Concussion

I think the mark of a good film is leaving the theater and wanting to discuss it immediately, or finding yourself still thinking about it days later. Concussion is definitely a good film, and one of Will Smith’s best. (His Golden Globe nomination is much deserved!)

For those who don’t know anything about this true story, Smith plays Bennet Omalu, a doctor who takes on the NFL after he discovers how brain injuries could have contributed to the early death and madness of several players. He’s an immigrant who loves America, a point that’s hammered home through much of the film, and he doesn’t understand why anyone would want to silence his findings. As someone who’s lived in several cities where football is basically a religion, I realize how controversial this film will be to some.

I read an article in Sports Illustrated with Smith and Omalu, and it seems like this awareness of the risks is already leading to better ways to play the game. (Not that I could begin to explain football to you, much to my dad’s disappointment. Bless his heart, he still tries to talk to me about it and doesn’t notice my eyes glazing over.)

I’m curious to hear what my friends who follow football think of the film. Even if you’re not a fan of the game, though, this movie is definitely worth seeing, if only for Smith’s mesmerizing performance.

TV

Tonight: The final season of American Idol begins, and the second season of American Crime premieres with the same cast, but a different story, making it easy to jump right in if you missed the first season. Also, Jane Lynch hosts the People’s Choice Awards on CBS at 9/8c.

Tomorrow: Lip Sync Battle returns with Channing Tatum going up against his wife, Jenna Dewan Tatum…and you know she’s going to break out some Magic Mike moves. Also, Jane Lynch’s new comedy, Angel From Hell, premieres. (Lotta Lynch!)

Thoughts on new midseason shows so far:

-America Ferrera and Ben Feldman are always fun to watch, and they deserve a better show than Superstore. After three episodes, I’m throwing in the towel.

Telenovela has a fantastic ensemble, with adorable Eva Longoria leading the cast–this is a great comedic showcase for her. I’ve seen three episodes, and I really like it, but not enough to keep up with it week to week. (It’s a new year and I’m a little chop happy with the DVR.)

-I couldn’t even finish the 30 minute pilot of Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life.

The Shannara Chronicles offers awe-inspiring views of New Zealand, but it was a little too The Lord of the Rings for me. (I realize that will be a selling point for some.) These are definitely the sexiest elves since Orlando Bloom, and this is a very imaginative world, but halfway through the two-hour premiere, I was both confused and bored–never a good mix.

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