Sully sullied

Dave Randall, in his review (9/21) of the film Sully, does not seem to understand what he is watching, and seems remarkably unaware that he was viewing a work of fiction. Someone who is going to review movies needs to be more media-savvy than that. He doesn’t have to read Sully’s book to learn that the depiction of all the NTSB behaviors and events in the movie are pure fiction; the briefest Internet search would have revealed the truth.  

Randall treats the events as if true, when in fact, every aspect of the NTSB segments of the film is completely invented by Eastwood in order to solve two problems: In order to make a dramatic and interesting film, Eastwood needed an antagonist, and he has the problem of making a 90-minute movie out of an event that lasted less than seven minutes.

Consequently, Eastwood invents an antagonist in the NTSB, which is a lie that solves his dramatic problems while conveniently supporting his personal politics.

Sully’s book — and the ample discussion online — reveals that never at any time was Sully treated to the incriminations or behaviors from the NTSB depicted in the film. The real NTSB review came more than six months after the event, consisted of only a single eight-person panel, and at all points treated Sully respectfully and as a hero.  

Though Randall notes that the NTSB officially objected to its portrayal in the film, he irresponsibly does not let his readers in on the fact that the film’s portrayal is completely contrary to the actual events.

Contrary to what is implied in Randall’s review, the world did not know of what was happening to Sully vis-a-vis the NTSB accusations behind the scenes because such accusations and events did not exist.

A film reviewer has to understand and recognize the difference between fact and fiction. Not to do so is journalistically irresponsible and potentially compromises the integrity of your publication.

I wouldn’t make such a big deal over this if it weren’t for the fact that the VC Reporter has many, many times run reviews by reviewers that clearly did not understand what they were watching. I also understand that this is extremely difficult for an editor to catch this. [I know, I was once arts and culture editor for a major city glossy mag.] After all, you depend on your reviewers to see and review the films or theater or whatever, before you or anyone else gets a chance to see them, and thus an editor can easily be blind-sided by an irresponsible reviewer.  I also understand all too well that an independent weekly in a smaller market has to deal with the resources it has available, such as they are.

I also have to say that you do have reviewers, especially in terms of film, such as Mr. Pompey, who consistently do an excellent job.

Erik ReeL


We are writing to express our thanks for the fantastic write up in the VC Reporter Best of Ventura County Issue (Sept. 15).

We were surprised and delighted to discover that we had been chosen as an Editor’s Pick! Our gratitude to Daphne Khalida Kilea for her article on us that she skillfully synthesized from our two websites. 

As independent practitioners and small business owners, it’s all too easy to put our heads down, focusing only on our clients and the day to day, while missing the greater contribution to our wider community. Your “Best of” issue has a special way of making all those selected not only feel honored, but more connected to the broader Ventura County community that we are so grateful to be are a part of. 

Gianna & André Ripa