Weekend Entertainment Guide

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MOVIES . . . SPACE JAM: It's finally here, the long-hyped Michael Jordan/Bugs Bunny collaboration. In plot, 'Space Jam' is akin to the new Star Trek picture: evil aliens (here the Nerdlucks) try to steal the souls (the talent) of the galaxy’s most complex life forms (NBA stars Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Muggsey Bogues, Larry Johnson and token white geek Shawn Bradley). If Jordan doesn’t renounce his infatuation with baseball and agree to play a basketball game against the aliens' Monstar team, civilization will be imperiled. Not to mention some very fat Nike contracts. There are the requisite inside jokes involving butt-kissing (Daffy plants a smooch on his own ducktail, to which the WB logo has been affixed) and Disney-dissing (when Daffy suggests that the good guys’ squad should be called The Ducks, Bugs ripostes, "What kind of a Mickey Mouse organization would name their team The Ducks?"). Bill Murray is on hand for a brief master display of slapdash comedy. But "Space Jam, directed by Joe Pytka, is mainly about the wonder, the grace, the supernal niceness of its live-action star," notes TIME's Richard Corliss. "The film could have been a gleaming showcase for cartoon wit. Instead it's an 87-minute commercial peddling sainthood for Michael Jordan."