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Malcolm D. Lee
LeBron James, Don Cheadle, Cedric Joe
Writing Credits:
Juel Taylor, Tony Rettenmaier, Keenan Coogler, Terence Nance, Jesse Gordon, Celeste Ballard

A rogue artificial intelligence kidnaps the son of famed basketball player LeBron James, who then has to work with Bugs Bunny to win a basketball game.

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio US
English Descriptive Audio UK
French Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
German Descriptive Audio
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Danish Dolby 5.1
Finnish Dolby 5.1
Hungarian Dolby 5.1
Norwegian Dolby 5.1
Romanian Dolby 5.1
Swedish Dolby 5.1
Hindi Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 115 min.
Price: $49.98
Release Date: 10/5/2021

• “Game On” Featurette
• “Teamwork” Featurette
• “Out of This World” Featurette
• “The Looniest” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Blu-ray Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X700 4K Ultra HD Dolby Vision Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Space Jam: A New Legacy [4K UHD] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 10, 2021)

Back in 1996, Space Jam came to movie screens with a lot of hype. The flick didn’t live up to its blockbuster hopes, but it eventually turned into something of a classic – at least for the people who grew up with it.

2021 brings a reboot to the franchise via Space Jam: A New Legacy. Will folks in 2046 view it as a kind of classic? Probably not, but I would’ve thought the same about the original movie 25 years ago so what do I know?

Basketball star LeBron James (himself) gets a pitch from Warner Bros. to generate lots of properties at which he’ll become the core. All these come from the studio’s “ServerVerse”, a realm in which artificial intelligence agent “Al-G Rhythm” (Don Cheadle) invents different ways to integrate LeBron into the WB universe.

James views these ideas as terrible and rejects them, a decision that sets off Al-G on an angry, vengeful path. Al-G manages to trap James and son Dom (Cedric Joe) in his virtual world.

Al-G will let James and son escape if LeBron assembles a basketball team that can beat Rhythm’s. While Al-G stacks his squad with CG-mutated NBA all-stars, LeBron can only recruit Looney Tunes characters, a challenge that leads toward a big game.

The original Space Jam never existed as anything other than a money grab. This doesn’t change for Legacy, a flick that does little more than attempt to capitalize on nostalgia, James’ popularity and the wide variety of WB properties.

Michael Jordan couldn't act, but he maintained an easy-going charm on screen. James seems wooden as an actor and he can't bring personality to the role, which is a shame since he plays himself.

I actually like James more as a person, for he seems like a genuinely good person who puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to causes in which he believes. That's a contrast with Michael "Republicans buy shoes too" Jordan, a man who abdicated a responsibility to achieve good in the world via his position.

But as awkward as Jordan was in the 1996 movie, he's Laurence Freakin' Olivier compared to James as an actor. Given how much time we spend with James, this becomes a problem.

It also doesn't help that Legacy has nearly no plot behind the bizarre notion of a computer algorithm that craves revenge against humans. Not that the first film's story was classic, but it seemed semi-clever and went somewhere, whereas the "narrative" to Legacy feels random and largely incomprehensible.

Another issue stems from the fact this feels like Pop Culture Reference: The Movie. We get incessant allusions to a wide variety of Warner properties, none of which exist for any reasons other than a) self-advertising and b) cheap gags.

This seems like lazy "humor", as the filmmakers expect us to laugh because we recognize the properties and allegedly find amusement from James' presence in them. This doesn't happen, as Legacy finds nothing creative to do with WB's characters.

Of course, Legacy attempts self-referential mockery that the filmmakers believe will allow them some meta hilarity. We get cracks about James' well-traveled NBA history as well as references to the first movie. All of these seem predictable and go nowhere.

Legacy believes that if it bludgeons us with WB characters and properties, we'll find amusement. We don't, as the utter lack of creativity makes this a slow, difficult movie to endure.

Footnote: some minor bonus material appears during/after the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C

Space Jam: A New Legacy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. The movie offered strong visuals.

Sharpness looked appealing. The film used Super 35 stock for the “real world” scenes and went digital for the “ServerVerse” stuff, and the former could feel a little ill-defined at times.

