"Red Tails" The Next George Lucas Production

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

  1. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    Youtube is filling up with positive African American reviews!
    Word of mouth is going to make this a success :)
    GL knows his audience. Check the vids out, they're really exciting, he's really touched a lot of people's lives in a positive way, he should be proud, it was worth all the trouble!
  2. Darth_Harmon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2005
    star 4
    Another thing I wanted to mention was that our theater had a lot of black teens in the audience who were loving the pilots. Once again, GL hits his intended target while missing the critics. But I don't think he ever wanted to hit the critics. If he did, they would have cut way back on the combat and banter and focused far more on the romance and race issues.

    But I don't think the movie needed to become some huge romance (see Titanic and Pearl Harbor) or some huge racial struggle. Sure those elements are there, but they aren't overshadowing the heroics. Based on what I heard, the movie created some much needed black heroes for teens.
  3. Blur Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    Haven't seen Red Tails yet, but will definitely be checking this out at some point. I'm sure I'll like it since I've enjoyed all Lflm. productions (even the ones that got slammed by critics and/or did poorly at the box office, like TPM, Willow, THX-1138, & Radioland M). As with all films, I am ignoring the bad reviews - it seems like anytime Lucas comes out with a film there are always very harsh critics.

    Like another poster, I first remember reading about Red Tails 20+ years ago back in the old Lucasfilm Fan Club/Star Wars Insider magazine. So, I'm glad that it's finally been released.
  4. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    The first (very!) positive review from a "geek" source!

    http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/1212521/red_tails_review.html

  5. Jumpman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2003
    star 4
    To be fair to Soderbergh's Haywire, I have no idea why that CinemaScore is a D+. That film is a knockout, plain and simple.

    Having said that, seeing all these positive reviews on here has made up my mind on Red Tails. It will be seen this upcoming weekend. I chose to see Underworld and Haywire this weekend and I don't regret it but I owe it to Uncle George to see his "final" blockbuster in the theatre. Frankly, it's a requirement, seeing as Lucas is my favorite filmmaker and a tribute to my father, who's retired military intelligence officer and who's also black.

    I know I'm going to like it but I have to admit, I was a bit worried for the film. Reading your responses here does help a lot...even if I will be watching it with a critical eye.
  6. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    He did leave Lucasfilm to work on his own feature.

    But like Al Pacino, every time he tries to get out.........they pull him back in. :p

  7. Riven_JTAC Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2011
    star 3
    I don't get what that even has to do with that I said.

    What did I say about "earning" status? I mean that Lucas should've treated the film a bit more seriously than trying to make it an 70s/80s movie with bad dialogue. This is a serious topic and deserves serious treatment. And not all "old school" war movies were corny. I was just thinking about The Longest Day today because I am lending it to a friend. It had a couple corny bits, but, for the most part, it was quite serious and did an excellent job of telling a huge, wide story in 3 hours.
  8. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    Um, I think I was addressing the critics, not you. Sorry.

    Lucas tried that, but it didn't come together, and seeing how hard it was to get this modest film made, a sprawling 3 hour epic wasn't in the cards. If people actually supported this film, he's already promised two book-ending dramas. Still:

    A. Lucas doesn't make those kinds of films. The closest he came to that was Young Indy, and no one watched it, fans didn't support it. I don't think he's going to attempt another 20 hour war epic, sadly.

    B. I like that this isn't "serious." It's doing what it set out to do, uplift the AA community and inspire young people to investigate history.

    It's a very different kind of film, and I think there's more value in that than doing another Saving Private Ryan. Lucas is an optimist who likes heroes. It's very much a Lucas film. It's a really good, unique film. In this day & age, that's saying a lot.
  9. FRAGGLE_ROCKER Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 1
    I kind of want to see this again simply because I didn't think my theater was loud enough, like the theater put it in one of its better auditoriums. I should just wait for video.
    I really hate the way box office totals are reported, like it is such a competition, and as if the "runner-up" is a flop. Numbers aside, "Red Tails" has better staying power; who even knew an "Underworld" movie was coming out?

    As for the movie, I'm trying not to think of what it could have been, but I did like that the story had more angles than I expected, like the romance and the Stalag.

