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How making 'Veronica Mars' changed the movie business.
March 6, 2014 11:53 AM   Subscribe

Ever since Rob Thomas’s beloved TV show Veronica Mars got canceled, he’s wanted to make it into a movie. Turns out all he needed was the help of 91,585 of his biggest fans.

"If I ever die, do me a favor. Go on Oprah and tell the world that I loved kittens."

"On March 14, exactly one year and one day after the crowd-funding campaign began, the movie will hit theaters (the world premiere is at South by Southwest, in Austin, on March 8). More than 60,000 backers who gave $35 or more will receive a digital download within a few days of the movie’s theatrical debut, a promise made when Thomas figured that the film would be released in only a few cities. Instead, it’s opening on 260 screens, small by blockbuster standards but huge for a low-budget film."
Previously on MeFi: The Theatrical Trailer.

The movie's opening scene has now also been released. Brings people up to speed who haven't seen the show. The movie's official YouTube channel has videos from the movie, messages from the cast, etc., that can be seen at the....

...Original kickstarter page. Also includes a promise from Kristen Bell to make "the sleuthiest, snarkiest, it’s-all-fun-and-games-‘til-one-of-you-gets-my-foot-up-your-ass movie we possibly can."

NYT: ‘Veronica Mars’ Fans Are Happy to Finance a Reunion

KPCC (Southern California Public Radio): Kristen Bell on 'Veronica Mars,' the 'pederazzi' and the Oscars. Also: A parody video and more which links to the surreal David Mamet's "Lost Masterpieces of Pornography" w/ Kristen Bell, Ed O'Neill & Ricky Jay.

WSJ: 'Veronica Mars' to Break the Mold for Movie Releases. Warner Bros. Plans Simultaneous Launch for Theater and Home Viewing on March 14
posted by zarq (142 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Amuse me, damn it! Amuse me now!
posted by adipocere at 11:58 AM on March 6 [3 favorites]


"If there's a justification for my actions right now, it's this: I have gone completely mad."
posted by zarq at 12:01 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


I thought "Snakes on a Plane" changed the movie business.
posted by Napierzaza at 12:01 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


Any word on what services the movie will be available online? It's not stated in the article.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:06 PM on March 6


I have already purchased tickets for the opening night in Toronto, plus I have a date lined up to go watch my digital download with a friend who is housebound with a newborn and can't come to the movie theater and NONE OF THIS CAN POSSIBLY HAPPEN SOON ENOUGH.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:16 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


I was going to say that by 2011, Kickstarter had some high-return projects, but Kickspy shows that nothing peaked a million before 2012, with TikTok/Lunatik getting close in 2010. 2012 was the first year for multi-million dollar projects.


Any word on what services the movie will be available online? It's not stated in the article.

The Veronica Mars movie will be released via digital download and at cinemas on the same day, March 14, and will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray later in the year.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:20 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


I'm driving to Vancouver BC to see this movie with a gal pal who moved there from Seattle, since none of my local friends are into it, and I don't want to be the weirdo who goes alone to a cult movie.
posted by matildaben at 12:21 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


Any word on what services the movie will be available online? It's not stated in the article.

From one of the backer emails (#78):
"On March 14, Veronica Mars will be available, both to rent and purchase from DIGITAL RETAILERS (such as iTunes and Amazon) and on-demand through participating CABLE and SATELLITE providers, worldwide."

So, nothing specific, but the goal is to let as many people watch it on release day as humanly possible.

Can't wait for next Thursday (yes, I got special advanced screening tickets)!
posted by natabat at 12:23 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


oh my gosh yay I am so excited

(also Mac's haircut!)
posted by likeatoaster at 12:24 PM on March 6


Is it's really a game changer for movie productions? I'll believe that when I see Earl Mac Rauch show up on kickstarter with a proposal for a "Buckaroo Banzai vs. The World Crime League" movie.
posted by happyroach at 12:25 PM on March 6 [11 favorites]


I thought "Snakes on a Plane" changed the movie business.

Depends on which change you're looking to track. SoaP was possibly the most internet-hyped film to date, and probably one of the few that secured major interest based on the title alone. In August 2005, Samuel Jackson told an interviewer, "We're totally changing that back. That's the only reason I took the job: I read the title."

Veronica Mars "changed the movie business" by showing how vocal/niche internet fan support can turn into fiscal and broad/big media support, and make a languishing project viable. There was a ton of discussion of "what's the next major Kickstarter-initiated movie?" when this first hit.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:27 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


I never really got into Veronica Mars, and I didn't realize until now that Rob Thomas is the name of the show's creator. I was wondering how the guy from Matchbox Twenty got ninety thousand fans to do anything.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:30 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


I read Rats Saw God a while ago, before I had ever watched Veronica Mars, and really really enjoyed it. I don't remember it, so maybe I should reread! You should also read it.
posted by papayaninja at 12:35 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


filthy light thief: " There was a ton of discussion of "what's the next major Kickstarter-initiated movie?" when this first hit."

My main concern has always been that major studios will now say, "You want to bring back Farscape / Firefly / Dollhouse / Pushing Daisies / Freaks & Geeks / Enterprise / Manimal etc., etc., then get your fans to fund it à la Veronica Mars and we'll let you do it but keep the merchandising rights."
posted by zarq at 12:36 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


I was wondering how the guy from Matchbox Twenty got ninety thousand fans to do anything.

It's pretty well established that if he wants to push you around, well, he will; well, he will.
posted by Copronymus at 12:37 PM on March 6 [19 favorites]


We've been rewatching the series in anticipation and it's kind of incredible how well this show holds up. Much better than a lot of shows from the early 2000s, to be sure.
posted by troika at 12:38 PM on March 6


If I wanted to, say, catch up on this show so I could enjoy the movie, would I have to start paying Netflix to mail me discs again, or is there an at least somewhat legit source for online watching?
posted by Mister Moofoo at 12:39 PM on March 6


My main concern has always been that major studios will now say, "You want to bring back Farscape / Firefly / Dollhouse / Pushing Daisies / Freaks & Geeks / Enterprise / Manimal etc., etc., then get your fans to fund it à la Veronica Mars and we'll let you do it but keep the merchandising rights."

If I could pay $50 directly to ensure Community Season 6 and a movie I'd do it in a heartbeat.
posted by Talez at 12:39 PM on March 6 [7 favorites]


If I wanted to, say, catch up on this show so I could enjoy the movie, would I have to start paying Netflix to mail me discs again, or is there an at least somewhat legit source for online watching?

Amazon Prime Instant has it.
posted by Talez at 12:39 PM on March 6


So I either pay for Amazon Prime or I pay for Netflix DVDs.
Got it.
Now I have to do math.

