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The Movie Buff September: Sully

Colby Perron "The Movie Buff" reviews the Clint Eastwood directed "Sully" starring Tom Hanks.

Colby Perron, Staff Writer

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Hello and welcome back! I am the Movie Buff and now that the Most Disappointing Summer in Movies has come to an end, it is a nice and refreshing feeling to return to movies that not only aren’t a giant disappointment, but are actually worth your money. Well, the first movie from that category is the subject of my review today: “Sully.”

“Sully” is the true story of Captain Chesley Sullenberger (played by Tom Hanks), the heroic pilot that successfully landed US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson River back in 2009. We all remember this all over the news, after all, it was the most successful forced water landing in history, ending with all 155 passengers and crew aboard successfully making it back to shore.

However, the “Miracle on the Hudson” is only shown for about 20 minutes in total throughout the entire movie. The rest of the film is Tom Hanks talking on the phone, Tom Hanks sitting in a board room, Tom Hanks having violent flashbacks, and Tom Hanks running (it’s basically something that is required in a Tom Hanks movie now).

While this may sound like a bore-fest (I mean, at least “Ghostbusters” had fart jokes and a sell-out Bill Murray cameo), I can promise you that it is not. “Sully” has a slew of emotional and intense scenes, from a recreation of the flight 1549 crash that showed off Hanks’ acting range to simple scenes of Hanks having some kind of PTSD every time he tries to sleep. However, none of those scenes even rival the best scene in the film.

The scene in question features Captain Sullenberger, his co-pilot, Jeff Skiles, and at least twelve different agencies that were involved in the investigation sitting in a hearing to see if charges will be pressed on Sully. As they sit, arguing their case, they are subjected to watching computer and human tests that recreate the scenario to see if Sully could make it to any airport. As all of the tests prove that he could have, Sully requests more tests to try and prove his point. This scene had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, ending in easily the best line in the entire movie. This scene alone made the ticket “price” (perks of working at a movie theater am I right?) worth it.

Of course, I could rave for paragraphs about how Tom Hanks portrayed an amazing character and made the audience emotional but we’ve all seen “Forrest Gump,” and “Toy Story,” it’s not like a stellar Tom Hanks performance comes at any surprise anymore. The actors that I DO want to talk about are the supporting cast. Aaron Eckhart brings the perfect amount of comic relief to such a dark and depressing story it’s almost like he’s dealt with brooding heroes before (cough cough, “The Dark Knight”), even delivering the last line in the film that caused the entire audience to break out into unanimous laughter, wrapping up the film in the best and most unexpected way possible.

Along with Eckhart, the other standout was Larry Rooney, played by Chris Bauer, the man in charge of the investigation of Flight 1549. Bauer’s character was perfect at his job: the antagonist who isn’t evil in any way, but you still want to punch in the face (we all know one of those guys).

If your style of movies are the Liam Neeson chasing after a family member in every movie type films, then this isn’t for you but if you appreciate the dramatic, character-driven Oscar best picture nomination movies, then I highly recommend you go see “Sully.” It is in IMAX for a few weeks, so if you are looking for a full emersion, go check it out in IMAX as well.
Well, that’s it for this review. All in all, “Sully” was a fantastic film that I highly recommend. However, to echo the words of Eckhart’s character, if I were to change anything about this movie, I’d have made it in July.

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The Movie Buff September: Sully