    What I don't get is how Lucas had such a hard time getting a studio behind it. Not that I care about A-list stars being in it, but I can think of several movies with Black stars, and movies that weren't embarrassing Tyler Perry buffoonery, that have done pretty well. Throw in World War II action and it seems an easy sell. Maybe I'm just being naive, but it's a shame that movies like another "Underworld" sequel or something like a "The Sitter" can get greenlighted easier than this did.
  10. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    Agreed!

    I've stopped thinking about movies as "might've beens." It's too negative. Bottom line was the film is sharp, different & I walked out with a smile on my face.

    It's definitely missing a few beats, but I think back on films I felt that way about when I first saw them that I now love & have no problem with: The Cotton Club, Gangs of New York, Empire of the Sun, Full Metal Jacket, Ryan's Daughter -- there are so many!

    I think Red Tails is going to age really well, like almost all of Lucas's films. He captured the essence of young people with aspirations, full of spirit and hope, not taking "no" for an answer. He made an uplifting war-period film! Almost impossible to do, if you think of it. He made a film that deals with racism that isn't about martyrs, revolutionaries, or victims, it's about heroes. And when they get into the sky, he makes us feel the way they must have. That's an accomplishment.

    One day, this film is going to get its due.
  11. Darth_Harmon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2005
    star 4
    I get kind of annoyed by the headlines, they're always trying to do "clever" little titles like 'Underworld' Shoots Down George Lucas' 'Red Tails'. It didn't "shoot it down". Different demographics, different genres, one is 3D one is not. It's just silly, but then again it's the movie industry.

    ---

    I for one am happy that they didn't go all out serious epic, because that is not what GL's target audience would want. Like I was saying earlier, my theater had a lot of african american teens who were loving it. I just can't imagine any teen of any race getting into a movie that is going for a historical drama that appeals to older folks.

    I do hope, however, that the blu-ray has some great featurettes like the Young Indy DVDs had. I'd love it if they made some slick docs on the real airmen.
  12. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    Lucas produced a 90 minute documentary "Double Victory" abt the TA, I'm sure it'll be on there.
  13. Darth_Harmon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2005
    star 4
    Oh thats awesome! See? This is how GL works. It's just like the Young Indy DVDs then. Using the main feature as a jump off point for kids and teens who want to learn more. The Red Tails blu-ray is sure to be awesome. I hope they have a featurette on the long making of the film, hopefully show some archival stuff like old concept art and early script pages.
  14. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    I'd really love to see some serious content from the development too.
    One of the reasons the film is kinda disjointed is that it's basically the material from three different shoots & two different scripts, with two (very) different directors (Hemingway & Lucas). I'd like to learn more abt the 20 year process & 4 year production period!
  15. Mond Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2009
    star 3
    Interestingly, a lot of the negative reviews I've just now looked over make a big deal out of how the flaws in the movie are owing to Lucas's involvement, but do not even so much as mention the actual director and writers responsible for the performances and dialogue they disdain.

    In fact, Hemingway is hardly mentioned at all in the reviews I've read so far.

    To be fair, the positive reviews also go on about Lucas, with little attention given to the hands-on creators of the film (and Lucas did some of the re-shooting).

    Just an observation. [face_whistling]


    Anyway, I am tickled pink that this well-intentioned film personally financed at a substantial risk by such a good, decent man is doing well and is getting very high marks from the general audience type viewers who have made Lucas so successful. He certainly has a knack for giving that demographic what they want.

    I'm a little disappointed though that he seems to have let all the criticism get to him, as suggested by that New Yorker article. Why should he concern himself the impotently irrelevant chattering classes? They've never sank one of his movies and they never will.
  16. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    Well, it's just one quite from one newspaper, not an official announcement. He might have said it very casually, or even jokingly, you never know. Remember the flap abt him saying he thought the world would end in 2012? He was obviously joking!

    That's another thing that bothers me about the reviews: the main cast do a stellar job with their roles. I like the scenes Hemingway directed, they're very "young GL," which is why GL probably hired him. And I especially like all the McGruder material, which stands out from the rest of the film, it's some seriously funny, cool, contemporary writing and it plays nicely against the comic-booky "Take this Hitler!" stuff (which, btw, is also used in the HBO film).

    But at this point, GL could make the greatest film of all time and the reviews would say, "Well, it's an improvement after the blah blah blah..."

