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Old 03-13-2014, 11:37 PM   #1
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Veronica Mars Movie - SPOILERS INSIDE

I just got back from one of the 8pm fan event showings. It was a lot of fun. I brought a friend who had not yet managed to watch any of the series and so far he seems to have enjoyed the movie and is looking forward to watching the series.

One thing I was wondering about, and I suppose I could find it by hunting around online, but maybe someone can answer -- the basis of the mystery in the movie came from the death aboard the boat... was that something ever brought up in the series or was that new backstory created for the movie?
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:55 AM   #2
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I rewatched most of the series right after the Kickstarter reached its funding goal -- i.e. about a year ago, so my memory on it isn't the freshest. But I'm fairly confident the boat backstory is new for the movie.

I'm glad I went to the screening. It was fun seeing the movie with fellow fans. The theater was energetic and everyone enjoyed hooting at the nods in the movie to us, laughing at the jokes, and so on.

As for the movie itself -- this is the Internet, so let me get my (mild) complaint out first.

All throughout, I kept feeling like I was watching a TV show on the big screen. This may be because it actually was a TV show, but something about it felt kind of small. I don't mean in terms of the budget -- the money was obviously well-spent -- but plenty of low-budget movies have felt quite at home in cinemas and this one didn't quite. I wanted the presentation of it to say, "This obviously deserves to exist in this context", and it didn't, not really. Now that I've seen the movie and am reading reviews, I see many national film critics saying something similar. So I don't think it was just me. (None of which means I recommend against seeing it in a theater. It's a good-looking movie and a real thrill seeing these characters shown large.)

I almost wish Rob T. had gone with his preference and not made the fan-wish-fulfillment version of the movie. I totally get why he did, and can only imagine I would have done the same thing. I enjoyed the result immensely, but suspect that grounding it so firmly in its TV roots kept it from becoming something more. For example, I never cared for Veronica's relationship with Logan (or Piz) one bit, so it did nothing for me for the movie to put them together again. That just felt rote. Going a different way might have been more interesting.

All that said, there is lots of good stuff here and I'm quite satisfied overall. KB is so good, as expected; I could watch her as this character in really any story that Rob T. wants to tell. The trademark VM repartee is in good form -- the audience laughed so hard at several lines that it was often hard to hear the next bit of dialog -- and the rhythms of the actors working together so well just felt right. The murder story was a bit trite, but then the mystery wasn't really the point. I loved that the movie made the point that the version of Veronica we want -- the private eye (and for most people, with Logan), rather than the lawyer (with Piz) -- is actually the one that is worse for her in many respects. That's dark. And the class struggle stuff in Neptune felt even more apropos today. Everybody obviously was having a great time. It was infectious.

This movie is not going to win an Academy award. It may not even win a sequel. But I'm a satisfied backer. Knowing how it came out, I'd pledge all over again, probably for even more.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:00 AM   #3
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I rented it last night from iTunes. Looked good, was a good VM story, and had lots of fun, familiar faces. But I don't feel I missed anything by not seeing it in the movie theater.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:14 AM   #4
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Saw it last night at the 8pm showing in Boston with my wife and kids. There were two theaters full of fans (they added a second when the first sold out in minutes). Everyone was very pumped; as with cmonty I definitely missed some lines due to laughter etc. but that's OK since I can watch it again.

I agree it's not a must-see-on-the-big-screen movie (although for me, at the prices they are now (grump grump), very few movies are). However I was glad I went to the fan event; it was fun to see it with people who were so excited.

The movie itself was pretty good, although I agree with my son who said it felt like a season plot arc from the TV show, with all the "extra stuff" around it removed to fit into a movie. RT brought the funny with many great lines, and the inside jokes were not too deep for the most part...I don't think it required any familiarity with the TV show to "get" the movie. Some jokes were even outside the show (Leo's reference to Veronica joining the FBI for example: "maybe in another life" ). I confess I really jumped when Gia got shot... he got me and it's rare that happens anymore (I thought Cobb was running around to the door). The entire plotline with Eli seemed odd to me though... why does he go back to the bikers at the end? I didn't see a lot of motivation for that. I thought he'd given all that up for his wife and baby.

There were a lot of possibilities for future adventures left open, although I'm not sure how that will happen. I just don't think they can go back to the Kickstarter well again--it would probably work at least one more time, but seems kind of lame. I'll be very interested to see what kind of money the movie makes on its own.

Having the plot include Veronica coming back after a long time away was very smart: you could see a lot of genuine emotion from the actors getting to work together again, and it translated well into the plot.

The product placement was a leeeetle over the top, but whatever.

James Franco was a riot: loved is little eye-roll when his assistant was "acting" on the video. Also, Max Greenfield's scene with Kristen was really fantastic... that was one that might not have worked so well if you weren't familiar with the show, though.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:32 AM   #5
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The product placement was a leeeetle over the top, but whatever.
What product placement? I can't think of anything that stood out right now.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:52 AM   #6
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I just got back from one of the 8pm fan event showings. It was a lot of fun. I brought a friend who had not yet managed to watch any of the series and so far he seems to have enjoyed the movie and is looking forward to watching the series.

