Anointed by the media as the “Miracle on the Hudson,” Sully offers the story of pilot Chesley Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) whose miraculous water landing of a full-sized passenger plane in the Hudson River was celebrated by the world as a near-impossible feat but questioned heavily by the airline industry. Remarkably, every passenger and crew member survived Sully ditching the plane, but that’s really just where this story gets started.
A stand-alone one-shot written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland, Batman: The Killing Joke is the most overrated Batman story ever printed. Very much a product of its time, the story features the Joker (Mark Hamill) finally going “too far.” I’m not saying the story is bad, in fact it works in the way Moore and Bolland intended and explores the destructive relationship between Batman (Kevin Conroy) and the Joker in unexpected ways. However, it also make several decisions which are hard to excuse even nearly three decades later – predominantly turning Barbara Gordon (Tara Strong) into nothing more than a victim.
In the hands of a less talented cast The Light Between Oceans would be a tedious disaster. Soap opera dressed in drag as high drama, the manipulative tale is made watchable by its choice of leads Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander in what feels very much like a story predestined for Lifetime television. Still, a talented cast can only do so much with the sordid, and extremely predictable, source material.
Adapted from the novel of the same name, Fassbender stars as Tom Sherbourne, a WWI vet who takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on an isolated island. Falling for the daughter of one of the men who hired him for the position, Tom and Isabel’s (Alicia Vikander) life on the island is full of tragedy, but the arrival of a shipwrecked boat promises a new start for the couple. To do so they will make a choice which will not only affect themselves but a woman they have never met (Rachel Weisz) for years to come.
At more than two-hours no amount of pretty (but never quite amazing) scenery or closeups of Vikander and Fassbender can prevent the lull which director Derek Cianfrance can not seem to avoid.
Hell or High Water is more than it appears to be at first glance. The simple story of two brothers robbing banks while literally being pursued by a cowboy (Jeff Bridges) and an Indian (Gil Birmingham) through small Texas towns is grounded in complex motivations playing as much on character-driven drama as themes from westerns and heist films which screenwriter Taylor Sheridan and director David Mackenzie use to frame the tale. Shot against the bleak canvas of West Texas (or, to be more accurate, New Mexico standing in for West Texas), Hell or High Water is an engrossing, entertaining, and often amusing, film.
1977’s Pete’s Dragon is a goofy live-action kid’s movie about an orphan who gets into trouble thanks to a clumsy invisible dragon named Elliot. Something around the lines of The Apple Dumpling Gang mashed up with Mary Poppins, it’s a movie I remember from my childhood, but not well. To be honest, the announcement of a remake didn’t really interest me. However, Disney’s entirely new take on the tale proves to be a far more memorable adventure.
Maybe DC should shy away from its major heroes and concentrate on the fringes of the DCU. I don’t know that you should call a $175 million theatrical release with an excessive marketing campaign a B-movie but that’s exactly what Suicide Squad is. Writer/director David Ayer delivers an unapologetically trashy B-movie that, despite its faults, is fun.