Back in 2017, I reviewed Space Jam on Blu-ray when it was celebrating 20 years since it had slam dunked its way into theaters and dominated the summer box office with Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes having an out of this world adventure on the big screen. Now Warner Bros. has cleaned it up even more and Space Jam looks and sounds even better with 4K HDR and Dolby HD audio, just in time for the upcoming sequel starring LeBron James. It might not be movie of the year material, but it is one of the most fun and wacky films you’ll see.
Just in case you missed out on my previous review or have never seen this wacky classic, it takes place around the time when his “airness”, the legendary Michael Jordan, had retired from the NBA the first time and decided to give the Major Leagues a try (spoiler alert, it didn’t go too well). So while he’s playing baseball, on the other side of the galaxy there’s trouble brewing in the form of Swackhammer (voiced perfectly by Danny DeVito) who runs a horrible, rundown amusement park called Moron Mountain and needs something that will attract customers and their money.
This leads him to discover the always funny and loveable Looney Tunes characters as he plans to kidnap and force them to bring their antics to his park. Don’t ask how or why, but Bugs Bunny convinces Swackhammer to settle the matter with a game of basketball, and who better to recruit on his team than Michael Jordan. This proves to be a bit difficult at first as he doesn’t want to return to basketball much less deal with the silliness of Bugs and his friends. But with the help of other legendary NBA players and even Bill Murray and Wayne Knight, they just might be able to overcome Swackhammer and his “Mon-Stars” team.
I’m so glad to say that this 4K version definitely looks a lot better than the Blu-ray version. The picture is more clean and crisp looking this time around instead of having massive screen noise and artifacting as in previous releases. The HDR also comes in handy here as there’s plenty of colors and lighting effects that take advantage of it to make the visuals and colors pop even better than when it was released theatrically. The added Dolby Atmos audio also improves the audio to make sure every zany sound effect and comedic line is heard to perfection.
As with the Blu-ray version, the special features are light but still worth taking to the hoop. There’s audio commentary with director Joe Pytka, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck giving their takes on the making of the film and some of the crazy things that went down behind the scenes. Of course there’s plenty of silly humor thrown in the mix that makes this commentary feel more like a feature length comedy bit than anything else. “Jammin’ With Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan” is a behind the scenes extra that goes into the history of the famous Looney Toons characters and how the film went from idea to reality. There’s also the theatrical trailer and music videos for the songs “Hit ‘Em High” and “Fly Like an Eagle”.
If you’re a fan of the film and want the absolute best version of it, then make your way to the court and pick up Space Jam on 4K UHD Blu-ray. While it would’ve been nice to have had some newer or extra special features added, the visual and audio improvements alone make this worth the admission price, and it’s without a doubt one of the most fun and zany movies you and your family will enjoy.