypical evil german stuff and the pilot who was with the european woman, professing his love for her in such a pathetic and shallow way.

    Then there is Terence Howard........oh god.
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  3. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Actually, the movie might have been better as a psuedo-documentary of sorts. Imagine this:
    Keep the action scenes intact and then intercut it with archival footage and interviews with the real pilots. Sort of a upgraded History channel dogfights episode with more depth and non-action intercut throughout.

    Lucas might have had a field day with that kind of mix-up. I just think the movie itself was too standard,formulaic and safe.
    In fact, your avatar of Sean Bean reminds me how much better some television(like Game of Thrones) is than many movies today.
    Last edited by ShaneP, Mar 17, 2013
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  4. BoromirsFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2010
    star 4
    I think the psuedo documentary would have been taken a lot more seriously and met with less derision. I certainly would have been more interested in it.
  5. Bobatron Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 3
    An opportunity to make a more epic film was missed. Lucas was all over the media, especially in Oprah interviews, stressing the film couldn't be made for twenty years because the studios were reluctant to make a blockbuster film with mostly black actors. It was an angle as if he was boldly fighting the stodgy cautious studios once again, but what the heck? There have been movies with casts like that that not only got good box office but critical acclaim. The story of the Tuskegee Airmen should not have just been presented as if they were just any other pilots fighting a war in a perfect racism-free world. The racial divide was the reason they even existed. Upon seeing the movie, it turned out the film wasn't the best depiction it could have been. It simply wasn't interesting. The characters were idiots and more irresponsible than Maverick in Top Gun. The pacing and presentation left a lot to be desired. It felt like a dumbing-down of the history and it very noticeably held back from doing more with several set pieces like the romance and the POW camp. I had to admit to myself the only positive things about the movie when I was watching it were the Lucasfilm nods and whatnot: The Lucasfilm logo followed by blue text; the bar looking like the Mos Eisley cantina; a reference to Buck Rogers; a few familiar-sounding lines.
    Last edited by Bobatron, Mar 23, 2013
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  6. SweetZombieJesus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2013
    star 2
    A lot of Lucas's stuff is schlock that inspires love/hate. I don't mean either; I mean both at the same time.

    I'd put Red Tails in this category. Cheesy, thin characters, stereotype-laden, hits obvious sentimental buttons. But I can't totally hate it and there's something to it.
    Last edited by SweetZombieJesus, Jun 3, 2013
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  7. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    That would be something that might be called 'heart', free from all the cynicism, irony and lack of sincerity which seem to pollute modern filmmaking, because too many studios and filmmakers assume from the beginning that their audiences are both too stupid and too sophisticated at the same time.

    GL proved such thinking wrong back in 1977 - $350million+ wrong to be precise - but this time around it seems that the rot was far too deep to unseat, and the film never had a chance without any real support from the number-crunchers in the studios.
    There's a good few threads around here debating the exact input of George Lucas, Gary Kurtz, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan, Richard Marquand and Rick McCallum towards what really made the SW Saga what it was - but sadly, one of the real heroes has been long forgotten and is rarely mentioned. That was Alan Ladd Jr, head of production at 20th Century Fox, who had faith in Star Wars, and refused to pull the plug on the film as it went over budget, despite all the pressure from the shareholders - much as Robert Evans did at Paramount just before the studio exploded with the likes of Love Story and The Godfather, and then shot rapidly to being the #1 studio in Hollywood.

    It's not that surprising that GL sold SW & LFL to Disney not long after he was unable to properly distribute such a commercially viable and completely unobjectionable film as Red Tails. I get the impression that this was the project that broke his heart. Why give yourself ulcers and risk a stroke, when the bastards you've proved yourself to repeatedly, with billion-dollar returns, still won't touch something unless it's got lightsabers or Indiana Jones attached?

    I hope to look forward to GeorgeLucas.com in the near future - a small, unsensational website in the vein of the old DavidLynch.com, where GL just streams little films he's made with a cheap digital video camera of racing cars and abstract imagery.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Jun 3, 2013
  8. Heero_Yuy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 4
    I completely agree. The movie wasn't god awful and had a few good points, but it really should have been so much more. He'll, it COULD have as this story was done better before on HBO. Actually, the nonsense Lucas' is spewing about no one wanting to invest in this movie because it had an all black cast really, REALLY bothers me. Not only is it objectively dishonest, but it's self congradulating crap to make Lucas seem like a victim and champion of black people.

    What's more likely is that (given his track record) no one wanted to invest in a non Star Wars/Indy Lucasfilm project.

