adidas.co.uk ‘Concussion’ has lasting impact
He manages to become someone else enough to be convincing in a worthy screenplay under the direction of Peter Landesman (“Parkland,” 2013), who wrote the script based on Jeanne Marie Laskas’ GQ article “Game Brain.”Smith stars as Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic neuropathologist, who discovers Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a football related brain trauma. CTE is a progressive degenerative disease found in the brains of people with a history of repetitive brain trauma.Omalu first discovers CTE while doing an autopsy on pro footballer Mike Webster (Morse). Despite, multiple findings in other former professional players, the NFL denies Omalu’s and others’ research.This is a fight of science versus how people feel about something. Far too often, emotions and liking something prevail.Omalu has science on his side. The NFL has football the United States’ most popular sport. The relationship is similar to a newborn baby, Omalu, trying to fight an adult, the NFL. This movie is a nice match between a man and an institution, and it is intriguing.Smith is dynamic as Omalu. He reminds people that he is a serious actor again. Smith is a worthy candidate during the coming awards season.Baldwin, Brooks and Morse join him as notables. They and others provide good drama. Brooks is especially rewarding, offering sharp and comical moments that steal scenes.”Concussion” is a good drama that provides plenty. It is a mystery to be solved. It is an investigation into why retired players are dying with undertones similar to “All the President’s Men” (Director Alan J. Pakula, 1976).Along the same lines, it is a movie with a statement. It tries to let people know the dangers of repetitive head trauma. The goal is to inform people of pending danger. This is done in a nice manner that intrigues throughout its runtime.The one drawback is it loses focus occasionally regarding whether it is a movie about CTE or an homage to Omalu and the medical sciences. These elements correspond simultaneously in ways that interfere a few times, but they blend well more often than not. They work to show one man’s determination to find the truth despite multiple setbacks.Grade: B+ (It impacts.)”Joy” (Drama: 2 hours, 4 minutes)Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, dgar Ramrez, Virginia Madsen, Dianne Ladd, Isabella Rossellini and Bradley CooperDirector: David O. RussellRated: PG 13 (Brief strong language)Movie Review:Jennifer Lawrence stars in this drama, her third film directed by David Russell. The two previously worked together in “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012) and “American Hustle” (2013). Both garnered numerous awards. The pair creates another dynamic movie, although its eccentric nature is a detraction.Lawrence is Joy, but her life is anything but joyful. Her life is like a soap opera, which her mother, Terri (Madsen), watches often. Joy’s father, Rudy (De Niro), has just moved back also. Rudy shares a basement room with Joy’s ex husband, Tony (dgar Ramrez). With exception of Joy, the only other sensible person is her grandmother, Mimi (Diane Ladd). Still, Joy starts a creative venture that will forever change her life.This is a loose interpretation of the life of Joy Mangano. She is an American inventor and entrepreneur. Her inventions include the self wringing Miracle Mop and Huggable Hangers.Lawrence is good. Other than the “Hunger Games” series, it is good to see her playing a more ordinary character. Usually, she plays characters who are on the verge of crazy. Here, she is a mother. It works. It is good to see her in a less extreme role.A few others make worthy turns, too. Madsen is gratifying as her mother. Madsen’s appearance is very 1980s style. It works, making her one of the more interesting characters. Isabella Rossellini lends the movie some grounded reality needed for the dramatic moments, and dgar Ramrez is as impressive as usual.Russell’s screenplays are all about story. He takes unique characters, puts them in everyday situations and then creates a reason for you to like, hate and laugh at his creations. He does so here also.”Joy” is good, mainly the latter half. The first half is odd symbolism using soap operatic scenes that star a few actual soap actors like “All My Children’s” Susan Lucci. The moments are odd and add little to the major goal of the screenplay how a young woman faces adversity in a male dominated business world.After the satirical efforts of the first half of this screenplay fizzle with eccentric notions, the latter half is where characters blossom. When they are faced with failure, especially Lawrence’s Joy, audiences see this story become more riveting. The characters are engaging when facing struggles because those struggles make them three dimensional. They gain a depth worthy of investing time to care about their shared predicament.Certain satirical aspects lessen the movie, but it remains good entertainment for those looking for characterizations. In addition, the film has good themes regarding creativity and one’s ability to stay strong when facing adversities.