Too long sequel to “Space Jam” provides only a measure of pleasure

By on July 16, 2021 0

Bob Bergen, Jeff Bergman, Candi Milo, Eric Bauza, LeBron James and Zendaya in Space Jam: A New Legacy / Warner Bros.

Even though the LeBron James-Michael Jordan debate over who is the King of Basketball has been settled in your mind, the latter still seems to be continuing the original in one way or another.

This may be the only explanation for today’s debut of “Space Jam: A New Legacy” in theaters and on HBO Max, which stars James as a fictional version of himself teaming up with the stars of the movie. cartoon Warner Bros. Bugs. Bunny, Daffy Duck, Lola Bunny, Porky Pig and their pals for a film featuring a cross between a Matrix-type video game and an NBA / WNBA all-star game.

The original “Space Jam” bowed in 1996 with Jordan among other NBA stars of the day playing a high-stakes basketball game with the characters of Looney Tunes to essentially save the universe. The sequel is similar, except this game is played on a video game platform designed by James’ fictional son, Dom (Dedric Joe).

Don Cheadle shines as the ruthless Al-G Rhythm, the human embodiment of Warner Bros. artificial intelligence program. Studio, who steals Dom’s tech in an attempt to take over the studio and put LeBron in his place.

Much like the original film, the characters of Looney Tunes team up with the basketball star in an attempt to save Dom and overturn Al-G Rhythm’s nefarious plans.

Taking cues from “The Lego Movie”, many characters from Warner Bros.’s vast catalog of films and properties. make cameos. Everyone from King Kong and Harry Potter to Yogi Bear, Iron Giant, Wonder Woman and Superman make cameos. Classic films such as “The Wizard of Oz” and “Casablanca” among many others, deserve a nod. Essentially, the movie is a big commercial for the James and Warner Bros. movies and TV shows.

While the script is mediocre at best and the movie is way too long at an hour and 55 minutes to hold my attention, I really enjoyed a lot of the gags and enjoyed spotting the cameos. The animation itself is excellent and blends in perfectly with the live action sequences, but there just isn’t enough weight or heart in the story to justify such a long duration.

That said, I don’t think middle-aged men – even those who are longtime Looney Tune fans – are the target audience. However, I don’t envy the chore parents will have of keeping their little ones in a movie theater for the duration of the film.

(PG) 1 hr. 55 minutes
Grade: C-

Batman: Along Halloween, Part 1

Jensen Ackles in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part I / DC Comics

If you’re craving a Batman fix and can’t wait until next year when Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’ opens, then Warner Home Video might have the perfect product to meet your needs with its latest release. animated film “Batman: The Long Halloween Party 1”

The film adapts the excellent comic book series of the same name from the late 1990s, written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale, which takes place in the second year of Batman’s career when the super villains start pushing the organized crime even further. on the fringes of Gotham City society. Reeves said the comic book series was one of several key influences for his iteration of the Batman mythos.

While the Blu Ray is only the first half of the story, ending with a compelling cliffhanger that will be resolved when: Batman: The Long Halloween Part 2 “releases on August 11, the movie itself has come out. proved to be very satisfying as it sets up what will undoubtedly be the downfall that turns Crusader Gotham City District Attorney Harvey Dent into the tragic Bat-villain Two-Face.

Both the comic book and the film were heavily influenced by Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece “The Godfather”. The plot revolves around a series of unsolved murders of Gotham City gangsters by a psychopath known as the Holiday Killer. His schtick, of course, offers his victims on vacation.

Director Chris Palmer and screenwriter Tim Sheridan provide an excellent adaptation of the comedy series, which deviates here and there from the original story.

Jensen Ackles voices the young Batman, who is still honing his detective skills. Josh Duhamel lends his voice to Dent, whose marriage is on the rocks due to his commitment to work. The late Naya Rivera plays Catwoman / Selina Kyle. Is she a lover or a villain? Maybe both.

Troy Baker returns as Mark Hamill-inspired Joker, and David Dastmalchian portrays Calendar Man, whose role in this story was inspired by the character of Hannibal Lector from the Thomas Harris novels.

This is a very strong adaptation of the comic which leads me to wait for the conclusion in a few weeks. I know how the comic ended, but I’m anticipating and hoping for something like Warner Home Video has provided with other DC Comics adaptations.

(D) 1 hr. 25 minutes

New in local theaters

Space Jam: a new legacy (Watch the trailer) / (PG) 1 hr. 55 minutes / AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Springdale, Malco Pinnacle, Malco Rogers Towne, Bentonville Skylight

Escape Game: Tournament of Champions (Watch the trailer) / (PG-13) 1 hr. 38 minutes. / AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Springdale, Malco Pinnacle

Roadrunner (Watch the trailer) / (D) 1h. 58 minutes. / Malco Razorback, Malco Pinnacle

Classic Corner – The African Queen

Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn in The African Queen / Romulus Films

With John Huston directing, and Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn starring, how could “The African Queen” be anything but a classic.

Beautifully shot on location in Uganda and Congo with other footage shot at Ilseworth Studios in Middlesex, England, the film is an archetypal tale of opposites pulling about a missionary (Hepburn) who falls in love with a captain of Rude freighter (Bogart) in this 1951 crowd pleaser that’s equal parts adventure, romance, and comedy. Although the film celebrates its 70th anniversary, it remains influential to this day.

Not only are films like “Rooster Cogburn”, “Creature from the Black Lagoon” and “Anaconda” influenced by “The African Queen”, but the film was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Jungle Cruise tour, which in turn is being adapted. in the upcoming House of Mouse summer blockbuster of the same name.

The new film stars Emily Blunt and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, whose character’s wardrobe appears to have been borrowed from Bogey’s closet. It hits theaters and on Disney + on July 24. The trailer for “Jungle Cruise” alludes to mystical currents that could recall “The Pirates of the Caribbean” and its sequels.

In “The African Queen”, Bogey plays Charlie Allnut, the drunk and rough captain of the small freighter The African Queen. He mingles with Rose Sayer of Hepburn, a very apt Methodist missionary, when German colonial troops burn down the village where she and her brother ministered during WWI.

While I prefer his performances in “Casablanca”, “To have and not to have” and “The Maltese Falcon”, Bogart won his only Oscar playing Allnut. I attribute the victory to playing against Hepburn, who was also nominated for an Oscar but did not win. Hepburn just has a way of uplifting his co-stars, even those whose light usually shines as bright as his.

Their chemistry is excellent and represents just about everything onscreen for two-thirds of the film, except for the lush river landscapes shot in Technicolor by master filmmaker Jack Cardiff. Huston knows exactly how to make the two stars shine, playing to their strengths in a film full of dangers but also filled with laughter.

In collaboration with Fathom Events, the film is screened at 3 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Wednesday at Malco Razorback. “The African Queen” is also available on Amazon Prime.

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