Why Did "Red Tails" Fail To Soar At The Box Office?

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by Sergio
February 13, 2012 9:24 PM
286 Comments
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So even though it can't be called a box office bust grossing over $36 million so far, it is fair to say that Red Tails is a b.o. disappoinment that will have a hard struggle just making back its reported $58 million production cost. At this stage it's iffy that the film will make $50 million. Compare that to Underworld Awakening which opened the same day as Red Tails and will breeze past $50 million this weekend with more to come.

So what happened? I have a few theories which I'm sure many of you will disagree with...

1) Bad movie/Bad word of mouth - To put it into a few words, the film sucks...big time. As I've said before, what could have been a truly important and inspring film has been trivialized by the heavy hand of George Lucas into an inconsequential, juvenile, badly acted film with laughable dialogue aimed at 12 year olds. Saving Private Ryan it is most certainly not. I personally don't know anyone who has seen the film who likes it. And months before the film came out, I was already hearing bad things about it from friends who had seen it at test previews, and they told me that the audience was laughing at the film. At the screening I attended the same thing occurred. Bad movie = bad word of mouth

Now of course I'm sure that I'll be hearing from people who say they liked it, but what they're really saying is :"Well at least it wasn't a Tyler Perry movie or a lame rom-com with Gabrielle Union so we should be grateful." That isn't enough "Ooohh look, a movie with a black hero!" If you want to see a film with a black hero, go see Slaughter's Big Rip-Off with Jim Brown which is way better than Red Tails.

And let me add that I get pissed off whenever I hear someone say that the film is a "great tribute" to black WWII soldiers. Not hardly. Not even close. My father was a WWII veteran and if he was still around today he would have called Red Tails a load of B.S. Believe me, he could tell you stories about being a black soldier fighting overseas during the war. Red Tails ain't it. Meanwhile I'll stick with Where Eagles Dare.

2) The "Obligation" Factor - I've dealt with this before more than once here so no need to go into detail about it again, except to say that people go see films because they WANT to and not because of any moral sense of duty or obligation. And Red Tails was definitely promoted as the one black film that was your absolute duty to see because if you didn't THERE WOULD NEVER BE ANOTHER BLACK FILM MADE AGAIN IN YOUR LIFETIME OR IN YOUR CHILDREN'S LIFETIME AND YOUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN LIFETIME.

So what happened? People, not surprisingly, stayed away - though many of them will catch it later on DVD and Netflix after the furor and pressure to see it goes down.

Now there were many people aggressively pushing us to go see the film to "send Hollywood a message!" Please. What they were really saying was: "If the movie flops then we'll never see any $150 million Mission Impossible sequels with all black casts (and no, Paula Patton doesn"t count...)." Hey I got news for you. There never were and there'll never be $150 million black films or $100 million black films with or without Paula Patton for that matter either, even if Red Tails was a hit. Wake up.

And something else too that ticked me off was this whole spin that Lucas had become the last great King of Kings and Lord of Lords of black cinema which was promoted in the media and by Lucas himself. I mean the same guy who gave us Jar Jar Binks and those little "African" Ewoks was going to be the savior and future of black cinema? Really? And even worse was the fact that there were black people who believed it. You're kidding me right?

3) No Star Power - A film like this needed a Denzel, Will, Idris, Eddie and a Chris Rock for comedy relief. Can you imagine what would have happened if a few or all of them had been in the film? You would have stopped reading this article right now and gotten in line at the theater to see the film - a line stretching around the block and up the street for a mile. I take that back because actually a film like that with some or all of them in it, would have been held back for a big summer release with all the PR hype bells and whistles, and wouldn't have been stuck in that "ghettoland" MLK Holiday black film release slot.

Of course Lucas didn't go for any of them because it would have been expensive and, actually, even worse for him; he would have had no absolute control over the film since they would have had the power. But they would have made it a better film, no question about that, especially with all the script changes they would have demanded. And besides, Lucas is worth $3.5 billion (which comes from all that Star Wars merchandising and licensing which he owns 100% of) so he could have afforded to hire not only a few but all of them, or he could have made a back-end deal in which they got some money up front and the majority of it later from the grosses of which, with them in it, there would have been plenty.

So instead we have Nate Parker and David Oyelowo, two actors with potential but not household names yet. There's Cuba Gooding Jr., who, let's face it, no one would call A-list. But at least Red Tails is the first film he's done in a while that hasn't gone straight-to-DVD. And that leaves us with Terrence Howard. Yeah I know, I know...

Is there anyone who likes whimpering, cry-baby-voiced Terence Howard? ANYONE? Raise your hands. Go ahead.... There's got to be someone.. anyone?

