Saturday, September 10, 2016


Plot: Sully (Tom Hanks) is the captain of a US Air flight that crash lands in the Hudson River, an event that actually happened. Early on there are flashbacks setting up the characters, and afterwards Sully and co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) have a combative accident-investigation hearing with the NTSB. [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Twenty-five minutes of top entertainment mixed with 55 minutes of filler with 10 minutes of melodrama floating on top.

The good scenes are great. I loved the flight reenactment, the crash, and especially the rescue. I enjoyed seeing to ferry boat crews and the helicopter cops. Heroic. Awe inspiring.

The slow parts are slow. There is a sequence when Hanks, breathes twice, then walks through door, down an aisle past people, and then sits in a chair. Really drawn out and sleepy. Earlier there are scenes of Sully with his father cropdusting and in the Air Force landing a plane: equally sleepy. Slow-pacing does not make a movie more Oscar-worthy.

Hanks is a good actor, and he becomes Capt Sullenberger. Hanks is as good as ever. It never feels like he is actor playing Sully, despite how recognizable Hanks is. The dialog with his wife and with co-pilot Jeff is also nicely done.

I was glad I saw Sully, but there were parts where wish I could I turn on my phone and look at Facebook, or read my Kindle. The quantity of filler material wrecked my enjoyment; I guess they needed to bulk up the movie to 96 minutes to make people feel they got their money's worth.

I accept Hollywood movies have some melodramatic sappiness and the temporal reshuffling. This was distracting, but not a problem -- at least to me. I question whether an NTSC hearing was the appropriate structure for a movie. Maybe putting the accident in the center would have been a better idea.

Cast: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart

Directed by:
Clint Eastwood

Written by: Todd Komarnicki based on the book Highest Duty by Chesley Sully Sullenberger

The Music:
Not memorable or even noticeable. No soundtrack album available. 

The Visuals:
Solid reenactment of the disaster. It looked just like the news footage. Lots of talking. Lots of conference rooms.

2.0 stars: I was glad I saw it, but I also felt like leaving during the middle. Don't leave though, because the end is good.

More: Hanks' version of Sully is heroic and humble. Good attributes for anyone to copy. Sully is frequently on the CBS Morning News talking about the aviation industry, and he seems sensible and intelligent.

Even More: "Upon the film's release, NTSB investigators objected to the film's portrayal of them as inaccurate. After reviewing the factual record and viewing the film, The New York Times wrote that "the film’s version of the inquiry veers from the official record in both tone and substance" and "depicts the investigators as departing from standard protocol in airline accident inquiries." NTSB lead investigator John Balzano disputed the film's depiction, saying that investigators "weren't out to embarrass anybody at all", and a former NTSB investigator also expressed concern that the depiction would be taken by moviegoers as evidence of "government incompetence"  --Wikipedia