Saturday, September 30, 2023

Featured: Anticipating Sully and Clint Eastwood’s Return to Form

This weekend on Episode 186, we’ll be discussing Clint Eastwood’s new film, Sully, starring the great Tom Hanks in another Captain role. Overall, Eastwood has proven himself to be an evocative filmmaker with emotional prowess behind his direction. If you’ve seen Forgiven, Mystic River or Million Dollar Baby, you’ll know what I’m talking about. However, his latest outings in American Sniper, Jersey Boys, J. Edgar and Hereafter have been less than stellar. I know some of you will come after me about American Sniper, and while it’s not a “bad” film per se, a lot of that film is manufactured, especially from an emotional standpoint. It may be the best of the films I just listed above, but it’s far from Eastwood’s best work overall.

That said, Sully looks really great and the early buzz from critics is promising. The cinematography, which looks bland at first, seems to mirror a lot of where this story is going to go as far as its murkiness. The thing I appreciate about Sully the most, based off of its marketing, is that the story will focus more on the aftermath of Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger landing the plane in the Hudson River. How does all of this attention effect Sully? How does he cope with this investigation and the pressures that come along with that? Those are the questions that Eastwood seems to be the most interested in and I love that. Additionally, Tom Hanks looks to embrace that idea significantly in his performance. In the first trailer for Sully, you just see a disheartened Sully staring into a window lost with himself, unsure of what to do. It sets the tone perfectly for me, rushing those questions to the surface. Robert Zemeckis’ Flight, starring Dezel Washington, did the same thing a few years ago. It’s not about the plane “crashing”, or in this case landing in the Hudson, but rather it’s about how one man did the impossible and is both praised and criticized for his actions. If you ask me, that is ripe for Eastwood, who has proven before that he can viscerally depict that kind of inner turmoil.

My biggest precautions going into Sully, is more about Eastwood from an aesthetic standpoint. Will he get too caught up in design like he did with J.Edgar or perhaps the extreme opposite of that as we saw in American Sniper? The “toy” baby was a bit too obvious Eastwood. C’mon, you’re better than that. Eastwood does have an eye for detail, he’s proven that over and over again. The last few films, however, have not lived up the the standard he set for himself.

Despite any precautions, Sully does look like a return to form for Eastwood and I’m excited for that. On top of that, you have Tom Hanks once again playing a captain, which is a role that he owns and works perfectly for his brand. Sully has a lot of potential and we look forward to talking about it this weekend. What about you, are you excited?


Here are some other films you can expect to see at the box office this weekend:

The Wild Life

When the Bough Breaks
The Disappointments Room (limited)
Other People (limited)
Transpecos (limited)
London Road (limited)


JD Duran
JD Duran
InSession Film founder and owner. I love film. Love art. Love how it intersects with our real lives. My favorite movies include Citizen Kane, The 400 Blows, Modern Times, The Godfather and The Tree of Life. Follow me on Twitter @RealJDDuran. Follow us @InSessionFilm.

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