Based on true events, Clint Eastwood's latest directorial outing stars Tom Hanks as US Airways pilot Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger, who famously landed his plane on New York's Hudson river in 2009.
Rather than recasting the incident in the manner of a disaster film, Sully… is structured around the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board)investigation into the event, using this as a springboard to contrast the practical experience of emergency-landing a plane in a big puddle against the NTSB's theoretical analysis of what should have happened. Are Sully (Tom Hanks) and his first officer Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) heroes, or guilty of a costly error in judgement?
Never a subtle film (the antagonism of the NTSB investigators casts them as obvious villains), Sully… still finds Eastwood on surer ground as a director than the uneasy heroics of American Sniper and the lacklustre musical musings of Jersey Boys. And the plane crash are sequences especially convincing.
Picture: Shot using Arri Alexa 65 cameras, Sully: Miracle on the Hudson splashes down on Blu-ray with a eye-opening 2.40:1 digital-to-digital 1080p encode. Imagery is razor-sharp with impeccable clarity inherent in every shot. Close-ups prove particularly detailed, revealing hairs, pock-marks and facial scars. The colour palette is fairly muted, leaning towards a rather grey appearance, but it suits the real-world nature of the material and doesn't impact on flesh tones. Meanwhile, black levels are superb and there's plenty of shadow detail. It'll be interesting to see how the 4K HDR Blu-ray (released simultaneously to this 1080p disc, but not made available for review) can improve on this.
Picture rating: 5/5
Audio: From the nightmare that opens the film, Sully: Miracle on the Hudon's sound design really makes good use of its Dolby Atmos soundstage. Use of the height channels is very effective – not just in the flashbacks to the incident itself, but also in the way the film transitions out of them, with aircraft noise carrying up and over you from behind as the action moves back to the present.
Audio rating: 5/5
Extras: Moment by Moment: Averting Disaster on the Hudson (16 minutes) talks about the real events with the people actually involved. Sully Sullenberger: The Man Behind the Miracle (20 minutes) offers a biographical account of the man himself with input from family and friends. Finally, Neck Deep in the Hudson: Shooting Sully (20 minutes) focuses on the film's production.
Extras rating: 2/5
We say: Eastwood returns to form with a tidy drama that looks and sounds the business on Blu-ray.
Sully: Miracle on the Hudson, Warner Bros., All-region BD, £25
HCC VERDICT: 3.5/5
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