RED TAILS (2012)

Directed By: Anthony Hemingway
Written By: John Ridley & Aaron McGruder
Story By: John Ridley
Cinematography By: John B. Aronson
Editor: Ben Burtt & Michael O’Halloran

Cast: Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Michael B. Jordan, Marcus T. Paulk, Elijah Kelly, Bryan Cranston, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr. Gerald McRaney, Tristan Wilds, Lee Tergesen, Andre Royo, Method Man, Ne-Yo, Daniela Rush

A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard.

I really wanted to enjoy the film. I have to admit it was a subject i really wanted to get emotional watching and feel proud as a part of black history was brought to the screen.

I have to say that i think the movie would have been better made had George Lucas not been the one behind the making of it. But in Lucas’s Defense he was the only person fighting to get this film made for 20 years though no studio would back the film as he originally envisioned it as a trilogy with Part 1 focusing on The Tuskeegee pilot program Part 2 focusing on the combat in the field and Part 3 focusing on the soldiers and how they are treated once they come back home from the war.

Ambitious and interesting. though i have to wonder and worry about that when there is barely enough as a full story in this film. Lucas eventually decided to make one film and just invest his own money in the film and just then sell it to a studio to release it.. Which is what he did with the STAR WARS prequels. I admire the fact that he felt the story should be told, i just feel that just like with the STAR WARS prequels either a studio or non yes man could have been around to maybe curb the flaws that the film has in abundance. Though George Lucas didn’t direct or write it his fingerprints are all over the film. He did end up directing the re-shoots. 58 Million for the production and a furthur 35 million towards advertising

The film is a surprising hit and it shows the film has come a long way when even the studio that releases it is shocked that the film became such a hit.

To tell you the truth the TV-Movie THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN Starring: Laurence Fishburne and coincidently Cuba Gooding Jr. was a better film. This film feels like a Historical Drama that would bore future students who will be forced to watch it in history class. Between this and MIRACLE AT ST ANNA’S which even though it was noticeably better film. Due to a better filmmaker being behind the scenes. It just seems that it h\is hard to make a satisfying World War II film from the black experience. Terrence Howard has also played a Tuskeegee airman in the film HART’S WAR.

Everything just feels poor quality or wrong. It’s not a total debacle it just seem that everytime the film does something right and makes you feel proud and happy. it quickly does something to screw it up and suck it back up. I will admit considering George Lucas owns a Special Effects Company. The effects could have been better but yet are just good enough. Cost Cutting? Though i will admit the film did manage to make me tear up towards the end, In a good emotional way.

Other then the two lead pilots. Who George Lucas has said are Based on Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. IT seemed like the other pilot characters were almost interchangeable other then personality all of their dialogue could have been spoken by each other. That was how non distinct they made themselves. it even seemed like one character who was given a strong character arc in the beginning disappeared in the film. Together with a horrible score, bad credits spotty acting and sloppy editing. IT all adds up eventually. though if you go along with the film eventually you just get used to it. Things like a interracial romance and picky racism just seemed like afterthoughts.

Here it feels like the two main characters are more melodramatic. One in in a disease film as he is suffering from alcoholism and the pressures of war and being a leader. The other one more the charismatic pilot is more in a romance that seems impossible to have at the time and to be accepted. That does throw back to George Lucas’ strengths like Indian Jones where it seems more a story or film of the time period 1930’s and 40’s more types then characters

I will say this is more of an audience movie. If you don’t really necessarily look at things like acting, Writing, Cinematography and are out just to enjoy yourselves at the movies with as little thought as possible. The film will be enjoyable and entertaining. Like i said i really wanted to like it. I think it should be seen i just couldn’t enjoy it as a whole and more or less and giving it a barely passable rating. The situation with this film is like having a friend who is a singer-Songwriter who sings you a song that they just wrote never has been performed before and it is absolutely perfect then the next night they play it for an audience and you notice the differences and not for the better as they keep missing notes and tomes but pull through the performance. the audience loves it as this is the first time they are presented with it, but you know it’s not as good as it could be.

Terrence Howard was actually quite good and his scenes were some of the best written as he was also the best written character. Singer Ne-yo is in the film and he plays the comic relief and as there are two screenwriters Aaron McGruder half of the screenwriting duo seemed more brought in to lighten up the film with humor and Ne-yo’s character seems like entirely his creation.

I guess i just feel a little sad that when it comes to films it seems that when it comes to films focused on African Americans we have to settle for good enough instead of perfection or really good. I believe in supporting Black Cinema. I just hope we get better material, bigger budgets and more of a chance to tell stories in general.


CHOKE (2008)


Directed By: Clark Gregg
Written By: Clark Gregg
Based On The Original Novel By: Chuck Palahniuk
Cinematography By: Tim Orr
Editor: Joe Klotz

Cast: Sam Rockwell, Bijou Phillips, Anjelica Huston, Kelly McDonald, Paz De La Huerta, Clark Gregg, Joel Grey, Heather Burns, Brad William Henke, Gillian Jacobs, Matt Malloy

Sex addict and colonial theme park worker, Victor Mancini, has devised a complicated scam to pay for his mom’s hospital bills while she suffers from an Alzheimer’s disease that hides the truth about his childhood. He pretends to choke on food in a restaurant and the person who “saves” him will feel responsible for Victor for the rest of their lives.

Continue reading “CHOKE (2008)”



Directed By: Ernest R. Dickerson
Written By: James Gibson
Based On The Novel By Donald Goines
Cinematography By: Matthew Labitque
Editor: Stephen Lovejoy 

Cast: DMX, David Arquette, Michael Ealy, Reagan Gomez-Preston, Drew Sidora, Antwon Tanner, Luenell, Clifton Powell, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Jennifer Sky, Aisha Tyler

A film noir centering around a hard-boiled, stylish kingpin drug dealer, called King David, who returns to his hometown seeking redemption but ends up only finding violent death. King David’s final moments are spent with Paul, an aspiring journalist who knew him for just a few minutes; yet King David would forever more have an impact on Paul’s life. Half preacher, half Satan, and all street smarts, King David had recorded the story of his exploits on audiotape, leaving behind an often-poetic sermon on villainy and its consequences. The tapes reveal that the cycle of violence and retribution, which his actions have spawned, has come back to him, full circle, as he suspected they might all along. Continue reading “NEVER DIE ALONE (2004)”




Directed By: Adrian Grunberg
Written By: Matthew Cirulnick & Sylvester Stallone
Story By: Dan Gordon & Sylvester Stallone
Based on Original Characters created by: David Morrell
Cinematography: Brendan Galvin
Editor: Carsten Kurpanek & Todd E. Miller 

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Adriana Barraza, Yvette Monreal, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Oscar Jaenada 

Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission.

Continue reading “RAMBO: LAST BLOOD (2019)”


Directed By: David Leitch
Written By: Chris Morgan & Drew Pearce
Story By: Chris Morgan
Based on original characters created by: Gary Scott Thompson
Cinematography: Jonathan Sela
Editor: Christopher Rouse 

Cast: Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Vanessa Kirby, Idris Elba, Helen Mirren, Eiza Gonzalez, Eddie Marsan, Cliff Curtis, Eliana Su’a, Rob Delaney 

Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity. This film is a spinoff for the most popular characters from the series who started off as villains and then became fan favorite heroes.

Continue reading “FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW (2019)”




Directed By: David S. Ward
Written By: R. J. Stewart
Based on Characters originally created by: David S. Ward
Story By: R.J. Stewart, Tom S. Parker & Tom Jenniwein
Cinematography: Victor Hammer
Editor: Donn Cambern, Kimberly Ray, Paul Seydor & Frederick Wardell 

Cast: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Omar Epps, Corbin Bernsen, Dennis Haysbert, James Gammon, David Keith, Randy Quaid, Bob Eucker, Michelle Burke, Eric Bruskotter, Allison Doddy, Takaaki Ishibashi, Margaret Whitton, Jesse Ventura, Steve Yeager, Kevin Crowley, Jason Kravits, Richard Schiff, Jay Leno 

Those Cleveland Indians are at it again! After losing in the ALCS the year before, the Indians are determined to make it into the World Series this time! First, though, they have to contend with Rachel Phelps again when she buys back the team. Also, has Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn lost his edge? Are Jake’s knees strong enough to make it as a catcher another year? These and other questions are answered.

