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3.3 out of 5 stars
Battlestar Galactica: The Plan
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286 of 299 people found the following review helpful
I started watching The Plan really skeptical; I read all the reviews here, and thought it was going to be mediocre at best, as all the negative reviews seem to be saying that in unison.

However, I was really pleasantly surprised. I can understand how some people might be disappointed with The Plan, it doesn't, after all, answer some of the questions left hanging in the air after the series finale. It doesn't have the space battles or insane intensity of some of BSG's better episodes. It doesn't include some of the most important characters (Laura Roslin, Apollo, Starbuck).

But The Plan was never planned or written, I think, as a nostalgia film that is supposed to exploit our feelings for these characters to milk us for some cash. Instead, it has decided to do something bold: to tell an entirely new story that connects with what we already know, happening at the same time as what we've seen during the first two seasons of BSG.

It's the story of how the Cylons, each in different situations and living amongst different humans were in fact influenced by those humans. We see them developing genuine empathy, and utter hate. We see some renouncing their Cylon identity because of what they've done. We see them questioning their actions. We see them at their most brilliant, but also at their most incompetent. We see them for what they truly are: the imperfect creations of imperfect creations. In the end, the moral is simple: it's easy to kill someone from space with a nuke. It's hard to kill someone looking them in the eye.

If your going to watch The Plan expecting some grand revelations about the loose ends in the series finale, then you will come out disappointed. But if you watch The Plan looking for a really well written movie, with some terrific performances, some new insights into Cylon thinking, or just for a little nostalgia, you wont be disappointed.

So, if you choose to buy this DVD, judge it on it's own merits.
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115 of 121 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 27, 2009
Despite being a huge BSG fan, I wasn't really looking forward to "BSG: The Plan". After BSG: Razor failed to impress, I wasn't expecting much from The Plan. Fear not, The Plan, hereinafter referred to as TP, actually works. It plays like a filler episode, exploring various mysteries which the writers never fully explained to the viewers. TP follows a chronological order, beginning before the Cylon attack, going to "33", "Water", "You Can't Go Home Again", "Litmus", "Six Degrees of Separation", and ending with season 2's finale of "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II". Kudos to director EJ Olmos and writer Jane Espenson for seamlessly threading in the new scenes and better fleshing out previously thin characters.

Mysteries such as the following are explored...

- Who did Caprica-Six meet with on Caprica, after talking with Gaius Baltar in the marketplace?
- Did Boomer really blow up the water tanks?
- How did Shelly Godfrey escape from the Galactica?
- How did Sam Anders and his Pyramid team escape and form their resistance?
- How did Ellen Tigh survive the Cylon nuclear attack on Picon?
- How did Leoben become so enamored of Starbuck?
- Why did the Cylons suddenly stop their attack when the BSG Marines linked up with Sam's resistance on Caprica?

We also get to see more of Boomer's internal conflicts between Cylon and human facets, as well as a deeper insight into the Number Four model, Simon. A Simon model is shown to be sympathetic to the human cause, even marrying a human (played by EJ Olmos' actual wife) and raising a family. We see Cavil's machinations as he attempts to orchestrate several Cylons into causing massive damage to the Fleet.

The computer graphics for TP are vastly superior to the shots used during the TV series, and the viewers are shown some scenes from the Cylon attack on the Colonies. Interestingly, TP also has a graphic sex scene, as well as graphic male and female frontal nudity not unlike the infamous scene from Starship Troopers. Some of the nudity felt rather gratuitous and excessive; was it really necessary to show Ellen Tigh and Cavil meeting in a topless bar?

Minus 1-star because President Roslin, aka Mary McDonnell, and Number Three, aka Lucy Lawless, are never shown, either in a flashback or inserted new footage! Starbuck, Lee Adama, Dr. Baltar, and Helo are shown in clips, but no new footage from them either.

