Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I eyeballed it.

As I write these words (well, wrote), I'm anxiously waiting aboard Flight 5065 (with non-stop service to Charlotte) for the flight attendant to shut the cabin doors so we can get the Hell outta this place.

Wait a second...ah, nevermind. For a minute there it looked like that beefy dude outside was going to leave my luggage just sitting there on the runway, but he finally tossed it on the conveyor thingy.

Anyway, on the way into the plane, I managed to catch a glimpse of the pilot. He looked like a competent enough guy, with a profile landing somewhere between Harold Ramis and Jim's Dad, Eugene Levy. And as I stared at him, I couldn't help but think, no matter how good he is at flying airplanes, it's highly unlikely he's the best.

How can I now sit aboard his plane and have the stones to say such a thing? Well, to be quite honest, I've already flown with the best pilot ever. And judging by the box office numbers...a lot of us have.

And that guy looks a lot like Tom Hanks.

I don't know (or care to know, frankly) what liberties were taken in bringing Sully to the big screen, but whatever was added or omitted, the result is a fantastic (though thoroughly gut-wrenching) film. Under the direction of the legendary Clint Eastwood, something I never wanted to see in the first place became don't blink cinema. Happy endings aren't supposed to be this sad.

I'm sure you know the story, but if not, he's the short version. After a routine take off on a cold January morning in '09, Captain Chelsey Sullenberger's plane suffered total engine failure as a flock of Canadian geese flew into and disabled both main engines. With only moments to spare, Sully and his co-pilot decided to land the plane on (in?) the Hudson river, and unbelievably, everyone survived.

"And that's where the story ends. Sully was a hero for a couple of days, and everyone lived happily ever after. I guess. [flicks cigarette]. Are we done here?" -m.brown, the world's biggest a-hole,, had you asked him about the Miracle on the Hudson.

Okay, speaking of miracles, our flight attendant is super hot. She just literally handed me my nuts.

Uh, where were we? Oh, right. While many of us may have smiled at the good news coming out of NYC and moved on, Sully and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles we're on the defensive. America's heroes were quietly battling the NTSB in an effort to prove they did the right thing. Wait, what?

Yeah, it turns out, internally at least, Sully's reputation, livelihood and pension we're totally on the line. It seems a closer examination of the events had some authorities believing that Sully made a critical error in judgement, and the river landing was unnecessary and reckless. Good thing that not only can Sullenberger handle himself in the cockpit, but this man is also an ass-kicker in a courtroom, too. It's simply incredible.

You don't question a man with that level of 'stache. Ever.
Speaking of incredible, Tom Hanks, yet again, delivers one of my favorite performances...ever. Maybe it's the character, maybe it's just Hanks, but he perfectly captures the somewhat fragile stoicism of Captain Sullenberger that no other actor ever could. Like Hanks, we may not know a lot about Sully personally, but we uniformly love and accept him regardless. And also like Hanks, we trust him (and in Sully's case, with our lives [though honestly, I'd trust Hanks, too]. Even if things are bad, even if he's terrified (though he'll do his best to never let on), he's going to come through.

But best of all? We're going to be okay.

(oh, and if you could find someone more legitimately admirable? Well...I'd be shocked. And furious.)

Also full of surprises, are the Yays and Boos. We saw this one, alone, on my thirty-seventh birthday no less. But don't think that was the reason we were trying not to cry the entire time. Not even close.

I think I know who I'm going to be for Halloween.

