On January 15, 2009, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles piloted US Airways Flight 1549 through a bird strike and into the Hudson River. All of the 155 people on board lived to tell the amazing tale. Now Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks are taking a crack at it.
Sully takes the audience on that terrifying ride -- repeatedly. We see Sully (Hanks) and Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) sweat, but stay focused. We hear the flight attendants prepare the passengers for what seems like their last few minutes. We also grip our own seats at the terror that's being displayed on-screen.
Of course, the accident happened just three minutes into the flight and the rescue was completed just 24 minutes after impact. Even if we got a shot-by-shot recreation, the accident doesn't make a whole movie. Thankfully, the whirlwind aftermath is just as gripping. Of course, it's also a bit condensed for the sake of the movie.
We see Sully's instant fame and even his appearance on Letterman. Of course, some of the attention is not welcomed. The National Transportation Safety Board (headed up by Mike O'Malley and Anna Gunn) is looking to pin something on Sully, but it's certainly not a medal. The film uses the NTSB hearings that came months after the crash to fill up the remaining runtime.
If you're looking for info about the passengers or even the crew, this isn't your movie. After all, it's Sully, not "Miracle on the Hudson." Eastwood sprinkles in bits about the man's aviation background and even his home life, although both are basically blips. Instead, the director wisely keeps the movie on topic and to a tight 96 minutes.
Of course, a lot of the kudos belong to Hanks. He slips right into the title role, just as he did with Forrest Gump, Andrew Beckett, Chuck Noland, Captain Richard Phillips, and even Woody the cowboy. It's been a few years since he's has had such a juicy role. However, this movie shows that when the two-time Oscar winner is given the right material, he's downright magical.
Looking for another peek at this movie? Strap yourself in for Chris Boylan's theatrical review of Sully.
Sully isn't bursting with color, but that doesn't mean that this 2.40:1 image isn't an impressive one. It more than gets the job done, with a subdued palette that has a slight bluish/gray tint throughout. While the color doesn't always pop, it's accurate and the contrast helps to make it stand out. The detail is really where the film shines, whether it's displaying the outside or inside of the plane, the action on the water, the uniforms, or Aaron Eckhart's fabulously bushy ‘stache. Given the star-power and subject matter, it shouldn't be surprising that this is one good looking film.
The opening sound of a plane soaring overhead should alert all passengers to strap themselves in. Sully comes with a Dolby Atmos track -- and it's really the only way to fly through this movie. There's a lot aircraft soaring throughout, which delivers some great overhead effects. The audio inside the plane is especially impressive, engulfing the listener like you're sitting in an aisle seat. As you can imagine, the rescue is just as gripping, with water splashing around, crunching metal, and general chaos. Of course, the film isn't just about the crash. Street scenes, the hearings, and even conversations all sound stellar. Sully is another example of why you want a Dolby Atmos setup and anyone with that should make sure to pick up this Blu-ray.
Sully comes with a short trio of featurettes, but this is definitely a Blu-ray that goes for quality over quantity. "Moment by Moment" spends a little over 15 minutes re-creating the path of US Airways Flight 1549, from the weather to the rescue. It does use a few snippets from the movie, but Sully, Jeff Skiles, and Air Traffic Controller Patrick Harten are the ones telling the story -- and that's what makes it a must-see.
Sully gets another 20 minutes to himself in "The Man Behind the Miracle." This features Sully, his wife Lorrie and daughter Kelly, as well as Skiles. It covers a bit about Sully's background, the crash, the aftermath, and what the former pilot is up to today. Rounding out the collection is the 20-minute "Shooting Sully," which has Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Sully, and several others discussing the film's production.
At 86, it's pretty amazing to see the quality films Clint Eastwood can still produce. While it's not as intense as American Sniper, Sully is still a great film. A lot of that has to do with Tom Hanks and a tight runtime, both of which keep you glued to this movie. Of course, the AV certainly does its part as well, with the audio track being a particular standout. If you have a Dolby Atmos setup, Sully is a film you'll want to pick up. If not, it's a great reason to upgrade.
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