Entries in Red Tails (3)


'Underworld' Film Takes Weekend Box Office Top Spot

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The fourth installment of the Sony Pictures series "Underworld" took home the top spot in the weekend box office, according to published reports.

The vampire thriller starring Kate Beckinsale raked in $25.4 million, according to a studio estimate. "Underworld" was followed in second by George Lucas's "Red Tails."

Both "Underworld" and "Red Tails" have received strongly negative reviews from critics.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'Underworld Awakening,' 'Red Tails,' 'Haywire' Open Friday

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here's a look at the new movies opening nationwide Friday:

-- Underworld Awakening: Kate Beckinsale, who starred in the first two films in the Underworld series, returns for the fourth installment. She plays the vampire Selene, who escapes her human captors and gets involved in the now-public war between vampires and werewolves.  The film is screening in 3D.  Rated R.

-- Red Tails: The drama, set during World War II, tells the story of the first all African-American aerial combat unit, the Tuskegee Airmen.  Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Bryan Cranston star in the George Lucas-produced film.  Rated PG-13.  [Click here to read a review]

-- Haywire: Real-life mixed martial artist Gina Carano plays an operative for a government security contractor who's in a cat-and-mouse game with someone in her agency who double-crossed her.  Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas and Antonio Banderas also star in the Steven Soderbergh-directed thriller.  Rated R.

And expanding into wide release:

-- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: An 11-year-old discovers a key left behind by his father, who died in the 9/11 attacks, and is on a mission to find the lock to which it belongs.  Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock star.  Rated PG-13.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Movie Review: 'Red Tails'

20th Century Fox/LucasFilm Ltd.(NEW YORK) -- The tale of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American aviators in the American military, is one of the great American stories, but it's a story born out of our shameful history of racism.

The George Lucas-produced Red Tails sets out to capture a moment of metamorphosis: when African-American men were granted the right to fight through flight during World War II and protect a country that had taken so much from them but given them so little.

Sadly, Red Tails fails to educate or effectively convey the era, emotions and intellectual struggle these men dealt with in their battle for dignity and acceptance.  Instead, the film focuses on giving us Star Wars-like dog fights in vintage fighter planes, and trades meaningful characters for superficial archetypes that do little to honor the actual men on which these characters were based.

The story revolves around two pilots: Nate Parker's "Easy" and David Oyelowo's "Lightning."  Lightning is the unit's best, often freelancing on missions, and also disobeying orders from Easy, his best friend and squad leader.  Easy has a drinking problem and struggles to live up to his father's expectations, while Lightning has fallen in love with a beautiful Italian woman who lives near their air base.

Here's the problem.  Both of these storylines, meant to humanize these men, are written with the intensity of a dramatic monologue from the TV sitcom Saved by the Bell.  Parker and Oyelowo, two excellent actors, do the best with the material they're given but not even Sydney Poitier with Yoda at his side could raise Red Tails out of its swamp of mediocrity.

Not that Red Tails completely crashes and burns.  The dog fights are thrilling and the aerial cinematography, even when computer generated, is breathtaking.  But the obvious sanitizing of the story of the brave, inspirational men and landmark events on which Red Tails is based feels like a disservice to both them and their accomplishments.

Two out of five stars.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio