George Lucas is poo-pooing on capitalism, and I don’t blame him. As much effort as he put into the making of Red Tails, which is dropping to-day in your local movie theater, I’d be a little disenchanted with the money-making movie industry and power economics in general too.
It’s not that deep for us reg’lar Americans just trying to figure out which new release will keep us (and for parents, our kids) entertained. After all movie tickets are like, what? A hundred dollars a pop now? So that investment better be worth not only our while, but our buck. From the trailers and the hype, Red Tails sounds like a good bet. And I’m not just saying that because I’m black.
Just in case you’re floundering between this and some other film, allow me to present a few reasons to park your caboose in a Red Tails showing. First, the trailer, which…oh! The brother from Moesha. I didn’t know he was in it. I digress:
1. The Tuskegee airmen have already been the underdogs once. It would suck to make the long overdue telling of their story the box office underdog, too.
2. Hollywood didn’t want to back the movie because they didn’t think people would want to see it. Some of us were too accustomed to the comforts of civility to Occupy Wall (or any other) Street, but we can be armchair revolutionaries in the movie theaters. Run forth.
3. Black History Month is less than two weeks away. Get an early start on the celebratin’.
4. Kids like seeing action flicks and, quiet as it’s kept, they’ll be learning something, too. It’s the equivalent of sneaking finely shredded carrots into their favorite meal.
5. Haywire and Underworld Awakening look like stuff I’ve seen before. A highly trained government operative and a vampire warrioress? Been there, done that. (Sorry guys.)
6. The success of this movie will undoubtedly pave the way for more bigger- budgeted films about women, minorities, and other marginalized people. And wouldn’t it be nice to mix up the 1,001 versions of The Hangover or Sex and the City with something with a little substance?
7. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt cheerleaded the Tuskegee Airmen. That was a little before our time — I’m assuming? — but if Mrs. Roosevelt was still with us, she would tell us to go see the movie. And we wouldn’t want to disappoint Mrs. Roosevelt, now would we?
8. Eye candy. Cute guys. Big screen. Go now.
9. All the people who complain about Tyler Perry’s stereotypes have an opportunity to fork over cash for a non-Madea movie. Mouths closed, pocketbooks open, y’all. This is what you’ve been waiting for.
10. You always take a gamble when you buy a bootleg copy of the movie instead of actually going to see it — the sound might be shoddy, the picture quality could be questionable, and somebody in the audience is almost guaranteed to get up for a bathroom run and block the screen right in the middle of a really good part. Better to just go see it instead.
11. It’s a rare opportunity for a Black director to get a shot at a big-budget feature. If we support now, it can become the norm, not the exception.
12. And if you can’t support the all-black cast, the black director, or the unsung war heroes the movie is celebrating, support George Lucas, who put his Star Wars-making machismo behind the creation of Red Tails. And it even took him 23 years to get it made.
14. The Devil Inside is only based on a true story. But Red Tails is all true, and, as an added bonus, I’ll be able to go to sleep peacefully without the lights on, holy water on my forehead, and an iron cross nestled under my pillow.
15. The Tuskegee Airmen have a chance to see their story told on the big screen and be honored with not only the film, but the film’s box office success. These men fought the battle against racism while they were waging war in the skies. If we can line up at midnight to see a Harry Potter flick, we can show some love to the retelling of real heroism.
What new release are you excited about this weekend?
Image via LucasFilms