I was never really a fan of the Veronica Mars show when it aired nearly a decade ago. By “not really a fan” it wasn’t so much that I didn’t like the show, I just really never got into it. I’d tried to watch it a few times but I was in my early 30’s and trying to relate to the problems of a bunch of high school kids was a bit hard for me to do. Well that and I was still running this web site, so a vast majority of my time was then (as it is now) dedicated to watching and reviewing feature-length films; my time was limited with what new shows I could really watch and get into on my own free time. Still, there’s no denying that this show had and has a massive cult following. Heck, the movie was essentially made by the fans as it garnered over $2 million in one day via Kickstarter. Not too bad. More to the point, Veronica Mars gave us Kristen Bell, an actress whose made her mark in several films and television series since Mars was cancelled. I’m speaking of her roles in Heroes, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the recent Frozen to name a few. But with the Veronica Mars movie, Bell returns to her roots. Are things different a decade later or is it more of the same?
Ten years have passed for Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell). She’s received a top notch education at Stanford and is set to graduate Law School from Columbia. She’s interviewing at a prestigious New York law firm where she’s set to get the job. However life has a way of interfering in things. Veronica gets a call from her ex-boyfriend Logan (Jason Dohring) who has been accused of murder. Veronica high tails it back to Neptune where she just wants to help find a lawyer. But old habits die hard and it’s not long that she’s sucked back into a mystery when the clues don’t seem to add up. That and she happens to be in town when her ten year high school reunion is going on – how quaint! Veronica manages to get the gang back together, though it’s a bit more dark and mysterious than it was ten years prior. We have to wonder if Veronica will be able to save Logan or if he’s doomed to spend the rest of his life in prison?
As is the case with most television series turned movies, this was a good adaptation. I do feel, however, that this is essentially a long, good episode. And that’s fine. That’s what all of the Star Trek movies are – just extended versions of their small screen versions. I guess I did feel like I was missing out on some things, though and with me not being a hard core fan of the show, I’m sure I missed an inside joke or two. Series creator Rob Thomas is behind the camera for this installment as well and I will have to once again say how impressed I am that the fans of this show really made it happen. If that’s not a testament to the power of the people then I don’t know what is. All things considered, the Veronica Mars movie should give fans what they’re after – more of the same that made the show a cult hit to begin with. It’s a nice, passable and enjoyable film but true fans will no doubt be drooling.
Video: How’s it look?
Veronica Mars certainly looks the part with this nice 2.40:1 AVC HD image courtesy of Warner. The movie, new to Blu-ray, simply sparkles with anything and everything high definition and I was hard-pressed to find much, if anything, to find fault with. The cold corporate world of New York (which we only see briefly) is contrasted by the warm, sunny and bright Neptune Beach. Flesh tones were spot on (is everyone attractive in Neptune?) and the bright and cheery color palette used seems to be indicative of what I remember from seeing the show. Detail, as expected, is razor sharp though Bell’s porcelain skin seems to be flawless. All in all, it’s indicative of what we’d expect a new to Blu-ray film to look like and this hits the mark.
Audio: How’s it sound?
I’d mentioned above that most television series that become movies (I’ll use Sex and the City as an example here since Star Trek is science-fiction and therefore on a different level) sound just like, well, television shows. Then again television shows have come a long way and the DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack scores here. Vocals are rich and pure, surrounds are playful and ambient and the LFE even make their presence known in a few scenes. This is a pretty standard offering, sound wise, with some good bits here and there but this is more along the lines of a fairly basic offering.
Supplements: What are the extras?
It would be unwise of Warner not to give the fans what they wanted (supplements) since they’re mainly responsible for this film being made, and I’m pleased to say that the good have been delivered. Let’s take a look.
By the Fans: The Making of Veronica Mars: The Movie – By far the most robust supplement on the disc is this near hour-long documentary on the film. Pretty much every angle is covered here from the history of the show, to the Kickstarter campaign to get the movie made. Fans will gobble this up with delight.
More On-Set Fun
Welcome to Keith Mars Investigation – Actor Enrico Colantoni who plays Keith Mars, gives us a tour of his office that “hasn’t changed in twenty years.”
Game Show with Kristen Bell and Chris Lowell – Chris and Kristen jab on one another (more him on her than vice versa) by some “questions by the fans.” Evidently according to Chris, Kristen shaves her mustache on a daily basis and needs braces immediately.
On Set with Max Greenfield – Max Greenfield, who plays Leo D’Amato in the movie, reiterates to us the importance of giving the fans what they want (with some occasional ribbing by Kristen Bell).
Veronica Mars’ Backers – Pretty self-explanatory, some of the Kickstarter backers are interviewed and tell us their passion for the show/movie.
“It’s Not All About You, Monkey” – Maybe this is one of those things I missed from the television show, but we’re treated to a scene in which a man in a monkey suit jumps around with commentary by actor Ken Marino and Kristen Bell. Laughs ensue.
Young Veronica – Actress Nora Sakal who has a cameo as “Young Veronica” is interviewed about her small part in the film.
Gag Reel – More fun on the set.
MOVIE INFO. YEAR RELEASED 2014 RATING PG-13 DIRECTOR Rob Thomas STUDIO Warner RUNNING TIME 107 min.