Summary: Give it a break
Review: There are quite a few reviews, going in to depth, about many of Galactica's shortcomings in terms of plot. This may rightfully be so, but I don't think it's getting the respect it deserves. Yes, it IS hard to believe that 12 entire planets could get wiped out so easily when the Colonials have been at war with the Cylons for so many centuries. It should have been only one planet that got destroyed, but the makers obviously fell in love with the astrology motiff (Capricans, Sagitarians, etc.).
This destruction was needed to set up the series that followed this movie, however. And I think the premise was established fairly credibly, with terrific special effects (even by today's standards), and with lots of fast-paced action. This way, the premise is established without too much time to think about it.
The Galactica is off in space and now the adventures can continue. There are many plot holes in all types of sf. Why would the Death Star in Star Wars, for example, spend time going around the planet Yavin when they wanted to destroy the rebels' base. They could have just destroyed the planet with their laser cannon, reloaded, and shot the moon. Right? If you want to, you can find holes in Battlestar Galactica, too, of course. But why spend time trying to tear apart something that is supposed to be fun, light fair?
Summary: Wandering in the desert of space
Review: 'There are those who believe
that life here began out there...'
Thus begins the tale of Battlestar Galactica, full of meaning and hope and mystical importance.
Okay, enough theology for the moment.
Or, maybe not. This movie (actually a cut-up version of the pilot for the television series) definitely has theological undercurrents. It is the fight between good and evil. It is a wandering in the desert (of space) looking for the promised land. It is about hope and humanity, sensitivity and courage.
And, as a 12 year old (when I first saw it) I of course understood none of this. I merely loved the special effects in my own home (as opposed to the Star Wars which required payment at the movie theatre), the characters and the technology. I was amazed that every computer on the bridge set of the Galactica actually worked.
Today I'm amazed that the computer on which I'm typing this review has more power than all those computers combined!
The story is basic. Ambush in space, a quickly-organised escape from the evil mechanical Cylons (who both symbolise the terrors of technology as well as of autocratic rule--remember the Cold War?), a daring journey, and finally a hope. Unfortunately the series became a wandering in the desert with little hope for reaching the promised land, and in television-series timelines and lifelines, this just wasn't acceptable.
In addition to this film, there are about a dozen videos available with episodes from the rest of the television series. It is frustrating that not all of them are available, so to watch them in sequence leaves some gaps. There are enough dedicated fans who would purchase these videos should they be made available (as is evidenced by the amount of BG 'junk' being auctioned at ebay and other such places).
The series was fated only to last one year, due to high costs (a million an episode may be a standard ER actor's salary, but back then it was big bucks even in Hollywood), a slumping viewership (which in retrospect was never as small as reported), and an overall lack of direction. The journey was just taking too long for the era of instant gratification.
There was a short-lived attempt to revitalise BG with Galactica 1980, but due to underfunding, choppy stories and the absence of several more popular regulars from the preceding series, it failed dramatically. There is a chopped-up edited version of one of those episodes available too -- do yourself a favour and fly light speed away from this one.
But do get the original movie, the best of the best episodes.
Summary: To Universal Studios and the Sci-Fi Channel
Review: This is to respond to the criticism the fans of Battlestar Galactica are sending to the top brass of the Sci-Fi Channel and Universal Studios and I would like to join them,please listen to the hard core fans of Galactica.Yes it can heavily compete with Star Wars,but the new version is being killed by bad writing.I am working on my own sci-fi space war epic and if it is made into a movie and it is a hit,I will listen to the fans on what they like and don't.Universal should had given Glen Larson the money for the TV series.Again to the top brass,listen to the fans.
Summary: Bring it Back!
Review: Well, I'm not going to boo-hoo about the lack of DVD quality or the mono sound or whatever. I'll talk about the movie itself. The only thing that compares to it is Star Wars itself, which admittedly opened the way for Galactica to be put on the air, updated from a 1960s Glen Larson script called Adam's Ark (Adam...Adama...get it?).
Galactica in many ways surpasses Star Wars and certainly surpasses Return of the Jedi. It should be brought back as either a movie or a series, which I hear the Sci-Fi Channel is considering a possibility. Hopefully the powers that be will check the reviews here at Amazon. There are nearly 50 reviews here for this twenty-year-old "failed" series! This should have been dead and forgotten about by 1983. But it isn't. There is money to be made here, powers that be! Isn't that incentive enough for you? See it dangling right there in front of you? Go on, reach out for it. Take it. Mmmm...money, money, money.
Summary: Universal, respect Battlestar Galactica
Review: First, some comments,
In a nutshell, the powers that be at Universal clearly don't respect BG. It shows in the way thay have tried to draw more money into their coffers by marketing sub-standard DVDs (no extra secenes, no interviews, no trailers, mono sound when it would be easy to convert to Dolby Stereo, REAL WIDESCREEN, etc.)
I was in college when the TV movie was shown, and it was excellent! I know I felt that if a series like this could be made, there would not be any problem in getting Star Trek back on the small screen.