Nonetheless, overall delineation seemed fine, and I saw no issues with jagged edges, moiré effects or edge haloes. Grain looked natural in the Super 35 shots, and I saw no signs of print flaws outside of a few that related to WB films sampled.

Given the various settings, Legacy opened up to a wide array of colors and the disc represented them well. The hues appeared vivid and lively, with HDR that made them pop.

Blacks seemed deep and dense, while shadows usually came across appropriately, though some of those “real world” shots could feel a smidgen dark. HDR added intensity to whites and contrast. While not consistently stellar, the image usually worked nicely.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack also satisfied, mainly due to the mix of scenes with cartoony action. These didn’t dominate the film but they occurred with enough frequency to give the flick a fair amount of engulfing material from all the channels.

Audio quality satisfied, with music that appeared rich and full. Speech sounded natural and concise as well.

Effects became the most impressive aspect of the mix, as they seemed aggressive and dynamic, with deep low-end. This was a more than adequate soundtrack.

How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Both offered the same Atmos audio.

The 4K’s visuals seemed a bit stronger, as they felt better defined with superior blacks and colors. Though the 4K didn’t blow away the Blu-ray, it nonetheless topped it.

Note that the two discs offered slightly different aspect ratios, as the Blu-ray went 1.78:1 and the 4K opted for 1.85:1. When I compared them, it appeared the Blu-ray stretched the image ever so slightly but didn’t crop anything.

Why the differing dimensions? I have no idea. I guess WB figures Blu-ray viewers hate even tiny black bars but 4K patrons love them.

No extras appear on the 4K, but on the included Blu-ray copy, four featurettes appear, and Game On runs seven minutes, 36 seconds. It presents info from director Malcolm D. Lee, producers Maverick Carter and Ryan Coogler, producer/actor LeBron James, co-animation supervisor Devin Crane and actors Sonequa Martin-Green, Cedric Joe, Don Cheadle, Damion Lillard, Anthony Davis and Nneka Ogwumike.

“Game” looks at story and characters, cast and performances. Little more than happy talk emerges in this fluffy reel.

Teamwork lasts seven minutes, 49 seconds and includes notes from Lee, Crane, Cheadle, James, Davis, makeup department head Howard Berger, costume designer Melissa Bruning, digital animation supervisor Kevin Martel and actor Klay Thompson.

This program covers characters and makeup design as well as costumes, animation and stunts. Some of this leans toward praise but we get a decent view of the topics as well.

With Out of This World, we get an eight-minute, nine-second reel that features Lee, Coogler, James, Martel, Crane, Carter, Ogwumike, digital artists supervisor Florian Witzel, visual effects supervisor Grady Cofer, ILM visual effects producer Marissa Gomes, groom supervisor Ryan Gillis, and CGI supervisor Abs Jahromi.

This one examines animation and effects. Like “Teamwork”, we get too much fluff, but we still find some useful info.

Finally, The Looniest spans seven minutes, eight seconds an involves Carter, James, Coogler, Lee, Berger, Martin-Green, Bruning, composer Kris Bowers, and music supervisors Morgan Rhodes and Kier Lehman, and actors Diana Taurasi and Ceyair Wright.

“Looniest” covers the movie’s score and songs as well as a few general production notes. Another mix of happy talk and insights, “Looniest” offers enough good content to make it worth a look.

Five Deleted Scenes occupy a total of seven minutes, 38 seconds. By far the longest, “” runs four minutes, four seconds. It offers more exposition about how LeBron got to Warner Bros, and it also introduces the “Goon Squad” players earlier. At least for that latter element, it should’ve been in the final film, as it makes the choice of athletes seem less random.

The rest present fairly modest comedic moments, most from the movie’s climactic basketball game as well as one toward the story’s resolution. None of them seem especially interesting, though the last one leaves open room for a sequel.

Given how forgettable the original film was, Space Jam: A New Legacy came with room to improve on its framework. Instead, it delivers an incoherent mess that exists primarily to promote Warner properties. The 4K UHD brings pretty solid picture and audio as well as a decent smattering of bonus materials. This becomes a disappointing attempt to reboot a franchise.

To rate this film visit the original review of SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY

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