Red Tails

Release Date: January 20, 2012

Say cheese.

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Position Staff In Brief
147/169 Max Braden I was shocked at how made-for-basic-cable the production looked, especially coming from Lucasfilm. Oyelowo was good, but otherwise the subject deserved a better movie.

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Red Tails represents one of the most intriguing titles on the 2012 schedule

The story of the Tuskegee Airmen is ground well covered by this point, particularly to fans of The History Channel. Despite this, Red Tails offers a new viewing experience due to the talent involved. Living legend George Lucas produced this film through his LucasFilm company. And although he is not credited officially as director, the various people involved with the production have acknowledged that Lucas’ guiding hand oversaw a lot of the proceedings.

If the rare presence of George Lucas on a project were not exciting enough, his co-writer for Red Tails is none other than Aaron McGruder. If that name doesn’t mean anything to you, let’s substitute in the title of his most famous work to clarify the matter. McGruder is the creator of the comic strip that later became a television series known as The Boondocks. Aaron McGruder may be the funniest person in the world. Red Tails will be his first major motion picture screen credit.

Now that you know who wrote the story of Red Tails, let’s examine the plot itself. Of course, if you are not onboard by now, I doubt you ever will be. Anyway, the Tuskegee Airmen were a group of African American fighter pilots who overcame blatant racism within the military. Even during the most desperate moments in World War II, government officials were reluctant to treat the Tuskegee Airmen as equals with their Caucasian troops. As the so-called Red Tails began to prove themselves on the battlefield (or in the battle air, as it were), they were treated with greater respect and less racism. Eventually, the men of Red Tails earned the Presidential Unit Citation, only given to approximately 50 units during World War II.

As one would expect for a project of this measure, the acting talent is significant. Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard anchor a cast that includes such notables as Nate Parker (The Great Debaters), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Gerald McRaney (Deadwood) and David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). Rappers Ne-Yo and Method Man also portray a couple of Red Tails. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Red Tails
Main Cast Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard
Supporting Cast Bryan Cranston, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Tristan Wilds, Cliff Smith, Kevin Phillips, Rick Otto, Lee Tergesen, Andre Royo, Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley, Marcus T. Paulk, Leslie Odom Jr., Michael B. Jordan, Jazmine Sullivan, Edwina Finley, Daniela Ruah, Stacie Davis, Gerald McRaney
Director Anthony Hemingway
Screenwriter John Ridley
Distributor Twentieth Century Fox
Official Site
Rating PG-13
Running Time 120 minutes
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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