Now this is what I was hoping for the first time around! Menbailee has given us the BSG finale we were hoping for, instead of the ragged end full of loose threads we were given the first time around. No longer does the most engaging character with the most complex story simply vanish with no explanation; no longer does the shepherd abandon his flock. And when it ends, your first thought won't be WTF?! The change made to the final destination is major, but if you really think about it, it makes perfect sense. It's actually so appropriate that it makes past events which were never fully explained in the series proper look like clues to this very outcome. Plus, it helps flesh out the "Starbuck mystery." I also really love the flashbacks re-appropriated as final character beats and the more thoroughly realized opera house prophecy.
This is a very professional and elegantly realized edit that will now act as my preferred ending whenever I re-watch the series. And if you have never seen the original closing episodes, consider watching this instead. It's much more satisfying, and you can always go back and watch what was aired as a frustrating, inferior "director's cut."
The DVD was nice with some fun extras. The sound and picture were consistently good, except for the scenes which were either re-sized or re-inserted from an unmastered source. These bits are few and far between, though, and they serve the edit, so they are forgivable.
I haven't watched the finale of BSG since it aired and I recently bought the Blu Ray as quite frankly I've never seen better TV.
I thought that rather than watching the original finale I'd just watch this one and see if it all hung together properly. I didn't mind the original finale, except for Starbuck vanishing and everyone disappearing off to do their own thing, which was kinda depressing. It ending with Baltar and Six....meh.
So this edit is pretty damn good. I only noted at one point where I felt something was a little off and this was the final Lee/Kara scene when Lee turns around.
The opera sequence, I can't recall how that played out in the original, but it certainly works here.
This version feels far more optimistic...and make sure you pay full attention. When Starbuck jumped BSG, I happened to be texting someone and completely missed the line of VERY important dialogue there.
Because there are a lot of flashbacks in this, the ending with Kara made me wonder if she'd gone back or I was seeing a flashback. It prob didn't help that I'd drank some wine and wasn't fully picking up on all the narrative elements.
The extras were pretty good as well. I loved the 'what happened to the fleet?' that made me laugh!
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.