Last night I managed to pull myself away from Titanfall long enough to check out Veronica Mars which, surprisingly enough, is playing in a theater within an hour of me. As a fan of the series, the movie hit every note I could have asked for but also confirmed my suspicion that Mars is best suited for the type of long-form storytelling that television permits. Creator/director Rob Thomas does an admirable job of bringing us up to speed on the lives of our favorite Neptune characters against the backdrop of a ten year high school reunion. That said, 107 minutes doesn’t leave much time for breathing in between the introduction, mystery set-up, and resolution. I often felt rushed through the process, longing for 20-22 episodes for Veronica to crack the case as opposed to 75 minutes or so. This small gripe aside, Veronica Mars is a movie made for the fans (and, in no small financial part, by the fans) and I can’t imagine anyone who loved the series walking away from it disappointed by anything other than the fact that it had to end too soon.
We’ll talk a little more about VM in this week’s Top 5 which also includes a considerable amount of Captain America: The Winter Soldier content, our SXSW 2014 coverage, interviews for and Matt’s review of Need for Speed, and President Barack Obama‘s hilarious appearance on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. Keep doing what you’re doing for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
1. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Set Visit and Video Interviews
I’ve had a good feeling about Captain America: The Winter Soldier since its first trailer debuted almost 5 months ago. Jump ahead to the present and these early reactions from those who have seen it already tell me the finished product will not betray my confidence. Marvel itself is so confident in the pic and Cap in general that they’ve slated Captain America 3 to premiere opposite Batman vs. Superman (an act of pure bravado that only fuels my excitement for The Winter Soldier). If your interest in Cap’s second installment is on a similarly steady incline then I recommend checking out Dave’s set visit report including interviews with Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Feige, directors Anthony & Joe Russo, and screenwriters Stephen McFeely & Christopher Markus. In a preview of sorts, we also have tidbits of Steve’s press junket video interviews with Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, directors Anthony & Joe Russo, and Kevin Feige.
2. VERONICA MARS Interviews and Review
I failed to discuss this in the opening paragraph but I think it warrants a mention: on top of being its usual clever, whip smart self, the Veronica Mars movie is funny. A notch above even what the series was. I won’t spoil them here, but there were several scenes that I downright adore solely for their humor. My endorsement aside, though, I’d like to simply direct you to Matt’s review and his press junket interviews with Kristen Bell, creator/director Rob Thomas, Krysten Ritter, Jason Dohring & Chris Lowell.
3. SXSW 2014 Coverage
With SXSW 2014 running through this weekend in Austin, our Perri Nemiroff has been steadily bringing a slew of interviews and reviews from the ground floor of one of the world’s most eclectic festivals. You can click here for all of her festival coverage thus far including video interviews with Godzilla director Gareth Edwards and Jon Favreau who, among other things, discusses his plans for The Jungle Book and the status of Magic Kingdom.
4. NEED FOR SPEED Interviews and Review
Car porn may not be my style but the success of the Fast & Furious franchise is undeniable to the point that I won’t dare question why director Scott Waugh’s Need for Speed exists. Whether or not the latter matches the extreme success of the former is irrelevant. The point is that there’s a considerable audience willing to pay to see car-centric actioners and studios are right to continue rolling them out until the market demands otherwise. If you’re part of said audience then I think you’ll find something of interest within Matt’s review, Steve’s video interviews with Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots, and Christina’s text interview with Dominic Cooper.
5. President Barack Obama Visits BETWEEN TWO FERNS
I don’t expect everyone to agree, but I feel like President Obama stopping by Funny or Die’s hugely popular Between Two Ferns to discuss healthcare.gov with Zach Galifianakis is pure comedic and political gold. When a primary directive of the Affordable Healthcare Act is to entice young people to buy health insurance, I can’t think of any better way to get their attention (aside from maybe buying them pizza and beer). Regardless of your politics, I think the video is more than worth a watch.