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Space Jam Sucks – Op-Ed Piece


 

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Introduction

Hey readers,

Here is a piece about a that I am sure some of you will know. This piece is me viewing the movie as a writer. I even give you a possible movie, that I would write, and that will never get made.

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Space Jam Sucks – Op-Ed Piece


As I watched the NBA playoffs, I noticed a few things.


The unusual promotion of gambling in the sport. As if it is not a bad thing. I then asked if the people in the media put money down on the games. Can they? If they aren’t, shouldn’t they say something about it? What if the sports analysts are putting money down on the games? It feels like the guy giving me his opinion of the game shouldn’t have a wager on it too. I note that promotion should really do me a favor; get me a number of a callgirl, give me the name of a good dealer, and a good deal on the latest alcohol. If they are going to promote one vice as if it is good, why not promote them all?


Then I saw a commercial for a new Space Jam. Yeah, I know. There are so many of you who are asking for it. I can’t tell you how many people have told me how excited they are to see another one. Actually, I can; it’s zero. The commercial was weird because it didn’t feature the actual Looney Tunes. It was people talking about it like it was a documentary or something. I sat there confused by the whole thing since they promoted Space Jam as if it wasn’t for kids. As if the original was good. And get this, it wasn’t.


The first Space Jam was a pathetic attempt by a dying cartoon brand to match up with a major sports star that needed help in the public relations department. Looney Tunes wasn’t popular when the first movie came out; everyone already moved onto The Simpsons by then. Michael Jordan just retired and needed a boost to get his popularity back up to his pre-retirement days.

Here was the plot of the original – Aliens threaten to take over Looney Tunes’ land, you know the place that all the characters live. The toons then challenge the aliens to basketball; the winner takes all.

The aliens steal the talent of NBA players (don’t ask how just go with it) and to the surprise of the Looney Tunes are actually good at basketball. That is where Michael Jordan comes in. They play basketball. Bill Murray shows up for some reason. Michael Jordan dunks from half-court.


Yeah. It is a strange movie. Clearly, the people who wrote it were trying to get Michael Jordan in the movie.


I wish I was in the room when it happened, “What if, hear me out… We make the aliens small, and Bugs and the gang challenge them to basketball since short people stink at basketball?”


The only question we should be asking ourselves is if the same people who came up with the plot also came up with the idea of making Lola Bunny hot.


“We should make her hot. You know, like really hot. Basically a model.”


“Brilliant!”


Okay, Okay. I am being pretty hard on the movie. Let’s be fair here, though. The movie had a few things going for it.


  • People had nostalgia for the Looney Tunes.

    • People wanted to see the crew because of their memories of seeing them on TV. Before the movie, the Looney Tunes were going into oblivion. The movie introduced a new generation to them and played on the nostalgia that people like me would have for them.

  • Everyone loved Michael Jordan.

    • He was and is still the most popular athlete of all time, rivaled by only other timeless names like Babe Ruth and Wayne Gretzky. People wanted to be like him and were more than willing to give a movie with him a chance, even one with as bad of a plot as this one.

  • Lola Bunny was hot

    • Say what you will of her appeal today, whether it was right or wrong, but having her look like a model helped the film stay on the minds of many young boys, who, by the way, this movie was tailored towards.

  • That R. Kelly song was a hit.

    • I know that this is not a popular opinion and that I am required to make an R. Kelly joke but are we all going to forget how perfect that song went with the movie. The dude sang about flying in a movie starring an athlete with major hops. Oh, and I like Ignition (Remix) too, for the record. I am not supporting the guy, but let’s not pretend as if none of us loved that song when the movie came out.


That is basically all the movie had going for it. Not much, really.


The original Space Jam didn’t have a good plot. They never showed the Looney Tunes as you saw in the cartoon. And at one point at the end of the film, we are told that the Looney Tunes could do all that crazy stuff because that was how the world worked. That was when we learned something vital. It’s as if someone was reading the script and noted, “Why don’t the Looney Tunes act as they do in the cartoon? Can’t they just make Michael Jordan dunk from half-court or something?”

The next question you may have is, “Why the hell did they make another one?” Is there a legal issue that they are trying to answer? Perhaps they are running out of the rights of the characters, so they need to use them.