All in all, a very good pickup for any BSG fan. EJ Olmos has said that if TP sells well, then we can expect to see even more BSG movies in the future. Other potential story lines might include the origins of the Final Five, what happened to the survivors after they reached Earth, or more about Starbuck's character, especially her fateful mission where she "died". TP makes you wish SciFi (aka SyFy) didn't end BSG so soon.

**A quick word about the Blu-Ray discs; the image quality is solid. The DTS soundtrack sounds great, especially in the Cylon Attack scenes. It's a treat to hear Bear McCreary's music again.

Other features; commentary by director EJ Olmos and writer Jane Espenson, 15 minutes worth of deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes look at EJ Olmos' directorial BSG debut, twenty minute visual effects feature, a cylon primer, and a short with Michael Trucco discussing a human resistance attack.
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195 of 222 people found the following review helpful
I am not going to preface this with any grand statements about being a BSG fan from day one. If I am taking the time to write this, you should suspect that already.

This movie really works in that it is a quiet story in a very noisy room. It is about how life finds ways to disrupt our plans but not always in a bad way. It is about reconciling what you think you want with what actually want. It is about learning "the truth" isn't always in the safe black and white places we create. It is about love in all its forms.

First, about the nudity. It exists. Get over it. BSG was never a "family friendly" show given its themes, so if you were expecting something different here, then you are about to be sadly mistaken. There are no basic cable broadcast guidelines to satisfy, so a story can be told in whatever way the storytellers wish. The nudity is not gratuitous or in your face, so deal with the fact it is just another adult theme that BSG can use without restriction now.

Here is the crux of it: at its heart, this movie is about how the Cylons intended on destroying humanity for their perceived wrongs against the Cylon race, and how that plan changed literally everyone. In the real world, it would have been nice to have been able to film scenes with all of the cast members, but monetarily that was not to be - everyone (including Lucy Lawless, contrary to another review here) is represented through previous footage in some fashion. Jane Espenson wound all their stories together in a beautiful fashion, and Edward James Olmos mixed the stock footage together with the new that it was at times hard to tell which was which. The story was engaging enough that I could suspend the fan's critical eye for the first running of the movie, and just enjoy the story Ms. Epenson and Mr. Olmos told.

Will you like it? Hard to tell, but only because I don't know you. If you sit back and let the story unfold, you will most likely find this an engaging work and a worthy addition to the BSG canon. If you are watching this to see (fill in your favorite actor here)'s story expanded, you might be out of luck - and you also might be missing the point. This is a quiet story not always about specific individuals, but rather about how an individual can affect others and how that ripples through even the most well laid out plan. It is an intimate story told on a grand pallette, and thanks to the people in front of and behind the camera, it works beautifully.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2009
Okay, if you buy this expecting big battle scenes, the answer to who is the cylon god, a full discussion of cylon religion/philosophy, an explanation of what the mental-Six and mental-Baltar were or an explanation of the intricacies of the grand cylon plan, then you will be disappointed.

However, if you appreciate the kind of character development and the intricacies of internal motivation and conflict that make BSG the TV landmark that it is, than you have struck gold.

We witness the unraveling, frustration and conflicts that arise as the cylons are forced to confront their humanity and their feeling of connections both to humans and each other. We see the cylons as conflicted, irritated, frustrated, noble and even incompetent on occasion.

Most of all we see Dean Stockwell, stepping up in his role as two separate cylons, each evolving into significantly different roles.

Perhaps the most interesting thing is the revelation that the One's seemed to be in charge until the war began, a role that they eventually lose.

So if you're up for a movie-length character study that will enhance your appreciation of the series, this is for you. However, if you are looking for action, or a stand-alone movie experience this isn't it.

