Veronica Mars (2014)/YouTube
The recent release of a full-length trailer for the Veronica Mars movie has reignited our excitement for the film — yet again. Rob Thomas, writer and executive producer, wrote in a Kickstarter backer update that the trailer marks the beginning of the official Veronica Mars advertising campaign. Which, loosely translated, means we’re going to be seeing a lot more of the trailer, as well as (hopefully) TV spots, posters, and billboards. For now, we’ll settle on getting excited about why the trailer has us hoping the film will be everything we wish it will be.
A New Case
The greatest aspects of the Veronica Mars series were the mysteries threaded throughout the show. In the first season it was Lily’s murder, then the bus crash in season two. We’re excited to see what the creators have cooked up for the movie — apparently one case involves Logan Echolls, so that should be interesting (read: endlessly entertaining.)
Return of the Tiny Blonde Wonder
Veronica Mars herself (played by Kristen Bell) was the driving force of the TV series and it will be good to see her again. Plus, we’re looking forward to all the quips penned by Thomas. We demand quality quips!
Catching Up With Our Favorite Characters
In addition to Veronica, we’ll be seeing the whole gang again. (Literally, the whole gang, since all the actors came back for the movie.) We’re especially excited to see what’s become of our favorite characters. What are they doing with their lives? Are they dating anyone? It’s going to be like catching up with old friends.
Our Money’s Worth
Although we discussed whether Veronica Mars should appeal to a wider audience than just the fans, there’s something to be said for those of us that donated to the film. We gave our hard-earned cash, and if the trailer is any indication, we’re going to get exactly what we paid for.
For the Fans, By the Fans
Let’s be honest, everyone involved in the production of the Veronica Mars movie loves the show just as much as — if not more than — the fans. They’re not going to disappoint us. (Or else!)
Actor Zach Braff has launched a $2 million (£1.3 million) online fundraiser to finance his new movie after seeing the success of the Veronica Mars Kickstarter.com campaign. The former Scrubs star is seeking fan donations for his latest project Wish I Was Here, a follow-up to 2004 comedy-drama Garden State, and has promised rewards including T-shirts, advanced screenings and even the chance to appear in the film for the most generous backer.
Braff, who hopes to raise $2 million by 24 May (13), wanted to start the campaign to avoid a "typical financing deal" and admits he was inspired by the website's recent Veronica Mars movie project, which generated more than $5.5 million (£3.4 million) in 30 days.
In a message posted on the fundraising page, he writes, "I was about to sign a typical financing deal in order to get the money to make Wish I Was Here, my follow up to Garden State. It would have involved making a lot of sacrifices I think would have ultimately hurt the film. I've been a backer for several projects on Kickstarter and thought the concept was fascinating and revolutionary for artists and innovators of all kinds. But I didn't imagine it could work on larger-scale projects. I was wrong.
"After I saw the incredible way Veronica Mars fans rallied around Kristen Bell and her show's creator Rob Thomas, I couldn't help but think (like I'm sure so many other independent filmmakers did) maybe there is a new way to finance smaller, personal films that didn't involve signing away all your artistic control.
"Financing an independent film the traditional way often means having to give away your right to the final cut, casting choices, location choices and cutting down your script to make it shoot-able on the cheapest budget possible."
Appealing to fans to join the scheme, he adds, "If you've liked the stuff I've made so far, I know you're going to love this. Whether you end up with a rad (good) T-shirt... or an invite to a special preview screening, you'll know that without you, this movie never would have gotten made."
Look out, San Diego! Everyone's favorite sleuth is coming to town. Kristen Bell and creator Rob Thomas of Veronica Mars will be making an appearance at Comic-Con this July in order to drop hints about the upcoming movie version of the detective show, and thank the fans who've contributed mightily on Kickstarter to get the project funded.
Thomas isn't saying exactly what he'll be showing or who else from the cast will be in attendance — the Veronica Mars Comic-Con presence may mostly involve an autograph signing at the Warner Bros. tent — but he is offering two different Comic-Con packages on the Veronica Mars movie's Kickstarter page. Unfortunately, as of 3:00 p.m. ET on April 11, the day the packages were first available to purchase, both have already sold out. One was an "SDCC Fan Package" for $150, which would reserve the backer a seat at whatever fan event they end up holding. The other was a $450 "SDCC VIP Package," that would include both priority seating and access to talent from the show in a meet and greet.
