Clint Eastwood’s latest movie Sully saw Blu-ray and Ultra HD release this week on December 20th, 2016 from Warner Home Video.
Todd Komarnicki wrote this biographical drama based on the autobiography Highest Duty by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow.
The film features Tom Hanks and follows the events surrounding Sullenberger’s 2009 emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, in which all 155 passengers and crew survived.
Sully the Movie
After a relatively safe emergency landing in the Hudson river on January 15, 2009, pilot Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is suffering from symptoms of PTSD.
In his dreams and nightmares, and Sully repeatedly imagines the plane crashing into the city as he plays over alternate scenarios.
To add to his stress levels, Sully learns that data from ACARS suggest that the one engine was still running at idle power.
This should have left him enough power to return to LaGuardia or land at Teterboro.
The board of inquiry also ran computer simulations that indicated that the plane could have been landed safely at either airport, even with no power from either engine.
As the investigation plays out, Sully and co-pilot Jeff Stiles face days of questions to determine if the right decision was made.
Would Sullenberger remain an American hero, or would it turn out that a safer airport landing was possible after all?
Sully – My Thoughts
The ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ story featured in headlines all over the globe and made Sully a household name.
While the story of the emergency landing in and of itself is a strong motivator, the film needed to be about something more extensive if it was to play for longer than a few minutes.
The film ended up being more about the subsequent investigation and the stress that Sullenberger faced in the aftermath of the incident.
That said we do see the full flight of the plane more than once, showing the perspectives of the observers on the ground and also from the cockpit.
These sequences are nerve wracking and exciting, despite the known outcome.
While perhaps a tad gratuitous, we also see some of Sully’s nightmare scenarios played out as he imagines what might have happened had he chosen differently.
Even with all these diversions, the movie is unusually short for a modern feature, and still feels like it was padded to make that run time.
I am not saying it is a bad story, but it was a bit of a stretch to make a feature length film about it.
It also created controversy with its portrayal of the National Transportation Safety Board as the antagonist in the film, which did feel contrived.
Nonetheless Sully is a strong film with a solid dramatic angle, and worth a look for folks interested in an in depth look at the event.
Sully Cast, Crew and Performance
The cast features Tom Hanks in the lead role, along with Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Jamey Sheridan, Anna Gunn, Valerie Mahaffey and Mike O’Malley.
Sully was directed by Clint Eastwood, whose body of work includes Million Dollar Baby, The Bridges of Madison County, Jersey Boys, Play Misty for Me, True Crime, American Sniper, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Sully was a success in the cinema, taking in $124.1M at the US box office and almost as much again in international markets.
Sully on Blu-ray Disc
The video on the disc is an AVC 1080p encode at 24.5 Mbps, and is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.40:1.
The image quality is excellent throughout on this release, with a shooting style that is clean and crisp.
With few special theatrical devices getting in the way, the film looks sharp and natural on this Blu-ray release.
I imagine that this is also a great candidate for 4K Ultra HD, given the Blu-ray presentation.
For full resolution PNG screen captures taken directly from the disc, check out the details page for Sully.
The main audio is Dolby Atmos object based audio, and the sound track is certainly a treat.
The sound is enveloping, especially in the emergency landing scenes, and the sub-woofer gets a good workout too.
If you don’t have Atmos capability, the disc will default to Dolby TrueHD with 7.1 channels.
The disc is a dual layer BD50, with 35.6 GB used and is coded for All Regions.
Sully Blu-ray – The Bonus Features
The Blu-ray release for Sully comes with a selection of three featurettes that run 15-20 minutes each.
Moment by Moment: Averting Disaster on the Hudson – 15:44
This must see first hand account of the emergency landing on the Hudson river covers the whole timeline from takeoff to flash-down.
Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and co-pilot Jeff Skiles talk about their experiences on the plane while air traffic controller Patrick Harten reveals what went on in the tower.
If you are anything like me you will find this supplement as engrossing as the movie itself – maybe more so.
Sully Sullenberger: The Man Behind the Miracle – 19:49
This featurette plays like a biography for Sullenberger, from his first flight through to 2009 and the current day.
A great segment for those who want to learn more about the Captain of US Airways Flight 1549.
Neck Deep in the Hudson: Shooting Sully – 20:17
The only behind the scenes featurette goes into the challenges facing the film makers and cast.
The inception of the script and early development of the screenplay are discussed.
Both cast and crew discuss their experiences making the film, including casting choices and working with Clint Eastwood.
The behind the scenes footage shows how much fun they had between takes, with Tom Hanks often playing the joker.
This release includes a DVD Copy for legacy players and an UltraViolet Digital Copy code.
Sully Blu-ray – Final Thoughts
Sully is another solid drama from director Clint Eastwood and a must see for those intrigued by the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’.
Warner Home Video has put together an excellent Blu-ray release for the film, complete with Dolby Atmos audio and a small collection of supplements.
The retail price is $35.99, though you can get it at Amazon for $24.99, saving 31%!
Sully Blu-ray Extras:
- Sully Sullenberger: The Man Behind the Miracle
- Moment by Moment: Averting Disaster on the Hudson
- Neck Deep in the Hudson: Shooting Sully
Sully Blu-ray Synopsis:
On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain Sully Sullenberger (Hanks) glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.