Under the Radar

Tuskegee Airmen Get the Lucasfilm Treatment

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So here's the trailer for Red Tails, a new movie detailing the WWII exploits of the Tuskegee Airmen, the African American pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps who had some notable combat success in Italy and Sicily.

Since it's produced by George Lucas, you can get pretty excited knowing that George is going to make sure he's using the latest cutting-edge camera and production technology for the air combat scenes and the trailer promises a lot on that front.

Since it's produced by George Lucas, you might start to worry about things like plot and character development, two pretty important areas of moviemaking that gave him a lot of trouble in those last three Star Wars movies.

Fortunately, George has enlisted some help this time and stayed out of the director's and screenwriter's chairs. Even though this is Anthony Hemingway's first feature film, he's made his bones working on The Wire and Treme, two TV shows that sure as hell know a thing or two about character development. The script was penned by John Ridley, who wrote the original screenplay and gets a story credit  for the awesome Three Kings and spent a few years writing the cop series Third Watch.

The cast features Terence Howard from Hustle & Flow and Law & Order: LA, Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad, Andre Royo (Bubbles from The Wire) and Method Man from the Wu Tang Clan. Since he's surrounded by good actors, we can also hope Cuba Gooding Jr. gives a rare performance that includes some subtlety with a minimum of random shouting.

Lucas has never been as sentimental as Steven Spielberg so it'll be interesting to see how his take on WWII compares to his old Indian Jones partner's Saving Private Ryan. At the very least, let's hope that Red Tails is good (and successful) enough to convince George to collaborate on more movies so he can stick to making everything look amazing and leave the storyline to the professionals.

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