Dr. Bennet Omalu is a pathologist who loves his job and, in many ways, the patients that he looks after. His methods are his own but they work for him and he's very successful at his job. When ex-American Football star Mike Webster turns up on his morticians table, Omalu treats his body just like he would any other. What isn't initially known to Omalu is that after years of playing professional football Webster had become something of a recluse whilst suffering with Dementia and depression.
Bennet's initial findings with the late Mr Webber is that he died of cardiac arrest, but unhappy with this conclusion, the pathologist begins to dig deeper. Looking at every possible outcome, Bennet beings to study the brain of the ex-footballer and what he discovers is a new disease that hasn't been seen before.
Before this point, people knew about a condition called Punch Drunk, a disorder often associated with contact sport such as boxing, but up until Dr. Bennet Omalu's discovery the disorder hadn't been seen as a physical effect.
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A cheesy TV movie ramped up with language and violence, this sudsy thriller is far more fun to watch than it should be. With its tepid spin on the plot of Fatal Attraction, the film strains to be a bunny-boiler, but entertains the audience because it's so preposterous that not a single moment is remotely believable. And since the cast refuses to play it straight, camping it up while smirking at the camera, it's enjoyable in all the wrong ways.
Jennifer Lopez stars as Claire, a high school teacher who has recently split from her husband Garrett (John Corbett) and is still getting used to life on her own with teen son Kevin (Ian Nelson). Then the astoundingly hunky 19-year-old Noah (played by 27-year-old Ryan Guzman) moves in next door with his invalid uncle (Jack Wallace) after his parents die in a fiery car crash. Super friendly, Noah quickly begins to help Kevin stand up to the school bullies and pursue the hot girl (Lexi Atkins). But Noah also begins to flirt relentlessly with Claire, and in a moment of neediness she gives in. While she sees this as a mildly transgressive restorative fling, Noah thinks it's true love, and pursues her tenaciously. And when Claire begins to trying to patch things up with Garrett, Noah takes Kevin out for a bit of gun practice.
Despite a tendency to drift into grisly violence, there's nothing edgy here. It's a swirling storm of innuendo and suggestion, with a strong sense of menace that never quite convinces us, even with a couple of gruesome plot points. This may be because the camera clearly loves Lopez so much that we know she's never in danger.
Continue reading: The Boy Next Door Review
Life is complicated enough for teacher, Claire (Jennifer Lopez). Her husband, Kevin (Ian Nelson) is having an affair with his secretary and their marriage is close to falling apart entirely. With Kevin barely around, she is left struggling to do some of the work around the house and raise her son. Until the young and fit boy next door, Noah (Ryan Guzman) offers a helping hand. In a moment of weakness, Claire falls for Noah and they being their own affair. But when Claire calls it off, things get thrown way out of proportion. Noah tries to reveal the truth and has himself transferred to her class at school. While trying to tear apart her career, Noah also seems intent on killing Claire's husband. He is far for the quiet boy next door she thought.
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The Visit is a prime example of a movie that has clearly been agonized over and loved, but to virtually no ultimate effect; writer/director/producer Jordan Walker Pearlman is so obviously enamored with the material he can't see the forest for the trees. Adapted from a play, The Visit still has that boxed-in feeling, with virtually all of the action taking place in the visiting room of the prison where Alex (Hill Harper) is incarcerated. Wrongly so, we are led to believe.
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Jeff Collins (Omar Epps) is a recent Police Academy graduate. His first assignment is to infiltrate the city's largest narcotics ring and take down druglord Dwayne "God" Giddens (LL Cool J). In order to get close enough to God and make an arrest, Collins [alter ego J. Reed] is forced to plunge further and further into criminal activity himself. Clashes with the Captain (Stanley Tucci) over crossing the line between effective undercover work and unjustifiable violence, and a love affair (Nia Long), are mandatory sub-plots in the formulaic script. Every element of the story is underdeveloped and flat, none providing additional value or even distraction. It's too bad that Omar Epps' solid performance is buried almost as deeply as the pool queue God uses to torture a victim during one of his outbreaks.
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Written by a man (Kwyn Bader) who has convinced himself he knows what women want, "Loving Jezebel" is a film about a sensitive-guy lady-killer with a bad habit of coveting women who are spoken for.
After a prologue in which our hero is freeze-framed while jumping out a window to escape an angry and armed jealous husband, Theodorus (Hill Harper) laments in voice-over about how it all started in kindergarten with a girl named Nicky Noodleman.
In a two-reel run through high school and college (rife with amped-up '80s and first-sex clichés), Theo comes off like a whiney puppy dog type, actually begging for dates and -- here's where the picture's credibility goes straight out the window -- getting girls to say "yes" this way. See, they all have insensitive boyfriends and he's so tender, blah, blah, blah.
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Laced with horribly clichéd secret society mumbo jumbo and unintentionally funny homoerotic undertones, "The Skulls" is a laughable thriller about a pre-law Yale student (Joshua Jackson) so shallow and ambitious that he's willing to throw over his best friend and the girl he loves just to be accepted in an underground campus club of power-hungry blue bloods.
The Skulls, you see, are an indomitable, clandestine handful of the country's social and political elite -- all Yale men -- who the movie tells us founded the CIA among other ominous undertakings. Members are members for life. They get branded and paired up with other members as "soul mates." They live by a musty, leather-bound, 200-year-old book of rules. They cover up each other's scandals.
When this brotherhood accept new members, money is deposited money in their bank accounts, they're given expensive cars, tuxedos (which are worn to frequent Skulls dinner parties), nice wrist-watches, nights with call-girls in a Christian Dior gowns, and -- most importantly as far as young Luke McNamara (Jackson) is concerned -- they pay their conscripts' tuitions and see to it they get into the law school of their choice.
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Dr. Bennet Omalu is a pathologist who loves his job and, in many ways, the...
A cheesy TV movie ramped up with language and violence, this sudsy thriller is far...
Life is complicated enough for teacher, Claire (Jennifer Lopez). Her husband, Kevin (Ian Nelson) is...
Earnest, heartfelt, and soul-searching. These are qualities that are great to see in a...
The only thing "too deep" about this movie is the apparent lack of respect its...
Written by a man (Kwyn Bader) who has convinced himself he knows what women want,...