Movie Review: Red Tails

Old Uncle George Lucas has come out of the closet with a new movie that doesn’t have Jedi, Ewoks, or Stormtroopers.

The movie is called “Red Tails”. This is a fictional account of the Tuskegee airmen and their fight not only against the germans, but also to gain equality in the eyes of the American Military. For those of you who don’t know, the Tuskegee airmen were the African American pilots to fight in World War II. During this time, the civil rights movement was just beginning, and so these men did not have the same rights as the soldiers who were white. That’s what this film shows. It shows the struggles and challenges these men faced from not only Germany, but also America, and how they overcame those trials.

So, things I liked.

One thing that stood out to me first and foremost in this film was the bonds of brotherhood the men displayed. Throughout the movie we see them keeping each other accountable, encouraging those inexperienced and suffering, and working together for a common goal. I was reminded of the biblical model of brothers in Christ when I saw these guys together. They had sins, but were willing to forgive, because they acknowledged their own as well. The realistic friendships were awesome to see in this movie, and wish there were more things like this in other films…

I also appreciated the way racism was presented. It was presented exactly as I have read in books, and by that I mean not very nice at all. The men are taunted, made fun of, and ridiculed. Once they save a group of bomers though, they gain the respect of the pilots, who in turn begin to actively attempt to break down those racial walls.

Even in this movie on war, human life is shown to be valued and killing the enemy something to be glad about. One man says “Don’t be in a hurry to get to the killing part”. The men all value their comrades life above their own, and some do make the ultimate sacrifice to save others.

Other notable and applaudable qualities shown by the airmen include courage, honor, compassion, humility, and discipline.

Aside from the character traits and morals presented, the dog fights in this movie are worth noting. They are very very good. Almost with a starwarsesque feel you roll, dip, and ride with the Red Tail pilots. There are many different angles and camera shots, and I never once felt disoriented, as I had before with some other aerial movies. They got it right in this movie.

Things I didn’t like.

The swearing in this movie was… a lot. I know I know… it is a war movie, but you should be aware there are easily over 50 cuss words over and over again. Not fun to listen to.

There is a sene where an Italian girl one guy has a relationship with is dressed in lingerie and the guy in boxers.  They aren’t married, so not appropriate at all.  Even if they were, showing that kind of thing in a movie is distasteful and not needed.

One guy continually refers to a black Jesus, and is mocked because of his faith.

Other things you should be aware of…
This movie is pretty violent once the planes take off and the dogfights begin. We see people shot up in cockpits, with blood spraying on the widows, etc. We see pilots die in cockpits in very sad way, Planes crash before they can parachute out, and we see ground crews shot up during ground raids… the deaths were personal and intense. It hurt to watch at times.

There is a bar fight.

Soliders drink and smoke.

Soliders are shown gambling.

There are racist comments made that were common to those days.

My thoughts
We have come a long way in terms of equality between men and their skin color. Racism still exists in America now, but it is not the major rule. Red Tails brought to life the past in a way I had never imagined it. It shows men, fully capable and desiring to serve their country, being held back all because of the pigment of their skin.
Through the movie we see them struggle with addictions, Self pity, apathy, and diligence. Something we all struggle with everyday. Thanks to each other though, they pull through and make a statement that still stands in History to this day. I enjoyed watching the men fall, and then pull themselves back up together, with greater resolve than before, to be the best pilots in WWII. I think it is the imperfections and struggles shown that make this movie so memorable. These aren’t heros impervious to assault, but men who are trying to serve their country in the best way they see fit.
The violence is pretty intense, the swearing painful to listen to, and the relationship outside of mariage… less than desirable. God is not shown in a positive light to some soliders, but to others, He is their hope.

What am I trying to say?
Mainly this: It isn’t often I come out of a movie moved in some way. This one did. Maybe it was the down to earth characters. Perhaps it was the unfiltered and ugly racism shown that was once acceptable in America. Or maybe it was the captivating dogfights…

Whatever it was, I enjoyed it, not just for the entertainment it provided, but the messages it presented. Old’ Uncle George took off with his idea and landed a war movie that went beyond guns and glory. And for that, I give this one two big thumbs up.


Matador Restoration update; The Doors

Alright, this will be a long update as far as posts go.

