“God did not want us to play football,” says Bennet Omalu as played by Will Smith in the new film Concussion. The problem of concussions in American football clearly deserves more attention and this film about the doctor who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (C.T.E.) aims to provide it. Although a forensic pathologist discovering brain damage in former football players doesn’t make for the most riveting plot, Concussion keeps the viewer engaged with this important issue through the telling of Dr. Omalu’s compelling life story.
Sword fights, intrigue, superpowers, and opium. These are the cornerstones of Into the Badlands, the new and intriguing dystopian martial arts drama on AMC, which is very loosely based on the classic Chinese tale Journey to the West. For a network that has produced such hit shows as Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and The Walking Dead, a foray into the martial arts genre is an interesting choice. Into the Badlands is a story of a man and his charge journeying, against all odds, in search of both escape from their pasts and enlightenment into the true nature of what surrounds them. And that is a tale I very much want to watch unfold in this grim, ruthless expanse of a possible future.