Monday, July 19, 2021

Space Jam: A New Legacy

As most of you who follow my animation blog may know, I'm proud to be a good buddy of the brilliant animator/designer Mike Smith.  A few years ago, I was visiting his studio and he was in the middle of making artwork for a new "Space Jam" movie.  I guess maybe I was living in a bubble, but I wasn't aware at the time that there was a new "Space Jam" movie, starring LeBron James, in the pipeline.  In any case, yesterday I took my 8-year-old son to see the new version, "Space Jam: A New Legacy".  There didn't seem to be too many people in the audience, although it was a 1 pm show.

The film takes a while to set up the characters and plot.  And to me, it all got bogged down in techno-geek talk - but I guess a lot of young kids are fascinated by that stuff.  As in the previous film, it doesn't really get exciting until the appearance of Bugs Bunny and the "Looney Tunes" crew, and then of course there's the climactic "big game".  

As before, the entire film is a Warner Brothers marketing ploy.  In the final game, the entire audience is made up of WB characters, like Batman, Superman, characters from "The Mask" and "Harry Potter", etc.  I don't blame them for pushing their own brand when they're trying to compete with a mega-studio like Disney.  I give the film a C+ but my son, Lucas, gives it a B+

Also this past weekend, we went to visit the so-called "Little Island" at Pier 55 in Manhattan, a public park built as an artificial island, with funds contributed by Barry Diller and the von Furstenberg family.  This experience felt like I was back in DisneyWorld, or maybe Middle Earth from "the Hobbit".  It's a very cute habitat with a cozy ampitheater, unfortunately we missed that days' musical performance due to scheduling conflicts, but it's a great place just to spend the day in your own little fantasy land.  Plus, it's right in line with the also tourist-friendly High Line - so if you're ever in NYC, be sure to check out those two attractions.  


Bill P. 

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