At the Factory

Here’s the funniest thing about Weird: The Al Yankovic Story – there is a modicum of truth to this musical biopic. Weird Al’s “My Bologna” was recorded in a bathroom. He did buy an accordion from a traveling salesman. Madonna legitimately wanted her songs parodied.

Al didn’t, however, fight back again Pablo Escobar’s thugs in a diner. He didn’t drink his way through a concert. His parents were actually supportive. But, details.

The Al Yankovic Story rates among the genre’s best parodies

Along with PopStar: Never Stop Never Stopping, The Al Yankovic Story rates among the genre’s best parodies. The separator is tone, with PopStar skewing adult and hard R and Weird – a TV production – a soft PG-13 or so (TV-14, to be specific). That matches Yankovic’s playfully immature style, always respectful of source material without ever drifting into the salacious.

The Al Yankovic Story continually surprises. While it hits on the genre’s litany of tropes and stereotypes (from drinking and sex to creative differences and a messy childhood), it’s persistently unexpected. Whenever comfortable, the script upsets the predictable balance with say, a gunfight. The Al Yankovic Story follows a typical comedy pattern with predictable setup then a complete teardown of that cliché, but being Weird Al, the eccentricities are ridiculously absurd.

In 1989, Yankovic starred in UHF, which bombed in theaters but found a loyal fanbase thanks to its star. The Al Yankovic Story plays in a similar zone, if more grounded, albeit only when up against a world full of Spatula City commercials and game shows like Wheel of Fish. And yes, this movie makes a number of nods to UHF.

Star Daniel Radcliffe, clearly unafraid of any oddball role offered to him, understands the material, from its tone to its timing. Then come a small fleet of cameos, whether major stars or otherwise, decorating the film with multiple eras of pop culture zeitgeist that’s tremendously fun to see unfold. Plus, it’s the songs themselves, unveiled masterfully in the stupidest ways imaginable, and The Al Yankovic Story believes every one of them. There’s never a wink to the camera no matter how outlandish, playing this material straight, the central thesis on how this style is built.

Video

A true 4K source is hidden behind a heavy artificial grain structure that’s often hearty in thickness. The Al Yankovic Story looks noisy and imprecise as a result, even if the sharpness underneath is visible. Texture thins whether the encode keeps up (and it does), but those source limitations produce a low ceiling for visible definition.

Dolby Vision provides a wonderful gloss at least, glowing and intense. Stage lights during concerts have a spectacular pop. Stability in the black levels brings the rest of the punch consistently.

Following the aesthetic, color grading favors a vintage aesthetic, sepia tones and all. The warmth is attractive and fetching, flesh tones skewing to the same palette.

Audio

The music livens up in Dolby Atmos, with a solid bass line and bright, clear highs. A wild LSD trip is an aural highlight, with wildly fun sounds from every direction. Crowds fill the whole soundstage, with some limited stretch into the heights.

Bass doesn’t push limits, but does have a punch in places, The Al Yankovic Story showing off its range in a few spots. Gunfire makes a beefy and surprising appearance late with substantial weight.

Extras

Yankovic and director Eric Appel join together on a commentary, then come back together to go over deleted/extended scenes. Interviews with Variety, The Wrap, and Seth Meyers join a making of featurette and music video.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

As brilliantly twisted as his songs, The Al Yankovic Story hits every necessary beat in its goal to trash the stock musical biopic.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 40 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:


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