After a fairly successful run in theaters, Air is making the jump to streaming inevitable. Produced and distributed by Amazon, the film will come to the company’s Prime Video streaming service later this month.
Directed by Ben Affleck, and starring Affleck and his longtime friend and collaborator Matt Damon, Air tells the origin of the Air Jordan sneaker from the perspective of the Nike executives who doggedly pursued Michael Jordan as their focus of their company’s flooding basketball division. That includes Sonny Vaccaro (Damon), a scout who believes Jordan will become the biggest basketball player in history, but initially can’t seem to convince the rest of his Nike colleagues, including real-life historical figures played by Chris Tucker, Jason Bateman , and Affleck as Nike CEO Phil Knight, to bet their collective careers on one NBA rookie from North Carolina.
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Since it premiered at the beginning of April, Air has grown approximately $80 million in theaters worldwide. (The movie wasn’t cheap; it cost a reported $70 million.) Here is the film’s official synopsis:
From award-winning director Ben Affleck, AIR reveals the unbelievable game-changing partnership between a then-rookie Michael Jordan and Nike’s fledgling basketball division, which revolutionized the world of sports and contemporary culture with the Air Jordan brand. This moving story follows the career-defining gamble of an unconventional team with everything on the line, the uncompromising vision of a mother who knows the worth of her son’s immense talent, and the basketball phenom who would become the greatest of all time.
Here is an excerpt from my positive review of Air (which you can read in full here):
Air may not be perfect, but it is full of [beautiful] touches … Vaccaro’s slightly reckless driving underscores Affleck’s thoughtful approach to the material. In another director’s hands Air could very easily have become a piece of corporate propaganda for Nike and its ongoing Michael Jordan apparel empire. And, in a way, it still is — only it’s now an exceedingly entertaining and impressively heart-warming piece of corporate propaganda.
Air premieres on Amazon’s Prime Video on May 12. It’s definitely one of the best American movies released so far this year; if you’ve got a Prime membership already, I wouldn’t skip it.
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