"Red Tails" The Next George Lucas Production

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

  1. Gallandro Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 4
    What's even more amusing is when you look at Cinemascore which actually gauges the reactions of real movie audience goers. Red Tails scores an "A" with audiences, but gets bashed by AICN, but they sure have the hots for Soderbergh's Haywire... AICN loved it... Too bad it scored a "D+" with audiences.

    Yancy
  2. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    Yep! The thing that makes this movie unique is that it *is* the black war hero movie they & we, the audience, never got. Agreed, the critics seem to be missing this. I mean, can you think of a recent action movie where the token black character wasn't: the villain, a henchman, a tormented war veteran / ex-cop, ex-secret agent etc., a government employee, the white hero's sidekick, or "angry". Red Tails starts like an heroic epic, with the characters already heroic. It was refreshing, fun, and elevating.

    The fx in the film aren't perfect. But it actually compliments the medium-budget, we-did-this-ourselves vibe of the movie. And the majority of shots are really breathtaking.

    Yeah, it's like these critics have never seen a Lucas action movie before: what were they expecting? Long stagey monologues? Apart from Anakin Skywalker, the man makes action movies about heroes. And these heroes have never been seen before on the big screen.

    As for AICN, I stopped at "this movie fails every time a character opens their mouth." Uh, yeah, whatever. The dialogue doesn't go anywhere it doesn't have to, but it is well written nonetheless. Lots of terrific lines & all the stars are really great, they all give 100% and sell their characters completely.

    It's like people who hate Crystal Skull because of the fridge, the monkeys and the 2 second wedding scene...and Temple of Doom gets a free pass...cause it was back then, y'know, when everything was automatically better :p These are the same people who, back before the internet, who would stop and lecture me at barbecues about why Blade Runner was one of the worst movies ever made, and now...yeah, you know.
  3. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    I don't think it's a joke. The NYTimes article addresses this. He wants Spike Lee to direct the prequel.
  4. Gallandro Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 4
    Rick McCallum even verified this in an interview. Potential 3-part saga.
  5. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    Yeah with George you never know. I just loved how Stewart reacted to the news. Said something like "do you always envision three part opuses or what?".
  6. Riven_JTAC Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2011
    star 3
    Worst film? Wow. That's... yeah. I have no idea how anyone could come to that conclusion.
  7. Riven_JTAC Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2011
    star 3
    The problem is that this isn't just some "black war hero" movie. It's a real story. It's extremely historic and important to our country. I think it deserved somewhat different treatment than it got from Lucas.

    EDIT: Ugh. Sorry for the double post. I keep doing that, forgetting to copy-n-paste what I wrote into my preceding post...
  8. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    Well, I disagree. He did the one thing that Hollywood has been afraid to do, and that is tell a story about black American heroes without apologies, treating them the same as white movie heroes. The thing that critics are saying, that the characters in the film don't "earn" their heroic status, is the issue in point: after fighting in several wars, fighting for equal rights, and fighting to enter mainstream entertainment, they STILL have to "earn" heroic status onscreen! Lucas cut through that bulls*** and just let them be heroes. There's plenty of strong character material but ultimately, as Lucas says, this is a film "about heroes not victims." The audience I saw it with had no problem identifying with the characters or caring about their fate, neither did I. The actual surviving vets who consulted on the film all approve of it: that's good enough for me!

    But each to his own. Maybe we'll get the other 2/3 of this saga and you'll get what you needed dramatically & narratively.
  9. FRAGGLE_ROCKER Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 1
    I went into this eager to see the 20th Century Fox theme with the Lucasfilm logo reunited again, although not just like in STAR WARS, and instead and using that full animated panning camera Fox graphics (before going to the Special Editions in 1997, I worried that updated graphics would cause a change). As a STAR WARS guy, I couldn't help but look for a 1138 or a 327, but never saw or heard them. That Officers Club though...anyone will get a familiar feeling from the design of that place, and I picked out a few of Ben Burtt's signature sounds. Talking to "Black Jesus" in the cockpit reminded me of the Force, and when characters talked about believing in luck, I giggled.
    I just started watching "Memphis Belle" on Amazon Prime for a double feature. The two movies are actually a lot alike in tone and in the approach to dramatizing a World War II subject.
  10. Thegoat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 1
    [laugh] There was a "cut the chatter" line too.

    Just going to throw a vote in for "Loved it." As inspiring, spectacular, and fun of a film as you would expect from Mr. Lucas, it gave me the feeling for aerial combat that Raiders gave me for archaeology. I hope the company becomes more active in producing films like these even as Lucas steps away. Nobody does a blockbuster like Lucasfilm, and it was refreshing to see something new from them.
  11. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    It's been a day and the movie is still with me.
    I'm definitely going to see it again!
    I dunno, Lucas just knows how to grab my attention & hold it.
    I told someone that I saw it & liked it & they said, "But I heard it was really bad. And it's Lucas..." and I said, "It's not my fault, the man keeps making movies I want to see, and I end up liking them!"
  12. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    Just got back from seeing and thought it was very, very good although it does have a few problems. My biggest complaint is some pacing issues. I felt like the film needed to be a bit longer. The majority of the movie is fine but there are some scenes that feel like they were cut too short. I would have liked to seen some of the scenes (especially those with Terence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr.) play out more. I didn't mind the romantic subplot and quite like that it didn't feature any subtitles. The POW camp subplot could have been extended or dropped entirely I'm not sure. But neither distracted from my enjoyment.

