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Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome - Blu-ray Review

{2jtab: Movie Review}

Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome Blu-ray

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2 stars

When Battlestar Galactica’s highly successful reboot came to an end in 2009, it was with a heavy heart that fans all around the world bade them goodbye in a satisfying ending. Unlike many shows, this one actually went out with people wanting more, not outstaying its welcome. Then, like most successful on the small screen, the unholy practice of milking the cow began.

Caprica, also conceived by Ronald Moore and company, was the first spin off attempted, and, despite high critical praise, was a very different animal to its predecessor and simply didn’t catch on, being cancelled with barely a whimper from the general public.

A year later, while developing a computer game adaptation, the powers that be liked the concept so much that Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome was ordered as a pilot for a new, action centric spin off focusing on the first Cylon war.

A rookie, William Adama, arrives on the Galactica, eager to pop some ‘toasters’ and do his part for the war. He is quickly roped into a secret mission, with a battle fatigued co-pilot, and a sensuous but secretive mission specialist. What unfurls is that the mission is not all that it seems, and Adama’s simplistic view of the war now has many more shades of grey.

The story is pretty thin on the ground, but for a pilot intriguing enough to promise more depth later. The characters however, are far from memorable mostly clichés, and considering this is William Adama, you would be hard pressed to know it. Admittedly, this is him as a rookie, not the seasoned, battle scared leader we saw in the mother series, but his character here has nothing resembling the man we will come to know. He’s not very likeable at all. The supporting cast are almost footnotes, with the exception of the immediately telegraphed love interest and the reluctant partner, both clichéd as they come.

This pilot is very action heavy (which some complained Battlestar lacked) but let me say here and now, this is the perfect example of why action was employed judiciously in the mother series: you don’t give a crap about the characters in this unending carnage, and so it becomes repetitious and mind numbing, instead of emotionally engaging and relevant beyond a ‘wow, look at the shit blowing up!” moments.

The CGI in this film goes from excellent to bloody appalling. Some of it looks like it wasn’t finished, it’s that bad, and it takes you out of the story, such is its distraction. The actual cinematography does emulate the style of the mother series, with its shaky cam, zooms, etc., but the artificial portions of the production rear their ugly heads far too often. The special features mention that, because all of the Galactica sets were struck at the completion of the series, most of this show was intended to be made with virtual sets. It shows, and the vérité style of the original is undermined by it.

All in all, this was, in pitch form, a promising new addition to the rebooted franchise, in a period of its history rife for exploration. But its poor characterization and shitty, inconsistent effects completely balls any hope of this going to series—perhaps the reason why it hasn’t been seen for two years after completion. Moore is missing here in this pilot, and it shows. Not worthy of the Battlestar moniker.

{2jtab: Film Details}

Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chromeblu-rayMPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
91 mins
Director
: Jonas Pate
Writer: Michael Taylor
Cast: Luke Pasqualino, Ben Cotton, Lili Bordán
Genre
: Action | Sci-Fi
Tagline: Blood and Chrome
Memorable Movie Quote: "The fate of this war hinges on the success of this mission"
Distributor:
Syfy Channel
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 9, 2012 (internet)
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 19, 2013

Synopsis: The adventures of young William Adama in the First Cylon War.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome Blu-ray

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
2 stars

3 stars



Blu-ray Experience
2.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - February 19, 2013
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; iTunes digital copy; DVD copy; BD-Live; D-Box

Can’t blame the transfer for the things that look like shit—that’s the production’s fault. There’s signs of aliasing in underdeveloped CG shots, grain and noise—a stylistic choice in the previous series—is artificial and inconsistent here. Everything is replicated as they made it in all its MPEG-4 AVC 1080p high definition glory; every cheap assed shot flaw is shown in this unforgiving clarity. Sound is the best thing about the whole production. This DTS-HD 5.1 mix will work up a sweat through all the speakers. Centre is clear for dialogue, rears are always pumping out awesome immersion—it’s a great mix. Special features are pretty thin on the ground. There’s a featurette that’s more like an EPK than anything else and about half an hour worth of deleted scenes.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • Blood & Chrome: Visual Effects
  • Deleted Scenes
  • My Scenes Bookmarking

{2jtab: Trailer}

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