All four doors on the matador had damage in one way or another. The two doors on the left side (Driver’s side) had been repainted with a spray can. The two doors on the right had damage from a sideswipe or something…

I had to sand through five layers of paint, primer, clear, original paint, original primer on the driver’s side, then I got to some bondo…

When you come across old bondo on a car such as this it is important to make sure that the old stuff isn’t going to crack under the new bondo that will be applied. I did this by sanding a little deeper to make sure it was mixed properly all the way through. It was, so when I got to the bodywork on the car, I didn’t have to remove the old stuff. (thankfully)

Here is the right side stripped of paint…

I could go in depth on the repair of each door, but figured that would get a little boring. So, I’m going to focus on the door in the worst condition. This door was the rear passenger.

When you have a dent as severe as the one in the passenger door, I wouldn’t want to fill it with bondo first thing. Doing so would not only be more expensive, but also heighten the possibility of the bondo cracking. Which would be bad.
Instead, I needed to pull the door dent out, so less bondo would be used.
And wouldn’t ya know it? there is a tool and system made just for this purpose. ;)

The way pulling a dent out is pretty simple, a welding gun is needed, and a pull bar. The way it works is you weld little copper pieces to the dent…

Just like so, then I took a pull bar and banged the weight away from the door.

This pulled the metal out so less bondo was needed. Less Bondo is always a good thing.

So after the door was sufficiently pulled out, I cut the copper pieces off…

Then ground the stubs off…

Now we are ready for bondo. When using bondo, it is important to make sure it is mixed well so it hardens evenly. Applying it to these doors was difficult as well, because I had to make a “line” that had previously been smashed…
Here is what the door looked like after 2 layers of bondo. See how the line is forming? That’s a good thing. :)
This pic is right before the final layer of putty coat. Putty coat is softer than bondo and accepts primer better than the bondo.

After I applied the putty coat and sanded that down, it was time to prime. :)

Bad pic I know…

Looks pretty sharp doesn’t it? It still has a ways to go before it is ready for paint. The next step in the process is “Blocking”. Blocking takes wet sandpaper and evens the primer so the surface has no pitting, tiny dents, etc. It took me about an hour to block on door, and I had do to it 4-5 times per door, as they were in such bad condition…

So here is the blocking process.
Black Spray paint on the door. I did this so I could see where there were low and high spots.

The block and 400grit sandpaper.

Added water to the door for the wet sanding. I also had a bucket I kept my sandpaper in… The more water, the better.

Here is a before and after pic.

That’s pretty much it for the doors. All four doors took me about… 6 weeks I think. It was a long process. They look very good now.

Not sure what I will be posting next, maybe fenders?

Stay tuned!

I am still here, just barely. ;) (you could also call this a life update)

Hey folks,

Just in case you were wondering, no. I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, gone haywire, or jumped ship erm blog. ;)

To put it simply, I have been super busy and blessed with the amount of stuff I have gotten/had to do in the past month.

What have I been doing?

Well, for one, a Precalculus course. Through the weeks of Jan 1st- Feb 2nd, I was in front of my mac doing precalc 8am-5pm. Yup, you read that right. I didn’t work on my car at all during the month of January. :( (Oh, and I went on a trip to OK for one week of January… but that is for another post)
As you might imagine, I was rather sick of being on the computer… so didn’t blog. By God’s grace, I managed to complete the course at the personal deadline I set. Which rocked.

After I finished the precalc course, I finally decided to stop putting off buying a website domain for my custom LED-saber business. This business has been growing quite a bit. Using some of the money, (business expense) I got a website domain name and host. Learning how to get a fully functional site was quite difficult, and wound up “cheating” and customizing a wordpress theme. ;) It isn’t finished yet, so I am going to wait to give out the link. It will be done in a week or so if all goes according to plan, so be looking for it then. Again, since I was on the computer so much getting the site set up… blogging fell by the wayside. ;)

Add to those two things Lyceum Prep, TeenPact Prep, Beginning work again, and continuing college, Custom Saber building and more, you can see why the posts have been scarcer of late. I am hoping to change this, and have come up with some interesting topic ideas. Interesting to me anyways. :P

So yeah, hopefully that clears things up for you who were wondering what happened and why the blog kinda died.

Thanks for reading now and in the future to come.