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I am a survivor of playing on high school concussions. I finally quit
playing by so many positive family influences in my life. I grew up
playing Texas football, the "American Dream". I received my final
football concussion in 2000 and discontinued playing football. Troy
Aikman was the only one anyone talked about at this time regarding
concussions and everyone thought he was fine. What they didn't talk
about which this movie does a great job is pointing out all the players
that died or had violent disruptive behavior due to post conclusion
syndrome. I rated this movie a 10 because there will be millions of
dollars spent to make the movie go away. It's important for every
parent in America to understand what football can do to your kids.
Football is a great sport but their can be serious life consequences
that can come from it.
Football 2000 years later will be looked at as Roman Gladiators once were.
I loved every minute of my experience with football growing up. But the reality is the overwhelming effects this sport causes to our brains.
It was once said to me that if the brain injury could be seen on the outside of your body it wouldn't even be a question if football would still be a sport. However, it's not and that's why it's unspoken.
I very much support this movie and I am glad that Sony Pictures (only non nfl contract) took the liberty to show people what this sport's health effects can have on young kids and adults.
Hope you enjoy my real-life review. I feel lucky to be alive. Lucky that I was surrounded by people that could think there was more to life then the "American Dream". God Bless
I've played football at every level and nearly every professional football league possible for the last 20 years of my life and trust me when I say this movie is a MUST SEE!! After watching "Concussion" with my son on Christmas day I had an epic awakening of common sense. The movie hit home so hard for me that I will no longer support the game of football. I will not play, coach, or watch it again until overall awareness and change is set in place for the affects of playing the game to be accounted for in some kind of way on a large scale. I have played this game for the last 20 years of my life and have physically felt the affects of it more and more each year. If you have played this game you know the "SuperMan" like culture that comes with it. How it is a sin to get hurt or say "I have a headache". I will no longer turn a blind eye to the long term affects of ignoring the phrase. What the normal fan or anyone who hasn't played the game at a high level doesn't know is the stress and depression that comes with leaving the game. I'd equate it to being the same as losing a spouse of 30+ years but add 100 blows to the head every day of each year. You already feel lost and meaningless but you also have years of brain damage which inflates the process. I grew up with a love for football because of its culture, all the great things it taught me, and the qualities it brought out of me and my "brothers", my teammates. BUT all of that is not worth my life after football. The fact of the matter is we as a society have turned a blind eye to the long term affects of playing football and I refuse to be a part of the problem any longer. This movie is not as visually gripping as it could have been and it also doesn't expand anywhere near as far as it could have on the obvious occurrence of brain injuries throughout every level of the sport but it gets right to the point and it shines light on the facts. The sport isn't going anywhere safe until the NFL does and the NFL has not and probably will not because of money. If change in the sport is going to occur it has to start at the top. After watching this movie every parent has to question if they want their child to participate in this sport. For me and my children, it's a definite "No-Brainer".
The acting was Oscar worthy, the science behind the discovery was
fascinating, and the fact that it's based on a true story is
incredible. It's proof that one person can make a difference. What is
more impressive is after watching the film I discovered that this movie
was a watered-down version of the original script. Even though Sony
tried to avoid legal issues with the NFL by softening the script, I
still found it spellbinding.
I will say that I think it's ironic Sony made a movie about a man taking a stand against the NFL yet Sony pictures, with all their resources, are too afraid to do the same.
The film Concussion describes the amazing journey by Nigerian Dr.
Bennet Omalu (wonderfully played by Will Smith) whom uncovered a
shocking revelation about the damaging effects football collisions have
on its players. More specifically, players whom often went misdiagnosed
(e.g. Alzheimer's disease). Dr. Omalu was the first to bring the issue
of head-to-head collisions to light, addressing it as a very real issue
in need of being fixed by the powerful football organizations.
This story of one mans remarkable strength and fortitude, sticking to what is right pushed the Nigerian doctor never to give up in the face of relentless attempts by the NFL to stifle such findings. What Dr. Omalu was able to do will undoubtedly go down in history books, to be read by training clinicians, aspiring lawyers, and many other professionals. A look deep into ethics, and how the "good guy" can also be the one to come out on top.
If there was ever debate over Smith's talent, it surely can be disregarded after this performance. Many an actor/actress have accepted the daunting task of a role requiring use of a foreign accent and very, VERY few are able to do so successfully. Will Smith will undoubtedly turn heads as this film continues to roll out across the nation.
It is only a shame that the films release coincides with that of renowned director Quentin Tarentino's "The Hateful 8" which will likely make this particular motion picture pass by unnoticed for many a mainstream viewer.