  • I'm not sure it's something to cheer about, but I'm damn sure that was a Hell of an opening.
  • Aaron Eckhart's Skiles is pretty much the coolest dude around. Well, other than Sully. His face in 99% of the scenes he's in? Priceless.
  • Man, I was a big fan of Flirty Makeup Girl. Really. The outpouring of love for Sully made me feel better about...well, everything, honestly. Same goes for Hotel Manager Lady. Loved her, too.
  • Letterman's brace for impact joke was so perfectly Dave, I couldn't handle it. One of the few times I actually felt a twinge of joy during this film. 
  • If someone tells me they were the real flight attendants I'm not going to be surprised, as the ladies looked (and sounded) exactly like every flight attendant ever. And seriously, these ladies kick a lot of ass, let me tell you.
  • While the movie is basically stacked with heroes, Air Traffic Controller Guy was the f--king man. To see the emotional roller coaster that this man found himself on was pretty moving. I honestly don't know how anybody does this job.
  • So...that was a Gran Torino poster in Times Square wasn't it? Oh, Clint. You sneaky, self-promoting bastard.
  • I really dug the flashbacks. Especially the one of Sully in his Army days. Had my fingers crossed that Lt. Dan was going to show up.
  • As much as this film is a testament to the bravery and resolve of Sully, the number of agencies that stepped up that day was astonishing. Sure, sometimes it almost felt like a commercial for 'Merica, but cynical as I am, I adored it. Even an asshole like me can stop being a dick long enough to see that there truly are great people among us. That day, many of them showed up to lend a hand.
  • 10 PM K-Mart run? That's so rad.
  • I used to keep a fortune cookie fortune in my wallet. Not as cool at that one...but close.
  • I don't really know how to phrase it, but if you ever decide you want to make a compilation of the best I TOLD YOU SO scenes in movie history (aka, Rebuttal/F--K YOU scenes), start here. 
  • And finally, Tom Hanks. 
That safety speech before the flight took off?
I listened a little bit closer this time.
  • I saw this on 2:45. On a Wednesday. And it was almost sold out. Lots of old people, which is fine, but those folks have no idea how to give a brother some space in line. Damn!
  • Airline insurance companies? They don't come off so well here.
  • Katie Couric's face is frightening. I'm not sure if it was CGI, or LSD, but I thought she looked like a demon.
  • First the Matrix, and now this. F--k off, computer simulations, you know-it-all a-holes.
  • Man, as quietly hardcore as Sully is, Mrs. Sully is a pretty tough lady, herself. Laura Linney plays Lorraine like a real hardass, huh? (thankless role, this)
  • I really liked just about everyone in this film. However...
    • Lare arriving golf-guys? Where were they before they almost missed their flight, a Hallmark Channel movie?
    • Guy who jumps in the Hudson? What the Hell, man? That would have been a bad move for Aquaman, but Regular Man? Even worse.
  • Whoa. That's a pretty fast piss-test, right? Let the guy get his shit together first.
  • That scene in the bar made me want to have a drink. Hell. Make it a double.
  • This was supposed to be a happy movie, wasn't it? I left in utter shambles. Seriously. I got back to work and needed hug in the worst way. I didn't get it.
  • And finally, when the Hell did extra leg room equate to no tray table? I wrote this thing in my lap!

I swear they said we were preparing to land twenty minutes ago, but I haven't even heard the wheels come out. Goodness. This flight, the first of two, has taken way too long. I mean, Sully landed his plane in less than three minutes. This dude's had us up in the sky forever. When it comes to landing a plane, what's so friggin' hard, you know?

Oh, right.

The ground.


  1. If Flight taught me anything, it's that I want my pilots to be drunk and on coke if there's an emergency. lol

    I'm glad everyone seems to like this movie. For me, it was one where I was like "did we really need a movie of that?" But I'll probably check it out eventually now. Great review!

    1. For real. Sober pilots are the worst.

      I COMPLETELY AGREE. I wasn't at all interested in this story (not even a little bit) when I first heard about its release...but it's so completely compelling and heart-breaking, I am fully recommending it.

      And while seeing it at home is fine, I'm not sure anything is going to match catching it in a room full of sobbing elderly ladies. Unless, well, you live in an old-folks home, then you're good.

  2. Your recommendation paid off my friend!! I saw this last night and loved it. Awesome stuff. And a fucking funny read as well :)

    1. Very pumped you liked it, as I hate vouching for anything (to find out later that someone else thought it sucked). That said, can you really ever go wrong with Hanks? No. no you cannot.

      Glad you dug the review!

  3. Huh. All I heard of this one was how abrupt the ending is and how the film isn't good but Hanks and crash sequence elevate it...I'll give it a shot most stuff is worth seeing just for Hanks

    1. It's not a perfect film by any stretch, but the story is so compelling and Hanks/Sully so incredibly good, I would easily endorse it. Oh, it can be a little rah-rah at times for America, but f--k it. These are people I think we actually should celebrate.

      I don't believe in much (like heroes or ideals...or humanity in general), but this story rattled me. I was actually happy, you know?