Review: Sully: Miracle on the Hudson (2016)

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“Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time.”
– Chesley “Sully” Sullengerger

SYNOPSIS: The story of Chesley Sullenberger, an American pilot who became a hero after landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River in order to save the flight’s passengers and crew. – via IMDB

So chilling around the other day, I decided it was time to watch this. Obviously I know the story, but not in too much depth or anything like that, so figured this would be a good yardstick. Plus, Tom Hanks. I think he’s fantastic and would watch him in anything.

I didn’t think Sully was the greatest movie ever, but I did think that what Captain Sullenberger did that day was truly amazing. As the movie points out, you only ever see bad news nowadays, so to see a success story is always nice. Tom Hanks was excellent, as always, and was well worth watching. Aaron Eckhart, too, was solid and played well alongside Hanks. Comparing the actual photos at the end of the movie to what Eastwood delivered, too, is good, because it looked exactly like what had happened.

Sully is a quick watch, and so never overstays its welcome. It tells the story and gets you involved with the investigation into that fateful flight, and it is interesting to see how the investigation was going, and how it ultimately turned around. I don’t necessarily know if I will ever go back to watch Sully, but it was a decent watch with a strong cast and was done well.

December Blind Spot Review: Love Actually (2003)

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Love-actually-poster

“If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”
– Prime Minister

SYNOPSIS: Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England. – via IMDB

love actually hugh grant love actually i'm in love

GRADE 6.5Initially this was supposed to work out as my February Blind Spot (that was an age ago, right?!), but then everything was so damn Christmassy in here I knew it was not going to work out for that. Seeing as I don’t usually do holiday themed posts, I thought I would hold Love Actually over for December. Long holdover! Anyway, Love Actually is that typical soppy romance (though not nearly as bad as some can be), but in the long run it is a pretty forgettable movie. I am saying this based on when watching it, I remembered having seen scenes, though not how they play out. Some of the stories and characters could certainly have used a little more development and time (for instance, I love Martin Freeman, but his story arc seemed to be squeezed in every now and again, as well as Kris Marshall’s escapades and decision to check out the States). The performances all round were pretty good, and it was an impressive cast to pull together for this one. Had a good few giggles at Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy was a nightmare but also someone to laugh at, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster was just too damn adorable for words. I was very happy that I did not have to watch Keira Knightley for any length of time, I really don’t like her, and I really thought the whole thing going on between Juliet and Mark was just messed up. She married Mark’s best friend, they should both just leave it at that! The pacing was a bit of an issue at times, and naturally some stories were far more interesting and engaging than others, and I was not always a fan of the soundtrack. There are things that work and things that don’t work in this movie, but it is certainly not the worst movie of its kind that you could be wasting your time on and it is a very Christmas-heavy movie, but there we have it. I can at least cross it off my list and say I have seen it. People are always going on and on about this movie. Finally I am included in the conversation!

Review: Mystic River (2003)

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mystic river poster

“Sometimes I think, I think all three of us got in that car…”
– Sean Devine

Three boyhood friends encounter a dreadful turn of events when two hebephiles pick one of them up. Dave Boyle (Cameron Bowen) never stood a chance, and Jimmy Markum (Jason Kelly) and Sean Devine (Connor Paolo) are left to watch their friend being taken away while under the assumption that he was picked up by cops. Their fathers have a fit and soon everyone is looking for Dave. Dave manages to escape from the two men after days of abuse and return home. Their childhoods have been changed forever.

mystic river the boys

“I guess I don’t know my own strength.” – Young Dave

Twenty five years later they have each moved on with their lives in different directions. Jimmy (Sean Penn) quit the criminal life and owns a little store and has a wife and three daughters, Sean (Kevin Bacon) is a detective with the Massachusetts State Police with a wife who has run off and Dave (Tim Robbins) is a regular blue-collar Joe with a son and a wife. Jimmy has a nineteen-year-old daughter named Katie (Emmy Rossum) who plans to run off with her boyfriend Brendan Harris (Tom Guiry) and get married in Las Vegas, though Jimmy has no inkling of this. However, those plans stop dead in their tracks when Katie goes out with her friends one night for a final party and is brutally murdered on the way home. Just like that, it seems that the three parted friends will come together again.

mystic river jimmy finds out katie is dead

“I know in my soul I contributed to your death.” – Jimmy Markum

Jimmy is crushed to learn that his little girl was murdered. Sean feels for his friend when he sees the man, though pleads with him to keep his in-laws and all those criminals out of it so that he can conduct his investigation without hassles. Sean and his partner Whitey Powers (Laurence Fishburne) track down every available lead to bring justice to Katie. Sean, on the other hand, has put the Savage brothers on the lookout, with Val (Kevin Chapman) in the lead. His wife, Katie’s stepmother Annabeth (Laura Linney) knows that her husband may need to exact revenge on whoever screwed up his daughter’s life. On the other hand, Dave’s marriage strains when he returns home the night of Katie’s murder covered in blood and spinning a flimsy story of having retaliated when a mugger attempted to attack him, and his wife Celeste (Marcia Gay Harden) soon decides that Dave must have killed the young girl. She is terrified, and soon the investigation touches onto her husband, and her paranoia goes into overdrive.

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“How long till you catch my daughter’s killer? I need to know.” – Jimmy Markum

What happened to Katie Markum that night? Who killed her? Is Dave in any way connected to the gruesome events of that night? Will Jimmy be able to hold his things together? What will the investigation turn up? Will Jimmy and his family ever recover? Will Sean bring them peace of mind? What will Celeste do about Dave?

An 8/10 for Mystic River. I was really impressed with how loyal the movie remained to the book. Naturally, there were a few small changes, but nothing that actually detracted from the story or the progression and development. I thought it had an excellent cast that manages to capture and portray the characters almost exactly as you would perceive them to be from the books. Sean Penn was the embodiment of Jimmy Marcus (books, Markum in the film), and Kevin Bacon completely held down the part of embittered cop who is separated from his wife and on a mission. All in all it came together well – the pacing was right, I enjoyed the camerawork, the performances very good, though I did find the music to be a bit strange, like something from a much older movie altogether. I would recommend this film, not only to readers, but to anyone that enjoys a good and solid drama. Clint Eastwood did a damn fine job of bringing this depiction of Mystic River to the fore, and is incredibly impressive.