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« National Society of Film Critics Wants Inside Llewyn Davis | Main | Amir's Most Anticipated, 2014 »
Saturday
Jan042014

Yes, No, Maybe So: Veronica Mars

I have a confession to make. I, Dancin' Dan, am one of the crazy Veronica Mars superfans who donated to the record-breaking Kickstarter campaign to fund the Veronica Mars movie. And I have followed the making of said movie very eagerly. So when the official theatrical trailer was released yesterday, I was quite excited to see both what it would look like and what the reaction from non-fans would be. So while my answer to our eternal trailer query may be obvious, I'm very curious to know what people with little to no knowledge of the TV show think. Marshmallows, come gush with me!

Y|N|MS breakdown is after the jump...

YES

  • I'm happy to see that the show's trademark quippiness and general dialogue style appears to be intact for the transfer to the big screen.
  • The ten-year high school reunion setting looks perfect ("You've been sitting there since graduation, haven't you?"), especially as someone who was recently debating whether or not to attend his own.
  • The cast is basically a who's who of the best cult celebrities in young Hollywood: Star Kristen Bell (aka Sarah Marshall), New Girl's Max Greenfield, Tina Majorino, Krysten Ritter (the B---- in Apt. 23), Party Down's Ryan Hansen, Chris Lowell, Jason Dohring... PLUS a cameo by Jamie Lee Curtis!
  • I'm also really unbelievably happy they haven't gone with the "See what all the hype is about - 91,000 Kickstarter supporters can't be wrong!" angle (yet... this IS Hollywood we're talking about). It builds confidence that this is really about making something good... 
  • ...and the lack of inside jokes makes it feel like they aren't entirely going down the fan service route, either.
  • FAN MOMENT: That last moment with Madison is SO satisfying! Also pretty much everything Dick says or does is perfect, especially this:

NO

  • Jerry O'Connell? Really? I generally can't stand the guy.
  • The cinematography no more cinematic than your average TV show? What makes this worthy of the big screen as opposed to being a two-hour TV special?
  • FAN MOMENT: The relationship between Veronica and her father (the wonderful Enrico Colantoni) was always the heart of the show, and from the trailer it looks like the film has backgrounded it in favor of yet another dopey love triangle.
  • Movie adaptations of TV shows have been mildly diverting at best (Bewitched, Dark Shadows) and unwatchable at worst (The Last Airbender, The Avengers), so the likelihood of this actually being a good film on its own is, frankly, slim.
  • Rob Thomas, the creator of the show, has never directed a film before, and his only big-screen screenwriting credit is the Melissa Joan Heart-Adrian Grenier vehicle Drive Me Crazy. Not exactly a stunning recommendation...

MAYBE SO

  • ...but he has been working on this project for years. The TV series ended in 2007 and Thomas and his stars have said repeatedly in the seven years since that they wouldn't do a film unless they felt they had something worth the time and effort. So is there really a reason to think it won't be good, at least on the story level?
  • "I'm on to something Dad - it's big!" Will the mystery be interesting or flat and obvious? The series was an homage to the hardboiled detective novels and film noirs of the 40s (think The Maltese Falcon), but with a modern, ironic twist. But there's nothing ironic about generic lines like that.
  • Veronica looks really glum for most of this. She was a real firecracker on the show, practically overflowing with personality. But she isn't a teen anymore, and her quips do have a bit more bite to them... plus she throws a punch!
  • FAN MOMENT: I was never a big fan of Piz. He was too obviously and self-consciously the opposite of Logan and the chemistry with Veronica was lacking. So I'm not thrilled that our gal is still with him, but it's obvious she still has feelings for Logan (LoVe FOREVER!), so if this movie is what it takes to get them back together, I will be all the happier!
  • This peak doesn't do a good job of presenting Veronica Mars to an audience who doesn't know her. The characters are set up efficiently, but the history and relationships might come off as muddy and confused to people who have no history with the show.

...but maybe I'm wrong?

Most of my issues with the trailer are really about how it will play with the non-fans, a category to which I do not belong. I tried to be objective watching the trailer (at least the first dozen times), but I'm so into this that my point of view is crazed superfan. It basically looks like everything I wanted from a Veronica Mars movie (minus Allyson Hannigan and with the slightest of slight reservations about the storyline). So I am totally and completely a YES. But then, I always was.