    Now for the positives. The performance were uniformly good across the board. The characters were certainly types we've seen from other movies and stories but the actors made them likable and very easy to accept and root for. David Oyelowo is terrific and could be singled out as the "lead" character of the film but Nate Parker is equally as good in the less showy, but important role, the heart of the movie. Howard and Gooding Jr. are mainly there for inspiration and speechifying but when you got old pros like themselves on hand it works well.

    The production values are high and the VFX is excellent as expected but the overall look of the movie is a tad too clean. A layer of "film grain" would have helped give the movie a bit more grit. The large red font used for the opening credits was unusual. I've seen credits like that before but general from movies in the 60s and 70s and television. I liked that it was a bold choice but it seemed slightly out of place for a film set in the 1940s.

    I really don't have any comments about the score. I need to see the film again to pay more attention to it.

    Overall this is a strong effort with, good acting, characters, and action. What more could you want? An extended cut on Blu-Ray I hope.

    *** out of ****
  13. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    I know how you feel. I love almost everything Lucas has done and I'm SO tired of having to constantly defend him online and to my friends. And it's not like a blindly accept everything he puts out. See above. But I still enjoy them. Just let me enjoy them in peace.
  14. klingklang Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 1999
    star 5
    I don't really have much to add to what has already been said, but I enjoyed the film and it's pretty wild to finally see this film after reading about it for the past couple of decades. It's thoroughly entertaining and has some incredible action scenes, as well as strong performances from all the main cast. There were a few things that bugged me (dialogue, mostly), but this film is presented in such a specific, retro style that it's easy to overlook (for me).

    The crowd I saw it with seemed to enjoy it (there must have been 100 senior citizens from a local ministry...at first I thought they were all going to see War Horse or something).
  15. Gallandro Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 4
    This!

    Why would black pilots have to "earn" their heroic status in a tribute to WWII aerial combat movies of the 40s/50s? Did Wayne have to "earn" his status in the "Flying Leathernecks," or Spencer Tracy in "30 Seconds Over Tokyo"??? No because they were the heroes of the picture. And frankly I think it's already well established early on the ignominies these men endured to earn their "right" to fly.

    This picture wasn't about their experiences in Alabama leading up to the war, nor was it about their encounters with segregated America upon their return home. This was simply a recounting of their heroic aerial exploits during the war. And frankly for anyone to complain about the alleged lack of attention to the racism issue in "Red Tails" simply justifies what Lucas has been complaining about with the making of this film. Why do they have to be treated as "black" heroes or African American heroes, why can't they simply be heroes, regardless of their race?


    Yancy
  16. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    I'm in 100% agreement with you. There are maybe 3 or 4 scenes I wish had played out more, and I think the "Raygun" subplot could use a little finessing, but you had the same experience I did. I liked the opening creds, they're really bold & comic-booky, they tell you what you're in for right away.

    I'll tell you what: I spent the first 40 minutes or so tensely waiting for the movie to become "cringingly awful" and the movie itself won me over, despite its little flaws. I've actually removed Rotten Tomatoes from my bookmarks. I don't like movie reviews, why do I look at them? Force of habit :p With "John Carter" coming up, I want to see it with no preconceived notions in my head.
  17. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    Frankly I think they did plenty to earn their "hero" status in the film. Instead of flying back to base after their routine patrol early on, they risk their necks going after the munitions train. Instead of merely shooting down "Pretty Boy" during the landings cover, they play it smart and follow him to the German air-field and take out a whole lot of Luftwaffe hardware, even though several of them wind up wounded in the assault. Most of all, they make a point to stick with the bombers they're escorting in the later missions, instead of leaving behind for the decoy fighters like the "glory hound" white pilots at the beginning. And for good measure, they face hateful, condescending fellow officers with restraint, and confront one another's weaknesses without pulling any punches.

    You can argue that the dialogue and drama isn't perfect, but anyone who says the film doesn't earn their heroism either isn't paying attention, or has forgotten what heroes are like, after years of borderline sociopathic "anti-hero" crap characters.
  18. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    Yancy[/quote]Frankly I think they did plenty to earn their "hero" status in the film. Instead of flying back to base after their routine patrol early on, they risk their necks going after the munitions train. Instead of merely shooting down "Pretty Boy" during the landings cover, they play it smart and follow him to the German air-field and take out a whole lot of Luftwaffe hardware, even though several of them wind up wounded in the assault. Most of all, they make a point to stick with the bombers they're escorting in the later missions, instead of leaving behind for the decoy fighters like the "glory hound" white pilots at the beginning. And for good measure, they face hateful, condescending fellow officers with restraint, and confront one another's weaknesses without pulling any punches. You can argue that the dialogue and drama isn't perfect, but anyone who says the film doesn't earn their heroism either isn't paying attention, or has forgotten what heroes are like, after years of borderline sociopathic "anti-hero" crap characters. [/quote]

