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Opinion

Don’t tune out during this acceptance speech

2/27/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Craig Marks

On the Mark — By Craig Marks

I am using this space today to present my Academy Awards acceptance speech. It seems the pragmatic thing to do, as there are many worthy Oscar nominees and, last I checked, I wasn’t one of them.

(Applause eventually dying down) Thank you. Thank you. While I could spend this time acknowledging my wonderful family, my agents and my trainers, both personal and impersonal, I wish to use this opportunity to make a heartfelt plea. Admittedly, my plea is a matter of the utmost insignificance, but it’s something I want to get off my chest, and I will use this valuable time for this purpose.

LeBron James, I beg you not to be involved in any sequel of the animated movie “Space Jam.”

(The orchestra begins playing the walk-off music, but I ignore it.)

I’m sure many of you have heard the troubling rumors. According to deadline.com, Hollywood is preparing a sequel to the 1996 film that starred Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan, the celebrated basketball player and underwear pitchman. In the original movie, the Chicago Bulls superstar leads a bunch of cartoon characters in a basketball game against a team of grotesquely large and evil aliens. It was a spinoff of a series of Nike Air Jordan commercials, the first movie based on a shoe ad since the horror film “Silence of the Crocs.”

The original film made some money, but it was not loved by many critics outside of Chicago and has since faded from memory. Let me ask you, how many of your children dressed up last Halloween like the “Space Jam” alien Bupkus? Or Blanko? Or Nawt? I thought not.

But now comes rumors of a new “Space Jam” movie, this one starring Akron native LeBron James. James’ camp has denied he’s involved, but I fear LeBron is playing coy. And while playing coy is better than playing Bupkus or Nawt, it’s still not good. This movie will be another hastily made reboot from an industry devoid of new ideas. Let’s give the audience pale imitations of classic Looney Tunes bits! Falling anvils! Pop-culture references that will be dated two minutes after the movie’s release! I can already hear Daffy’s “Duck Dynasty” joke, and it makes me weep.

Really, LeBron, if you’re looking for a ragtag band of schlubs to lead to victory, you don’t have to go to Toonville. I can think of a squad of perennial losers close to your hometown that you could carry on your shoulders to victory. No, they aren’t cartoons, but there are certainly some characters among them.

So, in conclusion, let us work as one to make sure this reboot is given the boot. I thank you for your time, and please enjoy the waning hours of this telecast.

(The ending of my speech is met with thunderous applause. It may be because my words resonate with the movie greats seated in the audience or it may be because, as I look up to the ceiling, I see a large anvil headed toward me.)

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