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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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What did you think of “Red Tails?”

David Oyelowo portrays Joe "Lightning" Little "Red Tails." Movie still from 20th Century Fox.

David Oyelowo portrays Joe "Lightning" Little "Red Tails." Movie still from 20th Century Fox.

Are you going to see “Red Tails” this weekend? Reviews are rolling in.

Movie critic Roger Ebert: “‘Red Tails’” is entertaining. Audiences are likely to enjoy it. The scenes of aerial combat are skillfully done and exciting. It makes the point that the airmen were skilled and courageous, and played a historic role in the eventual integration of our armed services. ‘Red Tails’ could have done more than that, by more firmly establishing the atmosphere of the Jim Crow South that surrounded most of the airmen in their childhoods. They had a higher mountain to climb than many white pilots and reached higher on its slopes.

Jake Coyle (AP): ”Red Tails” reduces a historical story of deep cultural significance to merely a flyboy flick. Instead of creating something authentic and new, “Red Tails” superimposes the tale of the black World War II pilots on a dated, white genre of 1940s patriotic propaganda. “Red Tails” is blatantly old-fashioned, just with a change in color.

Karina Mitchell, CBS: ”‘Red Tails’ is a watered-down account of the plight and racial injustices faced by African Americans during World War II. It has to be watered-down, in my opinion, to tell a tale that reveals the racism that existed, but that also entertains and most importantly, makes money. Given those parameters, ‘Red Tails’ is a soaring success.”

Owen Gleiberman, EW.com: “As long as it stays in the air, ‘Red Tails,’ a George Lucas production written by John Ridley (U Turn) and directed by Anthony Hemingway (a veteran of The Wire and CSI: NY), is a compelling sky-war pageant of a movie. On the ground, it’s a far shakier experience: dutiful and prosaic, with thinly scripted episodes that don’t add up to a satisfying story.”

I’m interested in your thoughts. Have you seen the movie? What did you think?

- Jennifer Brett/The Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

23 comments Add your comment

TXSFRED

January 21st, 2012
2:01 pm

“RedTails” sounds like a remake of “Tuskeegee Airmen” which Cuba Gooding was also in afew years ago. If it is a remake, it is based on truth. . .

TylerTx

January 21st, 2012
2:06 pm

Give credit where it is due.They fought too

May the Force Be With You, Always.

January 21st, 2012
3:29 pm

This is interesting, and if Jennifer Brett does this in her blog regularly than forgive me in advance for asking, but do AJC bloggers normally write blogs consisting soley of snippets from reviews written by others for ALL movies that come out. If not, what makes Red Tails so special?

Saw “Black Angels Over Tuskegee” in NYC last year and it was excellent. Have no doubt the movie will be too. I’m a Star Wars junkie and knew George Lucas would do right as far as the flight scenes and special effects go. Can’t wait to see Red Tails, which I plan to do tonight and if this blog is still up, I will return and add another comment.

Jennifer Brett

January 21st, 2012
4:21 pm

Dear May the Force:

President and Mrs. Obama hosted members of the Tuskegee Airmen at a “Red Tails” screening at the White House:

http://blogs.ajc.com/the-buzz/2012/01/17/obamas-greet-tuskegee-airmen-at-red-tails-white-house-screening/

and the movie has generated much discussion, about history and also about films featuring African American casts. Tyler Perry spoke out on this issue this week:

http://blogs.ajc.com/the-buzz/2012/01/20/tyler-perry-movies-with-all-black-casts-becoming-extinct/.

A number of Tuskegee Airmen attended an advance screening here in Atlanta:

http://blogs.ajc.com/the-buzz/2012/01/13/atlanta-tuskegee-airmen-chapter-enjoy-red-tails-screening/

Given all the dialogue surrounding the movie, I was interested in what readers thought of it.

Jennifer

jenny costantino

January 21st, 2012
6:08 pm

…And yes, May the Force, Jennifer Brett often asks for her readers feedback, on a multitude of subjects. She’s embraced the opportunity that digital provides to solicit and receive feedback from her readers — it’s an exchange, and a nice complement to her work on the printed newspaper page. She’s one of the best in the biz at keeping her readers engaged, informed and entertained.
See you here again, soon.

Mike in Florida

January 21st, 2012
9:56 pm

I viewed the movie last night and was impressed with the effects and how real the flying scenes were. As a pilot, I appreciated the effort that went into creating lifelike images and great flying scenes. Certainly Lucas is a master of effects as we know from Star Wars.

Unfortunatley, the acting is terrible. The corny jokes made while flying combat airplanes is certainly an insult to the real Tuskegee veterans. The black commander (can’t remember his name) played a great role in the movie and was the only shining light as far as an acting performance. Cuba Gooding Jr. is a great actor but I had the feeling that his abilities were never used to full potential as they were in ” The Tuskegee Airmen”. The lack of intensity and seriousness on the part of the actors made you think that these guys just had fun while out flying against the Germans. The story plot was very weak as well.

In all I felt that the movie had the potential to be great but the mistake in poor screenplay writing and Grade B actors left you with an empty feeling at the end and I was truly disappointed.

A friend of mine who flew Corsairs in Korea found the movie a true mockery of the real thing.

