Monday, August 6, 2012

Space Jam (Joe Pytka, 1996) Review

Is this a movie? Really? To me, it looks like one giant commercial...released theatrically. So much product placement and considering that this is a crossover that means it's advertising more things. The concept of the film itself is even more questionable. Looney Tunes...and Michael Jordan...playing basketball...against a bunch of aliens. Huh. It's still a giant advert though. Does that mean it's a bad film? Let's find out!

Michael Jordan (Played by...Michael  Jordan) has decided to quit playing basketball and try other sports like baseball (which I think actually happened). This is relevant. Meanwhile, The Looney Tunes are challenged by a group of aliens to beat them at a game of basketball. Therefore, they need professional help. This where Michael comes in. When playing golf with his friends Bill Murray (Played by...Bill Murray) and Stan Podolak (Wayne Knight), Michael gets sucked down into another world. He is greeted by Bugs Bunny (Billy West) and the other Looney Tunes including the likes of Daffy Duck (Dee Bradley Baker) and Foghorn Leghorn (Bill Farmer). The aliens have stolen the skill from other basketball players so now it's up to Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes to stop them.  

Lots of people hate this film because it's cheesy, over the top and is basically a hour and a half long advert. Lots of people love this film because of the nostalgia factor, the good animation and voice acting and introduced a pretty good Looney Tunes character to the series who has gone on to be a fan favourite (Lola Bunny (Kath Soucie)). I will say that it does do a pretty good job of combining live action and cartoons similar to how Who Framed Roger Rabbit? did except that was fantastic while this is...above average...just. I do like the duo of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck mainly because their voice actors are two of the best around. Billy West (who voices Bugs) you may know as Philip J. Fry from Futurama (and basically everyone else) and Ren & Stimpy while Dee Bradley Baker (Daffy) you may know as Klaus from American Dad or Ra's Al Ghul in Batman: Arkham City. The two work well off each other and offer some of the best interpretations of the characters...which is being generous to this film.

There are still problems that REALLY ruin this film. Now I ask you, as a kid, between Michael Jordan and The Looney Tunes what would you rather pick. A kid would rather go for Looney Tunes (unless they a huge basketball fans...) but the film focuses too much on Michael Jordan and considering he is a wooden actor, it really brings the film down. The only Looney Tunes that really get a lot of screen time are Bugs and Daffy (and Lola to an extent) Also, everything's all over the place and in your face. THERE'S NO PERSONAL SPACE IN THIS FILM. The camera must feel violated. One last's small but leaves a huge mark. Bill Murray. What the hell. He is a fantastic actor (Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day) yet his role in this (as himself) is just...out of place.

Space Jam is an above average film...just. The animation is good and the mix of animation and live action is fantastic but we've already seen it before and it was done better then. The voice acting is top notch but the live action acting is wooden and feels life-less. The product placement is a joke (I believe there was about four or so product placements in one line of dialogue) and the camera zooms in way too much that it's beyond a nit pick. This had potential but sadly missed the mark. It's a nostalgic classic, don't get me wrong, but watching it now...I feel underwhelmed. I will say one thing though, they left out the little rat know as Speedy Gonzales. I can't stand him at all and am so glad he doesn't feature at all. Good one, guys! Thank you.

An interesting concept that sadly missed the mark and left alot to be desired.

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