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Is Red Tails a good movie or just a good idea for a good movie

The Tuskegee Airmen… just saying that name has a certain ring to it doesn’t it? A ring that has echoed loud and far beyond the boundaries of yesterday’s social injustice and into today’s high spirited quest for who they were… or more importantly, who they are. They initially hit airwaves with the made for TV drama, “The Tuskegee Airmen.” Produced in 1995, it gave their story a generational ear that would have otherwise been muted. Now, with 2012’s rendition in the new movie “Red Tails,” there will be audiences abroad that will be able to appreciate their fortitude and applaud their journey. As a monumental piece of American History, “Red Tails” seemed destined for “Movie Magic.” Unfortunately, it was a far cry from it. Simply put…. the movie SUCKED!

With most movies you like there tends to be a character that you love, love to hate or one that you relate to in some mysterious way. This had none of the above. I had no real affinity for any of them simply because none of them were developed enough for me to care. Most of the acting was subpar at best and at some points I actually cringed due to the crude deliver of some of the simplest of lines.
Maybe it was the result of a bad script that was seemingly chucked full of one-liners, clichés and uninspiring speeches. It had a few funny points but was the writer from “Boondocks” really right for a story like this?Visual effects? Nothing but the typical Hollywood motto for the digital era where they throw in some “BOOMS and “POWS” and call it a “Big Budget Production“ so that you go see it. I mean we all know that since it cost more to make it has to be good, right? Then you say, “ahhhh, that looks cool!” even though it didn’t have any real purpose to it other than to make the screen brighter.

I honestly like the “BOOMS” and “POWS” better when Batman & Robin did it in the early days lol. At least they made it work.Even the sound design team managed to get it wrong. You would hear sounds disappear and reappear throughout the movie for no apparent reason. Battle scene explosions didn’t have any explosions to them. The perfect harmony between sound and visuals that you usually expect from a war movie, where it engulfs you into the scene to make you feel as if you’re in the trenches along side your fellow comrades, utterly evaded this flick. So, instead of that graceful first dance at the prom that you hoped for, they ended up stomping on all your toes as if they had mistaken them for grapes while trying to make wine.Then, within the last 30 minutes, the movie completely fell apart at its already unstable hinges. The scenes were literally cut mid-dialog and they resorted to the basic transitions that you would expect to see from a film made with iMovie. o_0 It felt as if they were coming to the end of post production and then started to run out of that $58 million dollar production budget and said, “Just throw that $#@& together! Use bubble gum or something, it’ll hold!” I literally started to get a headache as I watched this plane crash. But… I digress.

At the end of the movie, and not even a surprise to me, the audience stood up and applauded; older couples, younger adults, teenagers, black and white and many more where it was a very diverse crowd. But, I don’t think they were really applauding the actual movie itself at all. It felt more like Browns’ fans giving a standing ovation after the Cleveland Browns finally make it to the Super Bowl but loose 82 – 0. They are not applauding because it was a great game… They are applauding because they know the journey it took to get there. And that’s what I think happened in the theatre and the subsequent, “Oh, it was a great movie,” quotes that I hear. So, either I have trained myself to see all the little things that make a movie at least ok to watch that others don’t see or… nobody really wants to be the one who has to shoot Old Yeller.

As a movie… or better yet, as a marketing machine, Red Tails made millions of people aware of the discrepancies that exist between producing and distributing a “Movie” compared to that of a “Black Movie.” Just ask Mr. Star Wars himself, I’m sure he will tell you. In fact… he has. Several times! All in a last minute desperate plea to somehow get the emotions of moviegoers intertwined with not the movie itself but, the history behind it, the people portrayed in it and what it all stands for. It seems as if he took a page out of Tyler Perry’s handbook. Love or hate his movies, he gets people out to support them good or bad and guess what… it worked for George to.

To the number of dedicated individuals that were apart of Red Tails’ development, for the 20 years of production time it consumed, and for the $90 million it swallowed up in budget, I congratulate and thank you! I know it was hard to do but I just hope the second time around has more meat on the bone… if that chance even comes up.

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