Barbara in GA

January 21st, 2012
11:28 pm

I saw the movie today ! WOW this is an Awesome movie. I give it 4 stars. It will make you laugh and cry. The entire cast performed wonderfully.. I must give George Lucas credit for having the courage for stepping out and making this film possible. Watching the movie really made me feel proud. I am going to see if again but I will be taking a group of Family and Friends with me! GO Red Tails!!

TRichardson

January 22nd, 2012
8:56 pm

This story needs to be told and over again until the significance is understood and appreciated by all generations. it was a good movie and worth every cent. I agree the racism was downplayed but it left some points to your imagination. Often times you can become so angry…at the truth of slavery…you can miss everything else….I appreciate this story being told by George Lucas. Thank you to all brave Tuskegee airmen and all our men and women in the military for your continued sacrifices!

Fan....

January 23rd, 2012
9:02 am

I saw the movie yesterday and enjoyed it all. Terrace Howard (Colonel) did an excellent job. Ne-Yo was better than I expected. Love Cuba in ANYTHING he does. Nonetheless, the story was exceptional, the movie itself was incredible and the fighting scenes were spectacular. When you’re good and have talent, nothing will stop you. Although many “whites” didn’t believe in their abilities and didn’t want them there, they were still willing to fight for their safety. Now, that’s bravery and colorblind at its finest.

Frank Billings

January 23rd, 2012
12:57 pm

Support the film, however if you want to see a real story about the Tuskegee Airmen go see the Off-Broadway play Layon Gray’s Black Angels Over Tuskegee in New York. Its WAY better.

2012

January 23rd, 2012
1:02 pm

everyone has an agenda- Frank

Homey the Clown

January 23rd, 2012
1:14 pm

Deborah

January 23rd, 2012
3:33 pm

Proud of them

January 24th, 2012
10:01 am

I enjoyed the film. I would have liked it more if the script during combat wasn’t cute and funny. However, the film told of racism without me leaving the theatre mad. It was a good history lesson.

Terri Thompson-Williams

January 24th, 2012
1:29 pm

I thought the movie was Great! I had to wait for the second to the last show because they were all sold out. I too think it was a watered down version of the real racial tension that these couragous young men faced. I was overwhelmingly proud of the way our airmen responded to the less than equal assignments that were given to the highly skilled airmen. The portrayed pride, humility, courage, and nost of all strength. My son is a sophmore at Tuskegee University and I am so proud that this movie has surfaced during his time at the University. I encourage everyone to go out and support the movie and learn a Black history lesson at the same time. WE FIGHT, WE FIGHT, WE FIGHT!!!!

I'Joni

January 24th, 2012
5:16 pm

I thought that even though its a historical/war movie, it was a great family movie as well. I was there with my 12 y.o. son, my son’s dad, and my 60 y.o. mother. So often black actors are the stereotypical “comedian” or “criminal” in mainstream movies. Thats why it took George Lucas 20 years to get this movie made! Its rare for so many african-american actors to be in the same movie and they aren’t playing the part of the buffoon or some criminal. I thought it was great for my son and his dad to see what the Tuskegee Airmen accomplished. I was also glad to see so many african american actors playing positive roles as well. Stop worrying about what the movie wasn’t, and praise the movie for what it was.

Lena W

January 25th, 2012
4:31 pm

My father-in-law Maj. Carrol Woods (Ret.) was a Tuskegee Airman. He was a fighter pilot and a POW in Germany. I believe he would’ve enjoyed the movie as much as I did.

True, the racism was down played in the movie, but I think you still got a little sence of the opposition and the struggles the airmen faced.

It’s about time that Hollywood made a serious movie with a mainly Black cast that wasn’t about “boody-shaking and buffoonery”. The acting was great. There are many talented Black actors out there but not enough quality roles for them to play. Thank you George Lucas for making the movie, can’t wait for the sequel!

Garbriella

January 25th, 2012
5:31 pm

Yes I saw the movie and I enjoyed it for the most part. However I too think it was watered down to appeal to the masses. It lacked depth in that there was no connection each of the airmen had with families back home, besides the airman who was tormneted by his father. A connection could have brought more believability to some of the characters and allowed those viewing, regardless of race, to identifty with the longing for home. War is war. The love story was there and we know it happend it Italy but what about the airman missing a loved one back home…perhaps a wife, girlfriend or parents. As far as it being factual or embellished to sell, that aspect does not bother me; It was done tactfully. What movie that sells today isn’t embellished a bit? This where you use your own judgement and do some research to learn the facts. Most importantly, regardless of wether it was watered down, it has peeked curiosity and conversation about the the courageous Tuskeekee Airman and that you cannot or be critical of nor put a price tag on.

Garbriella

January 25th, 2012
5:35 pm

Going to see it again with more friends and buy the dvd when it is released!

Prez Obozo

January 25th, 2012
10:25 pm

The original Tuskeekee Airman movie was not 100% accurate. The 339th did lose a few bombers while flying escort but their record was extremely good……

Silent Jay

January 26th, 2012
12:27 am

I hear Pat Sajak was drunk during the filming.

EJ the Diva

January 26th, 2012
10:45 am

I enjoyed the film. I thought it was very well done. Tyler Perry needs to make a movie like “Red Tails”. You can make history interesting if you try.

Utopia

January 26th, 2012
4:11 pm

Red Tails was great, always a joy to get some real history for a change.

http://utopiaearth.blogspot.com