3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Red Tails [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Yep, that's the sound of this film hitting the mud after a catastrophic stall. As a stand alone action plane film about a group of men from a small air group, it's not to bad. And that's it. But as an untold story of the heartfelt pain and suffering of a disposessed flight unit just trying to do their bit for the country they live in, it falls WAAAAY short. I learnt absolutely nothing from this film except that the Luftwaffe were totally evil and prop planes can turn 180 degrees instantly while flying at 400mph with no adverse affects on pilot or plane. The commanding officer of the air group gets a tiny bit of grief from the big wigs and sometimes the Tuskagee squad don't see eye to eye with the bomber crews but it's hardly horrendous. If I knew nothing about racism, I would have just assumed that these guys were simply being treated as rookies. The film looks good but then it should do. It's almost 50% CGI. The actual (all too short) interviews with the pilots of the 332nd are worth the price of the package alone. Humble, Heart felt and warm, these guys explain what it was REALLY like to be (and try to be) a black pilot during the war.
Unfortunately, the soundtrack is really awful. Generic lucasfilm soundbytes are all over this. Sounds from the star wars films rattle through (most of) the speakers. I say "most of" because on my system (Denon AVR 3310 and Mordaunt short floorstanders) it sounded horrible. I recalibrated the whole lot before I realised it is just a shoddy mix on the film. The rear speakers are almost totally unused and the little sound that does come from them is very thin and the front soundstage feels muffled and dull. It all feels like a big cartoon. Processed and lifeless. It is reported that THX used a 10.1 soundtrack for this film. Whoever mixed it over, quite frankly, cocked it up.
I give it 3 stars. 1 for the film and 2 for the short Airmen interviews.