D: Mark A.Z. Dippé
New Line (Clint Goldman)
W: Alan B. McElroy & Mark A.Z. Dippé
DP: Guillermo Navarro
Ed: Rick Shaine, Michael Knue & Todd Busch
Mus: Graeme Revell
Michael Jai White (Albert Simmons / Spawn), John Leguizamo (The Violator), Martin Sheen (Jason Wynn), Theresa Randle (Wanda Blake Simmons-Fitzgerald), Nicol Williamson (Cogliostro)
A decade before Marvel changed the production of superhero movies, this 1997 comic book fantasy made its bow, unfortunately, the overall film is quite shoddy.
A mercenary is double crossed by his employer and subsequently becomes a soldier for the devil and vows revenge on those who wronged him. The plot owes heavily to both The Crow and Darkman, and although it deserves some kudos for attempting to introduce an African-American superhero, it fails due to the unimpressive story and uninspiring direction of Japanese effects man-turned-director Mark A.Z. Dippé.
Visually, the film is poorly rendered, with some terrible CGI effects which are saved only by some good makeup work. The performances are also dull, with John Leguizamo providing any enthusiasm, although he does this a little too much to the point that he becomes irritating and hugely unpleasant.
Batman & Robin may have been the worst superhero movie of 1997, but this runs it very close.
D: Sam Mendes
MGM/Columbia (Michael G. Wilson & Barbara Broccoli)
W: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade & Jez Butterworth [based on characters created by Ian Fleming]
DP: Hoyte van Hoytema
Ed: Lee Smith
Mus: Thomas Newman
Daniel Craig (James Bond), Christoph Waltz (Ernst Stavro Blofeld), Lea Seydoux (Dr. Madeleine Swann), Ben Whishaw (Q), Naomie Harris (Eve Moneypenny), Dave Bautista (Mr. Hinx), Ralph Fiennes (M), Monica Bellucci (Lucia Sciarra)
Daniel Craig's fourth outing as James Bond, following on from the events in 2012's Skyfall. 007 receives a posthumous message from Judi Dench's M to carry out a mission in Mexico to prevent a terrorist attack, but Bond's methods land him in hot water with his authorities and he faces suspension from duty. He disobeys his orders and uncovers the terrorist organisation Spectre, headed by Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz).
Though the Daniel Craig Bond movies attempt to take the franchise in a different direction, this movie seems to have many references to the older, classic films, especially Diamonds Are Forever with its Mexico City opening. The opening sequence is quite excellent, seemingly filmed in one shot (succeeding with clever edits), whic the rest of the set pieces don't quite trump. As always, the stunts and special effects are great (achieved by a budget which make this the most expensive Bond film to produce), but it really isn't up there with the best of Bond. Despite winning an Oscar for Best Original Song, Sam Smith's "Writing's On The Wall" doesn't really fit the mood of the film at all.
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (12)
D: Jon Watts
Sony/Columbia/Marvel (Kevin Feige & Amy Pascal)
W: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers [based on characters created by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko]
DP: Salvatore Totino
Ed: Dan Lebental & Debbie Berman
Mus: Michael Giacchino
Tom Holland (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Michael Keaton (Adrian Toomes / Vulture), Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan), Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Zendaya (Michelle 'MJ' Jones), Marisa Tomei (Aunt May Parker)
A rare dud from Marvel Cinematic Universe, although it could be argued that, with Sony still maintaining a huge slice of the production rights, this could be the result of a tug of war between two of Hollywood's major studios.
Tom Holland becomes the third person to play Spider-Man in just 14 years, following his cameo appearance in 2016's Captain America: Civil War and he dons the spider-suit again for his standalone adventure, unfortunately, with Spider-Man's iconic costume now becoming an invention of Tony Stark, this superhero instalment becomes heavily dependant on Iron Man.
The intricate web of storyline draws on other films within Marvel's Arsenal, with the titular character being taken under the wing of Tony Stark, who implores him to keep his head low and help out with local neighbourhood crime fighting, but the teenage superhero bites off more than he can chew when he attempts to stop an arms dealer who uses alien technology following the big battle at the end of the first Avengers movie.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is far from being among the worst superhero movies of all time, but in comparison with other MCU films it is a huge disappointment. Tom Holland does a good job in the main role, but the supporting cast aren't great, especially Zendaya, who possibly gives one of most reprehensibly unlikeable character portrayals of the entire year.
