“Didn’t get as much movie time as I would have liked while in Texas, so I ended up taking an unintended hiatus thru the holidays. I did, however, manage to make it back to my beloved Alamo Drafthouse for one more movie. This time, I did things right, arriving early to catch some of the preshow and ordering a light snack of fried pickles and a Bantha blue coconut milkshake that was brought to my seat. Oh man, just one full service screening, and already I’m spoiled.

In a move I hadn’t really seen coming, Concussion set itself apart as the highest priority (well besides Hateful Eight, but we’ll get there next time) Christmas release for me. I’d originally thought it’d be Joy, but mixed reviews there and general intrigue here swapped them. To me, it just sounded like a fascinating story and it really was very interesting.

Will Smith stars as pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu, who in performing puzzling autopsies on former NFL players discovers a link between their injuries sustained on the field and their seemingly premature deaths. The first half of the film follows Dr Omalu as he sleuths out the mystery of the cause of death. The second half deals with him trying to warn the NFL, who are trying their best to ignore and/or shut him up. Admittedly, the science nerd in me was far more into the first half. But that doesn’t mean it lost me for the second half. By that point, things were far more about the characters, which were plenty to hold my interest.

This is easily Will Smith’s best performance in a good while. Yes, it’s a little Oscar bait-y, which explains some hesitation towards the film early on. Still, it’s a strong character, mostly stripped of the signature Will Smith charm (a power that is possibly held in his ears, which he pinned back this time), and a very thick but consistent accent. Overall, I say bravo. Might not be enough to get that nomination he’s after, as he seems to be fighting about 3 other guys for the final and most contested spot, but it’s certainly a good effort. And who knows, it may pay off. Either way, job well done.

Concussion – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n”

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