Bug Bunny was popular. He used to be the cool, wisecracking character that always outsmarted whoever he was going up against. As a kid, I loved watching the Looney Tunes, and I was excited to see Space Jam. Not for Michael Jordan, but for Bugs Bunny. Was it like a fix of sorts? Eh…. Kind of. Me and a group of other people wanted to relive the days of Bugs as a barber or arguing with Daffy Duck or playing baseball. Those episodes of the Looney Tunes are still masterpieces in cartoon humor. I started this paragraph with the phrase “Bugs Bunny was popular” cause that is true. He is no longer the most popular cartoon character that every kid knows and loves. No, that honor goes to someone else. And he lives in a pineapple under the sea.


I am talking about Spongebob Squarepants. If you ask any kid to name their favorite cartoon character, he is the one that they know. Most people love the show. As for Bugs, well, he got beat by the sponge fry cook. Today, making a movie with Bugs is not nearly as appealing as making a movie with Spongebob.


There is no nostalgia for Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes. Hey, I am a fan, but even I can admit the lack of appeal. It reminds me of when they made those Flintstones movies with John Goodman. People just weren’t interested in the Flinstones. The plot doesn’t matter when there is no audience.


How would I approach the new Space Jam?


Well, let’s go over what the first movie did right.


  • People had nostalgia for Looney Tunes.

    • They don’t. So this is not going to be a good selling point. You can’t put Bugs Bunny on something today and expect kids to care. They will ask the simple question, “Where is Spongebob?” And the adults will wonder, “Did you run out of Rick and Morty shirts?”

  • Everyone loved Michael Jordan.

    • It would be nice for the new film to include Jordan somehow. This new movie has Lebon James, who is not as liked as Michael Jordan, but he is very popular and is the best that basketball has to offer. It does make you wonder why they had to make the Looney Tunes play basketball again. Why not have them play football or baseball? (Heck, Bugs already did in an episode.)

  • Lola Bunny was hot

    • No. They are not sexualizing this character again, even though, let’s face it, we all kind of want them to. The audience doesn’t want to see any progress for women or messages, but to see Lola Bunny be a bombshell like she was in the first one. Bring up Lola Bunny to any man, and you will get a little smirk from him (maybe more) because he found her hot in the first one, and the guy remembers that. Good or bad, the original Space Jam created a memory for the audience that the new one doesn’t dare to make. They have to find a way to compensate somewhere here.

  • That R. Kelly song was a hit.

    • Okay, the theme song won’t be by the R&B singer, but the film has a chance to create a notable song, so I have to give it to them here.


Let’s go over that list again.

  • Nobody cares about the Looney Tunes.

  • Lebron James isn’t Michael Jordan.

  • Lola Bunny is no longer hot.

  • The theme song may or may not be a hit.


Wow.


You’d have to pay me a lot of money to make something like this crap. (Yeah, I know that some of you will say how is that not different from what I normally produce. Ha, ha. Very funny) Seriously, there isn’t much to work with.


What movie would I write? I'm glad you asked.

First off, I am getting rid of Bugs Bunny and his crew. They are off on some long trip that will be needed for the film (it won’t, though). Then who but Spongebob and Patrick and his crew are stuck playing basketball against the aliens. But let’s be real, you and I both know the game isn’t going to happen. Somehow Spongebob and his friends will annoy the aliens so much that they will no longer want to play them in basketball. Spongebob makes them crabby patties. Sandy does karate with them. The point here is that Spongebob and his friends don’t play a game against the aliens.


The twist to the movie is when the aliens unzip their costumes and reveal that they are really the NBA players from the original Space Jam. They then play basketball against Spongbob and his friends, embarrassing them. Spongebob then asks, “Hey, how can these people breathe underwater anyway?”

Michael Jordan drives up and tells all the NBA players to get in the car, and they all run away off into the sunset.


Bugs and Daffy walk in on the scene and then say, “Boy, we really avoided a bullet here.”


Spongebob sees the two Looney Tunes, “Hey, how come you two can breathe underwater?”


“It’s called meta-humor kid.” Bugs replies.

Bugs and Daffy walk away. Daffy says, “Kids today. They just don’t get humor.”


Anyway, that is why Space Jam sucks, and that is my pitch for the Spongebob/Looney Tunes/Space Jam crossover.

 
 

Ending

Hey readers,

I hope you enjoyed this piece. And, hey if you like the original Space Jam and the new one, then that is cool too. You watch what you want to watch, just don't expect me to watch it.

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About The Blogger

Greg Luti is an editor and blogger on pensandwords.com. His favorite writers are Robert Frost and Charles Bukowski. He enjoys reading up on history, watching comedies, and playing video games, when he is not writing down a few notes for his next piece. He started this blog out of his love for literature and hopes that the reader shares that same passion.

 

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