#The Last Word In Film Reviews: Tea & Talkies: “Sully”


Hanksy and Clint Eastwood (not the reggae DJ) brace themselves for HCA members’ thoughts on their efforts…

Last Monday (12th December), Millman Street Community Centre members were once again treated to a free-of-charge feature film – followed by a sumptuous feast of tea and cakes – by our friends at the nearby Warner Brothers cinema.

This latest cinematic offering was Sully – Shockingly, a film currently on release, and, as such, ruining this reporter’s claims to offer The Last Word In Film Reviews for movies usually shown months out of date.  Why Warner Brothers have suddenly provided a current feature for our members is unclear, but such are the whims of the cinematic gods, and washed-up hacks will just have to lump it.

In any case, proper film critics like Mark Kermode, Antonia Quirke, Camilla Long, Danny Leigh, Francine Stock et al are so far advanced in their movie critiques  that your HCA reporter’s gibberish remains aeons behind.  Some things never change, however: the gruesome hack still doesn’t actually attend screenings, perhaps due to suspicions that the greedy gannet would, given the chance, scoff more than his allocation of the tea and cakes provided by Watrner Bros after the show – an outlandish supposition (albeit, sadly, true).

As for the film itself, it would be monstrous to give away too much of the plot, especially as it is still on general release, but some of the details have come to reviewers’ attention.  So if you don’t want to know the scores, please look away now…

Sully tells the story of Captain Chesley Sullenburger, who saved 155 lives after landing his plane on the Hudson River, New York in 2009.  Shortly after take off that January, the flight had been compromised after hitting a flock of geese.  Our hero’s actions miraculously prevent major loss of life.  However, a fair chunk of the movie is concerned with an inquiry into why and how the incident took place, and attempts are made to discredit Sully.  He is played by Tom Hanks, resplendent in a toothbrush moustache, and his wife Lorraine (Laura Linney) reportedly only appears while on the blower to ‘Hanksy’, as Tom is known (or at least he would be if he knocked about in South London rather than Hollywood).

Sully was directed by Clint Eastwood – not he of vintage reggae duo Clint Eastwood & General Saint, but an American bloke who, according to research, apparently appeared in a couple of cowboy films donkey’s years ago before turning his hand to directing.  Maybe with the success of Sully, he’ll finally be able to step out of the shadow of the superlative reggae DJ.

Enough of the plot, who’s starring in and directing the picture, and all that palaver.  More importantly, what did our members think of the film?

“It didn’t particularly appeal to me,” said Janice, who thought Sully was “More of a man’s film.  I like films like Gone With The Wind,” she continued, “But I didn’t dislike it, and I thought the acting was good.  I like the Warner Brothers cinema,” she added, because: “Its nice and wide, and it hasn’t got lots of passages where people knock into you.  The staff are very pleasant,” she was quick to add.  “The screen is nice and wide.”

Volunteer Gloria also attended the screening.  “I vaguely remember the incident,” she recalled, adding: “It was a fantastic film.  I was amazed by the pilot – in the hearings [after the incident], they tried to discredit him, but when they found out the facts, he was right.  All the inquiry people had egg on their faces [not a look that suits everyone, according to fashion experts], because they thought that the pilot [Hanksy] was wrong.  He only had about 35 seconds to get it right.  It was very amazing there was no loss of life,” she added.  Gloria was also, “Impressed how the [US] emergency services work – it was all very hands on.  No loss of life whatsoever, which was very impressive.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Steve thought, “It was good.  Some of it was a bit stodgy,” he said, but, “The special effects were great.”

Rose reckoned, “It was beautiful!   I really enjoyed it!  If there’s any more cinema [trips], I wouldn’t want to miss any movies!”

Her daughter, Vashtina, added: “We loved it.  It was very nice!”

Jean U said of Sully that, “It was brilliant!  Very tense at times.  Well acted.  I’m glad I’m not flying at the moment,” she added.  Of Hanky’s character, she opined: “He was a very brave, clever pilot!”

Quite so.  But let’s hope that such heroics and aquatic/aeronautical antics are a rarity in future, and other plane passengers (and geese, remember?) are spared similar near-death experiences.

HCA would like to thank our friends at Warner Brothers cinema for providing our members – yet again – with free entertainment in the form of motion pictures, and, afterwards, a slap-up feast of tea and cakes.

Report by Notes Smudger

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