But thanks, though.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 12:41 PM on March 6


My main concern has always been that major studios will now say, "You want to bring back Farscape / Firefly / Dollhouse / Pushing Daisies / Freaks & Geeks / Enterprise / Manimal etc., etc., then get your fans to fund it...

I think that's sadly likely, but I also think that here is the answer to "how do you internet people expect the creatives to ever make a living?" People are willing to pay in advance.
posted by tyllwin at 12:41 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


I am so excited for this and I am almost certainly going to be the loser going alone because wheee, Veronica Mars.
posted by jeather at 12:44 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


> "My main concern has always been that major studios will now say, 'You want to bring back Farscape / Firefly / Dollhouse / Pushing Daisies / Freaks & Geeks / Enterprise / Manimal etc., etc., then get your fans to fund it ...'"

Is that worse than the more common alternative of the major studios just saying, "No"?
posted by kyrademon at 12:44 PM on March 6 [6 favorites]


Last year I talked to a former movie executive that was high ranking at one of the major studios. The way he talked about Kickstarter was like how people talk about oxygen, as if it was already well known and established that any popular series could use it to tap fans for funding and that it would always work. I thought it was a bit early, seeing how there were only about three major "famous" movies done through Kickstarter, funded by famous people. It threw me for a loop that people in hollywood just assumed it was a slam dunk for any future film project.
posted by mathowie at 12:44 PM on March 6 [6 favorites]


Direct link to Amazon Prime page for all three seasons of Veronica Mars.

Heading down to Chicago for the premiere next week! I have nothing relevant to add to the discussion except a link to the timeless Kristen Bell Sloth Meltdown and a rousing cry of LoVe forever!
posted by divined by radio at 12:47 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


@filthy you might remember that Snakes on a Plane also bombed. Which is what I was alluding to, since I don't think it was much of a positive "listen to the fans" lesson learned.
posted by Napierzaza at 12:51 PM on March 6


So I either pay for Amazon Prime or I pay for Netflix DVDs.

Amazon Prime will give you a month's free trial if you haven't done that before. I've been happily watching all kinds of stuff for the last three weeks so it seems to work.

My husband originally got me watching Veronica Mars, which we both love, and he's arriving for a visit on March 15 (we're currently long distance). I've also managed to convince amazon.com that I live in the USA via fake address and credit card details and a vpn connection while loading the account with giftcards so I can buy stuff for download. So I know what we're going to be doing that weekend! Pity the big television lives at his house.
posted by shelleycat at 12:53 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


I gave substantially of my precious, um, substance to this kickstarter and all I can say is I hope they work on that opening scene a bit more because it's kinda crap. I mean, okay, they do need some kind of "Previously on Veronica Mars" continuity because some people need a refresher and presumably some small proportion of others will go without having seen the series. But this needs to be funnier and more watchable and just basically more clever.

Come to think of it, "Previously on Veronica Mars" done in precisely the way the series did it -- just longer and more punched up, but announced by the same narrator -- would actually have been really funny and more effective than this.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:53 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


I think it's a good sign because what it shows is that people are in fact willing to pay a bit to get something that they know isn't going to appeal to 100% of 18-34-year-old males or whatever the ideal demographic is supposed to be. That you can take chances on things when you're not really gambling, you're just building the costs into a revenue model that doesn't depend on being an instant hit on network or cable television. There are other ways to be successful.

There's basically no way for this to bomb, unless they overspent. Now, it may not be perfect and I think a significant number of people who funded the Kickstarter are going to see that as their license to critique every single decision that was made in the creative process, but as far as I can tell, the people who needed to make money off of this will get their money even if it is not every single person's favorite thing ever, and that's something I'm heartily in favor of.
posted by Sequence at 12:56 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


just as long as it keeps him from making more matchbox 20 albums
posted by klangklangston at 1:06 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


it may not be perfect

It has Piz, so we know it won't be.
posted by jeather at 1:06 PM on March 6 [18 favorites]


Did they ever say how backers would get their digital download? After 83 updates, I kind of tuned out.
posted by smackfu at 1:15 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


but announced by the same narrator

What narrator? I'm only halfway through season 1 - does that happen later? Are you just referring to the "Previously, on Veronica Mars..." announcement?

An added bonus for me watching the show for the first time now is figuring out the shooting locations. For a second I thought Madison Sinclair's house was one an old firm of mine worked on, but I've only been able to pick out a couple of the 09er's locations so far. They mostly seem to be in La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, and Mission Hills.
posted by LionIndex at 1:18 PM on March 6


I donated to the original Kickstarter and even though I am getting a digital download, I am even driving to a different city in order to see the movie on opening night. All three seasons of Veronica Mars are good, but the first season is basically perfect and I have been very happy to see more of it. Plus, Rob Thomas just seems like a nice guy and it is fun to support nice guys.
posted by bove at 1:23 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


The Veronica Mars movie will be released via digital download and at cinemas on the same day, March 14, and will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray later in the year.

I lolled for real.
posted by mhoye at 1:27 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


Shit. I didn't think about it not being widely released; it's not gonna play in my city and I didn't have $35 when the kickstarter ran.
posted by NoraReed at 1:42 PM on March 6


I think it's a good sign because what it shows is that people are in fact willing to pay a bit to get something that they know isn't going to appeal to 100% of 18-34-year-old males or whatever the ideal demographic is supposed to be. That you can take chances on things when you're not really gambling, you're just building the costs into a revenue model that doesn't depend on being an instant hit on network or cable television. There are other ways to be successful.

Kickstarter has a lot of dubious aspects but this is the one thing I really appreciate about it. To run a successful crowdfunding campaign, you don't need a huge audience, you just need a big enough audience that cares a huge amount.

The way he talked about Kickstarter was like how people talk about oxygen, as if it was already well known and established that any popular series could use it to tap fans for funding and that it would always work.

I definitely disagree with this sentiment. Crowdfunding should be about making formerly impossible things possible. Asking for donations to make something that's already fiscally feasible and keeping all the profits for yourself is seriously ugly and I hope anyone who tries it fails.
posted by zixyer at 1:44 PM on March 6


My main concern has always been that major studios will now say, "You want to bring back Farscape / Firefly / Dollhouse / Pushing Daisies / Freaks & Geeks / Enterprise / Manimal etc., etc., then get your fans to fund it

There was a Firefly movie, and it wasn't fan-funded.
posted by tommasz at 1:45 PM on March 6


Anyone know where I can find a comprehensive list of the cities where it *will* be showing? Because it's apparently too far out of the radius from my zip code for Fandango to tell me any showtimes anywhere :( but I might be willing to drive a bit to see it.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:47 PM on March 6


NoraReed: it'll be $14.99 on Amazon Instant same day as the movie is released in theaters.
posted by troika at 1:50 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


*sigh of relief*

Thanks, troika.
posted by NoraReed at 1:51 PM on March 6


Anyone know where I can find a comprehensive list of the cities where it *will* be showing?

