Battlestar Galactica: Saga of a Starworld

9.0 (6)
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9.0  (6)
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Overall rating 

Well, it was a commendable effort, but I need to address a fair number of issues.

I have to admit that I was hesitant on how the presentation would be, especially when the author wrote his description above in ALL CAPS, which usually means that the author is not very computer savvy. ;) That said, I have a RapidShare account and it wasn’t going to take me very long to download.

First, the movie suffers from noticeable compression artifacts. Looking at the size of the DVD, it is only just over 3 GB. Considering a single layer DVD can hold up to 4.35 GB, this is a waste of space, and the picture quality could’ve been better if the author had chosen to encode at a higher bitrate to fill the disc up completely. That said, there are clues in the presentation that the original movie was sourced from an Xvid/Divx file, and then the new effects were added to it before converting it back to MPEG-2 for DVD. The original film elements have noticable judder, which is typical when a 24fps movie is converted from DVD to Xvid and then back to DVD again. However, the new effects are very smooth; I believe they were animated at 30fps, which unfortunately makes them look TOO smooth. The computer models themselves don't look too bad; they get close to matching up with the old models at times, but the lack of ugly matte lines and shaky movements give the new models away.

Now for the overall presentation: I haven’t watched the complete episode, but the shots I did watch featured effects that didn’t completely overtake the original experience. There are some good examples where the effects provide good atmosphere (eg. When Baltar is on Caprica, overlooking the ravaged planet, and cyclone fighters zoom by with a base star in the background). The fight sequences add more varied battle shots, but after a few they just seem to be repetitive (much like the overused effects from the original series). The extended attacks on the other planets are somewhat disappointing, as the background mattes look pretty fake.

I give the attempt a 6/10. If you're a die-hard fan of the original BSG, then you will probably want to download this to at least check it out.

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