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Space Jam 4K Review

“Space Jam” is sure to have nostalgic appeal.

With “Space Jam: A New Legacy” around the corner, 1996’s “Space Jam” has been give a brand new 4K release. The animated/live-action hybrid film, for those that don’t remember, involves the evil alien owner of the Moron Mountain theme park sending his 5 tiny minions to kidnap the Looney Tunes to be new attractions. Bugs Bunny proposes a basketball challenge against the tiny alien invaders first. Thinking it will be a cake walk, Bugs and company are devastated to find that the aliens have stolen the talent of 5 NBA stars and have grown into towering monsters now known as the Monstars. Knowing they need help to contend against the Monstars, Bugs kidnaps Michael Jordan (who has retired from the NBA and is pursuing a baseball career). Can the Looney Tunes team (dubbed the Tune Squad) defeat the Monstars?

Directed by Joe Pytka and produced by Ivan Reitman, “Space Jam” has become a beloved favorite for 80’s and 90’s kids. It’s not hard to see why as it creatively combines the Looney Tunes world with arguably the greatest NBA era (the 90’s). In fact, a lot of the best moments involve real players like Charles Barkley, Mugsy Bogues, Shawn Bradley, Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson, Danny Ainge, Vlade Divac, and Larry Bird showing up. There’s even a few amusing inside NBA jokes.

The story itself is very simplistic. It’s mostly used as an excuse for glorifying Michael Jordan, pop culture references (even a jab at Disney), toy sales, and cartoonish sight gags both on and off the court that feature appearances by numerous Looney Tunes characters like Marvin The Martian, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Daffy Duck and so on. There’s even a new character with Lola Bunny who has since gone on to become a part of the Looney Tunes world. Sure, the humor is a far cry from the glory days of the original “Looney Tunes,” but it’s clear the movie has appeal to other crowds.

Michael Jordan may be the star but, let’s be real, the real star here is Bill Murray. He may have limited screentime, but he saves the movie. Every scene he is in is gold. As for Jordan himself, I give him props for poking fun at himself, but he’s a rather bland actor in this. He’s not very emotive and doesn’t seem remotely surprised by anything that is happening. Generally I’m a fan of Wayne Knight, but his bumbling character here is rather irritating. Voice cast wise, Billy West as Bugs, Dee Bradley Baker as Daffy and Danny DeVito as Swackhammer are the clear standouts here.

I couldn’t end this review without giving props to the killer soundtrack which features tracks like “I Believe I Can Fly,” “Space Jam,” “Basketball Jones,” “Fly like an Eagle,” and “Hit ‘Em High.” It’s honestly better than the movie itself.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 2160p. How does it look? This is a nice upgrade. The picture is more detailed and the colors and animation are richer.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? Yes, folks, the 4K disc includes a 4K audio track! Happy to say it’s phenomenal. The sound effects, voice work, and the soundtrack sound much more lively.

Extras:
* Blu-ray copy
* Digital copy
* Commentary by director Joe Pytka, Billy West, Dee Bradley Baker, Bugs Bunny, and Daffy Duck. The moments with Bugs and Daffy are amusing enough.
* Music videos for Seal’s “Fly Like An Eagle” and the Monstars Anthem “Hit ‘Em High.”
* “Space Jam” theatrical trailer
* “Jammin’ With Bugs Bunny And Michael Jordan”- A vintage featurette

July 1, 2021 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , ,

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