Saturday, January 24, 2015


In the 90s, Michael Jordon and The Looney Tunes banded together for a few commercials on TV, and not only did it become a major hit and a merchandising success, but this lead to both icons getting to be in a movie together, and that film was...

In the mid 90s, almost every kid saw this movie. For many of us kids at the time, it was epic and funny seeing Michael Jordon and the Looney Tunes together in a full length movie. The film was also everywhere with its advertisements and merchandising. There were video games, toys, blankets, shirts, posters, the works! On top of it, not only did kids really enjoy the movie, but both Siskel and Ebert gave it a Thumbs Up. So yeah, the film was a hit when it came out. However, now that I'm an adult, and the fact that it’s been more than a decade since its release, how well does the film actually hold up? Does it still hold up as a fun and epic crossover movie, or was it really a crappy film that just got way too much hype and publicity? ON WITH THE REVIEW...

Famous Basketball player Michael Jordon drops out of the NBA and decides to take up baseball after his Father's death, which he sadly stinks at. Alright, sounds promising enough, but how do the Looney Tunes and Aliens, fit in what appears to be a bio film of Michael Jordon? Well, Aliens travel to the center of the Earth where The Looney Tunes live, to capture them and enslave them to work at their outer space theme park, to attract alien tourists. Am I watching a different movie, how does Michael Jordon fit in with such a stupid and weak plot involving Aliens and The Looney Tunes? Well, since the aliens are short and idiotic, The Looney Tunes challenge them to a game of Basketball, as a wager to whether the Looney Tunes become slaves or not. Really, out of all the creative things that these smart and iconic cartoon characters can think of, they decide to challenge them to a Basketball game? There's no doubt that the only reason why they challenge these creatures to a Basketball game is so the writers can put Michael Jordon in the film. Getting back to the plot, the aliens go to the human world and steal the talent from some of the NBA players by turning into... uh, Alien splooge...I guess... and force their ways inside the NBA players’ bodies to steal their talent, which turns them into gigantic monster aliens called Monstars. Man, is this film is weird! After many filler moments with Michael Jordan's life; the Looney Tunes bring Michael to their world by lassoing him down a golf hole, and ask him for help at defeating the Monstars, which of course, Jordon agrees; and as you probably have guessed, the film leads to a gigantic Basketball game, which follows most of the cliche 90s Sports film formula. Wow, you know what, after describing the plot of the film, it's actually really stupid and felt like the film was only made to cash in on Jordan and the Looney Tunes, instead of creating something that's funny, smart, and powerful, like say, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" for example, and it takes not one, not two, but four lazy writers to create such a lame premise. However, as weak and stupid as the plot is, does the film at least have plenty of good things to have you go along with this ridiculous plot?

Let's start with Michael Jordon. I have never heard of Michael Jordon until I saw this film when I was a kid, and while I'm not a huge Basketball fan, I did think he was cool, especially seeing him whenever he plays Basketball, which I still do think are really cool scenes. I also really enjoy the films opening, as we see Michael as a kid shooting hoops, while, telling his Father his dreams; which then leads us to the films opening credits as we see a retrospective of Jordan's Basketball years through photos and raw footage, as the films theme song plays, which I thought was a really cool opening. I even like how most of the writing with Jordan's life is actually true, such as him being a really lame Baseball player, and the fact that he mentions that his Basketball shorts that he wore from College are his good luck charm.