One thing I was wondering about, and I suppose I could find it by hunting around online, but maybe someone can answer -- the basis of the mystery in the movie came from the death aboard the boat... was that something ever brought up in the series or was that new backstory created for the movie?
Like cmonteburns said I'm confident that boat backstory was new for the movie.

Now we had briefly seen the girl, Susan Knight, who died on the boat; she was the one who was pregnant with Mr. Rooks baby (Veronica's favorite teacher) back in season 1 (ep: Mars vs Mars). (Hence the passing reference to her talk on the boat about having had to up a baby)

And Cary Bishop (aka Bonnie DeVille) was Susan's friend and the one who pretended to have had an affair with Mr. Rooks to get him in trouble (becuase Susan didn't want to come forward).


So new backstory, but with recurring characters.
(And I hadn't realized all this while watching the movie; this was courtesy of some quick googling last night)
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:56 AM   #7
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What product placement? I can't think of anything that stood out right now.
Logan's Jag? That's really the only thing that came to mind.


Although tangentially I did wonder at Veronica being happy to use a 9 year old digital camera (and without a comment; unlike the old analog bugs). Yeah, the optics are still top notch; but wouldn't sensors have significantly improved in that time?
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:21 PM   #8
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Logan's Jag? That's really the only thing that came to mind.


Although tangentially I did wonder at Veronica being happy to use a 9 year old digital camera (and without a comment; unlike the old analog bugs). Yeah, the optics are still top notch; but wouldn't sensors have significantly improved in that time?
A car has to be some brand. It's not like we had exposition like Logan talking about his great deal on a Jag. "product placement," at least in the derisive sense which seems to be the only thing ad execs comprehend when buying product placement, has to stand out unnaturally in a story or scene.

Silliness ensues with anti-product placement, where obvious logos are blacked out -- like when obvious Sony TVs have the "SONY" logo blacked out in way it really couldn't say anything but "SONY" under the blackout. Or when Coke is obviously being consumed but of 300 different shots with a Coke can every single one of them has the ingredient label pointing at us.

But a luxury vehicle being driven by Logan? Nothing unnatural there, really.

I really was expecting her to reminisce about the camera/lens then start using something like a Lumia 1020, but that never happened, either.
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:27 PM   #9
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Samsung was the obvious one.
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:44 PM   #10
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Samsung was the obvious one.
Was that who made the tablet Gia had? Or was there some Samsung placement I totally missed. (In any case I don't recall features or branding getting played up much...)

Kind of like Doug said with the car, it's probably be more obtrusive to make up a fake tablet company than to just use a real one. (I guess you could have had a Kane Software tablet; but that's a bit of a stretch)
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:17 PM   #11
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Was that who made the tablet Gia had? Or was there some Samsung placement I totally missed. (In any case I don't recall features or branding getting played up much...)

Kind of like Doug said with the car, it's probably be more obtrusive to make up a fake tablet company than to just use a real one. (I guess you could have had a Kane Software tablet; but that's a bit of a stretch)
They did mention that the tablets were galaxy, "the small ones". Samsung also was the laptop brand in the Vinnie Van Lowe's van.
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:26 PM   #12
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And Cary Bishop (aka Bonnie DeVille) was Susan's friend and the one who pretended to have had an affair with Mr. Rooks to get him in trouble (becuase Susan didn't want to come forward).
Was Carrie Bishop the only one played by a different actor? Leighton Meester was the original Carrie, but Andrea Estella was Bonnie/Carrie in the movie.

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Old 03-14-2014, 02:42 PM   #13
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Was that who made the tablet Gia had? Or was there some Samsung placement I totally missed. (In any case I don't recall features or branding getting played up much...)

Kind of like Doug said with the car, it's probably be more obtrusive to make up a fake tablet company than to just use a real one. (I guess you could have had a Kane Software tablet; but that's a bit of a stretch)
Samsung was a sponsor. Their logo was all over some of the fan and press event stuff and they obviously also paid to be in the movie. Under the circumstances, I'm fine with that.
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:34 PM   #14
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In the theater now. Movie starts in 20. Only 5 others in the theater.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:18 PM   #15
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In the theater now. Movie starts in 20. Only 5 others in the theater.
Probably about the norm for a mid-day weekday, isn't it?

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Old 03-14-2014, 06:04 PM   #16
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Just rented it on Amazon. I really enjoyed it. Maybe Logan can pay Veronica's student loans :-D
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:05 PM   #17
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Probably about the norm for a mid-day weekday, isn't it?

--Doug.
Probably. Though it is the end of spring break. There ended up being about 25.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:36 PM   #18
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Samsung and Pepsi were obvious product placements.

