Veronica Mars

Not rated yet!
Director
Rob Thomas
Runtime
1 h 47 min
Release Date
13 March 2014
Genres
Comedy, Drama, Crime
Overview
Years after walking away from her past as a teenage private eye, Veronica Mars gets pulled back to her hometown - just in time for her high school reunion - in order to help her old flame Logan Echolls, who's embroiled in a murder mystery.
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The American Conservative Staff2
The American Conservative



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • All Noir Is Reunion: "Veronica Mars," The Movie
    Film When we talk about the TV renaissance, we should talk about “Veronica Mars.” The 2004 “high school noir” show’s extraordinary first season mixed weekly casefiles with a season-long arc—two arcs, actually. Veronica starts the show as a suddenly bereft and embittered California teen: Her best friend has been murdered, her father lost his sheriff’s job when he fingered a local corporate bigwig for the crime, she lost all her friends in the aftermath, and when she tried to show defiance by going to a party where most of the people hated her, she was roofied and raped. Our tiny blonde sleuth spends the first season trying to solve her friend’s murder and her own assault. Veronica (Kristen Bell) is half Philip Marlowe, half Buffy Summers. But she’s Marlowe without the isolation—her relationships, especially her warm and (mostly) trusting relationship with her father (Enrico Colantoni), are central to her character—and Buffy without the self-pity. She’s a wisecracker whose cynicism covers up a “marshmallow” heart of empathy and longing. The show’s first season explored the spiraling consequences of seemingly minor sins; the callousness and confusion which allow crimes to be committed right under everybody’s noses; and the way kids cope, or fail to cope, with parental legacies of violence and despair. The next two seasons couldn’t sustain the psychological acuity of the first. Season Two has some great moments (the stadium demolition intercut with gang leader Weevil’s sacramental confession is a highlight for me) but a deep streak of stupidity and caricature; those problems only deepened in Season Three. The show’s final episode is the only good episode in the third season, but it’s pretty great: an achingly sad portrayal of perseverance, defeat, and failure in both the eyes of the world and the court of one’s own conscience. (Uh, spoilers? It’s noir, it doesn’t have a happy ending.) Veronica’s fans were fierce, and clamored for more Mars. Hence this new movie, in very select theaters (it’s only playing in one location in D.C.) due to a Kickstarter campaign. I don’t really mean it as a criticism when I say that the movie plays as a much longer version of the final episode: In an age of TV that feels like a movie, the “Veronica Mars” movie feels like TV. That’s true of the style—Veronica’s voiceovers, the opening recap which really should have been done as a “Previously, on ‘Veronica Mars’…”, the repetition of suspects’ names in case we came in at the commercial break, the cliffhangery lines (“I know what happened”) which aren’t actually cliffhangers because the movie just keeps playing. It’s a bizarre style which plays with our desire for familiar tropes and touches. But reunion and recapitulation are the movie’s themes, as well. Veronica does go to her high school reunion; she collides once more with ex-nemesis, ex-boyfriend, ex-“obligatory psychotic jackass” Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring); she’s pulled back into the grimy underworld of sunny Neptune, Calif. The movie hits this key noir theme hard: Nobody escapes the past. You can move across the country, join the military, change your name, dye your hair, but Neptune will find you and drag you back under. That’s a pretty grim way to interpret fans’ love for the familiar! We get plenty of the fun side of recapitulation as well, like cameos for almost all of our favorite bit players, from sleazy PI Vinnie Van Lowe to harried Principal Clemmons. We get updates on the larger cast—fans of sidekicks Mac (Tina Majorino) and Wallace (Percy Daggs III) will probably want more than they get, but people like me, who always preferred Weevil (Francis Capra) and father-bear Keith Mars, get some satisfying and poignant character development. Logan chokes back tears, which is a skill I hope Jason Dohring lists on his LinkedIn. Callbacks and shoutouts abound. I don’t think this movie would be your best introduction to Veronica Mars; it’s a little too fannish for that. As a fan, I found it basically satisfying: comfort-food discomfort. One fascinating cultural note, by the way: The movie’s view of masculinity is ultra-retro. Women can do whatever they want, but men should hit one another and protect women. The show took this line too; it kept disclaimering and trying to escape it (and was often honest about the costs of masculine violence) but kept returning to punches as proof of love. The movie keeps both the disclaimers and the eventual surrender to trad-masculinity’s rough charms. “Veronica Mars,” the TV show, gave us self-aware, suspenseful, class-conscious, hopeful in the face of constant disappointment, brave in its portrayal of sexual violence (if we forget that Season Three ever happened), and surprisingly humane noir. “Veronica Mars,” the movie, hits the romance too hard but keeps both the humanity and the noir edge. Follow @evetushnet// ...
    (Review Source)
  • All Noir Is Reunion: “Veronica Mars,” The Movie
    Nobody escapes the past in the film revival of this underappreciated TV cult hit.
    ...
    (Review Source)

