Barry Jenkins cements himself as an essential voice with "If Beale Street Could Talk"                "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" is the best animated film of the year                Snubs and surprises mark the Screen Actors Guild nominations as "A Star Is Born" leads the way                2018 Critics Choice nominations led by Yorgos Lanthimos' "The Favourite"                Nicole Kidman: Boy Erased and Destroyer - Hollywood Film Tribute                “Beautiful Boy” – Timothée Chalamet: Hollywood Film Tribute                “First Man” by Damien Chazelle: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy - Hollywood Film Tribute                Natalie Portman shines in the otherwise confounding "Vox Lux"                Golden Globe nominations announced! "Vice" leads the charge!                “Green Book” - Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali: Hollywood Film Tribute                "Mary Queen of Scots" can't live up to its royal lineage                "Ben Is Back" sees father and filmmaker Peter Hedges direct his son Lucas Hedges to a brilliant performance                Hollywood Film Tribute: GLENN CLOSE for her excellent performances                A final crack at Golden Globe nominations before Thursday's announcement                “Mary Poppins Returns” and “Once Upon a Deadpool”: Films to see in December        

Andy Samberg has his own comedy vehicle with “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping”

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Depending on what you’ve seen him in, you might have a number of different takes on Andy Samberg. You could know him from his run on Saturday Night Live, his television show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a handful of supporting roles in films, or his highest profile turn in Celeste and Jesse Forever. There’s also his musical work with The Lonely Island, which combines with his comedic movie work this week to mark the release of Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, his attempt at a real comedy hit. It appears to be something a little on the unique side, so there’s a chance that Samberg is about to break through in a big way.

The film is a look at fictional superstar Conner4Real (Samberg), who was once a member of the pop/rap group The Style Boyz. When his solo career goes up in flames, Conner4Real is game to try anything in order to maintain the high life he’s grown accustomed to, as long as it doesn’t involve also reuniting with the group. Hilarity ensues. Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone co-write (along with Samberg) as well as co-direct here (while also taking on supporting roles too), while the cast on hand includes Imogen Poots, as well as the likes of Will Arnett, Joan Cusack, Will Forte, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Martin Sheen, Sarah Silverman, and many more, including a whole host of celebrity cameos.

I see it later today, but this is another comedy produced by Judd Apatow, who normally knows how to get the best out of people, so that’s a reason I’m looking forward to this one. He’s expanded out from the films he’s written or directed in order to produce some very strong works like Begin Again, Bridesmaids, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Step Brothers, and more. Apatow is one of the more underrated producers in Hollywood, especially when it comes to comedy. but he’s got more to him than that. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping certainly is in his humorous wheelhouse, but it’s also not his first musically tinged outing.

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For my money, Samberg really has shined brightest in the romantic dramedy Celeste and Jesse Forever. He co-starred there with Rashida Jones (who also co-wrote the movie) and made a fantastically believable pair. That film tackled the issue of a long term couple transitioning to friends, specifically when a married couple is going through a separation and then a divorce. Samberg is brilliant as the initially immature half of the pair who does some unexpected growing up. I wouldn’t have gone so far as to have nominated him for an Academy Award, but it’s still easily his best work to date. Perhaps he’ll be able to top that with his Lonely Island spinoff work in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, but that would be an impressive feat. Celeste and Jesse Forever is a high bar to clear.

Overall, Samberg might just have a hit on his hands on Friday with Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. It definitely has the potential to be a successful comedy, which would most certainly transition Samberg to the A-list. He’s already made a big name for himself on television, but the world of film now comes next. We’ll have to see what the ultimate reception is for this one, but if it’s a surprise blockbuster, the world will now be his oyster. Sit tight for more on Samberg and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping if the situation warrants it. In the meantime, just stay tuned and see it in a few days if the mood happens to strike you…

Be sure to check out Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, in theaters everywhere this weekend!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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