4) Tough Competition - All those 14 year old boys the movie was aimed at had other films they were more interested in like Underworld or Chronicle (which is, by the way, a genuinely solid, absoultely terrific movie and I'm not even the audience that film was made for). Those films looked a lot more interesting and were something they could relate more to than Red Tails. Meanwhile the adult audience that Red Tails should have been attracting were turned off by the comic book, 8th grade approach of the film. So who's the audience for it?

5) Sisters Not Welcome - That fantasyland, fairytale interracial romance in the film between Oyelowo and an Italian woman raised the ire of a whole lot of sisters. There was even some talk of a possible boycott that didn't really materialize into a real concrete boycott movement, but no doubt, there were many black women who refused to see the film because of it. I know several who did, and every black woman I know who saw the film was NOT happy about it .

And when word got out that a black actress who was in the film, Jazmine Sullivan, was actaully cut out of the movie entirely, made things even worse. And then to add insult to injury was that video interview with Oyelowo and Howard that spread like wildfire throughout the internet in which they explained how dating white women showed black men what was possible, and how they could achive anything. (You know I've never seen anyone in real life slit their own throat before, that is before I saw Oyelowo and Howard do it)

But almost always in war films women are involved in some way. If not in the actual story, then in flashacks where solders remember a sweetheart or a loved one waiting for him to return. But not only was there none of that in Red Tails, no one even mentions a woman; a girlfriend, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a grandmother. What are they, a bunch of monks? Instead we get this sappy love story which starts off when Oyelowo, flying 1000 feet overfead, sees this white woman and instantly falls in love with her, calling over again and again "the most beautful woman" he's ever seen. Is that right?  From 1000 feet in the air?  WOW! That's the awesome power of white women! No wonder sisters are upset. How can you compete with that?

So that's it. I've said enough. What do you say?

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286 Comments

  • DGH | November 5, 2013 12:01 AMReply

    I like to know where the fifty million went. The cinematography was terrible and while he had some good actors the script was badly written and whoever directed had no sense of pace or how to create dramatic tension even the fight scenes were boring.

  • Thalvoren | February 18, 2013 5:36 PMReply

    The movie was great not bad. Such a shame that a story about people trying to do the right things is uninteresting to many people. I love this movie!

  • Jay219 | November 24, 2012 2:15 AMReply

    In addition to it being a bad poorly acted movie, it has already been done and with at least two of the same actors in "Tuskeegee Airmen" .....Same exact story and Cuba Gooding was in that one too. LOL

  • Lee Marshall | November 19, 2012 7:50 AMReply

    Wow - Just read these comments. I am from South Africa . . . . . AND I THOUGHT WE HAVE RACE ISSUES. Don't kill each other people

  • Mars_Ax | August 20, 2012 12:39 PMReply

    My father who was "white", and among his other military exploits, risk his life flying in numerous USAF bombing missions over Nazi Germany during WWII. It's safe to say that he would have had a good laugh over this movie, and also been disgusted by Lucas attempt to glorify and magnify the very small role that black "airman" played in North Africa and/or WWII.
    I believe in giving blacks credit where credit is due, but other than being "black" the "Tuskegee airmen" really didn't do anything more special than what the other U.S. Air Crews did during WWII.

  • MissB | September 8, 2013 12:33 PM

    The fact that made "The Tuskegee Airman" standout was the hard time they had trying to become pilots. They were denied the chance to attend flight school with white pilots. It was stated they did not have the "intelligence" to learn how to fly. If Mrs. Roosevelt had not chosen a "Tuskegee Airman" to fly her around the air base who knows how much longer it would have taken for them to fly missions. I do not know how big a part that played on the decision but I'll bet it did not hurt. Also the "Tuskegee Airman" never lost a plane when they escorted the white bombers. While I am grateful to your father who was "white" for his service to America I am also very proud and grateful to the "Tuskegee Airmen" for their contribution to the war. While you may find it "disgusting" the "Tuskegee Airmen" played a huge role in the war as did thousands of other "Black Soldiers. Then upon returning to America the "German POWs" were treated better than the "Black Soldiers! Growing up watching the old black and white war movies I would always see only one "Black Soldier" and his name was Edward ?. I cannot remember his last name. He was always the one "Black Soldier" and he was always killed. I grew up not knowing how many "Black Men"/Women died for America! But thank goodness I now know the truth Thank God for the great "Tuskegee Airman" and all the "Black Men/ Women" that fought and died for America!!

  • bob | November 21, 2012 2:34 AM

    What special things did they do that the other pilots didn't? You say get your facts right but you never list what these so called special facts are.

  • Trey Jones | November 5, 2012 1:17 PM

    MARS_AX you would have been more believable if you wouldn't have said that your father flew numerous missions in USAF........ during WWII there was no USAF! As for the Tuskegee Airmen not doing anything special get your facts straight. The record speaks for itself. One thing you did say that was semi correct is that they did their duty like other people who fought in WWII but for some odd reason history has "Whitewashed" them out. I would also say that for them to put their lives on the line to fight for a country that treated it's enemies better than it treated these patriots demands some recognition. So maybe your father would have had a real laugh but I doubt it was because these guys didn't do a great job.

