"Reel Reviews: ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ banks on nostalgia from the first film" by: Jessica Separd

   Even as a child, I really wasn’t into sports and that hasn’t changed since I became an adult.
   That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed 1996’s “Space Jam” movie featuring one of the most iconic mash-ups between old-school cartoons, and evil alien theme park capitalist, and basketball great Michael Jordan.
   It was unexpected, but hilarious and featured a slew of pop culture references for its day.
   Plus, the soundtrack is still pretty awesome to crank up when feeling nostalgic!
   Sadly, Jordan declined a sequel back in the day and the concept has been languishing for several decades with a variety of attempts at having leading athletes taking up the mantle once more.
   So, naturally, I had high expectations for the standalone sequel that came out this month, “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”
   This time, the creative team went with a new cast that tackles a digital age versus old school view with some family drama sprinkled in and an ending that hopes to impart a lesson about being true to one’s self.
   Space Jam: A New Legacy is a live-action/animated sports comedy film directed by Malcolm D. Lee, serving as a standalone sequel to Space Jam (1996).
   It is the first theatrically released film to feature the Looney Tunes characters since Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), and is also a combination of live-action, traditional hand-drawn animation, and 3D CGI effects.
   The film stars basketball player LeBron James as a fictionalized version of himself, along with Don Cheadle, Khris Davis, Sonequa Martin-Green, Ceyair Wright, Cedric Joe, Harper Alexander. and Cedric Joe in live-action roles while Jeff Bergman, Eric Bauza, and Zendaya headline the Looney Tunes voice cast.
   Jam is rated PG for some cartoon violence and some language and runs a total of 115 minutes long.
   Basketball player LeBron James wishes for both of his sons, Darius (Wright) and Dom (Joe), to follow in his footsteps, but Dom instead dreams of becoming a video game developer.
   LeBron expresses his belief that their futures are only on the court and that it’s the only thing that matters, much to Dom’s dismay.
   While LeBron starts showing an interest in Dom's arcade basketball game, Dom discovers a glitch after performing a specific move that causes his character to be deleted, to his chagrin.
   Later, LeBron is invited with his family to Warner Bros. Studios, Burbank to discuss a mutually beneficial deal.
   But, he dismisses the idea while Dom shows an interest in the studio's software, particularly its state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI), Al-G Rhythm (Cheadle).
   Dom expresses an interest in a future with Warner Bros. and their AI, leading to a blowup argument with his father when LeBron refuses to let him give up basketball.
   Al-G, who has become self-aware and believes he deserves more recognition from the world, lures the two to the basement server room and traps them in virtual reality.
   Taking Dom as his prisoner, he orders LeBron to assemble a basketball team made entirely from fictional characters owned by Warner Bros. to compete against his own team.
   He also tells LeBron that he will only be released if he wins, and sends him through the virtual “serverspace” inside the Warner computer servers where he lands in Tune World.
   The film is currently available in theaters and streaming on the HBO Max app.

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