maandag 9 februari 2015

The Veronica Mars Movie Review

On March 13th a Kickstarter project was brought to life: The Veronica Mars Movie Project. It's a site where all people with ideas can go to and other people who see something in those ideas can donate money to make it happen. For Veronica Mars it was a 'hail Mary'. The show, which ended with an open ending in 2007, reach their goal of two million in just one day. At the end they had actually reached 91.585 backers (people who gave their money) and with 5.7 million dollars the 'Go' was a definite and the crew could start making their movie. A little over a year later, Veronica Mars - The Movie, premiered on the 20th of March in the Dutch cinema (one time only). And a little over one month later, the DVD came out.


After having turned her back to Neptune and her teenage years of being a detective, Veronica is being pulled back. She's about to be a lawyer, has a good relationship with college sweetheart Piz and the prospect of a great job in New York, but returns to California. All because her ex, Logan Echolls, is the main suspect in murder case of singer Bonnie DeVille. And this is all just in time for her ten year high school reunion.

Remember this one?

For fans Veronica Mars (the movie) offers everything they could wish for and more. Hardly a minute passes without a reference to the tv show that everyone has grown to love. Cases Veronica worked on as a teenager will put a smile on every fan's face. At the same time the references are so subtle that a newbie to the fandom/show/movie will hardly notice. Like when Veronica walks into her dad's office and simply answers the phone, just like when she was helping him at the office in the show. One of the most surprising - and for fans heartwarming - things are the guest appearances. There's an overflow of familiar faces from the show which will surprise you every other moment. I squeeled when I saw Veronica back together again with Mac, Piz and Wallace! Mac's hair is amazing and Wallace's career choice heartwarming. Or how about Celeste, Weevil, Dick, Gia, Corny, Madison, Leo, Cliff (really, I could go on for a while) and of course my all time favorite tv dad: Keith! After ten years it's not unusual to wonder who would have kept in contact and what they would have been doing now. That's how Rob Thomas cleverly came up with the idea of the high school reunion. This way both friends and foes had a reason to appear in the movie.

New faces

Luckily the movie presents both familiar faces as new ones for the new viewers. The story centers around known characters, but the case itself is linked to some new names of the old high school. A case that goes deeper and deeper, which will increase the interest in the case as it develops. Both the tension and the rythm make for some scary moments that will catch you off guard. You'll literaly jump out of your seat. With all the new and old faces, there are also a lot of storylines in this movie. Because of this a lot is happening and it's all happening very fast. Together with Veronica you'll go from one situation to the next, while the real action takes place near the ending. Just as it should... at the climax of the movie.
Double the episode
Veronica Mars is a fitting sequel to the show, even though the case is not totally up to Veronica's abilities. In the show Veronica used to have cases that challanged her, took more research and for which she used more gadgets. A comparison isn't easy to make though. In the show you have more time for the plotlines and there's a totally different budget. This case is actually better for new viewers who are meeting Veronica Mars, P.I., for the first time. Having said that, it felt like the old days. Familiar faces and wonderful sarcastic remarks are inbetted in the fenomenon that is Veronica Mars. The music is also part of that. In the show it was always a vital part of the the vibe and all the wonderful moments to which it fitted so perfectly. And Rob Thomas simply uses this again. From the party music in clubs tot the darker sounds to go with the tragic and intense scenes. Thomas knows which music goes with every scene as no other. You feel like your simply watching a double episode of the tv show.
Of course you can't have the movie without some romance. Where you can feel the chemistry with Logan, by fans also put together as LoVe, right away, she's actually seeing Piz. The corn bread next door good guy, whose parents Veronica is supposed to meet. For fans there will be a definite tension whether or not Veronica can resist the charmes of Logan and stay with Piz. In the show this played on for three whole season, but in the movie it goes on a rapid pace. Therefore the chemistry will feel a little bit haste. Especially for viewers who don't have the all the background information. For them these moments won't be as convincing. However, if you do know them from the show, seeing them again will make you feel butterflies.
For the Marshmallows
As the movie was made possible with the money from fans, lovingly called Marshmallows, it isn't strange that all the fanfun is such a big part of the movie. The down side is that all the newbies will probably have more questions once the movie has ended. Some storylines are simply there to bring familiar faces back. But other than that the storyline doesn't really get solved, it just stays in the middle. Because of that - storywise - it doesn't add anything to the movie. It might seem more logical once you know that there's also a series of books coming, following the events of the movie. Two books have already been published (The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line and Mr. Kiss and Tell), which explains the open ending on some of the plotlines that never get explained in the movie. The open ending also gives the idea that the movie was truly made for the real Marshmallows who'll probably read the books, instead of the new viewers (who of course could also end up reading the books after seeing the movie and loving it).

The dvd
As a backer, I also received the DVD of the movie once it came out. Luckily for me, they made a European version as well. Not that I need the subtitles or anything, but it's still nice to know to be thought off.
There's also a flyer included with which you can download the movie with a code.

The looks
The cover has the same image as on the poster: Veronica holding a camera and photo negatives on the right side of the picture, which pictures different characters in different scenes. The only name on the cover is 'Kristen Bell', no director, no screenwriter, no editor and no other actors, leaving all the room for the picture. It's simple, just as the fond of the  title. On the back it has different scenes pictured as well, with a little remark about being able to download it, and all the names are mentioned. It also has a big box which mentions the hour long featurette.

As for the dvd itself: The dvd is just as simple, with just the title of the movie on it. The menu pictures the same image as on the cover. It gives you a scene selection (twelve scenes), language selection (dubbed and subs) - for which there isn't really a background - and the one extra featurette. Basically it's very simple. But honestly, with a movie like this, you don't really need anything more.
The featurette
The dvd has the usual specs, like trailers from other movies at the beginning. The one featurette for the fans is "By The Fans: The Making of the Veronica Mars Movie". It shows the beginning from when the Kickstarter Project goes online and the first backer donates money. Creater Rob Thomas shows how in about twenty seconds they make like a thousand dollars. You see how Kristen Bell wakes up to the news of already having 400.000 dollars in the project and the entire cast in clips, of their backer vids that were shown on the site, who are just overwhelmed. This featurette takes you from the first moments of the Kickstarter campaign, through the days on set where they meet the fans to Comic Con 2013, where the first sizzle real was shown.

Honestly, I'm not gonna spoil the entire featurette, cos you'll have to see it for yourself. But there's this one moment where Rob explains how the location got leaked and fans show up taking pictures. How much love the actors have for there fans shows in the fact that they actually went to them and took pictures with them. And that's what this featurette breathes. Because not just the fans are uberexcited, but the cast and crew as well. And hearing everybody talk about this show and what it means, it will bring tears to your eyes. It's simply that touching.

Veronica Mars (dvd, 2014) is everything a Marshmallow could wish for and so much more. The humor brings her character back to life, the cameo's create wonderful nostalgic moments and the case makes for the excitement. While a newbie could feel a little bit overloaded with all the info, they'll also be able to enjoy this movie. Whether you grew up with this blond teenager or not, it's wonderful to see her back at work (again) in Neptune. And if you missed all the excitement on Kickstarter and the value this project has, the dvd will give you the insight with the featurette.