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The final piece of my Veronica Mars Kickstarter puzzle arrived today.

HELL YEAH!

VM Kristin

KBell

VM Signatures

Good job they signed next to their photos!

VM Rob Kristin

Rob and Kristen

I’m sad Chris Lowell and Tina Majorino didn’t sign, but they only said they hoped to get everyone.  I got KBell’s though – that’s important!

Now, where the hell am I going to put it?

A teenage Private Eye – trust me, I know how dumb that sounds

Empire cinema

Exactly a year ago, I was pledging a good proportion of overdue back pay into the Veronica Mars Movie Kickstarter.  I had expected to get my poster, t-shirt – all the goodies I was promised – but I could only hope to get a good film.  I had lowered my expectations – TV shows rarely make good films which is perfectly acceptable as they’re very different mediums.

I had Kickstarted enough to get me a digital download, and the temptation to download it Friday morning to watch on my Nexus 7 was overwhelming.  I was in Manchester this week for a work conference and the film would have been perfect to make my long train journey home go faster.  But I held out and made my way over to the Empire Leicester Square to the SMALLEST SCREEN possible to see it as Rob Thomas intended.

I’ve actually been sat here struggling to put my thoughts into words.  I’ve said before that I’m not good at reviewing films beyond “it made me cry therefore it was good” and for Veronica Mars, I may have started tearing up pretty much the second the film started, so… therefore it was good.  It was really good.  I jumped and gasped on many occasions which I’m led to believe is good for a film noir.  The script felt very close to the original brilliance of the TV series, which I suppose might come across a bit weird, because who would sound like a teenager when they’re almost 30.  But to me, that just says more about the extraordinary writing of the series.  My emotions were all over the place and after leaving the cinema, I immediately wanted to go back in to the next screening.

Which I couldn’t do as there were only four screenings on Friday and I’m pretty sure they were all sold out which is great, but also a really shitty way to promote a film.  There are 10 cinemas screening the film in the UK and Ireland, and I don’t have one near me (London is an hour or so away on the train).  How can the film ever be expected to succeed when they don’t actually SHOW IT ANYWHERE.  And it was shown at Empire and Showcase cinemas – I didn’t even know there were still Showcase cinemas.  It’s such a shame it wasn’t on at a Vue or Odeon.  The full extent of the Empire Leicester Squares promotion is in my photo above – Veronica didn’t even get a big 27″x40″ poster.  Of course it’s going to ‘fail’.

I’ve also read some pretty ridiculous reviews from writers who clearly just want to kick Veronica Mars – for what reason, I’m not sure, but some of the criticisms I’ve read have been that the film was too visually dark, that it was impossible to follow, that it was just like The OC (um, what?).  One of the reviews I read this morning featured photos from season 3 and nothing about the plot, just that the fans wasted their  $5.7 million and that the film was childish.  They’re not interested in being unbiased.

It clear that all this will ensure that only fans will see this film in the UK, and maybe that’s ok.  We paid for it, so it’s fitting that it was made for us.  I do think you haven’t seen Veronica Mars, you’re insane and you need to rectify this immediately, but I don’t really care if no one else sees it because I have had my fix.  Unfortunately, this does mean I’m going to need another fix pretty soon, so please can I have some more.  Pretty please?

My love for Veronica’s world is epic.  Spanning years and continents. Lives ruined, bloodshed.

Epic.

Grace, put yourself down for a towel too.

PCC Christmas

Last night was the 9th Prince Charles Cinema Pyjama Party, and the theme this time was Christmas films.  I haven’t been to a PJ party for ages, and unfortunately, I appear to be out of practice as I slept through about half of it.  TERRIBLE!  I clearly had not re-read the tips for how to survive.

Tim and I met for dinner beforehand, and we still haven’t managed to figure out what food is good for keeping awake as I dragged him to a carb heavy italian place.  We had food that was either too mushroomy or too peppery, and then rushed over to Cafe Nero for my injection of caffeine.

