1. Red Tails (2012)
Story: 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.
Director: Anthony Hemingway
Stars: Terrance Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Gerald McRaney
Review: Red Tails is a watered-down account of the plight and racial injustices faced by African Americans during World War II. It's watered-down because it doesn't go too far in revealing the racism that existed, and to make it more palatable for audiences it is entertaining and somewhat educational. It is a labor of love by George Lucas who funded the film from his own expenses and defended it for years when Hollywood was hesitant to make it. This fact-based story about the Tuskegee Airmen is significant and inspirational, yet it lacks the complexity necessary to make it a great film which it deserves. I would have liked to have seen more about the real-life struggles and fierce heroics of the Tuskegee Airmen.
2. Underworld: Awakening (2012)
Story: When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrioress Selene leads the battle against humankind.
Director: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein
Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy and India Eisley
Review: Underworld: Awakening is the fourth installment in the Underworld film series, which is one of my favorite and most anticipated film series in recent years. I consider the Underworld series an antidote to the watered-down Vampires and Lycans (and gothic imagery) of the Twilight series. This latest film is probably the best in the series, and probably the goriest and most action-packed. If the original was like this one, it probably would have had more acclaim. When it was over it left me wanting more, but this is why it is such a great series. I was even surprised to hear the audience cheering and clapping in the theater. The film lacks the depth necessary to make it a lasting and great film, but if you want to enjoy a supernatural action thriller with a convincing and beautiful heroine while your brain is on auto-pilot, then this is the perfect film.