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In his first big screen outing, Michael Jordan makes an intelligent choice. Rather than parading solo across the screen, flipping the proverbial coin (if you will) as to whether or not he has that big screen talent, Jordan plays second billing to the Oscar-winning B. Bunny of (somewhere below) Beverly Hills, California.
Bunny, known by the moniker "Bugs," won the Academy Award back in 1958 for the fondly remembered Knighty Knight Bugs. The passing years have not dimmed the comedic talent of the silver-maned hare...well, he was always silver maned, but that's not the point. The point is that Bunny has chosen to share with Jordan his mastery of the one liner; the casual quip tossed aside with a certain je ne sais quois. Is it conceivable that Bugs Bunny could do what Tom Hanks most recently did? Win the Oscar for two films in a row?
Well, you know what I mean.
Space Jam answers the question all sports fans wanted to know: Why did Michael Jordan give up a potentially lucrative career as a minor league baseball player to return to the basketball court he had left with no regret?
It has to do with aliens. Sure, we blew one alien invasion fleet to Kingdom Come barely six months ago, but alien invasion fleets come and alien invasion fleets go. This latest attack is even more insidious, for rather than seeking to take us over body and soul, the Nerdlucks seek to take all our fun away. They have this failing theme park on their boring so-called planet, so they want to take our 'toons back to their world for a lot of fun and games. Seeking to stay at home sweet home, Bugs challenges 'em to a basketball game. And quickly realizes he's been suckered, as the aliens steal the skills of some of the top talents of the NBA.
Our 'toons were doomed. The aliens' big mistake was to arrive just after Jordan fled the hard court for the baseball field. Thus, his talents still intact, he becomes the only hope for the denizens of the Warner Bros. lot.
Jordan, who has the self-assuredness to look silly in golf clothes, comes to the rescue. Bugs has to beg, but Michael comes nonetheless. Can he hold his own against the comedy power of a pot of colored paint?
Michael don't play that game. Michael plays straight man. Good for Michael. Even better, he doesn't try to sing (and if you suffered through Kazaam you know what I mean).
The Looney Tunes of today go for the cheap joke a lot more often than they used to, but that's what the littlest of kidlets like. Space Jam is chock full of drool and spit jokes, and 'toons and humans get mashed, crushed, bounced, thwacked, and pummeled with abandon.
It was adorable.
There are enough cameos by NBA stars and familiar TV and Hollywood faces to keep even the most jaded watcher happy. Not to mention parodies of famous Hollywood flicks, a subtle swipe at the Mouse competition, and the voice of Danny DeVito.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Space Jam, he would have paid . . .
Ah, to be ten years old once more. But I'm old enough to know that "Looney Tunes" (not "Toons") is correct. The competition back in the 1940s was "Merrie Melodies." Tunes versus Melodies. Get it?
I'm too darn old. That's why I'm Cranky.
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