Fanboys will love it, everyone else will find it decidedly average.
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (PG)
D: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsay & Rodney Rothman
Sony/Columbia/Marvel (Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller)
W: Phil Lord & Rodney Rothman [based on characters created by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli)
Mus: Daniel Pemberton
voices of: Shameik Moore (Miles Morales / Spider-Man), Jake Johnson (Peter B. Parker / Spider-Man), Chris Pine (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Hailee Steinfeld (Gwen Stacy / Spider-Woman), Mahershala Ali (Aaron Davis / Prowler), Brian Tyree Henry (Jefferson Davis)
Released at a time when superhero movies are getting a little oversaturated and with no less than 6 Spider-man movies between 2002 and 2017, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse makes for a refreshing alternative to the norm, as well as being a highly entertaining animated film in its own right.
With identity politics being a hot topic in 2018, there was a fear going into this movie that it would be an agenda-pushing agitprop to appease the Buzzfeed & Huffington Post crowd, mostly due to the marketing campaign which made it feel so, but I'm glad to say I was completely wrong about that.
The story follows Miles Morales, a new boy at school who has trouble fitting in, especially with his police officer father, finding a better connection with his shady uncle. When spraying graffiti art in an abandoned subway station, Miles is bitten by a radioactive spider (the same which gave Spider-Man his powers) and it soon emerges that immediately above the subway station, a group of super villains have been creating a particle accelerator with the intentions of bringing multiple alternative universes together and a whole host of spider-people along with them, including an older, dishevelled Peter Parker who becomes Miles' mentor.
What makes the film so entertaining is the witty screenplay, which does a great job introducing alternative superheroes, even for people unfamiliar with superhero comics. The characters are also very engaging and the dialogue feels incredibly natural. The film also has a unique animated style which feels like you're actually watching a comic book unfold before your eyes.
Not the best Spider-Man movie, by any means, but it's certainly better than the last few produced by Sony Pictures, although the message that "anyone can be Spider-Man" may work for this example, but it may not necessarily work for other characters (James Bond, for example), but I'm happy to judge this film on its own merits.
D: M. Night Shyamalan
Universal/Blinding Edge/Blumhouse (M. Night Shyamalan, Jason Blum & Marc Bienstock)
US 2016 (released 2017)
W: M. Night Shyamalan
DP: Mike Gioulakis
Ed: Luke Franco Ciarrochi
Mus: West Dylan Thordson
James McAvoy (Kevin Wendell Crumb), Anya Taylor-Joy (Casey), Haley Lu Richardson (Claire), Jessica Sula (Marcia), Betty Buckley (Dr. Karen Fletcher)
After a decade of flops, M. Night Shyamalan may well have revived his career with this psychological thriller, featuring a quite excellent lead performance from James McAvoy as a sufferer of a multiple personality disorder, Kevin Wendell Crumb, whose 23 separate personalities struggle to overpower a dangerously rising 24th personality.
The film begins with Kevin kidnapping 3 teenage girls, who he keeps locked in underground cells to await their fate. Meanwhile, the enormity of Kevin's condition is revealed during sessions with a counsellor, as well as each personality coming forth to the kidnapped girls at various times.
This really is a return to form for M. Night Shyamalan, who references his 2000 film Unbreakable at certain points during the duration.
A sequel is planned, titled Glass, which is also intended to draw into the plot points from Unbreakable.
Hopefully it will be more like this, and less like The Happening.
THE SQUARE (15)
D: Ruben Östlund
TriArt/Plattform (Erik Hemmendorff & Philippe Bober)
W: Ruben Östlund
DP: Fredrik Wenzel
Ed: Ruben Östlund & Jacob Secher Schulsinger
Claes Bang (Christian), Elisabeth Moss (Anne), Terry Notary (Oleg), Dominic West (Terry), Christopher Læssø (Michael)
2017's Palme d'Or winner is a peculiar arthouse movie, blending themes of docudrama, black comedy, social satire and parody into its narrative.
Set in the days building up to a new art exhibit at a Stockholm gallery, presented as a simple square on the ground, where those who stand within it must treat each other equally and without prejudice.