Yeah, same problem here. I thought they announced three Portland area theaters on the first update about the premiere, but now there don't seem to be any screenings in the entire state of Oregon.
posted by mathowie at 1:53 PM on March 6


I think it's AMC theaters? At least, those are the only ones showing it anywhere near me. I still haven't made the decision about drive vs. download.
posted by Sequence at 1:55 PM on March 6


OK, I found a list of cities on Reddit. Not sure if it's comprehensive but it's more information than I've been able to find anywhere else.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:57 PM on March 6


troika: "We've been rewatching the series in anticipation and it's kind of incredible how well this show holds up. Much better than a lot of shows from the early 2000s, to be sure."

I meant to just watch a few key episodes to catch up, but I realized that it wasn't scratching my itch to experience the rhythm of the show again, so I wound up starting over and binge-watching the entire three seasons from start to finish. So much more evolution-of-relationships content folded into incidental dialogue/business than I had even remembered!
posted by desuetude at 2:11 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


The WSJ article above explains things regarding why the release is weird (and not in every city). The movie isn't actually getting a regular release. Major theater chains won't play a movie that is being released digitally at the same time. Warner Brothers got around that by actually paying in advance to rent out the theaters at a number of AMCs, and then in return they will get all of the revenue from the tickets. It is a really unusual model for a release of a movie that I have never heard of before.
posted by bove at 2:19 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


I'm seeing this in Sydney next week, and I'm super excited. I've been mainlining the series to get myself back up to speed. It may be warping my brain - I want to taser my my out of all of my problems.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:24 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


Warner Brothers got around that by actually paying in advance to rent out the theaters at a number of AMCs, and then in return they will get all of the revenue from the tickets

Really? Wow, the cinema chains are insanely stupid, if that's true. They're just leaving money on the table.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:25 PM on March 6


The movie isn't actually getting a regular release. Major theater chains won't play a movie that is being released digitally at the same time. Warner Brothers got around that by actually paying in advance to rent out the theaters at a number of AMCs, and then in return they will get all of the revenue from the tickets. It is a really unusual model for a release of a movie that I have never heard of before.

This sounds as transformative as Kickstarter funding, although I'm not sure I'm excited about the direction it could take.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:33 PM on March 6


What's really weird is that we saw a trailer for this before that terrible I, Frankenstein movie. It was at an AMC theater, but I don't quite see the motivation to run the trailer.
posted by smackfu at 2:42 PM on March 6


Somehow this is even more exciting than if Adam Scott were to remake the title sequence.

Would be kinda cool if he put in an appearance as his disgraced teacher guest role
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:43 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


Wow, the cinema chains are insanely stupid, if that's true. They're just leaving money on the table.

No. The theaters have hedged their bets on ticket sales by taking the bird in hand instead of waiting for the two in the bush, and Veronica Mars fans will be leaving lots of money at the concession stands. The theater owners will do just fine.
posted by vibrotronica at 3:02 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


I've rewatched the first season about half a dozen times. It really is striking how perfectly constructed that first season is. Everything had a place and everything in its place with only some necessary open-ended bits to lead into a second season.

The second season I found at the time and have found on (fewer than S1) rewatching that it's... Mostly as good. I think it's a bit more... lumpy is the word I'd use. It felt at times like they had these characters hanging around from the first season that didn't really have much to do or at least weren't as relevant to the big mystery in season 2. But it also contains the creepiest Steve Gutenberg performance imaginable and that was a treat to watch.

Season 3 is, for me, too messy to ever revisit. It's not the worst television I've ever half-suffered through, and I'm still not entirely sure where the blame lies. Network interference? New secondary characters in the new setting being less interesting than the ones in the first two seasons? I dunno. I found a couple of the smaller arcs to not be very compelling.

I'll be seeing the movie, of course, but I don't really have any expectations one way or another. I'm almost more interested in seeing how the highly unusual release methods work out than I am the movie itself. Good or bad, I'll still have that perfect jewel of a first season.
posted by sparkletone at 3:07 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]


It is a really unusual model for a release of a movie that I have never heard of before.

It's actually quite a longstanding practice called four-walling, but it is quite unusual to see a major studio engagng in it. Theater owners have been fighting simultaneous release tooth and nail, because they know that they'll lose a big chunk of business if they aren't the only outlet for new releases.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:16 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


I really like the later seasons because I like Mac and Piz way, way more than I like Duncan. The whole straw feminism plot was awful, and I wouldn't say I hate Duncan, I just found him sort of boring and whitebread.

I know Piz was supposed to be the new Duncan, but I think he was really more the new Deputy Leo and they just got rid of Duncan as dead weight.

I saw the trailer for the new movie and the only bad news is that it is gonna ruin my dreams of Veronica and Weevil becoming partners as PIs like Holly Short and Mulch Diggums.
posted by NoraReed at 3:25 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


Liking Mac more than you like Duncan is a gimme. And in truth, I liked Piz just fine as Wallace's roommate with a crush on Veronica. I didn't like him once he started acting on the crush because I thought he was jerky and also too boring.
posted by jeather at 3:29 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I can see that. He had a lot of pretty good lines.

Dick Casablancas is also generally pretty hilarious. I think the choice of fleshing out Duncan and Meg in the first season just picked some pretty boring characters and later getting a little more out of Dick and Vinnie and all the other weird, seedy people plus throwing Mac in with the group and stuff... I liked that better. And while I liked the plot of season 1 a lot I thought that the buildup for the ending of season 2 was pretty great. I'm bad at predicting stuff so it came out of nowhere for me, and that's always fun.
posted by NoraReed at 3:41 PM on March 6


That opening scene feels kind of small screen. Not a bad thing, i'll take wit over polish any time.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:45 PM on March 6


Is there, like, a representative scene available on youtube that would help me decide if I'm interested in the show? I know of its reputation, and that it's quite cheap on iTunes for the whole series, but not much else...
posted by neuromodulator at 4:00 PM on March 6


The fact that it's really an arching-plot show makes it hard to pick a scene, neuromodulator, but I like this scene from the pilot between Veronica and her dad because that relationship is one of the major selling points of the series for me.
posted by NoraReed at 4:05 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


It isn't terribly hard to find the pilot online. It's a pretty good barometer for the series -- it's one of the better overall episodes (top 3, I'd say) -- so probably if you like it, you'll like the rest of the show, and if you don't, you won't.
posted by jeather at 4:38 PM on March 6


Tickets to the Melbourne screening next Friday (does that mean we get to see it before the rest of the world?) SO. EXCITED. Been marathoning the show again in the lead-up to the movie and I'm up to the god-awful last few episodes of season 3. It's surprising how much of a dive the show does in such a short space of time.
posted by liquorice at 6:04 PM on March 6


BAYBERHHHH

HIT'S THREE HAY HEM AH MUSHT BE LONE-LEH-HEH
posted by threeants at 6:05 PM on March 6


> New secondary characters in the new setting being less interesting than the ones in the first two seasons?

