Pasqualino, Ben Cotton, Lili Bordan, Mike Dopud, John Pyper-Ferguson
Director: Jonas Pate
Producers: Jonas Pate, David Eick, Michael Taylor
Format: AC-3, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Region: All Regions
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Number of discs: 2
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Universal Studios
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Run Time: 188 minutes
poor Blood and Chrome, the would-be series intended to redeem
Battlestar Galactica after the widespread
disappointment of Caprica.
The latter show opted for a thoughtful, cerebral approach that served it
well. It took its damn time getting to the point, but the questions it
raised made for marvelous conversation pieces. (And even the harshest
critics must have gotten excited by those last ten minutes; think of what
might have been . . .)
Blood and Chrome attempts to compensate, stressing action over
philosophizing and getting us right back into the thick of the war.
Unfortunately, it overplays its hand rather dreadfully: turning a sure-fire
hit into this glorified also-ran.
The show runners initially hoped to deliver a portrait of the Admiral as a
young man. Edward James Olmos’ William Adama becomes a hotshot fighter pilot
here (and really, is there any other kind)? As played by Luke Pasqialino, he
displays none of the steeliness or calm resolve that we expect from the
character. He’s just a Top Gun clone, and with his predictable
over-enthusiasm, our rooting interest in him drops like a lead weight.
The storyline doesn’t do him any favors, with the first Cylon War raging and
the legendary Battlestar Galactica serving as his first assignment. He soon
takes on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines, aided by a pair of
friend-or-foe buddies and allowing for the kind of combat scenes we expect
from a run-of-the-mill Syfy original movie. The technical details are
flawless; unfortunately, they come at the expense of story and character.
The dogfights begin with a lot of flair, but soon settle into the routine,
and with Adama guaranteed to survive, we can’t find a reason to invest in
the ultimate outcome.
Blood and Chrome also makes the fatal error of cleaving too closely
to BSG’s overall tone. It wants to convey a sense of desperate
heroics, with the war going poorly and humanity’s leaders lying to everyone
about their chances. But again, we already know how it’s going to go, and as
bad as it gets here, it can’t be half as bleak as it was in BSG. By
trying to copy that tone, Blood and Chrome feels curiously
disingenuous: playing the notes but never truly feeling the music.
Add to that a lot of stock supporting characters, less than scintillating
dialogue and a final twist that elicits more shrugs than gasps, and you have
a recipe for disaster. Blood and Chrome conveys enough energy to make
for decent casual viewing, but as a pilot for a TV series, it promises
nothing but by-the-numbers storytelling and monotonous effects shots. Syfy
took quite a grilling when they failed to pick this one up. As much as it
hurts to admit, they probably made the right call.
THE DISC: Universal clearly doesn’t have a lot of
faith in this, with a middling image marring the otherwise copious effects.
The behind-the-scenes material betrays the series’ flaws as well. We get
nothing but a few deleted scenes and a lengthy documentary on the show’s
effects. The hardware evokes plenty of oohs and ahs, but only further
emphasizes Blood and Chrome’s lack of storytelling fundamentals.
WORTH IT? Blood and Chrome originally
appeared as a series of webisodes, and you can probably find them floating
around online somewhere. That makes the Blu-ray purchase a superfluous
option at best and a flat-out waste of money at worst.
RECOMMENDATION: Strictly for BSG
completionists, who will have to wait a while longer to find a truly worthy
successor to their beloved re-imagined series.
- Rob Vaux