While I do enjoy the shots of Jordan shooting hoops, and taking an interest in how the film portrays some key points in his life, while bringing some fun facts; not only do I feel like it was stupid mixing a mini bio of Jordan's life, with The Looney Tunes and aliens, but I don't think he's that good of an actor. When Siskel and Ebert saw this film, they were both rooting for Jordan to pursue an acting career. While, I don't think he's awful or anything in this film since he is cool and likable, the main problem I have with his acting is, I don't actually believe that he's actually with the Looney Tunes. When he gets into a comical situation, his expressions and reactions are extremely weak; when he interacts with the Looney Tunes, you can obviously tell that he knows that he's talking to nothing as he's being filmed; and at times, he actually looks bored and  acts like that he doesn't give a crap. It's not just Jordan alone who doesn't make me believe that the Looney Tunes are there, but pretty much every actor that interacts with The Looney Tunes, don't seem to act like that they're with them either. Bill Murray looks and acts like he's talking to nothing, as well as acting and looking just as bored as Jordan is with the film; Wayne Knight tries to convince us he's with them, but there's such a strong restraint to his performance, that you feel just as unconvinced as Jordan's and Murray's performance with the characters; and the kids not only look and act like they're not with the characters, but when they first meet Bugs in person, they talk to him as if they've met him before, instead of being shocked and blown away that their favorite cartoon character is real and that they are actually meeting him in person. I don't think it's really all the actors’ fault, I just think it's just really bad direction, along with its bad writing. As for the scenes when we see the human characters looking like cartoon characters such as...



Not only do the effects look really dated, but even at the time when the film came out, I found these effects scary and disturbing, than funny and realistic. Though, I'll admit, the scene when Jordan stretches out his arm looks really cool, since you can feel the weight of that scene. 


Now we go to the Looney Tunes, and man does the film miss the mark of how funny and smart they are. I will admit, I did laugh on a few occasions, especially during some of the gags during the Basketball sequences; the voices and personality is there, but as a whole, they're really not as funny, as they were in the original cartoons. The references and old jokes to the classic cartoons, just feel phoned into the film to make the reference; the majority of Pop Culture jokes that the film gives these characters aren't that funny (Though, I did think it was cool seeing Elmer and Yosemite Sam become Jules and Vincent from "Pulp Fiction"); some of their humor seems very out of character; and seeing them argue at each other, and acting all over the top and cartoony, doesn't hit the same nail as the characters did in the original cartoons. My main problem with the film's portrayal of the Looney Tunes however, is how weak, stupid, and defenseless they are. We've seen the Looney Tunes (Especially Bugs Bunny) challenge each other and many other obstacles they come across in their cartoons, with their intelligence, surprise gags, disguises, and so on; but here, they're helpless. Tiny Aliens with giant lasers is what makes them coware and fear, come on, Marvin The Martian can easily defeat these little pip-squeaks. Giant Aliens are a huge threat to them, well, you seem to be doing a good job using your Looney Tune tricks on them during the middle of the Basketball game, which is something that these characters not only specialize in, but should of been doing earlier in the film, by banding together and using their talents, instead of playing a Sport that they hardly know how to play. Hell, Bugs and Daffy can't even take on a simple dog, which results with them getting saved by regular kids. If you think I'm the only one who feels insulted by this fact, Chuck Jones himself, who has worked with these characters for decades hates the Looney Tunes portrayal in the film as well. He states that "Bugs wouldn't have needed anyone's help, and moreover, it wouldn't have taken him an hour and a half. Those aliens, whether they were tiny or colossal, would've been dealt with in short order come the seven minute mark.”; and I completely agree with his criticism. As for the world where The Looney Tunes live together, it's pretty forgettable. The Looney Tunes world being located underground is a really stupid idea; their world is not as creative or interesting as say "Toon Town"; and the fact that these characters act out their old shorts over and over on live TV, not only makes no sense at all, but you can also make the argument that they are already slaves to Warner Brothers.


The film introduces a new Looney Tunes character named Lola Bunny, and man does she suck. She's not humorous or over the top like the Looney Tunes characters; she's just bland, boring, dull, and has no personality at all. She's obviously been put in the film for three reasons. The first one being to give Bugs a pointless love interest. The second reason is that she's supposed to prove that girls are just as tough and strong as the guys in the film, like in most Sports films at the time, which is really forced and downplayed. The third and final reason is to be an obvious sex symbol, like Jessica Rabbit. First off, Jessica is way far more interesting and has more personality, than this bland and cliched lifeless character. The second and main reason why making her a sex symbol doesn't work is because SHE'S A BUNNY! In nearly every single scene you see her in, she's mostly posing and talking in a sexy voice to turn the viewer on; and to make matters worse, her design is so suggestive looking that I question why the writers and animators wanted audiences (Including kids) to be attracted to a sexy bunny, it's wrong and disturbing on so many levels! 


