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Review: Red Tails

Sure, a January release is never a good sign, but how can you have low expectations for a film about the feats of WWII’s Tuskegee Airmen? Plus, you’d think a script based on such a stirring true story would have enough of a head start not to fall into too many holes. Maybe I don’t know as much as I think about screenwriting, but I know enough to say that Red Tails has a downright terrible script and it’s that bad apple that poisoned the rest of what could have been a really exciting and moving film.

Red Tails tells the story of the pilots in the Tuskegee training program in World War II, specifically Martin “Easy” Julian (Nate Parker), Joe “Lightning” Little (David Oyelowo), Ray “Ray Gun” Gannon (Tristan Wilds) and Samuel “Joker” George (Elijah Kelley). The foursome makes for an excellent team, but thanks to segregation, they’re stuck shooting ground bound targets like trains and trucks while the white pilots fight off the enemy during bomber escorts.

However, their big day finally comes and thanks to some negotiating on behalf of Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard), Easy, Lightning and the rest of the Tuskegee Airmen get to take to the sky and guard the bombers from German attack. While the guys are thrilled with the success of their mission and the opportunity for more chances to fight, the pressure increases as they come to the realization that they really can die out there.

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Interview: Red Tails’ Elijah Kelley

Elijah Kelley made quite the splash as Seaweed in 2007’s Hairspray, but the triple threat opted to put two of his talents aside for the sake of history.

Kelley stars as Samuel ‘Joker’ George in the upcoming film Red Tails. Inspired by true events, the film focuses on the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American pilots segregated to their own airbase during WWII. Despite Joker and his buddies’ ability in the air, the army refuses to let them act as bomber escorts, assigning them to merely pick off ground targets. However, when Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) steps up on their behalf, the boys get their opportunity to fight and they certainly don’t take it for granted.

Red Tails was quite the undertaking for Kelley on a number of fronts. Having grown up in a town right near Tuskegee, the story really hit home for Kelley and he was absolutely determined to get a role in the film. Even though the actor claims to have bombed his audition, fate intervened and he got the part. However, that was only the beginning. From there it was off to boot camp training and then to the set to bring the Airmen’s story back to life.

Check out what Kelley had to say about the experience in the video interview below and catch Red Tails when it hits theaters on January 20th.

Click here to watch the interview.

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Interview: Red Tails’ Tristan Wilds

90210 keeps Tristan Wilds pretty busy, but there’s no way the actor would pass up a chance to appear on the big screen as one of the iconic Tuskegee Airmen.

Wilds plays Red Tails‘ Ray ‘Ray Gun’ Gannon, one of the first African American aviators in the US Army during World War II. Along with his co-Airmen, specifically Easy (Nate Parker), Lightning (David Oyelowo) and Joker (Elijah Kelley), Ray is stuck shooting ground targets like trains and trucks while the white pilots are honored with the mission of defending US bombers from the Germans. However, when the guys finally get their chance to fly and fight for their country, they go above and beyond the call of duty proving they’re capable of everything the other fighter pilots can do and more.

And that’s exactly what Wilds wanted to do with his role, go above and beyond so to keep the Tuskegee Airmen’s legacy alive. It took an immense amount of research, a rigorous boot camp and then, of course, the actual shoot, but the time has finally come and the Airmen are back in Red Tails. Check out everything Wilds had to say about working on the film as well as his other projects including his brand new EP in the video interview below.

Click here to watch the interview.

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