Space Jam lets everyone in on the Madness

The last relentless days of winter can be so joyless, it is no wonder colleges across the country chose March as the month to inject with a little madness.

For some, the excitement of the college basketball tournament is just the extra juice needed to reach spring.

While many are following March Madness, however, what is there for those of us less athletically inclined?

If real life basketball is not exactly your cup of tea, you can still participate in the spirit of the season with a nostalgic look back at the 1996 masterpiece, “Space Jam.”

In the film, Michael Jordan must help the Looney Tunes win a basketball game against a group of alien amusement park employees who want to kidnap and enslave the Tunes at its park, Moron Mountain.

Watching it for the first time in over a decade, I was surprised to find so many hilarious nods that I had not noticed as a kid.

The unlikely standout of “Space Jam” is not Michael Jordan’s acting (he tried), but the movie’s supporting cast of NBA and Hollywood superstars.

Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing and Larry Bird are only some of the players that brought their A-game to this movie. Also, Bill Murray plays himself in this film for no apparent reason.

In one sentence, Wayne Knight’s character, Stan, manages to promote Hanes, Nike, Wheaties, Gatorade and McDonald’s. Yet, I cannot seem to fault the movie for the thinly veiled advertisements that are practically jokes themselves.

If you were a fan of the film, it may be of interest that the “Space Jam” soundtrack will be re-released on vinyl for Record Store Day in April.

The movie’s absurdly star-studded soundtrack includes artists like Salt-n-Peppa, LL Cool J, Coolio, Barry White, R Kelly and Jay-Z, who wrote a rap for the movie to be performed by Bugs Bunny.

So, if you’re a nostalgic millennial with a record player — a statistical likelihood — check record stores for the album April 22.

Revisiting “Space Jam” may force the realization that childhood nostalgia is a capitalist artifice, but honestly, who cares?

So, when your friends bring up sports talk until March Madness is over, you can convincingly pretend you watched the game by just recapping the plot of “Space Jam.”