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Why ‘Air’ is one of the best sports movies ever

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I just got back home from doing something I’ve never done before. It’s something that I’ve only heard of. I just went to a movie theater to see a movie for a 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 double that age for a moment. Going to the movies is a pretty expensive endeavor. It’s $25 for the tickets and then another $20 to $40 for concessions, depending on what you get. Our theater serves dinner, so my wife and I usually make a whole night of it and spring for the higher end of concessions.

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

I know that grabs the ire of people in the movie business. I hear the complaints about how intellectual property (IP) movies are ruining the business, and down-to-Earth movies will never be able to capture their moment again. But that response is out of touch from what the general consumer is willing to do with the prices being so high.

As a movie buff, I get what they’re saying. For the longest time, I thought it was something that was going to be true forever. I thought the movie theaters were going to be reserved strictly for the big movies.

But the movie I saw twice in the last week has me thinking for the first time in a long time that there is still plenty of room in this business for non-intellectual properties.

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 that I haven’t felt for a long time. I was taken for a ride by a movie that featured none of the things I’ve been willing to pay for in the past 10 years, and I absolutely fell head over heels.

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

Let’s tackle the back half of that statement. I fully realize that there are not a ton of actual sports happening in this movie. The only sports you really see are old highlights of Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, John Stockton and even Hulk Hogan.

But the elements of a sports movie are all there. You’ve got your rag-tag group of misfits at Nike who are struggling to find any sort of market share in the basketball world. Sounds like the hockey team from “Miracle” or the baseball team from “Major League.” Then you have your main character who sees something in an athlete that nobody else sees and is willing to stake everything on that belief. There are the guys who tell him he’s crazy and that it will never work, but he persists.

Then there’s your big game. This, of course, was the meeting that Nike lands with the Jordan family. Finally there’s the moment the team you’ve been cheering on has won and the recognition that they’ve changed the game forever. This is when the Jordans sign with Nike and Michael Jordan becomes one of the first athletes to ever get a portion of the revenue for an endorsement. It’s all there. You’re on the edge of your seat through the whole movie and you already know how it ends. You’re just so happy that you get to watch it happen play-by-play.

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

Plus, for the basketball nerds like myself, you get to watch guys talk about Mel Turpin and Sam Bowie in a way that reflected that time period. You get to 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 was sold on Jordan at the time.

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

That’s something movies have been missing for a while. They can put you on another planet or in the cockpit of jet, but it’s when you can really see yourself in the plot that you can truly feel inspired take some risks in your own life. That’s a beautiful thing to behold and experience. “Air” pulls that off with ease. I highly recommend you go see this movie.

Source : SBNation

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