The theatrical movie sequel to the cult-favorite TV series “Veronica Mars” arrives to Blu-ray and DVD this week.
“Veronica Mars” (Warner/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, PG-13, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). This highly publicized spinoff of the three-season TV show came about seven years after cancellation. But writer-director Rob Thomas still managed to get nearly all of the principles involved to return, led by Kristin Bell, who played the eponymous high school-age private eye in the fictional beachfront town of Neptune, California.
Now Veronica has graduated from law school and is applying to high-rolling Manhattan firms when she’s drawn back to Neptune by an old boyfriend accused of murder. And it’s just in time for her 10th high school reunion. The most fun is watching Veronica reconnect with old friends Wallace (Percy Daggs III), Mac (Tina Majorino) and especially her relationship with her dad (Enrico Colantoni).
If you’re not familiar with the show you’ll miss a lot, but you can still follow the central mystery and enjoy the quips, which are fast and furious.
“Josh” (aka “Against the Grain,” Virgil/DVD, 2014, not rated, in Urdu with English subtitles). This artfully structured mystery with political implications tells the story of a schoolteacher (Aamina Sheikh) in Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, whose nanny disappears. Investigating the matter takes her to a feudal village where she finds the nanny was murdered by someone powerful, but she refuses to allow a male-dominated society to keep her from the truth.
“Call Me Crazy: A Five Film” (Sony/DVD, 2013, not rated, five short films). This Lifetime-cable anthology film has each of its five celebrity directors exploring a form of mental illness: Bryce Dallas Howard’s “Lucy” is about schizophrenia (with Brittany Snow, Octavia Spencer); Laura Dern’s “Grace,” bipolar disorder (Melissa Leo); Sharon Maguire’s “Allison,” healing (Jean Smart); Bonnie Hunt’s “Eddie,” depression (Lea Thompson); and Ashley Judd’s “Maggie,” post-traumatic stress disorder (Jennifer Hudson, Melanie Griffith, Ernie Hudson).
“Peter Simon’s Through the Lens” (MVD/DVD, 2014, not rated, two discs). This is a sort of unconventional documentary as celebrated photojournalist Peter Simon offers up some of his best photos and provides background information, which naturally reveals autobiographical sketches of his time during the 1960s in a commune, exploring alternate lifestyles, the anti-war movement and, during the 1970s, the new-age movement, along with a fascination with reggae and his love for Martha’s Vineyard, among other topics. Celebrity photos include his sister, Carly Simon. (There is some nudity.)
“Trap for Cinderella” (IFC/DVD, 2013, not rated, featurette, trailer). After a house fire kills her childhood friend, a badly burned 20-year-old woman awakens in a Swiss clinic with amnesia. When she finds her friend’s diary, flashbacks unravel the mystery. Tuppence Middleton stars in this British film directed by Iain Softley (“Inkheart”).
“Making the Rules” (Lionsgate/DVD/Digital, 2014, R for language, deleted/extended scenes, featurette, trailers). This independent comedy has a married chef (Jaime Pressly) injuring her hand on the job. Then, during a boring summer of recovery, she drifts into an affair with an old boyfriend (Robin Thicke). But after becoming pregnant, she finds herself asking, who’s the daddy?
Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." Website: hicksflicks.com