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Red Tails (2012)

Cuba Gooding Jr. , Bryan Cranston , Anthony Hemingway  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (671 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Cuba Gooding Jr., Bryan Cranston
  • Directors: Anthony Hemingway
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2012
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (671 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005LAIGN2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,657 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Red Tails" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Academy Awardr Winner Cuba Gooding Jr.* and Academy Awardr Nominee Terrence Howard** lead a powerful ensemble cast in this high-flying epic inspired by the real-life adventures of the first African-American combat unit to serve in World War II. Italy, 1944. As the war takes its toll on Allied forces in Europe, a squadron of black pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen are finally given the chance to prove themselves in the sky...even as they battle discrimination on the ground. Featuring jaw-dropping aerial action and thrilling special effects, Red Tails is a breathtaking tribute to the unsung heroes who rose above extraordinary challenges and ultimately soared into history.

Amazon.com

Aerial spectacle gives this World War II drama a lift. Based on the true adventures of the Tuskegee Airmen, who battled Nazis in the air and racism on the ground, Red Tails is built around four pilots, each with a character-type-appropriate nickname: the daredevil is named Lightning (David Oyelowo), the likable boozer is Easy (Nate Parker), the kid trying to prove himself is Junior (Tristan Wilds), and the joker is called, uhm, Joker (Elijah Kelley). While these four chafe at their lousy assignments at the front, Colonel Bullard (Terrence Howard, applying his steely rasp to fervent, inspirational speeches) fights back in Washington to give these men a chance to prove themselves… and when they get that chance, prove themselves they do. This is a crucial bit of history--racial integration in the military was a key step leading to the civil rights movement decades later. Regrettably, this powerful material has been reduced to ham-fisted clichés, groaning under the weight of clumsy exposition. Such flimsy hokum is particularly surprising coming from co-screenwriter Aaron McGruder, creator of the sharply satirical The Boondocks; one suspects that the heavy hand of producer George Lucas was a factor. Nonetheless, when Red Tails takes to the air, the movie--like the pilots--shows its mettle. Though the digital effects are inexplicably uneven, the dizzying dogfight choreography will make your nerves tingle. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
I'm going to address the Blu ray version of this film as I had not seen it in the theaters when it was released. The best thing about the disc isn't the theatrical film itself but "Double Victory: The Tuskegee Airmen at War," the 1 hour documentary "extra." While the theatrical film addresses some of the history of the courageous Tuskegee airmen, the documentary focuses of the "second war" back in the United States. Using excellent interviews with many of the survivors of the Red Tails and their African-American bomber crew confederates, many of the injustices they lived through are fleshed out. They are supplemented by some remarkable film footage from the time. These great Americans effectively launched the Civil Rights movement even before Jackie Robinson integrated baseball or Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat.

The next best thing about this film is the aerial combat photography, some of which is done with real planes and real pilots and some is done with some amazing CGI and George Lucas's technicians. I was especially taken with the introduction of some early German jet fighters as they engaged the Red Tails' P-51 Mustangs. The other big positive is the magnificent transfer to Blu ray. From the opening scenes the film sparkles in this Lucas authorized release. The colors are bright and vivid. The textures are finely tuned, especially in close ups. The audio likewise is demo ready. As you might expect, the audio is an important feature with planes shooting at each other all over the Italian and German skies. In addition to the aforementioned documentary, other extras include comments by Lucas and director Anthony Hemingway, composer Terrance Blanchard and the cast. There is also a 5 minute feature at how the CGI came into play.
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88 of 115 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heroes facing impossible odds and P-51 Mustangs! January 11, 2012
By S. Hall
Format:DVD
I was so excited to see the movie, that I posted ahead of time. Now that I've seen it, I thought it was a great telling of a true story. I give it a solid 4 stars, because the actors were excellent, the cinematography was good, the combat effects were actually better than okay. The music could have been better, but despite that it is an instant classic in my book.

The movie is fantastic because it shows the story of men who had to fight with honor and dignity against extreme odds in order to fight with bullets and power against our country's enemies. Their story has been represented before on film, and hopefully will again; it's a story worthy of being told over and over. Thumbs up to the actors, producers and all involved for doing a very good job. Was it the best of the best job possible? Maybe not, but it was entertaining and enlightening. I respect George Lucas for caring enough to put his money into this story, to bring it to the big screen like a major film, despite the reluctance of many other parties in the film industry. Could some other director/producer combination have made a technically more outstanding movie? Maybe, but they evidently don't care enough about the true story to do it. Kudos to all involved!

The events portrayed a version of history that was very engaging, and in a way that was also realistic. The heroes weren't shown to be perfect, with the flight leader having a drinking problem, for example, which seemed to cause problems, and one of the other pilots being a real hotshot. Overall, I gained a lot of insight into the difficulties that the "colored" pilots encountered but at no point did I feel like I was being "taught" a history lesson.
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78 of 103 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the worst movie about WWII ever made. May 25, 2012
By D.E.
Format:DVD
I have just rented this movie on cable. Here is the rundown- not a single scene in this "historically inspired" movie (other than the racism) is remotely accurate. This is Lucasfilm filming the Rebel Alliance fighting the evil Imperial TIE fighters again. the combat scenes aren't even remotely representative of reality: aircrews did not talk to each other the way they do in this movie (training takes over and pilots know what to do- they don't spend half a minute deciding to make a turn so that the wingman can take out the German because in that half a minute the fight will be over and the pilot who is busy thinking sand discussing tactics will be dead), fighter escorts did not abandon bomber formations until the "Red Tails" showed up. (Until the P-51 Mustangs appeared on the scene, of course, fighters did not have the range to escort bombers all the way to their targets anyway.) German fighters did not attack bomber formations as a tight group of 10-20 fighters (a nice tight bunch to shoot at ensuring that at least some of the German fighters would be downed by bomber gunners on the pass). In the early part of the movie American P-40s down several ME-109s. This would only have happened if the ME-109s were piloted by the worst pilots in the Luftwaffe and the P-40s were flown by the best American pilots: the ME-109s were faster and more agile by far, and had far superior climbing rates (the P-40 was obsolete before the War began). There is a scene where the inchoate Red Tails destroy a Luftwaffe base. The base looked like something out of the 1960s, not like an aerodrome of WWII. Of course the German pilots are wooden, souless killers devoid of emotion. Read more ›
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