We made our way to the Prince Charles, fought our way through the crowds when the doors opened and into our favourite seats – score!  The cinema was surprising empty – I thought it would be more popular – but it did mean there was more space to get comfy despite the feet that appeared through the seats next to me.  The temperature was just a little bit too cold, which was perfect for me as it meant I could wrap myself up in my matryoshka doll PJs and Ikea Gurli blanket without getting too overheated.  There’s nothing worse than a warm slumber party.

Quick sidenote – the member of staff playing Father Christmas was hilarious.  He was clearly uncomfortable and a tad embarrassed about being stood on the stage in a costume and kept giggling to himself whilst trying to talk in a Father Christmas deep voice.  He ended his ‘skit’ by saying “I’ve been Santa” which made me laugh a lot.  Oscar for this man!

First up, Scrooged and I had forgotten how funny this film was.  The hysteria normally reserved for 4am had already started for us, particularly when one character yelled “OOO, Claire gurl!” completely out of nowhere.  Bill Murray was acting the crap out of it, and I got giggly thinking about him playing his Bob Harris in Lost in Translation in the same tone as Frank Cross.

Then a brilliant double bill – Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.  I cannot count how many times my brother and I watched these films, and we used to drive our parents mad by constantly quoting it.  Watching it as an adult gave me a different perspective and it made it an incredibly disturbing film to watch.  Joe Pesci has the skin melted off his head.  Twice!  I worried about the risk of infection.  Still hilarious though.  One woman behind us could barely control herself.

And this is when I then fell asleep.  I had agreed to myself that I could have a little nap during National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, which by the way is a horrible film.  I thought I’d try watching a bit of it, but the recent troubles on the set of Community have made me rethink Chevy Chase, and scenes like the one with the lingerie sales assistant are just creepy.  So I napped until Elf.

And then I napped during most of Elf.

And then I napped during most of  The Muppet Christmas Carol.

This was not my intention (although Tim rightly pointed out that I was turned sideways to the screen with my head resting on the chair) but I did at least want to enjoy Zooey Deschanel.  Instead, I gave myself a crick in my neck and odd dreams about Muppets.  I did find Michael Caine’s very straight performance in A Christmas Carol very funny (the 20 minutes I actually saw).

And then before I knew it (mainly because of the sleeping), we were turfed out onto the early morning London streets and we both wandered our different ways home.  Husband treated me to a cooked breakfast at our local Harvester (which seemed insanely cheap) and then more sleeping.  Hopefully I’ll be in a decent state to actually make it through work tomorrow.

Aim higher in case you fall short

Hunger Games

Last night, I saw Catching Fire, which was the third new film I’ve seen at the cinema this year (Mild Concern should be worried that I’m going to start stepping on his toes).  I bloody loved it.

I read all three of the books on holiday in Malta last year, getting so desperate when I finished the first one that I almost instantly dragged Husband into the nearest mall to buy the next two.  It was my first proper foray into the world of YA, a world that I’ve since immersed myself in.  The first film was a little disappointing which I think is the general consensus, but I have grown to love it.  But I don’t think it’s a surprise that I love the second one even more.

The costumes, the visual effects, the world – everything felt bigger and more mature.  The opening scenes over the woodland just looked epic, and the colours were beautiful.  District 12 looked haunting in the snow, and they made the Capitol feel intimidating instead of impressive (a very nice touch).

Jennifer Lawrence was flawless as Katniss, as was Josh Hutcherson although I did miss certain scenes from the book between the two of them that didn’t make it to the film; the reluctant friendship that built up on their tour and the unrequited love that Peeta had for Katniss (awww!).  I unconditionally love Peeta and knowing what’s coming up for him is almost too painful to think about.  Elizabeth Banks broke my heart, as did Lenny Kravtiz, and Woody Harrelson was wonderful.

