Directed by Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone
Written by Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone
Starring: Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Sarah Silverman, Tim Meadows, Imogen Poots, Joan Cusack, and Maya Rudolph
With “Popstar” Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, and Andy Samberg deliver the “This is Spinal Tap” of contemporary popular music and modern celebrity. The comparison of “Popstar” and “This is Spinal Tap” is a comparison made by the similarities between the two movies, not necessarily the quality of the two films. Like “This is Spinal Tap” “Popstar” is a music mockumentary that satirizes certain aspects and attitudes that are prevalent in the current music of the day. For “This is Spinal Tap” it was the metal scene of the early 1980s, and for “Popstar” it is the popular music scene of the early 21st century. Specifically, I guess it would be hip-hop, but the movie touches on electronic music and a more general popular music landscape.
“Popstar” clocking in at only 86 minutes, is full of laughs consistently throughout the movie. The jokes and gags are well crafted, including a spot on parody of TMZ. Even the gag that I saw coming a mile away because this gag was the Stonehenge moment of “Popstar,” it was still one of my favorite parts of the movie and one of the bits of the movie where I had laughed the hardest. With the jokes the songs featured in “Popstar” were also great. These songs were witty and balls to the wall hilarious. These songs are the highlight of the movie. These songs are great comedic/novelty songs in their own right, and could stand separate from the movie.
“Popstar” is a mockumentary, and as a mockumentary, the movie is shot and feels like a documentary. The interesting aspect of “Popstar” is that the concert scenes in the movie are shot like a concert film. These concert scenes could have been part of a pro-shot concert film. That was a great thing to have in this movie because it makes the movie feel more like an authentic documentary about a musician.
“Popstar” is a solid comedy that touches on so many things that are happening in current popular culture and popular music. It certainly that the talent behind the movie are immensely talented and made what will most likely be remembered as the “This is Spinal Tap” of 21st century popular music.