    And to say Red Tails had heart is laughable. This movie was every bit as shallow and lifeless as most anything put out by Lucas in recent years.
    Last edited by Heero_Yuy, Jun 11, 2013
  9. GGrievous Prequel Trilogy Trivia Version 2.0

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2005
    star 5
    @Darth_Nub While it is likely and obvious that Alan Ladd Jr had faith in the movie, Lucas normally states that Ladd Jr invested in him.
  10. Darth Eddie Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2013
    star 3
    A heavy dose of 'racism is band, mkay?' with some kickass dogfighting. Worth a watch.
  11. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 6
  12. Kay Suhyun Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2013
    star 1
    I just read up on this. Did the pilots still alive had to pretend there was no other movie during promotion?
  13. Heero_Yuy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 4
    Well, to be fair it was the first THEATRICAL film make about them (the previous movie was for HBO). So it would likely be a bigger deal and mean more. What gets me is how Lucas tries to mislead people by acting like he's pretty much the ONLY one who's ever cared to tell their story. That REALLY bothers me because its such dishonest, self indulgent nonsense. Even more so when he insists no studio wanted to invest in a movie with black protagonists. No, Lucas. No one was interested because you don't have a great non Star Wars/Indiana Jones track record.
  14. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    Meh. I've seen much worse movies, and I've seen a heck of a lot better. Including HBO's Tuskegee Airmen.

    The last time I was in Iraq, we were flying out of Balad Air Base, north of Bagdad, and the unit in charge of the base was the 332d Air Expeditionary Wing. That's the same unit as the Tuskegee Airmen, still in action to this day. When we arrived, the commander met us and told us that since we were flying our C-130s out of his base, we should all consider ourselves Tuskegee Airmen, and he gave us all 332d patches for our flight suits. So, I can claim to be a Tuskegee Airman, but I would never claim to be one of the Tuskegee Airmen!

    To answer the question some of you may be wondering about, I'm white. The Air Force has been racially integrated for decades and people of any color can now be assigned to any unit, including the 332d. We had 2 or 3 African-Americans deployed with us on that trip. We all got along great; after the briefing, they wanted to treat the rest of us to fried chicken and watermelon. Too bad the chow hall didn't have any. Thank God we've reached a place where we can joke about our differences and not think any less of each other.
  15. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I did not hate this movie, but the non-action portions are not that great. They don't suck, it's watchable, but just nothing special. The opening scene? I could watch 3d ariel battles all day.
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  16. darthbarracuda Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    star 2

    Yeah that's why I loved the Dogfights TV show
  17. LunarMoth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2012
    star 4
    Yeah, I liked Red Tails, but Tuskegee Airmen was better.

    And thank you for your service!
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  18. FRAGWAGON Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    I quite liked it. Especially the action scenes. The whole story of these men is so inspiring that any depiction of it is an achievement. More people need to know about them!
  19. The-Eternal-Hero Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    I have to disagree that the HBO movie was better. There is virtually no aerial action in the HBO telefilm and what's there is mostly poorly matted cockpit shots + stock footage. The dramatic portion of the film is waaaaay over the top & melodramatic and feels like something written in 1963. TA is a solid little tv drama but it's not much better than RT's. RT's at least has a beautiful, widescreen look; epic battles and a tightly focused story. I wish it had been let out a little - 10 or 15 mins would have helped RT's enormously - but it's still one of Lucas's better films, imo.

    The irony here is that when GL did Young Indy, the audience wasn't ready for a 15 hour long epic about WWI, they wanted something like Saving Private Ryan and when that finally appeared it was a huge hit. By the time RT's came out, the audience didn't want a punchy 2 hour feel-good movie, they wanted an exhaustive mini-series. Yeah, a bigger version of RT's with more character drama would have been great but still, for a late career, I think GL did better than a lot of film-makers, we got the PT, TCW & RT's - very cool stuff.
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  20. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    I agree with most of your criticisms and comparisons, but I think TA is the better movie because of the characters. RT characters seemed like stereotypes and caricatures to me. TA characters were a little over dramatic from time to time, but they still felt more like real people I knew and flew with than the cartoony ones in RT.

    I bet all of us agree that TA could have used a bigger budget for more P-51s and B-17s!
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  21. Legacy Jedi Endordude Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2012
    star 3
    I think it was a good movie, not star wars or indiana jones, but still a good movie!
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  22. Darth_Arapsis Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2013
    star 2
    Must resist the tempatation to start arguing about the PT.:_|
  23. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Yeah, let's not bring that into this.

    Think I might finally get around to watching Red Tails this week sometime.
  24. DarthVengeant Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2004
    star 3
    It was a snore imo. I honestly think Lucas lost his luster awhile back now.
  25. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2012
    star 4
    I finally got around to watching it earlier. I enjoyed it; it was engaging, the video and audio quality were spectacular, the aerial fights were really well-done and the story had heart. It felt like it achieved what it set out to do.
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