Why Air is one of the best sports movies of all time

I just got home from something I’ve never done. It’s something I’ve only heard of. I just went to the cinema to see a movie for the second time. It may not be shocking to you, but it is to me.

I’m only 37 years old, but let me sound like I’m twice that age for a moment. Going to the movies is quite an expensive endeavor. The cost is $25 for tickets and then another $20 to $40 for concessions, depending on what you get. Our theater serves dinner, so my wife and I usually set aside an entire evening for that and try to get higher.

Because of this investment, going to the theater is usually reserved for movies these days. I used to go to the movies for just about anything, but since it’s so expensive, I save those experiences for movies that have less of a chance of disappointing me.

I know this draws the ire of people in the film business. I hear the complaints about how intellectual property (IP) movies are ruining the business, and realistic movies will never be able to capture the moment again. But that answer doesn’t touch on what the average consumer is willing to do because the prices are so high.

As a movie buff, I understand what they are saying. For the longest time I thought this was something that would be true forever. I thought movie theaters would be reserved for big movies only.

But the movie, which I saw twice in the last week, made me think for the first time in a long time that there is still a lot of room in this business for non-intellectual property.

The movie I’m talking about is Ben Affleck’s latest directorial effort, Air. I knew I wanted to see it and I expected it to be good. What happened to me in that theater is something I haven’t felt in a long time. I was ripped off by a movie that didn’t have any of the things I’ve been willing to pay for over the last 10 years, and I was absolutely floored.

I fell so hard I felt like maybe I was just in the moment and I should go look at this thing again. Maybe I fell even harder on the second watch. This has given me the confidence to say two things about this movie: Air may very well spark the return of non-intellectual property, and that it is the best sports movie I’ve ever seen. Emphasis on “have”. You are entitled to your own opinion.

Let’s look at the back half of that statement. I fully realize that there aren’t many actual sports in this movie. The only sports you really see are the old highlights of Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, John Stockton and even Hulk Hogan.

But all the elements of a sports movie are there. You have your ragtag group of misfits at Nike struggling to find some market share in the basketball world. It sounds like the hockey team from The Miracle or the Major League Baseball team. Then you have your main character who sees something in an athlete that no one else does and is willing to bet everything on that belief. There are people who tell him he is crazy and that it will never work, but he perseveres.

Then it’s your big game. This, of course, was the meeting Nike arranged with the Jordan family. Finally, there’s the moment when the team you’ve been rooting for wins and the recognition that they’ve changed the game forever. This is when Jordan signed with Nike and Michael Jordan became one of the first athletes to ever receive a portion of the endorsement revenue. It’s all there. You are on the edge of your seat throughout the movie and you already know how it ends. You’re just so happy to be able to watch it happen play by play.

Everything you want to feel during a sports movie is there for you. It’s not just a movie about a shoe, it’s a movie about human triumph in the face of adversity. Everyone wants to win or watch someone win. The only difference is that in this movie you get to see relatively normal people doing it instead of amazing athletes. Don’t worry though, athletes win big in this one too.

Plus, for basketball lovers like me, you can watch guys talk about Mel Turpin and Sam Bowie in a way that reflects that time period. You can see a little bit of how the basketball world felt about Michael Jordan before he became a legend. Let’s just say that not everyone sold to Jordan back then.

Why is it a return to form for films that don’t seek to wow you with special effects? Because you feel something that these movies don’t make you feel. You feel like you’re watching someone do something you want to do and something that actually you could do. You can be proud to be a human being for an hour and 52 minutes.

This is something that movies have been missing for a while. They can put you on another planet or in the cockpit of a jet plane, but when you really see yourself in the story, you can really feel inspired to take some risks in your own life. It is a beautiful thing to see and experience. “Air” takes it out with ease. I highly recommend you go see this movie.

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