Battlestar Galactica: episode 1- 33

I just rewatched this episode, and while it remains a superior bit of sci fi and milfic, it amazed me how irritating I found the Baltar scenes. This is solely due to knowledge of the final reveals of the series. At the initial watching, I remember being intrigued. Sad how one poorly done season can nuke the enjoyment of a whole series

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The Guardian

 

The Guardian

Ε Readable in genre, but you could probably do better.  

The men and women of the US Coast Guard do a difficult job for little pay or glory; a job that is long past due to be recognized in film. Sadly, this film only deepens the debt. This movie is a cruise ship of cliché characters crashing up against the iceberg of Kevin Costner‘s ego – a disaster so horrible that even the Coast Guard cannot save it. For one thing, the movie cannot decide what it wants to be. Most of the film is a rehash of every military training flick you’ve seen (albeit with a Coast Guard twist), and yet the main character is not the wise cracking cadet, but the haggard old Senior Chief tasked with training them. Only, he’s not haggard and old, he’s Kevin Costner and he’s superhuman… what’s more, we know that right from the get-go. The movie begins from his point-of-view, and so we already know he is a hero, so the discovery of this by the cadet has no impact. What is more, much of the film is about KC‘s struggle to change the training techniques, and yet there is a line in there (clearly from an earlier draft of the script) that notes that the success of the Coast Guard is due to the uniformity of their training. Que que? Other than incongruise elements like this, the entire film is incredibly predictable – you’ve seen it before, believe me.

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Crash Dive

Ε Watchable in genre, but you could probably definately do better.  

Take a second rate romantic comedy and combine it with a second rate action-cum-proganda film and you end up with a fourth rate movie. Nothing novel in this subfilm gone bad.

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Das Boot

Α Great flick, must see regardless of what Genres you enjoy.  Makes you think of things beyond the scope of the story.

The best sub movie of all time. No doubt. Tight, gripping action, fantastic dialogue (best heard in German with subtitles… even, if like me you don’t speak German.. unless you DO speak German, in which case you can probably drop the subtitles), and wonderful acting. If available, get the mini-series version and watch it over several nights. Even the cinema version was a wonderful film though. 

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Caprica: Series 1 and 1.5

Ζ How did this get filmed?

Okay, that’s not fair, I know HOW it got filmed, I just want to know WHY?

If one was going to take a great television concept and try to ensure that it would not only fail, but bring down other shows along with it, Caprica should be one’s model. This program totally ignored the successful bits of Battlestar Galactica, focused on the parts that didn’t work, and then took them one step farther. The entirety of the first season could have been told in about three episodes, with most of the storylines serving no purpose towards the greater story arc.

Craprica did pick up a bit in the second half of its sole season, and the last couple of episodes were halfway decent, but by that time the damage had been done. The story line meandered down pointless avenues and had no connection to the Military Sci-Fi origins of the series. Yet, even beyond the pointless soap-operatic wallowing and wandering of the series, Craprica did something that was truly fatal: it broke with Battlestar Galactica’s continuity.

In Battlestar Galactica (BSG), it was noted the Centurions had come up with the concept of the One God “all on their own.” In Craprica, we discover that before the Centurions had been invented, there was a monotheistic cult of humans that committed acts of terrorism and from whom the Centurion theology was clearly taken. In BSG we know that Commander Bill Adama‘s father, Joseph, was a renowned civil rights lawyer. In Craprica he’s a second rate hack who’s tied to the cultural equivalent of the Mafia.

Worst of all, at the start of BSG, no one had ever heard of Skin Job Cylons, and along the way in the series we discover that the Final Five had brought human-style cylon technology with them when they arrived to the Twelve Colonies during the middle of the war. In Craprica Skin Jobs are introduced as an invention before the Cylon War even started. Indeed, worse still (at least for me) is the fact that while BSG gives you the impression (but never states) that Cylons gained consciousness all on their own, Craprica states right from the get go that Cylon intelligence is really nothing more than copied versions of a human intelligence. Bo-ring.

In short, the writers and producers totally reinvented anything that they felt like, and made it worse. If you ask me, Craprica is really only worth watching if you want to see how to kill a golden child.

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Caprica

Ζ How did this get filmed?

Bo-ring! Imagine you took a brilliantly re-imagined show and then killed it by adding all sorts of psuedo-spiritualism and third-rate soap opera tendencies.  Then, take out all the good parts.  That’s Craprica for you.

Now, I should mention that I first watched this on its initial release, so, I didn’t know what anyone who saw the series afterwards knew…

This review covers the DVD release of the pilot, which was billed as a movie on the cover.  It was like watching all the worst elements of BSG‘s fourth season. It was long, slow and had ponderous dialogue.  I struggled to keep watching up to the point when the plot finally got going.  Then it ended.  Surprise!  Pilot!

While the acting in this movie was very good, it could not save a long tedious plot that really did not end at all.  No sense of conclusion.  It was clearly written as the pilot for what became the new series, and thus the marketing of it as a movie is complete lie. It left us on a cliff hanger. That would have been fine had this been advertised as a pilot, but it was put out as a movie.  Sucked, but worse was still to come…

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Battlestar Galactica: Season 4

Ζ How did this get filmed?

The first two seasons of BSG were some of the best TV ever, and while the third season did not quite live up to them, it remained some of the finest quality TV around. So why did Season 4 Suck so bad? The entire first half of the season could have been told in about three episodes and the hard military sci-fi nature gave way to third rate mystical weavings and fourth rate soap operatic melodrama. The second half improved (mind you, constipation would have been better), and the last episode was going reasonably well until the very end (which was 85% stupid).

As a whole, it was as if the writers and directors were drunk or high through most of the writing sessions. Maybe it is due to the writer’s strike… which happened in the middle of this season.  Who knows?

In the end, this is a text book example of how to take an excellent program and turn it into absolute Craprica…. 

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