Plugged In1
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Veronica Mars
    DramaComedyAction/Adventure We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewA teenage detective? That's soooo last decade. Veronica Mars may have solved a case or two in her day, but she's put all that behind her now. The savviest sleuth in Neptune, Calif., has moved on—to New York City, specifically, where she's preparing for the state's bar exam and interviewing with some of the most prestigious firms in the country. And if any potential employers ask her about her earlier investigative days, Veronica assures them that it was just a silly teenage phase. "I haven't worked a case since I transferred [to Stanford University]," she says. But just as Veronica's on the verge of creating a new life for herself, Neptune's gravitational pull yanks Mars out of her new orbit and back home. Seems old classmate Carrie Bishop—who later became the vampish superstar singer Bonnie DeVille—is dead, electrocuted in her bath. And Veronica's old flame Logan Echolls is the prime suspect. He asks Mars to fly out and help him weed through the lawyers eager to take his case (and to parlay his notoriety into fame of their own). Veronica is happy to oblige—as long as she can get back to New York by Monday to accept a new job and spend time with her longtime beau Piz. Old habits do die hard though. And Veronica's itching to find out who cruelly offed DeVille. So before you can say marshmallow, Veronica's shuffling through her old sleuthing gear, polishing her telephoto lens and searching for the killer. A teenage detective? Puhlease! Veronica Mars is well past … being a teenager. She's in her 20s now—old enough to drink legally and everything. But she's just as capable of bringing a baddie to justice as she ever was.Positive ElementsThe wisecracking Veronica is smart, resourceful and doggedly determined to ferret out the truth, no matter what sort of danger lurks in Neptune's dingy atmosphere. Unlike the town's corrupt police officers, neither she nor her father (proprietor of the Mars Detective Agency) feel beholden to cover up for the well-heeled '09ers (as residents of the town's ritzy 90909 ZIP Code are known). Daughter and Dad (Keith), care for each other deeply. And they've been through a lot together. While Keith would love to see Veronica move into a safer, more secure line of work, he must also feel a little pride to see that Veronica maintains the same ethical code that he does: to search for the truth, no matter where it might lead, and protect those who need it the most. Logan's relationship with not-quite better half Bonnie had long been on the rocks. But lately he'd been trying to help her get clean and sober, referring to himself as more of a "sponsor" than a boyfriend. He's a different guy compared to the one Veronica knew all those years ago; joining the Navy has led to some much-needed stability.Spiritual ContentOne of Logan's prospective lawyers goes by the initials J.C., which, according to his roommate, Dick, must stand for "Jesu Christo get a load of my Rolex." The lawyer says he sees Logan's case as a virtuous one: "I see Jesus turning money lenders out of the temple," he declares. Someone spreads a rumor that Bonnie was killed by the Catholic Church for sleeping with a priest.Sexual ContentVeronica's sex tape (a recurring plot point in the third and final season of the Veronica Mars television show) resurfaces here, first as a job interview question ("I hope we talk STDs" in the next interview, Veronica quips), and then when footage of the tape is shown at Veronica's 10-year high school reunion. The grainy green footage shows her with Piz: Nothing critical is visible, but we see skin and movement. Logan and Bonnie were also the subject of a sex tape surreptitiously filmed and posted online. (Their legs are shown.) Veronica and Piz are still engaged in a sexual relationship. We see his bare back in bed while Veronica looks at a computer. And when Piz flies out to Neptune to talk with Veronica, they apparently sleep together in her room. (Veronica's exasperated father wonders why he didn't crash on one of the house's perfectly good couches.) When the two break up, Veronica sails swiftly into Logan's embrace: After Logan carries a sleeping Veronica into her house and is about to leave, she wakes up and asks him to stay. They kiss passionately, and she rips open his shirt before the camera at least leaves. Gia is engaged to Luke Haldeman, but Veronica learns the relationship is a sham when Logan follows Luke to a Hollywood (male) bath house. Gia is in fact sleeping with a man named Cobb; Veronica spies Cobb giving her a kiss on the neck, after which they head for Gia's bedroom. The bug Veronica planted in Gia's apartment records their noisy encounter … which is accidentally broadcast on an FM radio station. Logan "dates" a Bonnie lookalike: She kisses Logan passionately, and Logan confesses to Veronica that she drew hearts on his thigh with her fingernails. Unremitting sexual banter is woven through the script, too, with people discussing breast sizes, making allusions to pedophilia, prostitution, "whores," critical anatomical parts, illicit encounters and exposing oneself while getting out of a car. Several alcoholic drinks have sexually provocative names. A dancer makes crass and suggestive moves.Recommended ResourceA Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About SexKevin LemanEven the bravest parents feel timid about discussing sex with their 8- to 14-year-olds! This resource offers reassuring, humorous, real-life anecdotes along with