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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable enough but where's the beginning?
As a WW2 plane lover and war film fan in general, Red Tails gets an awful lot right. It feels like a 60s-70s WW2 film in the same vein as Battle Of The Bulge, Bridge Too Far, Where Eagles Dare etc. Not classic, as none of those were, but a good, old fashioned action romp. Don't expect Band Of Brothers levels of character depth and dialogue and it won't disappoint as much...
Published 12 months ago by A. Taylor

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This would by fine if it TV or straight to DVD movie.
Overall I was disappointed by this movie. I expected a whole lot more. The special effects look ok, bit nothing outstanding. The acting was competent but nothing more. Would be fine for an early evening TV movie. Knowing a bit about he Tuskegee Airmen, I feel this movie glossed over a lot of facts. The level of bigotry and racism these men had to face from their OWN side...
Published 19 months ago by iMatt


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This would by fine if it TV or straight to DVD movie., 12 May 2013
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This review is from: Red Tails [DVD] (DVD)
Overall I was disappointed by this movie. I expected a whole lot more. The special effects look ok, bit nothing outstanding. The acting was competent but nothing more. Would be fine for an early evening TV movie. Knowing a bit about he Tuskegee Airmen, I feel this movie glossed over a lot of facts. The level of bigotry and racism these men had to face from their OWN side and the struggles they had to face did not come across.

The Nazi's in this move come across as cartoon like caricatures with no depth at all. In fact, that could be a good overall description of the whole move, very little depth! Glad I did not pay full price at HMV or I would be even more disappointed!

Overall, I am not saying it's the worst I've seen. However, the movie could've been longer without the soap opera boy meets girl elements which simply got in the way.

As for calling it a TV movie, some TV movies can be good. Red Tails is quite inferior to another movie on the same subject, 'The Tuskegee Airmen' from 1995 Starring Laurence Fishburn and John Lithgow amongst other well known faces. Although a TV movie, with The Tuskegee Airmen one gets a much fuller, more rounded view of the struggles these brave pilots (and groundcrew) had to overcome and the fact that they were fighting a war on TWO fronts!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable enough but where's the beginning?, 17 Dec 2013
By 
A. Taylor (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Red Tails [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
As a WW2 plane lover and war film fan in general, Red Tails gets an awful lot right. It feels like a 60s-70s WW2 film in the same vein as Battle Of The Bulge, Bridge Too Far, Where Eagles Dare etc. Not classic, as none of those were, but a good, old fashioned action romp. Don't expect Band Of Brothers levels of character depth and dialogue and it won't disappoint as much as it has for many. The CGI action sequences are beautifully choreographed and edited, and I really enjoyed that aspect of the film. Where it really falls down, though, is using the Tuskegee airmen as its base. Yes, the racism they faced is touched on, rather heavy handedly for the most part, but it's far from fully realised. The film begins too late in the overall formation of the 332nd and there's none of the establishing, recruiting and training scenes that were present in the original Lawrence Fishburne TV movie "The Tuskegee Airmen". If you want a film about the 332nd, get the previous movie as well. It's a better film, overall, for plot and pacing. But if you want a rollicking good WW2 air warfare film of the old school, this is still a very entertaining ride and, alongside the much weaker Fortress, stands alone as an example of a forgotten genre.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appalling - A playground/console game interpretation of what should have been a classic war story.., 14 April 2014
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This review is from: Red Tails [DVD] (DVD)
I was looking forward to watching the story of the Tuskegee airmen which is a dramatic, exciting true story full of racial tensions and drama, I was expecting ‘GLORY’ in a WW2 setting, however in steps George 'OTT' Lucas & Co. turning the story into a moronic comic book style yarn full of clichéd 'gung ho' characters and cringe inducing storylines.
I thought Hollywood had moved on from portraying the ‘baddies’ as completely incompetent and the ‘goodies’ as indestructible, never missing a shot with unlimited ammunition superheroes. You watch this and you think it’s a parody it’s that bad especially when pilots are exchanging scowling facial expressions with people on the ground whilst flying at 400 mph at 75 feet.. realistic it aint! The action crams every special effect currently available into a scene which spoils any subtlety or sense of drama that should have been portrayed.
This should have been a great film with an awe inspiring true story as a base but unless you want to watch one of the cheesiest War films ever made do what the pilots in this film never do and miss this turkey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Tails [Blu-ray], 12 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Red Tails [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
RED TAILS [2012] [Blu-ray] From the Creators of Star Wars and Indiana Jones! Amazing and Adrenaline Fuelled Big Screen Action!

