This all-singing, all-dancing, all-swearing music comedy pulls out all the stops on Blu-ray
The three members of US comedy troupe/comic songwriters The Lonely Island star, write and direct this generally sharp and witty satire of the modern music industry. Think This Is Spinal Tap for the YouTube generation.
Andy Samberg hogs screentime as pop culture superstar Conner4Real, formerly a member of a three-piece boyband; of the other two, one is now his loyal DJ and the other has retreated to a Colorado dirt-farm after a fall out. Across 90-odd minutes of mockumentary, we see Conner's career come crashing down around him after a disastrous album launch – can he re-team with his old chums for a triumphant return?
With the every-scene-must-be-funny attitude of modern US comedies (Judd Apatow is a producer), Popstar... naturally has some clunky moments where jokes fall flat, and more space should have been given to allow its rise, fall, rise narrative to really succeed. Additionally, you'll need to be fairly au fait with the world of modern American pop to recognise every cameo and understand every gag. But when it works, this flick can be ruthlessly funny, particularly when it comes to throw-away flights of fancy (crooner Seal being mauled by wolves, a giant bee attack) and the all-important original songs, which are too profane for us to recount here. Flawed, but fun.
Picture: The documentary stylings mean Popstar... mixes 4:3 home video footage, concert tapes and YouTube uploads with more traditional 2.40:1 visuals, leading to deliberately varying levels of sharpness. but overall this is a crisp, stable hi-def presentation, with a rich contrast and colours that, er, never stop popping.
Picture rating: 4.5/5
Audio: The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundmix naturally gets the most to do when it comes to the concert sequences, which are lively, bass-rich and immersive. Yet that's not to say the track remains front-heavy elsewhere; there's attention to detail present in the surrounds. The standout audio moment, though, is DJ Owen's laser hat, which erupts with a sound effect lifted straight from Spielberg's War of the Worlds.
Audio rating: 4/5
Extras: Those who can't get enough of the original songs will appreciate the six-strong suite of music videos. Another go-to extra is the commentary track from Samberg and co-writers Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, although its knockabout nature may prove too wacky for some. Other extras include a wealth of deleted scenes, plus various mini-vids, out-takes and more.
Extras rating: 3.5/5
We say: Frequently hilarious and offensive pop music mockumentary gets an upbeat Blu-ray release.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Universal Pictures, All-region BD, £25
HCC VERDICT: 3.5/5
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