  • Julian Steptoe | July 26, 2012 5:56 PMReply

    I saw the movie, "Red Tails", finally, and was impressed with what I learned about something of which I knew little. The most glaring lacks were a deficit of chemistry within the cast (probably by direction), and the casting of Terrence Howard as superior to Cuba Gooding, Jr., and being called "The Old Man", while Cuba actually appeared to be older. The incident of the Black American male dating and becoming engaged to the white Italian female, may have been fictional, but made the point of how so many (brown, grey, mixed) children were born in Europe, during and after the war. Also, it gave them the traditional innocence of young lovers, not merely the lustful passions of "forbidden fruit". Overall, the actors did excellent work, but the lack of chemistry made it seem like they were doing monologues. The flight and battle scenes were the most impressive I've seen in recent cinema, and were the highlight of the movie (perhaps due to the film editor). To consider it a must-see film, I would have to give it ninety points out of a hundred, which I do, the remaining ten points covering such a plethora of details that they progress exponentially toward a hundred, never reaching total perfection, but the pursuit of perfection. In that race, this movie achieves a rating of around 92 points, which falls just short of being classic. It seems to be typical for Black films that reveal our achievements against assumptions of racism, to have awkward openings and controversial reviews, as did the film directed by Denzel Washington, "The Debaters" (to which I assign the rating of 94, which includes it in my classics list). "Red Tails" scores heavier in enlightenment, than it does in entertainment, and though entertainment is exciting and thrilling, enlightenment is informative and beautiful.

  • George James Moffit | July 18, 2012 7:14 PMReply

    This movie is just what I thought it would be,inaccurate and totally unbelieveable.Bad acting on top of that.I can see why it failed.

  • Mars Ax | August 20, 2012 12:58 PM

    Lucas should be given an old vintage WWII airplane, with just enough gas in it to take him up to 10,000 FT in the middle of the North African desert before running out of fuel and stalling.

  • Ed Farnsworth | July 16, 2012 3:01 AMReply

    Very funny writing! Thanks. I liiterally watched ten seconds of this thing before I jerked it out of my blu-ray. Lucas should be stopped from ever making another film, and anyone who liked this film should be returned to grammer school.

  • a_reid93 | July 15, 2012 6:56 PMReply

    Idont know why there is so many complaints. I just watched the movie and i thought it was very good even though its not completly informative it does a good job showing a basic overview of what these brave men accomplished so i believe that it is a goos movie to watch. Also it is fact that the tuskegee airmen had some of the best records in world warII and many people may not want to believe it nor can they find the accurate infomation from the interenet so please check your sources

  • bob | November 21, 2012 2:36 AM

    The tuskegee airmen had no better record than other squadrons and not the best by a long run. Them never losing a plane is a myth started by a newspaper article that ironically came out on a day when they lost several planes they were escorting.

  • Ross | June 24, 2012 1:49 AMReply

    Couldnt even finish the movie because of all the bullshit. Poor acting MASSIVE innacuracies and a total lack of actual competition against the pilots by the luftwaffe. 1 scene depicts a single fighter firing "small" .50 caliber rounds into a ship, coming against its full broadside, sustaining no damage whatsoever and completely destroying the ship. Bullshit. Another bullshit scene is more twords the end in the me262 scene where they go head to head, the black pilot sustains multiple hits from the jets gunss and keeps going to kill the other jet. Now this is complete bullshit in the fact that the jet had 4 30mm guns, those rounds that would have turned him to red mist instantly. Again BULLSHIT.

  • Dee | April 11, 2013 1:49 AM

    Actually that really did happen. The ship was a destroyer and the pilot did disable it without being hit. So get ur facts right

  • Scott | February 21, 2013 9:25 PM

    George Lucas isn't Jewish. Born into a Methodist family, than became a Buddhist/follower of Native American religions after he was successful in Hollywood.

  • Mars Ax | August 20, 2012 1:34 PM

    Lucas should get some kind of Civil rights awards for adding more to fictional black history, I'm thinking perhaps: rich Jewish filmmaker - black brown-noser of the year.

  • Lawson | June 9, 2012 4:28 PMReply

    In all honesty this movie had so much potential,just needed a face-lift begin with the script, a mature look cut the over-computer generated background view and make it natural.Cut out some actors and get better ones,bank on the emotional scenes and sail the movie home and BUM! you have an Oscar buzz movie.So much potential thrown down the drain

  • Ryan | May 30, 2012 8:53 PMReply

    This was probably one of the worst movie reviews I've ever read. I didn't enjoy the movie very much, but this was very poorly written.

