starring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Viola Davis
written by Alex Convery
directed by Ben Affleck
by Walter Chaw The irony of a film celebrating the taking of chances being so absolutely afraid to take any chances is so conspicuous it feels a little like bullying to point it out, but here goes: Ben Affleck's Air is the flabby, out-of-shape version of Moneyball, aspiring only to appease the narcissists it essays and the billion-dollar corporations with which they have developed disturbing symbiotic relationships. It's not boring, exactly, though it is like that story your grandfather has told you a dozen times already: you listen patiently for the climax you know is coming in order to time your surprise and delight appropriately. Some movies in this vein, like Miracle, are pretty good. Others, like Hoosiers, are pretty awful. All of them are watchable pabulum, pre-chewed and partially digested. It goes down without much swallowing and goes out without much noise--and every six months, there's another one. Interviews with Affleck and his muse Matt Damon have found them breathlessly recounting how scripter Alex Convery was watching an ESPN "30 on 30" documentary when he had the "eureka" that the story of Nike guy Sonny Vaccaro (Damon) would "make a great movie!" An uncredited rewrite by Affleck/Damon incorporated notes from roundball legend Michael Jordan hissownself, elevating the roles his mother, Deloris (Viola Davis, whom Jordan cast), and Olympics coach George Raveling (Marlon Wayans) played in Jordan's decision to sign a sponsorship deal with Nike. Et voilà! Not a "great movie," let's say, but definitely a movie.