Trailer: Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. in Red Tails

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[Udpate: 3:25 pm PT]

Trailer: Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. in Red Tails
From producer George Lucas comes this story of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American fighter pilots who fought a segregated military in order to distinguish themselves escorting bombers during WWII. They took the nickname “Red Tails” because of the distinctive red paint on the tails of their P-47 Thunderbolts and later P-51 Mustangs. I’m a sucker for WWII stuff and the action and effects of the combat scenes here look top notch. The dialogue looks to be another matter entirely. Call this one a wash until we have more information. Red Tails opens January 20, 2012 which isn’t a good sign either. Blink and you’ll miss Bryan Cranston in the trailer. (Yahoo)

6 Responses to “News du Jour: 7/29/11”

  1. “Red Tails” looks good to me, in an old-fashioned, heroic WWII sense. I bet it’s cheesy and sentimental, but that sometimes works with stories like this one. The battle sequences look really slick here. I don’t think Lucas wrote the script, but I’m sure he had a hand in the direction of the set pieces, which is fine by me. He’s not an actor’s director, but he can sure stage a magnificent piece of stylized mayhem. I hope it’s good, and I’d love to see the Lucasfilm label show up on more films outside of the “Star Wars” franchise. I really believe Lucasfilm should become an independent studio, and produce those smaller, risky films he always talks about making, but for other filmmakers who have ideas and scripts ready to shoot. He should take the route of Coppola, but as a producer. Give some challenging scripts the green light for directors who want to make their own “THX”. But anyway, “Red Tails” looks pretty good.

  2. Ari, there’s been wide reports that Lucas directed and reshot a whole lot of the film himself, and that he was always in charge of the action set-pieces from the get-go. Not terribly surprising he’s that heavily involved, as he’s been planning this film since the 80’s (I wonder frankly if he shouldn’t have just signed on as a co-director officially, seeing as the only real reason he didn’t do it himself is probably his reputation with actors). Extensive reshoots are typical of a Lucas production and always have been, and that’s something Anthony Hemingway (a television director who’s worked on good series, but always underneath strong showrunners) was amenable to, it seems. Yes, the action and visuals in general look great. I have trouble understanding any of the criticism about dialogue, but whatever. I’d like to see Lucas step out of the “Star Wars” shadow and produce, or better yet direct original works himself, too, be it for films or television. This is a step in the right direction.

  3. Bob, what don’t you understand about the criticism of the dialogue? Are you saying it’s not corny or, like Ari, are you suggesting the corniness actually kind of fits?

    I see Ari’s point and I’m willing to go along with it to a point, though a bit less so with something historical than I would be with Star Wars.

    I’m still worried about the release date too, but there could be plenty of logical reasons for it.

    Having said all that, because the action looks good and because I’m a nerd for WWII stuff, I’m all over this thing.

  4. I’m just skeptical of criticism of the dialogue this early. It could be corny, though it’s easy for that to mix with “stoic resolve” in stuff like this. And yeah, corny would fit (not as well as SW, but whatever). But mostly, all I can tell from listening to this is that it’s trailer-speak– mostly they’ve just cherry-picked a handful of semi-expository, semi-inspirational lines and used it to make it as easy for mass audiences to get a handle on this. Not everybody knows the Tuskegee Airmen that well, which is partly why this movie exists in the first place.

    The release date seems odd to me too, especially seeing as it’s really close to the 3D rerelease of “The Phantom Menace”. But it’s right around the time of Black History Month and MLK day, and this is a historical action/drama, so maybe they’d rather not compete with the pure escapist summer fare or the pure Oscar bait fall line-up. This sits somewhere between the two. I’m reminded of the similarly early release of “Silence of the Lambs”– perhaps winter is a good time for stuff that sits in multiple genres.

  5. I’m trying not to judge the movie by the trailer Bob, but that’s all I have to go on so far and the thing fell apart for me when people opened their mouths.

    There are plenty of good reasons for the film to come out in January, it’s just the widly held opinion that it’s a dumping ground for movies the studio doesn’t know what to do with. It’s probably too serious to come out in summer and not serious enough to come out in Oscar season. Plus, like you said, a week or two before Black History Month is a pretty good time for this movie to be around.

    Just because they often release bad movies in January, doesn’t mean every movie that comes out in January will be and once in a while a good movie can do well because it doesn’t have any competition.

  6. The trailer looks good visually and it could be a good film, but there’s two people I could fear in Red Tails: George Lucas and Cuba Gooding Jr.

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