  • RaShad | May 19, 2012 7:04 PMReply

    First of all John I'm certain that most of what you are saying in your paragraph is lies. Contrary to popular belief we dont just sit around looking for white people to tortue. Now on the other hand there are many whites that do just sit around and look for blacks to tortue mame and kill. Anyway, Sergio. Tell me this, alot of those pilots were fresh out of high school and not really mature as of yet. Seemed like a pretty good portrayal to me. I personally don't know enough about Lucas to speak on his directing style however at least he put up an effort. That is the one thing about the media, you make your living trashing others efforts. So afraid that no one would even read your 2nd rate column that you resort to trashing any contraversial topic that you can. But hey I can't blame you, you are only giving the people what they want right. Keep your job buddy, I guess I can't blame you. Since you have no real talent you have to resort to reporting in a reality (trash) tv manner (did he really use the word 'sisters'). Hopefully I helped you out with your mere 250 comments since february. So let me get off of my soap box for a sec and let me let you idiots get back to trying to "out racism" each other (yes I know its not a word).
    And we are all wondering why President Obama can't get the country right. Its because everyone is ready to fight, but we lose our focus on enemies that we have created instead of on who the true enemy is..............................(Capitalism at it's finest) What a joke

  • bob | November 21, 2012 2:42 AM

    So let me get this straight. You want him to believe that no black people look for white people to torture while many whites do. Talk about generalization. The fact is black people are the most racist people in the world. They go around blatantly hating white people for being white and say racist comments like honkey and cracker all the time. And we can't say anything about it or we're the racist. Please. The fact is if you look back at history black people owned white slaves thousands of years before whites ever thought about owning black slaves. Blacks were racist first they just don't like to admit it because they would lose their crybaby powers.

  • Rashadtheidiot | May 19, 2012 11:02 PM

    Rashad, you're a racist hypocrite..go FK yourself you worthless, spineless, puzzy. Why don't you check the crime statistics btch- "Contrary to popular belief we dont just sit around looking for white people to tortue. Now on the other hand there are many whites that do just sit around and look for blacks to tortue mame and kill"

  • BLACK_KING | May 18, 2012 4:02 PMReply

    It's OBVIOUS THAT WHITES ARE JEALOUS lol. I mean, who would have known that this day would come. Newsflash you racist Honkies WHITE PEOPLE SMOKE CRACK, USE WELFARE, ARE POOR too. You all prove my point that SOME whites are dumb and delusional. Keep up the hate because it shows who you really are LAME, TIRED, HAS-BEENS lol. Face it WHITE POWER is a thing of the past, you'll will never be that powerful again, so stick to hiding behind a computer using racial slurs because you will never have the courage to call us it to our face. WILL YOU????? No.

  • Huh | December 30, 2012 11:40 AM

    Bob what a crock of crap. Keep up the delusions i'm sure they make you feel better.

  • Jimmy No | December 2, 2012 7:10 PM

    Jimmy, without the influence (interference, colonization, rape, pillaging) of whites, Africa would be much better off. You have to read a book from time to time.

  • Jimmy | December 2, 2012 5:23 PM

    Without white influence blacks would be exactly like the blacks in Africa..starving to death....and without the Jews in hollywood lying to you Mr King you would eat all the words you just said....you believe all the lies told to you about how great your race is....and finally I would and I know many people that would call you a jackass chimp to your face...

  • Andrew | May 23, 2012 2:15 PM

    You are a complete idiot and I would give anything to tell you to your face.. You are a racist and a hipicrit. Fk your mother.

  • John Mullins | March 25, 2012 3:38 PMReply

    My overly-liberal wife demanded that we go and watch the movie, so we went. No plot, HORRIBLE acting, the storyline is all based on a series of horrendous lies perpetrated by the less-than-qualified "Red Fails" crew and families, and the movie theater was filled with loud, arrogant, putrid-smelling ghetto types and their wailing, crying little obnoxious welfare babies.

    I lasted through almost 20 minutes of what I will now call "worst movie ever made", then had to leave- my wife AGREED! When we got to our car, two of our tires had been slashed (probably due to our RON PAUL bumper sticker), and some "ghetto youth" was proceeding to defecate in the parking lot in plain sight in broad daylight. THIS, all in a GOOD part of our humble town.
    I think my wife is now no longer a liberal. (she used the "N" word several times after seeing our tire, while waiting for the tow truck.)

    Nice job, Hollywood.

  • Jimmy | December 2, 2012 5:26 PM

    as far as cowards?? Mr King let me tell you WHITES are who defended this country in ww1 and ww11....General Macarther said that blacks were only useful for loading boxes bc everytime they heard shell fire they ran and hid under the tables.....NOW WHO IS THE COWARD?

  • BLACK_KING | May 18, 2012 4:05 PM

    Have I ever told you how WHINY YOU SOUND lol. Get off our sacks. Blacks DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU'LL. The new white generation are basically filled with some good people, AND SOME COWARDS.

