"Red Tails" The Next George Lucas Production

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by JediHPDrummer, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    Yeah, I read the review. What bothers me is that most of the complaints aren't really justified, and little depth is given overall. Then again, this is a local Atlanta paper, so we're not going to be given an exhaustive piece of cinema criticism here. But still, it feels as though the writer's just coasting on assumptions people make on a Lucas movie rather than giving a really detailed response.
  2. Gallandro Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 4
    A couple of "urban" online magazines have given the film glowing reviews today.


    Yancy
  3. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    Good, I was hoping the New Yorker would finally give him a break.

    But seriously. Got some links?
  4. Mond Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2009
    star 3
    I actually only think critical opinions really matter to the kind of movies that are mostly watched by the kind of people who read movie reviews. I.e., small independent films. (I suppose if Red Tails falls in this category is debatable).

    When it comes to films intended for a mainstream audience, critical perceptions don't seem to mean all that much. Panned movies become big hits all the time, and the reverse is also true. Also, though this is anecdotal, the "mainstream" or "general audience" type filmgoers with whom I am acquainted seem to regard critics as pretentious, pompous, and out of touch, if they mention critics at all. (Note: I don't really agree with this assessment of critics - some of them are great IMHO.)

    Though you do see rave reviews, if there are any, used in marketing to mainstream audiences. But this seems more incidental than anything.

    Film reviews are for cineastes, mostly.
  5. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Well I see the first review from TimeOut has been posted - Basically a rant about Lucas and Star Wars and just a little bit of Red Tails thrown in.:rolleyes:
  6. Gallandro Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 4
    Yeah that was a joke. "Blah, blah, blah prequels sucked. Blah, blah, Lucas raped my childhood. Blah, blah, blah. Once I saw his comments that he was thankful the acting was better in Red Tails than with Jake Llyod in TPM I stopped reading. What does Jake Lloyd have to do with this film.
  7. obi-rob-kenobi4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2007
    star 4
    Un-Mod Edit-believable! This is what I mean about what fanboy haters have done to star wars and anything LFL as well as the internet in general. Enough is enough already, when are people going to wake up and stop feeding this forced meme? These people are a disgrace! Directly against everything star wars and Lucas and steven spielberg have ever stood for!

    The critics, hatful fanboys and internet scrubs should be ASHAMED of themselves and the way they sign boycotts all year long, year after year every single time ANYTHING that has to do with star wars in any way is released, they should instead sign their names to a THANK YOU LETTER. A letter THANKING the man for what he has contributed to the human race all throughout his life to this day!

    George Lucas is one of the most generous, intelligent and creative artists who have ever come out of hollywood. It was HIS VISION that changed the way the film industry worked. He taught millions and millions of people how to dream literally. The angry, pathetic internet scrubs who troll anyone who speaks the mans name all year round are no less a depressing disgrace to the human race than the greedy, racist corporate pigs who made Red Tails so hard to make in the first place.

    Now we have to hear the critics take their jabs?!?! The critics who are backed by the same aforementioned fanboys?

    If anything people should start attacking these smug reviewers with the same relentless venom used against anything lucas touches. Im reminded of a famous quote lucas made one day before the release of indy 4 "The critics all already hate it! They are only going to go watch it tomorrow so they can be able to say they have seen it.

    How true!


    Mod Edit: You have to star out the whole curse word
  8. Mond Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2009
    star 3
    Key word being "forced". It sounds so labored these days, like people are doing it out of a contractual obligation.

    Still, it does seem to work as a crowd pleaser for a certain demographic. As long as it's effective, those searching for an audience will keep using it. It is an almost ritualized institution now.

    Nonetheless, I do feel bad for the handful of fellows who have made it the centerpiece of their "careers" due to a lack of much else to offer. How would you like it if your work centered on badmouthing a philanthropist? That would eat away at my soul after a while. [face_laugh]
  9. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    As for the critics, these are the same people who thought "Saving Private Ryan" was deep, and preferred it to Terrence Mallick's "Thin Red Line."