I wasn’t initially sold on Sam Clafin as Finnick, a character who I enjoyed in Catching Fire and adored in Mockingjay, and I know the internet was quite mean about him, but I think he did a great job.  The utter desolation Finnick experiences in the Jabberjay scene was depicted so beautifully by Sam and he completely won me over.  Jena Malone was also equally brilliant (and had great hair) and I’m sad we didn’t get to see more of her.  Every time Johanna cursed the Capitol, I winced.

It was so great to see such a faithful adaptation to the book.  The addition of scenes between President Snow and Plutarch Heavensbee, despite not being in the book, were a welcome departure from the original story which expanded the world beyond Katniss’s point of view.  The film was quite long, but it didn’t feel it as the pacing was spot on, so I can understand why certain scenes didn’t make it to screen.  They could easily make two films out of Catching Fire (although conversely, I can’t see how they’re going to make Mockingjay into two films, but we’ll see).

As expected from me, I cried pretty much constantly, from the moment District 11 showed their support on the Victory Tour, to the very last shot of Katniss.  It was a mistake to wear eyeliner.  It was emotional, gripping, tense and incredibly satisfying.  Now, excuse me whilst I book my second viewing…

 

Private Eye is watching you

Veronica Mars

A now, a quick break in our scheduled programming to bring you this update.

YAY!  My Veronica Mars Kickstarter T-shirt has arrived!  I have been giddy about this project since it was announced, and especially since starting and finishing my re-watch of the show.  The teaser trailers they’ve been releasing have almost sent me into a euphoric fit and I.  CANNOT.  WAIT.

I wasn’t as involved with the Veronica Mars fandom as some others (don’t ask) but I did start watching when season 1 was airing so being a part of it from the start is a good feeling.  I’m just hoping that we get a fair share of the cinema release in the UK so I can go see it twenty times.

We’re still waiting for Husband’s t-shirt (which is really my second shirt), and my signed poster which should arrive at some point closer to the release (if I remember correctly).

The Veronica Mars season one marathon at the Prince Charles Cinema is looking a little bit tempting in my manic fangirl state…

It’s tough out there in time and space

Before Midnight

I’m still a bit emotionally raw from seeing Before Midnight last night.  I persuaded my esteemed colleague to take a trip to the Everyman on Baker Street, because of course it wasn’t showing anywhere near me.  I live in the country!  People in the country don’t like film.  OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

I adore Everyman Cinemas.  I’ve been to the Winchester and Walton-on-Thames screens (see – country bumpkin!) and they were both the perfect mix of quirky and retro without being awkwardly uncomfortable, and Baker Street was no different.  There was a lovely bit of Neon in the stairwell and we all know how much I like a lovely bit of Neon.  The bar was gorgeous, with plenty of places to sit and wait for your film to begin.  Just two screens, but the two screens happen to be playing my two favourite films of the year (Before Midnight and Behind the Candelabra) so it felt like this was a cinema just for me.  The screening room was the perfect size, with an unusually asymmetric layout – a row of 5 seats on the left, 2 seats on the right.  The two-er would be perfect for a date, but unfortunately for Tim, he just had a sobbing mess sat next to him (me).  And I don’t normally notice the clarity of cinema screens, but this one seemed really good quality – like super mega HD or something.

Screen two

I’ll leave the proper film review to the professionals, but I will just say this film really got to me.  I can’t remember when or why I bought the first two films (I think it was when Before Sunset came out, so nine years ago?) but Jesse and Celine are such fully formed characters, that they feel like real people I know.  I think that’s why their story has captivated me from that first moment on the train 18 years ago.  Their problems aren’t unique – millons of people struggle with the same issues and I think it will be uncomfortably close to home for some.  I don’t have children, and am planning on remaining childfree, but I still was able to identify with Celine (even though she was the mayor of Crazytown at some points).  She only gets time to think on the toilet, so now she associates thoughts with the stench of shit.  One of her biggest fears is that she’ll end up with a man who just wants to domesticate her.  She seems obsessed with the thought that if Jesse met her now, he wouldn’t find her attractive.

