Upfront, I did not notice glitches or problems with any technical elements. For some reason the DVD was not smooth in my BluRay, though it was fine in the computer and backup DVD player.
I have viewed the BSG series multiple times. Once I even watched the whole thing in reverse order. The finale I must have watched 4-5 times. Moore's commentary, too.
I very much enjoyed Menbailee's cut. Truth to tell, I did not notice major changes in the narrative up to and during the assault on the Colony. I wanted to see this edit, however, for Menbailee's alternate endings, and these did not disappoint.
Closure points were much better this time, though arguably sadder. Bittersweet. Starbuck's exit was no longer "magic" but simply uncertain. Likewise for other character arcs. The series always embraced dark realism over happy fantasy. The original ending always felt, to me, like Moore had fallen back to his old Star Trek days and had punched the optimistic reset button.
Highly recommended to long time fans, though rookies to the series may be lost.
Life has a melody, a rhythm of notes which become your existence once played in harmony with God's plan.
First off I was late getting on the BSG train. My old downstairs neighbor lent me one season at a time untill i finished the series. This was 4+ years ago. I watched it from the second i got off work to the second i would go to sleep. I was hooked. So needless to say like most the last 2 season's were a little weak and let me down. Starbuck's story line was the main one holding me in.
But as Bob said into the review enough ranting.
Video quality Bob said all that needed to be said, Good over all but some ups and downs with some of the deleted scenes. The one that stuck out the most was the flashback one with Boomer. also on this scene. First it's very well placed and does well to draw the intended emotional response. But on a side note, man they must program those sleeper Cylons all super crazy good cause she totally sold that her fake family died.
Moving on Audio. I did find a few audio errors in the edit. but to be fair to the editor I am in the middle of a re-score so every little audio anything pop's out at me. But with that said there are no horrible transitions.
Touching on the one Earth idea Bob mentioned. It works but I did have to pause it to kinda grasp what the change meant before moving on.
Here is where Bob and I differ. I personally loved the sending the fleet into the sun part of the episode. I never got the impression they left 100% of it on the ships. I just got the impression they got rid of all advanced tech I.E Battle Stars/Weapons and anything super advanced. That being said the editor did a good job of removing that scene. However one part that felt off was when Adama takes the last raptor of the ship. It's understood that's that no one is to step foot on the ship again, yet we see Starbuck up there later. Not a huge thing. (But great way to give her a new resolution, she ends up with well i dont want to spoil it)
Lastly addressing the Adama leaving forever part. Even though the lines about him saying goodbye to everyone. It still very much felt like he went to be the same hermit. I think it was the way Starbuck and Lee said goodbye to him that kinda made it still feel like a permanent goodbye. I assume they were supposed to be showing sympothy for him since his love was about to die?
Oh yeah as Bob said best part of the edit was the resolution of the Opera house.
I love the original show with almost blind passion.
So when the Ron Moore reboot was announced by SyFy (or was it still SciFi, back then? lol) I was nervous and skeptical. But the mini-series quickly won me over and I became an avid fan when the series proper launched. For me, seasons one and two are near perfect. Season three was strong though you could sense the wheels on the show were starting to get loose. Season four the show went completely off the rails for me. And the series Finale? It was a very maddening experience for me.
What did I dislike about the Finale? There are soooooo many things....
--- Hated the flashbacks! Feels like filler created so they could give Baltar one last retro-con.
--- Little or no pay off to all the established major subplots like the Opera House Prophecy
--- The fact, after spending four yarhens with these characters, watching them sweat, bleed and sacrifice to survive, once they finally get to Earth they give up all tech and go their separate ways.... uh, really? So the theme of working together meant nothing? I mean, with no tech, alone in small groups, in a hostile planet, you just know all these Colonials will be probably be dead in a few years!
--- The vague Starbuck plot resolution did not bother me too much, but it frustrated me after a season of seemingly trying to be bold and clever, Moore was afraid to make a final statement either way about the existence of God/Gods.
--- Oh yeah, Adama, the symbol of Human Complexity and Endurance, just gives up and leaves his people!
--- And then, were are told they found Earth over a 100,000 years in the past, so we now know the Colonials had absolutely no impact in the creation of our modern civilization.... basically giving the finger to the core theme of them being Ancient Astronauts and the forefathers of Man.
--- And for one last kick in the balls, the New York Epilogue which darkly hints (despite what Caprica Angel says) that Man is doomed and Machines will rise to destroy us again.
So in the end, the entire four seasons of story investment was for fracking NOTHING!!!!
I know this must sound like a rant, but stick with me, it does turn into a rave.... LOL.
So now we have Menbailee's version of the nuBSG Finale.
And I must say, it is a solid and more satisfying experience than the original.
Menbailee's goal seems to be to try to retro-con the Finale to it resolves/pay offs most of the previous seasons set ups. And I think for the most part he succeeds, though some of his solutions open new subjects for debate and speculation.
The Opera House Prophecy is given a BRILLIANT solution. This is my favorite part of the fan edit. I really think the concept Menbailee came up with was so genius and obvious, I can not fathom why Moore and company did not think of it themselves. Great work M!
One of the main plot points Menbailee was obsessed with resolving/proving was the Earth Constellation Conundrum. Menbailee's theory is there is only ONE Earth, thus the Cylon Earth and Second Earth must be one in the same. (personally, I really like the idea of finding a second planet and naming it after your hopes and dreams, but I understand Menbailee's edit objective) His solution to this problem was very interesting and I think executed as well as it could be considering the source material available, though some viewers might find it confusing as there is really only a Title Card that suggests what has happened. It also opens up a whole Timey-Wimey Can of Worms in regards to paradoxs, alternate history or repeating history all over again. Not to mention what happens to the rest of the fleet.... though there is a fun bonus feature connected to this....
The final fates of our heroes end on a slightly more positive note. Adama does not give up. The fleet is not destroyed. There is plan to survive and build. In fact, Menbailee alters the Colonial's Earth Arrival date, clearly establishing that they are our founding fathers. And Starbuck's ending is very different, and during the Jump Scene, Menbailee tries to provide a subtle clue to Kara's origin, though I think it opens a whole new line of unresolved discussion. Menbailee also smartly cuts the New York Epilogue, so the story ends on an uplifting note of Hope.
As I said, a much more satisfying story.
Though Menbailee does retain the Caprica Flashbacks, which I still feel reveal absolutely nothing new or significant about our characters. Though I must admit, I did like how Menbailee recut the final Apollo scene with the bird. Very clever.
There is a lot of story in this movie, and it could be challenging for the viewer who has not seen the show in a while, so I think it would have helped if the edit had retained or created a "Previously..." teaser to bring the audience up to speed.
Technically, for a firstling edit this is very good work. Audio was fine as far as I could discern. The video quality fluctuates because Menbailees incorporates lower quality deleted scenes and/or has cropped/zoomed in other scenes. But these are acceptable as they function wonderfully to tell his new narrative.
The bonus features are fun, though they could have used a little more editorial/technical polish.
So if you are a New Battlestar Galactica fan, and like me was frustrated and disappointed by the original series finale, I highly recommend you check out this fan edit.