    Red Tails was never going to be a realistic war film or a message movie. The point of this movie was to make "colorblind" war epic about non-white fighter pilots. That's what I'm looking forward to seeing, a heroic story about a group that is usually looked over, but one that doesn't keep stopping to remind you that the heroes aren't (gasp!) white.

    Maybe the U.S. isn't ready for this type of mainstream movie...?
  10. obi-rob-kenobi4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2007
    star 4
    And the worst part is just HOW DEEP their rhetoric goes and how hard they cling to it no matter how many facts and logic you try to show them. It is to the point where you have to basically become a personal cult deprogrammer for them. Its so sad that these people have actually built their hate up into a science. When you realize how hard they fight in order to keep on hating star wars and lucas overall one realizes that it must be something else they are fighting, something subconscious like personal insecurities and/or jealousy.

    My point is that after a while one realizes that when someone is fighting in order to hate...than they almost definitely have some darker creepy problems 80% of the time.
  11. Gallandro Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 4
    Saw the film last night. Absolutely fantastic! It's a 1940's flag-waving, homage to the great WWII fighter pilot movies like "Flying Leathernecks," "Dam Busters," and "Twelve O' Clock High." It will probably turn off some that the subject matter of racism or the horrors of war are portrayed in more of a "Hollywood" manner, but that's not what this film is about. It's about the heroism and exploits of a brave group of men who helped alter the course of history.

    Lots of high flying aerial thrills with some top notch acting and a great score! Loved it!


    Yancy
  12. obi-rob-kenobi4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2007
    star 4
    I thought it didn't come out until friday? :confused:
  13. Gallandro Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 4
  14. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    The first preview screening I heard of was the 14th, in NYC!

    I'm hoping to go to a 1pm showing tomorrow afternoon, if I can clear the boards!
  15. Gilrod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2003
    star 1
    I'm very excited. After hearing about this film for twenty years (from Lucasfilm Fan Club Magazine/Star Wars Insider when I was about seven), it's great to see it actually be released. I'm just sad I won't be able to see it until Sunday at the earliest because of a prior commitment. George Lucas is my hero, and it's good to see that one of his long-talked-about films is finally seeing the day of light with quite a lot of press to boot.
  16. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    Well, I just saw it, and I have to admit, I'm mixed. In terms of tone, it's kinda all over the map, partly because it seems to want to be every WWII ever made-- obviously it wants to be a "Flying Leathernecks"-style aerial combat movie with ace pilots getting into epic dogfights in the sky, period-perfect 40's tone and all, and when it focuses on those dogfights, it's truly incredible. But it also wants to be a shmaltzy romance picture with an Italian girl getting close to one of the pilots, and it never quite gels in the way it should, going back and forth between Hays Code chaste courtship and more modern, casual steaminess, literally hot and cold. It also, for good measure, wants to be "The Great Escape" with a half-baked Stalag escape subplot that happens mostly offscreen. Worst of all, however, it wants to be all of this in about two hours, which is way more than it can pull off, especially with its competing corny and self-serious historical tones.

    Now, the corn factor is understandable-- this is Lucas we're talking about, after all. However, one of the chief problems is that Lucas himself seems a little distant from the script. Yes, his fingerprints are all over the dogfighting and action in general, but there's a shapeless quality to the screenplay that goes beyond the usual complaints about his dialogue. Say what you want about the Prequel films in terms of dramatics, but in terms of pacing and structure, they do a pretty damn good job of getting you from A to B, keeping you appraised of short and longterm conflicts and juggling multiple fronts of action. Perhaps it's due to him ceding the details of the script to Ridley and McGrudder in favor of focusing on the broad style, or maybe it's just in the difficulty of translating the whole of the Tuskegee Airmen's millitary actions into a conventional 2 hour feature (the HBO movie couldn't really do that, either). There's no singular mission on focus or series of strategically related ones as you have in a lot of WWII movies like "The Dam Busters". Instead, it's giving us a highlight reel of their greatest hits-- gunning down trucks and trains before the predujucial brass took them seriously enough assign them cover missions for landings and especially bomber escorts.