    Has anyone seen what IGN posted? An "article" about films produced by GL, special emphasis on Howard The Duck. They conveniently leave out: The Empire Strikes Back; Raiders of the Lost Ark; Body Heat; Kagemusha; Return to Oz; Mishima; Dreams; Last Crusade; The (Emmy winning) Young Indiana Jones series and little tiny things like PIXAR and ILM!! The "description" of each film is "critics hated it & it bombed at the box-office!" They should do an "article" about the Films of Steven Spielberg: 1941, Hook, Always, Amistad, *batteries Not Included, Jurassic Park 2 & 3 etc. I deleted the site from my bookmarks, it's just a bad imitation of the already bad AICN.

  17. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    By the way, do we have any kind of comprehensive breakdown or idea of who directed what scenes, apart from "well, Lucas did the action and Hemingway did the acting"? It'll be interesting to see where each filmmaker's voice really stands out, exactly.
  18. vong333 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2003
    star 4
    I plan on watching the movie and I say the hell with the critics. I do hope that the movie can re-coup the 58 million that GL invested, that would be nice for him. Anyway, not every movie has to be Titanic or Avatar. I will say this, on Feb 10, I hope that all real loyal star wars fans go see and support the 3-d movie. This movie only needs to make 75 million whether here or cumalative in the international box office to make one billion dollars unadjusted. I hope that TPM can get this feat. It would be the first star wars movie unadjusted to reach the benchmark.
  19. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    Lucas definitely directed all of the cockpit performances, and the best parts of the film dramatically happen in the air. This was really smart, and probably came via the reshoots, the story forces the various character plotlines (save one, which I wasn't happy with) to be resolved through action, and while the pilots are on mission. Both scenes are incredibly powerful & effective.

    I think Lucas directed the Pentagon scenes. These are hit/miss. The top brass seem stiff and unfocused, it comes off really flat. And yet, Terence Howard is consistently strong and memorable in these scenes, it's kind of a shame.

    Everything on location is Hemingway, and he does a sterling job, it's actually very "early Lucas," the characters are relaxed, naturalistic, there's no over-the-top Hollywood "movie acting" (shudders) ala The Truly Awful Tom Hanks School of "Acting." The material with pop-culture references (Flash Gordon, Black Jesus) must come from the McGruder script, and if so, they were directed by none other than GL himself, and these are consistently strong, they have a real charm, warmth & brightness to them.

    Seriously, the film's faults add up to: several scenes should have played a little longer, the Pentagon scenes are kinda flat, the coda could've used some work (but it's no worse than Return of the Jedi or Temple of Doom, or even Titanic!) and some folks responded negatively to the hyper-stylized 1940's comic-book/Hollywood movie style of the dogfight sequences (I loved that!). Now, "Amistad" is a far, far weaker film than "Red Tails," and it got nommed for 4 Academy Awards, including (shockingly) Best Screenplay!

    Bottom line: this is a unique film from a great filmmaker, check it out!
    Unfortunately, SW fans will support this the same way they supported Mishima, Tucker, Young Indy etc...then they will complain that Lucas only makes SW & IJ :p
  20. Darth_Harmon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2005
    star 4
    I did get an American Graffiti vibe when the pilots were all just hanging out talking about stuff that young adults of the era would talk about.
  21. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    Do we have any evidence of who directed what, though? I mean, yeah reports suggested Lucas was doing all the cockpit stuff, but the Pentagon scenes? I'm really wondering if we have solid info to find in all the articles to be able to tell who's responsible for which scenes.
  22. Sword_Of_Goliath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2010
    star 3
    I'm not 100% sure but the Pentagon scenes looked a lil' stiff, I'm just guessing. We can safely assume that the McGruder stuff is Lucas -- that would pop cultural references for sure & I think some scenes like "If you want to fight something fight this" & "You won't always make the right decision."
  23. Gallandro Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 4
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2011/08/red-tails-director-talks-george-lucas-film-delays-and-reshoots.html

    http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/motion-captured/posts/is-george-lucas-directing-major-reshoots-on-red-tails

  24. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    I did read that MacGruder came onto the film after Hemingway delivered the main shoot. Lucas then directed some scenes based on some of MacGruder's dialogue. But I have no idea if that's true at all or what scenes, if true.
  25. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    If that's true, it might just be a simple matter of getting drafts of the script to compare and contrast. I doubt it's quite that simple, but man it'd be nice if it were.