In short, insiders will love this, but this is not the experience to use to introduce someone to the new BSG.
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51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
If you are planning to watch (or have already watched) this pitiful BSG offering hoping to gain some insight into what motivated the Cylons into nuking the human race into oblivion, you are going to be very disappointed. For the first 3 seasons we were reminded constantly that the Cylons 'have a plan' during the intro sequence of each and every episode of BSG. I, like many, really hoped that plan would be laid out in a way that paid us off for having had to endure the reminders over 100+ episodes (it became a running joke among my friends and I as we watched the show). When the show itself didn't deliver anything meaningful aside from Cavel trying to get revenge on the final five 'creators,' it seemed like we would all be out of luck. When THE PLAN was announced, I had some hope that FINALLY we would all understand what the Cylons were up to aside from the obvious.


Well, what was the amazing plan revealed in the first 20 minutes of this true bomb of a movie? The plan was to kill all humans. Yes you read that right. I thought that was beyond obvious in the show itself and didn't really need any explanation, but the Cavel character literally states "the plan was to kill all humans" at one point, just in case you missed it. Nothing is mentioned about the farms on Caprica where Kara Thrace was held, nor the plan to try and breed human/cylon hybrids. Nothing is explained surrounding the mysterious connection with Leoben, although it is hinted at with new scenes of Leoben painting the same colorful universe painting that Kara did during the original show. Bottom line, there are no interesting revelations to be found here, just hash and re-hash of old material and boring characters (seriously, Cavel is so irritating it is almost infuriating to watch. Petty, silly, and all too childish to really fear).

What follows the shocking revelation that the Cylon plan was to "Kill all humans" is about 90 more minutes of wasted time in which original BSG scenes are smashed together into something resembling a seriously long vignette of important parts of the first three seasons of BSG. This is done in shoddy fashion. The art direction of THE PLAN is far inferior to the original show. Cheap 3d rendered environments that look video game like (think of mid 2000s graphics), bad camera work (home camera quality at times) and no sense of style that made the original a feast for the eyes. This is just a BAD movie all the way around.

The show also re-write history (so to speak) by showing how Cavel was personally responsible for just about everything negative that happened on Galactica, the fleet, and even New Caprica. This sort of simplification damages the original story by making the Cylons (and especially their hidden operatives) look like unmotivated, error prone buffoons. By the end of THE PLAN you'll wonder how the Cylons didn't off themselves with all their silly mistakes and lack of insight.

It's incomprehensible why they thought they needed another 2 hours to drudge through the same material. You can safely skip THE PLAN and not miss anything. Razer looks like Academy Award material compared to this.

1/5 Stars. Skip it unless you absolutely must watch everything with the BSG name on it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2009
While definitely not a stand-alone piece like Razor, The Plan is definitely recommended for BSG fans. Many of the things going for it make it easily criticized, but if you consider what you know after watching The Plan and what you didn't know before watching it, some of those criticisms start to become significantly less extreme.

For example, many reviewers criticize this movie for its arguably excessive use of stock footage from the TV show. While there were definitely times that the footage in the movie looked familiar, I quickly found myself realizing that the scene was evolving into something new and not in a previous season. What I mean to say by this is that the new footage is almost woven in too well to the old footage; in a way you think you're still seeing an old clip when in fact Edward James Olmos has seamlessly woven that old clip into new footage. The end effect is that the viewer feels like they've sort of been taken backstage to see what has been going on from the Cylon point of view.

Another pretty consistent complaint is the lack of new major plot developments (aka the story presents no surprises and doesn't ultimately tell us anything we didn't already know). Again, I would say that it's in the subtle fleshing out of plot points that the movie achieves it's greatest success; you'll find yourself nodding your head agreeing with why characters are doing what they're doing, but at the end of a scene or at the end of the movie you'll find you have gained a deeper understanding into why certain characters did the things they did. Also, would viewers really like anything new plot-wise to occur in a movie that attempts to further explain the events of the first two seasons? I think more complaints would be seen if the movie tried to take the story and plot in a radically new direction.

