Blu-ray Review: ‘Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome’ Fails to Launch

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CHICAGO – There are so many lens flares in the hazy, visually drab “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome” that it looks like J.J. Abrams sneezed on the lens. And that’s not all “Galactica” creators Michael Taylor and David Eick took as inspiration from Abrams’ slickly generic yet crowd-pleasing “Star Trek” installments. Yet this latest attempt at rebooting the beloved sci-fi franchise is a complete misfire.

Originally proposed as the premise for a gaming system, the plot for “Blood & Chrome” emerged as the potential pilot for a new “Galactica” program (thankfully, SyFy opted against the idea). Going in the polar opposite direction of Eick’s superbly crafted, woefully short-lived prequel series, “Caprica,” “B&C” favors jittery handheld camerawork and derivative action set-pieces over provocative ideas and compelling characters. All that unites the two shows is their irritating overuse of the fearsome F-word, “frak,” which is perhaps the least amusing running gag in television history. Blu-ray Rating: 1.5/5.0
Blu-ray Rating: 1.5/5.0

“Skins” heartthrob Luke Pasqualino stars as a fresh-faced William Adama, future commander of the “Galactica,” who graduates from flight school during the tenth year of the First Cylon War waged between man and machine. Adama is supposed to have the traits of a born leader, but the teleplay by Michael Taylor makes him register as little more than an obscenely cocky pain in the wazoo. He’s so intensely unlikable that he instantly extinguishes an audience’s investment in his plight. Once he arrives at the “Galactica” and is paired with the whiny Coker (Ben Cotton), the mismatched duo engage in a series of verbal altercations so repetitive it’s as if Tommy Wiseau was recruited for last-minute rewrites. The joyless dialogue is cluttered with variations on the following exchange:

Coker: “You’re fresh outta school!”

Adama: “You’re a whiner!”

It’s a sad fact that in space, no one can hear you scream in exasperation.

Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome was released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 19th, 2013.
Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome was released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 19th, 2013.
Photo credit: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

And then there’s Dr. Becca Kelly (Lili Bordán), a mysterious woman who orders Adama and Coker to follow her confounding instructions as she guides them closer and closer toward certain doom. There’s an inevitable plot twist in the final act that kick-starts the lagging momentum, but it’s too little too late. And seriously, by then, who gives a frak?

“Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome” is presented in startlingly murky 1080p High Definition (with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio) and is available in a Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy/Ultraviolet combo pack. The unrated edition of “Blood & Chrome” is far from scandalous, providing only a brief glimpse of an extra’s side boob during the eyebrow raising sequence where male and female crew members shower together (was this script written by horny junior high boys?). A half-hour of deleted scenes illustrate how practically every scene was shot in front of a green screen. That’s hardly surprising, since every landscape and backdrop looks as hollow as a “Star Wars” prequel, but tell that to visual effects supervisor Gary Hutzel, who boasts about people coming to the set and being wowed by the effects. “They thought it was groundbreaking,” he says. “We already knew that.” Sorry Gary, but the best special effect on this disc is the Universal logo.

‘Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome’ is released by Universal Studios Home Entertainment and stars Luke Pasqualino, Ben Cotton, Lili Bordán, Jill Teed, Ty Olsson, Mike Dopud, John Pyper-Ferguson and Brian Markinson. It was written by Michael Taylor and directed by Jonas Pate. It was released on February 19th, 2013. It is not rated. staff writer Matt Fagerholm

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