    Much has been made of how the film cuts out the backstory of the pilots' training and facing racism at home before they joined the way, as well as not including an epilogue of their continued persecution afterwards. Lucas has said he wants to cover these in their own films, and others have insisted that you could've simply done it all with a 3 hour running time, and a more David Lean-style approach. The problem is, you could've focused wholly on the wartime efforts of the pilots in a 3 hour film, and still had plenty left over before you even thought about handling the before and after stuff. Really, what you'd need to adequately cover this span would be its own "Band of Brothers" style miniseries, but there you run into the problem of how much time you can afford to dedicate to aerial combat, which are already impressive enough on the big-screen that you'd naturally lose detail on television.

    There are all sorts of problems you run into when trying to do a big, epic WWII dogfighting movie, which goes to show why you seldom see that many in comparison to the easier to manage on-the-ground stuff. Hell, even "Pearl Harbor" tried a good deal of what's going on here with a 3 hour running time, failing mostly because of the half-baked love triangle and uninspired action (never mind how its tone veered so close to the period it came off as ugly and xenophobic, apparently forgetting the fact that we're no longer at war with the Japanese). There's enough in "Red Tails" for me to reccomend to anyone to see in a theater, because seeing it on the small screen will just water down the best parts. But there's a whole lot of miscalculation on the part of Lucas as a producer that makes me wish he'd have bitten the bullet and co-written and directed it himself.
  17. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    Thanks for taking the time to do a write up of what you thought Prefect.
  18. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    I'll give Red Tails a solid 4 out of 5.

    My only serious criticisms are: a few scenes could have played out longer, the two minute coda at the end is jarring & poorly executed.

    Having said that, the other 2 hours of the film are brilliant. It perfectly balances a modest (in the best sense of the word) naturalistic drama with a stylized war epic drawn from WWII era sources, Hollywood movies & American comics especially. The movie actually opens like a comic book splash page, with the title & credits over the action. The characters are "archetypal" in the same way the Star Wars & Indy characters are, but the script allows them to be human beings at the same time. I really loved the script, it is simple, elegant, stylized when it needs to be, naturalistic when it needs to be. I love how un-fussy Lucas is as a filmmaker. From the opening shot to the last frame, these characters are larger than life heroes. That doesn't mean that they aren't allowed feelings, weaknesses or humor. I loved the stuff McGruber brought to this (I'm sure it was him) especially "Black Jesus" and the Flash Gordon Raygun. The fx are mostly spectatcular, but to be honest, it felt good to see Lucas straining against limitations to tell a story again, a lot in this film felt like American Graffiti & the original Star Wars. The score is pretty effective but I enjoyed the period music more, and I especially loved a rendition of Robert Johnson's "Red Hot" that appears in one scene.

    When Lucas first started talking about this film, he was describing something much more akin to the HBO Tuskegee Airmen film. When he finally announced the production in 2005, he described it as a being the Hollywood WWII movie the original black aviators didn't get. This is what he delivers. And I really enjoyed it. There's no hand-wringing in this movie, and it doesn't dwell on the horrors of combat. That's been done well by many other filmmakers, from Stanley Kubrick to Oliver Stone. The audience doesn't really need to get a lesson in this, sadly, as we have never been more steeped in war news and the fear of attack in this country. Red Tails accomplishes what it sets out to do extremely well. Another cut might have smoothed it out more, but it's as good a war movie as anyone else has ever made.

    I'd like to stay something about the intended audience for this film. Simply put, I think most of the white critics just "don't get it." The audience I saw it with was 95% black and they loved the movie. Red Tails doesn't pander to white tastes. Like many independent black films, the character scenes in the film aren't played out in tense, stagey monologues and confrontations. The characters are well-adjusted and their non-combat scenes are very naturalistic, it's like hanging out with them, not like spying on their private lives. I think this confuses critics, especially white critics, who tend to think of drama as more stage-like than cinematic.

    So, apart from a sloppy coda, I think this is the best feature film Lucas has made since "Tucker." Go see it.
  19. Darth Pipes Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 5
    I just saw it today and I really enjoyed it. I was very impressed with the aerial combat scenes...the film definitely shines there. The explosions are a little too CGI'd but I have to say I was pleased with the rest. It was a very good cast filled with a number of engaging actors and it was fun. Definitely a throwback to the old patriotic films, even with the mustache-twirling Nazi pilot.

