A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard.
Cuba Gooding Jr.,
Baron Manfred von Richthofen is the most feared and celebrated pilot of the German air force in World War I. To him and his companions, air combats are events of sporty nature, technical ... See full summary »
Taking place towards the end of WWII, 500 American Soldiers have been entrapped in a camp for 3 years. Beginning to give up hope they will ever be rescued, a group of Rangers goes on a dangerous mission to try and save them.
Keith Bennets mother passed away a year ago, and he feels like he has moved on with his life, until one morning his mothers jewelry shows up on Keiths bathroom sink. The same jewelry she ... See full summary »
Before the United States entered World War I, young Americans went to France to be fighter pilots, joining the Lafayette Escadrille. This fictional version follows a laconic Texas rancher, an eager Nebraska kid, a Black boxer already in France, and a New York swell, as they arrive green for training, get their baptism by fire when German planes ambush them on their first mission, and graduate to heroics. Rawlings, the Texan, falls in love with a young woman he meets at a bordello. Keeping their eyes on them are Captain Thenault and Cassidy, the resident ace, who keeps a pet lion. Can the boys measure up? Written by
The light-weight Nieuport replicas were indeed grounded, but the full-size Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter actually flew for the film. In the best Hollywood tradition, it played several parts with different "makeup" (water based paint) for each. The Sopwith is now at the Virginia Beach Military Aviation Museum and flies regularly. See more »
The hammers the pilots are given to correct machinegun jams look like finishing hammers for small nails. When WW I pilots did take hammers aloft, they were mallets with large, heavy heads to exert the necessary force on a stuck charging handle. See more »
By the start of 1916, World War I had wreaked havoc across Europe. Over nine million people would eventually die.
Although the airplane had only recently been invented, it was quickly adapted into a war machine.
The young men who flew them became the first fighter pilots and a new kind of hero was born.
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Star Wars meets the French Foreign Air Force in WW1
When this movie hits theaters this fall it will be setting a new standard for digital FX photography action scenes. I had a hard time telling the difference between the real stunt flying and the CGI. It almost makes George Lucas's dogfights in space look crude. (OK, maybe with the exception of that fantastic first shot in Episode 3.) But imagine that level of technological knowhow applied to a WW1 dogfight. And like the original "Star Wars" there is a scene here involving the German equivalent of the Death Star threatening Paris that is nothing short of spectacular. A shame, then, that the rest of the story is less than inspiring. Whatever the actual history, I didn't quite believe the subplot of the black American pilot. He seemed a cliché and just one of several stock characters. The love story ultimately goes nowhere, either, though James Franco and Jennifer Decker both turn in moving performances. As innocent and naive as Franco and his friends seem, they never get past the cardboard stage. It would've been more interesting to me if they were a neurotic, drunken, whoring bunch of elitists, most of whom would then never get over the experience. Rather than tell that tale of a decadent, sophisticated flyboy of the Lafayette Escadrille, however, they settle here for the Disney version, appealing to the lowest common denominator and an audience of teenagers, with Franco doing a good job playing Luke Skywalker, or maybe Gary Cooper. Jean Reno seemed largely wasted. I kept hoping he'd have more to do. But lest you think I had a bad time, think again. This is a movie about "aeroplanes," and they are all terrific, be they replicas or virtual. And the overall production design is superb.
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