  • plantation master | March 27, 2012 12:37 AM

    hey man at least your wife is no nigger lover

    my gf is a nigger lover and she is a jew so it will be hard turning her into a sane human being

  • Crackbaby | March 24, 2012 5:09 PMReply

    The Germans considered the red tails to be COWARDS read Eric Hartmanns account of his encounters he shot 3 of these losers down in one dogfight. The Germans were afraid of white pilots like John C Meyer and George Preddy but had nothing but contempt for the BROs in the 332nd who lost 3 times as many aircraft as they shot down LOL.

  • BLACK_KING | May 18, 2012 4:03 PM

    Shut up Honky. Your probably jealous because your girl wants some BLACK PEN!S. Keep her away because you know what they say about us lol.

  • IBEEZ | March 24, 2012 5:02 PMReply

    The Yellow oops red tails 332nd fighter group The lowest scoring fighter group in the US-army-airforce only 105 kills NO ACES. The 352nd ALL WHITE fighter group 26 ACES 519 aerial victories. The red tails lost 3 TIMES as many aircraft as the white fighter groups and scored only a fifth as many kills. They LOST 25 bombers so NO they didn't have a perfect record they are just OVERRATED 2ND RATERS.

  • ARTBIZZY | March 22, 2012 9:41 PMReply

    when I feel sad I like to put skittles in my vajayjay or get fucked real hard by an African American. Idk. Maybe I got STD.

  • BLACK_KING | May 18, 2012 4:06 PM

    Don't nobody want your little booty lol.

  • artbizzy | March 22, 2012 10:05 PM

    @Naqwan Now you're using my name to say "Krewel" and unusual things cuz you got maaaaad. lol. I must have really struck a chord with you. It doesn't matter how much you change your name on here your opinion is still pretty much irrelevant.

  • carl | March 22, 2012 9:36 PMReply

    Mentioning Treyvon won't cause a stir either. Try again, lol

  • Crackbaby | March 24, 2012 5:11 PM

    Treyvon BE GAY just like YAS BEEZ CARL

  • Who Dat | March 22, 2012 9:32 PMReply

    Maybe if Red Tails had some superstar such as Jar jar binks more folk would go see it after all the Great Jar Jar Binks stole the show in Star Wars. Jar Jar Rulz

  • artbizzy | March 22, 2012 9:26 PMReply

    @Naqwan Nice name by the way. Oh no, you used the N-word, (gasp and swoon) what a bad, bad boy! And in such an original way. We're Ruined, I say! Ruined. Psst...Your opinion is pretty much irrelevant and I think you kind of sort of know that.

  • BUSTACAP | March 22, 2012 8:55 PMReply

    Red Tails where the lowest scoring fighter group of WW2 did not produce a single ace not ONE. So we are celebrating MEDIOCRITY!!!!!!

  • Nadine | March 22, 2012 7:58 PMReply

    ..because you know the truth about history? You don't even know the lies you all are supposed to have memorized. Look, as I said before... this fake race baiting thing (pitting poor Whites against "minorities") in the U.S., is just a big distraction...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGk5ioEXlIM

  • artbizzy | March 22, 2012 7:56 PMReply

    Oooooweeee the KKK sure do love this post, Sergio, lol. Why the sudden spike in hits though? Is it KKK day? The annual screening of "Birth Of A Nation? Can't stand the truth about American History and the role Black men had in shaping it? "Red Tails" still made millions (millions) of dollars and will continue to make money. Jealous much?

  • Nadine | March 22, 2012 4:14 PMReply

    As I said to Michael below, you all come running to these boards to hype yourselves up so you can continue to try to convince yourselves that your hate is justifiable. You come throwing pebbles, I have to say, hoping to get reactions proving to yourselves that you all, those who claim to hate Blacks, are the REAL victims of racism...it's almost like "cutting" yourselves. Look... go to school, travel, make something of yourselves. Start your own businesses. Take classes online. Just transcend "this thing" you all are doing, because each and everyone of you, of us, is so much better than what you all are throwing up on the boards, and more often than not, the people you attack through the Internet daily with your terrorism, pretty much give you all a pass (please note there is rarely group retaliation) because they know that something bigger is going on in your personal lives; closer to home. Here, I'll reply to my comment for you all... "Shut up nigger Nadine"! Ho hum...

  • Koon Hunter | March 22, 2012 11:25 AMReply

    We are constantly bombarded with niggers and niggershines every time we turn on the TV. Is anyone really surprised that Americans don't want to pay their hard earned cash to see a totally fabricated story of nigger heroics?

  • Chuck Spears | March 22, 2012 3:49 AMReply

    niggers can't even hold a gun properly. I'm supposed to believe this BS movie?

