Tom Hanks is an actor who, like the late Jimmy Stewart before him, has a natural aura of decency that comes through in his characters. That makes him the ideal person to portray a modest American hero, airline Captain Sully Sullenberger. In “Sully,” he plays the man who, in 2009, steered a disabled jet into the Hudson River saving the lives of all 155 passengers. Clint Eastwood’s movie focuses on some intriguing aspects of the story that most people probably don’t know. Like the man himself, “Sully” the movie has a modest, low-key integrity.
What would it be like if the animals told the story of shipwreck victim “Robinson Crusoe?” That must have been what the makers of “The Wild” said in their studio pitch. Too bad they got the green light. “The Wild Life” is one of the weakest computer animated entries in recent memory. If the makers of this desert island adventure had spent as much time on the script as they did on the colorful animation, then they might have had some success. “The Wild Life” might be a reasonable distraction for the youngsters, but is squirm-worthy for the rest of the family.
“The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years” is a compelling documentary from Oscar-winning director Ron Howard that focuses on the Fab Four in their prime. If you needed a reminder of how great the band was, this is it.
Also opening this week, “Life, Animated” is an acclaimed documentary about an autistic boy whose family members discovered that they could communicate with him through Disney movies. “When the Bough Breaks” is a drama about a married couple who hire a surrogate to carry their baby…and she turns out to be a wacko. “The Disappointment Room” is a haunted house thriller. “Complete Unknown” is a drama about a woman whose attempts to change her identity but runs into someone at a party she once knew. “Dough” is a British comedy about a kosher baker, a Muslim employee and some missing marijuana. And finally, “Antibirth” is a comic horror flick about a very unusual pregnancy.