I thought Mac was sadly underutilized in both seasons 2 and 3. Meanwhile in season 3, Parker kept getting to come along for the ride despite being as underwritten as a cardboard cutout. WHAT was that about?

I agree with jeather that Piz was a nice addition to the cast as Wallace's roommate with a crush on Veronica, but even Piz and Veronica seemed bored by their romantic relationship.

To be fair, I found some things to criticize in Season 1 as well on a re-watch. I was surprised by how incredibly dull I found Duncan as a character right from the get-go, except as Veronica's boyfriend in flashbacks her "old" social life. Briefly interesting again dating Meg, but then we got stuck with him for another boring story arc AND long-distance updates.
posted by desuetude at 6:23 PM on March 6


If there was any justice in the world, they would have ended the second season and gone into five new seaons of a Deputy Leo spin-off show.
posted by mathowie at 6:25 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


mathowie: If there was any justice in the world, they would have ended the second season and gone into five new seaons of a Deputy Leo spin-off show.

This is actually what I tell myself "New Girl" is every time I watch it. Deputy Leo gets fat while mourning his lost love, goes to college, changes his name to Schmidt, meets Nick Miller, gets skinny... then obviously, hijinks ensue.
posted by kerning at 6:46 PM on March 6 [4 favorites]


I'd like a Dick Casablancas spinoff.

List of cities.
posted by professor plum with a rope at 6:58 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


The only time Duncan is at all interesting is when Keith finds his stupid bloody soccer uniform in the washer the night of Lily's murder and is like, "Literally none of the Kanes has ever done his or her own laundry before, this is suspicious."
posted by oinopaponton at 7:52 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


The last episode arc is about a skull and bones secret society and then the show gets cancelled. Co-inkydink?
posted by vicx at 7:57 PM on March 6


"I'd like a Dick Casablancas spinoff."

Your wish is granted.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:05 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


I'm also seeing the movie in Sydney next Friday, even though I'll be given a digital download through the Kickstarter, because: Veronica Mars!

One of my friends and I planned to do a re-watch of the entire series before the movie, but circumstances intervened and we only got through a season and a half. The show holds up remarkably well, especially the first season, which is still one of the best narratively-arced seasons of television I've ever seen. The pilot asks two questions -- How did Lilly die? What happened the night Veronica was drugged and raped? -- and the last two episodes answer both of them conclusively.

I still remember the feeling that came over me when I realised Whodunit and all the pieces clicked beautifully into place. It's such a trick to sprinkle enough clues to be fair to the audience but not enough to make it obvious.

But what made Veronica Mars so good was also its downfall: by telling a complete story in season one, they had nowhere to go for season two except create a new (and much less compelling) mystery. And the Meg/Duncan stuff was some of the worst the show ever did, at least until they got to the actual worst the show ever did, which was the college rapist arc.

Still, I'd recommend the first season to anyone.
posted by Georgina at 8:15 PM on March 6


Oh, and on the love triangle, this is a little thing the movie put together on Veronica/Logan vs Veronica/Piz.

I love this bit from the original Kickstarter FAQ:
Veronica better end up with Logan, Rob. She just better.

That's not a question.

We're just saying...

I hear you. Remember, it's noir. There aren't a lot of happy endings.

Noir, my ass. We've waited a long time for this.

(Busily reworking super-grim ending.)
posted by Georgina at 8:25 PM on March 6 [5 favorites]


This movie would have been made no matter what. It's pretty well known in Silicon Valley that Kickstarter is not a crowd-sourced fund-raising mechanism but a marketing platform with a built-in, revenue-based, sentimental analytics engine.

Many of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns have angel funding already secured before going to Kickstarter and it is used to 1.) get the word out & 2.) find out how strongly the word is resonating.

How much people contribute and how many people contribute doesn't actually fund the thing, in many cases. The money aspect isn't really necessary. But knowing that people are willing to pay money, and how much, and how many of them, is marketing analytics that was previously impossible to obtain.
posted by braksandwich at 10:01 PM on March 6


Billy Jack was the most successful example of four-walling (it was one of the most profitable films ever made to that date because of that and it's tiny budget), so there is precedent of it being a viable strategy.

I know this is more a VM fan thread than film funding thread, but it should be noted that the Kickstarter campaign was more about proof if concept (and perhaps the worst version -- demanding a show of audience support prior to funding). Wasn't a big portion of the production budget (if not all) from Warner Bros? I suspect the structure of the Kickstarter campaign affected the release plan.

As much as everyone dislikes him, Zach Braff's subsequent project (and Hal Hartley's) are probably better examples of tackling film funding and creative control (disclosure: I contributed to Braff, but don't intend to watch the movie). And the fact that it's apparently more important to some high profile backers that they get a tee shirt in a timely fashion means that I expect this is probably not going to prove a sustainable model (at least until there as a real model of investment, which is probably far more empowering to the artists and the backers).
posted by 99_ at 10:17 PM on March 6


> ttle thing the movie put together on Veronica/Logan vs Veronica/P

My take is...look, in real life, if Veronica Mars were a real person with whom I was friendly? Sure, go with good, adorable, stable guy, and bonus points for Piz having an awesome full name and rocking a semi-awkward nickname.

But this is fiction. So for the love of all that is good and holy give us the deeply flawed dude who has the sizzlingly fascinating brilliant chemistry with our heroine. It's ok to make it hurt a little, we like that too. Come ON, fiction is catharsis, that's the point.
posted by desuetude at 10:43 PM on March 6 [3 favorites]


As much as everyone dislikes him, Zach Braff

What? Who dislikes Zach Braff?
posted by inigo2 at 11:09 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


...a little thing the movie put together on Veronica/Logan

Which I just read as a Veronica Mars/Wolverine crossover.

Let a thousand fanfics bloom...
posted by happyroach at 11:30 PM on March 6 [2 favorites]


braksandwich: This movie would have been made no matter what.

Both Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell have repeatedly said over the years that they tried to get Warner Bros interested and WB turned them down. This is not a story they retrofitted for the Kickstarter -- you can go back through five or six years of interviews and Twitter and see them talking about it. I remember it coming up in a big way when Kristen Bell headlined When in Rome in 2010, but then that movie flopped, and a lot of people believed that was the death knell for the Veronica Mars movie because it suggested Bell couldn't headline a Hollywood film. Thomas has said he was close to giving up, and it was only when a band he admired used Kickstarter to fund one of their albums that he thought there could be something in this.

