Tag Archives: NFL

Concussion Movie Review

As I sit here and brainstorm about what I want to say about Will Smith’s new football drama, Concussion, I am currently watching the New England Patriots take on the Houston Texans. Now, the original plan was first to write about how millions of Americans- myself included- will spend every Sunday watching a full day’s worth of football for 17 consecutive weeks. In addition to Sundays, there are also Monday, Thursday, and the occasional Saturday night football games, and we must not forget about the four weeks of playoffs that ends with America’s new favorite holiday, Super Bowl Sunday. However, something happened during the game that has always been a costly price for playing this sport but has only become a prominent concern in recent years. Can you guess what it is?

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Will Smith in Concussion

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Will Smith in Concussion

The quarterback for the Texans, Brian Hoyer, left during the fourth quarter after possibly suffering another concussion (he was diagnosed with one less than a month ago). Concussions are definitely not a new risk for these players; however, understanding the actual risks of these types of head injuries are. Along with the growing concerns about the dangers of head on collisions, the National Football League is now being held accountable for the player’s safety on the field. Because of this, the league has enforced a more extensive concussion protocol; however, concussions have not been prevented. According to PBS and their “Concussion Watch”, the NFL had 171 concussions in 2012, 152 in 2013, 123 in 2014, and 166 so far in the 2015 season. It is safe to say that Concussion is being released at a pivotal time.

Draft Day

Every year the NFL holds the event where teams recruit eligible college players. It is the most common source for the NFL teams’ recruitment. Players, managers, and fans all gather around on this day to watch as teams make choices that can make or break a team for years to come. This event takes place on a day known as Draft Day. Draft Day, an Ivan Reitman film, focuses on the Cleveland Browns on this legendary day, though, it was originally supposed to be centered on the Buffalo Bills. Draft Day follows Sonny Weaver Jr. (Kevin Costner), the general manager of the Cleveland Browns and his attempt to rebuild his team on Draft Day.

Kevin Costner and Jennifer Gardner in Draft Day

Kevin Costner and Jennifer Gardner in Draft Day

If you are a diehard football fanatic then this movie is for you. If you are a person who constantly checks stats on sport websites, this movie is for you. If you are someone who watches Sports Center all day long, this movie is for you. Yet, if the above sentences don’t describe you, Draft Day might not be your number one pick. The movie’s pacing is very calm and steady. The majority of the film is split screen of two men talking about football statistics and possible trades. Like I mentioned above, for some sports fan this is movie heaven, but for me it was pretty boring. Draft Day is a poor man’s Moneyball (2011). Reitman’s film doesn’t seem to really work as the flat pace didn’t get me excited or emotionally involved. The movie mixes story lines but as a whole kind of fails because behind the melodrama there is no true emotion or chemistry. The movie offers a countdown for the last 12 hours before the beginning of the Draft, but before long it was a countdown for the end of the movie.

There is a love angle between Costner and Jennifer Garner that just feels thrown in there. It tries to be a big part of the film but it doesn’t come off real and it didn’t connect to me at all. It felt just like a love story thrown in an episode of Sports Center. It just didn’t fit. Even with all the great actors and fun cameos the movie never got intriguing. There is a moment in the film that breaths some excitement and that is during the actual draft. This small moment is fun and engaging but it is short lived. Costner is making calls and making plays, finally we get to see what we came for but by then it’s too late.

There are no bad performances in Draft Day, but there is only one to really talk about that. That performance belongs to the seasoned actress Ellen Burstyn. Burstyn plays Costner’s mother and doesn’t have a major role in the film. She is probably only in the movie for about 15 minutes total, if that. Regardless, toward the end of the picture Burstyn shares a touching and heartfelt scene with Costner that may just bring a tear to your eye. Burstyn has the incredible talent to give subtle looks and movements that speak volumes about her emotions. In the scene I’m talking about, a teary mother hugs her son and it is simply touching.

Draft Day isn’t a terrible picture but not one for general audiences looking for exciting entertainment. It is for diehard sports fans and statistic experts. Draft Day is a draft pick that is at best a middle rounder and unfortunately not a first round pick.

1.5 out of 4 stars

-By Jacob R. Tiranno