Moving forward with trying out the new UHD format and exploring all that is has to offer, we dive into the newly released film, Concussion. This is one of the films that sparked quite a bit of controversy during the Oscars, so I figured it was time to check this one out and wrap my head around the whole ordeal to try and gain an understanding as to why this film didn’t receive a nomination.
The Movie Itself (3/5):
Concussion explores the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu and his role in uncovering the truth about brain damage resulting from repeated concussions in football. After the discovery of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathe (CTE) in a professional player, Omalu begins his journey to expose the truth while putting himself at odds against one of the largest and most powerful institutions in America. The journey itself can be compared to that of Dr. Austin V. Deibert and his journey to expose the adverse effects of tobacco use; Jumping through any obstacle that they encountered so that the truth can be known.
During my introduction, I brought up the fact that this film resulted in a fair amount of controversy with the Oscars. After putting some thought into it, I now can understand both sides of the argument. The films ability to strongly display the seriousness of the topic and the struggle that Omalu went through to have his voice be heard; the film should have definitely gotten more recognition than it did. But, and this is a very strong “but”, I felt that this film did not deserve any kind of nomination. The overall acting and cinematography felt really average. Normally, I have enjoyed Will Smith’s performances, however after watching Concussion, I felt that he could have done much better. Simply put, in a year like 2016 which was packed with powerful performances and an excellent slate of movies, Concussion just does not stand up to its competition.
Picture Quality (4/5):
This film was visually appealing on occasion. The majority of the film took place indoors, whether it was in a science lab, a court room or a random office, so it was rather difficult to truly appreciate the presentation benefits that 4K has to offer. There were some outdoor shots of the city of Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas and they looked absolutely phenomenal. Personally speaking, having lived roughly 50 miles from the Pittsburgh area and knowing the areas that were shot and how they look in real life, it was nice to see them displayed in 2160p and it definitely supports the argument that 4K/2160p makes everything look more real.
Audio Quality (5/5):
Like the earlier UHD’s that I’ve reviewed, this release utilizes the Dolby Atmos Technology. As I continue to personally experience Dolby Atmos, my appreciation for the technology has grown with each listen. Throughout the film, you can hear absolutely everything. Some of the most intense audio was during the various football game scenes. Hearing the impact that the players experienced during a tackle and collision definitely sent a chill down my spine.
The musical score of Concussion was extremely fitting. Throughout the movie, we experience various tracks that most certainly fit the tone of the specific part of the story; whether it was conveying a serious tone or a more depressive tone.
The Packaging (3.5/5):
- Concussion 4K UHD Blu-ray
- Concussion Blu-ray
- Concussion Ultraviolet Redemption Pamphlet
Special Features (2.5/5):
Unfortunately, the UHD Disc does not contain any special features. All special features are available on the included Blu-ray disc.
- Deleted Scenes
- Crafting Concussion
- Inside The True Story
- Commentary with Director Peter Landesman
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: 4K (2160p)
Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English: Dolby Atmos
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Overall, much like The Peanuts Movie, this film was just okay, I didn’t find it good or bad. I did appreciate the fact that it is conveying the story of these events that wasn’t publicized all too much, however as I was watching this movie, it felt like I was watching a Lifetime movie rather than a serious Hollywood drama. As far as the Oscar competition for this year, Spotlight did a much better job with the “true-story exposé” story-telling, and many of the other “based on a true story” films like The Revenant, Bridge of Spies, or The Big Short just did a better overall job than Concussion and more worthy of their multiple nominations.
That being said, the facts about CTE and concussions very well presented, making sure to relay the overall seriousness of the traumatic injuries the players experienced throughout their careers. You may think that injuries such as this should be expected when someone chooses to pursue an aggressive career; however the detail of those injuries needed to be known. Being able to recognize the symptoms before they can elevate to something much worse and allowing players to have a better quality of life needed to be a focus for the NFL and any other impact sport.
I would recommend this film for sports fans or anyone interested in the issues and politics surrounding the CTE/concussion, as it does present the facts and shows how far the NFL was willing to go to cover up this deadly disease. However, it is also a worthy pickup as an entry level UHD title for those of you who want to test out their new systems. At a $25 price point on release day, it is $5 cheaper than most other major studio UHD titles, and based on the picture quality and audio, it is a worthy test subject for your new system.