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Customer Review

133 of 153 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent plot, gorgeous FX, and an intriguing insight into Season 4, November 12, 2007
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This review is from: Battlestar Galactica - Razor (Unrated Extended Edition) (DVD)
"Razor" is a satisfying addition to Battlestar Galactica in what is more a couple extra episodes from Season 2 than a standalone movie. 1 star off for a slightly plodding second plot line and a half star off for an incomplete set of extras on the DVD leaves 3.5 stars, which I round up to 4 stars for both getting to see more of Michelle Forbes as Admiral Cain and one DVD-only scene that gives hints about Season 4.

Razor combines past and present storylines of the Pegasus through focusing on a new character, Pegasus deck officer Kendra Shaw, and how her experiences in the past storyline transformed her into the unfeeling tool of the title that Cain believes is the ideal squared away leader. The past storyline is the better of the two, with the backfill of what happened to the Pegasus until it met up with Galactica providing some riveting scenes. While generally the best forty minutes of the show since Exodus II thanks to a couple of intriguing additions like the background of Gina and Cain, by only developing Fisk's drunken stories and largely neglecting character development outside of Shaw, the writers don't quite get this up to the superb quality of the rest of the Pegasus story arc.

The present storyline is less compelling, set in between "Captain's Hand" and "Lay Down Your Burdens" as Apollo runs his first mission as commander of the Pegasus with some help from his father and Starbuck. Once "Razor" begins focusing on this latter storyline in the second hour things begin to drag somewhat; on the commentary, Ron Moore explains that a good slug of the second plotline was his brainchild for the sake of continuity, and while probably easier to follow than the original script it feels somewhat like the padding it is.

Despite that, Razor is still fun stuff. The season 2 version of Starbuck is a lot more enjoyable to watch, and the interactions between Apollo, Shaw and her make one hope that the writers remember her importance for the final season. Another plus is Michelle Forbes' superb performance, which makes you wish they could somehow bring Cain back. This also has the best special effects of the entire series; having seen them in a theater as well as the DVD, they're just eyepopping. FX wiz Gary Hutzel got a real budget for once and Ron Moore admits that some of his CGI work actually drove parts of the plot rather than the reverse. Considering Moore once said the original Pegasus sets were limited to a corridor, a multi-purpose utility room, the CIC, and Cain's quarters, props to him and his effects guys for figuring out how to make things work around mostly those locations. The DVD is worth buying on this alone.

The majority of the new material is visually stunning but doesn't add much. The "favorite episode" feature reveals "33" as the choice of the wise, another brief feature reveals a bit about the production, Adama and Cain have "formulative experiences" during the first Cylon war (the former having already been shown in the webisodes), Shaw and Apollo have their own pre-war sequence, and Baltar and his dream Six make a brief appearance. None of this adds much to the characters or plot, and weirdly Moore and Taylor refer to some additional footage that didn't make it even into the deleted scenes category during a commentary that is good but essentially similar to the average podcast. Slightly disappointing.

However, what's truly compelling in the new material are the additional Cylon prophecies given to the hybrid, which both flesh that character out as more than "babbling" and provide some tantalizing insights into Season 4 well beyond the spoiler at the end of the movie. Taylor admits its inclusion may be a creation of the home video department, but it's the one must-watch bit of new material that makes the DVD worthwhile on its own. 4 stars.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 15, 2007 5:32:27 PM PST
Jason L. says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2007 8:09:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2007 7:49:41 PM PST
Probably because a couple thousand people like myself saw it during a special event, which was clearly stated in the review. (To quoth, "Having seen the television cut in high def and 5.1 surround sound in a large theater"). We also got to see some of the other deleted material, and it's my belief that this plus the webisodes (more deleted material that's already available) will help out significantly.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2007 10:50:23 AM PST
Kevin says:
good enough to answer HIS question, but i'm wondering how you can review a _DVD_ before it has been released ("extras likely worth it"?!?) this is not a film or television review site (i'd suggest imdb or aicn). a product review should not be published until the product is actually available and you have personally used it! of course, then you might not be the first to review and get your name in lights.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2007 1:11:49 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 8, 2007 4:19:57 PM PST
Probably the same way I write any reviews - if the product was a truly great stinker I could have simply said "I've seen the movie, don't buy it because it was unwatchable" and saved people the trouble of preordering, but I thought it was decent and felt that was worthy of sharing. I'm sorry if your decision to buy the DVD is solely based on the extra material and this review wasn't helpful to you, but I'm glad it helps the majority of the community that would consider buying this. Edit: and for that matter, the review now has a complete judgment of the extras provided. Please enjoy.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2007 1:31:18 AM PST
AstroNerdBoy says:
The issue is that reviews of a DVD shouldn't only be about the show on the DVD. For example, "Razor" is awesome, but lets say that there were problems with the DVD itself. Or transversely, people want to read about all the extras on the DVD (at least, I do). Besides, my understanding is that this DVD release will contain more content than what you saw combined with the Razorette features. So your review isn't about the DVD but the screener copy of the movie and not the extended edition of the movie. :-/

I'm not trying to gang up on you here, but merely stating that I think reviews of a DVD should wait until the DVD comes out.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2007 11:38:35 AM PST
Traveler says:
Oh poppycock. It's standard practice to review a movie once it's been viewed regardless of the DVD quality or contents. Amazon allows reviews of films at the time of theatrical release and those reviews are automatically transferred to the DVD release pages. Amazon not only doesn't take issue with these reviews, they obviously encourage them. This review is far more on topic than the majority here posted by those who never even saw the movie. A bit of splitting hairs quite frankly.

Posted on Mar 7, 2008 12:12:04 AM PST
Rob Vaughn says:
Thanks for what came across as one of the best DVD reviews I've ever read on Amazon. Most suck, so it's not hard to do better, but this one really stands out. Good details without spoilers, well done!
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