A squadron of black pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen took on more than German flak during World War II. In a time when discrimination was common-place, these brave men had to overcome their obstacles from both enemies and allies. With crippled planes, pointless assignments, and constant negativity from the powers that be - the squadron finally receives a chance to prove themselves. Will the Tuskegee Airmen break through their physical and social barriers? You'll have to tune in to find out!
Red Tails has all the right ingredients to be a great inspirational and entertaining film. With Executive Producer George Lucas, Academy Award Winner Cuba Gooding Jr., and Academy Award Nominee Terrence Howard; it's hard to image this film not succeeding. Sadly, this was not the case. Red Tails does contain a powerful story of discrimination, underdog scenarios and epic aerial action sequences. What it lacks is a wealth of dialog and believability in-between the impressive aerial scenes. The primary actors tend to poke fun most of the time, and make light of moments that deserve more attention. This hurt the film as a whole. That said, this Blu-ray isn't all bad.
What this release does have is awesome image quality and engrossing audio. This should come as no surprise based on the involvement of Executive Producer George Lucas. Red Tails looks and sounds incredible on this transfer. The special effects are breathtaking and display incredible choreography. These sequences certainly help offset the writing of the film, or lack thereof.
Now let's take a look at what all this Blu-ray has to offer.
This Blu-ray contains no theatrical trailers or previews in the beginning. Instead, it goes straight to the menu. This is always a plus in my book. The menu design is elegant and simple; consisting of several shots from the film. The options are located along the bottom of the looping video tracks, and include: Play, Set Up, Search, and Extras. The 'Set Up' option allows viewers to choose between various Audio and Subtitle tracks. The Audio tracks included with this release are: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Dolby Surround, English 5.1 Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, and 5.1 Dolby Digital. The Subtitle tracks included are English and Spanish. The 'Search' option allows viewers to choose from a timeline of chapters, or bookmarks created while watching the film. Scenes are listed one at a time and are labeled by their chapter number and scene snapshot.
Now let's take a look at the Extras included on this release.
- Double Victory: The Tuskegee Airmen at War (1:05:07 1080p) - This extra is actually a documentary narrated by Cuba Gooding Jr. He covers the stories of the actual Tuskegee Airmen, and the social issues they had to overcome at that time. In a time when discrimination was common-place, these brave men had to overcome their obstacles from both enemies and allies.
- George Lucas: Executive Producer (3:26 1080p) - This clip consists of an interview with Executive Producer George Lucas. He discusses his inspiration for the film, and the dedication he had to the production.
- Anthony Hemingway: Director (5:30 1080p) - In this clip, viewers get to see the Director Anthony Hemingway talk about his connection to the film. He was very passionate about the story of the Tuskegee airmen, and took great lengths to create an authentic production.
- Terrance Blanchard: Composer (6:15 1080p) - This extra takes a closer look at the inspirational music behind the soundtrack in Red Tails. This is a pretty neat clip that displays the creative process behind the tracks.
- The Cast of Red Tails (25:11 1080p) - This clip covers the primary actors in the film, and the roles they played. The Producer's goal was to find talented lesser-known actors to play the pilots. This clip also includes a wealth of behind-the-scenes footage.
- Movie Magic (5:12 1080p) - This is a really neat clip that displays the amount of work and attention to detail behind the CGI in the film. Viewers will be amazed when they see what objects were real compared to those that were CGI.
Now let's take a look at the technical side of this transfer.
As mentioned earlier, this transfer looks awesome! The 1080p HD has an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, so viewers will have horizontal bars across the top and bottom of their HDTVs. The image is crisp, clear, and contains practically no digital artifacts throughout the entirety of the film. Some may argue that it is too clean for a World War II film, but the attention to detail can easily outweigh what is masked by other films with an aged or sepia-toned theme. That said, the colors in Red Tails are quite vivid! The image is so sharp viewers can count the rivets on the side of the aircraft during cockpit shots! This is one great looking transfer.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio screams during the aerial scenes in this transfer. Crank up the volume and prepare yourself for a truly engrossing experience. The roaring engines, bursts of machine guns, and the various explosions fill your speakers with pure awesomeness in this transfer. The sound effects range from the minuscule rotation of metallic wheels, to bass-boosted throttling of warplane engines and gun fire. Neither of which drown out the other. It's very impressive.
Overall, Red Tails can be classified as a popcorn flick. It's one of those movies that will impress all who view and hear its glorious and stellar quality. It's an inspiring film about the courageous Tuskegee Airmen, but lacks in story and dialog throughout the film. This makes it difficult to connect to the primary characters, and falls short of the blockbuster it could have been. Nevertheless, the aerial scenes are second to none and the audio quality will blow viewers away. If you are looking for war movie with excellent sound and visuals, Red Tails is the flick you'll want to grab on Blu-ray.