A pitch for the multimedia project that became Moonwalker, a 90-minute hybrid short film/music video compilation that serves as Michael Jackson’s grandiose temple to himself, was made at some point. It featured, among other things, a 10-minute retrospective of his career highlights, from his breakout with The Jackson 5 to Bad; a segment in which he’s chased around a studio lot by rabid fans rendered in Claymation; and the film’s centerpiece, a cheesy morality tale starring Joe Pesci as a mobster whose evil plan is to get everyone in the slammer.
It’s exactly as strange as it sounds. And I bring it up because while seeing Space Jam: A New Legacy, the bloated sequel to the 1996 film Space Jam, I couldn’t get it out of my thoughts. Both Space Jams (first Michael Jordan, now LeBron James) include Black superstars whose legends had already been cemented in history previous to their participation in their respective ventures. In each of the three films, an accomplished character actor plays a villain who wants to take away the superstars’ ability to be superstars. And your appreciation of any of these films will be significantly influenced by two factors: your age and your level of celebrity worship. IMDB