We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
If you want to see a kickass World War II movie, then Red Tails is your ticket. Saturday morning, after dropping Jason off at Little League Umpiring School, candy bar in hand I slipped into a seat at the local Bijou and was transported back to the exciting WWII movies I enjoyed as a kid, and which haven’t been made since.
It’s the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, enduring racism on the ground and fighting Germans in the air. After I got home I scanned the reviews at Rotten Tomatoes. The negative reviews were mostly by relative youngsters who found it over the top or the characters too wooden, or some who not bothering about other films’ literal transgressions searched for them in this one. The more favorable reviews, however, got it. The film is unabashedly about heroism and patriotism. And, the dogfights have you at the edge of your seat, hands sweaty. Well worth the price of admission into when Hollywood made these movies regularly. This isn't about so many of today's so-called youth "heroes" who revel in lewdity and are rewarded with lewd sums of money that they flaunt. This is about real men who risked and gave all for what they believed, with little recompence except self-respect, and did it with dignity and discipline.
During the movie I wished I’d brought 11-year old Jason with me. It seems the movie was actually made for him.
George Lucas, unable to get film companies’ funding, made the movie out of his own pocket, $58-million invested in uplifting youth. As Lucas tells it, "For those of us in my group of filmmakers, like Steven (Spielberg) or Ron (Howard) or Marty (Scorsese), we want to make movies that enthralled us when we were little….It's corny. It's über-patriotic. And it's a really exciting action-adventure movie." But, more than that, “"I have only one agenda, and that's for a lot of young people to see this movie…" The report continues: “The good-vs.-evil, duels-in-the-skies aspect is what makes the movie especially timely, Lucas says. For many young people today, heroes — be they athletes, entertainers or presidents — aren't defined by skin color.”
Go see Red Tails, and take your son, daughter, grandchildren.
I'm no youngster, I'm 68 and I was looking forward to seeing the movie. Then in some of the hype to build up the movie I heard a couple of the actors claim that the reason the redtails were selected to protect the bombers was because the white pilots would turn and run at the first sing of German fighter planes. One advantage to being 68 seems to be I knew many of those who fought in WW II. I knew them personally and grew up around them and talked to them and cowardice in WW II was rare. Even the common soldiers and airmen performed heroic acts. To try to build up one favored group by tearing down another really grates me the wrong way. Until a few years ago the Walmart greeter at my local Walmart had been in the band of brothers (he has since passed away). I would hope the people disparaging those WW II veterans don't believe what they have said but either way it was offensive to me and took away any desire I had to see the movie. Instead I will spend those two hours I might have spent at the movie to reflect on my dear uncle who sufferred at the hands of the Japanese in the PI and another beloved uncle who fought in the coast guard and then in the Navy and saw war in the North Atlantic protecting troop ships and civilian cargo ships from German subs. And my cousin who served on Tinian where the Enola Gay took off to bomb Japan. And my father who worked as a pipefitter at the navy yard and endured an environment full of asbestos. And other uncles and men I worked with who had similar stories of bravery and performance under terrible conditions.
There was no disparagement of the white fighter pilots. It was that the Luftwaffe would send a "decoy" squadron to draw the US fighters away from the bombers, our fighter pilots being trained -- white and black -- to fight enemy fighters. The Tuskegee Airmen were ordered to, instead, stay with the bombers, and did. The calculus was that saving a bomber and its crew of about 10 and its mission was considered more important than taking out one fighter. The bombardiers were grateful.
If the previous fighter pilots had been trained/ordered to fight enemy fighters why couldn't they be trained/ordered to stay with the bombers. The explanation makes no sense. One of the great traits of American fighting forces was that they were adaptable. This seems like a plot device.
It may seem that way. But, their commanding officer was known as a strict disciplinarian and the pilots followed orders to stick with the bombers. Other units in the 15th Air Force escorting bombers lost an average of 46 per mission, while the 332nd Fighter Group (Tuskegee Airmen) lost an average of 27.
Now, let's just get back to basics. It is just a good kickass film.
It was clearly an intentional slight used to elavate one group at the expense of another. What bothers me most about it that now-a-days it's so common that I'll bet whoever came up with it actually thought it was a good idea. It wasn't a good idea.
The movie is another Hollywood leftist rewrite of history: the white pilots were cowards and incompetent, the black pilots were without fear and NEVER lost a plane they protected. Total horse puckey! Once again, the racist left keeps the great divide divided. I, along with a long line of veterans, won't be seeing or recommending this libel of brave white men who gave all in WWII. Based on my support, Hollywood would be on food stamps, or have real jobs.
I'm reading Booker T. Washington's autobiography Up From Slavery right now, so this caught my eye. Building from his commitment to character, faith, education and hard work, it's not surprising that graduates of his Tuskegee Institute would prove themselves heroes in any nearly any circumstances. The book is an inspiring (and very humbling) read.
Much training took place at Tuskegee. But the members of the Tuskegee Airmen, as they came to be called, were college grads from around the country. Indeed, one of the reasons for the success of this unit was that screening was more rigorous than for other units (white units).
This is not a film about race but about overcoming race and stereotypes to serve our country.
I'm a male WASP born and grew up in the segregated south, lived close to and among blacks. I'm prejudiced toward low people not races, religions, etc.
Did you ever see a Hollywood movie that was totally factual?
The history of the "Red Tails" is expanded for effect. Read Army air force records for facts.
I take NOTHING from the T Airmen. I fought in the RVN DMZ with the 2bn,1stMarines,1MarDiv and just being in among the bullets negates race.