If you've wondered why the then-pregnant Kristen Bell wasn't pregnant in the Kickstarter video, it's because it was actually shot a year earlier. When they talk about making the movie "this summer", they were originally referring to the summer of 2012. But WB got cold feet before the project launched, and it took another year -- and, I suspect, seeing some huge Kickstarter successes like Pebble -- for them to finally give the go-ahead.

I can believe that WB might've thought that if the Kickstarter made, say, $1.5 million, they'd make up the shortfall. (The original ask was $2 million.) But nothing I've seen suggests they were going to make the movie no matter what, so I'd really be interested in a cite, if you have one.

What does seem to be unquestioned is that once the Kickstarter went off in such a big way, WB agreed to spend more. So they picked up the tab for sending out the backer rewards, kicked in more money (though it was still made on the relative cheap; everybody worked for scale), and ponied up for things like advertising and the fan showings in a dozen countries.

Originally this was all just meant to be direct-to-DVD and download. Now there's talk of the possibility of making new Veronica Mars adventures every couple of years, kind of like Bond or Star Trek, if this film does well enough. As a huge Veronica Mars fan who was disappointed with how the series ended, I'd love that, but just the existence of this one film makes me very, very happy.
posted by Georgina at 12:07 AM on March 7 [5 favorites]


There was a Firefly movie, and it wasn't fan-funded.

Sure, and it was a financial loser for the studio at the box office. With VM, the studios see a different model: crowdsource funding and force salaries to bare minimums to reduce their financial risk.
posted by zarq at 3:18 AM on March 7


99_: "(disclosure: I contributed to Braff, but don't intend to watch the movie)."

Ha ha, wait.. what? Can you elaborate on this? It confuses me. You just wanted to support the act of making a movie, regardless of interest?
posted by joelhunt at 6:30 AM on March 7


I remember it coming up in a big way when Kristen Bell headlined When in Rome in 2010, but then that movie flopped, and a lot of people believed that was the death knell for the Veronica Mars movie because it suggested Bell couldn't headline a Hollywood film.

Which is a sadly unfortunate conclusion to draw, because it's pretty likely that When in Rome flopped because a) Josh Duhamel, while pretty, is a terrible actor and b) that script was extra terrible. I went to see it because I love Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel is pretty, but man, I regretted it something fierce, and I'm a person who loves cheesy romantic comedies and has almost no discernible good taste when it comes to movies.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:31 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


I always thought the Dick Casablancas spinoff was Asher Roth's career.

I'm sorry.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:46 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


From the NYT link in the post:
"Ms. Bell, who was speaking from the “Veronica Mars” set three months after giving birth to her daughter, Lincoln, said she was deeply concerned that the crowdfunding drive would be a judgment on her clout to carry a film.

“There was a moment when I thought, ‘Could this be a direct reflection of whether or not I’m wanted as an actress at all?’ ” said Ms. Bell, whose résumé includes films like “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and the Showtime series “House of Lies.”

“It’s a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, right in your face,” she said. (Had the “Veronica Mars” film not happened, she said, “I would have just spent the summer with the baby.”)"

posted by zarq at 7:09 AM on March 7


The second season I found at the time and have found on (fewer than S1) rewatching that it's... Mostly as good. I think it's a bit more... lumpy is the word I'd use.
SPOILERS

The story arc involving Meg Manning completely took me out of the story. How could someone not suffer a miscarriage after surviving that bus accident?
posted by pxe2000 at 7:28 AM on March 7


TEAM WEEVIL
posted by eamondaly at 7:51 AM on March 7 [5 favorites]


pxe2000: "How could someone not suffer a miscarriage after surviving that bus accident?"

They kept her injuries too vagued-up to answer this, but sure, it's possible (and I'm not even going to derail this thread with some of the incidents that have made the news) even if it's not particularly plausible.

But frankly, I thought the plot point of her pregnancy pushed the "ironic" pile-on of circumstances too far in the first place.
posted by desuetude at 9:21 AM on March 7


Ha ha, wait.. what? Can you elaborate on this? It confuses me. You just wanted to support the act of making a movie, regardless of interest?

Pretty much. Always vaguely put off by his earnest stuff (related: not much an Eggers fan either), though seeing him on Arrested Development certainly showed he can be self-deprecating. I thought his pitch was really articulate and very blunt about the difficulty of making big budget movies. And if there is a social/political dimension to making art, I honestly felt like his argument advanced the conversation more.

It seemed a lot of the backlash against his KS was purely on some petty this not that cultural scoring (FWIW, I loved Party Down) which seems absurd when we're talking about network television. Sure, there are gradations, but I feel like there's an unwillingness to admit the entire framework is distorted (sort of like watching Pando/First Look argue about whose billionaire backers are worse).

Hal Hartley is a whole other case -- I gave a lot more to that because that is a framework with discussing (I have to the Meanwhile KS as well, but I have to say it was a pretty disappointing result).
posted by 99_ at 9:53 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


...a little thing the movie put together on Veronica/Logan

It's all Bennifer style these days. The kids call that LoVe.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:56 AM on March 7


TEAM WEEVIL

I was just watching an episode where Veronica feels unsafe and doesn't have a car and Weevil shows up and gives her his helmet and takes her home and I fucking love Weevil so much.

I fucking love that there is both Weevil and Wallace as platonic male friends (though Weevil sometimes is more of an ally than a friend) who are great with her. Consistently great. No goddamn subplots where they become a romantic interest, no taking advantage of her being in a compromised position to ask for favors (and I'm thinking more PI favors here, but they don't do the other kind either), they're just generally both good to her. Wallace provides an emotional pillar and that's great. Weevil sees her as an equal and treats her as such; he helps her out when she asks but doesn't do the heroic protect-the-girl thing. She can protect herself most of the time, and when she can't, it's usually Keith who pulls her out, because sometimes you need an adult to step in.

There's just some great trust relationships between Veronica and her male friends. Less so with her significant others.
posted by NoraReed at 3:43 PM on March 7 [11 favorites]


Is the whole movie exposition or just the first two minutes?
posted by jewzilla at 4:30 PM on March 7


Is the whole movie exposition or just the first two minutes?

Just the first two minutes.

I mean, the whole thing is predicated on the TV show, but all you need to know is either there or will be introduced later.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:07 PM on March 7


Honestly I expected to see "Made on a Mac" displayed at the end of that intro. Y'know all those youtube videos where they threw the transition effect book at everything? This is like the really expensive version of that.

On the whole I think the execution and the approach to the backstory problem are weak. Approach because you really don't have to do it this way -- you could just start the movie and hit the backstory a little more cleverly as you go. Execution because the writing is meh. Maybe I want too much but it seems like it could have been clever in some way, and it really isn't, it's just a very pedestrian recapitulation.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:34 AM on March 8


you could just start the movie and hit the backstory a little more cleverly as you go.

