There Are (Too) Many Copies
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: CAPRICA (2009/DVD) & BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: THE PLAN (2009/DVD) The legions of Battlestar Galactica fans heartsick over the farewell of their fave frakkin’ show ever were somewhat assuaged by the announcement earlier this year that two BSG related films were to be released directly to DVD within a few months of each other. The first released, Caprica, a prequel taking place 50 years prior to the series, follows The Most Famous Scientist On The Planet (played with extra serious science by the Mask kid) as he creates the first Cylon as a way to give life to his dead teenage daughter’s, uh, personality (?), which lives happily online in an awesomely leathery (read: boob-packed) sex ‘n’ violence virtual world she created. If I had died but happily lived on in MY OWN awesomely leathery (read: boob-packed) sex ‘n’ violence virtual world and my dad yanked ME, er, my few gigs of personality, anyway, outta there to live in a cold and clumsy robot shell, I would so totally run away. AND NEVER WOULD I COME BACK!
At the same time, Admiral William Adama’s pops, Joseph, is caught in an intrigue of his own with a career lawyering for mobsters in a subplot that dovetails nicely with The Most Famous Scientist On The Planet’s creepy metal doll factory. Despite the already-dated virtual reality trappings for much of the action here, this is a satisfying story, well acted and presented, that doesn’t need to rely on the trademark BSG doc style or fall back on any familiar cast members to keep long time fans from tuning out. If you’re slightly put off by the open-ended finale, don’t fret—this movie serves as a pilot for the upcoming SyFy Channel Caprica series. I for one will be tuning in.
Unfortunately the other BSG feature-length DVD, the Edward James Olmos-helmed The Plan, plays like a disjointed BSG greatest hits clip show with the addition of too many unnecessary, long, and often just plain boring new scenes (no, adding naked extras [as in boobs-out bartenders, lords 'n' ladies in a co-ed shower, etc.] does not make anything less boring) serving only to pad the thing out to feature length—a cash-in that will only frustrate the casual or obsessed fan. Detailing the whole BSG story from the Cylons point of view, The Plan sticks mostly to following the devious underground/behind-the-scenes Machiavellian campaigns initiated and conducted by two John Cavils/Cylon Model #1s (Dean Stockwell) across the entire series, showing that he was mostly responsible for the CH (Cylon Holocaust, nerd!) while the other “models” had their share of doubts.
Tack on a cringeworthy ending right out of a bad ’50s sci-fi opera and what you’re left with is a rare miss in the BSG canon—not holding up as its own story, a compelling action yarn, or even a satisfying plothole-filler that might tie up loose ends for the brand’s legion of loyal fans. Minus one very dark series-appropriate moment approx. 110 minutes in (nothing newsworthy, mind you, but *slightly* shocking), it’s what BSG never was: Bo. Ring. Instead of buying The Plan, go back a couple seasons and pick up the 2007 BSG pre-third season feature-length episode Razor DVD, to see it done right. Although you probably already have it, huh, nerd? (Oh, and my misinformed GQ/Maxim-reading supervisor at work was sorely disappointed in The Plan‘s lack of Cylon boobies.)
My Grades: Caprica: B, The Plan: D
My “supe” from work’s grade: The Plan: F
*This review was brought to you by the letter “B” followed closely by the world famous “ooby.”