Air (2023 film) {R} for language

Air follows shoe salesman Sonny Vaccaro as he pursues the greatest athlete known to basketball: Michael Jordan. The film is set in circa 1984 with Jordan yet to step foot on the basketball court.

Sonny (Matt Damon) visits a convenience store to size up athletes on cereal boxes and engages in chats with the cashier about basketball and his take on 18-year-old Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. What makes Ben Affleck’s film so special, from start to finish, is his authentically replication of cereal boxes with athletes displayed on them, the 80’s music era, the cars and attire not to mention the $1.00 gallon gas prices due to writer Alex Convery. Ah, the good ol days. At that time Converse and Adidas were holding the prize for success Sonny goes against the wishes of Phil’s and sets out to seek Jordan’s parents to talk a deal over with his father James (Julius Tennon) and his mother, wonderfully played by Viola Davis. She strongly believes in her son and has no intention signing with Nike then lays the cards on the table with the shoe.

She bargers with the company and gets a luxury car thrown in after all parties join a meeting with Nike’s marketing experts, Rob Strasser (Jason Bateman) brand rep (Chris Tucker) designer Peter Moore (Matthew Maher, who passed before the release of this film) and Michael Jordan (seen only from the back) at the table and eventually come to a deal.

This is a wonderful sports film that Ben Affleck keeps moving air-smooth with a air-tight (sorry) cast. Matt Damon and Viola Davis are stand-outs making this a captivating film that will absorb you for two hours. A shoe is just a shoe until somebody steps into it. A special recognition to cinematographer Robert Richardson for his VHS tape images.

Air opens everywhere April 7 and it is one of the best sports movies made.

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