Showing posts with label Tom Hanks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tom Hanks. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sully Movie Reviewed

When A Man Does His Job Well

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Recently, my husband and I enjoyed watching the movie Sully and I still can not stop thinking about the film. I think most of us from the US remember the breaking news about the airplane that was landed in the Hudson River by the pilot Captain Chesley Sullenberger. We were amazed and cheered the pilot and his co-pilot for their heroic actions. 

The movie shows us what happened that day over the skies of New York city and the days that followed. Captain Sullenberger is played by Tom Hanks and does a marvelous job. 

In real life, I remember being struck by Sully's humility and his repeated comment that he was not a hero but was just a man who did his job. He seemed to be so uncomfortable in the limelight. What we, the public, did not know was what was going on behind the scenes to the two pilots who saved the lives of 155 people by landing the plane in the waters of the Hudson. 

The movie shows us what happened with the bird strike and the quick thinking of a veteran pilot. It also shows the process of investigation that is necessary with any plane crash. What is different in this real life event is that the pilot and the crew along with all of the passengers are all alive and can testify to what happened. Sadly, there is normally no one who can explain the events that caused the crash. It is much easier to deduce that there was pilot error and the case is closed. 

We are shown in the movie, Sully, that the investigators are most assuredly about to railroad a decision that will find fault with Captain Sullenberger's heroic act and most likely end his career as a pilot.  After all, there were the options to land the plane in two other places without causing much damage to the plane. But the Captain knows that there was no way he could have saved the passengers or the plane if he had gone to either option that the investigative board thinks he should have. It just boils down to him proving he had no other choice but to land the plane in the river.

I won't reveal everything about the movie here in the review. What I will tell you is that it is a movie that both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed. It made us feel good and it made us appreciate what really happened that day in 2009. The movie made us proud that there are men like Captain Sullenberger who perform their jobs on a daily basis to the very best of their abilities, not for glory but because they take pride in their work and want to do their job well. Included in those who do their jobs well are the first responders who quickly went into action that day and rescued the crew and passengers from the frigid waters of the Hudson. That day in January 2009 is often referred to as the "Miracle On The Hudson" and it does seem to be quite miraculous. Perhaps it was a miracle, the powers that be saw to it the the right people with the right skills and experience reported for work that day. They did their jobs well and instead of a tragedy on the news, people all around the world were able to experience the joy of lives being saved by a pilot who knew exactly what needed to be done and whose main concern was the safety of the passengers on board his airplane.



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Friday, September 16, 2016

Sully Movie Review - True Story of the Miracle on the Hudson

 The movie Sully shows us something there was no way we could see on 1/15/09 or the following days. It gives us a front row seat to how heroes are revealed.
Sully is an excellent movie based on the emergency water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 piloted by Captain Sullenberger, aka Sully.   After losing both engines due to a bird strike, there was little time to decide the best course of action.   As you will see in the movie, there were many people in authority who criticized and tried to second guess Sully's decisions.  However, at that most difficult moment, Captain Sullenberger made a judgement call that saved the lives of all 155 souls on the flight, as well as countless others on the ground. 

Few movies that are based on actual events honestly present the facts as they actually happened.  Most directors take a poetic license to "grow" the characters or add to the drama.  However, in the case of "Sully", there was no reason to inflate the character of the man.  Nor was there any reason to increase the drama surrounding the flight crew and passengers on that plane that day.  

This movie deserves more than applause and awards for the portrayal of actual details and accounts of the actions taken that day by the entire crew and rescue workers who immediately responded.  It also shows the stress and judgement the crew members were forced to endure as their decisions were probed and analyzed by a board of individuals safely sitting on the ground. 

Clint Eastwood has always been one of my favorite actors, however he excels even beyond those expectations as a director.  Paired with an outstanding performance by Tom Hanks, who plays Sully, this movie stands heads above any other drama I have ever seen or reviewed. 


"Sully" Facts and Details - Not Just An Ordinary Movie


 SullyThe real facts and the movie depiction are the same.  On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 departed New York's LaGuardia  airport in route to Charlotte, NC.   Approximately 3 minutes into the flight, the plane struck a flock of Canadian Geese causing both engines to fail.  It is the only time in aviation history that there has ever been a duel engine failure on a passenger carrier caused by external factors.  An emergency landing was imperative, but there were no obvious options for a safe landing. 

While receiving rerouting suggestions for a runway landing at nearby airports from air traffic control, Captain Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles made a cool headed and well considered decision to land the plane in the Hudson River near boating terminals.  In an amazing, unprecedented glide landing on water, Sully landed the A320 jet, and the crew started an immediately evacuation of the passengers.

Also accurately depicted in the movie and almost as unbelievable as the safe water landing, NY Waterway ferry Thomas Jefferson, commanded by Captain Vincent Lombardi arrived to help with evacuation 4 minutes after the plane landed.  It was followed by several other boats, rescue divers, and emergency response teams who were all ready and willing to help save lives.

The fact that all passengers and crew members survived truly was a "Miracle on the Hudson".


"Sully", The Movie


Many of us saw the news reports and watched the miraculous rescue in real life, but the movie fills in the blanks.  It shows us something there was no way we could see on Jan. 15th or the following days.  It gives us a front row seat to how heroes are revealed.  

We witness what will most likely be the last 3 minutes of the lives on-board that plane.  We watch the excruciating agony of the helpless on the ground through the eyes of the air traffic controllers.  We quickly realize the horror that New Yorker's are once again being forced to watch unfold.  