  • Dee | April 11, 2013 1:53 AM

    Hold a gun !! Buddy I'm a COMBAT MARINE 3/1 CPL . Johnson google me and I promise u will feel stupid about saying a black man can't hold a gun ! I will outshoot u any day

  • Owelles | March 22, 2012 1:07 AMReply

    Oh I am soooo offended. I think I'm going to cry.

  • haywood214 | March 21, 2012 10:49 PMReply

    Because humans are sick and tired of getting niggers shoved down their throats! If I wanted to watch apes I would have turned on Animal Planet!

  • Nadine | March 21, 2012 11:31 PM

    Hee hee... Oh Haywood... you do understand that everyone here is laughing at you ;). I rarely even take note of these "yokel postings", but you're so daggone passionate about deez darkies whom you refer to as apes (which of course is interesting given their lack of Neanderthal DNA). This is how you decide to spend your night? Struggling to pay them thars bills eh and it's ALL the darkies fault? No one told you to not sit down and do your schoolwork. You had the Yellow Brick Road, no one told you to jump off of it. You thought you could just skate on by, be mediocre and then be entitled to everything you didn't earn. Ho hum... yes, we get it... apes! Yawn...

  • Gromby | March 21, 2012 10:30 PMReply

    It failed because it was promoted as some epic Black History moment... but everyone knew it was just made up bullshit created by Hollyweird to make money and to create more bullshit Black History that never really happened.

  • NoFanOfLucas | March 21, 2012 5:30 PMReply

    Lucas' intent was to "Hollywoodize" the history. He said that he was not trying to redo the original Tuskegee Airmen......revisionist history=hollywood-ize?....re-writing history to sell movies is fine. Just dont get a hernia trying to convince people who study or know the real history that 'this is the way it was'...'really!'...Hollywood=hype. Watch the Discovery Channel or the History Channel. Better still, read a book.

  • Rufus P Jenkins | March 21, 2012 5:25 PMReply

    The story is complete bs. No one wants to this fantasy fiction crap. I agree with NigNog.

  • Naqwan | March 22, 2012 9:38 PM

    Testify!

  • James | March 12, 2012 11:40 AMReply

    Oh, one more thing. As on commentator alluded to, the movie may not have been intended to be a true historical presentation, but merely an Hollywould action film aimed at young children. In that case....Good Job Lucas! Also, I would caution my black people about putting too much on these movies, as we typically do. Case in point: When Hustle and Flo came out, the black media lost thier freakin' minds...Tavis Smiley and others talked about it constantly as if it were something that needed to be disseminated as a serious conversation point in our community. DUDE! It was just a pimp movie! Grammy! Come on! I'm sorry, if black america want the white community, or even me (middle class, none comformist black man) to support thier work, they need to stop being so trite. Spike Lee recongnized that and changed his approach. Stop be ing a "black artist" or a "black producer" and just be an artist and a producer. Your blackness will take care of itself. Study and know, and expand your audience and it will pay off; because, you appeal won't be limited to a singular audience. Hint...Hint! ---TYLER PERRY!

  • malstarr | July 13, 2012 12:22 AM

    Thats the smartest thing anyone has said on here.

  • JAMES | March 12, 2012 11:15 AMReply

    You are absolutely dead on with your commentary. I thought the movie failed to do justice to the heroes portrayed. It was utterly horrible! When I left the theater, disappointed, I knew right away that I would tell all my friends and co-workers that they would be better off spending thier ten bucks or so on a double -double with cheese meal at Inn & Out. I respect Lucas and the fine work that he's proven to be capable of doing, but ...Really? Come On! What were your thinking George?

    You'd think his black girlfriend would have pulled him to the side to say "look boo!....I know you've always wanted to do such a movie, and I know Hollywood shot you down and all, but YOU AIN'T PUT'N THAT CRAP OUT AND PISSN' MY PEOPLE OFF, HAVIN DEM MAD AT ME? HUH! WHATCHU THANK DIS IS!... UM HMMM! It seems like she was perhaps the only sista that went to see it. Thats because she enjoying those millions... excuse me....BILLIONS.

    George, while I do appreciate the effort thanks, but no thanks

  • Julian Steptoe | March 9, 2012 3:51 AMReply

    You are an absolutely insightful commentator! I thank you for the news about the suicidal interview; how tragic!

  • Nadine | March 5, 2012 1:45 PMReply

    RED TAILS TALK - 2/23/2012: Producer Rick McCallum and actors Elijah Kelley, David Oyelowo, and Andre Royo. Filmmakers@Google series. @GOOGLE TALKS - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-heu1qhxX4o&context=C3b1f744ADOEgsToPDskJfLId6rpuV2m2lvBrLrJ2a

  • NIGNOG | March 4, 2012 8:46 PMReply

    IF I WANTED TO SEE FLYING MONKEYS, I WOULD WATCH THE WIZARD OF OZ.

  • Realist | July 17, 2012 11:10 PM

    Hee! Hee! Hee! Hee! I like that one!