In addition to the events at Comic-Con proper, Rob Thomas will be hosting a private event on July 19 at San Diego's Gaslamp District that may include a Q&A and a screening of footage from the movie.
If the Kickstarter adds more Comic-Con packages, will you buy one? And, if not, will you spend the long wait in line to attend the Veronica Mars events first-come, first-serve?
More: So What Do We Know About the ‘Veronica Mars’ Movie? ‘Veronica Mars’ Movie Meets Fundraising Goal in Less Than 12 Hours Why is the ‘Veronica Mars’ Kickstarter So Polarizing?
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
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The Chicago star will be the guest of honour at a ceremony held by St David's Society of the State of New York at the Yale Club on 4 March (11).
During the glitzy event, Zeta-Jones will be handed the William R Hopkins medal, the society's highest honour, in recognition of her Welsh heritage and pride.
Her husband Michael Douglas, who recently overcame throat cancer, is due to attend the gala with her.
Professor Peter Stead, the social historian and broadcaster who founded the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize, says, "I am absolutely thrilled Catherine is being given this honour by the St David's Society of the State of New York. She has done such a lot to promote Wales and the Welsh around the world through her work. But she is also an active supporter of charities and other causes including the arts and her role as a backer of the Dylan Thomas Prize has been a pivotal one.
"She thoroughly deserves to be honoured by New Yorkers who are either Welsh or have Welsh backgrounds.
"I'm told by the organisers Michael Douglas will be with her and I'm sure everyone will be pleased to see him. It promises to be a great night of celebrating Welshness in the heart of one of the most influential cities in the world."
Iron Man 2 Jon Favreau’s much-anticipated follow-up to his breakthrough 2008 blockbuster is less a comic book flick than it is a superhero version of Arthur the Oscar-nominated 1981 comedy that starred Dudley Moore as a drunken wise-cracking dilettante. In his second turn as Tony Stark Robert Downey Jr. recasts the billionaire inventor as the Dean Martin of industrialists strutting from one star-studded event to another on a bacchanalian victory tour dishing out choice one-liners and stirring up minor controversies for his exasperated babysitters Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and James "Rhodey" Rhodes (Don Cheadle) to quell. Whether gloating about his achievements at a defense industry expo upbraiding Senators during a congressional hearing or getting wasted and donning his armored powersuit to play DJ at his birthday party there's no telling what kind of madcap mischief Tony Stark will get himself into next!
The Tony Stark Comedy Tour for what it’s worth is a supremely entertaining ride (credit screenwriter Justin Theroux at the very least with crafting the genre’s most quotable film of all time) but I’m fairly certain Iron Man 2 is supposed to be an action film not the Marvel Follies Variety Show. Surely there must be a supervillain lurking in the shadows a frighteningly powerful menace preparing to unleash its destructive might upon the world?
There is — well kind of. The primary antagonist of Iron Man 2 Mickey Rourke's hulking Ivan Vanko (aka Whiplash) is certainly a fearsome beast baring his blinged-out grill and electrified tentacles but he gets all of five minutes of meaningful screen time in the sequel — hardly enough to establish him as a worthy foe for the great Iron Man. Perhaps producers found Rourke’s chosen dialect learned from John Malkovich's Rounders School of Exaggerated Russian Accents (“I vant my bort!” he furiously declares when separated from his pet parrot) to be less compelling in post-production.
More likely they became enamored with Sam Rockwell in the role of Justin Hammer Stark’s resentful business rival and Whiplash’s principal financial backer. It’s certainly understandable. Exuding the hubris and insecurity of a sardonic Mark Cuban (but capable of amusing us with more than just an underachieving basketball team) his performance is easily the best of the film surpassing even that of the great Downey. (Which makes perfect fodder for conspiracy theorists who wonder why Rockwell was the only member of the main cast not to get his own poster.)
The only problem is Rockwell’s Hammer is a venture capitalist not a comic book supervillain and every second he spends on the screen — as enjoyable as it is — is a second that could have been devoted to dimensionalizing Rourke’s character or crafting a badly-needed action sequence to enliven the talky second act.
It’s little wonder then that Stark continues with his feckless self-destructive ways unconcerned with the threat posed by the Hammer/Whiplash collaboration. He's got bigger problems to worry about — namely his inability to find a suitable replacement for palladium the substance inside the Arc Reactor that powers both his suit and his heart and which also happens to be slowly killing him.
