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Watched this film on Sky movies premier.
I'm glad I did, I really enjoyed it. It had its flaws and no it wasn't perfect, but what movie is. I admit the first ten minutes were the best, the cgi wasn't great, but some of the cgi scenes I thought, were OK. It looked a bit flight simulator/ gamey to me, but i wasn't bothered as it served its purpose. I particularly liked some of the views and angles they used in the aerial shots. It wasn't all bad. Some of the shots had really depth to them, especially on the bombing run to Rome. If the cgi had been of higher quality this film would have been epic! I recently watched Memphis Belle again and i know it was made quite a few years ago, some of the cgi on that isn't perfect. Great film though.
I could see what the producers vision was. They wanted to tell the everyday story of a US B-17 Bomber crew while in North Africa during WW2. In my opinion they achieved this. The story was solid and made sense, unlike some DTV releases that make a complete mess of the narrative and even the simplest of story lines gets confusing. I liked the pacing of the movie and thought it flowed well. At no point was I bored. Sometimes the dialogue was a bit naff and cringeworthy. The actors did a good job overall, but sometimes the odd one or two were forcing it and going over the top, which was quite noticeable in parts. The back story about the hooch helped give the film another thread and I guess tried to add a bit of togetherness amongst the men and give them something to concentrate on between missions. Drinking amongst the men was riff in this story when they weren't flying, as there wasn't an awful lot to do as depicted in the film.
I liked the look of the film. The lighting and the film stock used for the most part gave it a more natural feel and looked good, really benefitting the look of the film and not cheap like other DTV films. A couple of scenes with the actors looked like the lighting was off, but it didn't detract from the film. The Director/ Cameraman used mainly close ups of actors keeping the shots tight in the plane and the outside scenes with only tents and airbase equipment etc in the background. You never see the crew getting into the plane. I imagine this was done to keep the budget down.
I noticed they added little details here and there like bullet hole damage to the glass on the underneath of the plane on the machine gun turret. It looks like they tried to think of everything.
The orchestral music was good for a low budget release but if I had one criticism of the music it would have been the use of generic fiddle music over and over again, plus the sound in the cockpit sounded very echoey and tinny like they were in a studio (which they were) rather than a cockpit. Liked the end credits song.
Overall they did a great job. It looked like a labour of love. The director,producers and cast and crew did an exceptional job. It is a solid movie and a fantastic example of low budget filmmaking. Their imagination and tenacity made this film happen.
At the very end of the credits, there is a disclaimer by the filmmakers stating they made the film to the best standard they could, taking into account limited resources etc. I liked that little touch.
I would recommend this film to war movie buffs even with its flaws, I've watched it twice now and felt it was even better on the 2nd viewing. With any luck it will be a big hit on BD and DVD and make some money back for the filmmakers. Imagine if they made a lot of money, they maybe tempted to spruce up some of the dodgier looking bits of cgi and re- release it. Imagine that!
Just a note to say don't compare it to a big budget war film as that would be unfair. This film doesn't pretend to be anything other than a low budget war film and should be enjoyed as such. Adjust your expectations and you will be pleasantly surprised. It is an enjoyable film and I liked it very much.
It might be making its way into my collection!
Red Tails (2012)
Red Tails Soars!
I love WW2 films and just had to see it. It took its time being released in the UK,why I don't know, but it was definitely worth the wait. From the beginning it had me hooked and didn't let up. Im not sure of the films historical accuracy but it is a well rounded film and as the events of the story and the characters played out, it flowed very well. I for one had wanted to see this film for ages and I'm so glad that I did. It has been criticised, but I fail to see why. It told the very important story of the bravery of the Tuskegee AirMen who just wanted to fight for their country like everybody else, but met with adversity from the very people they were fighting for, rather than the enemy. Anthony Hemingway has done a great job directing the film and is very talented. I wish i had that type of talent. The actors did a great job of bringing the characters to life, presenting a positive portrayal of the Airmen in this action packed WW2 film. Plus it was good to see Cuba Gooding Jnr back on the big screen, something he hasn't done much of, of late. I liked the characters and by the end of the film you really cared for them, which is difficult to do when you only have two hours to get to know them. Most films you see these days just don't do that. I loved the aerial action scenes, they were so good. Everything from the locations, to the equipment etc were superb and it gave the film that great authentic, quality WW2 period feel to it. I think all the criticism aimed at the film has been unfair and unjustified. I feel George Lucas should be congratulated for bringing this to the big screen. It is a big story that deserves to be seen on the big screen, especially the aerial combat scenes. Seeing it first on the big screen does it justice as watching it on the small screen for the first time wouldn't be the same. It would loose the excitement. For me it had a similar feel to Memphis Belle as far as the tone went, but not as Hollywoodised! Yes some of the dialogue was a bit cheesy and also pointed out the obvious at times, but what film is perfect. I can forgive it that, because it was(it is)an enjoyable portrayal of The Tuskegee Airmen and an entertaining way to spend two hours. I would have preferred it to have had a more grittier feel to it, a la Saving Private Ryan, but that in no way makes it a bad film as some reviewers would want you to believe. I loved the style and look of the film and it should look awesome on BD. For me its definitely one for the collection. The sign of a good film is its rewatchability and this has that in droves. Don't listen to the doom mongers out there, be open minded and go and see it, you maybe pleasantly surprised.
The Wicker Man (1973)
Boring, weakly scripted, predictable and overrated.
I had heard a lot about this film and the premise sounded really good. I then saw that it was being shown on TV, so in the interests of film I recorded it and watched it back the next day. Having read that it was a Horror film, I went in with a little hesitation as I am not a huge horror fan, although I must admit the first Halloween is film gold.
I always try to keep an open mind when it comes to watching films and try not to be influenced by other reviews etc, so went into this with that in mind. As I started to watch the film unfold it was obvious from the start where this was going. Basically a Police Sgt is sent to a remote island in Scotland from the main land to investigate the supposed disappearance of a young girl. As soon as the main character arrives you realise he is out of his depth from the beginning. The character Sgt Howie, played by the excellent Edward Woodward believes he is the one in charge and his word is final because he has the law and God on his side, being a devote Christian. He believes he has the moral high ground over the people on the island because as his investigation, which was very poorly executed takes place he discovers a secret society of Pagan worshippers with liberal sex views, who are completely mad. Because he is blinded by faith and incompetence it ends badly.
I was not impressed. For a Sgt who is a supervisor, in charge of other officers he never does his pre-investigation ground work or takes any precautions.(This is not seen in the film at any point.) He then travels to a remote island alone,which doesn't having any police presence, with only his uniform, pocket note book, truncheon, handcuffs ( I presume he had his truncheon and handcuffs with him as you are required to have them when on duty- but didn't see them) and mouth, from the mainland and you the viewer are supposed to be surprised when the villagers turn against him. I wasn't. I found the story to be very very weird and slow, boring and poorly executed. It is very undeserving of its cult status. It is not a horror film as some would make you believe and not frightening in the least. The whole premise was spoilt by the weak script. The character of the Sgt was written by someone who clearly doesn't know anything about the police service which served to ruin the story further.
My summary says it all.