Air

Air ★★

Does Ben Affleck hate Phil McKnight? He plays him with such utter disdain. I read the Shoe Dog book and thought it was pretty great, especially for the self-puffery it was, and I thought Ben Affleck miscast himself the whole movie. Would have preferred if he and Jason swapped roles. 

Anyway, this is the blond beer of movies. Goes down sweet and easy, but also a total waste of time and absolutely tailor made for knuckleheads. Ben shoots this with less than half of the presence and urgency that made Argo so emotionally investing over ten years ago, but it’s obvious he’s relying on the same tricks to try and capture your attention.

Why does he keep spinning the camera around everybody during conversations? Only Michael Mann knows how to effectively pull that shot off. Why do half his establishing shots just look B roll stock footage he found on Adobe? Why did he shoot this entire nostalgia trip on digital instead of wistfully shooting on film? And how did he convince this stacked cast that this was worth their time? Why hide Michael Jordan’s face? (I read his reasoning; “only Michael Jordan is Michael Jordan” — that’s so stupid. I know Leonardo DiCaprio isn’t Jordan Belfort, but he’s perfect as the Wolf of Wall Street. Maybe hire a casting director, Ben.)

Most importantly: what made Ben (and Matt by proximity) believe in this story? Because apart from the amazing sunglasses he got to wear, I don’t get the attraction.

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