Friday, June 3, 2016
Pop Star: Never Stop Never Stopping 
CNS/USCCB (J. McCarthy) review
ChicagoTribune (M. Phillips) review
RogerEbert.com (G. Kenny) review
AVClub (I. Vishnevetsky) review
I have to confess that I spent much of the film Pop Star: Never Stop Stopping  (co-directed and screenplay cowritten by Akiva Shaffer and Jorma Taccone along with Adam Samberg) _happily_ "communing" with my memory of my past 20 year-old-self, recalling how much I had loved This Is Spinal Tap  and wondering honestly if I was even "worthy" (as a Catholic Priest, hence of some _clear responsibility_ now) of writing a review of the current film. But obviously, I knew when I started my blog that films like this would come and so I'm going to give it my best shot.
First, PARENTS, PLEASE NOTE that this film definitely earns (if often hilariously) its R-Rating -- mostly due to INTENTIONALLY "over the top" LANGUAGE and seemingly RANDOM (but again almost certainly INTENTIONALLY INCLUDED) shots of RANDOM PEOPLE'S (usually overly enthusiastic fans') PRIVATE PARTS (a _lot of people_ apparently want to have _all kinds of things_ "signed" ...)
As such, this film is CERTAINLY NOT "for the little ones" (pre-teens). HOWEVER, since both the language and the random bits of _intentionally stupidly added_ nudity are SO OBVIOUSLY OVER THE TOP, this could honestly be a quite good "parent / late-teen child" film to see, especially if the parents LIKED Spinal Tap  of yore.
The film, a "mockumentary" about a fictitious three person contemporary "boys band" is obviously inspired by Spinal Tap  yet updating it for the Justin Bieber / hip-hop generation:
Three childhood friends Conner (played by Adam Samberg), Owen (played by Jorma Taccome) and Lawrence (played by Akiva Schaffer) had grown-up to take the hip-hop world by storm with hits like "Karate Boy" (the opening lyrics: "I like to kick it ... <kick>, <kick>" ;-) and a party dance number called "Donkey Roll." Yet, as their fame / influence grew -- cameos of pop-stars / rappers / hip hop artists from Carrie Underwood (!? ;-) to 50 Cent to Mariah Carey to RINGO STARR (again, !? ;-) pop-up repeatedly to give ridiculously over the top testimonials to The Style Boyz influence on their lives / music -- so did lead man Conner (or as Conner4Real as he's come to call himself)'s ego. And so early on in the story, he ditches the other two to pursue a solo career.
Lawrence decides to give-up on hip-hop to become "a farmer" -- in some super-desolate part of "eastern Colorado" where the 1930s Dust Bowl appears to have never really ended. Owen, actually _doesn't retire_ but Conner relegates him to being the DJ for his act where despite thousands upon thousands of dollars of gear is set all around him, his only job is to simply hit "Play" on his iPhone to get Conner's preloaded set rolling ;-).
Conner's first solo album "Thriller, Also" had been a hit, but his new album "ConnQuest" ... eh, maybe ... not. Perhaps it was his songs -- a very _late_ "song of support" for gay rights (where he spends half the song still explaining that he's _not gay_ ... but "if [he] was, it'd be okay..." ;-). Then there's a rousing heavily choreographed number with his then girlfriend Ashley (played by Imogen Poots) dancing all around him on stage entitled: "F-me like we F-ed Bin Laden..." 'Course his publicist (played by Sarah Silverman)'s scoring of a "media tie-in" with "America's largest appliance manufacturer" did not help: Imagine how it would go over if "F-me like we F-ed Bin Laden..." suddenly started blaring out of every toaster / blender and washing machine in America ;-). Would that be considered a "media coup" or ... some kind of _really odd_ (if actually "kinda hip"...) "terrorist attack" ;-)
Anyway, much ensues ... and my long buried 20-year-old self was smiling ... even as I was wondering how my current self could "write this one up" ;-)
Yes, this film "rocked-on" ... "to eleven" ;-)
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