Veronica Mars the Movie!

Sadly, the Veronica Mars movie isn’t playing in my local theater. Thankfully, though, its unusual theatrical release was accompanied by a simultaneous On Demand release, so we were able to watch the film its opening weekend from the comfort of the Muruch home. And it did not disappoint.

The cool opening sequence gives a quick but interesting summary of the tv series that’s beneficial for those who didn’t watch the show and nostalgic for those of us who did.

The movie is speckled with what may be the best, most eclectic collection of cameos ever. I don’t want to spoil things, but let’s just say if you like NPR and a certain alt-rocker on the movie soundtrack you’ll squeal in delight at the first two non-character cameos. There are also brief appearances by former cast members of Freaks & Geeks, New Girl and The State. In fact, Freaks & Geeks fans will be almost as giddy as “Marshamallows” (a.k.a. Veronica Mars fans).

And, of course, Marshmallows will be even more happy with the character cameos, questions answers (Did she choose Piz or Logan?!) and plethora of in-jokes – which include references to the tv show, the movie’s Kickstarter campaign, Buffy, The O.C. and a lot of great music.

It may not quite live up to the superhuman hype it’s received, but it comes pretty darn close and leaves welcome room and a lot of potential for sequels. And I suspect it’d be even better on the big screen.

Rent Veronica Mars @ Amazon On Demand

Pre-order Veronica Mars DVD @ Amazon

Contest: Pineapple Express Soundtrack CDs & Posters

Contest Closed

I have two prize packs with the soundtrack CD and high-gloss poster from the upcoming Seth Rogen movie Pineapple Express to give away. The soundtrack will be released on August 5th and the movie will hit theaters on August 8th. I have not heard the entire soundtrack yet, but I love the Bel Biv Devoe and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony songs, usually like Cypress Hill, and have enjoyed composer Graeme Revell’s past soundtrack work. Contest details, soundtrack track list, and audio clip are below…

The Prize:

2 winners will each receive 1 prize pack composed of the Pineapple Express soundtrack CD and a high-gloss poster from the movie.

The Rules:

Comment to this entry with your email address and the name of your favorite funny movie.

Note: This contest is open U.S. entrants only and you must include a valid email address in your comment to qualify. The two winners of the contest will be required to provide me with their full names, phone numbers, and postal addresses. I will forward the information to the promotion company to mail the prizes directly. Your contact information will only be used for shipping purposes.

The Deadline:

The contest will end on Friday, August 8th. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email.

Go now go! And tell others.

Pineapple Express Track List:

01. Pineapple Express – Huey Lewis & The News
02. Electric Avenue – Eddy Grant
03. Dr. Greenthumb – Cypress Hill
04. Lost At Birth – Public Enemy
05. Poison – Bell Biv Devoe
06. Wanted Dread Or Alive – Peter Tosh
07. Don’t Look Around – Mountain
08. Pineapple Chase (aka The Reprise of the Phoenix) – Graeme Revell
09. Bird’s Lament – Moondog & The London Saxophonic
10. Coconut Girl – Brother Nolan
11. Hilawe – Arthur Lyman
12. Tha Crossroads – Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
13. Pineapple Fight (aka The Nemesis Proclaimed) – Graeme Revell
14. I Didn’t Mean To Hurt You – Spiritualized
15. Woke Up Laughing – Robert Palmer

Huey Lewis & The News – Pineapple Express (audio stream)

Pineapple Express on MySpace

Contest Closed

Freaks & Geeks DVD Set

Before Shout!Factory gave us My So-Called Life and Punky Brewster, they released the short-lived NBC series Freaks & Geeks. Set in 1980 Michigan, the show centered on aspiring freak Lindsey Weir (Linda Cardellini) and her little geek brother Sam (John Francis Daley) as they traversed the nightmarish landscape of high school, the precarious loyalty of friends in their respective cliques, the anguish of unrequited love, the transitory nature of relationships, the mortifying affection of their parents, and the sheer humiliation of the teen years. Freaks & Geeks was every bit as realistic and magnificent as My So-Called Life, but F&G focused on the awkward humor of adolescence over MSCL‘s more poignant take.

Though may I prefer My So-Called Life in many other ways, I have to say that Freaks & Geeks has the absolute best opening sequence in television history. I don’t want to spoil it for those that haven’t watched it yet, but the pilot episode begins as any other teen drama might before shifting suddenly into it’s gloriously off-centered self. The show also had the coolest theme song in Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation”.

The series served as a launching pad for the acting careers of Linda Cardellini of ER, James Franco of Spiderman, Jason Segel of How I Met Your Mother and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and most notably Seth Rogen of Knocked Up and Superbad. Back then, I though of Seth Rogen simply as “Big Sarcastic Guy” (I could never remember his character Ken’s name) and I loved him just as he was. I like to think my recognition of and affection for Seth in that obscure role was what helped make him the star he’s become, but I’ve yet to receive a thank you.

In addition to Segel and Rogen, Freaks & Geeks also had the remarkable casting of 3:10 To Yuma‘s Ben Foster as a mentally challenged student and Num3ers star David Krumholtz as the older brother of one of the geeks. But the stand out performances were by Martin Starr as geek extraordinaire Bill Haverchuck, Sarah Hagan as Lindsey’s nerdy prudish former friend Millie, and Dave Allen as hippie guidance counselor Jeff Russo.

There are far too many memorable and hilarious scenes to recount in one review, but my personal favorites are Nick (Jason Segel) serenading reluctant girlfriend Lindsey with his “Lady L” power ballad, Lindsey dancing alone to Grateful Dead’s American Beauty album in the finale, and especially Bill going trick-or-treating as the Bionic Woman in the Halloween episode.

One of the best lines in the series is in the pilot, courtesy of Lindsey’s father (shortly after claiming that a girl in his high school died after having sex): “You know who used to cut class? Jimi Hendrix. You know what happened to him? He died. Choking on his own vomit.”

Buy DVD set @ Amazon

Buy @ Shout!Factory