Academy Award® Winner Cuba Gooding Jr.* and Academy Award® Nominee Terrence Howard** lead a powerful ensemble cast in this high-flying epic inspired by the real-life adventures of the first African-American combat unit to serve in World War II. Italy, 1944. As the war takes its toll on Allied forces in Europe, a squadron of black pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen are finally given the chance to prove themselves in the sky...even as they battle discrimination on the ground. Featuring jaw-dropping aerial action and thrilling special effects, Red Tails is a breath-taking tribute to the unsung heroes who rose above extraordinary challenges and ultimately soared into history.

*Supporting Actor for ‘Jerry Maguire [1996] and **Actor for Hustle & Flow [2005]

Cast: Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Tristan Wilds, Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley, Marcus T. Paulk, Leslie Odom, Jr., Michael B. Jordan, Kevin Phillips, Andre Royo, Method Man, Bryan Cranston, Lee Tergesen, Gerald McRaney, Daniela Ruah, Paul Fox, Matthew Marsh, Lars van Riesen, Ryan Early, Henry Garrett, Robert Kazinsky, Rick Otto, Josh Dallas, Jermaine Johnson, Edwina Finley, Stacie Davis, Aml Ameen and Rupert Penry-Jones

Director: Anthony Hemingway and George Lucas (uncredited)

Producers: Charles Floyd Johnson, George Lucas and Rick McCallum

Screenplay: Aaron McGruder and John Ridley

Composer: Terence Blanchard

Cinematography: John Aronson

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English SDH

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Running Time: 124 minutes

Region: Region B/2

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Momentum Pictures

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: The story of the Tuskegee Airmen is one that has been told and retold several times through the years, mostly on television but occasionally in films. The story itself is memorable and deserves to be dramatically interpreted, to varying degrees of praise. ‘Red Tails’ is a good story that George Lucas himself decided to be Executive Producer for it, but it would not be the first time he was attached to something, would he?

Based on a book from John B. Holway, Aaron McGruder (The Boondocks) and John Ridley (Undercover Brother) adapted it into a screenplay which Anthony Hemingway (in his feature film debut after directing on several television shows) directed. For those unfamiliar with the story in general, a group of African American pilots who graduated from the Tuskegee Institute's training program were given the opportunity to fly for the United States in World War II. However, their missions were primarily focused on harmless, unguarded targets, perhaps in part because the Pentagon felt they did not have the skills to fly more advanced missions to escort bombers. At the urging of the Airmen's Pentagon liaison Colonel Bullard [Terrence Howard], they get what they have been yearning for, and the squadron's commanding officer, Major Stance [Cuba Gooding Jr.] rounds up the pilots and gets them ready for what easily is their toughest combat challenge yet.

As for the pilots, each has their own personal eccentricities that they bring to the unit. The squad leader, whose call sign is Easy [Nate Parker] is neck and neck when it comes to being the most accomplished member of the group, though he tends to be a little more reserved. The more outgoing pilot on par with Easy is Lightning [David Oyelowo], who is my most least favourite actor of all time, who is a little more rambunctious and even has a girlfriend in the Italian town near where the squad is stationed. You also have Junior [Tristan Wilds] and Joker [Elijah Kelly] rounding the group out.

The group gets along well together, whether it is battling a literal battle-scarred Nazi pilot who serves as the face of the Third Reich, or whether they are battling forces on their own turf, whether it is in Italy or at the Pentagon, where a racist officer (Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad) fits the bill. But Cranston is one of several different plot devices the story employs to make you buy into the journey the pilots take, along with their stereotypical personal demons, be it drinking, philandering or the like. And that is the big problem with the story, the characters are hardly memorable. We come into the film with them possessing a certain amount of justifiable swagger being part of the military yet getting sore from bumping their head on the ceiling, but the characters are constructed lazily and without care, almost as if this is Top Gun for the World War II sect.

There is no denying the dogfights are totally breath-taking and even provide some investment into characters one might not care about otherwise, but their time on the ground is about as prolonged and meaningless as the time in the air is exciting, and over the course of these two hours, drags the film down tremendously, to say nothing for its predecessors. And casting wise the ensemble of that one shows the one in ‘Red Tails’ how to do work, simply put. You get the journey, you get the flights, and you get the emotional payoff. You also get Cuba Gooding Jr., which is an added bonus, to really totally brilliant film.