How about you? Yes No or Maybe So? And do you have a history with the show? 

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Reader Comments (13)

"Movie adaptations of TV shows have been mildly diverting at best (Bewitched, Dark Shadows) and unwatchable at worst (The Last Airbender, The Avengers), so the likelihood of this actually being a good film on its own is, frankly, slim."

The more apt comparison would be to the X-Files, Sex and the City, the '60s Batman movie and others that took the same casts and creative teams to the big screen, as opposed to remakes and reimaginings. Not saying that it necessarily increases the chances for quality, but it's a different animal.

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

CAN'T. WAIT.

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

I was yes when the showrunner first pitched his idea for a years later follow up film, I was yes when the Kickstarter happened (the t-shirt I got is amazing), and I'm even more yes after the trailer. It's more Veronica Mars. I'm in.

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

So very yes. What kind of magic mojo must have been invoked to get this much of the band back together?

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

I also donated and am very excited for the movie. I know many TV adaptations haven't worked but this seems most similar to Firefly and Serenity to me, so I am hopeful.

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdaisy

I am unfamiliar with the series but I really like Kristen Bell. However, her movie track record is not good. Wishing her luck.

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I've been a constant, steady Yes ever since the show ended, but the one thing I didn't want the story to be was a love triangle, and it looks like it's going to be; and if it had to be a love triangle, I REALLY didn't want Piz to be one of the sides. So this trailer has actually downgraded me to a Maybe So, and it breaks my hear to say that.

January 4, 2014 | Registered CommenterTim Brayton

I so want it to be great. I'm worried - although I would be about any awesome show of mine going to the big screen.

I wish the trailer had more 'Veronica Mars' moments. I want her to 'pop' like she did in the TV show, hopefully they're saving the best stuff for the movie itself. Based on the trailer, I'm not expecting no masterpieces, but hope it stays enjoyable like the TV show did and doesnt get too bogged down in over-the-top conspiracies or love triangles.

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

Not really wowed by the trailer. Don't really care either. They could have done a two-minute trailer of Kristen combing her hair and I still would've been wondering what is the closest theater playing the movie when it opens. The fact is, trying to advertise "Veronica Mars" has never worked well. The show is too rich, too layered, for a series of random images to even come close to giving it justice, either as commercials for the TV series or as a trailer for the movie. I fully expect to be blown away by the movie in the same way that I am by the series (especially the first two seasons, before the network did everything possible to destroy the show). As for non-fans, if they want to come too, that's cool. If they don't, I'm not losing any sleep. I get one more episode of Veronica, so I'm a happy man.

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Marx

I'm so glad there are some fellow fans here! I'm so excited about this and of course clapped with glee at the sight of this trailer even if, like Tim Brayton, I'm a bit worried about the love triangle thing (I was really pulling for a single Veronica in the movie, but I guess they had to have everyone they could get in the movie, so Piz - and thus the love triangle - was an inevitability. But the fact remains: This means more time with Veronica (and Wallace and Mac and Keith and Logan), and I am SO down for anything that gets me that!

Oh, and Paul Outlaw - I can't believe I didn't think of the Sex and the City movies. They are the more apt comparisons, along with the second X-Files movie (which I haven't seen, so I wouldn't have included anyway) - the first one was released during the height of the show's popularity and was kind of integral to the show's mythology, if I remember correctly, and so that's its own beast entirely. But even still, the quality of these films was nothing to get excited over, either.

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

The movie's in widescreen (2.4:1) and is substantially darker in appearance than the TV show. That sounds like modern cinematography to me. Now if you feel television has used all of Film's tricks photographically than your problem isn't with how they shot the film but that it can't look more distinctive because TV is too much like Film and Film is becoming more and more like TV. The cinematography suits the production and the material. They went the obvious it's not TV it's the movie version: dark!

January 5, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

there was something diverting in the movie version of bewitched...?

never watched the show so going to the movie would be like attending a reunion at a high school i didn't go to

January 5, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpar3182

I am a million times yes, but share many of your worries. No, it doesn't look exactly cinematic, but I wonder if once the mystery kicks in it goes up a notch. "We couldn't do *that* on TV" etc. And Piz, ugh. But, generally, it's all a big yes. How could it not? One of the great losses to TV awards season along with Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Emmy and Golden Globe voters don't know what to do with smart, funny, emotional, genrefied young women it seems).

January 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

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