Director(s): Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone
Cast: Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer
Release Date: September 13, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
After a two-year, sold-out, worldwide tour, Conner4Real (Andy Samberg) is the biggest name in music. Go behind the scenes as Conner faces a crisis of popularity after his sophomore album flops, leaving fans, sycophants and rivals all wondering what to do when Conner4Real is no longer the dopest star of all. The hilarious comedy from digital short superstars, The Lonely Island, and blockbuster producer Judd Apatow (Trainwreck, Superbad, Knocked Up), is loaded with cameos from the biggest names in comedy and music.
From the comedic team The Lonely Island comes ‘Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping’ a mockumentary that follows the degrading career of one time hip hop icon Conner4Real (Samberg) who following his departure from the boy band (or hip hop trio) ‘The Style Boyz’ which made him famous, finally gets a taste of true fame with a monumentally huge debut solo album. Now, as his more explorative and highly anticipated sophomore album is greeted by less than critical acclaim and painfully miniscule album sales, Conner is forced to reevaluate not only his career but also himself when his enormous tour requires the addition of a rising new rapper named Hunter (Redd) merely to maintain adequate ticket sales. As one thing after another seems to backfire, the world soon begins to fear that this may be the end of the legendary Conner4Real.
Directed by Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone from a script they additionally penned along with Andy Samberg, the team (aka The Lonely Island, Hot Rod) does an outstanding job at the helm of ‘Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping’ guiding their own ridiculously hilarious and spot on script with perfection and always showcasing a true passion for the material as they simultaneously tear it to humorous shreds. The film also owes a tremendous amount of credit to the cast which also features all three Lonely Island members (Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer) in starring roles, in addition to such talented folks as Tim Meadows, Sarah Silverman, Maya Rudolph, Chris Redd, Imogen Poots and many more (including some hilarious faux interviews with many legends of the field including Nas, Usher and plenty more), all of which deliver perfectly fitting performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping’ is comedic perfection and a truly rare example of a comedy that knows precisely what it intends to accomplish and delivers exactly that and with stunning style to boot, nary faltering in any way and even managing to hit the mark on even the most minimal of jokes it throws at the audience. It’s been a long time since a comedy managed to affect me on the level ‘Popstar’ has and not only is it a perfectly constructed and executed mockumentary that always maintains an aura of realness in what it opts for picking apart and poking fun at, it’s also one that should be a perfect contender for a plethora of repeat viewings; I must admit being tempted to watch it a few more times on repeat immediately after wrapping if not for the sake of my sore jaw resulting from the nearly constant and almost violent laughter the film incites. I’ve rarely referred to a comedy as perfect and it’s a truly scarce occurrence indeed when I feel a comedy deserves a perfect score, yet ‘Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping’ is one of those unique examples of something far more amazing than could have been anticipated and it’s safe to say it has already secured a spot in my top comedy films of all time. Anyone who enjoys fittingly goofy and often hilariously ridiculous comedies is almost certain to have a blast with this modern comedic masterpiece.
Overall, ‘Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping’ is a wonderfully hilarious and simply outstanding comedy (or mockumentary if you prefer) from the talented comedic team of The Lonely Island and featuring the talented Andy Samberg (also a member of the team) and many other talented individuals at their zany best. I cannot possibly recommend ‘Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping’ highly enough; for anyone who appreciates comedies of a similar nature (and likely many who don’t as well) this one is an absolute must see and the definition of a film perfect for repeat viewings.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding as a whole, delivering a sharp, detailed and gorgeous presentation from start to finish with no notable faults to be found within. It holds up beautifully even during the numerous heavily populated and fast moving sequences and never results in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is another wonderful high definition video presentation from Universal that should easily please.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a consistently crisp, clean and often incredibly active audio presentation throughout. Frequently utilizing all five available channels in order to fully immerse the viewer within the hilariously ridiculous (yet perfectly fitting) music, in addition to contributing plenty of crowd chatter and other common ambience, while never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted, let alone rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a fantastic 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that contributes even more fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping’ includes a notable collection of wildly enjoyable and hilarious extras. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone and Andy Samberg’, in addition to tons of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 44 minutes in length altogether), along with some additional ‘Bonus Footage’ (running approximately 9 minutes),plus ‘Interview Outtakes’ (approximately 7 minutes), a ‘Gag Reel’ (3 minutes), and 6 hilarious ‘Music Videos’: “I’m A Weirdo”, “Equal Rights”, “Mona Lisa”, “Bin Laden”, “F*** Off”, and “Legalize It” (running approximately 1-3 minutes each). We are also treated to a number of random goofy and hilarious videos that are sure to keep you giggling, they include: ‘How To Donkey Roll’ (1 minute), ‘Big Boy Freestyle’ (2 minutes), ‘Frog Ji**’ (1 minute), ‘Shooting Hoops’ (1 minute), ‘“Turn Up The Beef” Backstory’(1 minute), ‘Sex Tape’ (1 minute), and a few installments of ‘Fun At CMZ!’ (approximately 6 minutes altogether).