CHICAGO – The venerable musical “The King and I,” by the legendary team of (Richard) Rodgers and (Oscar) Hammerstein, is now 65 years old. The Lyric Opera of Chicago is injecting fresh life into this senior aged play, with a sumptuous new production that is top drawer at every level.
Blu-Ray Review: Complete Your ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Collection With Season 4.5
CHICAGO – When the decade began, who would have guessed that one of the best shows of the ’00s would air on The Sci-Fi Channel? I’m as much of a science fiction junkie as the next guy, but the network known for straight-to-cable movies like “Mansquito” and “SS Doomtrooper” wasn’t exactly the go-to place for quality drama. Until “Battlestar Galactica”.
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
When the history books are written decades from now, there is no doubt that one of the most beloved, important, and influential series of the first decade of this millennium will be “Battlestar Galactica”. I would even go as far as to suggest that the sci-fi resurgence we’re seeing in film with movies like “Star Trek,” “Moon,” and “District 9” this summer started with television and shows like “Battlestar Galactica,” “Firefly,” and “Lost”.
The dramatic final season of the highly rated show is now available on Blu-Ray, as is the entire series in a massive complete set. If you already own “Battlestar Galactica” seasons one-four, you may hesitate to upgrade to the full Blu-Ray complete series, but it’s nice to be able to cap off your collection with a gorgeous HD set.
Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5 was released on Blu-Ray on July 28th, 2009.
Photo credit: Universal
The “Battlestar Galactica” DVD and Blu-Ray releases have been acclaimed for years and Universal is not about to fumble the ball on the final run to the end zone. It’s a little odd that they didn’t upgrade the non-HD seasons outside of the complete series release, but that’s the only conceivable complaint. What I mean is that if you missed a season in your collection and don’t want to spring for the full Blu-Ray set, you’re going to have to have a mix of standard DVD and Blu-Ray. All of the seasons should be available as stand-alone Blu-Ray releases along with the “Complete Series” set.
The final season of “Battlestar Galactica” looks amazing in HD with a 1080p High-Definition Widescreen transfer with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and sounds perfect with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.
The final 3-disc set for “Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5” includes over 10 hours of intense, groundbreaking features.
All three discs include Universal’s amazing “U-Control” functionality, allowing interactive features to play while you watch the episodes. This time it’s used for two features - “The Oracle,” an interactive guide including ships and characters, and “Battlestar Actual,” a glossary of all the unique “Battlestar Galactica” terms.
BD-Live functionality allows for more bonus content and “Battlestar Galactica: Ultimate Battle Card Game,” an interactive feature in which you can challenge your buddies, as Colonials or Cylons, in the ultimate battle of strategy.
Disc one includes the Hi-Def feature “The Journey Ends: The Arrival,” a must-see for fans of the show. Additional features include deleted scenes, “Evolution of a Cue,” “What the Frak is Going On With Battlestar Galactica?,” Ronald D. Moore’s podcast commentaries and an unaired extended version of the second episode on the disc, “A Disquiet Follows My Soul,” with commentary by Executive Producer and Director Ronald D. Moore.
The simple fact is that the features on the first disc of the three-disc set justify the purchase price on their own. But they’re just the beginning.
Disc two includes deleted scenes, David Eick’s Video Blogs, the Moore podcast commentaries, and an extended version of “Islanded in a Stream of Stars” with commentary by star and director Edward James Olmos.
Disc three includes deleted scenes, “The Musicians Behind Daybreak,” podcast commentaries, and an extended version of “Daybreak” with commentary by Executive Producers David Eick and Ronald D. Moore. Hi-Def Features include the featurettes “A Look Back” and “…And They Have a Plan”.
Just reading over the special features on “Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5” - commentaries, featurettes, extended episodes, deleted scenes - makes it clear that this is no quickie TV-on-DVD release. It’s made for fans of this already-influential show and it’s impossible to think that any of them won’t be completely satisfied by one of the best TV Blu-Ray releases of the year to date.