Continue reading “MAJOR LEAGUE 2 (1994)”


Directed By: Allan Arkush 

Written By: Harold Ramis & Peter Torkovei 

Based On Characters Originally Created By: Brian Doyle Murray, Harold Ramis & Douglas Kenny 

Cinematography: Harry Stradling 

Editor: Bernard Gribble 

Cast: Jackie Mason, Dyan Cannon, Chevy Chase, Robert Stack, Dan Aykroyd, Randy Quaid, Jonathan Silverman, Jessica Lundy, Paul Bartel, Marsha Warfield, Dina Merrill, Brian McNamera, Chynna Phillips, Pepe Serna Jack Hartounian

A self made man is trying to get into Bushwood County Club because his daughter’s being asked by her snooty friends. Jack applies but a few things ruins his application, one that he’s extremely boorish and because he is building low cost housing in an affluent neighborhood. Jack then turns to Ty Webb who owns the majority share of the club, Jack buys Ty’s shares and then takes over the club and makes some changes which the members don’t like. That’s when the club members attack Jack by stopping his housing project. Eventually they decide to settle it on the golf course but the club president decides to take contingencies.

It’s Already hard to follow up as a sequel to a comedy classic.

The film tries to throw everything against the wall to work and it still ends up a mostly unfunny mess. one usually tries to see the good in most films and while at times it tries to be amusing this is obviously more of an obvious cash grab with little to no heart. If not a cash grab (as most films are either way) This seems more of a situation where the film began one way and this is what the powers that be consider salvaging it.

The movie still has the same basic theme of Snobs Vs. Slobs. Though it doesn’t include the rivalry so much amongst the staff as much. Taking out the wacky side characters and also making it more mature. As there are teenagers but they are college students and other then a kind of romance. They aren’t used that much. So it basically eliminates the teenage element and seems to be more centered around anti-semitism though it proves to be the only subtle thing in the movie.

The film manages to get original cast member Chevy chase to cameo as the film tries to retain the flavor of the original. In the absence of the rest of the cast of the original they have Dan Aykroyd in a small role similar to Bill Murray’s but you end up not caring even with a very inspired off the wall comedic performance from Randy Quaid. That was originally intended for late comedian Sam Kinison. Still it feels like when anyone famous shows up in the movie it feels more like they are guest starring more than acting or playing a character.

Randy Quaid appearing in this film is kind of prophetic considering he ended up starring in DEAD SOLID PERFECT an acclaimed cable original movie where he played a golfer and was nominated for an Emmy for the role.

The film was originally written to star Rodney Dangerfield. Basing the movie around his character from the first film. He was willing to until he read the script then dropped out. You can see the signs during this film for it to be more built around his character. Just as the film tries to copy the character types from the first film but not be as rebelious or daring in it’s comedy.

Jackie Mason as the lead can’t really act and is hard to be likeable. Though with Mason’s casting the movie has a kind of Wasp against Jewish and all outsiders making it more a film that is not only anti-semitism but also against prejudice. Though it doesn’t help that his character is vert hard to like, but the film tries to convince us is charming to others. Even as most of his friends seem to be only people who work for him.

The film tries to skew as much to the original as far as familiar roles. Though here they lose the teenage coming of age angle. It’s here in the form of college students who get a lot less screen time. As the film prefers to stay on the adults and even when staying on the more adult characters the film is so family friendly that all the raunch that was a staple of the first film is washed out and stays pretty bland. Like this film is more aimed at kids.

It also takes away from the more working class elements of the original to be more of a generational wealth versus a newly rich theme.

There is a romance thrown in for the younger characters and even Mason’s but it’s useless as they all come off as types instead of characters. As the daughter of Jackie Mason’s character played by Jessica Lundy dates the WASP son of the golf course owner and discovers she has more chemistry with the caddy Played By Jonathan Silverman who we actually learn little about.

What is also missing is that the original was hard core rude and anti-establishment. This film is More corporate safe almost family friendly.

When I watched this as a kid I remember Robert Stack from UNSOLVED MYSTERIES in an acting role was big for me. Not knowing he was already an accomplished actor. Him playing the villain here to perfection.

One aspect that has stayed with me over the years when it comes to the film is the main theme song played at the beginning. Though listening to it now is more a cheesy nostalgic pleasure.

Grade: F