The story was great; references to American history (13 original colonies), Greek Mythology (Appolo, Athena, warrior helmets, etc.), The Bible (Adama, Baltar's co-conspiritor Chrybdis (spelled with a "K"), the Exodus from the colonies, Commander Cain), the Horoscope (Caprica, Taurus, Saggitara, etc.) was a stroke of genius!
The inclusion of a black man a Executive Officer and trusted friend and frearless warrior (Tighe and Boomer) was a true first in sci-fi. Having an officer who was a Big and Tall person contribute with equal skill (Tony Swartz as Jolly-PC alert!) made me feel that talent and skill can supercede apparances.
The family values shown will inspire me to be a better person, especially now in these times. The Late Lorne Greene was born to be Adama, a Ben Cartwright for the end of the millenia. The Late John Colicos, as well, was the perfect villian-the traitor of mankind (notice how soft his voice is in the movie while in the presence of the Quarum of the Twelve, then the sharpness when looking out upon the destroyed colony, in conversation with a Cylon).
I'm not going to mention the speciall effects; there has been enough said about the great quality, and it is true. I just wish that Universal will stop disrespecting the fans of BG and give us a "Collector's Edition" on the level of a Star Trek DVD that will have them treat us as something more than the bottom line in a ledger. Buy the VHS. It has the best sound, a picture that holds up well and with lowering prices, a bargain, to boot!
Summary: Buyers beware
Review: This is the pilot movie that launched the popular, but short-lived (one season on network TV) science fiction television show. Universal Studios wanted to capitalize on the science fiction film craze launched in the mid-seventies by the first of the Star Wars films. At the time of its release, Battlestar Galactica was the most expensive film made for television. This film was later re-released for theater presentation in Universal's unique "sensurround" format. Theater goers were treated to "feeling" the vibrations of the battle scenes courtesy of two very large speakers situated in the rear of the theater. To the best of my knowledge, only two other Universal films were presented in sensurround, "Earthquake", and "Midway". Buyers beware: this presentation is heavily edited from the original TV movie; many of the scenes, especially during the first half of the film, have been deleted. The only reason I can think of was because MCA didn't want to present this film in two-cassette form and thereby increase the price of this video. If you want to see the film in its entirety, watch for the next TV presentation on the Sci-fi Channel.
Summary: DID YOU KNOW.......???
Review: Originally released on ABC-TV in a 3 hour format on a Sunday night, this is a great special effects movie for it's time. Boasted to cost in excess of 1 million an episode (thats one FRIENDS salary today), there are prevelant special effects. The story in this original feature beats all that followed and Did you know that they re-released this film but in to theaters and added SENSURROUND? Cool!
Summary: From Television to Theatres To T.V. Show!
Review: I would like to say first and foremost that BATTLESTAR GALACTICA is a fine movie. It tells a really good story of the last survivors of the human race after the destruction of their twelve differing home worlds by an evil robotic race known as the Cylons. Lorne Greene stars as Adama, commander of the last surviving warship Galactica who is charged with leading his people to the safety of the legendary planet Earth.
This 1978 pilot was filmed for television and shown, followed by the descision to run it in theatres. As many have pointed out on this page, this film is not presented in true widescreen format, but rather sports black bars at the bottom and top of the picture which actually cover some of the original footage. You must keep in mind that this movie was NEVER filmed in widescreen to begin with, seeing that it was made for television. Several sequences and character moments are dropped from this cut as well to shorten the film to the more traditional running length. Universal is not cheating anyone here. Instead, they are presenting the version of the film as it appeared in theatres, altered in format and shortened in length to fit the theatrically wide movie screens we are so accustom to!
Ultimately, I would recommend "The Complete Epic Series" to anyone who fondly remembers BATTLESTAR GALACTICA before advising them to purchase this movie version of the film. Basically, this is for the major fans only, who may be interested in seeing what the film may have looked like in widescreen (as close as you will ever get to it in this case) and for those interested in comparing the two differing edits of the overall story. I would, however, recommend this version of the film for anyone who has never seen the show before. This is a good way to get the feel of what the series is about without spending too much money!
Review: Since this was produced for television and never originally intended to be a feature film how could it possibly be widescreen? Very shameful of the company to distribute this under the false pretense that it is a widescreen feature film.
Summary: Not WideScreen At All
Review: Short and sweet this is not true wide screen, other reviewers were very correct in their observations. Simply a full screen format that has been cropped at the top and bottom. Sad really to think that such a large company needs to resort to insulting the consumers intelligience. I had already purchased the Boxed set but read that this movie version was way better in quality so I decided to buy this movie version, for those quick fixes of Galactica-mania. Guys I am quite dissapointed in Universal. Even though I am a great fan of Battlestar and know that every penny made only increases the chances of seeing it (the original) again. I would have to say to skip this version. Get the entire boxed set instead. I would have to disagree with a previous comment concerning the overalll quality of this version. Actually the Disc Set is much better in quality... So dont pay 20 bucks to find out as I did.