Staring out the cockpit windows of the fast approaching freezing cold water, we find ourselves bracing for impact.  Then in a few brief moments, pulling from all previous flying experiences and training, an extraordinary pilot does the improbable.  He safely lands the jet on water.

The crew oversees the evacuation and Sully, himself, walks the length of the plane to ensure all of the passengers are out before he will step outside of the plane.  It is clear that his first concern before he lands the plane and afterwards was for the safety of the passengers of Flight 1549.

Now, you think that is all of the story, but it is not! 

All aviation accidents are investigated.  Determining who or what is at fault becomes the focus.  Not that the pilot and crew saved lives by their actions, but whether or not those actions are considered "appropriate".  This is the part of the story most didn't know until they see the movie.   


After you see the movie or read the book, I would love for you to return and tell me how you felt, what you thought, how you would like to respond.  

Personally, I have a renewed admiration for the pilots of all aircrafts and their determination to succeed in that industry.   

I'm going to close by saying something I have never said in a review before.  If you haven't seen this movie yet, go!




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"Sully" Movie Review Written by:
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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bridge of Spies Movie Review

"Bridge of Spies" movie review, starring Tom Hanks. The movie is suspenseful, historically significant, a thriller that held my attention all the way through. Here are my top 3 impressions.
My husband and I went to the movies last weekend to see "Bridge of Spies." We don't go out to see movies very often, but this one attracted both of us, my husband because of the Cold War era setting (1957-1962), me because of the spy story. Other than knowing that the movie was inspired by actual events and that Tom Hanks was the star, I knew very little about it. I learned a lot during the 142 minutes we watched and that's what I want to talk about in this review.

There were a number of young people in the audience and by "young people" I mean teenage boys (Saturday night, $3 movie). There were a few old mature baby boomer-era folks like us, but most members of the audience were too young to remember first-hand much about the Cold War. As I watched and the story unfolded, I found myself wondering how much of this history the audience had ever read about, learned about in school, or knew about at all, and how they felt about the movie, the story, the characters, the historical significance, as the story was revealed.

"Bridge of Spies" tells the real-life story that centers around attorney James Donovan (Tom Hanks) and his role in defending accused (and widely presumed guilty) Russian spy Rudolf Abel, as well as Donovan's role as civilian negotiator, recruited by the CIA and tasked with securing the release of captured American U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers. Those two events become entwined in a tale of patriotism, duty, character, and the sanctity of the United States Constitution, the likes of which was impressive, to say the least.

It's hard to talk about the movie without giving away much of the story, so I'll focus on three impressions that I took from the film and try to avoid spoilers.

Berlin Wall, eastgerman border guard looks at the Kubat-Dreieck, July 1st 1988
Berlin Wall, East German border guard
looks at the 
Kubat-Dreieck, July 1st 1988
First was the representation of the city of Berlin, where construction of the infamous wall dividing East from West was being completed as Donovan arrived to negotiate Powers' release. Today many of us remember that wall in its later life, graffiti covered and coming down in pieces following the urging of President Ronald Reagan. The movie gave a taste of how horrifying life actually was on the east side of that wall for the honest-to-goodness human beings who lived, and tried to escape from, there. As I watched the movie, that part of history really came alive to me and affected me as no history textbook ever did.  

My second impression is that, while there were humorous moments, there was a little more laughter in the theater than I thought appropriate. That brings me back to the audience. I almost wish I could have done a quick exit interview with some of the movie-watchers to ask how they liked the movie and what about it impressed them the most. I really hope some of the young people in the audience will remember the film as they study the post-World War II period in history class. I wish I would have appreciated my world history class more, 'way back when I was in high school, still in the midst of the Cold War years.

Third, and perhaps the impression that is most important to me, was the character of James Donovan. This was a man who stuck with his principles unwaveringly, going above and beyond, doing the right thing not only when his own reputation as well as his patriotism were questioned by friends, neighbors, and coworkers, but also when his wife's and children's very lives were threatened. I'm not sure what drove James Donovan, but how impactful his actions must have been to his children and even to his neighbors once his task involving Gary Powers was revealed!

I recently read a movie review by friend and fellow reviewer Cynthia in which she gave the movie a low rating in large part because the writers strayed so far off the real-life incident on which that particular movie was based. That got me thinking and wondering how accurate "Bridge of Spies" is, in relation, especially, to the portrayal of James Donovan. So I went looking and quickly found this article from Forbes which confirmed that screenwriter Matt Charman felt "just how important it was to tell this story right and do justice to everyone involved." He also confirms in his interview, regarding the Donovan family at the movie premiere, "... their reaction was the most wonderful review you could ever get and I feel proud we put the real man up there." I was very happy to read those words.

The movie is suspenseful, historically significant, a thriller that held my attention all the way through. Based on my impressions from watching the movie and what I have since read about the real events, I give this movie 9 stars out of 10 and highly recommend it for families including children over age 13 (based on the intensity of the subject).

"Bridge of Spies" stars Tom Hanks, directed by Steven Spielberg. Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actor, Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel. Release date: October 16, 2015. DVD release date February 2, 2016.

Enjoy this trailer:



LINKS:
Recommended Reading: Strangers on a Bridge: The Case of Colonel Abel and Francis Gary Powers by James Donovan (#1 NYT Bestseller)

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Photo Attribution: Berlin Wall Photo CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

~Susan
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