HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Battlestar Galactica : Blood and Chrome
HTS Overall Score:76
BSG fans have been craving more of that same universe for years now, after a failed attempt with “Caprica” and the wonderful “Razor” webisodes that only served to whet the appetite of a voracious fan base. BSG “Blood and Chrome” was supposed to be a pilot for a new spin off TV show that chronicled the times of a young Adama, barely out of knickers to when he finally becomes the incredible leader that we fell in love with. Unfortunately the powers that be decided that a TV show was out of the question so we are left with the pilot being turned into an hour and a half movie. I myself, being a rabid BSG fan, have waited impatiently and refused to see the webisodes of “Blood and Chrome” in wild anticipation of the home video release, where I could appreciate it on the big screen in all its glory. Loyal fans of the BSG series have been on pins and needles, hoping, begging for a return to true form that would allow the powers that be to green light another adventure into the universe that holds so much promise and potential.
Unfortunately it looks like we were let down once again, although, luckily not nearly as much as we were by the absolutely ABYSMAL “Caprica” series. “Blood and Chrome” does have its plus sides, being much more action oriented and with some incredibly well done space battles, it pushes the universe into a much more explosive situation, rather than the long and cerebral pace that the series lent towards. Rife with CGI and new locations it draws you into worlds and locations that were only previously touched upon in the previous incarnations.
“Blood and Chrome” actually starts pretty well, with a young Adama (Luke Pasqualino), being sent to his first assignment, the legendary “Galactica” itself. The problem he has though is that not only is he a complete wizard behind the cockpit, but he knows it too. Recognizing the arrogant and cocky demeanor of his newest recruit, the “Galactica’s” commander gives him a milk run assignment to fly a beat up old Raptor on a supply run till Adama cool’s his heels. Given a cynical co-pilot named Coker (Ben Cotton), who wants nothing to do with and would rather just coast along until his last few months of service are up, Adama is absolutely fuming. As fate would have it, his first “cargo” happens to be Dr. Becca Kelly (Lili Bordan), a beautiful, young computer engineer who’s being transported out to a base in the middle of nowhere. Smitten at first site Adama tries to make the best out of the situation, only thing is, this young woman is more than she seems. She’s carrying a high priority set of commands that give here authority to deviate from the flight plan and head out to the middle of Cylon controlled space where they meet up with a fleet of previously thought destroyed ships. It appears that our young engineer is a cog in a giant wheel here. The war is not going NEARLY as well as the military is telling the public, desperately in need of a win the military has been slowly slipping away ships that were MIA or thought destroyed in hopes of building an unknown task force that could hit the Cylons where it hurts. This is where Dr. Kelly comes in, she’s one of the main engineers who built the Cylons “brains” and has some secret information that can help the military gain a distinct advantage over them. Adama Volunteers himself and Coker to take Dr. Kelly to her rendezvous point and ends up getting just a tad more than they bargained for.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10978[/img]“Blood and Chrome” is definitely a let down from the likes of the series and BSG’s “The Razor”. Adama is COMPLETELY miscast by a man who doesn’t ACT like Adama, SOUND like him, or even remotely LOOK like him. It almost seems like they cast the first pretty boy they could find and to blazes with the consequences. Ben Cotton plays the same character he’s always played in his SyFy career, the whiny, snot nosed character who seems to have no redeeming quality traits besides knowing someone in the sci-fi film industry. Lili Boren is nearly as bad, seeming to not be able to act her way out of a paper bag. Basically it looks like the cast of your typical “made for SyFy” type of movie, unlike the brilliant casting of the series. However, as time went on, the acting could be overlooked for a rather interesting and different take on the universe. Dr. Kelly’s mission is rather clichéd, but the twist it takes near the end actually was quite well done, I honestly wasn’t expecting it. Over the top and action filled it takes a different spin away from the more cerebral and more towards the action end of the spectrum. I felt myself getting more and more used to the choppy acting and more and more engrossed in the actual storyline. The main problem for “Blood and Chrome is not that it was a horrible movie, not by a long shot, what was wrong was that it hovered just UNDER the bar for being truly good. There were scenes that were excellent and then a scene that would totally drag it back down to mediocre again; it showed us hints and teases at a universe that just begs to be explored further. With the proper direction and budget it easily could have been another great series, but as for now, its stalled dead in its tracks with a fairly mediocre made for TV movie. I would definitely place it above “The Plan”, but it strays far enough away from the feel of the series to be nearly as good as “Razor”.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10979[/img]Now the video presentation of “Blood and Chrome” is a hit or miss here, and most of it due to budgetary concerns. There is less of the harsh gritty feel that the regular series had and much less artificial grain thrown around as well. There is definitely a nice layer of artificial grain around the image, but it is subdued in comparison. The digital CGI scenes are usually bright and clear or grain while the up close set pieces seem to have that grainy feel to them. Some of the worst offenders in the picture happen to be the CGI. Some of it is fantastic, while the other half definitely shows the rush the creators were in to get the movie up and running. There will be scenes where you notice half completed or just simple rudimentary CGI in scenes where it is glaringly obvious. Aside from the obvious CGI blunders, there’s some aliasing and banding in the space scenes, usually centered on the CGI heavy elements such as the ships. On the flip side the detail level is excellent, sweat, cuts and every pore of the face is rendered excellently for us to see. Colors are bright and vibrant throughout the film, creating a much “lighter” feel than the muted colors that was in the original series. Black levels were very solid, no crushing or washed out textures and showed and excellent amount of dark detail.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10977[/img]The audio was definitely a step above the video quality, polished and well-crafted it uses the surrounds to its full potential and punches you right in the gut with heavy hitting LFE, bringing the movie to life in my eyes. Dialogue was centered in the front soundstage and was balanced well with the sound effects. Dynamic range was excellent; explosions were loud and aggressive, while at the same time not drowning out the vocals and the score blended in well, without any feeling of being obtrusive. Surrounds are running hot and heavy on this sound track, whether it be the immersive sounds of a dogfight or the battlefield sounds of a human vs. Cylon encounter, the surrounds were almost in constant use, dragging you right into the middle of the action. LFE was powerful and frequent, creating a deep and rich undercurrent that carried throughout the entire track. Thudding bullets felt like they were impacting all around me and the explosions made my pant legs vibrate with the output. Well done, and definitely a step above what I was expecting from a SyFy show.
• "Blood & Chrome": Visual Effects
• Deleted Scenes
“Blood and Chrome” is not going to a movie that totally blows you away, and probably won’t even blow away the diehard fans, but it is still worth a watch for sci-fi fan. Those of you who have not had a peak into the BSG universe well may enjoy it a bit more than someone who was a rabid fan of Ronald Moore’s epic Sci-fi series, but it’s well worth a look for fans of the BSG universe. Perhaps with a better cast and some better direction this could have turned out better than it is, but enjoyable and annoying at the same time, it’s still more BSG and that’s better than No BSG in my opinion.
Starring: Luke Pasqualino, Lili Bordon, Ben Cotton
Directed by: Michael Taylor
Written by: David Eick
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1,
Runtime: 94 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: February 19th, 2013
Buy Blood and Chrome Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Rent It!
More about Mike