Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan (Blu-ray)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
5.5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Tricia Helfer as Number Six
Edward James Olmos as Commander William Adama
Grace Park as Lt. Sharon 'Boomer' Valerii
Callum Keith Rennie as Leoben Conoy
Dean Stockwell as Brother Cavil
Michael Hogan as Colonel Saul Tigh
Kate Vernon as Ellen Tigh
Michael Trucco as Samuel Anders
Rekha Sharma as Tory Foster
Alex Ferris as Boy
Aaron Douglas as Chief Galen Tyrol
Alisen Down as Jean Barolay
Maya Washington as Sue Shaun
Matthew Bennett as Aaron Doral
Colin Corrigan as Nowart

Special Features:
From Admiral to Director: Edward James Olmos and The Plan
The Cylons of The Plan
The Cylon Attack
Visual Effects: The Magic Behind The Plan
Deleted Scenes
Commentary with Director/Actor Edward James Olmos and Executive Producer/Writer Jane Espenson

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish, French Subtitles
Running Time: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

"The Cylons began as humanity's robot servants. They rebelled and evolved and now they look like us. Their plan is simple: destroy the race that enslaved them. But when their devastating attack leaves human survivors, the Cylons have to improvise. 'Battlestar Galactica: The Plan' tells the story of two powerful Cylon leaders, working separately, and their determination to finish the task."

"Battlestar Galactica: The Plan" is not rated.

Mini-Review:
I'm a big fan of "Battlestar Galactica" and I watched every episode of the series, but I was a bit disappointed by "The Plan." I was expecting some greater insight into the workings of the Cylons, their origins, and other details of their attacks. This movie doesn't really give any of that.

The real star of the movie is Dean Stockwell as Brother Cavil. We see him and his other copies inserted into numerous scenes from the original series. We see him on Caprica infiltrating Anders' resistance. We see him on Galactica conspiring with the various Six models. We see him in several locations with the "Final Five" during the initial Cylon attack. The end result is a film that feels more like a lot of deleted scenes spliced together into a 2 hour film rather than a new story. It is also completely inaccessible to anyone other than those that watched the series.

That being said, they do add a couple of new storylines. We meet a new Six model who is a brunette prostitute. We're also re-introduced to Lymari Nadal as Giana. She was in one episode of the series, but plays a major role in this film. We discover that somewhere along the way, she married Simon (Rick Worthy), one of the Cylon human models. Simon falls for Giana and her daughter and eventually comes to the conclusion that wiping out the humans is wrong. In fact, the main crisis that Cavil seems to have is all the Cylons on Galactica becoming sympathetic towards the humans. He's definitely portrayed as the devil behind the scenes as he has to re-convince them of their mission. Cavil has an especially evil scene that is one of the most poignant scenes of the film. Unfortunately, those revelations aren't quite the material you'd expect to see revealed in a major BSG movie.

The other addition to "The Plan" is the nudity. While the TV series kept everything within the restrictions of censors, this movie throws in a few bare breasts and bare butts. We see Ellen Tigh in a strip club early in the movie with a few topless strippers, a scene in the pilot's bathroom with a few naked female pilots strutting around, and a love scene where Lymari Nadal shows a lot. The TV series didn't need the nudity to be great and it comes across as rather gratuitous here. It's just something to get fanboys to buy the DVD. It will be interesting to see how it is edited when they eventually air it on TV in 2010.

One of the positive things about this movie is we get to see more of the Cylon destruction of the colonies. There are some impressive special effects showing the Cylon ships arriving and launching nuclear weapons. We get more scenes of the Battlestars being overridden by the Cylons. Then, of course, there's the aftermath and all the destroyed cities. It's all pretty cool.

It's also worth mentioning that this movie is directed by Edward James Olmos. He did a fine job and managed to match the look and feel of the rest of the series. He should considering he knows it better than most directors.

I think if you go into "Battlestar Galactica: The Plan" expecting something more along the lines of an extra long TV episode rather than a major movie, you'll enjoy it a lot more. It may make you want to go back and watch some of the old episodes knowing just how Cavil was manipulating everyone behind the scenes.

The bonus features are fairly standard on the Blu-ray. We get a commentary with Olmos and producer/writer Jane Espenson. There are also some deleted scenes, a 'making of' featurette on the visual effects, a featurette on the Cylons, and a featurette on Olmos directing the movie. The featurette on Olmos is the most interesting as we see all the cast and crew talking about him, we see his addiction to sunflower seeds, and we see him passionately directing the extras in their scenes.

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