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Showing 1-10 of 13 reviews(3 star)show all reviews
on October 24, 2003
OK. OK, I now have bought both the film and the series and so I now believe I have a right to sound off. When I originally watched BSG, at the old age of 24, I was looking forward to a great show--the fanzines were hyping it and ABC was trying to sell it as the greatest epic ever made for TV. (Which should have told me something was rotten in Denmark, but....). The show was great--the music was good, the actors were good--and a big masculine Woo-Woo for Maren Jensen--the first two hours were magnificent, but when the fleet hit the casino, then the manure hit the fan. It was all down hill from there.
The problem lies with producer/creator Glen Larson, AKA "Grand Larceny" for his products that look lifted from good to better films--remember "Alias Smith and Jones" (which was a rip-off of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"). While he kept claiming that he was a sci-fi reader much of BSG appeared to be a rip-off of older films from "Shane" to the much-mentioned "The Guns of Navarone." These liftings killed the series and it didn't help that Larson then used Ray Bolger (a probable mis-spelling there) and Bobby Van as robots--give the audience a break, GL.
So, why did I buy this set? Once in a great while, a moment or two do appear of the greatness that could have been BSG. I now have hope for the new mini-series to fulfill the original promise--unless there is another casino on a planet of living bugs and then we are all back to square one.
Buy it for the effects, music and Maren Jensen, but--please!--don't call it good or great.
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on October 22, 2003
If you are reading this and are interested in purchasing the Battlestar Galactica series on DVD, then you already know about the series. But what about the DVD set?
I was disappointed.
First of all, the video quality was grainy in spots and there were a lot of defects. They don't appear to have done ANY cleanup. The special effects weren't cleaned up or improved any either. The audio seems to be mono which is not surprising considering when this was made. Another nit pick I have is that you have to flip DVD's over and there are no lables on the DVD's as a result. This is a small thing, but I like having one side of the DVD with a label on it. It looks better and easier to identify the DVD when it's not in it's case.
Overall, considering there was no clean up of the video, no improvement of special effects, no upgrade of the audio, and no labels on the DVD's themselves, I think this DVD set is way over priced.
If you haven't purchased it yet, wait until it goes on sale closer to $50 or $60.
Or better yet, maybe someday they will come out with a special edition where they have cleaned up all of the problems.
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If you're of a certain age, the original first season of Battlestar Galatica has its charms. I watched the series as a kid and marveled at John Dykstra's visual effects (although after awhile they got boring and repetative as the same shots were frequently used again and again). The Cylons, while powerful villians, weren't all that threatening. They always lost and had no personality or charm (until the introduction of the late Jonathan Harris as one of them. He brought the same oily villiany and humor here as he did to Lost in Space).
The plot of the series borrowed from virtually every golden science fiction/space opera series of the 40's and 50's; A race of machines called The Cylons are at war with humanity. There are a number of those who believe that the overtures of peace are little more than an excuse to launch a surprise attack on the surviving fleet of battlestar cruisers. Among those skeptical of The Cylons are Lorne Greene. He's no longer on the Ponderosa but, instead, the commander of a Battlestar Cruiser as well as a leader of the planet. In a bid to finally wipe out humanity, The Cylons attack destroying the bulk of the remaining fleet and deceimating humanity's homeworld. Without the firepower or base of operations to fight back, humanity (lead by Greene and aided by his son Apollo played by Richard Hatch)flees searching for the lost tribe of humanity and the homeworld they established called Earth.
Galactica has more in common with the space opera elements used in Star Wars than current science fiction. The plots started off pretty promising. A number of talented writers (including Donald Bellasario the creator of Quatum Leap and Jag)got their start here. It's no wonder that Lucas sued Universal and Glenn Larson for "borrowing" his ideas; Galactica did borrow quite a bit but it just as readily borrowed from the space opera sagas of Larson's youth. To be fair, Lucas borrowed his ideas from classics ranging from Dune to the seminal space operas Flash Gordon and Buck Rodgers. I could see Larson's show as a homage to those classic serials like Flash Gordon that he, no doubt, grew up with as a kid as well. What probably influenced the Lucas and Fox to pursue it was John Dykstra's involvement and the design of the ships more than plotting similarities.
The first season showed the most dramatic flair both visually and narratively. Many of the seasons most powerful and dramatic episodes were based around quality guest stars like Patrick MacNee (in a marvelous turn as a Demon-like visitor).
Richard Hatch was always too stoic for my taste. He played the character of Apollo too straight and without much character or flavor. Dirk Benedict's knock off of Harrison Ford's performace of Han Solo had just the right amount of sarcasm to make the character and his performance work. The mix of Greek mythology with other myths and religious symbolism didn't always work but, well, a twelve year old kid wasn't likely to spot it.
