[REVIEW] ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ or Just Enough Laughs for a Winning Game

I’m ;not sure what I was expecting from a new sequel to the1996 hit movie Space Jam? The original isn’t a great movie but it’s a serviceable family comedy carried mainly by how much I love the Looney Tunes. Now we have this sequel, Space Jam: A New Legacy and I’d say the exact same thing: It’s not a great movie but it’s serviceable carried by how much I love the Looney Tunes. If you want a truly great Looney Tunes entry check out the recent Looney Tunes Cartoons on hbo max. Those are something special. This movie is just ok.

In Space Jam: A New Legacy they replace Michael Jordan with Lebron James and have him on a quest to find his son and save him from the clutches of Al-G Rhythm played by Don Cheadle (in an over the top performance I had fun with). Some have compared this story to Stephen Spielberg’s Hook and they aren’t wrong there.  I didn’t mind that plot device for the story but it did feel a little too serious and somber for a movie with crazy cartoon antics I seem to be the only one who enjoyed Tom and Jerry this year but that film kept a more consistent tone. I also seem to enjoy callbacks to IP in projects more than most critics. It can be cringy, but for example, I enjoyed the Disney characters in Ralph Breaks the Internet or The Shining sequence in Ready Player One. Other people seem very annoyed by these scenes, and I can understand why, but for whatever reason they amuse me. The same is true here. I liked when they are going through the ‘Warner-verse’ and collecting the Looney Tunes members from other Warner Bros films. It was clever and funny, for example, when they get Lola from Wonder Woman or Road Runner from Mad Max Fury Road.

That said, I don’t understand who this movie was made for? Why would they have scenes like Mad Max Fury Road that’s an R rated film? They also have characters from movies like A Clockwork Orange, Game of Thrones, It and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. What are they all doing in there? I’m not sure if the movie was made for kids today or for people my age who grew up with the original? When there are plenty of PG-12 and under IP out there why use these R rated characters? Weird?

I really enjoyed the different animation styles within Space Jam: A New Legacy. We get live action 2D and CGI as well as animation that changes with the different worlds they are in. For example, while in DC World we get a comic book panel inspired design as they try to recruit Superman. I didn’t even mind the CGI animation as it was fresh and new.

Once the basketball game starts the laughs work well. I particularly enjoyed a joke at the halftime that I will not spoil for you. Whenever it tries to be sentimental it doesn’t work. Lebron is fine in the lighter sections but doesn’t have the acting chops for the more tender moments. It does have a nice message about being yourself and supporting our loved ones in their dreams but the dramatic beats made the movie feel long (it is too much at 115 minutes).

Space Jam: A New Legacy is coming out same day in theater and on HBO Max and I think the latter is where it belongs. It has just enough laughs to be enjoyable but not enough for the big bucks of the theatrical experience. However, if you like the Looney Tunes, like I do, than it is worth a watch.

Even if not perfect it’s great to have the team back together again.

6 out of 10

Smile Worthy

 

‘Tom & Jerry’ Virtual Screening Giveaway!

Tom and Jerry (2021) - IMDb

I am very excited to announce the good folks at Warner Bros have given me a chance to host a giveaway to the virtual screening of their new movie Tom & Jerry. This is of course a new take on the classic characters that have been around since 1940.

The giveaway will run until Wednesday and winners will be notified by Warner Bros on the screening information. Your information will only be used to get you the screening information and for nothing else.

The screening is taking place 2/27 at 10am MST

Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Storks Review

storks10Today I got to see the new animated film Storks, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by it. Going into I was honestly confused by the trailers as to the tone and even who the lead character is going to be. I’m not sure how they could have better marketed the film but I can definitely say the movie is better than any of the trailers.

Storks is practically a one-man show with director Nicholas Stoller also writing and producing. His background is in live action comedies like Neighbors and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The only family fare he has written is The Muppets. You can see this live action mature background in the humor of Storks but it is not tawdry or adult in a negative way. In some ways it felt like a Simpsons episode with dry, sarcastic kind of humor mixed with physical slapstick.

storks4

The setup is storks have stopped delivering babies to deliver packages instead. But one day a stow-away human named Tulip accidentally creates a baby which she and a stork named Junior must than deliver to its parents.

storks11The family of said baby is also featured with a workaholic Mom and Dad and their son named Nathan. One thing I loved is that the movie has these parents learn their lesson early. The Dad agrees to play with Nathan and he ends up having a blast. Then the Mom joins in. I thought that was kind of creative rather than the tired busy parent learns to love their kids moral at the end of the movie.

storks8The jokes come often with the same joke getting milked repeatedly which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. I’d say about 80% of the jokes land and I was amused by the film. A particular favorite joke involves the wolves linking arms to form a car, plane and even suspension bridge.

There is also a really nice heart to the movie with a message of alternative and different families and everyone gathering together to raise children. Also it was nice to see the end message is that nothing is really greater than raising a family.

storks6The babies are also completely adorable and I also loved Tulip’s hair. I had major hair envy!

The colors in the film are bright and vibrant. The animation looks good but there is nothing in this film that I will remember in 10 years. Something about it feels a little slight and forgettable.

That said, I still enjoyed it and think it is better than The Secret Life of Pets. I personally would put it beneath Finding Dory and Kung fu Panda 3 because I think both had stronger animation and sold their messages better, but I still enjoyed Storks very much.

Aside from a few boring scenes, my other major criticism is all the male characters sounded the same to me. Particularly in scenes with the wolves I thought it was all the same voice actor and it seemed like they were all trying to copy Lego Batman. They needed to pick more distinct vocal talent.

Also a little of the Pigeon Toady goes a long way. Sometimes he worked and other times I found him pretty annoying.

Other than that, I had fun with it. I think most families will go and have a good time.

Overall Grade- B

Here is my youtube review. I am so close to 1000 subs. If you aren’t subscribed you should be. I create daily content I think you will enjoy! Thank you!