Without giving much consideration to the other performances (Luke Wilson, Alec Baldwin), the lead by Will Smith alone carries Concussion. Don't miss an opportunity to watch something beautiful on screen: an extremely talented African American actor achieving something which is beyond impressive. To encapsulate a Nigerian immigrant in such a way that comes across as so raw and valid... that is what made this film the powerhouse that it is to me.
Concussion is a biographical picture that takes place in the early
2000's. The movie starts out by showing these players who freak out and
start getting dimentia. Will Smith is a pathologist who starts doing
autopsies on these players and discovers that there is a common theme,
being repeated head trauma to the brain. The NFL knew about what was
going on, but didn't say anything. Will Smith tries to shine light on
the situation but the NFL does what it can so that the story does not
This movie was a movie I had been looking forward to for a long time because I thought it was very courageous for a movie to tackle this (pun intended) especially with the NFL playoffs right around the corner. This movie certainly makes a statement, but doesn't pack the punch I was hoping to see. Now this movie is not all bad. Will Smith delivers his best performance to date, which he is already being acknowledged for a golden globes (as he should be). He is phenomenal in his role and is committed. Smith does have an accent, but after a couple minutes, you forget that there even is an accent, and you truly believe he talks the way he does. As for the other performances, they were top notch as well.
Besides the performances "Concussion" is a let down. By the end you will find yourself wanting more. There is so much more you wanted to learn about the matter at hand, that the movie drifts away from. The movie ends up being more about Will Smiths character than the football itself, which is fine, but not the movie I thought I was going to see. But it did take away from the balance of the movie.
In the end, As a quarterback I wanted Concussion to go for the endzone, but it ends up doing more of a button hook.
Just watched this movie and blew my mind. The acting, the story line,
together with science and drama, were perfect. Very inspiring movie,
since is based on true case. Truth always come true, it is just a mere
of time and this movie shows that by telling us what it is to be a
pioneer and a messenger of truth. This is a must-see movie.
Also, I identified myself with main character. I immigrant doctor with so much respect and aspirations for the USA, that slowly discoveries the dark side of big corporation. In fact, this is not only America problem, it is human nature and can be find anywhere in this planet.
Finally, I think Will Smith should be nominated for best actor - Oscar. He pulled out a very good role in playing the Nigerian pathology doctor... wanna know more? go and watch the movie!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have watched with interest the wave of change moving through the
world after CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) was revealed to be
occurring in young football players and not just boxers. A PBS doco
from a few years ago was enlightening and described how the American
football industry fought against the science. While this film tells the
story more or less accurately (as I understand it) it does so in such a
clichéd and insulting manner it is barely watchable.
OK so it's got Will Smith in it, enough said. I think he is a good actor, but he tends to make awful films (Six digress was clearly an anomaly). I never found him believable as Dr Bennet Omalu, the radically religious pathologist from Nigeria who stumbles upon the first ever documented CTE case. Maybe it was the accent, maybe it was the performance. But he just seemed like a mellowed out Will Smith talking in a funny accent rather than a real person who I felt was worth investing 2 hours in.
The film-makers were obliged to tack on a romantic sub-plot to give Smith something other to do than cut up the brains of dead footballers. The long list of not nice things which happen to the devout doctor are peppered with your typical Hollywood mechanisms, trying to force you to feel empathy and join the cast on an emotional journey. It just doesn't work... we've seen it all before: Sport as a form of patriotism, the tragedy, the unrealistic soundtrack (turns out Nigerian doctors enjoy listening to nice accessible 70's soul music when they are working, none of that weird African stuff you might expect them to listen to). I knew the story and I still wasn't able to care about what was happening to these people.
What this comes down to is Hollywood trying to take a collision between sport and science to the lowest common denominator. American football gets a mention in this film, therefore football fans might be part of the audience, therefore they need to dumb this down as much as possible for them. They actually refrain from even naming the types of proteins causing the brain damage, instead having smith refer to them as "bad proteins".
What films like this do is remind me how the film-makers don't actually care about the story, they are creating a product and ultimately want to sell their product to as many people as possible using as little creativity as possible. They even end the film with a nice feel good dollop of sickening patriotism, revealing that Dr Omalu has become an American citizen. They chose to finish with that detail but ignore the fact that as a result of Omalu's determination to have the issue placed under the spotlight, sporting codes all around the world are reassessing how contact sports are trained and played, with concussion assessments being implemented on game day in soccer, rugby, Australian rules etc.
But why would the film-makers care about that? They have awards to win...