The curator behind the installation of 'The Square' faces various personal and professional issues, including suffering theft via a confidence scam, a sexual encounter with an American journalist and backlash surrounding the publicity campaign of the new art piece.
Strange it may be, but the film will leave you thinking after the closing credits roll. The titular art piece is quite obviously a reference to the European Union, whilst the story also raise profound themes about political correctness, freedom of speech and artistic expression, the latter of which have become increasingly stifled in modern society due to the growth of the former, where people take offensive outcry over social media but seem to stay quiet when it often happens before their very eyes.
Like a lot of art, other perceptions may also be correct, but this is what I took away from director Ruben Östlund's work.
STAN & OLLIE (PG)
D: Jon S. Baird
Sony/Entertainment One/BBC/Fable/Sonesta (Faye Ward)
W: Jeff Pope
DP: Laurie Rose
Ed: Úna Ni Dhonghaile & Billy Sneddon
Mus: Rolfe Kent
Steve Coogan (Stan Laurel), John C. Reilly (Oliver Hardy), Shirley Henderson (Lucille Hardy), Nina Arianda (Ida Kitaeva Laurel), Rufus Jones (Bernard Delfont), Danny Huston (Hal Roach)
I was lucky enough to have been selected to attend a test screening preview of Stan & Ollie over a year before its official release. Of course, that early cut of the film was without many post production elements, such as music, sound effects and many incomplete green screen backgrounds. Still, these cosmetic issues didn't really prevent me from enjoying the film, and it's all due to good acting performances and an engaging story.
With the aid of excellent makeup, Steve Coogan & John C. Reilly are incredibly convincing as Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy, the comedy legends of a bygone era whose back catalogue of short films and movies is still as beloved by some in modern times as it was in their 1930's heyday.
This biographical film takes place during their British tour of 1953, where they stage their famous routines in front of dwindling crowds as they cling to their fame with hopes of a cinematic comeback when their tour concludes in London.
The style of the film doesn't really settle on one specific genre of drama or comedy, as it manages to be both serious and comedic, sombre and bittersweet, delightful and insightful, as it shows not only the duo as their bumbling, accident-prone on-screen counterparts, but their friendship behind the curtain, including the tetchy relationships with their wives.
The acting from the entire ensemble is excellent, and though it might not delve as much into Laurel & Hardy's slapstick as much as some would have liked, it has enough to serve a reminder of how great they were, and possibly introduce a new generation into their work.
A STAR IS BORN (U)
D: William A. Wellman
United Artists/Selznick International (David O. Selznick)
W: William A. Wellman, Robert Carson, Dorothy Parker & Alan Campbell
DP: W. Howard Greene
Ed: James E. Newcom & Anson Stevenson
Mus: Max Steiner
Janet Gaynor (Esther Hoffman / Vicki Lester), Fredric March (Norman Maine), Adolphe Menjou (Oliver Niles), May Robson (Grandmother Lettie), Andy Levine (Danny McGuire), Lionel Stander (Matt Libby)
The original 1937 version of A Star Is Born was the first all-colour motion picture to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, which should tell you all you need to know about its age.
It's said that every generation has its own version of A Star Is Born, and the plot has seen a remake in the 1950's (with Judy Garland & James Mason), the 1970's (with Barbra Streisand & Kris Kristofferson) and in 2018 (starring Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper). Of course, there was also the 1932 film What Price Hollywood?, which is a variation on the same plot, but this film is not a remake of that and was considered an Original Story when it was nominated for and won this category at the 1938 Oscars.
Though later versions were set within the music industry, the original film was a love letter to Hollywood, starring Janet Gaynor as young ingenue Esther Hoffman, who comes to Tinseltown with dreams of being a star and becomes enamoured by Norman Maine, the studio's number one star, although his addiction to alcohol and reputation for this begin to hinder his success.
Launched onto the big screen as Vicki Lester, the young actress becomes an overnight sensation and when her stardom begins to eclipse Maine's, it puts strain on their relationship.
Though this version is now considered dated compared to later versions, the fundamental part of the plot still has a lot of gas, making it understandable why it has had so many remakes, even reworked in films like The Artist (qv). Even so, for 1937 it was a landmark movie, winning a special award at the Oscars for its technicolor cinematography, as well as using some interesting artistic flourishes with its direction and editing (one scene which comes to mind is a billboard transitioning from Maine's name in lights to Lester's).
