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30 for 30: The Announcement

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The Announcement is slightly overblown, but educational.  It's easy to forget about Magic Johnson, as it's easy to forget about most retired atheletes, but Magic occupies a special place in our culture for being one of the first stars in our culture to come out publicly with HIV.

The documentary is okay.  This is well-trodden territory, and the meat of the story is one of inspiration, almost like a promotional video for Magic.  There's space for that, but mostly I feel like I get too much of the mainline story already in sports, and I craved the additional access, the minor stories, and the feeling of depth that I get out of the best of the 30 for 30 films

But it's hardly a complete waste.  I learned some things, and I internalized others in a new way.  Magic Johnson was a bigger deal than I realized.  I was too young and not into basketball to really remember much more about him besides the HIV saga depicted here, but the first part of the movie does a really good job of explaining why Magic vs. Bird was such a big deal, and what the Showtime Lakers meant to basketball, and hinting at the rivalry between Michael and Magic.  And, Magic has remarkable camera presence.  He's got a 1000 watt smile, and he's smart and funny.  That alone makes the movie entertaining. 

You can afford to give this one a miss.

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