One of the most surprising films released this year tops this week’s entertainment selections on DVD and Blu-ray.
“Air” Grade A-: There is absolutely no reason this release should be such an entertaining and intriguing production. Instead of colorful fantasy settings, this film takes place mostly in board rooms and offices. There are no flashy battles unless you consider the banter between a basketball guru and a sports agent to be riveting. But the biggest reason the production should be a miss is that the outcome is well known and documented. “Air” is the story of how basketball legend Michael Jordan became associated with Nike and in the process took the shoe company from third place among footwear competitors to master of the sneaker universe with his Air Jordans. Even the company’s rise to power is relegated to captions at the end of the film.
The major credit for the film being so compelling goes to the writing of Alex Convery and a slam dunk performance by Matt Damon as Sonny Vaccaro, the Nike employee who had the vision to see that Jordan would not just be a great basketball player but would end up as one of the greatest.
Convery tells the story but doesn’t pretend the audience has no idea what has happened long before it unfolds on screen. The script is loaded with winks and nods to what everyone knows, such as making a joke that no one would ever want to see longtime sports analyst Charles Barkley on television.
A film about business negotiations should not be fascinating enough to fill a documentary short but in the case of “Air” it soars to the top of the best films released so far in 2023.
Also new on DVD and Blu-ray as of Sept. 12
“George & Tammy”: Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon portray country music legends Tammy Wynette and George Jones.
“The Walking Dead: Dead City: Season 1”: New York becomes the backdrop for the latest battle with zombies.
“Beyond Existence”: A CIA Agent is sent to neutralize a professor who’s been trading government information to foreign powers.
“Aporia”: Woman faces a tough decision when she is faced with the chance to travel through time to change her life.
“A Sunday Horse”: Rider battles back from a major injury to win a national championship. The film is based on a true story.
“L’immensita”: Mother tries to find a way to protect her transgender offspring in 1970s Rome.
“Back to Buenos Aires”: Brother and sister discover dark secrets when they return to the country of their birth, Argentina.
“South Park: The Complete Twenty-Sixth Season”: Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny face new challenges including learning the wonders of Japanese toilets and grappling with the latest developments in A.I. technology.
“Cobweb”: Eight-year-old Peter is plagued by a mysterious tapping that his parents insist is all in his imagination. As Peter’s fear intensifies, he believes that his parents could be hiding a terrible secret.
“Cobra Kai: Season 5”: Cobra Kai takes place after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament with the continuation of the conflict between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka).
“Final Cut”: The horror comedy is a remake of Shin’ichirô Ueda’s cult hit “One Cut of the Dead.”
“Rick and Morty: The Complete Seasons 1-6”: The set includes all 61 episodes from six seasons of the award-winning series.
“Poker Face: Season One”: Natasha Lyonne’s character has an extraordinary ability to determine when someone is lying. This leads to a lot of trouble when she hits the open road.
“Succession: The Complete Series”: Set features all 39 episodes from the series’ four critically acclaimed seasons, along with all the previously released special features.
Available on digital platforms
“The Unknown Country”: Young woman hits the open road to reconnect with her family after a devastating loss.