Saturday, 15 March 2014

VERONICA MARS - Review By Greg Klymkiw - Movies are getting so awful that too many feel like bad TV.

*NOTE* I couldn't believe how awful this movie was. After I wrote this review, I did a quickie Google and discovered a whole lot of background info that makes me hate this movie even more. I'm especially happy to watch movies without knowing anything (or as little as humanly possible) about them and even happier to not write the pieces with pre-conceived notions (well, as best as one can in this day and age). I'm also happy I don't watch TV or trailers, nor read reviews, puff pieces or press kits before I see movies and write about them. In spite of what I now know about this horrendous excuse for a "major" motion picture, I'm even happier to stand by this review without amending it to reflect any of the ghastly information that now roils about in my brain like some rogue tapeworm bent on total ingestion.

Beneath my Beautiful Golden Tresses is, uh, nothing - reflecting, of course,
the collective total I.Q. of my loyal fans who love me without even thinking
about it, because happily, they can't think. Kinda like me. Tee-hee-hee!!!

Veronica Mars (2014)
Dir. Rob Thomas, Starring: Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Enrico Colantoni
Review By Greg Klymkiw

What in Christ's name is this movie? Why was it made? Who is it supposed to please? How can any major feature film be so awful? How can a respected studio like Warner Brothers attach themselves to a feature film that seems, for all intents and purposes, to be little more than a vapid, incompetently crafted television drama stretched out to an interminable length?

I normally would have walked out of something this dreadful after two minutes, but I was, frankly, so utterly agog at the film's wretchedness and inconsequence I girded my mighty loins and nailed my feet to the floor.

The first ten (or maybe longer) minutes of the movie is some of the most ludicrous expositional material I've ever seen in any movie - ever. At least it seemed that way. Incomprehensibly shoehorned and top loaded into the picture is a putrid miasma of horrendously written voice-over that explained a whole whack of information so quickly that all I could really glean from it was that the main character was once a teenage private detective in a small California resort town and now, many years later, finds herself in the big city looking for a job as a lawyer in a high-profile firm.

The voice-over, however, is not only incomprehensible, but so flatly delivered by Kristen Bell, the purported actress in the title role, that when she finally opens her mouth by way of interacting with other characters, her delivery is as fake and vapid as the dialogue implanted in her brain via microchip. It's impossible to believe she could even graduate from the scuzziest community college with a certificate in septic sanitation maintenance, let alone garner a degree in Psychology and then (I guffawed) Law.

When it appears that an old friend (we're supposed to know he's an old friend because the movie tells us in the aforementioned expositional voiceover) is being charged with murder, our heroine hightails it back to her hometown and we're forced to suffer through a lugubrious series of perfunctory TV-style murder mystery machinations, punctuated every so often as Veronica reunites with a myriad of characters introduced to us in the said same aforementioned expositional voiceover and at this point, we still don't really know who anyone is as none of them appear to resemble characters in a movie other than the fact that the movie, via the - ahem - said same aforementioned expositional voiceover - tells us they're characters.

The only thing for sure is that our title character knows who they are.

The movie continues to plod mercilessly through one of the most uninteresting murder mysteries ever committed to film and we're forced to tolerate a hit parade of mostly no-name actors who look like they're delivering lines by rote in an overlong failed television pilot. There are minor appearances - extended cameos - by real actors like Jamie Lee Curtis and James Franco, who all provide ever-so brief oases from the dreadful semi-sitcom-styled acting.

Most egregiously, we have to experience a solid performance, in spite of the horrendous script, from Enrico Colantoni who seems like he deserves a more distinguished career than playing second fiddle to Kristen Bell whose only claim to fame was making poor Jason Segel's life miserable in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and prancing around in her knickers in the kitsch-fest Burlesque. I can't, sadly remember ever seeing Colantoni in any features films of note, but he appeared in a great Canadian short film called Winter Garden from earlier last year. If the Gods are smiling, he might still knock us on our butts with work in a terrific feature with a great role and real writing. In the 70s, he'd have had a decent shot as a leading character star a la Gene Hackman, but nobody makes movies like that anymore other than Quentin Tarantino. Hmmmmmmmmm. If I were Colantoni's agent, I know who's door I'd be knocking on.

As for direction - what direction? Rob Thomas, the no-name first-time feature director (well, I assume it's a first feature since I try to see every feature that opens and I'd remember the name of anyone so bereft of talent) proves that he can direct bad overlong television, but he clearly can't even do it competently. His coverage is so pathetically generated I'd hazard a guess that he might actually be the directorial equivalent to Mr. Magoo.

Earlier I asked who this movie is for. I saw it with a whole mess of tween and teen girls and their mothers. They all seemed to know what was going on and squealed with delight at every character introduction and reference to plot points regurgitated later on in the movie from the ludicrous - you guessed it - said same aforementioned expositional voiceover.

Christ, I felt like I was sitting through those wretched Sex and the City movies. Though Veronica Mars is thankfully without the equine Sarah Jessica Harper braying throughout the movie, I was even more appalled to see such young ladies in the audience shovelling this crap down their gullets. It's one thing seeing bovine forty-something women screeching over Sex and the City, but here we're talking about the next generation.

All I can do is sigh and continue to mourn at the cultural decline of Western Civilization.

"Veronica Mars" is not, it seems, in that wide of a theatrical release via Warner Bros. but mostly available on VOD.