Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time, and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.
A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, a millennium after events forced humanity's escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.
Will Smith stars in Concussion, a dramatic thriller based on the incredible true David vs. Goliath story of American immigrant Dr. Bennet Omalu, the brilliant forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of CTE, a football-related brain trauma, in a pro player and fought for the truth to be known. Omalu's emotional quest puts him at dangerous odds with one of the most powerful institutions in the world.Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
The actual scientific article that brought CTE in football to light is "Chronic traumatic encephalopathy in a National Football League player," published in Neurosurgery. 2005 Jul;57(1):128-34. The full author list is: Omalu BI, DeKosky ST, Minster RL, Kamboh MI, Hamilton RL, Wecht CH. An abstract of the article is available at the US National Library of Medicine website (PubMed) and the full article is available from the journal's publishers (for a fee). The PubMed page also links to the commenting article that tried to debunk Omalu's findings as "serious misinterpretations", co-authored by Dr. E. Pellman (played in the film by Paul Reiser). See more »
The cars the doctors are driving are S class Mercedes Benz vehicles. When they are standing in the parking lot while it was raining, the vehicle model depicted on the upper left of the trunk states the cars are E350's. See more »
Voice on phone:
Drop it, or they'll be doing your autopsy, Mr Omalu.
Dr. Bennet Omalu:
[Hangs up the phone]
See more »
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An inspiring, academic by the name of Dr. Bennet Omalu takes on the titan of Sundays, the NFL, in order to prove a direct link from head trauma during football games to CTE, a football related injury that occurs. Writer/director Peter Landesman takes on the very detailed, and dramatic thriller "Concussion," with an insightful amount of control in direction, mostly thanks to Academy Award winning editor William Goldenberg, who keeps most of the film at a decent pace. However, with a clichéd script that brings the eye-rolling effect to a fever pitch, you can't help but wish that the material was more rendered and secure in its delivery. Surely to bring on an inner rage as we watch these men, so revered by Americans on a weekly basis, beg for absolution as they lose sight of themselves as time progresses. What doesn't work in "Concussion's" favor is the glossing over the real human condition that is so desperately apparent in each frame the film attempts to show.
Starring two-time Academy Award nominee Will Smith as Omalu, he delivers one of his strongest performances ever. An impeccable capture of a man from Africa, soulfully searching for acceptance in America, Smith brings a visible intensity in each line spoken. Settling into a role that calls for the best parts of Smith's charisma, which he has demonstrated effortlessly throughout his career, he handles it with an equally emotional heft that garners most of the film's best moments. This is a performance that deserves to be considered for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Landesman also constructs a decent cast with Alec Baldwin (not totally owning his own southern-ish accent in his exchanges), Gugu Mbatha- Raw (beautiful but utterly wasted in under developed scenes), and David Morse (who deserves much more roles and is quite effective in his limited screen time). Of all the supporting players, Albert Brooks delivers as the vulgar Dr. Cyril Wecht. It'll call back to his beloved turn in "Drive" just a few years back (minus villainous murders). As a distracting entity, Luke Wilson cast as Roger Goodell is a poor choice by the filmmakers, serving nothing more as celebrity wallpaper.
Composer James Newton Howard puts his horns on overload, sweeping into scenes that work well in films like "The Village" but with a film such as "Concussion," it begins to grate on the ears at times.
At 123 minutes, the film bloats like you over indulged at dinner time. In some bizarre, and almost "too try hard" choices, Landesman attempts to focus on some of the more "human" and "natural" elements of Dr. Omalu's life. As we find ourselves more interested in the case at hand, the writer/director almost sets out to make his version of "The Insider," which would be fine if he got a better grasp on which elements he should focus on.
"Concussion" isn't a complete failure, delivering at times with a grandiose turn from Will Smith. If anything, he's more than worth the admission ticket but I believe most of all, the film does successfully place a spotlight on an issue that is in desperate need of change. The final title cards will prove the NFL's power, and even deepen your frustration and anger. I think that it'll at least offer up a discussion point. That's success on its own.
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