Thursday, January 26, 2012
RED TAILS (2012)
Directed By: Anthony Hemingway
Written By: John Ridley & Aaron McGruder
Story By: John Ridley
Cinematography By: John B. Aronson
Editor: Ben Burtt & Michael O'Halloran
Cast: Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Michael B. Jordan, Marcus T. Paulk, Elijah Kelly, Bryan Cranston, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr. Gerald McRaney, Tristan Wilds, Lee Tergesen, Andre Royo, Method Man, Ne-Yo, Daniela Rush
A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard.
I really wanted to enjoy the film. I have to admit it was a subject i really wanted to get emotional watching and feel proud as a part of black history was brought to the screen.
I have to say that i think the movie would have been better made had George Lucas not been the one behind the making of it. I was thinking more of John McTiernan (Die Hard)As a better choice as director of the film. But in Lucas's Defense he was the only person fighting to get this film made for 20 years though no studio would back the film as he originally envisioned it as a trilogy with Part 1 focusing on The Tuskeege pilot program Part 2 focusing on the combat in the field and Part 3 focusing on the soldiers and how they are treated once they come back home from the war. Ambitious and interesting. though i have to wonder and worry about that when there is barely enough of a full story in this film. Lucas eventually decided to make one film and just invest his own money in the film and just then sell it to a studio to release it.. Which is what he did with the STAR WARS prequels. I admire the fact that he felt the story should be told, i just feel that just like with the STAR WARS prequels either a studio or non yes man could have been around to maybe curb the flaws that the film has in abundance. Though George Lucas didn't direct or write it his fingerprints are all over the film. He did end up directing the re-shoots. 58 Million for the production and a furthur 35 million towards advertising
The film is a surprising hit and it shows the film has come a long way when even the studio that releases it is shocked that the film became such a hit.
To tell you the truth the TV-Movie THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN Starring: Laurence Fishburne and coincidently Cuba Gooding Jr. was a better film. This film feels like a Historical Drama that would bore future students who will be forced to watch it in history class. Between this and MIRACLE AT ST ANNA'S which even though it was noticeably better film. Due to a better filmmaker being behind the scenes. It just seems that it h\is hard to make a satisfying World War II film from the black experience. Terrence Howard has also played a Tuskeege airman in the film HART'S WAR.
Everything just feels poor or wrong. It's not a total debacle it just seem that every time the film does something right and makes you feel proud and happy. it quickly does something to screw it up and suck it back up. I will admit considering George Lucas owns a Special Effects Company. The effects could have been better but yet are just good enough. Cost Cutting? Though i will admit the film did manage to make me tear up towards the end, In a good emotional way.
Other then the two lead pilots. Who George Lucas has said are Based on Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. IT seemed like the other pilot characters were almost interchangeable other then personality all of their dialogue could have been spoken by each other. That was how non distinct they made themselves. it even seemed like one character who was given a strong character arc in the beginning disappeared in the film. Together with a horrible score, bad credits spotty acting and sloppy editing. IT all adds up eventually. though if you go along with the film eventually you just get used to it. Things like a interracial romance and picky racism just seemed like afterthoughts.
I will say this is more of an audience movie. If you don't really necessarily look at things like acting, Writing, Cinematography and are out just to enjoy yourselves at the movies with as little thought as possible. The film will be enjoyable and entertaining. Like i said i really wanted to like it. I think it should be seen. i just couldn't enjoy it as a whole and more or less and giving it a barely passable rating. The situation with this film is like having a friend who is a singer-Songwriter who sings you a song that they just wrote never has been performed before and it is absolutely perfect then the next night they play it for an audience and you notice the differences and not for the better as they keep missing notes and tomes but pull through the performance. the audience loves it as this is the first time they are presented with it, but you know it's not as good as it could be.
Terrence Howard is actually quite good and his scenes were some of the best written as he was also the best written character. Singer Ne-yo is in the film and he plays the comic relief and as there are two screenwriters Aaron McGruder half of the screen-writing duo seemed more brought in to lighten up the film with humor and Ne-yo's character seems like entirely his creation.
I guess i just feel a little sad that when it comes to films it seems that when it comes to films focused on African Americans we have to settle for good enough instead of perfection or really good. I believe in supporting Black Cinema. I just hope we get better material, bigger budgets and more of a chance to tell stories in general.