Tag Archives: David Oyelowo

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’ 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.

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Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

This summer, CGI’s been presented mainly as a gimmick – in good ways, like in Thor, in okay ways, like in Cowboys & Aliens and in nauseating ways, like in Transformers Dark of the Moon. While Rise of the Planet of the Apes is packed with digitally created apes, they are in no way comparable to the CGI planets, aliens and robots we’ve seen in the past few month; they’re as real as they can be without actually being chimps in the flesh. But, even more importantly, they’re not just pretty props used to wow the audience. They’re authentic characters with personalities, feelings and traits that will undoubtedly earn your compassion.

Will (James Franco) is a lead scientist at a facility in San Francisco, currently working on a cure for Alzheimer’s. When a test on an ape, whom the teams calls Bright Eyes, proves Will’s latest formula is a success, his boss, Steven Jacobs (David Oyelowo), arranges to present the results to their wealthy investors. Problem is, Bright Eyes is having a bad day and her poor behavior chases away the investors and compels Steven to shut down the entire operation, which includes putting down all of their test subjects. When Will’s left to kill one last ape, Bright Eyes’ newborn, he just can’t bear it and takes Caesar (Andy Serkis) home to raise as his own.

Turns out, some of the formula matriculated from mother to son and not only are damaged portions of Caesar’s brain healed, but he experiences growth making him exceptionally bright. All is well for the first few years, but as Caesar grows smarter, larger and much stronger, calling a suburban neighborhood home is no longer an option and he’s sent away to a Chimpanzee sanctuary with less than ideal accommodations. Will, Steven and the sanctuary employees underestimate Caesar and before long, Caesar gets past his homesickness, embraces his new housemates and brings them up to his intelligence status.

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