|Fighter Pilot Operation Red Flag |
Actors: John Stratton, Robert Novotny, Sam Morgan, Randy Cason, Michel Perron
Director: Stephen Low
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
A state-of-the-art, edge of your seat experience! Get in the cockpit with the world's best pilots to witness the most challenging flying of their careers! Follow a young American pilot as he makes his way through Red Flag ... more »
Member Movie Reviews
K. K. (GAMER)
Reviewed on 11/17/2019...
ALERT - You are ordering an HD-DVD item. This format can be played only in HD-DVD players (the discs will NOT play in regular DVD or Blu-Ray players). If you do NOT have an HD-DVD player, you should not order this item.
A view from the inside
Dr Hog | Las Vegas, NV United States | 10/25/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I know this world well--flew from Nellis for 3 years against all of these aircraft, targets, and all through this airspace. Overall, I think this documentary does what they set out to do, and I think it tells a good, but overly spectacular story of Red Flag.
There is no doubt that this film is filled with CGI aircraft effects, rigged explosions, questionable flying tactics, and conversation/terminology that you just don't hear in a real training battle. I thought I would offer up the "why." Much like Top Gun, movie producers quickly learned that the "real thing" doesn't make for very engaging movie material. The real thing includes spread out formations, intense radar work, and shooting long range missiles from 30,000 feet, often without ever seeing the bandit with your own eyeballs. None of this shows too well on the big screen, so they have to "juice it up" by bringing all of the aircraft together into the same video frame, move the fight down to treetop level to convey the speed, and throw in a bunch of aileron rolls because they look cool (even though they don't make the guy behind you spit out in front of you). The CGI fills in the gaps where the AF wouldn't fly the requested maneuvers due to safety reasons.
As for the rigged explosions, there are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that the directors/producers wanted a "from the target" view of the bombs and bullets hitting, which I must say came out really cool. To film that actual aircraft's ordnance hitting the target would have meant losing their camera and the film in the course of the explosion. The other thing is that the rigged explosings can be crafted to be especially "fiery" whereas real world bombs look like gray, soot-filled explosions and don't cut the mustard for the Hollywood types.
The last thing that really varies from the real battle is the communications between pilots. To put it simply, it they were to use real terminology, only other military pilots that knew the lingo would be able to follow the action. The target audience would be totally lost. So they toss in some of the lingo, and then typically have the pilot "explain it" in english, all in the same radio call.
Does any of the above wreck the movie? Only if you're really familiar with the way it really happens. My biggest complaint is that the CGI additions to the dogfight look fake. On the other hand, they look a lot better than they did in Air Force One, which I'm sure had a lot bigger special effects budget. For whatever reason, the CG folks just haven't figured out tactical aviation yet, so I'd rather them just show me the real thing, even if it isn't quite as spectacular."
John Hagge | College Station, TX USA | 07/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A lot of the reviews state poor acting, poor CGI graphics, etc. For anyone that has not seen this before, this is not a hollywood movie. This is an actual account of Operation Red Flag. No actors, no special computer animations, other than those used by the wonderful men and women of the Air Force for flight review, as demonstrated in the video. This is a true tribute to the men and women who put everything on the line so that we can whine about "poor CGI graphics" or "bad acting". This movie was designed as an insight into the main function of Nellis AFB and into the lives of USAF aviators and ground crew members for people like me who can't serve there country, but desparately want to. Enjoy the show for what it is."
I never knew!
Mehetabelle | Silicon Valley United States | 02/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Saw this with my husband who's a pilot, but I still learned a lot! 6 layers of forces for an all-out operation: AWACs, bombers, fighters, helicopters... forgot the other layers. Really impressed by the simulation of a search for a pilot shot down in enemy territory -- they showed both sides searching for him, including the other side using a tracking dog. Secure VPNs were used to coordinate communications as well as other kinds of info tech. Some of the human interest stuff were good segues and lubricants. Testosterone-saturated though this show is, it is not at all jingoistic nor does it promote the military. It clarified how some of the military budget is spent, and is informative for people who want to know about a career as a fighter pilot."