DVD Review: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

popstardvdSTUDIO: Universal | DIRECTORS: Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone | CAST: Andy Samberg, Sarah Silverman, Maya Rudolph, Joan Cusack, Imogen Poots, Bill Hader, Kevin Nealon
RELEASE DATE: 9/13/16 | PRICE: DVD $17.99, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $19.99
BONUSES: deleted scenes, gag reel, interview outtakes,  bonus footage, music videos, more
SPECS: R | 87 min. | Comedy | 2.40:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 | English, French and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio | Video  | Overall

A surprisingly  sharp and often hilarious spoof the contemporary music industry, Popstar is the big-screen roll-out for the Lonely Island, the comedy trio formed by Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, childhood friends responsible for the Digital Short parodies “Lazy Sunday” and “Dick in the Box,” presented on Saturday Night Live during the Samberg years.

Andy Samberg is Conner4Real in Popstar.

Andy Samberg is Conner4Real in Popstar.

Samberg (TV’s Brooklyn 99) plays Conner4Real, a heavily tattooed rapper who, with childhood friends  Taccone (The Lego Movie) and Schaffer  (The Watch), made up one of the hottest boy bands in the world. But internal strife, Connor4Real’s self-absorbed behavior and need for a solo rap career and the pressures of the music biz eventually lead to the trio’s breakup, prompting Connor4Real to reflect on his career and friendships.

With an obvious debt to This is Spinal Tap! and other Christopher Guest-related mockumentaries, Popstar adds terrific support to back up the spotlighted trio. There’s Tim Meadows as their veteran manager, Sarah Silverman (I Smile Back) as their harried publicist and Imogen Potts (Need for Speed) as Connor’s young girlfriend. In addition, the likes of QuestLove, Nas, Ringo Starr, Carrie Underwood, Adam Levine, Usher and others add talking head testimonials to the proceedings. The cameos and bit parts are plentiful and the laughs are sporadic, but they’re combustibly funny when they score. Of special note is comedian Chris Redd’s hilarious turn as Hunter, Conner4Real’s boisterous temporary hip-hop partner, and Will Arnett’s (The Nut Job) right-on impersonation of TMZ host Harvey Levin.

People stayed home when Popstar hit theaters—the film brought in only $10 million in a wide release last June. Yo!  But look for enthusiastic response on the home market.

Buy or Rent Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.