It looks like they're going to do some of that as well (e.g., why she stopped being an investigator, here relationship with her father, etc.) I think this opening was done to get the basics out of the way and leave the important things to be investigated in story.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:17 PM on March 8


Sepinwall liked it.
posted by sparkletone at 12:00 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


The Dissolve's review. It's mostly positive. Sounds like that 2 minutes of clunk at the start is pretty much the only olive branch extended to people who haven't watched the show, which is okay with me.
posted by sparkletone at 3:13 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


75% at Rotten Tomatoes (with 20 reviews in.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:01 PM on March 11


Saw this tonight at the Sydney fan screening. I tried to go in with low expectations, and came out grinning from ear to ear.

If you a fan of the series, I think you'll love this. It's not perfect, but it's more than I could've hoped for from a movie that I've been waiting seven years to see. The gang's all back, the dialogue is fantastic, and although there's threads left hanging, some things, important things, conclude in a very satisfactory manner.

One of my friends said afterwards, "If I didn't have plans tomorrow, I'd go home, download it, and watch it again."

I don't have plans tomorrow. Or maybe now I do.

A++ would Kickstart again.
posted by Georgina at 5:08 AM on March 14 [3 favorites]


I guess they are doing the backer download through Flixster, which is disappointing. Would have preferred iTunes or a no-DRM h264. And waiting until the absolute last moment to tell people means they know people won't be happy.
posted by smackfu at 5:13 AM on March 14


I assume Flixster uses some kind of DRM scheme?

Guess I'll wait for the pirate rip.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:47 AM on March 14


Also saw it last night (in Chicago). Far exceeded my expectations!
posted by eamondaly at 7:15 AM on March 14


ChurchHatesTucker: I assume Flixster uses some kind of DRM scheme?

Yup, UltraViolet. Of course, you can get it on iTunes and Amazon today, too. Here's the Veronica Mars movie FAQ.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:03 AM on March 14


‘Veronica Mars’ Digital Download Is a Clusterfuck for Kickstarter Backers

The process doesn't sound quite as bad as the the clash with the Titans involved in playing a Blu-Ray, but it's far from user friendly. Here's a help page about movie playback on Flickster, which buries the note that "At this time Linux OS is not supported for Streaming or Download."

Or you could get it now from one of a dozen "other" sources that are currently providing the movie in full, unfettered HD digital glory.

Release the kraken marshmallows!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:45 AM on March 14


And if you were wondering, the reason to go with Flickster was, as stated in a Kickstarter update, because this service allowed for simultaneous international distribution, which (apparently) wasn't available through other platforms such as iTunes.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:57 AM on March 14 [1 favorite]


I personally will never again try to install Quicktime on a non-Apple platform after the last four epic fails, but I look forward to similar epic fails from Flickster.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:21 PM on March 14


It was good, better than I could have hoped.

I really think Dick Casablancas is probably the best character in the entire Veronica Mars canon.
posted by absalom at 6:40 PM on March 14


I loved the hell out of it, but I also acknowledge that it was basically fan service and nowhere near as good as the first couple of seasons of the series. Still, it was deeply fun, and if they make more, hopefully now that they have the class reunion out of the way, they'll be able to aim more for depth and less for cramming three (well, two, really plus Piz) seasons worth of characters into 107 minutes.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:54 PM on March 14


That was fun, though I wonder how Veronica had a photo of Logan for his caller ID given that they hadn't spoken in 10 years.

And was that setting up for a bunch of sequels or what?
posted by jeather at 7:56 PM on March 14 [1 favorite]


Watching the movie now... Pretty sure they had me the moment the busker started playing the Dandy Warhols song... I'm easy like that.
posted by sparkletone at 8:34 PM on March 14


The busker was Alejandro Escovedo.

Something that the person I was with at theater pointed out at the time and without using her inside voice.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:01 PM on March 14 [2 favorites]


jeather: "That was fun, though I wonder how Veronica had a photo of Logan for his caller ID given that they hadn't spoken in 10 years. "

It's a high-school picture, though, not a recent one.
posted by desuetude at 11:03 PM on March 14


A lot of little jokes that I liked. The one where someone avoids cursing, and the response was "thanks for keeping that pg-13 for me" made me chuckle.
posted by inigo2 at 1:53 PM on March 15


I really think Dick Casablancas is probably the best character in the entire Veronica Mars canon.

I was glad to see Cliff. I liked the quick demonstration that she's already a better lawyer than he is. I liked the kickstarter mention at the beginning and the puzzled "I was sure you were in the FBI" inside gag from Leo.

On the whole I liked it, it's better than I feared but not as good as I hoped. Too much narration, though. Her narration is fantastic in the series but here it's less sharp, and there's easily two or three times as much of it even after adjusting for running length; some of it completely unnecessary in-the-moment stuff that should have been shown rather than told.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:58 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]


Saw it with the GF today and we both enjoyed it (I've seen the series, she hasn't). She was actually appreciative of the fan response (our showing had more marshmallows than a box of Lucky Charms) to minor characters since it cued her in that they were from the show.

It was also more crowded than I would have guessed. I'm curious to see the numbers on this weekend.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:57 PM on March 15


Just saw it with Mrs. DWT and left the theatre very happy. I was totally cool that it was basically an extendo VMars episode. Why pretend to be something you're not? Holy crap Keith Mars, did I miss you! That Dandy Warhols song is one of the better TV show theme songs. Also, I couldn't help but notice that three Freaks & Geeks alumni made appearances.

***spoilers***
Two things:

1) The only thing that truly bugged me was Weevil riding off with the PCHers at the end. Really? He's all of a sudden going to choose the bikers over his daughter?!
2) It feels like there's a much deeper vein of a class warfare narrative to have been explored in the plot. Sure class divisions were a central ongoing theme of the series, and it's touched on in the movie a few times but each time it almost feels like a head fake. Given her arc, the firm she's interviewing with at the beginning versus where she ends up, they could have really played up the fact that she was happier being on the side of the 99%, and it would have fit who she is. Also it would have made her end point stronger and more believable. Missed opportunity there.

But overall, totally worth the wait.
posted by dry white toast at 8:28 PM on March 15


Also, Dick Casablancas is The Dude reincarnated. Discuss.
posted by dry white toast at 8:29 PM on March 15


**SPOILERS**

Given her arc, the firm she's interviewing with at the beginning versus where she ends up, they could have really played up the fact that she was happier being on the side of the 99%, and it would have fit who she is.

Rob Thomas was never good at knowing exactly what he wants to say. The show was fun - and the film is about the same amount of fun as the show was, but it was always murky when it came to subtext. I don't hate the end (some of that narration actually made me buy Veronica staying in Neptune), but I hate the fact he used the addict metaphor and then decided to leave Veronica addicted. That just strikes me as weird. If, as you say, she was choosing the 99% over a top-tier lawform, that would have resonated better. But she didn't say that and the film didn't really seem to be saying that either.

