New ‘Space Jam’ commits a foul; ‘Clarice’ killer series

Rick's Reviews

Bugs Bunny and the gang can’t save “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

A feature film that fails to score and a winning TV series are part of this week’s new entertainment options.

“Space Jam: A New Legacy” Grade 1 1/2: LeBron James may be the king of the basketball court but when it comes to making movies, someone needs to charge him with a technical foul. His updated take on the beloved “Space Jam” movie with “Space Jam: A New Legacy” starts out painfully dull and only manages to rise to mediocrity in the second half.

LeBron James – struggling to play himself – and his young son Dom (Cedric Joe) get pulled into a digital world that is being run by AI G Rhythm (Don Cheadle). Dom – who has created a basketball video game – is desperately trying to earn respect and love from his father.

Rhythm takes advantage of that and sets up a basketball game in the cyber world. If James and his team win, all goes back to normal. If he loses, then everyone will be stuck in the cyber world forever.

An army of writers can come up with little more than having Daffy get his bill shot off, Taz spinning out of control and Tweety Bird being eaten. Those bits have been funny for decades but bring nothing original to this film.

If this is what passes for “A New Legacy” then it is time to let the line end. A lifeless script, amateurish acting and an over dependence on filling the background with familiar extras add up to a losing effort.

“Clarice: Season One” Grade 3 stars: The CBS drama picks up shortly after the events in the Oscar-winning 1991 movie “Silence of the Lambs.” The title refers to FBI Agent Clarice Starling – played in the movie by Jodie Foster and the TV series by Rebecca Breeds – who brought to justice a serial killer. This gives the new production a hook for pulling in those who saw the movie.

Clarice must deal with monsters and madmen. Her complex psychological makeup that comes from a challenging childhood empowers her to begin to find her voice while working in a man’s world, as well as escape the family secrets that have haunted her throughout her life.

It is the standout performance by Breeds that makes this production so chillingly strong.

“Naked Singularity” Grade 3 ½ stars: Credit John Boyega for making this heist film work so well. The general practice of movies in this genre is to have the person at the center of the heist either a suave crook or a cold-blood thief. He’s a great exception to that rule.

Boyega shows that even a person with a strong grasp on moral issues can be lured by the promise of great wealth. It’s his natural charm and ability to play a character with great innocence that makes this unique take on a familiar subject so strong.

All the quirks of the courts are on full display here. Combine that with Boyega’s performance and the result is a hit.

Also new on DVD and Blu-ray as of Oct. 5

“The Stand”: A new version of the Steven King novel about an apocalyptic event.

“The Nevers: Season 1, Part 1”: A gang of women In Victorian England suddenly manifest unusual supernatural powers and find themselves on a mission that may very well change the world. The science fiction, period drama originally aired on HBO.

 “Escape Room Tournament of Champions”: Six people find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms where they slowly uncover what they have in common to survive.

 “The Universality of it All”: Andrés Bronnimann documentary explores the simple yet complex question about what connects us.

“Saving Sloane”: Troubled girl finds a friend in a spirited horse.

“The Amityville Moon”: House of holiness turns out to be a haven of evil.

“Little Vampire”: Young vampire wants to go to school to make new friends.

Available through digital outlets

“Distancing Socially”: Look at love, friendship and the idea that a world of increased connectivity naturally allows for greater miscommunication.

“The Secret of Sinchanee”: Boston homicide detectives are lured to a small-town after the disappearance of a single mother. 

“Old”: Vacationers at the beach discover they are aging rapidly. Will be on DVD and Blu-ray starting Oct. 19.

“The Show”: Alan Moore’s tale of a man looking for an artifact who gets caught up in a town of supernatural events. Will be on Blu-ray starting Nov. 23.

“Pharma Bro”: Martin Shkreli is the 38-year-old financial entrepreneur and pharmaceutical tycoon from Brooklyn who rose to infamy in 2015 for price gouging the prescription drug Daraprim to the point of depriving patients of the life-saving medication. 

“The Night House”: Beth (Rebecca Hall) begins to have disturbing visions of a presence in the house and begins to beckon her with a ghostly allure. Will be on DVD and Blu-ray starting Oct. 19.

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