Despite its considerable flaws, BG had charm at first. Like Lost in Space, it lost much of it as the season progressed. Why Sci-Fi Channel has chosen this series to remake is obvious; it's not too difficult to add a few post-modern touches and improve on the original model. Still, I have a little fond spot for the series (like most bad shows that knocked off popular movies, e.g. Planet of the Apes....which reminds me when is Logan's Run coming out on DVD?).
It's not good science fiction (or good storytelling)but all the cheesy elements work to the right degree. It's not the classic I had hoped for when I was a kid but, well, compared to most network television it at least looked good (back then). The packaging is really cool and I'm giving the boxed set an additional star for imaginative packaging).
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on August 30, 2003
How can you watch this series recycle the same 10-15 shots ad infinitum without wanting to send them your own cash to produce a new effect? With endless crash landings propelling plots stolen from famous movies and uniformly weak performances by all involved, there is a reason this series crash landed. It seems that the best kernels of ideas that this deritive series had to offer were all stolen from Star Wars: reckless flyboy Starbuck was TV's paper-thin answer to Han Solo; that hooey about the Lords of Kobol was a bizarre riff on the Force via the Mormon Church; the Cylons were chrome versions of the Stormtroopers; the Viper fighters were just X-Wings minus the upper half of the X. ABC fronted the cash for two episodes worth of John Dykstra's special effects then stretched those same shots through every episode that followed. It was a shame to see a potentially good idea (rebuilding a civilization destroyed by war on a new planet) reduced to painful cliches, overwrought dialogue, re-used special effects and group hugs in the end. This is television for the non-discriminating science fiction fan. It lasted only one season because it was patently awful television (one can't honestly consider Galactica 1980 as even related to BG) and because they couldn't afford not to use the same dogfight footage over and over again. Although I want to support BG out of nostalgia for my childhood (I never missed it, I used to draw pictures of it, I even wrote a little short story and script), I can also look at it as a grown-up. What a poorly executed squandering of time and talent with absolutely nothing to say about the human condition. Star Trek used its outer-space setting to comment on the times; Space: 1999 was admirable for its cult-like psychotronic plots; and Battlestar Galactica gave us Star Wars meets Bonanza by way of the LDS Church. There is no way the new Galactica can't improve on such thin source material. For all those who bellyache for a "continuation" of the old BG utilizing the same cast members, get out your wallets. This DVD set is for you.
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on December 31, 2003
This was a bit disappointing. I loved the series when it was out originally and even saw the "pilot" when it came out theatrically. One of the great parts was the SOUND. How come the wonderful L.A. Philharmonic fabulous soundtrack sounds so "tinny" and bland? Plus, when it came thru the theaters in was one of the first "Surround Sound" mixes, EVER!?! I can't understand how that didn't translate to DVD. And who cares about the Cylon head box, anyway, I'd rather have ALL the episodes, not just the first season. What's up with that? I recall several dealing with their arrival at earth. Also, I recall one with Starbuck being standed with a Cylon (ala "Enemy Mine") that was quite good. The ones at earth weren't that great, but the were interesting. I gave 3 stars just because it was great in it's own time and still worth buying now.
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on October 22, 2003
I only have one complaint about this box set, and it isn't about the acting or the haircuts of the actors. It's about the picture quality. I was really hoping it would be digitally-remastered - like the packaging promised. But from what I've seen so far, the prints are quite grainy and dirty. It's almost as bad as watching it on TV! That said, it's an excellent set - a beautiful box, collector's booklet, and great extras. Too bad Universal cheaped out on the part that counts.
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on December 19, 2003
Of course, I enjoyed the series when it first came out, and am glad to share this with my kids....
BUT... the image quality could be better. There are some static pops, scratches in the picture, as if they put this on dvd from a worn video tape.
Also, I like the idea of the Cylon mask for the box, but I can't store this thing anywhere!
I recommend buying the set, but don't expect a clean video transfer, and clear some shelf space for this awkward box.
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on October 21, 2003
If you liked the series, then you just want to know 2 things......how is the audio and how clean is the video.
1. Audio....music is 5.1, the rest is mostly mono.
2. Video Quality - No real cleanup...lots of speckles and streaking. Looks like a direct transfer with no cleanup.
Unless you can't wait.....I'd hold off for a sale after xmas. Otherwise, enjoy the nostalgia trip but don't get your hopes up for clean, remastered stuff.
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on December 19, 2003
Of course, I enjoyed the series when it first came out, and am glad to share this with my kids....
BUT... the image quality could be better. There are some static pops, scratches in the picture, as if they put this on dvd from a worn video tape.
Also, I like the idea of the Cylon mask for the box, but I can't store this thing anywhere!
I recommend buying the set, but don't expect a clean copy, and clear some shelf space.
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First of all I feel the price of this set is ridiculous. Even with the special box, this series is just not worth it. It was a decent enough show for the 70's, but thirty years later it may not hold the appeal it did when we were kids. I might consider buying this after the price has fallen a bit.
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