Thankfully Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. arrive at his compound to stage a kind of intervention bearing a powerful dual-pronged Deus Ex Machina device that instantly wrests our hero from his para-suicidal stupor — just in time to build the upgraded powersuit he’ll need to thwart the army of powerful robot drones that Whiplash is about to let loose upon on the unsuspecting citizens of Queens New York. Whew! Favreau steps up the action and delivers a suitably big finish but don't blink when Iron Man and Whiplash meet on the battlefield because you might just miss it.
Given that Iron Man 2’s director and writer have both spent the bulk of their movie careers employed as actors it comes as little surprise that they chose to focus the action on Downey and Rockwell as the two rank head and shoulders above the rest of the cast. I just wish they found room in between the one-liners for a few more explosions.
Napster, the wildly popular Web site that allowed users to swap music files for free, will finally have a pay version ready this year despite its legal pummeling by the record industry. Thomas Middelhoff, chief executive of media giant and Napster backer Bertelsmann, said in his speech at the two-day Babelsburg 2001 conference, "Out of the onetime pirate, a business will be born. Of course, Napster will be put into a legal form that protects the rights of artists and producers." Napster will be joining other fee-based music services such as Pressplay, backed by Vivendi Universal and Sony and independent distribution companies FullAudio and Uplister.
Anne Heche, the former girlfriend of comedian Ellen Degeneres, will marry cameraman Coley Laffoon on Saturday. A friend of Anne's told a British news service, "Anne's days as a lesbian have been purged from her memory...Anne's wedding is a celebration of her re-entry into the world of heterosexuality."
One of Spain's best-known actors, Francisco Rabal, died in Bordeaux, France, Wednesday after the plane he was traveling in made an emergency landing to allow him to receive medical treatment. He was in his 70s. The cause of death has not been released.
American Pie star Tara Reid testified Tuesday in the grand jury hearing against publicist Elizabeth Grubman, who allegedly backed her sport utility vehicle into a crowd of people outside a trendy nightclub in the Hamptons on July 7, injuring several. The 26-year-old Reid was reportedly with Grubman at a party right before the crash. Grubman is being charged with assault and reckless endangerment.
The lawsuit filed by the American Italian Defense Association against the popular HBO series The Sopranos was brought to a Cook County Circuit courtroom Wednesday. The lawyer for the AIDA urged the judge to issue a declaratory judgement condemning the show as a violation of a clause in the Illinois Constitution guaranteeing individual dignity. AOL Time Warner, Inc.'s attorney, however, urged the court to dismiss the case on the grounds that "courts are not suppose to adjudicate the content of television programs," according to Reuters.
George Harrison's bid to stop his former business manager and partner from declaring bankruptcy was thrown out by Judge Barry Schermer of a St. Louis court circuit who refused the claim that the musician was too ill to give a local deposition. Harrison is trying to protect a settlement of $11 million that he won against Denis O'Brien, his business manager, for alleged mismanagement. Harrison will appeal the ruling.
Superstar Nicole Kidman arrived in style at the Venice Film Festival Thursday, dragging along six bodyguards, 22 pieces of luggage and reportedly getting a speeding ticket on her way to her hotel. The Italian newspapers had a field day as paparazzi pursued Kidman across the canals, desperate to get any tidbits from the redheaded actress about her three-week-old divorce from Tom Cruise. Kidman is at the festival to promote her new film The Others.
To generate excitement for the third installment of its hit reality series, CBS will air an hour-long Survivor special Thursday Oct. 4 at 8 p.m., one week before Survivor 3: Africa bows in the same time slot. Details for the show are still being worked out but apparently the special will focus on how to play the game and will give a preview of Survivor 3.
Michael Jackson's much-anticipated return to the music world with his new single "You Rock My World" has not been getting the wild reaction hoped for, according to many station programmers. Dave Morales, music director for KHKS-FM in Dallas, told Reuters, "We got the single, we heard it and put it on the air...and it was just sort of there. We're not getting any more repeat requests for it." However, for the "You Rock My World" video, Jackson apparently has snagged Marlon Brando and the cast of the The Sopranos. Brando stepped in when actor Robert De Niro had to back out. The video will also feature Benicio Del Toro and Chris Tucker.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are making a comeback with a $40-$60 million CGI feature film with John Woo and Terence Chang producing. A new animated Saturday morning TV series, a live-action miniseries to air on the Hallmark Channel and a series of next-generation video games are also expected to be developed.