My husband and I just saw Lucasfilm's RED TAILS at our local upscale theater in Los Angeles. The Arclight Theaters originally had it located in one of their smallest theaters in the complex. Join me below the squiggle to see how that changed:
We arrived really early and got some popcorn to eat for lunch, since the showtime was 11:30am and we'd be getting out too late for a meal. We sauntered over to the little theater where it was supposed to be playing and found that it had been cancelled! We were shocked and upset, until my husband spoke to an attendant and was informed it had to be moved to the BIGGEST THEATER in the complex! We were so HAPPY to hear this and we headed over, but we had to change our reserved seats to sit closer, since we'd reserved them in the very back of the tiny theater to preserve our eyesight.
The theater filled with people of all colors and ages (this is L.A. and it's very mixed in the Valley, so it looks like America actually looks - not like a Newtie rally.) The movies started with a racist quote from an admiral in the '40s which I found shocking and then the movie exploded with action. It was immediately evident that there was going to be a LOT of action! And the action was typical George Lucas GREAT. Fighter pilots all over the place! Bombers getting shot down, people getting killed. Very exciting and very entertaining.
As this movie progressed, despite critics saying it's cartoonish instead of serious, I couldn't have disagreed more. The characters are complex and the situations are controversial, even today. The Red Tail pilots are faced with racism at every turn. They have to overcome one obstacle of racist origin after another. In fact, the stuff they have to deal with from white Americans is often their biggest obstacle in this movie. Once they overcome that, their heroism knows no bounds.
I noticed a little black boy (about 10) sitting on the edge of his seat, with his father nodding with approval at his side. I predict that little boy will be telling all his friends and the word of mouth on this movie will overcome all the studios' ignoring, dismissing and disrespecting the black filmmakers, actors and crew and George Lucas by seeing this movie again and again.
I highly recommend this movie for anyone over 7 years old - some of the scenes may be too much for the younger crowd. I'm a big prude about exposing children to blood and violence and swear words, so that's just my take on the age limit. Not that this movie is wall to wall all of the above - it's a lot more complex and moving than that, especially knowing that it's based on actual events.
Not only will this entertain you, it will uplift you and excite you and make you proud of the AA troops that took to the skies in Europe to fight Hitler's Nazi take-over of the world. For the AA community, they deserve to see their heroes rise above everyone else, for a change. It's a breath of fresh air and gives white folks, like me, a chance to view someone of a different race as just as human and oftentimes superior, which is a nice change from the Step 'N Fetchit era I grew up in.
The Tuskegee Airmen were a superior group of fighter pilots and this movie is their much deserved hommage.
I hope you see it soon, since great box office receipts are proof that there's an audience for an all-black film, despite the studios' racist view of that issue.
I'm gonna see it again and again and again! I LOVED IT!!!! You will, too!!