Sully (Blu-ray) (2016)

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Released 14-Dec-2016

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Biography Featurette-Moment by Moment: Averting Disaster on the Hudson (15:44)
Featurette-Sully Sullenberger: The Man Behind the Miracle (19:49)
Featurette-Making Of-Neck Deep in the Hudson: Shooting Sully (20:17)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2016
Running Time 95:50
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Clint Eastwood

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Tom Hanks
Aaron Eckhart
Laura Linney
Anna Gunn
Jamey Sheridan
Mike O’Malley

Case ?
RPI ? Music Christian Jacob
Tierney Sutton Band

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Atmos 7.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     On 15 January 2009 US Airways Flight 1549, an Airbus A320, took off from LaGuardia airport in New York with 155 passengers and crew on board. At the controls were experienced pilot Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeff Skiles. Shortly after take off the aircraft was hit by a flock of birds, causing both its engines to lose all power. The pilots initially thought they could glide the aircraft and return to the airport but when this was judged to be impossible Captain Sullenberger executed a precision ditching of the aircraft into the freezing Hudson River. With the help of NY ferries and the police divers who rushed to assist, all 155 people on board were saved and Sully became a national hero. The entire incident, from bird strike to ditching, took just 208 seconds.

     Director Clint Eastwood in Sully presents these events in forensic detail but the main focus of the film is the aftermath of the ditching; the inquest by the National Transportation Safety Board into the actions of the pilots. It was alleged, based on computer simulations, that Captain Sullenberger did not give enough consideration to returning to LaGuardia to land the plane, and thus he endangered the lives of all on board. This had an obvious impact upon Sully (Tom Hanks), his family including wife Lorrie (Laura Linney) and First Office Skiles (Aaron Eckhart). Sully, a pilot with over 40 years’ experience, in real life and as portrayed by Hanks, is an unassuming man, who has recurring nightmares about the incident, is uncomfortable with the hero tag and begins to have doubts about his actions. That Sully is vindicated in the end is not spoiler for anyone who followed the news at the time.

     Sully is based on the book co-authored by Sullenberger and the film was made with his full co-operation. From interviews on the Blu-ray and from what others say about him, he is a decent, calm, unassuming man and a professional, committed pilot. This is another role made for Tom Hanks and he is superb as Sully; his is a beautiful, moving performance, bringing out the man’s convictions as well as his doubts and insecurities. The supporting cast are also excellent, with Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney providing measured support; indeed Eckhart has one of the best lines in the film when, at the end, Skiles is asked if he would do anything different; “ditch in July”, he responds.

     Clint Eastwood is a no fuss director who prefers to allow the story to tell itself, and this is the case with Sully; with events so recent in the public eye, Eastwood gives us both exciting visuals and human drama. The ditching sequence, of which we see parts during the film, is heart in mouth stuff, even though we know the result. The public hearing is also well staged, and although it is hard to accept that the Board members (played by Jamey Sheridan, Mike O’Malley and Anna Gunn) were so adversarial, it does make for a dramatic climax and vindication of Sully. Yet, throughout, the film focuses on the human drama, showing that decisions made in 208 seconds, even correct decisions which save lives, do have far-reaching consequences.

     Good news stories are rather hard to find, especially ones involving aircraft and New York, but Sully is about a man who is a genuine hero. In decades past he would have been played by James Stewart, but now Tom Hanks has the honour and does a beautiful job in this beautiful, and moving, film.

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Transfer Quality


     Sully is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The film looks gorgeous. The detail in sequences in a wintery New York, including the ditching, is strong and colours are natural, including the grey of the Hudson River and the skies; in contrast the flashback scenes to a young Sully in Texas have a yellowish glow. Blacks and shadow detail are pristine, brightness and contrast consistent, skin tones natural.

     Artefacts and marks were absent.

     Subtitles available include English for the Hearing Impaired plus a range of European languages.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     Audio choices are English Atmos 7.1 (which defaults to DTS-HD MA 7.1) or Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1.

     My system is not yet 7.1 capable, so I listened to the film as 5.1 and the result was still stunning. In the quieter moments there are frequent ambient and directional sounds, such as voices, music, traffic, ferry horns or lockers closing, while the scenes involving the flight are impressive with engines, bird strikes or the sound of the ditching. Dialogue is clear and the sub-woofer added rumble to the engines and ditching.

     The low key and effective score is by Christian Jacob and Tierney Sutton Band, with Clint Eastwood providing the theme music.

     There are no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Moment by Moment: Averting Disaster on the Hudson (15:44)

     A reconstruction of the events of Flight 1549 from when it took off until it ditched in the Hudson River. Uses film footage, graphics of radar images and interviews with Sully Sullenberger, First Officer Jeff Skiles and Air Traffic Controller Patrick Harten. Fascinating.

Sully Sullenberger: The Man Behind the Miracle (19:49)

     A brief biography of Sully Sullenberger from childhood in Texas, learning to fly, time in the military, marriage and family and the events of January 2009. Of particular interest are the aftereffects of the ditching on himself and his family. Uses film footage and interviews with Sullenberger, Jeff Skiles and Sully’s wife Lorrie and daughter Kelly.

Neck Deep in the Hudson: Shooting Sully (20:17)

     Pretty much a standard “making of” with on set and film footage, especially of the crash sequence and the rescue, and interview segments with Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, 5 other cast members, 4 producers, the screenwriter, costume designer, special effects supervisor, the stunt coordinator, the NY ferry captain, 2 NYPD Scuba team divers and a Red Cross worker who were involved in the rescue. Discussion includes Eastwood’s way of working, the casting of Tom Hanks, practising in a flight simulator and filming the ditching.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Blu-ray of Sully is the same worldwide except for subtitle options.


     Sully is about a genuine hero, and Tom Hanks gives a wonderful nuanced performance bringing the man to life. This, and the meticulous reconstruction of the events of that day by Eastwood, results in an inspiring, well-constructed and well-directed film, a very human drama with a real life, uplifting, happy ending.

     The video and audio are very good. The extras are genuine and worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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