    Excellent points! I really need to see this movie again. After letting it sit for a day, it's starting to really dawn on me how good it was, how minor the flaws are, and how much modern critical "film fan" audiences are fulla bull****! This is definitely a film to rally 'round. And you're right about what film audiences see as "heroic" now, I'm thinking of how everyone flocked around a recent movie about a Nazi sexual predator who has an "affair" with a 15 year old, "The Reader," falling over themselves to heap praise on the film. Now, I'm not saying there isn't a place for provocative adult drama, but it is presently easier to endorse that kind of character as a "hero" than actual heroic characters, which is seen as "corny."
  19. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    Lucas still has it!

    http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=redtails.htm

    If anyone else on earth released a $60 million dollar independently financed, independently produced, independently distributed WW2 epic, with an all black cast, that got barraged with ridiculously negative reviews, and still managed to pull in $20 million in January and score an A+ in audience response polls, it would be headline news.

    If George Lucas does this -- at the age of 67, after inventing modern cinema & most of its technology -- it gets lots of internet hate. Even the BOM analysis manages to dismiss the movie, comparing it to 2004's "Sky Captain"...wtf?!?!

    No wonder he's quitting the mainstream movie business.

    Anyway, congratulations to GL & his Red Tails crew. The movie's really excellent & different. I hope it makes a mint worldwide. This is one film the powers-that-be don't want you to see, therefore I say: go out of your way to see it!

    PS: Check this out!

    http://wpgc.radio.com/2012/01/20/red-tails-red-carpet-nyc-premiere-gallery/#photo-42

    Darth Vader & Mace Windu attend Red Tails screening ;)
  20. Mond Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2009
    star 3
    Box Office Guru was pretty positive about it:

    Soaring past expectations, the period action film Red Tails opened impressively in second place with an estimated $19.1M from a more narrow 2,512 theaters for a stellar $7,604 average per location. The PG-13 film about the Tuskegee Airmen starred Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terence Howard and was financed by George Lucas who stated that no studio wanted to bankroll a $58M production with an all-black cast. Reviews were not very good, however paying members of the public thought highly of the 1940s-set film which earned a solid A grade from CinemaScore.

    Red Tails played evenly across genders with males making up 51% of the crowd. As expected, older patrons took more interest with 66% being 25 and older. Saturday enjoyed a stellar 44% jump indicating the road ahead could be promising. Last week's Martin Luther King holiday provided a great time to promote this week's launch of the Fox release and with the start of Black History Month just a week away, the film is well-positioned to remain a timely movie choice for many. Red Tails actually attracted a larger audience per theater than Underworld did when 3D and IMAX ticket price differences are factored out.


    The part in bold has been pretty much the same story as probably the majority of George's films. He's invincible! [face_laugh]

  21. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    >>Red Tails actually attracted a larger audience per theater than Underworld did when 3D and IMAX ticket price differences are factored out.<<

    Nice! Thanks!
  22. CuppaJoe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 4
    Hot damn, are critics overreacting. There was some cornball dialogue, but nowhere near as bad as people were saying it was. I was surprised at how much I loved it!

    I noticed Ben Burtt edited it. I thought he left Lucasfilm?
  23. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    He seems to come back to do stuff now & then, like Indy4.
    I didn't notice that, cool!
    Yeah, I can't wait to see this again.
  24. Darth_Harmon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2005
    star 4
    Just got back from the movie.

    I feel so damn sad for the critics out there who can't get past their hatred for George Lucas, and can't enjoy a good movie. Red Tails is not going to win an oscar, but who cares? It was a lot of fun. Very much an homage to old war films and EC dogfighting comics. Great combat, up there with stuff seen in Star Wars. Great cast of characters, great actors. A lot of the situations were cliche, I will admit, but it was great seeing black characters in these situations.

    The theater I was in was nearly packed, Sunday night. I'd say 95% of the crowd was african american. Lots of clapping, laughing and reacting to the right moments. Probably one of the best audiences I've seen a film with since... probably Revenge of the Sith.

    It's great to see a war movie that doesn't take so much time on the dramatics and gets to the good stuff, like the USA kicking ass.

    Overall, best Lucasfilm movie I've seen outside of SW and Indy. 8/10
  25. icqfreak Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 1999
    star 4
    I was hoping to see it today but had plans come up unfortunately.

    But get a load of this, the nearest (and biggest) theater in my area has two ultra screens, NEITHER of which has Red Tails playing on it! They have one playing the new Underworld (for obvious reasons), but the other is playing that new Tom hanks drama. Why put a drama on the Ultrascreen instead of a action movie???? I wonder if it's because of the low Hollywood backing, since the Ultrascreen movies get like a buck more per showing, so they probably had to give it to the film with more backing even if it doesn't make as much sense to show it.