‘Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping’ and ‘Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising’

By on June 8, 2016

Comedies with colons

There are good ideas … and there are good ideas gone wrong. So, which describes “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping?” Well …

“Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” is the story of Conner (Andy Samberg), the charismatic leader of a pop/rap threesome called The Style Boyz who gave the world hits like “The Donkey Roll,” which became a worldwide dance craze in this mockumentary. The Style Boyz are part Beastie Boys and part NSYNC (and, of course, Justin Timberlake has a role in this movie).

With Conner in the lead, The Style Boyz — Owen (Jorma Taccone) and Lawrence (Akiva Schaffer) –quickly rise to stardom, but Conner’s star shines a bit brighter than his friends’. After taking lone credit for their success Conner decides to go out on his own as Conner4Real. Lawrence quits music entirely and becomes a recluse farmer. Owen stays on the Conner4Real team, which includes publicist Paula (Sarah Silverman) and manager Harry (Tim Meadows), as Conner’s DJ. When his much anticipated album flops, Conner’s life goes into a tailspin.

The best part of the film lies in its supporting cast. The story chronicles Conner’s rise and fall with “real life” interviews of celebrities. “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” features appearances by 50 Cent, Ringo Starr, Simon Cowell, Adam Levine, Mariah Carey, Michael Bolton, and many, many others.

Taccone and Schaffer not only star in “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” but also co-wrote and directed the comedy. Taccone and Schaffer have been writers at Saturday Night Live since 2005 and penned the memorable short “Lazy Sunday” (“the Chronic-what-les of Narnia!”), which features Samberg and SNL alum Chris Parnell. Taccone directed the “MacGruber” SNL-to-film flop, so that will give some reference point for his humor.

The best word to describe “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” is ridiculous. This movie is rated R mostly for a lengthy show of male frontal nudity and some nasty lyrics, so if that is not your cup of comedic tea, steer clear of this flick. If you’re looking for an easily digestible fun-filled hour and a half, this parody of modern celebrity is a good way to pass the time.

 

Zac Efron (left) and Seth Rogen are back as Teddy Sanders and Mac Radner in “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.’ (Photo from hypebeast.com)

Zac Efron (left) and Seth Rogen are back as Teddy Sanders and Mac Radner in “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.’ (Photo from hypebeast.com)

 

‘Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising’

As entertaining as “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” is, it couldn’t even get past No. 7 on the box office charts in its opening weekend. That space was occupied by “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” which enters its fourth week in cinemas.

Seth Rogen and Zac Efron are back as Mac Radner and Teddy Sanders, former arch enemies who need to combine their efforts against a pack of sorority girls, led by Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz, “Kick-Ass”). Shelby is tired of having to party at sexist frat houses and brings her group of friends to the neighborhood, which does not suit Mac and his wife, Kelly (Rose Byrne).

Of course, “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” is a laugh-ride, but it is one of those films that really just goes nowhere. I assume it is pulling in cash at the box office from bored teens and twenty-somethings who want to see sorority girls get wasted on booze and weed. Does that make me sound old and crotchety? Oh no! Anyway, I’ll just look forward to “Sausage Party” (Aug.12) to get my next fill of Rogen.

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1) Watch a movie; 2) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at SomeProMCU@gmail.com.

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