Thursday, June 16, 2016

We were very cool for our school district.

Stop me if you've heard this one, but my parents used to send me across the country to visit my grandparents for the entire f--king summer. Alone.

While my dad's side (located in Bristol, Connecticut) was all about dinner (at five?) together, planned outings, and a general sense of structure, my mom's side was the opposite. Temporarily residing in Charlestown, Massachusetts (not the nice part, either), the unspoken law of the land seemed to be, do what you want and try not to die. Oh, and dinner's whenever. Probably. 

Being that it was hot as balls, and pretty much the f--king mean streets, I quickly came up with a plan. I would walk/run the two plus miles to the movie theater damn near everyday, and I would buy one ticket. And I would stay there as long as possible, hopping from one screen to the next. And in the summer of 1991, a movie I watched on more than one occasion? Madonna: Truth or Dare

I was eleven. 

While Madonna sucking off a mostly empty bottle (I dare you click here) was part of an actual documentary, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, while equally ridiculous, is straight fiction. At least as far as I can tell.

Conner Friel has musical talent. Or did. As the pseudo-documentary details, Conner has already experienced early, group-based success in the nineties (with the Beastie Boys-esque Style Boyz) and followed that with a meteoric rise as a solo-artist. Simply put, the world f--king loves this dude. And has for some time.

Like so many artists before him, Conner decides to turn his back on all the things that made him famous in the first place, including his long-time manager and childhood best friend(s). But when his sophomore album drops, the long-awaited Connquest, and is utterly f--king rejected by fans and critics alike, Conner folds like a cheap hooker who got hit in the stomach by a fat guy with sores on his face.

While there is a plot and a serviceable story, the real question about Popstar is whether or not it's funny. Well, you likely can't (and shouldn't) trust the grown up version of a perverted eleven-year old Madonna fan, or someone willing to drop a Friends quote two decades too late, but in my opinion, this f--ker was pretty damn funny. While not all the jokes are going to land, they come so friggin' quickly, it won't matter. Short version? I was consistently laughing my ass off.

Oh, and this one time? I almost choked to death on a dick...joke. As once again the big unit is played for even bigger laughs. Usually, I don't find other guy's dicks all that hysterical, but I'm telling you I actually cried during this scene. Unbelievable.

Speaking of guys obsessed with dongs, Samberg and the other dudes from The Lonely Island have delivered what I bet will probably be the funniest comedy of the summer (I missed The Nice Guys, dammit [so chill the f--k out, okay?]). Oh, it's f--king stupid, no doubt, but it's also f--king brilliant, too. Yeah, mockumentaries aren't exactly cutting edge, but Popstar might be the high-note to go out on, if and when this comedy sub-genre breathes its last breath (as if awkward glances are ever going away...).

Sarah Silverman shows up as Conners' agent, Paula.
Speaking of things that won't die, no matter how unfunny they get, here are the Yays and Boos for this Judd Apatow-produced, er, production. Like many an Apatow-diddled film, this one might be too long for its own good. Man...I really can't stop thinking about that dick scene, huh? Like, I want to stop, but I can't. Like, never.

Hmm. I wonder what Seattle-based rapper this was based on?
  • The music is f--king ridiculous! From the early stuff like Karate Guy to I'm So Humble and my personal favorite, Equal Rights, the songs are as catchy as they are hysterical. I still totally disagree with a -4 out of 10. F--king critics, man.
  • Conner's successful days are probably more fun than his downfall. Examples include...
    • White Butt Jeans
    • 24/7 Social Media: Just jacked it...
    • Thriller, also
  • Tim Meadows is awesome as Harry, Conner's long-time manager. Turns out Harry was in Tony! Toni! Tone! Tonee? Though that grammatical inconsistency? It wasn't his best decision.
  • Man, the Catchphrase Verse was dope. I mean, it was Patrick Stewart Money. Or dinky nuts.
  • Maya Rudolph's De-bor-ah character is so awesome. Even if her idea is just the worst. What's this the hard 'r'?
  • Maybe my favorite part of the movie, Will Arnett's tiny role as the main TMZ Guy. Holy shit, I couldn't breathe during these parts. Sure, he does nothing but laugh and drink out of entirely too many different cups, but trust me, it just might kill you.
  • Zippy, the guitar tech and his mysterious hobby. Still cracks me up...
  • Dude, Hunter the Hungry is way f--king hardcore. Smoking blunts? Nah, man. RZA saw him eating them.
  • There are some pretty rad cameos in this. Don't f--k with Mariah Carey...
  • I thought it looked stupid in the previews, like, beyond stupid, but that proposal scene with the wolves was the highlight. 'F--king wolves' has never been uttered with such conviction! 
  • What channel is Surprise Muthaf--ka! on? I gotta catch that shit.
  • The play-by-play of Conner's dramatic decision should have been stupid. It was, fine, but perfectly so.
  • And finally, The Donkey Roll. I think for the first time in my life, I can say that I can dance just like Usher and not be entirely full of shit/on crack.
Man, this isn't going to end well.
  • Dude, Frances, you really are a dickhead.
  • What was with Conner's pet turtle? Is that an inside joke or something? (not funny)
  • Man, that Bin Laden song is super-awkward, right?
  • While I've already mentioned that the dick scene is something I can't unsee, so is the dick-less scene. Yikes. Like a Marilyn Manson video...except worse.
  • Conner's personal chef is the biggest Yay, ever, but the Boo is how they treat this poor fella. And cut softer, dawg!
  • Matthew Modine having a peanut allergy? *shudder*
  • You know you've really bottomed out when you're selling horse Sacramento.
  • And finally, even though I was consistently laughing or smiling for most of it, this flick, even at 87 minutes, kind of overstays its welcome. Most of the bits with the Farmer Guy (Lawrence) weren't really that funny. I know he's the director...but cut that shit and we're golden.
After finishing Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, it actually made me think I should check out some legit documentaries about musicians. The live music, the stage show, being on tour, and all the backstage drama is fascinating to watch, you know?

Or maybe I should just revisit Truth or Dare, instead. I mean, I loved f--king Madonna when I was younger. Everyone did. 

Wait. That didn't turn out quite right, did it? Something's a little off...

Kind of like the grown up version of a kid who sneaked into R-rated movies all day when he was eleven.


  1. Great review! My interest is piqued. This movie seems to have come from nowhere and is obviously spitting some real happiness. Your opening sounds so much like my childhood it's ridiculous. I particularly love this bit: "Oh, and dinner's whenever. Probably." That is my Mom's side of the family...exactly.

    1. Hahaha, thanks Kevin. And thanks for the link, too!

      It's consistently funny, even if it runs a little too long by the end, I'd still recommend it.

      Yeah, man. Summers as a kid with my mom's side? Despite the extreme lack of education that surrounded me...well, let's just say I learned a lot.

  2. Oh my god, you've got me so hyped for this movie! I love Andy Samberg but the trailers didn't fully sell it to me. I need to hear this dick joke!!
    - Allie

    1. While hearing this dick joke is funny enough, it has to be seen to be believed. If only I could UNSEE it.

      If you end up seeing it, I hope you enjoy it. The movie, gosh, not the...oh, nevermind.

  3. A proposal scene with wolves? I might have to check this out.

    1. It was the right kind of awful, that wolf-proposal. And the fact that Seal plays it so straight the entire time makes it even worse/better.

      You might want to have some drinks on standby...