THURSDAY

No doubt about it: Michael Jordan is a movie-star-beautiful man. (Hell, even Tyra Banks would kill for his blemishless skin.) But unless you’re either a sick-in-the-skull Chicago Bulls fan or an investor in Nike, you’ll no doubt be significantly unsettled by the brazenly propagandist IMAX flick Michael Jordan to the Max. Focusing on Jordan’s farewell 1997-1998 NBA season—more specifically, the playoff run capped by his capturing a sixth championship ring—the movie bathes the basketball star in an eerily religious light and leaves you wondering if a closing shot of MJ in thorny crown was left on the cutting-room floor. Even harder to stomach are the endless clips from Jordan’s myriad endorsement deals; let’s just say those “Be Like Mike” Gatorade spots don’t exactly gain relevance on an eight-story-high movie screen. But the spectacular game footage—set to a thumping soundtrack featuring Fatboy Slim—puts you flat-footed at the foul line, with a tongue-waggling Jordan soaring around, under, and over both you and Karl Malone. And buried under the hyperbole and marketing, there’s a never-give-up message for the kiddies delivered via Jordan’s less celebratory moments: being cut from his high-school basketball team, failing at baseball, dealing with the death of his father. Nevertheless, the movie’s best scene comes courtesy of a courtside Bill Murray, who gives a “How does this look on IMAX?” tour of a bucket of popcorn. To the Max producer Steve Kempf and producer-director Don Kempf show their film and talk about working with His Royal Airness at 8 and 9:30 p.m. Thursday, July 6, at the National Air and Space Museum’s Langley IMAX Theater, 6th and Independence Avenue SW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Sean Daly)