My wife and I saw it this afternoon in Tyngsboro, MA. Yes, it's a movie-length TV show. Unlike with Serenity,it worked very well. My wife was a fan of the show and loved the movie, saying that all the characters and the dialogue were just as good as the show. I came into it not knowing much at all,having not watched the show, but I liked it too. I obviously didn't catch quite all the returning characters, but I didn't feel as if I was missing out.

Is this Oscar material? No. Is it solid entertainment? Yes. I don't know how well it will play to those who came in absolutely cold, but it's a good story.

In the early days of the KS campaign, one of the rewards was a speaking part, where the "actor" was play a waiter presenting a check. I didn't spot that in the film.

Nice cameos from Jamie Lee Curtis, Ira Glass and an unbilled James Franco.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:01 PM   #19
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We missed the Ira Glass cameo. We thought it got cut from the radio scene.

I don't buy Logan as a Navy pilot. Though Jason Dohring and a uniform was....STUNNING.

I was entirely pleased.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:17 PM   #20
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We missed the Ira Glass cameo. We thought it got cut from the radio scene.

I don't buy Logan as a Navy pilot. Though Jason Dohring and a uniform was....STUNNING.

I was entirely pleased.
I kind of had the feeling that they came up with the idea for the uniform and filled in the rest.

Plot wise I kept thinking back to Natalie Woods mysterious death when the boat plot came up.

I really enjoyed it. It definitely felt like a feature length episode of the series, which is a good thing.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:18 PM   #21
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Samsung was the one I was thinking of. Not just the Galaxy pads but every mobile phone they showed, plus the van, etc.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:18 PM   #22
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Also, how SMOKING HOT was Tina Majorino? Those shoulders, man....
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:24 PM   #23
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We went to a showing at 4:30 today. The theatre had about 25 people in it, all of whom, by the sound of it, were VM fans and loved the flick.

We were discussing the questionable wisdom of allowing digital downloads at the $35 level, which will likely drive down box office revenue. I'm hoping the numbers support the film.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:41 PM   #24
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In the early days of the KS campaign, one of the rewards was a speaking part, where the "actor" was play a waiter presenting a check. I didn't spot that in the film.
The guy who "won" (bid) that reward is Canadian and they ran into issues with him working on location for a US-based film. They re-did the idea so he appeared in an on-screen video (e.g. he was on the TV or the phone screen or whatever -- I forgot to look for the scene) during the movie.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:56 PM   #25
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Oh one thing that annoyed me... they said Mac was working for Sun Microsystems? WTH? Sun got bought by Oracle like 5 years ago... that's pretty lazy. There are a ton of hip tech companies they could have chosen.. and which are actually still in business. Sigh.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:00 PM   #26
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Oh one thing that annoyed me... they said Mac was working for Sun Microsystems? WTH? Sun got bought by Oracle like 5 years ago... that's pretty lazy. There are a ton of hip tech companies they could have chosen.. and which are actually still in business. Sigh.
It was a joke. Keith is a little out of touch.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:54 PM   #27
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The one AMC theater nearest the Milwaukee area, at Mayfair Mall, sold out the 7:00 showing. We ended up deciding to go out to the next nearest, at Johnson Creek (halfway between Milwaukee and Madison). Very sleepy little theater, next to no one there when we showed up. However, by the start time of 7:05, there was a decent audience of 40-45 or so, if I had to guess. I'd suspect nearly all were fans already, and a vast majority were Kickstarter sponsors.

For the movie, if I had to quibble with one thing, it's that it didn't really look like Neptune anymore. Even the Mars Investigations offices -- ESPECIALLY that, actually -- looked so much different. There was something so iconic about the set that they built for the TV show, and I don't know that they were able to recapture that look and feel. The upstairs tiny, dank offices with the colored glass and the neon filtering in is one of the things I remember the most. This Mars Investigations set looked too clean. It reminded me of a doctor's office (not a GOOD one, mind you).

(As an aside, I'd love to know where Keith managed to come up with the money to move out of the apartment and into a home, given that home prices are probably obscene in Neptune, unless you're on the wrong side of the tracks.)

One question: The Neptune High yearbook she picked up at "Ruby's" apartment looked as thick as a phone book. Are yearbooks really that freaking huge at schools? I went to a small school, so ours were maybe 1/10th that thick.

I'll probably have more thoughts tomorrow after I get some sleep and get another chance to rewatch it.
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:33 AM   #28
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Just got done watching and I enjoyed it quite a lot. It definitely met or even exceeded expectations.
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Old 03-15-2014, 02:31 AM   #29
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We were discussing the questionable wisdom of allowing digital downloads at the $35 level, which will likely drive down box office revenue. I'm hoping the numbers support the film.
That's probably a drop in the bucket in comparison to actually selling the digital download for $20, and renting it for $7.

I don't think they're very worried about theater revenue.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:48 AM   #30
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It was a joke. Keith is a little out of touch.
Hm. I thought that when the question was asked, just because it was silly, but then the way Mac reacted made it seem like it wasn't. Maybe it just didn't quite work on screen as intended. Anyway, no big deal.
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