    The film certainly had its flaws. Some bad dialogue and plenty of cliches. I thought the main problem is that it dragged as it went on. I thought they could have cut 10-15 minutes from it. But otherwise, definitely worth seeing.

    The audience I went with seemed to like it. There were African-Americans although I noticed it attracted an older audience. Plenty of older men who might have been in the military. Some came in with hats of Navy ships.

    I was lucky enough to be at the Red Tails panel at the NYCC in October. McGruber was there, along with Michael B. Jordan (from the wonderful Friday Night Lights) and Leslie Odom from the film. The highlight though was Dr. Roscoe Brown, a Tuskegee airman who served as squadron commander. He was a great and told a lot of great stories, like how he shot down a German jet. He was the first American credited with shooting down one.
  20. fistofan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2009
    star 4
    Just saw the movie and I have to say, for all the negative reviews it got it was really good. Obviously it wasn't an art film, but it was never billed as one. It was a thrilling movie that celebrated heroes, and that's what Lucas set out to do. I've only seen two movies that caused the audience to applaud at the end: Red Tails and Revenge of the Sith. Lucas may not always please the critics, but he always strikes a chord with the audience.

    On an unrelated note, as Star Wars fans, did anyone else feel that the familiar blue text at the beginning was a little out of place?
  21. Riven_JTAC Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2011
    star 3
    I'm with Prefect. I am mixed on the film. The dialogue was a bit contrived at times and the film jumped around way too much. The visuals were stunning, though.

    The romance seemed absolutely unnecessary to me. I literally cringed every time there was a scene for it. It took up valuable space that could've been used to, as others have said, provide more story for the prejudice the pilots faced or longer battle scenes. The movie came off as very Battle of Britain-esque with no real flow to the battles but just suddenly fighting to suddenly not fighting and such. The problem with that is that that was how Battle of Britain was supposed to come off because that's what the battle was. I needed a bit more set-up and follow-through on these.

    Another movie that they obviously ripped was The Great Escape; the prison break-out was amazingly ripped off. Most people probably won't notice it, but that pissed me off. There's paying homage to a past great film and there's being totally uncreative and just ripping a scene off; Red Tails did the latter. (EDIT: And, now that I think about it, Lucas did rip off 633 Squadron something fierce, so I guess this is par for the course.)

    I did have to laugh at the, "Stay on mission!" line. Someone in the back of the theater yelled out, "Stay on target!" :D Now THAT was a good homage to a previous great film. Close enough for the knowledgeable fans to notice it, but not so close that it was just copy-n-pasted from the other's script.

    Could've done with more of an epilogue, too.

    I did like that they didn't try to make too much up from a grander military perspective, though. They did a decent job with the big picture of things.

    EDIT: And, now that I think about it, Lucas did rip off 633 Squadron something fierce, so I guess this is par for the course.
  22. Darth Pipes Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 5
    I'm also glad that Red Tails embrached patriotism, unlike Captain America. That movie ran away from patriotism like it was a plague.
  23. Gallandro Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 4
    BTW for all of the detractors among critics it appears audiences love the film. Red Tails has score an audience "A" rating by CinemaScore.


    Yancy
  24. Darth_Harmon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2005
    star 4
    AICN is going to town on it, though they are a haven for Lucas haters so that wasn't a surprise. Calling it an "early contender for worst film of 2012" and a majority of comments are from people who have not seen the film, but are happy to say "i knew it was crap because the trailer was crap". Stay classy, AICN!

    Hoping to see the movie today!
  25. icqfreak Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 1999
    star 4
    It does seem like a majority of the negative reviews are criticizing it for the very things Lucas said he was MAKING this film to be, ie old school format, corny dialogue, over the top patriotism, etc. Not to mention the fact that they don't give enough pre and post history of the events (which is why he wants to do a prequel and sequel), and the fact that it's not serious enough (it's suppossed to be the black action movie treatment they never get).

    At least everyone is praising the dog fights, as some people seemed to think the sfx in the trailers was really bad and "video game like" for some reason.