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Videos I Love: The ‘Ali’ movie trailer

June 4, 2016

I’m occasionally sharing some light thoughts on a few videos that make me smile, make me think, or preferably do both. Read more from this special series here.

Michael Mann’s thrilling 2001 docudrama on world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali was celebrated by many for the accuracy of its fight scenes and criticized by many more for its vivid portrayal of its complicated hero. I tend to forgive some its historical flaws out of admiration and respect for the film’s overall accomplishment: powerfully illustrating Ali and his era for younger Americans to ponder.

“Ali” carries extra favor with me because it introduced me to incredible music from Sam Cooke, Mighty Joe Young, and Johnny Farmer.

Love it or hate it, no one can deny Will Smith’s evident determination to at least evoke “The Greatest” in all his cultural and egomaniacal glory, standing up to the Vietnam-era war machine, ravishing beautiful women and inspiring millions of fans.

Smith can also be commended, if nothing else, for refusing to be eclipsed by the dazzling constellation of movie stars from one end of the film to the other — without a doubt the best cast Michael Mann ever assembled, an assertion this trailer beautifully confirms.

Full disclosure: I’m easily entranced by anything that includes Michael Michele.

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