SULLY

GoMovieReviews Rating:

Director/Producer: Clint EastwoodSully

Screenwriter: Todd Komarnicki

Based on the book written by: Chesley “SULLY” Sullenberger, Jeffrey Zaslow.

Director of Photography: Tom Stern

Composers: Christian Jacob and The Tierney Sutton Band

Starring: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart; Laura Linney.

“I’ve got 40 years in the air, but in the end I’m gonna be judged on 208 seconds.”

SULLY is the story of the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’, where pilot Captain Chesley ‘SULLY’ Sullenberger makes an emergency landing with 155 people on board onto the Hudson River in New York.

I remember hearing about the incident on the news back in 2009 and was amazed, along with the rest of the world, by the bravery of such a decision and the skill to actually land without a single soul lost.

But good deeds don’t go unpunished.

What I didn’t realise was the scrutiny Sully experienced by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the nightmares and distress experienced by the pilot, Sully, and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart).

SULLY was a brilliantly cast film with the resemblance to the real-life crew unmistakable. The lead role, Captain Sullenberger, played by Hanks, called for a calm character who showed honesty and strength, which Hanks, of course, plays very well.

But like the character, the film was also dry and calm; the control held firmly in the hands of director Clint Eastwood.

As Hanks states, ‘Sometimes you read something that is so stirring and at the same time so simple, such a perfect blend of behaviour and procedure.’

The film focuses on the aftermath and the technicalities undertaken for the emergency landing. And there was such restraint used that even the dramatic event of the landing also had an overriding feeling of calm. So the film felt a little too even for my taste. Certainly, no-one can accuse Eastwood of over-dramatising!

There was also the element that we all know what’s coming; how it’s all going to end. It was more about the fleshing out of the story.

SULLY is an amazing story with great acting. I loved that the film makers recruited many of the people who were there that day to reenact what happened.

I just wasn’t blown away.

This is a story of a 40 year veteran who had seconds to make a life or death decision for 155 people. And he did his job. That’s the tone of the movie. A truthful re-telling without too many dramatics.

The story was played out with clever devices like dream sequences made real, personal perspectives from the passengers and flash-backs to build the suspense, but as stated before, we already know what’s going to happen!

If you’re interested in the story, this is a great film; if you’re looking for a lot of action, you’ll be disappointed.

I’m somewhere in-between: a solid movie but no real surprises.

Products from Amazon.com

London Has Fallen

GoMovieReviews Rating:
Rated: MA15+London Has Fallen

Directed by: Babak Najafi

Screenplay by: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt, Chad St. John, Christian Gudegast

Story by: Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt

Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Alan Moni Aboutboul, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Melissa Leo and Radha Mitchell.

A sequel to the 2013 film, Olympus Has Fallen, London Has fallen is an action thriller that was better and bloodier than expected.

Obligated to attend the state funeral of the British Prime Minister, the President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart), along with the majority of the world’s leaders, come under attack by the Pakistani terrorist and arms dealer, Aamir Barkawi (Alan Moni Aboutboul).

Gerard Butler playing the secret service agent, Mike Banning, isn’t my favourite action man.  And the chemistry between Mike and his wife Leah (Aussie actress, Radha Mitchell) was strained if not painful to watch.  But there were glimmers of a personality under all that strutting – ‘I don’t know about you but I’m thirsty as fuck,’ being one of the very few human moments.  He’s a man made of, ‘Bourbon and bad decisions’.  But yeah, some of the dialogue was pretty bad.

This is a big budget film with buildings blown up, the Chelsea Bridge disintegrating and the top of Westminster Abby toppling to the streets of London.  If it wasn’t for the seeming required cheese that these ‘American President versus Terrorist’ movies always seem to require, this would have been a very good film.

I like my thrillers and there was plenty of action here – car chases and machine guns popping like fireworks.  There were moments reminiscent of an Army Action kill ‘em all PlayStation game.  Good stuff!

Having the Brits on board only helped balance the typical cheese of the American style, one-sided ideal of the live and die mantra for the American Dream.  Even with Morgan Freeman’s baritone, some of the dialogue was hard to swallow.

The screening of the movie is timely with the recent terrorist attacks on Brussels.  A very sad day.  And some politics are discussed here.  The required need to continue the fight against terror rather than do nothing.  To engage the world.  The fact America has been under attack for centuries and that they will remain.  It is frightening, this terror business, this blowing up of innocent people.  And I don’t want to get into politics here.  But there are attacks happening and I guess the movie shows a perspective.  Anyway.

A lot of cheese, but some good action here with a big budget to make the film look impressive on the screen.