With a total runtime of almost 70 hours, Battlestar Galactica spanned many different plot arcs and themes and explored many different characters to provide us with a truly excellent show. It's unreasonable, and in fact, arguably unwanted, to try to cram that much exposition into a two hour movie. What The Plan instead tries to do, and what it succeeds in doing, is providing a bit more exposition on characters and plot elements that didn't get as much focus during the show, while also providing some thematic material that allows BSG fans to continue probing the differences and similarities between humans and Cylons. Watch it with an open mind, and most of all, watch it in context; realize that the movie is not trying to tread especially new ground but instead sit comfortably within an existing storyline and take you behind the scenes so that the ground already treaded makes more sense. While the movie certainly didn't have any epiphanies of the scale present in the TV show, thinking about the movie in the hours since watching it has made me aware of the subtle things I did glean from seeing it. These realizations post-movie have really made me want to rewatch the entire series over again, and the insights gained from The Plan will make re-experiencing the show that much better. For anyone who plans on seeing Battlestar Galactica again and enjoying it even more, The Plan is highly recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
"Battlestar Galatica: The Plan" has an ambitious agenda; it's designed to show us all of the things that the Cylons did to destroy and track the fleet from how Boomer was "activated", why Leoben developed an obsession with Starbuck to how one of the ships was boarded by the Cylons, to why one of the 5's was strapped with explosives and tries to blow up the BG. It fills in the various cracks that the series never had an opportunity to fill us in on--the "plan" that Cylon Brother Cavil (Dean Stockwell) launched once he was aboard the Galatica. The good news is that it answers many of the questions fans had as to how the Galatica was found so easily, why Number 6 tried to discredit Baltar at one point, etc. but because it focuses on these tiny back stories, the film doesn't quite hold together as a narrative jumping through the series four years.

Director and actor Edward James Olmos (Commander Adama)does solid job of integrating pre-existing footage from various episodes and seamlessly blending them in with the new footage that gives us the operrational plan that the Cylons used to try and destroy humanity before realizing that they might be misguided. Unfortunately, he's trapped by the structure and plots of the various episodes that these vinettes are designed to enlighten us about. In many respects, this movie would have played better as webisodes similar to "Face of the Enemy" (and why that isn't on here since it does let us see the stories that fall between the cracks of various episodes were resolved is beyond me. I suspect that Universal will put out yet another disc for fans to buy). The script by Jane Espenson (she wrote "Face of the Enemy" webisodes which makes sense when you see "The Plan" as well as being a regular writer on "Dollhouse" and "Tru Calling")is certainly flawed as it is dependent on knowing the episodes in the series and the outcomes to make sense of them (my wife watched the show and I had to explain what was going on and why because she doesn't seen all of the episodes of the series). As a result, it doesn't hold up as a TV movie much less a direct-to-DVD (or Blu-ray in this case)movie either. It probably should have been released as a bonus disc on "The Complete Series" but wasn't ready by the street date of the set).

Still, it is worth watching for fans of the series and for newbies I'd suggest starting from the first episode and working your way through the last and THEN watching this becuae it doesn't hold together as well as "Razor" or even some of the webisodes.

Image quality is spectacular with some truly stunning visual effects sequences that shows us the destruction of Caprica. This is probably one of the best looking discs for the show simply because it's a two hour movie and some change (in the form of extras)on a BD 50 disc whereas the series usually had anywhere from three to four episodes per disc. Clarity is remarkably sharp and colors pop. The show deliberately looks grainy and it's not going to be as brilliant looking as, say, "Braveheart" because of the gritty look of the show but it looks exceptionally good.

Extras include "From Admiral to Director" a behind-the-scenes glimpse at Olmos' turn in the director's chair for a two hour TV movie. "The Cylons of the Plan", "The Cylon Attack" and "Visual Effects: The Magic Behind 'The Plan'" takes us behind-the-scenes into everything from the writing/planning of the episode to the post-production visual effects used to portray the destruction of Caprica. We also get deleted scenes and a commentary track with Olmos and writer/producer Espenson.There's also BD-Live material connectivity an exclusive "Battlestar Galatica" trivia challenge for the Blu-ray only.