Blu-ray Video Quality – Momentum Pictures gives ‘Red Tails’ a stunning 1080p encoded 2.40:1 high-definition presentation which looks quite good. Lots of wide sweeping shots of the airbase brings out a lot of detail in the image, but there is also image detail in the foreground that looks impressive as well. With Lucasfilm being involved in the visual effects, the dogfights are breathtakingly sharp and lifelike, and you can make out the red on the planes vividly in the sky. In less hectic scenes the facial pores and threads on Army uniforms can be made out nicely also.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – Not surprising to have a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack for ‘Red Tails’ and again with Lucasfilm involved, expect to have your socks rocked. The big takeaway I got from the film was that with all of the sonic action, the soundtrack delivers precisely and efficiently. Dogfights are as immersive as expected, with bullet hits and planes whizzing past and around you on all channels, and for those who fall in battle, the subwoofer meets them to give crashing planes a low-end emphasis in their impact. In quieter scenes the dialogue sounds clearly and in 'louder' scenes like a bar fight they are transmitted clearly and without concern. About as perfect a soundtrack as I've heard on Blu-ray so far.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Interview with George Lucas [Executive Producer] [1080p] [3:00] Based on what's shown in this tiny feature, George Lucas appears to be the most hands-on executive producer of all time. I imagine that he had more say in the making of this 20-year project than anyone else. The funniest part is listening to him describe these as "real dogfights" while images of green screen cockpit footage is being shown. He also manages to work 'Star Wars' into his three-minute mouthful.

Interview with Anthony Hemingway [Director] [1080p] [6:00] Likewise, Anthony Hemingway describes how he got involved with the project. We also get to see the cast meeting with some real Tuskegee airmen.

Interview with Terence Blanchard [Composer] [1080p] [6:00] This feature shows a lot of talking. Terence Blanchard talks about his inspirations, goals and themes. I enjoy musical features, but this one is pure time-filler.

Double Victory: The Tuskegee Airmen at War [1080p] [1:05:07] Narrated by Cuba Gooding Jr., this historical documentary is much better than 'Red Tails' itself. This feature tells the real story of the Tuskegee Airmen, not the contrived bologna that makes up the movie. It features actual testimonials and archived footage along the way, very similar to the videos that accompany both 'Band of Brothers' and 'The Pacific.'

Movie Magic [1080p] [5:12] With an hour of dogfights, there are between 1,600 and 1,700 effects shots in this movie – yet we're supposed to get the grandeur of it all in this five-minute video. More time is devoted to showing that ILM couldn't do it all on their own and how they outsourced shots to foreign companies.

Theatrical Trailer [1080p] [1:29] Dramatic Film Trailer for ‘Red Tails’

PLUS: Insert leaflet, giving you the inside information and history of the Royal Air Force Museum located in Colindale in Central London.

SLIP COVER: With this Region B/2 Blu-ray, you get a fantastic beautiful designed 3-D Slip Cover.

Finally, ‘Red Tails’ has the right thoughts in mind, they just don't articulate them well, and expect you to be dazzled by the visual effects (which admittedly are pretty good, but still). Technically the disc is amazing and from a bonus material perspective, the "Double Victory" piece accomplishes what the film does not. If you are looking for a mix of a good demo disc and bonus material then this actually turns out to be a decent Blu-ray value. What makes me upset is all the reviews I have read, that give such negative views on this film, mainly American and to be honest I think they are totally embarrassed, because of how the American public treated these brilliant Black American Airmen in such a despicable racist manner, in making out they were subnormal, where instead us in Europe treated them as equals, so that is why I enjoyed this film so much, as it informed me of the history of World War 2 that I had no idea happened and will give you endless hours of enjoyment, especial the amazing CGI trick photography. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lucas ruins another story..., 14 Feb 2014
This review is from: Red Tails [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Italy, 1944. As the war takes its toll on Allied forces in Europe, a squadron of black pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen are finally given the chance

The chance to prove themselves in the sky.

As they battle discrimination on the ground.

It's supposed a tribute to the unsung heroes who rose above extraordinary challenges and ultimately soared into history, but it just turns out to be another awful CGI fest with sloppy editing, poor performances and some awful clichés.

Admittedly, the first five minutes of the film are quite impressive, but once one of the pilots goes looking for a woman he waves at as he flies past, you know it's not going to give you the tribute the story deserves.

