In a perfect world we could all relax in our Hanes and sip Gaterade as we watched Michael Jordan play basketball 24 hours a day. If we needed nourishment, we could slip on our Nikes, slap some Michael Jordan cologne on our faces and race to McDonalds for a Big Mike, er.. Mac. But it's not a perfect world, and basketball season ends. Many a night have we lain awake, staring up at the stars wishing there was another way to worship Michael. Well the powers of be have heard our prayers, and they have brought us a gift.
They brought us Space Jam.
Here's the story: Every Warner Brother's character from Alice Aardwolf to Zippy Zebra enlist the help of Michael Jordan to win a basketball game against a bunch of big, ugly Mon-Stars from Moron Mountain.
You with me so far?
Basically, it's a combination of a long Bugs Bunny cartoon and a Nike/NBA commercial. All it was missing was Spike Lee to pop his head up and spout, "It's gotta be the shoes!"
OK, let's start with the obvious. Michael Jordan ain't gonna win no Academy Award. But then, since he plays himself in the movie, who cares? He is quite possibly the most popular athlete in the world and it's easy to see why. He's just so darned nice. If Dole had been this photogenic, Clinton would have conceded the race in July. And his co-star, Bugs Bunny, ain't no slouch either.
Actually, everyone in this movie looks great, including perpetual bad-boy Charles Barkley, who comes off looking like a lost puppy. So clumsy, yet so adorable.
The animation was terrific, my only regrets were how little they actually used Bill Murray (and how forced his inclusion into the movie seemed) and how they barely used one of my favorite characters.
Stop me if I'm wrong, but if the story calls for Bugs Bunny to save the world from a bunch of Aliens, don't you think you'd see more than five seconds of Marvin the Martian?
There was one other point which caused me hours of lost sleep. Michael plays himself. But actors play his wife and kids. Where does reality end and fantasy begin? Where is the line in the sand? If two trains are racing toward each other, one leaving Cleveland at 5:00 and moving at 55 mph and the other leaving Buffalo at 6:32 and moving at 35 mph, where will they meet?
To truly live the Space Jam experience, see it with a room filled to the rim with screaming kids. They love this Jordan guy, and howl and cheer when he even puts on a shoe. Me, I found myself snickering more at the various nods to different aspects of pop culture. (Watch for the Pulp Fiction bit. To die for.) There's even a small jab at Disney, a jab which is both senseless and juvenile, yet quite funny.
This movie finds much of its humor in not taking itself or anything very seriously, and that rides all the way to the top as Michael spends a great deal of time making fun of his much maligned baseball career.
So Space Jam, with a ridiculous plot, and static performances, is a hell of a lot of fun. As it ended, I found myself desperately wanting to watch some basketball, preferably the Bulls. I wonder why?
I give the movie 3 5/9 Babylons. This is something you can bring your kids to. Or even leave them in there and go catch the latest Barbra flick, if you're into that. They won't mind. Just be prepared to go to McDonalds after the movie, there's some serious marketing going on here, and your kids will fall in line like Zombies.
I just wanted to tell you all about this movie I watched at home last night. Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death. It stars Shannon Tweed and Bill Maher. It's quite possibly, the greatest B-Movie I've ever seen. There's this tribe of Man-Eating Women who live in the dreaded Avocado Jungle just south of San Bernardino, California. The US Government needs the avocados, so they send Professor Shannon Tweed to investigate. I'm not making this up. Thing is, it's brilliantly funny as no one takes anything seriously. And God Damn it, Shannon Tweed acts circles around everyone else. Shannon Tweed!!! It is by far the finest performance from a Playboy Playmate ever.
Just thought I'd share that with you. OK, you can go about your daily lives now.