The film's main villain is the alien who runs the Amusement park voiced by Danny Devito, and despite having a cool villainous design, and Devito bringing a fun performance, he's really not that good of a villain. He's pretty much all bark and no bite, and doesn't do anything at all. He just bosses his minions around, and while he does come up with the idea of capturing The Looney Tunes, instead of coming up with a strategy of capturing the Looney Tunes, he just tells his idiotic minions to “make them” come and has them plan out the capture for themselves. I wouldn't mind him so much if he was at least interesting or threatening, but sadly he's neither. He's just a cliched hot headed cigar smoking business villain, with nothing interesting or dangerous about him at all.

The aliens that challenge the Looney Tunes, man do I freaking hate these little turds! They were obviously meant to be funny and cute, but they're neither. The humor that they're given is not funny, very bland, and is at times awkward. As for the cute factor, no, they look creepy and stupid; and their personalities are either really bland, or really annoying. I honestly wish that Bugs Bunny would drop a safe on these 5 little turds, or see Elmer or Yosemite Sam steal one of their laser guns and zap them constantly. I will admit that when they become the Monstars, they stop being annoying and bland, and finally have a fun, cool, and threatening personality, despite having jive talking voices.

Finally, we go to the supporting human characters in the film. Despite not convincing us that half of them are with the Looney Tunes, do any of them give a good performance? Let's start with Michael's comical sidekick Stan played by the funny Wayne Knight. Before I knew Wayne Knight as Newman on "Seinfeld" or as the nerd who was basically responsible for the chaos in "Jurassic Park"; I was introduced to him in this film. While I found him funny as a kid, with his over the top personality; watching him in this film now as an adult, he really gets no humor to work with, and is sadly just plain annoying, which is a shame because I think he's a great comical actor. Bill Murray is in this film as himself, who wants to join the NBA, which is a nod to the commercials of him wanting to join the NBA in the 90s. While he has one or two funny lines, much like Knight, he doesn't get much to work with; and the references of films that he's been in are really poor and not funny. As for the actors who play Jordan's family, they're really not memorable and just feel shoehorned into the movie, just to show Jordan's home life, which we hardly ever see in the film. The appearances from some of the famous NBA players at the time get a few good funny scenes, but acting wise, they're terrible. The film also has a random and pointless cameos of an unfunny Dan Castellaneta (Who's famous for voicing Homer Simpson) and Patricia Heaton (Who will star in the famous sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond" during the same year that this film was released) who gets a really awkward and uncomfortable joke, as she thinks the disguised aliens in a Trench coat and Fedora hat is a perv sitting next to her.

The film really doesn't hold up as well as it did when I was a kid. The story is terrible; the acting is bad; the film's take on the Looney Tunes is unfunny and out of character; the villains, for the most part suck; the combination between live action and animation is unconvincing; the film at times gets very perverted, especially with the Lola Bunny character; and it's obvious that the film was just made for the money and the merchandising "Where the real money from the movie is made". With that said, there are a few things that hold up. Some of the jokes that I found funny as a kid, are still funny. Michael Jordon, despite not convincing us that he's with the cartoon characters, at least has a cool and likable personality, and on top of it, looks cool in every scene that he plays Basketball. The main reason that holds up is the film's soundtrack. Songs like "I Believe, I Can Fly"; "Say You Will"; "Fly Like An Eagle"; the title song; "Pump Up The Jam"; "Lets Get Ready To Rumble"; and "Basketball Jones" (Without Chris Rock's annoying narration), not only hold up as fun songs that bring the film its sports feel, but it also brings back the feeling of being a kid in the 90s. The film as stupid as it is, it was at least entertaining and did keep me entertained from the minute I started watching it. However, that doesn't mean that its good at all, it's just fun mindless entertainment that happens to have a few good jokes; some cool shots of Michael Jordan doing what he does best; and a fun soundtrack.


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