BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: THE PLAN
Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
Edward James Olmos
Edward James Olmos
and Tricia Helfer
What's it about
Part prequel, part-series explanation, this DVD movie shows the plan that the Cylons hatched in order to take down the human race. Those bastards!
Is it good movie?
You know, just like in a relationship, itís always best to start off with the truth. If I begin this review on the basis of a lie, well, weíre going to have a bumpy ride, arenít we? So, the truth is Iíve never seen Battlestar Galactica. (Donít give me that look.) I know about it; I know it was a pretty damn popular revival; I know thereís a Cylon or something in it; I also know it stars a really hot blonde and the teacher from Stand and Deliver who taught gangster Lou Diamond Philips all about life. But this is all beside the point as this review isnít about what I know, but about the new direct-to-DVD movie Battlestar Galactica: The Plan.
Like any good reviewer, I did a little research for this, so forgive if Iím repeating things die-hard fans already know. Supposedly, The Plan consists of a mixture of both new and old footage. Now, call me crazy, but that carries the distinct scent of desperation from the studio. Think of Peter Sellerís last Pink Panther movie, Trail of the Pink Panther. Sad way to end a great run if you ask me. Anyway, so with this newly obtained knowledge, I must consider this review from two perspectives: the show novice and the show virgin. At least Iím a handsome virgin.
For the show novice, Iím forced to speculate some. If a show like Star Trek: The Next Generation had never got the chance for feature films, would I be happy about a ďnewĒ movie which consisted of old footage mixed with some new stuff? Honestly, I donít know. Itíd feel cheap, but if the series was of quality work like Battlestar, then yes, give it to me for what it is. And though Iím not overly familiar with the show, I can understand what this movie is intended to do. Itís a supposed gap filler, a gasp of last breath in hopes of giving fans a final send off. If a show like the X-Files had not gone the TV movie route, I would have dug it. If Sopranos had, I would not. Itís a matter of supply and demand, and a matter of how freaking convoluted the storylines are.
Now, just because Iíve never seen the show doesnít mean I shouldnít be able to hope in and get a good feel for the show. For one (being a show virgin mind you), the acting here is all pretty top notch with Olmos and Stockwell as the standouts. In particular, Stockwell really shines; Iím always surprised he never landed larger roles than he did. Not that he was a one trick pony with only Quantum Leap, but I donít think he developed into a top tier talent. Likewise, itís great to see Olmos take control. Iím not sure how much directing he acting did here considering itís mostly a clip show, but heís a solid actor. Maybe if he had switched spots with Scott Bakula on another project? HmmÖ
From what I can, the film also has pretty damn good special effects (for a TV show) and characters. However, my biggest complaint comes from the ADD style of editing and pacing. The film hops around like a crack addict with one leg, making itís tough to get into as it jumps back and forth from one story to the next. Thatís not to say itís impossible to follow, but it makes you really pay attention. And ifís shot in ADD-mode, how can the film expect us to follow that?
Video / Audio
Video: A crisp and clear Widescreen presentation.
Audio: Presented with the power of 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround.
Commentary with Olmos, and Executive Producer/Writer Jane Espenson: A very congratulation filled commentary and Olmos and Espenson spend a lot time talking about how great and amazing the movie here is. They seem to defend the liberal use of clips a lot. Interesting, but a little much at times. Olmos seems to either be acting here, or he was very, very sleepy.
From Admiral to Director: Follow the course of Olmos as he takes control of The Plan. Runs about six minutes, and itís a lot of Olmos giving fans the big pitch as to why thereís a need for this movie.
The Cylons and The Plan: A nearly seven minute clip that explains the point of the movie, which is basically the Cylonís plan to destroy humanity. Crazy!
The Cylon Attack: A brief four minute clip which is pretty amusing as it details the big attack sequence thatís new footage for the movie. Gotta like the passion of the people making this.
Visual Effects: The Magic Behind the Plan: A 19-minute clip that works the same as all visual effects features work. I always enjoy these. Very interesting to see what computer geeks can do.
Deleted Scenes: Roughly 14-minutes of cut sequences from the new stuff. Like most deleted scenes, they donít belong in the movie, however, they do add some sorely missed character development thatís missing from the film.
I donít think anyone who is a fan of the show will care what critics have to say. I know itís a glorified clip show, so fans beware! If youíre a show virgin, better rent Season One. This is not the place to start.