Due to issues with copyright, it's difficult to find good quality unedited versions of the film now, but if you can catch it, it makes a worthwhile watch for film enthusiasts, although general audiences will have their own version of the film, possibly depending on which one they saw first.
A STAR IS BORN (U)
D: George Cukor
Warner Bros/Transcona (Sidney Luft)
176 mins (original version: 182 mins / edited version: 152 mins)
Musical / Romance
W: Moss Hart [based on the 1937 screenplay by William A. Wellman, Robert Carson, Dorothy Parker & Alan Campbell]
DP: Sam Leavitt
Ed: Folmar Blangsted
Mus: Ray Heindorf
PD: Gene Allen
Cos: Jean Louis & Mary Ann Nyberg
Judy Garland (Esther Blodgett / Vicki Lester), James Mason (Norman Maine), Jack Carson (Matt Libby), Charles Bickford (Oliver Niles), Tommy Noonan (Danny McGuire)
Regarded the classic version of A Star Is Born, the 1954 remake is unfortunately not possible to view as it was originally envisaged by director George Cukor.
Released in its 182 minute entirety, studio heads at Warner Bros. trimmed the running time (without Cukor's permission) by half-an-hour and destroyed the negative(!). A 176 minute version is available on DVD, with a complete soundtrack, but many scenes have been reconstructed with production stills. Most of the scenes which have been forever lost build up the relationship between the two lead characters and so have great importance to the narrative. Obviously studio heads thought the love story element was far less important than an extra screening at cinemas per day, proving that, for some, money is more important than romance. Sigh.
As for the film itself, it certainly is an improvement on the 1937 picture, modernising the same story (an ingenue becomes the new big star while a Hollywood legend succumbs to alcoholism) for the 1950's and tailoring it specifically for the amazing talents of Judy Garland, who really does shine in this. Taking on the Fredric March character Norman Maine in this remake is James Mason, who is also excellent as his character's trajectory is on opposite paths from Garland's Esther Blodgett / Vicki Lester.
The lead performances are absolutely fantastic, especially Garland's, whose defeat at the Academy Awards (to Grace Kelly in The Country Girl) is considered one of the biggest Oscar snubs of all time.
Whether or not this is the classic version of A Star Is Born is completely subjective (I'm actually incredibly fond of the 2018 version), but I could certainly concur that this is one of the classic musicals of all time. A tad overlong, yes, but studio heads 'fixing' that by destroying scenes should be considered an act of criminal negligence.
A STAR IS BORN (15)
D: Bradley Cooper
Warner Bros/MGM/Live Nation (Bradley Cooper, Bill Gerber, Todd Phillips & Lynette Howell Taylor)
W: Eric Roth, Will Fetters & Bradley Cooper [based on the 1937 screenplay by William A. Wellman, Robert Carson, Dorothy Parker & Alan Campbell]
DP: Matthew Libatique
Ed: Jay Cassidy
Lady Gaga (Ally Maine), Bradley Cooper (Jackson Maine), Sam Elliott (Bobby Maine), Dave Chappelle (Noodles), Andrew Dice Clay (Lorenzo), Rafi Gavron (Rez)
This is the fourth American remake of A Star Is Born, following versions in the 1930's (with Janet Gaynor), and more famously in the 1950's with Judy Garland & James Mason and 1970's with Barbra Streisand & Kris Kristofferson. If you include movies like What Price Hollywood?, The Artist and La La Land, it's the umpteenth remake of a similar plot thread. Despite all this, Bradley Cooper (making his directorial debut) does an excellent job bringing an age old story into the modern era.
Cooper also stars as Jackson Maine (from Norman Maine in the original film), a rock singer at the peak of his popularity, but heavily addicted to alcohol and drugs which are beginning to affect his performances. Craving a drink following one of his gigs, he stumbles into a gay cabaret bar as Ally (Lady Gaga) is performing. Impressed by her voice, humility and attitude, he insists that she attend his next concert, where he coerces into performing her song, which becomes a sensation and gains the attention of an avaricious manager who wants to make her the next big thing.
The price of fame is that Ally loses her own image to become a generic popstar whilst Jackson's career declines due to his addictions.