reliable information to help you with this challenging task.Buy NowViolent ContentA woman gets shot in the stomach. She dies, bleeding, on an apartment floor. A truck smashes into a car (twice) with two men inside, and the driver clearly intended to kill both passengers. One does die, while the other is taken to the hospital with serious injuries. We see them covered in blood. Veronica is stalked by a gun-wielding suspect who shoots at her several times. Someone is Tasered and maced. An ex-biker is shot in the gut by a frightened woman who's being harassed by his old gang. Several guys get into a fight during the class reunion. Many punches are thrown, leaving some participants with cuts, black eyes, etc. Veronica punches an old classmate in the face. She tells someone making a pass at her that her boyfriend is a hit man. Piz recalls a fight with Logan, mentioning how bone chips still float in his orbital socket. Bonnie is shown dead in a bathtub; we see part of her head and arm. There's much discussion about the mysterious death of a friend of Bonnie's nine years prior; it's generally believed she slipped off a boat during an all-night party, but Veronica suspects she was killed and perhaps tied to an anchor so her body would never be recovered.Crude or Profane LanguageOne f-word and a handful of substitutions ("frack," "freaking," etc.). Ten s-words. Other profanities include "a‑‑," "b‑‑ch," "b‑‑tard," "d‑‑n," "h‑‑‑," "p‑‑‑ed," "pr‑‑k" and "bloody." God's name is misused a dozen times, twice with "d‑‑n."Drug and Alcohol ContentMuch of the action in Veronica Mars takes place in bars. During her class reunion, Veronica desperately searches for alcohol. We often hear about how Veronica's old classmates got drunk or wasted, and we see people consume wine, beer and mixed drinks. Logan was trying to keep Bonnie sober before she died. Veronica's mother was an alcoholic, and it's suggested that Veronica has her own addictive compulsions too (that I'll get into in the Conclusion).  There's talk of someone passing out and then dying after taking too many drugs, and of a whole party of people partaking. Someone spots some marijuana in Dick's house. (He claims to have a medicinal license to use it due to his "chronic depression.")Other Negative ElementsVeronica breaks several laws during her investigation, nearly getting locked up on a felony trespassing charge. Police plant evidence and harass suspects.ConclusionDespite the old adage, Veronica Mars proves that you can go home again. The question is, should you? The movie, of course, is based on the cult television show (also named Veronica Mars) that aired on UPN and the CW between 2004 and 2007. Though it never was truly a hit as far as ratings were concerned, its rabid fan base (members of which are called "marshmallows") never lost the love. So when director Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell launched a fundraising campaign to resume Veronica's story on the big screen, fans ponied up $2 million in 10 hours—enough to greenlight the project. For longtime viewers, the Mars movie is surely cinematic ambrosia. Almost everyone who was anyone in the series returns here, slipping snugly into their old characters like a well-worn leather jacket. The script is rife with inside jokes for fans in the know. That, of course, will make outsiders feel like, well, outsiders—much like Veronica herself felt in the show's first season. And for those looking for clues to clean entertainment, let's just say Neptune's still as dirty as it ever was … perhaps even more so. In 2005, Plugged In said of the TV show, "Though this heroine enjoys predictable success in her quest to clean up the town, families would be better served if writers would clean up the show—case closed." Some things don't change. Characters in the movie have sex occasionally and talk about it frequently. And they're rarely without a drink in their hands, despite the fact that alcohol abuse has obviously taken its toll on many of them. Which brings us to one of the more unsettling aspects of Veronica Mars. Throughout the movie, Veronica is asked why she'd even consider giving up her chance to become a big shot lawyer and a comfortable life with Piz. Why would she turn her back on New York for the sleazy, slimy confines of Neptune? Addiction, Veronica tells us again and again. She's an adrenaline junkie. Just as her mother succumbed to alcoholism, so Veronica needs her own sort of fix: the crime-fighting sort. As a storytelling device, that's all well and good, I suppose. Script- and songwriters often compare what they love to a "drug." And there are certainly worse addictions than cleaning up a corrupt town. That said, addicts still hurt the people they love through their compulsion—as Veronica hurts her father with her decision to forsake her degree. Addictions impair judgment—perhaps something like how Veronica falls into Logan's bed mere hours after her long-term beau Piz declares their relationship kaput. Addictions are inherently unhealthy, something Veronica knows as well as anyone. And yet the film suggests that Veronica is an addict, drawn back to Neptune like a moth to a flame. We know how things generally go for the moth. So Veronica Mars, as satisfying as it might be for fans, feels more like a tragedy to me. The entire town is awash in drink, drugs and bad behavior. Meanwhile, Veronica is happily—addictively—at the center of it all once again. For Veronica Mars, home is where the fix is.Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
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    (Review Source)

