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Geek Movie Goodness: Battlestar Galactica: Razor

Tonight I attended a big-screen sneak preview screening of Battlestar Galactica: Razor, a made-for-TV movie premiering on the SciFi Channel on November 24.

Here’s how you know you’re at a sneak-preview of a really geeky movie:

  1. For every one girl, there’s three or four dudes. Many of said dudes are discussing Star Trek. (No joke, people.)
  2. The event is sponsored by a new video game. And I refuse to repeat the name of the video game, lest I reward Microsoft’s clumsy and heavy-handed tactics for shoving it down my throat tonight.
  3. As the lights go down, some geek yells, “So say we all!” (the Battlestar Galactica equivalent of “Amen!” or “Hear, hear!”), and is met with laughter and applause.

Oh, geeks. How I do enjoy you. Frequently from a safe distance.

I just about gave up on BSG after the last season. I can’t begin to tell you how exhausted it made me.

Well, ok, I guess I did just tell you… but you get the picture.

I’ve had about enough of Baltar’s sniveling and babbling, of schizophrenic love affairs, and of magic spears, supernatural temples, and other mythological artifacts that seem to pop up whenever the quest for Earth is hurting for a dramatic turn.

Give me the apocalyptic tension, the epic action, the mystery and intrigue, and–most of all– the sensible plotlines of the first season!

Here’s the short of it: For the most part, Razor is a a welcome reprieve from what has become the constant pontification and devolving storylines of the regular BSG series. Razor is satisfyingly reminiscent of the classic (2004) first season of Battlestar Galactica.

Razor focuses on a new character, Lt. Kendra Shaw, whom Apollo takes on as his first officer when he assumes command of Battlestar Pegasus. Half of the movie takes place during that intense and controversial period during and after the Cylons’ initial attack on the twelve colonies, thanks to Shaw’s flashbacks to her time serving as 1st Lieutenant under Admiral Cain, Nutball Extraordinaire, first introduced in season two.

(If you’re not a big BSG fan, I’m sure that last paragraph was reminiscent of that Far Side cartoon where the master is scolding his dog, but all the dog hears is, “Blah blah blah blah, Rex, blah blah blah.” So… you’re the dog in this scenario. Probably a Schnauzer of some sort.)

In part, the movie is easier to enjoy than recent BSG episodes because instead of trying to extend the current direction of the complicated and somewhat-muddled overarching BSG story, Razor fills in the interesting holes of BSG history… including the sordid details of the journey of the Pegasus directly after the destruction of the colonies, and Admiral Adama’s role as a Viper pilot in the original Cylon War.

MILD SPOILER: Speaking of the original Cylon War… welcome to the biggest fanboy moneyshot of the whole production. Hello, old school Cylons! “By your command,” anyone? SPOILER ENDS

It doesn’t hurt that we still get plenty of sexy Number Six, and none of Gaius Baltar.

In fact, it wasn’t until the last few minutes of the movie that the producers managed to put that too-familiar bad taste in my mouth. In an obvious attempt to throw a bone to the devotees hoping for some hints of the developments brewing in the upcoming final season of the show, the producers presented a magical, soothsaying Cylon to whet fanboy appetites. Oy.

Order Battlestar Galactica: Razor on DVD from Amazon.com:

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4 comments… add one
  • Paul November 13, 2007, 4:18 pm

    My roomate went to this. Registration was booked when I wanted to sign up:( It’s good to hear it’s more like the first season of the show when it was good. I’m glad I’m not the only one who was totally losing interest in the show.

  • Great White Snark November 13, 2007, 5:00 pm

    Yeah, it doesn’t get annoying until the very end… with the “Kara Thrace is the savior/doom of the human race” prophecy crap.

  • Nicholas November 13, 2007, 6:29 pm

    I’m looking forward to watching this on Sci-Fi, or maybe via uTorrent. Haven’t decided yet. Hah.

    The last season of BSG was kind of up and down and all over the place, I agree. But the last episode totally made up for it, in my opinion. Where else are you going to have major characters singing All Along the Watchtower?

  • Great White Snark November 13, 2007, 6:46 pm

    Agreed, Nicholas, things quickly improved with the last episode… too bad they didn’t move the plot forward like that the rest of the season.

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