**END OF SPOILERS**

Overall, I liked the film about as much as I liked the first season of the show. I never loved it but I liked some of the characters enough that I enjoyed revisiting them again now. I just wish the character of Veronica Mars was in a better show.
posted by crossoverman at 4:02 AM on March 16


The movie was good. Flixster was terrible. Terrible service. Terrible quality. Terrible name.
posted by Justinian at 4:45 AM on March 16


Woo, Mitchell and Webb reference!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:04 AM on March 16


I didn't have problems with Flixster, but then again, I knew darned well that streaming shit never works well the first few days when everyone is trying to access it at once. I did my downloading Friday night and actually just watched it this morning.

This makes it sound like I made a calculated decision, but it's really more along the lines of "Sunday morning has been the first time all weekend I've been home for 2 hours to see it uninterrupted."

Anyway, I loved it. It's exactly what I wanted with the only failure being that I want more show and probably can't get it. I can't wait until I get the first book.

I don't get why there is so much bitching by critics about "what about the newbies?," though. WHO THE FUCK CARES ABOUT THE NEWBIES? Who the hell is going to be a newbie for this? Who the fuck is gonna be all, "I never cared about that show, not once, but now that there's a movie ten years" (or whatever it is) "later, I'm gonna pay to watch it and see what I think without ever watching the show first?" I guess the answer to this is "critics who never watched the show but are suddenly obligated to watch the movie and now they're all grumbly," but I don't think this should have been a film that had to cater to "what if a newbie walks in" anyway. At this point, we actually know how big the audience is for this movie--so why pretend to care about bringing in noobs from the street? The show and film will get fans by word of mouth/online recommendations as God intended, as has been happening for years anyway.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:01 AM on March 16 [1 favorite]


By the way, Flixster will stream in HD but only lets you download the movie in SD. But as it turns out if you link your Flixster account to a Vudu account (which you can do for free) Vudu will let you download the movie in excellent quality HD. For comparison the Flixster download is 1.2gb while the Vudu download is 6.8gb.
posted by Justinian at 4:13 PM on March 16


Looks like the numbers beat expectations:
Veronica Mars, the little Kickstarter that could, was such an X-factor this weekend that most people refused to hazard a guess about its box office. I was on record as saying the movie would struggle to earn $1 million this weekend, and I say that as a passionate fan of the series. To my pleasant surprise, the day and date release attained $1 million on Friday from only 291 locations, a number that is small in terms of our ordinary box office discussions. In terms of ramifications on the movie industry, especially for exhibitors, it is a stunning turn of events. With a per-location average of $3,450, a movie that most people (myself included) watched at home still managed to perform better than Need for Speed ($2,132) or The Single Moms Club ($1,688).
posted by eamondaly at 5:14 PM on March 16


jenfullmoon, I totally agree. I liked Keith Phipps' take at The Dissolve:
The first question TV-to-film adaptations usually raise is “Does this work as a movie apart from the show?” Veronica Mars raises a different question: “Does it have to?” This is a movie tailor-made for a specific audience who demanded it, presumably one perfectly happy for a movie very much in the mold of the show that inspired it. Wish granted.
Weekend boxoffice: just over $2 million. Plus however much it made in downloads. It's number #3 on iTunes in America (beaten only by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen) and #1 here in Australia. I'm guessing that means big numbers?
posted by Georgina at 2:31 AM on March 17 [1 favorite]


$2 million makes a per theater average of $6,900, yes? Huge numbers, all things considered.

I'm curious to see whether iTunes / Amazon / DVD purchases of the series spike as a result of the movie's release.
posted by zarq at 7:27 AM on March 17


According to Rob Thomas about ten hours ago:
#VeronicaMars #1 TV season on iTunes right now. All three seasons in the top 25.
posted by Georgina at 7:42 AM on March 17


NICE! :D
posted by zarq at 7:45 AM on March 17


I just saw it last night. I also went in with modest expectations, especially after seeing that clunky-as-hell intro, but enjoyed myself a lot. I also feel like they set themselves up well for future episodes (whether that means as a new TV show or as standalone film[s]) - it felt like a reboot.

SPOILER:

I agree that Veronica's decision to stay in Neptune could have been handled better. As it was, I felt they made the choice seem pretty easy: I mean, is Veronica Mars really going to be a corporate lawyer? No way. And while I liked Piz here, it was pretty obvious that she would end up with Logan.

In a way, I think the stakes would have been a lot higher if it felt like she were giving up something she actually wanted.

That said, the whole movie was ridiculously fun for a fan of the show, just for the witty banter and one-liners alone.
posted by lunasol at 8:01 AM on March 17


SPOILERS

And while I liked Piz here, it was pretty obvious that she would end up with Logan.


I wish they hadn't brought Piz back only to have him left at the curb.
posted by dry white toast at 8:18 AM on March 17


I wish they hadn't brought Piz back only to have him left at the curb.

It's funny, Piz actually standing up for himself made me respect him more than I ever did during season 3. I almost started to want him around at the precise moment when they cut him loose.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:31 AM on March 17 [1 favorite]


I am really pleased with the way they brought him back for this show. I think it made sense for the plot, and I'm glad that this guarantees the end of their relationship. (Since there was never a Veronica-Piz friendship, we didn't lose anything there.)

In a way, I think the stakes would have been a lot higher if it felt like she were giving up something she actually wanted.

But she gave up something she knew would have been good for her, and she knew would have made her happy. It wasn't exactly what she wanted, what she gave up -- but what she's taking (which includes, I assume, the California bar) isn't exactly what she wants, either (except maybe Logan and definitely being closer to her father). There are a bunch of ways this could go, and I'm curious what direction the upcoming novels choose.
posted by jeather at 9:11 AM on March 17


Warner Brothers Screws Over Veronica Mars Kickstarter Backers with DRM-Loaded Content
posted by homunculus at 5:09 PM on March 17


But she gave up something she knew would have been good for her, and she knew would have made her happy.

Really? Piz, maybe. But was there any evidence at all in the film that being a corporate lawyer would have made her happy? Based on what we know about her character, it seems really unlikely: she's happiest when she's fighting for justice, especially for the underdogs of the world. And she likes to make up her own mind about what's just and what's not - I don't think she'd be happy fighting for big corporations just because they were paying the bills.

I read it as more something she was trying to convince herself was the right route, because it was financially more sound, and safer. But it's not really her.

