Posts tagged ‘Tuskegee Airmen’

Red Tails ~ My Review

I promised a review of the George Lucas film directed by Anthony Hemingway with screenplay by John Ridley and Aaron McGruder. Here it is:

As with other areas of American culture, so much hope rides on a big-budget mainstream action movie with a black theme—certainly not something we’ve EVER seen before, sadly. As a result, we still look to such endeavors to do exactly what the Tuskegee Airmen and other “first” blacks have to do to succeed ~ be exceptionally better than best. With so many pinning so much on this film, it’s bound to disappoint.

Let’s go first to what worked ~ it did my heart good to see a bevy of young, black male actors on the screen in a story that not only ripped apart the usual stereotypes, but focused on a crucial untold part of American history. As one would expect from the king of intergalactic warfare, Lucas’ combat dogfight scenes in Red Tails are top-notch, even for someone like me who is not  a fan of war movies, and I did hear from a young, black male friend who is studying to be a pilot (the pilot son from earlier comment!) that he liked the movie and dogfight scenes, in a classic sense.

In the end I wanted more grit, more insight into the emotions of the Tuskegee Airmen going into battle bearing the weight of racial crusades back home. I wanted fewer stilted, rapid-fire one-liners overall, and especially from the cock pits. I wanted the blood to be less fake. And if not a flashback showing one of the men at home with his wife or girlfriend (ie, a black actress) then give me her photo in the cockpit at least (we got the Italian love interest and even black Jesus for goodness sake).

For all the ways that Red Tails let me down artistically, it more than made up for by taking the risk, by saying yes to the story and getting it out there. And I thank George Lucas and his team for that.

I also thank my good friend Doc Hughes for sending me the video below this morning: Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee beautifully expresses everything else I want to say. We’re all eager to hear what you have to say so keep the comments coming…and scroll down for the Skinny…

THE SKINNY ~ This 1995 PBS film is in my queue

Red Tails Movie Salutes Tuskegee Airmen

Bring on the buzz!

We all need to be makin’ lots-o-noise for this movie, which is now in theaters everywhere.

My family went opening night, and as hard has it is to hold back, I’ll wait to write a review until more of you have seen it. IT IS WORTH SEEING, even if you don’t like war flicks (not my favorite genre, either) (see it for all the reasons we already know and a bunch you haven’t thought of), and to see if you agree with Roger Ebert.

Scroll down to see what others are saying, add your own comments to the conversation. Write a quick review and let us know what you really think of the film. All respectful views are welcome.

I’m all for anything encouraging that lifts up positive black stories to the forefront of world culture and gets folks talking about these stories. Amazing that I can still truthfully say that in 2012.

And I don’t say this only because I’m a black, southern child of the Civil Rights Movement; with a father who served in the Philippines in WWII and returned “home” to the segregated south; who is telling her own under told story in the form of Peach Seed Monkey .

The Point Is ~ Vote with your movie dollars for the Tuskegee Airmen, real American action heroes. Let this be a portal into the meaning of the all-too-real deeper story of that era for our heroes and all black Americans ~ that of anger at the long arm of the Jim Crow situation back home.

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