  • CraigK | March 18, 2012 4:56 PM

    Well, that was gratuitously offensive. Do you have a point, or are you merely enjoying the safety of the internet?

  • al | March 4, 2012 8:55 PM

    I don't know who you are but I don't like the comment. If you're black I feel sorry for you because you are ashamed of yourself. If you're not black you're a typical new millenium paper tiger. It's easy to talk "slick" when no one can confront you. Probably as soft as wonder bread in the rain, heart pumping kool-aid.....

  • Tracey G. | February 29, 2012 3:20 PMReply

    Sergio, Thank you for percise opinion on the reasons the movie, Redtails, failed at the box office. You are correct with every point that you make about the movie and unfortunately there are still black people out there that believe we should always say great things about something related to us whether or not it's true. What many people who have attacked your intelligent point of view don't seem to realize is you are speaking the truth, and facts sometimes hurt those who don't have the character to deal with reality. As a black person, I am offended that my standards in quality production of "black films" should be dropped just to say I support us. What this says to me is that we should always settle for mediocre or poor quality just to get our story out. WRONG! We as black people can't ignore the reality of what makes a movie successful just because it's a black story.

    You are absolutely right that quality always makes a statement in a movie, television show, book, or anything else. If a movie is poorly done then word of mouth will spread. If we want black films to be successful then we must follow the same standard that makes any movie successful. I also agree with the point about "A" list actors to star in the film. Had there been a Denzil Washington or Will Smith in the movie that would have automatically drawn in more people, because stars like that get paid more because of their ability to bring in people.

    Another excellent point was the fact that black women were completely excluded from the film. My sister read this online a few days before the release and that's the reason we and my other sisters refused to go see the movie. I also told this to a few of my girlfriends who decided not to watch the movie too. In every war movie there is always the wife or girlfriend at home that is spoken about and is used as the muse to keep the men fighting for victory because they have these loved ones waiting at home. It's astounding that they can ignore the fact that there were many black women with children waiting for the Tuskeegee airmen to return home. One orginal Tuskeegee airmen said that the interracial relationship in the movie wasn't realistic at all because they were separated from all whites and closely watched. You can't disrespect black women this way and then except us to run out and support the movie. I don't know if George Lucas felt that the interracial angle would have more of a cross over appeal and therefore bring in more sales. If so, he drastically underestimated the ability of black women. Waiting to Exhale cost $16 million to make and grossed $70 million at the box office and we all know it was the power of sistahs that made it happen. It wasn't the support of black men or the white audience that created the success, it was black women, so we do have the ability to band together and support our films. I would think Melody (George's black girlfriend) should have told him this much.

    Lastly, let me state I do support the Tuskeegee airmen and have seen the other movie called the Tuskeegee Airmen with Lawrence Fisher several times. I also appreciate the effort and personal money George put into the film especially since he was trying to get this made for 20 years, but am truly disappointed that he went about it in such a poor way. He had the ability to produce a better quality movie and truly honor the airmen who deserve their contribution to American history be told with the quality it deserved.

  • Renaissance | February 26, 2012 10:44 PMReply

    As a former military officer I enjoyed the movie. The dogfight scenes were good. Many miss the point - Lucas' intent was to "Hollywoodize" the history. He said that he was not trying to redo the original Tuskegee Airmen. However for those who believe the movie was not good - find yourself an original "Airmen" before you gravitate to the reviews of the "critics". I ran into one at the barbershop (85 years old and looked 65)and he was very impressed and honored by the film.

  • Troy S. | March 20, 2012 8:52 PM

    I totally agree. The movie was awesome! If you think the movie is bad, open your eyes. I have seen movies way worse than this. By the way, after Lucas finished Star Wars Episode 6, he started on Red Tails, all the studios rejected it, so he did the prequels instead. After the prequels, the same thing again. He went to all the studios, thinking with all the good Star Wars and Indiana Jones did, surely the studios would accept the movie. Wrong again sadly.

  • Renaissance | February 29, 2012 10:42 PM

    Tracey G. Relax!!! How do you take what I said to speak for all Tuskegee Airman. How asinine of a statement would that be!!! You said that original airmen said that it was not realistic. Are YOU now speaking for all Tuskegee airmen?!! I said that the aim was to "Hollywoodize" - that being the case - all of it was not meant to be "realistic". I thought the romantic element of the movie was unnecessary, but I still enjoyed the movie. You are reading other airmen's comments - not knowing where the comments came from - I talked to one of them personally who also said that many of his comrades shared his conviction!