#Concussion has made me see what athletes go through from a different
angle and I'm saying that as a man who didn't grow up a fan of American
football. CONCUSSION is a compelling David Vs. Goliath story, it's a
true great American story, and it's Will Smith's best performance since
2006's "The Pursuit Of Happiness" Written and directed by Peter
Landesman, based on the GQ article "Game Brain," you've all seen the
trailer for CONCUSSION which has Will Smith playing real life
accomplished forensic neuropathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu, who
discovered a disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
which a progressive degenerative disease found in people with a history
of repetitive brain trauma, and it's commonly found nowadays in
pro-football player because they get repeated bows to the head every
time they play, this is a heavy contact sport, as we all know.
So the film is about this immigrant doctor with high ethical standards and he truly loves America and yet the America he loves seems to be trying to shut him up because he's basically going up against the sport Americans live and breath for and one of the biggest most capitalistic organizations in the country. When you're messing with a giant business because you've discovered a truth about them that they don't like or a truth that might hurt their profit-making, you're bound to get bullied by the giant.
I had my worries at first, I thought Will Smith's attempt on Nigerian accent may distract or it may make him into a caricature instead of an embodiment but fortunately, that's not what happened. Will Smith's performance in this film really burns with convictions, he will have you take his side in a heartbeat. There's a bit of "A Few Good Men" 'tell me the truth you can't handle the truth' sorta moment mixed with Denzel Washington's 'love's gonna bust me out' moment in "Hurricane" so it's clear that over the years, Will has learned from his fellow masters and honed his skills or his artistry to perfection. Somebody told me once that Will is a big fan of the Philadelphia Eagles team, so it's interesting to see him play the role of a man who takes on the NFL.
The film itself is set in a way that makes you feel like you're going on an uphill battle. I think writer/director Peter Landesman approached it in a way that doesn't demonize American football, but sheds a light on the truth about it, just like what the real Dr. Omalu did. It is also a story about immigrants, a fact which sadly a lot of Americans today seem to forget, that we are a nation of immigrants.
CONCUSSION will surely give rise to discussions not just among NFL players and team owners but also among audiences and football fans. But will the discussion only last a dinner table's length and then be forgotten once Sunday game comes around again? I read up after watching the movie and found that the NFL still makes excuses in admitting the impact CTE has on their players. They've done settlements, they've paid millions of dollars to families, they've changed some things about the way the game is played but keep in mind that this is a big money-making business, so when money is at stake, unfortunately human lives get negotiated over.
The way the NFL handles this reminds me of how right wing politicians try to repudiate climate change, by hiring their own scientists, some of whom may not even be experts on the field study, because those politicians have been bought by fossil fuel businesses. So point being, change in America can happen but it does not happen overnight, it's a slow and painful process as long as there's money involved.
If anyone is a die hard NFL fan like me and follows the game and the sports world and the news, you know that over the years the league has been facing the problem of how to deal with player concussions and how to protect them better, and what to do when the players retire. The film "Concussion" deals with that on going drama just fine as it follows the research and work of one real life pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu(played in a tough strong performance manner from Will Smith). Set in Pittsburgh after the deaths of several star former Steeler players most notable that being hall of fame center Mike Webster(in a gritty performance from David Morse)who due to many hits to the head developed all kinds of problems like hearing voices, and loss of reality as he even had to live away from his family taking shelter in his own truck before falling to suicide by a head gunshot wound. The film is somewhat sad and emotional as you see the broken down players and hear the stories of their problems and passing. Dr. Omalu is one pathologist who's eager and willing to find out more and why and what drove these former players to young deaths by suicide, so thru his work he finds brain damage in these former players who suffered concussions and all would develop a new disease CTE. At first his medical news is doubted by others doctor's(played well by Alec Baldwin and Albert Brooks)yet they are slowly broken in to believe yet the challenge to face the NFL with the news is the toughest, as the film states you are going to war with a corporation that owns a day of the week even over the church and of course that's Sunday as the NFL has risen to sports entertainment that's at the top of the mountain. Finally Dr. Omalu's voice and discovery does get the league's attention and many former players and current ones take the issue to capital hill and congress. Overall "Concussion" is one film that's an emotional drama of discovery and it searches for the truth wanting answers to a new NFL problem that has expanded.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When you are going to make a film about a sensitive subject, the number one rule is you have to make sure its a dam good one! Peter Landsman i take my hat off to you as you have delivered a brilliant film in concussion, the story of Dr Bennett Omalu who uncovers the dark truth about brain injury sustained in American football and how Dr Bennett was persecuted and branded a liar by the NFL and its teams. It is a beautiful David vs goliath true story how a doctor will do whatever it takes for the truth he discovered the condition known as CTE to be taken seriously and to try save lives. Will Smith is inspirational and shows why he is one of the best actors around and when you have a supporting cast of Alec Baldwin and Albert Brooks you have to be on top of your game and Will Smith nails it. I highly advise you to watch the gripping true story as not only will you learn something new but also have a new found respect for American football.
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