This is Your Childhood: “Space Jam”

A few days ago I caught one of my favorite movies from my childhood on of all places, the NBA TV Network (that exists).  It was, of course, the mid-90’s Michael Jordan/Looney Tunes collaboration entitled “Space Jam.”  Do you remember “Space Jam?” If you grew up in the 90’s there’s a damn good chance you do. And that you loved it unconditionally.  Why? In case the trailer above didn’t make it clear, it combined everything that you loved as a child into one package:

1) The Looney Tunes. Timeless. Always hilarious.  Unless they’re put into a situational comedy where they all live together in a cul-de-sac.

2) MICHAEL JORDAN…and other 90’s NBA greats.  Did anyone not love the NBA in the 90’s? MJ and Pippen churning out championships.  People cared about the Knicks.  My Pacers had Reggie firebombing the court from downtown.  NBA Jam Tournament Edition came out, inspiring a generation of college students to institute NBA Jam rules into their beer pong games (I’ll explain my take on those rules at the end. In case anyone is interested).   BOOM SHAKALAKA!

3) Kick ass tunes.  Hands down, “Space Jam” has the best movie soundtrack ever assembled.  Proof you say? How about this track listing. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve listened to this soundtrack in it’s entirety.  Every track is a winner. And that’s saying a lot considering that one of them is a cover of a KC and Sunshine Band song by the Spin Doctors ft. Biz Markie. Keep in mind though, that despite having the greatest movie soundtrack as a whole, it DOES NOT have the greatest movie soundtrack single of all time on it.  That distinction goes to Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, and Sting ‘s “All for Love.” Which they wrote and performed for Disney’s 1993 version of “The Three Musketeers.”  If you don’t agree, come at me. Come. The Fuck. At me. Three of silkiest voices Rock N Roll has ever provided and the harmonization like that of a herald of angels.

What I’m trying to say is that much like MJ, I found myself suddenly drawn into this movie.  It was fantastic. But, as with anything that you loved in your childhood, it raised a few questions and concerns that I don’t remember having when I originally watched it.  Or in the dozens of times that I re-watched it as a kid. Or the few times I drunkenly watched it in college.

Bill Murray is hilarious. This is a fact of life.  But like all things, I assumed that even the comedy of one Mr. Murray wouldn’t hold up in this children’s movie. I was foolish.  Every moment of screen time that Bill has is milked for it’s highest comedy value.  Mostly because his jokes in this movie aren’t dependent on topics of the day.  It’s all about the caricature of himself that he’s painted for this movie. It’s great no matter what age you are. He’s basically playing himself as Peter Venkman. Or maybe Venkman is basically Bill Murray. Either way, it’s a lot of fun.

The Looney Tunes are self aware. They are aware they are cartoons.  They are aware that our “real world” exists.  Most notably, they are aware that they are the intellectual properties of Warner Bros.  The first two by themselves are not anything particularly Earth shattering. There is a parallel cartoon Earth hidden deep beneath the surface of ours that is inhabited by our favorite Looney Toons characters. Fine. You got me. Makes sense.  The awareness of being an intellectual property is what’s disturbing.

It infers a number of things about the Looney Tune’s universe. The most odd being that it implies a rough outline of religion for the Looney Tunes.  They were MADE by Warner Bros.  Everything they know was created and is still controlled by a pair of entities calling themselves The Warner Brothers.   I mean, from what we can gather from the adventures of Duck Dodgers and Marvin the Martian, Warner Bros. was responsible for a cartoon big bang, in which they created the entire toon universe. Or toonaverse. This opens a slew of questions about the Looney Toon world.  The most pressing being: is there a Looney Toons afterlife? I assume that there isn’t because…

The Looney Tunes are immortal.  This is nothing new. We all knew this deep down in our hearts.  We’ve seen them shot, disintegrated, blown up, drown, dropped from ridiculous heights, smashed, crushed, tossed into space, run over, eaten, beaten to a pulp, the list goes on and on.  And every time, they show up good as new.  The interesting thing about Space Jam is that once the people from the “real world” are brought into the toonaverse, they too are seemingly immortal.  At some point, MJ is crushed into a human basketball and used as practice for the MonStars.  Wayne Knight is beaten and blown up in the locker room.  Bill Murray….well. Bill mostly just comes and goes as he pleases between the two worlds.  Because he’s Bill Murray.

This can only end in success.

BUT, the Looney Tunes also venture forth into the real world.  Early on, Michael says he can’t play without his shoes, so Bugs and Daffy go to the surface to retrieve them from his home.  If the Looney Toonaverse provides immortality, then I assume that the real world makes one mortal.  Which is a serious concern because these are two characters who are used to living their lives with reckless abandon.  They may step out in front of a car without a second thought.  They may not heed the warnings of an armed thug and find themselves in critical condition at the local hospital.  For the first time in their lives, their actions have real consequences.  Sadly, we’ll never know for sure because it’s a kids movie.  And no one would be sadistic enough to kill off a beloved character in a kids movie! Wait…

…nevermind.  But the devastation of Optimus Prime’s death is something for another installment of “This is Your Childhood.” Because I like to revisit things I used to like and see whether they suck now. Most of the time, we can probably assume yes.  Because children are idiots. Never forget that.

OH SHIT.

I forgot. One more thing.

A disturbing amount of pornography appears when you Google image "Lola Bunny"

–Lola Bunny is fucking hot. My brain tells me Lola Bunny is merely a series of painted cells meticulously made to create the illusion of movement.  However, my boner says otherwise.

This post was inspired by a live tweeting session.  If you like people live tweeting weird movies, my Twitter account is for you.  Follow away my friends.

**BONUS**

NBA JAM BEER PONG RULES (for those that don’t know)

Listen, I know that there are a million different ways to play beer pong.  Everyone has their own twist, and I’m a firm believer in the house rules being the house rules.  Please understand, the “NBA Jam Rules” are more of an addition to your rules than a complete overhaul.  It’s simple.

If your partner hits two in a row, you must announce “He’s heating up!!”

If your partner hits three in a row, you must announce “HE’S. ON. FIRE!!” At that point, your partner gets to continue shooting until he misses.

Two things: 1) A bounce doesn’t instantly mean that your partner is “heating up.”  Bounces still count as two cups, BUT they only count as one made shot.  And 2) your partner must clearly announce when you are “heating up” and when “you’re on fire” or else it doesn’t count.

If you have similar rules or some variation on this, leave it in the comments.

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About Kyle McVey

I like stuff and feel ways about things.

Posted on August 17, 2011, in Kyle McVey, LOLJK, Movies, Music, Pop Culture, Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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