Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Blu-ray Review
POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING is an hour and a half long SNL Digital Short. I feel we need to get that out of the way early because if you roll your eyes during the Lonely Island’s D*** In A Box video or any of their other music videos, you’re going to be miserable watching Popstar. But, if you’re like me and you used to look forward to their next video, then you’ll probably find just enough here to have a good time.
Told like a music documentary, POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING tells the story of Conner (Samberg) as he’s about to release his new album. As we learn throughout the film, Conner was once part of the pop group The Style Boyz, but left the group after the media started focusing on him, which lead to his fight with Lawrence (Schaffer). The third member of the group, Owen (Taccone) has stuck with Conner, but his role has been relegated to pushing “play” on an iPod at Conner’s shows. When Conner’s new album doesn’t go over very well, he must find himself and discover what went wrong.
The film has a few things going for it. First, there’s Andy Samberg, who I’ve found is a polarizing comedian in that people either love him or hate him. Count me in the former group because I find almost everything he says to be funny. That definitely helped the film for me as he provided laughs where there weren’t any to be had. Second, there’s the music, which plays out like another album from Lonely Island. If you liked their first two albums, there’s no reason to believe you won’t get a kick out of the songs featured in Popstar. Finally, there’s some running gags that I found funny every time they came up, most notably Owen’s lack of involvement in the music.
As great as those three things are, together they make up about 35 minutes worth of the 87 minute runtime. As you can guess, the rest of the 52 minutes are a little disappointing. Sarah Silverman does what she can as the band’s publicist as does Tim Meadows as the band’s manager, but they left a lot of laughs on the table. Conner develops a rivalry with Hunter (Chris Redd) that has one funny gag but then sort of fizzles out. Although a mockumentary, it actually plays out too much like an actual documentary, which we didn’t need. We needed more songs and more over-the-top humor and less real-life drama.
I’ve been a fan of The Lonely Island since their early days on Saturday Night Live and I’ll follow them wherever they go, including the multiplex. Their first feature length movie wasn’t as great as I wanted it to be and I think only die-hard Lonely Island fans are going to enjoy it. But it’s a good start and offers enough flashes of brilliance to hopefully give them another shot. And if nothing else, I’m pretty sure “I’m So Humble” is going to be my new theme song.
Video: Popstar looks great on Blu-ray, featuring great detail and beautiful colors.
Audio: The audio was fine.
Commentary with Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone and Andy Samberg: This is exactly what you think it’s going to be and that’s a great thing. The Lonely Island show up and give a fun, breezy commentary that sometimes touches on the film and sometimes derails into other topics. Overall, it’s a great addition for all fans of these three.
Deleted Scenes (43:29): I counted 23 total scenes and 40+ minutes is a lot of scenes to get through. These are hit and miss, but gave me the idea that the film might have suffered a bit from over-cutting.
Music Videos: Six songs in total get the music video treatment and this is what most of us are really interested in. The Lonely Island makes great videos and these are nice additions.
Interview Outtakes (6:29): These could have/should have been added into the deleted scenes category because they’re outtakes of the various celebrities talking about Conner.
Bonus Footage (9:24): Again, these were really deleted or extended scenes of various moments from the film.
Misc. Features (6:45): I had to lump these six featurettes together because they’re about a minute long. One features The Style Boyz teaching the Donkey Roll, another features Conner rapping (another deleted scene) and the others are pretty random.
Fun at CMZ (5:32): The gossip show in the movie didn’t hit the mark as well as I’m guessing they hoped, but this featurette has more of what I’d call deleted scenes of the show talking about Conner.
Gag Reel (3:25): Everyone made everyone else laugh on set.