I’ll be honest. I haven’t gotten around to sitting down and watching Space Jam: A New Legacy yet, and I’m quite upset about it. However, I have a one-year-old, a full-time job, a house (which requires more work than a baby) and once 8 PM rolls around the only thing that catches my eye is a bed. Despite the reviews for the movie, I am not deterred at all. If you have any sense of imagination left in your cold decrepit heart, then you should feel the same way.
Back in ’96 when the original Space Jam came out, I had to see it in theaters. As a 9-year-old, there weren’t many movies I needed to see in theaters, but this one was a game-changer. It combined two of my favorite things in the world: cartoons and basketball. My mornings would consist of turning on Cartoon Network and watching Looney Tunes, then flipping over to see what Stuart Scott and Rich Eisen would say during the latest installment of SportsCenter. I felt like the movie was created especially for me. After finally getting to see it with my mom, sister, and friend, I was not disappointed in the least. It was the perfect movie.
Immediately after, I saved up my hard-earned allowance money and went to the music store (remember those?) to purchase the Space Jam soundtrack on cassette (remember those too?). Basically, everything I owned from clothes to toys turned into Space Jam accouterments. So naturally, when the movie came out on VHS (ugh) I had to get it and ended up watching it weekly. The best part was, every time my mom heard the Bill Murray quote below, she cracked up (and still does!).
But LeBron Isn’t MJ
This is what’s leaving me dumbfounded right now. A lot of the criticism I’m seeing for the new movie is coming from people from my generation who grew up on the original movie. Does everything need to be a cinematic masterpiece? Do we need to hear “the original was better” for every single movie that releases? Or can a movie just unlock the childhood wonder we had from a time that was extremely different from 2021. A much simpler and arguably happier time in history. We don’t need to hate on everything just because it’s same-same but different.
That’s all I’m looking for from this movie. I’m not looking to compare the acting performances of Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James or the better villain between Danny DeVito vs. Don Cheadle. I’m just looking to be entertained and revisit my childhood for a couple of hours. I know when I bite into a turkey burger that I shouldn’t expect a hamburger. So let’s not compare the two movies together and just sit back, listen to some corny jokes, and hear some basketball players try to voice act. The one thing we do know; there may never be a better musical collaboration than with Barry White and Chris Rock.
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