“Red Tails” is one of the best, mediocre movies you’ll ever see.   It is based on the struggles of the Tuskegee Airmen (black, fighter pilots during World War II) against racism, prejudice, and German fighter pilots.  The title is derived from the unit flying P-51 Mustangs that had their tail sections painted red to distinguish themselves from the other units.

A story so promising has been ruined by writing that comes off as a first draft, directing that is usually seen in movies from the Lifetime Network, the use of nearly every war movie cliche, and editing that seems to lack purpose.  I only watched it because my friend, Ed, told me the air combat scenes were good.  Well…yeah, but then you hear the pilot chatter and even those scenes are ruined, too.  Most of the dialogue is bad.  The pilots are whoopin’ and hollering and joking so much during the dogfighting that it destroys the suspense and drama in those aerial sequences.  This first viewing of “Red Tails” is most likely my last one, also.

Now that I’ve finished trash talking this movie, I’ll talk about some of its good points.  Terrence Howard is the sole, shining star of “Red Tails.”  He is given the best dialogue, and he delivers it with such intensity that it makes all the other actors — Gooding included — look like a bunch of stand-ins.  My second compliment of this movie leads me to my most memorable, movie moment.  There is a wide shot of two Tuskegee Airmen being followed by a German plane; the T.A. planes split, with one doing a wide loop to get behind the German plane in order to destroy it.  It is a beautiful shot that shows us some of the tactics pilots use in dogfighting.

If this was an MOW (Movie Of The Week) it would be a hit, because we have lower standards for them.  But “Red Tails” came out in the theaters, and we expect more for things we pay for.   Even though I watched this for free — thanks, Queens library! — I still feel cheated.  I should send the director, screenwriters, and producers a bill for the time I spent watching their movie.




To: Director Anthony Hemingway, Screenwriters John Ridley and Aaron McGruder

You owe me, Manny, a total of $20.83 (125 minutes of “Red Tails” x $10/hour) for the wasted time I spent watching your mediocre movie.
Please remit the stated amount within 60 days, or I shall use the services of bill collectors.
Manny, of mannysmemorablemoviemoments.wordpress.com