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Nostalgia 101: The Wonders of the 90s: 'Space Jam' remake?

By Matt Gantos
On March 9, 2014

With rumors of "Space Jam 2" floating around, I got in the mood to re-watch the original, and man it never gets old.
"Space Jam," released in 1996, follows NBA star Michael Jordan's strange journey from basketball star, to baseball flop, to savior of Looney Land.
Poking fun at Jordan's baseball career was always one of my favorite aspects of the movie. At one point, one of the sportscasters comments "Baseball bat? Get this guy a tennis racket," as Jordan strikes out.
The rumors about the sequel seem to be that LeBron James will be starring in the type of role that Jordan played, which has a lot of people pleased, and others incredibly angry.
Does it make sense? If you ask me, absolutely. LeBron is one of the most recognizable players in the NBA right now. He is still young, and the man has charisma, no doubt about it.
Jordan didn't necessarily do a bad job acting. His performance was far above an awkward commercial endorsement that many athletes do, but LeBron has that sort of outgoing personality that could really work for a kids film.
I'm also interested to see what the plot is like. Previously, the aliens from Moron Mountain invaded Looney Toon Land to enslave them as an attraction for their amusement park. At the end of the film, they lost, overthrew their dictator of a boss, and became somewhat friends of the Looney Toons.
So what is at stake now? Will new characters be introduced? Do the Monstars come back for a rematch? And how is James even involved? I hope he doesn't get sucked down a golf hole.
The writers at Warner Bros. are a creative bunch, and I'm sure they'll do a good job. If it's not the Monstars it'll likely be another new character because even the villainous characters, like Elmer Fudd and Sylvester, were on the good guys in the original.
One thing that would absolutely sell me on "Space Jam 2" would be a Bill Murray reappearance. In the 1996 film, after the big game Murray realizes that he wasn't cut out for basketball as he had thought he was, despite his conversation earlier in the movie with Jordan about being able to overcome the odds despite being white.
Jordan counters with Larry Bird as an example, with whom they are playing a round of golf. Murray then counters, "Larry's not white. Larry's clear." These are the kinds of jokes most movies can't get away with these days, especially a children's film, nor are they considered tasteful. But who takes Bill Murray seriously anyway?
If a sequel is going to be a reality, then it has a lot of hype to live up to. Most people agree that sequels are often mistakes. But the Looney Toons are not new to remakes, and their new batch of cartoons is actually pretty good.
There's one thing that is absolutely mandatory for the sequel, and that is a good soundtrack. The soundtrack and theme song from the original hold a special place in my memory, and I would expect and demand that the sequel would that for its target audience.
The reason the movie was such a success was because it combined two things, star athletes and cherished cartoons, two things which little kids love and recognize. When you put those things together it creates an even larger audience.
Tweet me your favorite things about "Space Jam" @GiGantoss.
 


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