Flawed precisely because it tells us the behind-the-scenes stories that were portrayed in the series thus making it episodic and hard to follow for newbies, "Battlestar Galatica: The Plan" doesn't hold together the way "Razor" did (where you could watch the two hour movie without having seen most of the series and make sense of things)nor does it hold togethre as well as the individual webisodes of "Face of the Enemy" but it's a nice addition for fans. It's clear after this though that Universal has milked the "Battlestar Galatica" franchise dry for this segment of the story. It's good but far from the brilliance that this outstanding series often displayed.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2009
When I bought this DVD I was expecting to get a few answers to the questions that were not answered during the 4+ seasons of BSG. I was hoping that the reveal of the Cylon "Plan" in it's entirety would explain the plot threads that were not tied up. I really wanted to know what happened to Kara Thrace when she was captured and held at the farm? What were they doing to her?

But what I got from this movie was a flashback to life on Caprica and in the colonies before the Cylon attack and a bunch of new "never before seen, deleted scenes" added to original, season 1-4+, footage to fill in the pieces of what Cavil, Simon, and Anders for the most part experienced off screen . I never got the feeling of a continuous story that made this final movie worthwhile.

If you're a BSG fan and a completest you have to watch this, but otherwise you can skip this and be just as happy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2009
The motivation for telling the Cylon side of the story WAS a compelling idea and granted I earnestly waited for this to come out with high expectations. Actually I was really jonesing for any new BSG. HOWEVER, Like others have wrote, this feels like a bonus video of deleted scenes more than an actual new plot. It offered nothing new of any significance. I felt like this was really about "ok, let's let Eddie make a movie now" and it did not do the series or the fans that were captivated by its writing ingenuity any justice. For the first time I felt as it the studio/producers were milking the franchise (a la Lucas) and I regret buying before watching. As I said, I had high expectations and shouldn't have expected anything less especially with all the hype and waiting, but here you have it! At least Dexter is on point this season 4, which hardly if ever disappoints and gives me something to look fwd to as BSG once did... I think they understand the intellect of its fan base and wouldn't compromise like "The Plan" did. To those who loved this, I really am a fan also, but let's be honest now.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2009
Unfortunately for BSG fans, The Plan suffers from many of the same problems as the other BSG stand-alone movie, Razor; it's not very illuminating. The fact is both films focus on things we already knew about in the BSG-verse. In The Plan it's the holocaust of the Colonies, the fact that the Cavill's are evil, that he manipulated the Final Five, that Boomer was a sleeper agent, and that some of the skin-job Cylons had reservations about the holocaust. We learn very little new here, and the tale is told in more of a travelougue-style series of disconnected vignettes rather than a cohesive plot with a beginning, middle, and end.

Some of the revelations are far from jaw-dropping; Caprica Six secretly met Cavill after manipulating Baltar on Caprica; all of the "Final Five" had hints that "this has happened before"; the Doral cylons aren't very bright; and ultimately we just don't give a damn about Sam Anders and his pyramid team, the Caprica Bucs. The only truly new information we get is that one of the Simon's was in love with his human wife and adopted child, that love changes things for the cylons, and a small bit about Caprica Six and Boomer really trying for a truce with the human race. Unfortunately this sub-plot was almost entirely left out of The Plan, and can only be seen via the "Deleted Scenes" Bonus Features.

In the end none of this (not even the nude scenes, which don't feature any of the series stars naked, sorry) really adds much to the cannon of BSG, nor does it make up for the lack of an ending that Ron Moore gave us just six months ago in the series finale. Ultimately we are still left wanting more, more answers, more mind-frakking twists and turns like the series gave us. The Plan mostly fails to deliver on any of this. If we are ever to venture into BSG-land again, Ron Moore, please don't give us your tired left-overs, give us what we got hooked on, or just don't make the effort.
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