  • Tracey G. | February 29, 2012 4:53 PM

    Renaissance, you have drastically missed the point of the author's critic of the movie, Red Tails. His critic was about lack of quality and you don't have to personally know a Tuskegee airmen to understand that point of view. I have read many comments from the orignal airmen who have said in many ways the movie wasn't realistic, especially the interracial relationship because the airmen were segregated from whites (nationally and internationally) and closely watched and he said there is no way a romance like that could have happen. So, before you speak for all Tuskegee airmen you should listen careful to what each one has to say. If you read again the comments made by the blogger you will see that it has to do with quality NOT disrespect for the airmen themselves. Don't get it confused!

  • sandra | February 24, 2012 11:49 PMReply

    Hey, I never noticed you can replicate another person's username. For the record, I've never seen Red Tails and don't plan to.

  • LIL SPIT FIRE | February 24, 2012 8:07 PMReply

    You will not know and its so easy to criticize when the shoe is on the other foot I am in the United States Military. I have sat down and talked to a WindTalker, and I am a granchild of a Tuskegee Airman, thats history! Who can say they done that and not be lying through their teeth, its not impossible but its not many. The RedTails movie was more than a movie, it was history but when i look in my grandads eyes its real life to him and to disrespect that is heartless. Now everyone has opinions and I can respect that but dont get mad if someone was to ever disrespect something you love cause if you DO, just remember this day. Not everyone is gonna like the movie and i can respect that but the job that these men did in REAL LIFE and laid down their lives to do for every disrespectful MF on this page and their fathers fathers i bet that your DADS GRANDADS and GREAT GRANDADS would turn over in their graves if they heard you say that. but more than likely you wouldnt have to worry because the ones that have bad things to say anyway are cowards and dont have the balls to say it to no ones face no way. when you are judged, just know the Lord will show you all ur selfish deeds as well as ur good.

  • Tracey G. | February 29, 2012 3:43 PM

    Lil Spit Fire, I think you are SADLY confusing a critic of a poorly made film with disrespect to the Tuskegee airmen. As a black woman I respect the enormous contribution the Tuskegee airmen made in WWII, which is why I expect a movie made about this story should be done with the same respect in terms of quality. Don't confuse quality with respect!

  • Sean | February 24, 2012 12:14 AMReply

    Read the review from Agenda Magazine... It tells it like it is. Yes Red Tails is a flop. agendamag.com/blog "A Good Story to Tell That Wasn't Told Well!"

  • Tracy | February 23, 2012 2:45 PMReply

    I wrote a blog about it. Too much to leave here.
    worldaccordingtotracy.blogspot.com

  • Sandra | February 23, 2012 12:39 AMReply

    I very much enjoyed the movie RedTails!!

  • Meme | February 19, 2012 2:20 AMReply

    Needed background and story line about soldiers. check out midair courtship: tuskegee historic love story on cnn.com dated january 2012. what a war love story that would have worked in well with this picture

  • JC | February 19, 2012 2:08 AMReply

    It failed because people are sick and tired of the propaganda films. The anti-white bias in films, media, and academia. These magical black people films are simply making people nauseous. That and they know it is an extreme exaggeration of the facts - to the point of being a fictional story. Nobody is buying it.

  • Wiley | January 5, 2014 5:43 PM

    It looks as if you are getting a lot of flack JC. It shows you are right on target.

  • Julian Steptoe | July 26, 2012 5:08 PM

    JC, Oh, you mean propaganda like "Birth of Nation"?. Being pro-human to those who are not white, is not being "anti-white". And, I'm not buying Harry Potter and John Wayne. For years, I grew up watching nothing but white people stories on projection screens. I think they've had their say. You are not upset with the quality of the film, but with the existence and showing of the film. Overlooking that films, like poems, are merely artistic renderings of an individual's opinion, if American films are to have cultural and ethnic representation, it is time to fill in the gaps with stories untold, rather than retelling the same old white people's stories.

  • CraigK | March 18, 2012 5:10 PM

    While poorly worded and offensively stated, you do have a point. Genuine achievements of Black folk are often overshadowed by revisionist history to the point where our real achievements are dismissed as more revisionism. For example, in 'Pearl Harbor', a cook, played by Cuba Gooding, rushes up on deck, mans an anti-aircraft gun, and shoots down a Japanese fighter. In real life this did happen, except that the cook didn't hit anything. Why not applaud the courage of a man who kept his head under extreme stress and carried the war to the enemy? Why the need to dress it up? 'Political correctness'?

  • Tracey | February 29, 2012 3:48 PM

    JC, the statement you made, "these magical black people films are simply making people nauseous," speaks to your own ignorance of the actual contributions blacks have made in American history.

  • RD | February 21, 2012 2:14 PM

    This is such a stretch it almost seems that you do it for a living, I agree it was a bad movie, hence they failure. The rest of your comment just sounds like a restrained version of a typical racist rant.

  • Lisa | February 21, 2012 12:58 PM

    True, and the movies success shows you are right.

  • Solaam | February 19, 2012 3:30 AM

    Riiiiiiiiggggghhhhtttt.

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