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Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (Unrated) Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: UltraViolet & iTunes
  • Run Time: 94 Mins.
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 19, 2013
  • List Price: $34.98

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Back in the days when Sc-fi Channel’s (now SyFy) re-imagining of the classic Battlestar Galactica series was going off the air, the network opted to invest in a new BSG spinoff, Caprica that would act as an early, pre-Cylon war prequel to the series. Unfortunately, Caprica, for all its CGI wonder, lacked the intensity, grit, and sci-fi action that many BSG fans were looking and, dare I say, hoping for. They also had another prequel queued up, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, which started its life as a video game project. They opted to sideline Blood & Chrome in favor of Caprica, which quickly went off the air. Now, finally, along comes Blood & Chrome, in a fully realized pilot (previously it was available in mini-episodes on the internet only). While it still doesn’t always seem quite completely fleshed out in this 90-minute feature (this is technically a “pilot” after all), it has all the elements here that can help make it a successful successor to the Battlestar Galactica series. It’s gritty, it exists in a beautiful (albeit at times somewhat unsuccessfully achieved) CGI world, it has almost non-stop action, it has the gritty production values of its predecessor, and menacing Cylons. Set in the early days of the first Cylon war, it follows the adventures of a young William Adama (Luke Pasqualino; TV’s The Borgias). On a dangerous mission with his new co-pilot “Coker” Fasjovik (Ben Cotton) ferrying a beautiful doctor (Lili Bordán) with a secret into Cylon territory, Adama and his partner face untold dangers and discover secrets that could have a profound effect on the outcome of the war between humans and machines.

If only SyFy had gone with this production rather than Caprica, we might be shoulder deep in an incredible new world of Battlestar Galactica by now. This is one series that needs top be resurrected – again – and Blood & Chrome has all the elements to see that happen successfully.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

BSG: Blood & Chrome comes with that gritty, blown-out look that viewers if the original re-imagining of the Battlestar Galactica series will be familiar with. As such, it doesn’t always present well as high definition. It also suffers at times from not having the most realistic-looking CG backgrounds and some video noise and banding creeping in to the mix. Still, this is a solid AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement, all things considered, and it often yields strong textural detail and rich midtone and cooler colors.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

The audio mix outperforms the video transfer and shoots to the top of the pile as an instant reference. Supplied as a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) track, the mix is almost like a big budget action film, not a television production. Perfectly balanced with lush amounts of ambience, easy-sounding high frequencies and big, extended lows, the mix engulfs you in the sounds of BSG. Explosions blast through the soundstage, gunfire shoots past you on either side, and all sorts of bleeps and blurps can be heard from all around. The dynamic range is stupendous and dialogue magnificently clear.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

The on-disc supplements aren’t exactly a windfall. They only include a half-hour of deleted scenes and a featurette on the visual effects. The package in its entirety, however, does come bundled with the standard DVD plus UltraViolet and iTunes Digital copies as well.

The supplements:

  • Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:29:22):
    • Jarheads and their War Porn
    • Nuggets
    • Adama’s First Taste of Action
    • A Hat Trick
    • An Unlikely Marriage
    • Hands-on Landing on a “Half Pint”
    • Lucky
    • Mission Prep
    • Tracking the Signal
    • Getting to Know Toth
    • Out of Line
    • Toasters Storm the Barricade
    • Out for Snowball Patrol
  • Blood & Chrome: Visual Effects (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:22:58)
  • DVD
  • UltraViolet
  • iTunes Digital Copy

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

This film is not perfect by any means, but it is one enjoyable, action-filled BSG romp that feels and looks fresh even while it maintains a consistency with its predecessor. I would love to see a full-blown series based on this, but in the event that never happens, at least this is a nice addition to the complete Battlestar Galactica universe.

Additional Screen Captures

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Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (Unrated) - Blu-ray Disc

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BestBuy.com:
Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (Unrated) - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]


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