Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Off Topic: The Red Baron

One of my pipe dreams was to write the definitive Red Baron screenplay, but dreams are made to be crushed and urinated upon, aren't they?

A German production of The Red Baron has been underway for years now and the film will finally be released in 2008. I'm a little bummed out because I have to put my dream of writing the Red Baron movie on my Shelf of Broken Dreams, right next to "marrying Linda Carter" and "driving a hovercraft to school." However, I must say the movie looks kick ass, if this effects reel is any indication:

I'm not sure why they have the Trans-Siberian Orchestra or whoever doing the music, but that looks pretty bad ass, doesn't it? I'll reserve final judgement because I've been burned before by WWI aviator flicks. I'm looking at you, Flyboys. Anybody see that? I hated that movie. I actually walked out of the theater with ten minutes left to go - me, who will watch and enjoy any old piece of crap movie. That's how insultingly bad Flyboys was.

Anyway, I'm cautiously optimistic and a little melancholy about The Red Baron. Sure, I didn't get to write the damn thing, but if anybody is going to do a good movie about Manfred von Richthofen, it would be German film makers. I'll gladly have my dreams gunned down by their twin Spandaus if they can just deliver and make a movie worthy of the Ace of Aces, the greatest combat flyer the world has ever seen.

Don't let me down, guys.


Skeleton Munroe said...

You could still write an adaptation of Kim Newman's 'The Bloody Red Baron'. It's not the same but it's close.

Unknown said...

Well, of course you didn't marry Lynda Carter -- you didn't spell her name right!

Ken said...

johnathan beat me to it. The Bloody Red Baron was Airwolf and three quarters.

Anonymous said...

Mother of GOD, that's airwolf!!!

Anonymous said...

The fact that the trailer featured almost no character scenes and no dialogue while showing an excess of CGI planes flying around makes me thing this movie isn't going to be all that good. It sure feels a lot like Flyboys -- empty action scenes and no real story arc.

Anonymous said...

Was the UK series "Wings" ever seen in the US? That was a series about the Royal Flying Corps in WW1.
Or "Airline" about a one man/one plane airline operated by ex WW2 air force pilot who gets involved in the Berlin airlift?

If you like planes and flying, these were great.

Anonymous said...

Yep, Flyboys certainly was craptacular, despite the presence of James Franco.

Mike Brown said...

It's not a trailer, it's, oddly, a leaked effects reel. I find it fascinating that the movie is in English. I simply cannot imagine that flying at a German filmmaker (I guess because I'm a racist about Germans being racist). Hey! Flying! That's a joke, son! Anyway, yes, Flyboys was terrible. And it was one of those movies that through the whole thing I was more bothered because it could've been good... easily. There was a freaking blimp attack! I think they should've called the movie "Blimp Attack" and re-cut it to emphasize the blimps.

Reno said...

If nothing else, the girl in the reel looked pretty.

Edward Liu said...

Random Point #1: It's not a proper Red Baron movie unless it has Snoopy in it.

Random Point #2: You gotta check out the book "Boyd" by Robert Coram soon. It's about Col. John Boyd, who was known as "30-second Boyd" in the 50's when he was training pilots at Nellis AFB, because he had a standing bet that he could get on any pilot's six in that amount of time. It normally took less. He was also, directly or indirectly, responsible for the F-16 and the A-10. Admittedly, Coram seems to have an agenda and Boyd was too young for Korea and too old for Vietnam, but if even half of what Coram says is true, then Boyd may be the only serious challenger to the Red Baron for "Greatest Fighter Pilot who Ever Lived."

Random Point #3: I am beginning to suspect that Lynda Carter is some sort of vampire because she has aged disturbingly well. However, I would become one of her undead minions very happily.

Anonymous said...

I hope that Boyd guy wasn't also known as "30-second Boyd" in the bedroom.

And Dave, you're a better man than I am if you can get through a Red Baron post without a Snoopy OR a frozen pizza reference. That is truly a measure of your esteem for von Richtofen, I think. And in my opinion, painting his plane bright red was the equivalent of some Thor-level shit-talking.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

If you haven't already seen it, I recommend Hell's Angels. It has some of the best aerial dog fight scenes ever put to film. And this was in the old days with real biplanes and blimps.

Harvey Jerkwater said...

Roger Corman made his own Red Baron movie in '71, the badly-titled Von Richthoven and Brown. (Okay, it's sometimes known as The Red Baron.) It was one of Rog's very last directing gigs.

Just had to share, yo.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That was horrible music.

Bubbashelby said...

Thanks for the reminder - I heard about this film a while ago and am glad to hear it is on the horizon! Great clip!

Anonymous said...

If you're going to write a Red Baron story, don't forget the small white dog (Kim Newman didn't ...)

Skeleton Munroe said...

The encounter didn't end well, though.

Kim Newman is the king of that sort of thing. When I realized that he'd managed to slip Tintin into one of his books I just about lost it.

Unknown said...

Looks quite boring.

Anonymous said...

Bad news. I've read some posts from people who have been in test screenings and apparently its laughably bad. Worse than fly boys.

Why cant people make a good WW1 film anymore? I was watching the Blue Max the other day and its so good (James Mason's German accent excepted).

Anonymous said...

The best World War I movie is the movie they're making in The Stunt Man.

The Overgrown Hobbit said...

My dad went to H.S. school with Lyle Wagoner and they used to hand out after school at my grandmas.

Just how badly do you want to hand with Linda Carter

(bribes are accepted, natch)

I'm so with you on "Flyboys" ***FX/gagging noises/FX***

The Overgrown Hobbit said...


the keyboard is eating my "g"s and replacing them with "d"s in freudian-scary ways.

(I leave the application thereof as an excercise for the student)

Anonymous said...

"I've read some posts from people who have been in test screenings and apparently its laughably bad. Worse than fly boys."

Yeah, it looks like it will suck bad, honestly.

By way of semi-gratuitous digression, I'd add that to find radness made in Germany, one need look no further than the "techno-rap" band Deichkind.

As in "here, ":
"here, ": "here, ":
or "here.":

By the way, "driving a hovercraft to school"? Hahahaha, that's just hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Crap, can't you use textile? OK, let's try them links in the buff:

These lads must have been separated at birth from the Beastie Boys.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'm officially dumb. I give up.

Anonymous said...

I've heard quite the reverse from advanced screenings...I've heard that "Red Baron" is fairly awesome. And the budget was less than *half* of the poor "Flyboys". ("Aces High" is still my favorite of this genre, a movie that Dean Devlin seemed completely unaware of when he was waxing lyrical about his..uh..."epic".

Take a look at the FX reel in better detail here:

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