Amazon Studios, Air, Gets High Praise After SXSW Premiere By Kevin Larney

Ben Affleck In Air

Image curtesy of Amazon Studios

April 5th. I’ve been counting down the days as we get closer to the release of “Air” in movie theaters. Being from Boston, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are the staple of Hollywood in my eyes. Now the two join forces once again to create this highly anticipated Amazon Studios film. Affleck, who portrays Nike Founder Phil Knight, costars with fellow Massachusetts native Matt Damon, who plays the role of Sonny Vaccaro which documents the signing of NBA rookie Michael Jordan and ultimately creating a partnership that revolutionizes the world of sports and contemporary culture. The star-studded cast also features Jason Bateman, Chris Tucker and Viola Davis all playing prominent roles for Amazon’s first ever film to be released in theaters without simultaneously premiering on Prime Video.

This weekend kicked off the SXSW premiere located in Austin, Texas. Eric Webb of the Austin-American Statesman described the cinematic masterpiece “One of the most American Stories you’ll see at the movies” and “Ben Affleck is at the peak of his powers both as an actor and director”. Actor Jason Bateman showed some love as well saying “What Ben and Matt were able to do with this story … it’s an American business story and they made a rock show out of it. They were somehow able to enhance what Michael Jordan means to all of us – which was already the zenith of greatness and excitement. I’ll never think of Michael Jordan or Air Jordans the same way again because of what Ben was able to do with this film, and create that kind of feeling that we all just had (via Hollywood Reporter) .”Affleck has admitted this premiere in particular was the most important night of his professional life.


Ben Affleck and Matt Damon at SXSW Premiere of Air

Image curtesy of Wireonly

In addition to Affleck’s praise for his role, word also spread that Viola Davis was phenomenal and was even rumored to be hand-picked by Michael Jordan to portray his mother. Viola discussed what it meant to play Jordan’s mom saying, “Deloris and my mom were born in a generation of people whose dreams were their kids. It’s the height of Jim Crow. It’s the height of Black people being told that their dreams didn’t matter. So for her to have that big vision for her son, and to believe it wholeheartedly, is sort of miraculous. It was an honor to play Deloris (Hollywood Reporter).”


Well, I have extremely high expectations for this film and am excited to see the masterpiece Amazon Studios has created and telling the story of great Phil Knight & Michael Jordan. Make sure to line up right up at midnight on April 5th for your seats and tune in to my honest review of the movie in the coming weeks. 

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