Veronica Mars Blu-ray ReviewMay 7, 2014
As someone who binge-watched the Veronica Mars TV series on Netflix a few years back and highly enjoyed it, I was a bit saddened by the fact that such an interesting and well-written show was axed before its time. The show got three seasons under its belt before being cancelled in 2007, and fans have been clamoring for some kind of continuation of the series for the better part of a decade now. Crowd-funding site Kickstarter was just what creator Rob Thomas needed to get his Veronica Mars movie pitch off the ground; the film’s $2 million Kickstarter funding goal was reached within just 24 hours, shattering records in the process. So is the final product worthy of the fans’ massive $3 million+ contribution? In a word, yes. Veronica Mars plays like an extended episode of the TV series, offering up an intriguing murder mystery and providing plenty of fan service (and celebrity cameos) along the way.
Veronica Mars’ opening credits sequence does a serviceable job of getting viewers up to speed. Veronica (Kristen Bell) used to work with her dad Keith Mars as a private investigator, helping the honorable people of Neptune, California while maintaining a love/ hate relationship with the seedy upper-class – including on/ off boyfriend Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring). At the outset of the film, Veronica is interviewing for a position at a prestigious law firm in New York City, and is in a relationship with college boyfriend Stosh “Piz” Piznarski (Chris Lowell). Her father couldn’t be happier that she’s managed to escape the evils of Neptune.
It’s not long before former flame Logan is making national news as the number one suspect in the murder of his current girlfriend, pop star Bonnie DeVille. Logan reaches out to Veronica to help him clear his name, and she’s pulled back into the private eye world she thought she left behind – putting her job, relationship, and life at risk.
Veronica Mars manages to hit all the right notes of comedy, drama, and suspense, and is sure to please the fans that backed the film from day one. Those fans are front and center on the Blu-ray extras, in a hour-long(!) documentary detailing creator Rob Thomas’ journey to bring Veronica Mars to the big screen. By The Fans: The Making of the Veronica Mars Movie is a tribute to the 90,000+ fans who poured their hard-earned money into the film’s Kickstarter campaign.
We get to see Rob Thomas discussing early script ideas and his trepidation prior to the start of the campaign, as well as behind-the-scenes footage from production and the film’s Comic-Con panel. We get a look at some of the Kickstarter pledges who got to become extras in the film, as they talk about their love for the show and get to meet their idols on-set. It’s very obvious that the creators and stars are appreciative of the fans’ support, and everyone seems to be having a blast during production. The feature is a bit long at about 55 minutes, as most of these fans don’t have much of interest to say, but it’s nice that they got the recognition they deserve for getting Veronica Mars greenlighted.
Aside from that, the Veronica Mars Blu-ray features a gag reel, deleted scenes, and a few funny on-set shenanigans. My personal favorite is Game Show with Kristen Bell and Chris Lowell, a very tongue-in-cheek back-and-forth interview. It’s Not All About You, Monkey features an on-set gag with director Rob Thomas and actors Ryan Hansen and Ken Marino. The Blu-ray also comes with an UltraViolet HD digital copy of the film.
Veronica Mars succeeds in tying up seven-year-old plot threads with an engaging mystery film that is sure to please fans of the short-lived TV series. Director Rob Thomas manages to wrap everything up while leaving the door open for a possible sequel in the future. Those who have never seen an episode of the show won’t feel left out though, as the film explains the plot neatly and is largely self-contained. That said, the movie contains spoilers for the TV series, so be warned. Fans of the film will be interested in the in-depth special features and HD digital copy.