BTW, if you want to imagine a Fortune 500 version of Veronica Mars without the moral core and drive, Kristen Bell is great as a management consultant on House of Lies.
posted by lunasol at 6:43 PM on March 17


Yeah, I think one of the things the film doesn't do particularly well is establish Veronica's post-show, pre-movie, detection-free life. She ran away from Neptune, and she ran away from being a detective, but because we have three seasons of memory of her as a detective -- and because she jumps back into it so easily when Logan calls -- the idea that this is a huge turnaround for her doesn't land as well as it could.
posted by Georgina at 4:20 PM on March 18


The Dissolve: Veronica Mars And The Case Of The Disappearing Movie - "If something isn't financed like a movie or distributed like a movie, and it doesn't look like a movie or behave like a movie, is it still a movie?"
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:26 AM on March 19


Really? Piz, maybe. But was there any evidence at all in the film that being a corporate lawyer would have made her happy?

Zero regrets kind of happy? No.But I think she would have been happy -- I doubt she'd have stayed corporate lawyering forever once she'd paid off her loans and gotten herself a nest egg. I don't think that being a PI in Neptune will make her happy; it might be satisfying, but I think she will have a less happy life this way.

More interesting books/movies, though.
posted by jeather at 9:25 AM on March 19


STILL BEING SPOILERY


I thought that the law firm's own description of their clients pretty much foretold the ending of THAT option as a real career choice for her right up front. I mean, I laughed right then. Veronica Mars is going to choose to protect the big-money corporate entities against their pesky problems? Yeah, right.

I agree with Georgina, I would have liked to have heard a little more from her about building her post-Neptune life. We get the bare facts: she transferred to Stanford, graduated, went to law school...and at some point over the last year, she hooked up with her old college boyfriend. But the only insight we get fro her is "back then I was like this" and "now this is what I'm doing" with no sense of who she grew to become in-between.

I would have liked to have seen her tackle the investigation showing a little more maturity, rather than bungling into things like needing her father to bail her out. I thought they left WAY too much to be solved quickly in the last half-hour, and I wasn't thrilled about the plot device they used to sew it up.

...none of which is to say that I didn't enjoy the movie.
posted by desuetude at 12:07 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]


Oh god oh god the Deputy Leo scene in the movie... He played it so straight, I had no idea what he was up to for the longest time (and neither did Veronica, apparently). Utterly brilliant. I'm so glad they brought him back for this one scene.
posted by mbrubeck at 1:51 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed it overall, but it felt much more like a third-season VM than anything else, including the disappointing ending. Oh, I guess *SPOILER* that whole Weevil thing just kinda peters out, huh?

It didn't really resolve any of the stuff from the series and left more unanswered questions, and yet still felt kinda bloated regularly. B-/C+.
posted by klangklangston at 4:28 PM on March 22


that whole Weevil thing just kinda peters out, huh?

I'm pretty sure that's meant to be a set-up for either the book that comes out shortly or a possible sequel.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:01 PM on March 22


SPOILERY

Okay so I was rewatching the whole series before I saw it so I finally got around to watching the movie and yeah: Weevil.

Here's how I read it: Weevil is gonna get in shit with the corrupt as shit Sheriff's department because of the patsy that they used to plant the gun on him. He has to make said patsy more afraid of him than the cops, so, yeah, he's back with the PCHers. For a while.

That's the point in the movie where I started crying. I mean, there were a couple of gasps. Mainly for Deputy Sacks. (I emote, so sue me.)

But there's this mirror there. Weevil's gone legit, and he's fucking made it, you know? I mean, there's all these nostalgic little callbacks, with Wallace doing the Neville Longbottom thing and going back to teach at his old school and you KNOW he'll be good at it, and all these other things, but we pretty much knew that would happen, you know? We knew that Wallace and Mac would probably end up mostly ok, and they weren't in serious danger of falling into a life of crime.

But one of the major things we actually get out of Season 3 is Weevil getting out of the PCH life, going legit. And so we know he's been working on it, he's relapsed a bit, but for the most part he's OK.

And he has to be, because his story is the one that mirrors Veronica's. Veronica, you know, she's good at being a lawyer. Or a lawyer-in-waiting or whatever she is. And Weevil, he's good at being a dad. He's running a business, and you know, it doesn't say this in the movie, but I bet he's good at that too, because he was good at being a drug dealer, and that takes people skills.

And there's Veronica, sitting at her desk, and she's back in the game, and you know that she's got backup. She's got Keith, she's got a cadre of friends and supporters. She's got Weevil. And you know that even if she's not happy, she's probably going to be okay. Because she can always fall back on her education. On her family. On her connections. On Logan. She won't, but she has the option.

Weevil's frequently kind of fucked though. Veronica can't save him from everything; she didn't manage to keep him from getting arrested at his graduation in front of his grandmother. And he has the opposite of backup, he has a dependant. (I assume his wife can take care of herself, because I doubt he'd marry anyone who can't, but his daughter needs him.) And while that gives him a lot more to pit against the siren song of his old life that he's struggling with in Season 3 than Veronica has, it also raises the stakes for him.

So... yeah. They're both going back, and the one that's gonna get the most fucked over is gonna be Weevil, because he's brown and because he's from the wrong side of the tracks and that's how it works. Because ultimately, the white daughter of the sheriff (even the disgraced former sheriff) is probably gonna be okay.

And I was hoping he'd be this symbol that you could get out of that addictive life-- crime or crimefighting, whichever half-- and that Veronica couldn't, because she was weaker than him, or more invested, or whatever. I wanted really, really badly for him to be OK. And I think he made the choice he did because he thought it was the only way he'd avoid doing time for threatening Kane, which could get him more time away from his family than joining the PHC and not getting caught could.

But shit.

Anyway that was the part of the movie where I just started crying because god. Poor Weevil. Poor Weevil's kid.
posted by NoraReed at 9:45 PM on March 22 [3 favorites]


ALSO AND COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO THE MOVIE: Rewatching the 3rd season I have to say it was WAY LESS GOOD than I remembered it being. I thought it was okay but the straw feminism stuff is awful. Also making a punchline out of Chip being sexually assaulted was not OK.
posted by NoraReed at 10:06 PM on March 22 [3 favorites]


One thing that got it off to a bad start with me is when Jamie Lee Senior Partner cites some of Veronica's background and asks something like "as a psychology major, what do you think that says about you?", and VM comes back with a bunch of unschooled dinner-party pop-psy prattle that din't never come out of no actual Psychology curriculum no-how. Sad fact is I've had no temptation since to watch it a second time; by contrast I've re-watched season 1 several times and 2 and 3 at least once. The film is at best kinda okay fanservice but not much of an addition to the Canon; not even season 3 grade really.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:09 PM on March 23


Rewatching the 3rd season I have to say it was WAY LESS GOOD than I remembered it being.

Most of the third season was awful. It's rare for me to give up on a show mid-season, but I gave up on VM during season three because I just couldn't stomach the direction it went in.
posted by crossoverman at 10:36 PM on March 23


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