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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 (642 customer reviews)

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Red Tails + The Tuskegee Airmen + Memphis Belle (Keepcase)
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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 (642 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005LAIGN2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,125 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Red Tails" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

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

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 64 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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Less painful if you watch with the sound off. November 28, 2012
Format:DVD
Without the good, occasionally great, visual effects and engaging aerial combat sequences, this entire film would be unwatchably bad. every single character is one-dimensional and ridiculously cliche, from the scowling, melodramatically villainous Germans to the standard pre-fab action movie cliches the Tuskegee Airmen have been reduced to (the cocky, wisecracking ace; the plucky, naive kid; the gritty, pipe-chomping flight commander, etc.). The plodding, predictable script is abysmal - chock full of heavy-handed expository dialogue right out of a bad comic book, period-inappropriate language that makes it impossible to pretend you're watching the 1940s, and tired plot devices. The acting from this mostly talented cast is poor - wooden, forced and insincere, probably a product of the awful script. And if all that wasn't bad enough, toss in a throwaway romantic sub-plot that's totally devoid of plausibility, sincerity and chemistry.

In short, this movie is about what you'd expect from George Lucas - a truly terrible film with cool and exciting action sequences. Star Wars in World War II. It's no wonder he had so much trouble getting it distributed. The Tuskegee Airmen deserve so much better than this stinker.
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88 of 114 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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115 of 150 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I'd heard a critic tear this movie up (on the radio) before I walked in. I'd been counting down the days to see the film and it just so happened to be a huge snowstorm tonight in Chicago (six inches and counting), but I was so determined to see this film that I simply didn't care. If I had to march to see it, I was going to march, fall and slide all the way there but I was going to show my support opening night. And I did. And after I finished watching the film, I thought, "I want to see this movie again. How quickly can I return to the show?"

I know the backstory of how hard it was to get this two decade old film in theaters. I definitely appreciate George Lucas for bringing this film to the big screen. Even better I think it's cool that so many actors who weren't as popular in films (even if they were great on TV) got to show their movie chops, like Tristan Wilds ("90210," "The Wire") and music artists like Ne-Yo and Method Man. I was already a big fan of Nate Parker from "The Killer Bees" movie and "The Great Debaters," so I knew he'd be good. Same deal with Terrence Howard. I only knew Marcus T. Paulk as the little brother on the TV show "Moesha." I didn't know a thing about David Oyelowo, Elijah Kelley, Michael B. Jordan or Leslie Odom Jr. And while I knew of Cuba Gooding Jr., I hadn't really been a fan of any of his work since "Boyz in the Hood" so I went in not really knowing what to expect, other than looking at some incredibly attractive brothas who may or may not have been able to pull this movie off.

By now we know the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. Those who know their history know how black soldiers were treated, and if you've seen the documentary or the movie with Laurence Fishburne, you may wonder, "Why would they make remake a film that's already been covered?
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