This is a remake which works. Mostly due to the incredibly effective on-screen chemistry between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, and the soundtrack of original songs is easily the best you'll hear all year. From a filmmaking perspective, everything is done with the highest level of professionalism and it's clear to see that Bradley Cooper had a huge amount of devotion and dedication committed to making this his own. The cinematography, editing and sound design are all perfect, but the biggest stars are the actors themselves. Bradley Cooper channelling his talents to make a very convincing rockstar, while Lady Gaga was the only actress who could have possibly done justice to this role (unbelievable that the studio were almost insistent that Beyoncé star instead).
Very much amongst the best movies of 2018.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (12)
D: Rian Johnson
Disney/Lucasfilm (Kathleen Kennedy & Ram Bergman)
W: Rian Johnson [based on characters created by George Lucas]
DP: Steve Yedlin
Ed: Bob Ducsay
Mus: John Williams
PD: Rick Heinrichs
Daisy Ridley (Rey), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Gen. Leia Organa), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Andy Serkis (Snoke), Domnhall Gleason (Gen. Hux), Laura Dern (Vice Adm. Holdo), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose)
The 8th episode to the Star Wars saga is, like the other films in the series, rather critic-proof. As someone who enjoyed The Force Awakens, I was expecting more of the same from The Last Jedi, but unfortunately I left the cinema quite disappointed.
It's quite obvious that, with Disney's involvement in the Star Wars movies, studio executives are calling more shots than the director, and focus is more on diverse, inclusive storytelling rather than storytelling.
At 2 & a half hours long, this is the longest Star Wars movie, but it doesn't need to be, and 45 minutes could have been trimmed with the pointless characters and plot lines dropped to the cutting room floor without affecting the pacing or plot of the adventure at all.
The story continues on from the cliffhanger at the end of The Force Awakens. Rey has located Luke Skywalker's whereabouts and is tries to convince him to join the resistance and put an end to the war once and for all. Meanwhile, the empire have discovered a way to track rebel ships through light-speed and have a fleet of spaceships trapped, including one carrying General Leia Organa.
The story does shoot off in several directions from this point, with Poe Dameron planning a mutiny against his superiors for the sake of survival, whilst Finn and his fangirl go to the galaxy's equivalent of Monte Carlo, where they hope to find a master hacker who can break into the imperial fleet and give the rebels a chance to escape.
It's not possible to reveal any more of the plot without major spoilers, but one of the storylines has no resolution and seems only to have been introduced for the sake of new characters. Likewise with Rey's storyline, which includes new creatures called Porgs, who only exist so Disney can sell merchandise. They bring absolutely nothing to the story.
Another gripe is with the forced humour, which would feel more in place in a Marvel movie rather than Star Wars.
As for the good stuff, there are some epic lightsaber duels, some exhilarating space battles, an exciting and surprising cameo appearance from an iconic character and Kylo Ren develops into a much stronger nemesis. There's also a lot of unpredictability in the set up, making it difficult to determine if key characters will survive the episode.
It's a shame that to get to the good stuff, there's a lot of excess you have to endure.
While not as disappointing as The Phantom Menace, it is a weak episode to the Star Wars universe, and the enjoyment factor has proved to be very divisive and it all seems to depend on whether you're a Star Wars or a Disney fan. The worst thing about all this, by far, is the attitude of director Rian Johnson, who has actually taken to insulting SW fans who criticised the film. Wanker.
STRANGER THAN FICTION (12)
D: Marc Forster
Columbia/Mandate/Three Strange Angels (Lindsay Doran)
W: Zach Helm
DP: Roberto Schaefer
Ed: Matt Chesse
Mus: Britt Daniel & Brian Reitzell
Will Ferrell (Harold Crick), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Ana Pascal), Emma Thompson (Karen Eiffel), Dustin Hoffman (Prof. Jules Hilbert), Queen Latifah (Penny Escher)
Hands down, Will Ferrell delivers his best performance by far in this comic fantasy, in which he plays Harold Crick, a tax auditor who thinks he's losing his mind when he starts hearing his life and actions being narrated. The narrators voice is provided by Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson), an author who is writing Harold as a fictional character for her new novel, unbeknownst that he is a real person and her writing seriously affects the path of his life.
A good throwback to the Steve Martin style comedies of the 1980's, the film not only features Will Ferrell's career best performance, but also a great supporting turn from Emma Thompson.
