Cuba Gooding Jr.
On the one hand, the dog fights did feel realistic, if not a bit "STAR WARS over the top", which considering George Lucas is attached, should come as no surprise. If you blotched out the sky and put in a space background then colored the planes to look like STAR WARS ships, you'd almost swear he took these fights straight out of that series. The train derailing was also a pretty cool stunt, so visually I'm giving this thing a thumbs up, but as far as everything else goes (lame story, terrible dialogue and a drastically uneven tone), I'm going all Rick James and giving them four thumbs down. I just don't get it, Lucas was raving about this flick, saying this was the kind of picture he'd been looking forward to doing as it could be taken slow and given the right level finesse. Did I miss it? There's no finesse here.
RED TAILS ultimately fails because it brings nothing new to this old equation that hasn't been done many times over (despite the fact this is an all African American crew of pilots), and these characters lack the depth they no doubt have in real life which doesn't have you rooting for them as much as you should (the real life accounts from these soldiers in the special features is where it's really at). The acting was alright from veterans like Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard and my man, Bryan "Mr. White" Cranston (I love how he's pulling a Sammy Jackson and popping up everywhere these days), but it's not nearly good enough to outweigh all the phony ridiculousness squeezed in here. I'd been curious to see this flick simply because of how much Lucas was beefing it up, but I have to say, I'm disappointed.
George Lucas: Executive Producer: Three minutes of George Lucas boasting and rambling on = who the hell cares. Seriously, we get it George, go back to retiring.
Anthony Hemingway: Director: The director takes a couple minutes to beef up the film and Lucas complete with a couple hugs. I don't see what he's so damn excited about.
Terence Blanchard: Composer: A very brief nod to the film's score, which again, was alright but nothing spectacular. These three bits shouldn't have been separated, at three minutes a piece they just look like added filler to trick us into thinking this Blu-ray has a lot of special features. Sigh.
The Cast of Red Tails: Here we get some insight into the cast choices and a fair bit of props to HBO's THE WIRE (which I still haven't watched yet but want to). Again, I think they should've went to HBO for this and made a proper mini-series out of it, but that's just me.
Movie Magic: Seeing the time and effort that went into the effects, specifically the dog fights, the train and many explosions was great and seeing as how Lucasfilm prides themselves on ground breaking special effects, I would expect no less.