“Space Jam”: A Strange, Nostalgic, Bill Murray Worshipping Breakdown

Posted: April 6, 2012 in Pop Culture, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I DVR’d Space Jam the other day.  It was an impulse record, and one that my wife didn’t seem to think was as cool a move as I did, but one that I thought probably deserved to be dissected in an overly lengthy, prose-ridden way.

– The movie begins: I find that, unshockingly, the prospect of watching Space Jam at 11:00 at night isn’t quite as fun when I’m not spending the night at someone’s house, pounding down cans of Surge, eating entire packs of Gushers in one mouthful, and wearing my Juwan Howard Wizards jersey.  Damn it, now I really want some Warheads.

– 18 Seconds in: Holy shit, this is somehow in HD.  I’m suddenly way too excited to watch this movie.  And I’ll be seeing it all in glorious 1080P.  Which means I’ll be watching Michael Jordan in HD.  Acting.  And playing baseball.

– 19 Seconds in: Maybe I don’t want to watch this.

– 20 Seconds in: What else am I going to do, sleep?

– 40 Seconds in: The movie is being hosted by an obnoxious Asian guy who has on more sweatbands than a 60-year-old squash player and is rocking a V-Neck jersey straight out of the “leftover pile” that you used to be forced to wear in 8th grade P.E. if you forgot your gym clothes.  Good start, Cartoon Network.

– 4:27 in: I’ve already heard a pre-urine-scandal R. Kelly & the Quad City DJ’s.  I feel like lacing up a pair of dingy roller skates and rolling in circles while raising the roof.  The nostalgia is so great I find myself asking a question that has almost certainly never been uttered: “When’s the Quad City DJ’s next reunion tour?”  And one that has been asked many times & in many ways: “Seriously, R. Kelly?  Pee?!?!”

– 5:00 in: It apparently took 4 guys to write the screenplay for this movie.

– 11:00 in: Michael Jordan strikes out in terrible fashion.  But that’s not unrealistic.  What is bizarre about this scene?  The size of the home plate umps biceps.  He looks like he’s been ‘roiding more than the 1996 Oakland A’s clubhouse.

(*Author’s note: here’s another Zapruder-quality picture.  This was a closeup of the umps insanely huge pipes.  That gigantic, Neptune-sized rock in the background is definitely his arms.  Would you argue a call with this guy?  Ed Hochuli must’ve watched this film and realized that his dream of being the most obnoxiously ripped ref/ump in history would never be fulfilled.)

– 17:54 in: The commercial break I just watched ends.  It went something like this: pop tarts, something called “Squinkies”, Ninja legos,  and Twister (*Author’s note: apparently this game looks the same.  Except that you could download a free Mp3 of the theme song.)

– 20:52 in: Jordan’s kid comes home from a baseball game.  He seems disappointed, but I’m guessing it’s just because he lost his Dad 10 grand in a “friendly wager” on the outcome of his teeball game.

– 23:58 in: I become convinced the Blue Mon-Star has been hitting the chronic.  Although, since I’m the one watching Space Jam at 11:45 at night and jonesing for pop rocks and Sprite, maybe I’m the one who seems high.

– 28:54 in: Annnnnnnddd…the douchey Asian host of the show just undid all the racial barrier breaking done by Jeremy Lin.  That’s all it took.

– 31:50 in: The Mon-Stars turn into purple goo and steal Chuck Barkley and Patrick Ewing’s talent.  The Knicks immediately go on a 10-game winning streak and the Monstars immediately develop an innate ability to play the race card, but quickly find out that no one can understand what the hell they’re saying. (*Author’s note: For the record, Barkley’s actually pretty much my hero)

-32:58 in: Vlade Divac sighting!

– 38:00 in: While Bill Murray is trying to convince Larry bird that he could be a replacement player in the NBA I become convinced that someway, somehow Bill Murray and Larry Bird must do a TV show together. (*Author’s note: I also have an epiphany that only loosely makes sense — Bill Murray is the Larry Bird of comedy)

– 39:12 in: Jordan bets dinner that he wins the golf hole.  By “dinner” I feel certain he means 10 grand.

– 48:52 in: Shawn Bradley continues to undergo tests to discover why he has become an uncoordinated, scrawny white dude.  (*Author’s note: hint–he’s an uncoordinated, scrawny white dude)

– 50:07 in: Charles Barkley, “I’ll never go out with Madonna again.”

– 50:08 in: “Neither will we.” – Every pro athlete, besides A-Rod, after 1998

– 52:00 in: Lola Bunny makes an appearance.  She’s dressed like Britney Spears but plays like Britney Griner.

– 60:01 in: And now, the only way this fortune teller scene that I just watched could possibly have been written into the script:

Writer I: Damn it, you guys, we need to fill 7 more minutes of movie and we literally used up every closeup reaction shot of Michael shrugging in bemused confusion.

Writer II: I’ve got it!  Wait, did you say no more closeups of confused, smirking shock?  Shit…

Writer III: Listen you guys, I’ve been huffing paint out behind the studio and listening to Blues Traveler for the last 6 hours and I think I’ve got it: a fat, weird, fortune teller scene!  Right?  Right?!?!?

Writer IV: At this point, man, I give up.  Write that in.  But first…how much huffing-paint is left?

-64:13 in: Yosemite Sam, in a wild moment of passion, shoots off his guns in the Tune Squad locker room.  Somewhere in 1998, a young Gilbert Arenas says, “Now there is an idea!”

– 65:48 in: Lola Bunny has more basketball players chasing her tail than Kim Kardashian.

– 70:01 in: I realize that Kendrick Perkins is the only NBA player in history dumb enough to try to pattern his game, and his look, after the bad guys in Space Jam.

– 72:02 in: It’s strange that the least realistic plotline, in a movie based on cartoon characters playing a basketball game with Michael Jordan, is that Jordan has lazy teammates and has yet to punch a single one of them in the face.

– 91:01 in: I realize that Dennis Nedry (*Author’s note yes, that Dennis Nedry) is only the 2nd most bloated carcass of a basketball player I’ve seen this year.  Congrats, Amar’e Stoudemire.

(*Author’s note: you may know him as Wayne Knight, or probably as Newman from Seinfeld, but to me, he will always be the anti-loveable hacker that gets eaten alive in Jurassic Park.  As if this post needed more ’90s references, right?)

– 95:00 in: Bill Murray > everyone.

– 95:43 in: MJ slams home a dunk from so far away that a 7-year-old Javale McGee sits up in his LA Rams pajamas and says, “I want to do that.”

– 106:27 in: MJ gives everyone their powers back.  Shawn Bradley, standing at a talentless 7’6″, gets the nothing back that he lost, since his key basketball skill is being tall as hell.

– The Credits Roll: Jordan comes back, makes a triumphant tongue-wagging return…to the Wizards.  Or at least that’s how I envision his triumphant return to the NBA.


  1. Sue Tolles says:

    I knew there was a reason I haven’t watched the movie.

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