Now we continue our 'the films of 2012' lists with another favorite, the underrated! And as always, this list won't just be good films that were labeled as "bad," but also mediocre films that got unfairly pounded, or genuinely bad films that nonetheless deserved credit for one element or another.
I don't need Hollywood to remind me of African-Americans' achievements in WWII. I have my father. For his valor and bravery my father earned the World War II Victory Medal, among other commendations. But when he returned home he never received his medal or an official "thank you."
The hype around seeing the new Tuskegee Airmen film Red Tails, is kind of like voting for Obama. If you don't do it your black card might be revoked, the Dr. King photo on your wall will close its eyes and you will drown in a chorus of, "See this movie or die."
At the conclusion of the screening of Red Tails, we came to our feet with thunderous applause. But we did not face the screen. We turned and faced the real Red Tails standing among us, a fitting tribute to the icons that shaped every American Airman serving today.
I have no problem with folks asking me to support an all black film, especially given the politics behind this particular request. I do, however, take great issue with those who question my Blackness and my race loyalty when I tell them I refuse to see the movie just because I am Black.
Representation of the collective diaspora has always been thwarted by our need to classify films according to races other than white. Still, while labels can be debilitating, they can also be manipulated.
Hiram Mann, 90, had to fight to find the work he loved, overcoming tremendous odds. The struggle and the rewards of his 90 years were encapsulated in his first words in our interview: "I was one of the original legendary Tuskegee Airmen."
More than a critique that counters the stereotype held for so-called liberal Hollywood elites, Lucas' 20-year odyssey to get Red Tails on the screen says more about what film studios think of their buying public.
My Great Uncle Joe was one of the first Tuskegee Airmen. This major piece of family and American history was something I often took for granted. I decided that it was my responsibility to learn much more before seeing Red Tails.
Despite what no doubt were state-of-the-art visual effects thanks to the involvement of LucasFilm, Red Tails is further proof that visual tricks and flashily edited action sequences aren't enough to make a movie interesting.