The Federalist Staff1
The Federalist



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Veronica Mars: The Promise of Fan-Funded Movie Making
    Veronica Mars was a Murder, She Wrote meets Encyclopedia Brown detective TV show that aired for three seasons about 10 years ago. Like the infamous prematurely cancelled Firefly, Veronica Mars had a small but loyal fan base. And like Firefly, the fans and the cast and writers wanted to continue the story on the big screen. This is where things got interesting. Lead actress Kristen Bell and creator/director Rob Thomas couldn’t get a studio to sign on for the movie, so they funded the film though Kickstarter. Fans raised over $5 million for the project. And so, Veronica Mars, the movie, opened this weekend to a seemingly pathetic take of $2 million. But it was a limited release format with a same day Video On Demand release to the Kickstarter investors. As Scott Mendelson at Forbes stated, no one knows how to judge the financial success of the film because there is no precedent for a release like this. Financial success or not, it is a fan hit. My husband and I certainly enjoyed it immensely. We hastily arranged Saturday matinee babysitting after hearing great reviews from friends and family. It could easily be a general audience hit, too. With the low budget, the film has none of the flash, wide scope, or preferred pacing of the big studio productions, but it has what so many of those movies lack: a good story. Avoiding the studio imposed formula for film success saves stories Because studios sink big bucks into their productions, they want assurances of success. All but out of its own ideas, Hollywood regularly takes stories from books, comic books, and earlier, great, movies. They must view it as buying an established audience, not an existing story. The stories Hollywood hollows out by formula. Through studying blockbusters past, they retro-engineered a formula for success. Along with CGI and action requirements and the obligatory love story, the powers that be push “updated” themes that they think will be popular rather than allow timeless themes to emerge out of good stories. Such practices explain how we end up with disappointments like the CGI-buries-25-minutes-of-attempted-storytelling that was Man of Steel, the subtle tweaks that made Ender’s Game a good movie only if you don’t think about it, or the soon to be released story of Noah as the first environmentalist. The formula not only weakens the old stories but also Hollywood’s ability figure out when it has a good story in hand. Veronica Mars, the series, didn’t fit the studio success formula. The heroine wasn’t a superhero, a bossy* boss, or a writer. The males weren’t all evil capitalists or squishy oafs. The series got cancelled due to low ratings, but at the time the show had about three times the viewership of Lena Dunham’s much hyped GIRLS. Yes, this is a bit of an apples to oranges comparison as GIRLS shows on subscriber TV and Veronica Mars was free. But the number of covers, interviews, and analysis Dunham’s GIRLS gets suggests it is a hit for HBO. It isn’t. (Scroll down for comment discussion about GIRLS losing 50% of its lead show audience.) With the exception of the series 3 premiere, GIRLS pulls under a million households an episode. But it tics the formula boxes and so gets the benefit of the doubt and the easy renewal. I don’t imagine that fan funding will be a complete solution to these problems. If it gets more popular, then fan funded film making might start to resemble self publishing, many amateur works peppered with a few greats that slowly rise to prominence. But Veronica Mars shows the promise of what can happen when studio success formulas get bypassed. With no studio to accommodate, Rob Thomas wrote his detective story, his characters. The story survived and the themes emerged. I could riff for quite a while on the many thematic virtues of Veronica Mars, but I don’t want to ruin the movie, which I highly recommend. So I will just mention one theme particularly worthy of note for its rarity. Be anxious for the fray Set 10 years after Veronica left her hometown private investigator life, she returns home for a few days to help a friend. (You don’t need to be a fan to follow the story. Fans will see more, of course, but Thomas does a good recap. A newcomer can simply enjoy a detective flick.) On the cusp of a high salary career at a NYC law firm, Veronica is tempted by her old life of solving crime. Until the end, she regards her sleuthing urges as adrenaline surfing impulses. She uses addiction metaphors to refer to the pull of her PI life. But Veronica is not addicted to the thrill of the chase. She’s addicted to fighting the good fight. Faced with the choice between a comfortable, high powered career for which she has worked hard or a modest, dangerous career in a town that regards her with contempt, she choses the latter. And she doesn’t choose it because she is an adrenaline junkie but because it is the fray, the day to day battle between right and wrong that matters. She has a talent for the fight. She is needed for the fight. The siren song of money and prestige does not pull her away. And the promise of scorn does not scare her away. This is the kind of antiquated theme that often doesn’t make it though studio story editing. The NYT review certainly didn’t get it. “[I]t’s hard to believe that Veronica, having matured into the totally together woman you always knew she would become, would honestly want to return to this pitiful small town other than for a visit with Dad.” For some it is hard to believe. For others, it makes perfect sense. *No, I will not participate in the ridiculous, counterproductive, and ignorant to irony campaign to “ban bossy.” ]]>
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    (Review Source)