I consider myself quite lucky with my lot in life – Husband and I have managed to keep up our connection to each other and still regularly have long bouts of talking nonsense.  Admittedly, we do have some evenings where we’re both so tired after work that we just sit glued to various screens (laptop, TV, DS) so perhaps Before Midnight could be a bit of a cautionary tale for me.

I cried at many points in the film, and began to regret putting eyeliner on pretty much as soon as the title appeared on screen.  These are two people I haven’t seen for nine years – I didn’t realise how much I’d missed them until I saw them both again, talking solidly for about fifteen minutes in the second scene of the film.  It felt weird to have other characters feature to heavily compared to the first two films, but Ariadni’s (AKA the Greek Judi Dench) speech about her husband broke me good and proper.

I can’t wait to see it again, but I will settle for trying to watch Before Sunrise and Before Sunset this weekend.  And I’ll try not to cry again.

Emotional Penguin

I feel you, Penguin

There’s Clea DuVall!

Saturday night was spent snuggled under a blanket in my PJs in a very comfortable cinema seat at the Prince Charles Cinema.  This was the fourth PJ party I’ve been to – an all night teen movie marathon lasting from 9pm Saturday night to about 8am Sunday morning showing nothing but cheesy teen films.  My guilty pleasure.

I’ve been to every PJ party with the famed film blogger, Mild Concern (who just happens to be my BFF) and one of our favourite things is pointing out actors we recognise from current TV and film.  Most of the of the time, it’s Clea DuVall (seriously, that woman was in everything in the 90s) and the first film from this marathon – Can’t Hardly Wait – was a great example of this.   A new game for this marathon was pointing out the high proportion of redheads in main character roles and Can’t Hardly Wait had a whole bunch of them!

The night continued on with Clueless which is so quotable (although it was at the first PJ party).  We then watched Get Over It, which is a Mild Concern favourite, and another film with a red headed lead.  This film made me laugh more than I thought it would, mainly because of the genius of Martin Short as Desmond Forrest-Oates – “Keep icing your front bum” gave me the giggles, as did “You’d tell me if you’d had a stroke.”  Everything Martin Short does is just amazing.  I want to re-watch this film just to hear him yell “That’s enough out of your MUCK MOUTH!”

Next up – Cruel Intentions.  This film is still amazing, with such a great soundtrack.  I haven’t seen it for a while, but it instantly regressed me to my teens.  I forget how good Sarah Michelle Geller is.

The most recent film on the schedule was Easy A – something I’ve not seen before.  And sadly, it was about 4am at this point so I did fall asleep towards the end, but Emma Stone was as endearing as ever.  Despite the fact it was only released 3 years ago, I think the film fit in quite well with the others.

And lastly, She’s All That which I had forgotten existed (and also featured Clea DuVall and a cameo from Sarah Michelle Geller).  I think everyone in the audience was waiting for Rachel Leigh Cook to take her glasses off so they could sarcastically gasp at her hidden beauty, but we were just excited to see Torrance High School where Buffy was filmed.  Hysteria had set in at this point from the lack of sleep (as it always does) and pointing out where certain scenes from Buffy were set made me laugh far more than it should.

I think I’ve just about recovered from the sleep deprivation, although I do feel a nap coming on now…

Veronica Mars is smarter than you

Finally, the day I’ve been waiting for for almost two weeks has arrived – the Veronica Mars Kickstarter project has opened to UK donors.

And I’m so excited!  The only negative in this is that Michael Muhney won’t get to be in the film.  Mainly because his character, Sheriff Lamb, did not survive season 3 which was a TRAGEDY!  Michael was an absolute doll when I met him a few years back (I was starstruck into muteness in front of him) and it feels wrong to have an addition to the Veronica Mars canon without him.  I demand flashbacks!

Admittedly, I should really be spending my money on a new oven, seeing as the old one is probably dripping melted metal on to my food.  Who needs food when you have the promise of a t-shirt and signed poster!