Wednesday, July 9, 2014

PCP on DVD - Veronica Mars

Whenever people talk about great shows that were cancelled too soon, one of the ones regularly mentioned is Veronica Mars. The series only lasted 3 seasons on TV (2 on UPN, 1 on the CW) from 2004-07, yet it managed to build a very loyal and devoted fan following. Creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell had always wanted to do a film, but were unable to convince Warner Brothers to greenlight the movie. Then came the crowd-funding website Kickstarter. Thomas had the idea to use Kickstarter to gain funding for the show, showing the WB that there was indeed an audience wanting to see the movie get made. The film set records on Kickstarter, hitting their goal of $2,000,000 in less than 10 hours and overall receiving over $5,700,000 in donations from over 91,000 fans to get the movie made. So, Thomas and Bell had their film, now the question was, would the fans of the show actually enjoy the movie they had funded?

Veronica Mars - 2014, rated PG-13. My rating: 8 out of 10.

I was a big fan of the show Veronica Mars, unfortunately not discovering it until after it had already completed its run on the air. For those of you unfamiliar with the show or movie, Kristen Bell starred as the titular character, a (then) teenager who moonlights as a private eye in her dad's PI firm, while facing the challenges of high school and college, but never losing her extremely sarcastic outlook on life. The show (and movie) have a ton of great one-liners, both from Mars and her on and off again boyfriend Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring). The show was a noir-ish mystery series, and that mood and feel carries over to the movie very well. Even if you haven't seen the show, however, the film is still actually rather well done, and can stand alone as a good way to spend your time, with a nice character-driven mystery. You might not get all of the in-jokes and shout-outs to the series if you haven't seen it, but since the film is set nine years after the final season of the show, it still does a pretty solid job of reminding viewers who is who and introducing all of the important characters in a clear way.

This time around in the movie, the case revolves around Logan being accused of murder, and Veronica, who had gotten out of the PI life and had just passed the bar exam, being pulled back in in order to help save her ex from jail time. The mystery was actually pretty good, and I had fun trying to solve the case along with the characters in the movie.

Overall, it was nice to inhabit the universe of these characters again, and the movie will have a place on my shelf next to the TV series that spawned it. If you're looking for a good mystery film, I do recommend this. And if you never watched the TV series, I strongly encourage you to do so, as it was easily one of the better TV shows of the past decade.

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