Red Tails Film Opens Friday

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Red Tails, the George Lucas film about the famous Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, opens on Friday, and aviators around the country are eager to see it -- if they haven't already. Several advance screenings have been held, including one in the family theater at the White House last Friday, where President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a group of Tuskegee Airmen. Other Tuskegee groups around the country also have already screened the film. "I think the movie should get maybe four or five Oscars, at least," Arthur Green, president of a Detroit Tuskegee Airmen group, told the Detroit Free Press. The critics, of course, also got an advance look, and not all of them were won over. "Despite stunning aerial scenes and good intentions," writes Tish Wells for McClatchy Newspapers, "Red Tails is grounded by clumsy dialogue, a meandering plot and the occasional jarring anachronism."

In The Daily Beast this week, writer Marc Wortman says the film "may make for a rousing Star Wars-meets-Flying Leathernecks action motive…. [but] even without dogfight scenes, the wider story of how African Americans shot down race barriers is every bit as dramatic and exciting." Wortman recommends the Smithsonian Institution's traveling exhibit, Black Wings, currently in Tacoma, Wash., for a more in-depth view of the history of black pilots in the U.S.

Click here for the official film site with trailers, click here for a behind-the-scenes look from Lucasfilm, click here to learn about the trouble Lucas had getting the film financed, and click here for an AVweb podcast with Marcus Paulk, one of the actors in the film.