The suspension of disbelief is also handled very well by Zach Helm's script. It is what it is, just go with it and enjoy.
D: David Gordon Green
Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions/Bold/Mandeville/Nine Stories (Jake Gyllenhaal, Michel Litvak, Scott Silver, David Lieberman & Scott Hoberman)
W: John Pollono [based on the memoir by Jeff Bauman & Bret Witter]
DP: Sean Bobbitt
Ed: Dylan Tichenor
Mus: Michael Brook
Jake Gyllenhaal (Jeff Bauman), Tatiana Maslany (Erin Hurley), Miranda Richardson (Patty Bauman), Clancy Brown (Jeff Bauman, Sr.), Richard Lane, Jr. (Sully)
Jake Gyllenhaal turns in a solid performance as Jeff Bauman, a blue collar Boston resident who lost both his legs in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon terrorist attack in 2013, having to adjust to life accordingly but trying the patience of his family and girlfriend, who was a participant in the marathon on the fateful day, all while becoming something of a heroic figure in his hometown.
The film is tackled in a low-key way, almost of TV movie standard by director David Gordon Green, but the main performances of both Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany make this a very good watch.
It's unfortunate that the film was a box office failure, only grossing about half of its shooting budget.
D: George Clooney
Paramount/Black Bear/Smokehouse (George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Joel Silver & Teddy Schwarzman)
W: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, George Clooney & Grant Heslov
DP: Robert Elswit
Ed: Stephen Mirrione
Mus: Alexandre Desplat
PD: James D. Bissell
Matt Damon (Gardner Lodge), Julianne Moore (Rose / Margaret), Oscar Isaac (Bud Cooper), Noah Jupe (Nicky Lodge), Gary Basaraba (Uncle Mitch)
A Coen Brothers script directed by George Clooney, although the contrast of styles and additional material penned in takes the plot in directions that might baffle or frustrate regular cinemagoers, and the marketing trailer doesn't really portray the film accurately, and those expecting a crime thriller akin to Fargo are definitely going to be disappointed.
The genre is very much black comedy, with a huge dollop of social commentary thrown in. The film takes place in the mid-1950's in the small town of Suburbicon, an idyllic post-war picket fence community, where all seems crisp, clean and perfect. The natives grow restless when an African-American family move to the small town, where they are met with racism that stirs into mob-mentality violence.
Running concurrently with this story is a tale of murder which takes place in a neighbouring house, where a clean-cut American family have their lives disrupted by a break in, which results in the murder of the mother, which becomes more and more sinister as the plot unravels.
The moral is very much shoved in our faces that 1950's America was so unashamedly racist that it turned an eye to obvious crimes in its pursuit of the "American dream", and though the film is quite heavy-handed, there are a lot of good things about it.
The performances of Matt Damon and Julianne Moore (in a dual role) are darkly comic, the production design and cinematography are great and though the undertones of the film are quite messy, it's nowhere near as bad as other reviews may suggest.
SULLY: MIRACLE ON THE HUDSON (12)
D: Clint Eastwood
Warner Bros/Malpaso/Village Roadshow (Clint Eastwood, Frank Marshall, Tim Moore & Allyn Stewart)
W: Todd Komarnicki [based on the biographical book "Highest Duty" by Chesley Sullenberger & Jeffrey Zaslow]
DP: Tom Stern
Ed: Blu Murray
Mus: Christian Jacob
Tom Hanks (Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger), Aaron Eckhart (Jeff Skiles), Laura Linney (Lorraine Sullenberger), Anna Gunn (Dr. Elizabeth Davis)
Clint Eastwood & Tom Hanks' first collaboration does make incredibly interesting viewing, tackling the true story of a miracle crash landing on the Hudson River by veteran commercial pilot Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger.
The film focuses on the event itself, as well as the investigative hearing following the near-disaster, where it is challenged whether or not Sully's course of action was the correct one to spare the lives of all the passengers on board.
The film has a modest running time of only 96 minutes, which it's all the better for as it doesn't have the need for plodding exposition or subplots which go nowhere. The performances of Tom Hanks & Aaron Eckhart are both excellent, and the visual recreation of the event itself is incredibly well reconstructed, with brilliant use of sound & visual effects.