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THEATRICAL REVIEW: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

June 11, 2016 1 comment
Popstar: Never Stop Never StoppingDirected by: Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone
Produced by: Judd Apatow, Rodney Rothman, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone
Written by: Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone
Edited by: Jamie Gross, Stacey Schroeder, Zene Baker
Cinematography by: Brandon Trost
Music by: The Lonely Island, et al.
Starring: Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Sarah Silverman, Tim Meadows, Imogen Poots, Joan Cusack, Maya Rudolph, Chris Redd, James Buckley, Will Arnett, Eric André, Chelsea Peretti, Mike Birbiglia, Bill Hader
Year: 2016

 

Ah, the lifestyles of the rich and famous. So glamorous. So scandalous. So ripe for parody. The hilariously titled Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is a mockumentary that was bound to draw comparisons from the very beginning to another particular musical mockumentary, This Is Spinal Tap. However, Popstar differentiates itself just enough by not only focusing on the musicians themselves, but by putting real life, self-important, money-siphoning documentaries like Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and One Direction: This Is Us in its crosshairs, resulting in a film that is, of course, a bit more current and, thus, a lot more prone to poking fun at the marketing and technological synergy inherent to modern pop stars, as well as the generic, myopic, and self-important altruism so many modern celebrities seem to espouse. And, because it’s a Lonely Island production, it has more than a touch of their signature absurdities thrown in, too. Read more…

The Empathy Machine

June 11, 2015 Leave a comment

There was another version of this article that actually went on quite a bit of a rant, but I had to scrap it. I scrapped it not just for you, my reader, but also for myself, as I was writing more out of impassioned irritation than I was to make a coherent article about my relationship with film, as I had originally set out to do. I think this is a bit more focused, and a bit more biographical than that lecture, which I am honestly glad I had second thoughts about – and I do mean lecture as in “scold,” not “educational speech.” Part of what I almost lost sight of was an expression of my love for the medium of film, which, let’s face it, is the main topic of this blog is, after all!

Wall-E - Watching Hello Dolly

Wall-E

I do love film, though. I even admittedly sometimes love watching bad films, when the mood strikes, despite the fact that I usually end up griping about how awful they are by the time the credits begin – oftentimes earlier. I guess I’m a part time hate-watcher. That being said, however, I am admittedly an amateur when it comes to film appreciation. I’m rarely driven by more than gut instinct when it comes to analyzing the individual parts of a film, so I’m often left feeling quite inadequate to judge things like the composition of shots, the quality of the score, and the inventiveness of certain other techniques unless they really stand out to me. And, honestly, so long as those elements are either so well done that they either don’t call attention to themselves or are so transcendently novel that I can’t help but notice, I’m largely okay with that. For me, film has always been more than just the sum of its parts and more about what it’s actually saying on behalf of the artists involved and the subject it’s covering. (And, sometimes, films are mostly just entertaining, and that’s honestly okay, too!) Read more…

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