John Hanlon2
John Hanlon Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Veronica Mars
    There are a lot of in-jokes in the new mystery drama, click Veronica Mars.  Seven years after the three-season television show of the same name ended, this web many of the characters return in this feature-length film–which will likely be...
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    (Review Source)
  • The Movies of 2014
    (”Veronica Mars” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The end of 2014 is quickly approaching. With that in mind, page I went back and created a list of all of the films that I reviewed this year and the different ratings I gave them. Of course, this this isn’t a complete list of all of the films I saw this year. It’s...
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    (Review Source)

Debbie Schlussel1
The New York Post



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Wknd Box Office: Divergent, Grand Budapest Hotel, Bad Words, Enemy, On My Way, Veronica Mars
    Blog Posts Movie Reviews On My Way [Elle S’en Va]“: This French movie, with English subtitles, is yet another long, boring waste of time, in which nothing really happens. And I couldn’t care less about what does happen. Catherine Deneuve plays a senior citizen and aged former French beauty pageant winner, whose life is falling apart in all ways. Her seafood restaurant is struggling to survive, she lives with her annoying, very senior citizen mother, and she’s just learned that her married lover of decades has finally left his wife, but not for her (for a 25-year-old lover he’s gotten pregnant). She is also struggling to keep her house, where she and her mother live. She decides to just drive and go on a road trip, where she gets drunk at a bar, has sex with some young stranger at a motel, and ignores all cell phone calls from her mother and her employees frantic to keep the restaurant going. Soon, she gets a call from her estranged, unemployed, loser daughter, demanding that she watch her grandson, while her daughter travels for a job. But, while on the road with her insolent grandson, she loses him, runs out of money, and encounters other problems. So, desperate for food and lodging, she goes to a reunion of all the French regional beauty pageant winners, something she’d been hoping to avoid. Then, she falls in love with the paternal grandfather of her grandson. The end. Again, another waste of time that goes nowhere and is extremely pointless. TWO MARXES ]]>
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    (Review Source)

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