The cast are awful, and it really Irks me to see Gooding Jr. as someone who stands there smoking a pipe that never has any tobacco in, looking all important, knowing that he has made the worse career decisions that any Hollywood star has in recent history.

Howard still looks frustrated about iron man, and the rest just stand around trying to say prolific things and offering lots of brotherly love.

But it's not the casts entire fault, the script is dire and the narrative is all over the shop, and because of that, you just stop caring about the film, and yearn for Memphis Belle.

Which is a shame, because it's such a fascinating story.

Thanks Lucas for ruining another story.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Real Disappointment, 19 May 2013
By 
D. Carter (Herefordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red Tails [DVD] (DVD)
The story of the Tuskegee airmen lends itself to the making of an excellent film, but this is not it. The comic book script is laughable and the combat sequences are just like watching a thoroughly unrealistic CGI'd computer game. The impression that taking on the Luftwaffe was a piece of cake for a bunch of high spirited and apparently ill-disciplined young men is frankly insulting to the achievements of the young Afro-American pilots that were the real Tuskegee airmen. A P-51 turning a German destroyer (which looks remarkably like a battleship)into a flaming wreck with two passes of its machine guns gives you an idea of exactly how plausible this film is when it comes to the realities of war. Watch a decent documentary on the Red Tails instead. It's a far more moving and inspiring story than this rubbish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I felt dumber after watching, 11 Nov 2014
This review is from: Red Tails [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
That was the most appalling schlock I have seen since George Lucas's previous masterpieces, The Phantom Menace and the somehow even worse Attack of the Clowns. The star is for the special effects which were, to be fair, extremely good. Everything else about this sugar frosted, glazed in syrup, rolled in those silver cake thingys and then spun round in a candy floss machine movie truly blows.
Even wIthout the horrendous stereotypes, ludicrous evil Germans and the apparent ability of the P-51 to blow up Battleships with bullets you are stuck with a script which is laughable and no doubt does a genuine diservice to the actual pilots of the story and the difficulties they faced.
I genuinely expected Hannah Montanna to show up at the end to remind us all of how great the USA is, then stick her tongue out.

By the Moons of Mongo - this film really did suck.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Really Missed Chance For Glory, 23 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Red Tails [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
From the opening sequences a few things hit you. This film is full of Black cliched characters, the dialogue can really suck, the music seems like its from the 70s when someone thought sticking a drum kit with an orchestra worked and the flying sequences were really well done.

But the film misses a really good actor. You need Laurence Fishburne, you need Samuel L Jackson, it needed Denzel, just like Glory had Morgan Freeman. Terence Howard almost pulls it off but I had no idea WHAT Cuba Gooding Jr was trying to do: maybe the strange face he kept pulling - real Down Dog - was from the taste of the pipe he was using. Ne-Yo seems to spend the whole film copying the Grandma that Eddie Murphy did in the Nutty Professor.

Most of the others simply fight with a difficult script that really yearns to be a longer TV mini series - the whole film just feels like one of those edited hour and a half movies they used to make out of nine hour long mini series.

The flying sequences work except for one thing: ALL the actors are shot in the same way in the cockpits. It's almost as if they were simply rotated into the cockpit set in turn and no one bothered to move the camera. Often you just get the sense that it's actors saying their lines rather than actually acting, but with the turgid script it really is not surprising.

The soundtrack? If you use a full orchestra, use it, don't then stick a blinking drum kit in with it. It suits neither the period the film is set NOR matches the type of music we get today.

For a film that sets out to highlight the way black flyers were treated in the war, it makes almost EVERY white character you encounter a racist. Throw in the fact that every black flyer is characterised in the most ridiculous way possible and the biggest surprise is that the film has a black director: who really only has a lot of TV work to his credit, and it shows in the way the film does NOT feel cinematic, just somehow restricted.

I fell for the George Lucas bit, but frankly this would have been a great mini series, but instead is a mediocre film with some great CGI.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Film, 20 Jan 2014
By 
C. Kelly (Cranleigh, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red Tails [DVD] (DVD)
Amazing special effects - possibly a little 'gung ho' sometimes. I was very impressed with the acting, script and the fact it was based on truth. Very well worth watching
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, 11 Feb 2014
This review is from: Red Tails [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I must say I didnt think it would be as good as it is if you like a war film you got too watch this one I thought it was a great watch
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Red Tails [Blu-ray]
Red Tails [Blu-ray] by Anthony Hemingway (Blu-ray - 2012)
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