Does the story of heroic commercial airplane pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger strike anyone as a nutritious film? Clint Eastwood will direct a Warner Bros. feature about Sully with Tom Hanks (who else?) playing “Captain Cool.” On 1.15.09 Sully and his co-pilot took off from LaGuardia in a well-loaded Airbus, hit a flock of geese, lost both engines and then quickly decided to land on the Hudson River. The water was colder than a bastard but everyone survived. I’m sorry but there’s a short film here but no movie. A pilot acted coolly under pressure and saved the lives of his passengers — a single, perfect, beautiful act of professional cool. But the whole episode from takeoff to landing lasted…what, 15 minutes? 20? Where’s the inciting incident? Where’s the story tension? Where’s the second act complication or story pivot? Where’s the fucking story? Sully experienced a little post-traumatic stress disorder (flashes, sleeplessness) after the episode but he got through it. Sully will almost certainly turn out to be a rote exercise in hero worship, and I mean especially with Hanks doing his low-key, man-of-character, professionalism-under-pressure routine for the 37th time.
Mad Max: Fury Road‘s Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult have reunited under director Gilles Paquet-Brenner with a screenplay by Gone Girl‘s Gillian Flynn. The “traumatized lead character wakes up from a nightmare” moment suggests that genuine lightning strikes very occasionally and in fact rarely. Costarring Corey Stoll, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christina Hendricks, Tye Sheridan, Dora Madison Burge and Drea de Matteo. (Where’s Drea been since she got whacked on The Sopranos?) Dark Places will debut on Directv’s video-on-demand service this week, followed by a theatrical break on 8.7.
As part of a quid pro quo deal in having accepted a new NBC News gig as “breaking news anchor for live special reports,” Brian Williams has issued the following statement:
“I’m sorry. I said things that weren’t true. I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I’m determined to earn back their trust. I will greatly miss working with the team on Nightly News, but I know the broadcast will be in excellent hands with Lester Holt as anchor. I will support him 100% as he has always supported me. I am grateful for the chance to return to covering the news. My new role will allow me to focus on important issues and events in our country and around the world, and I look forward to it.”
What Williams Should Have Said: “I’m sorry I got caught lying. I tried to equivocate and sidestep and tap-dance my way out of the problem but…well, it didn’t work. So now I’m really ‘sorry.’ You get what I’m saying, right?
“The offshoot is that I’ve been offered a chance to come back. Not to NBC News but MSNBC. I won’t exactly be Lester Holt‘s breaking-news bitch but it wouldn’t be far off the mark to call me that. I like the idea of collecting a check and being a working newsman again, but by any standard this is a humiliating, take-it-or-leave-it punishment position in which I’ll have to play the role of a demoted and discredited anchor who has a tendency to lie…I mean ‘exaggerate.’ I’ll have to do a lot of smiling. I’ll have to do a shitload of yoga in the mornings. Maybe Lester will occasionally ask me to run to the deli and pick up a chicken salad sandwich and a hot tea with a bag of chips for lunch. Maybe I could shine shoes on the side.
“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities like this have had to endure tragedies like this too many times. We don’t have all the facts but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. Now is a time for mourning and for healing, but let’s be clear. At some point we as a country will have to have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it.”
Posted by Indiewire’s Eric Kohn: “The success of Jurassic World obscures the more enterprising possibility for cinema to advance toward new horizons. Rather than settling with a formula that sticks, movies should be celebrated for building on past successes or upending them altogether. Mad Max: Fury Road is an ideal example, but in the 32 days since its release it has yet to gross as much as Jurassic World made on opening weekend. It’s easy to give audiences what they want and harder to convince them to take on a challenge. Jurassic World provides the latest evidence of this frustrating tendency, which studios all too eagerly exploit.” Fury Road is a “challenge”?
Kohn references a description of Jurassic World by critic Sam Adams as “a metaphor for itself…a bad movie about why movies are so bad.”
“I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” — statement attributed to Dylann Storm Roof, 21, identified as the murderer of nine worshippers at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last night.
Alleged church murderer and white-supremacist Dylann Roof, 21.
Standard racist hate stuff. Straight out of Alan Parker‘s Mississippi Burning with a 21st Century refresh. Tea Party spokespersons will arch their backs and deny it to Kingdom Come, of course, but an aggrieved fear of multiculturalism is where a significant portion of their flock are coming from. Ignorance and malice are generally passed-on qualities and not manifested out of whole cloth. And they are always helped along by those twin bugaboos of the American yahoo class — an insufficient brain-cell count along with a lack of education.
Roof was a legal adult, but those who sired and raised him are obliged to answer questions today and for the rest of their lives. Cue the friends, former classmates and next-door neighbors who always found Roof to be a quiet, polite, low-key guy who kept to himself.
Update: Roof has been captured in Shelby, N.C. It’s been revealed in the press conference that Roof hails from Lexington, South Carolina.