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Stargate (Director's Cut, DVD)

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      17.08.2010 10:33
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      Stargate - Movie Review. By: Doctor GreenRay (Matthiew) :)

      The Intergalactic Superhighway!

      The movie that spawned a series of television shows (Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis & Stargate Universe) books, video games, a cartoon, and ironically - movies based on the television shows. As a child, I did use to watch the earlier episodes of the revamped television show based on the film when it originally aired. It was at the same time my father bought the "Stargate" movie. He was interested in the outer space content involved with the story, and I thank him for picking it up. Pushing those spin-offs aside. Let's just focus on the project that started it all. And in itself, a very entertaining film I must say.

      STORY

      Meet Daniel Jackson (David Spader), an Egyptologist, who gets brought in to take part in a program held in a secret, underground military base in America. Decades earlier, a mysterious alien device was discovered in Egypt, and is being deciphered with the knowledge of scientist figuring out what it is. They later find out it is called a "stargate" and is a link, transporting between earth and somewhere else beyond the stars. With a team lead by, Colonel Jack O' Neil (Kurt Russell) and the assistance of Jackson, they explore what is on the other side. On their arrival they find out that it is life compatible with human beings. However, without knowing the right combination to get back they're stuck there. And, they get involved with other challenges such as being mistaken as gods and battling the forces of Ra.

      PERFORMANCES

      In a way, we have two leading men that we grow attached to. When I was a kid, I was attracted to the character of Daniel. He was that dorky, out-of-the-loop kind of guy, who was always an optimist. Now, this was the only film I knew James Spader was in at the time. When I discovered that a lot of his earlier roles were mainly typecast, as well... a dick (not literally). It was nice to see an actor, showing off a different side and a more affable one at that. I enjoy Kurt Russell in anything. While Daniel was the brains, he was the brawns. We're not talking meathead, pumping iron, type of character. But, a very realistic sort of "American forces" type of a man. It's a nice paring to contrast Spader's personality. The geek and the jock teaming up.

      I love the score in this film. That theme song - every time I hear it, I feel like I'm in this adventure and it's one of my favourite soundtracks of cinema. You know how when you hear the music for "Star Wars" or "Indiana Jones" or "Star Trek" and you just recognize it in a split second and you think about that fictional world. This feels like the works of an unofficial John Williams piece. The music was composed by David Arnold, and he deserves the credit. Compared to the later works of this director and to other projects that come out this day and age. It is a bit toned down. So, don't expect too many explosions and action spectacles hitting the screen. However, it makes up with a fantastic storyline. Quite simple, but a classic in my eyes.

      THOUGHTS

      From director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, and much more) it is expected that this is a popcorn fun-ride blockbuster. And it is, but this being one of his earlier films it isn't as eye-explosive as his later workers. But, the energy and fun is definitely present.

      I love adventure films, I grew up with them and it brings out the inner child in me. This was a movie that I played quite frequently when I was a toddler. Everytime I watch it, it reminds me of simpler, joyful times. This comment isn't really relevant with the review, but I wanted to add that I have somewhat of a personal attachment with the movie and I'm proud to say it still holds up quite nicely. Yet again, the special effects and cinematography, isn't as impressive as it is with the products of the now. But, it was fitting for the times. And, in my mind, this is one of the best movies to come out of the early 1990s.

      RECOMMENDATION

      I can't see myself, not recommending this for anyone. It's a wonderful adventure, a classic story, and personally I would place this up to rank with other films such as the first "Star Wars" or any of the "Indiana Jones" movies. It is a spectacular adventure! Let's all take a ride through the Stargate!

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        03.06.2010 00:56

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        Truly brilliant film

        I saw this film on VHS when I was a young'en and it scared the crap out of me, but I couldn't stop watching it. It's a great idea to use the world's most famous mythologies and manipulate them to fit your story. Who ever came up with the pyramids for landing pads deserves a medal. I think that the story was very well written it's got all the things you could want in a film: comedy, action, horror, culture, history and a very good cast.

        I want to point out the locations used in this film are perfect; they fit the plot well and add to the magic of the film. I thought the special effect were exceptional for the time, along with the costumes which looked very authentic.

        The music is also a very import aspect of the films success; most of the scary scenes are made this way by the excellent score. The music writing is brilliant because it fits the scenes and follows the mood onscreen.

        The film is on one disc with trailers, photo gallery and commentaries. I wish they still made films of this calibre.

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        17.04.2010 15:28
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        A gate that can take you to other worlds.

        Made in 1994, this film was the reason for creating the hugely popular and successfull series Stargate SG1. The idea, special effects and cast made this film go on to be a hit and remembered for many years on.

        The story.
        In 1928 an artifact is found that no specialist in the field can work out the origins of. Many years later, decades infact, the government have the artifact hidden in a top secret bunker and are in the process of trying to figure out symbols that cover the large circular object. It's only when they recruit Daniel (James Spader) that it is determined that the artifact is in fact a gate, a stargate. A portal that is capable of creating a wormhole that can transport people to another world.

        Led by Colonel O'Neil (Kurt Russell), Daniel along with a military unit, venture throught the gate and find themselves on a desert planet, a planet with a a pupulation identical to that of humans.

        After making contact and discovering that the portal was closed many centuries before on purpose because of a godlike creature called Ra, the team begin to realise just what they have done in re-opening the gate way and begin an action packed journey that will see them make life and death decisions involving more than just their own lives.

        My opinion.
        When this film came out there were massive expectations and in my opinion, it lived up to them. The story, although very out there in what it involved, actually worked for me. Although it was completely unrealistic, the sheer idea of what they suggest is something amazing and really gripping to imagine possible. I personally found myself sucked into the whole idea wondering about all things wormhole and alien. The whole way of filming and choice of dark scenery where needed make this film seemingly realistic.

        The special effects were one thing that made this film what it was. The scenes of the characters going through the stargate were excellent, almost making you feel like your on one of those machines that make you feel your on a rollercoaster, excelt this had brilliant colours and effects as it happened.

        The cast were a brilliant choice. Kurt Russell had the experience and acting talent to command such a role and give it that hard nosed warrior like army guy it needed.
        Daniel Spader was perfect as the book worm Dr. Portraying his character brilliantly, giving us two very different main characters that both equally stole the limelight.

        I'm a big fan of the whole stargate thing but was only made tht way initially by watching this film. If you've never seen it but have caught the series and thought it was a bit naff, you should definitely check this out, it may just have the ability to change your mind and give you a thirst for more.

        You can pick the dvd up for as little as £2.99. It doesn't have much where special features are concerned but being the directors cut it does have footage that was never shown at the cinema.
        It runs for an easy 2 hours and 4 mins and is rated PG.

        Enjoy!

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          23.05.2009 00:05
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          If you like the TV series you should love this!

          Stargate was the first in the series of summer event movies made by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich. The fact that it pays lip service to Egyptian mythology and history is what lifts it above the rest of its ilk. It also has its roots in a common premise held by conspiracy theorists and UFO aficionados, in which the human race couldn't possibly have evolved without extra-terrestrial interference.

          The story starts 10000 years ago, when a dying alien comes to Earth. Happening upon a tribe of prehistoric humans in Egypt, he possesses a youth and becomes Ra. Flash forward to 1928, when an archaeological expedition discovers a mysterious, large ring in the desert, beneath which are the petrified remains of what appear to be Anubis and Horus.

          In the present day, (1994) a young scholar, Daniel Jackson is drafted in to decipher the hieroglyphs and markings on the device. He translates the markings to mean Stargate and deciphers the instructions. When activated, there appears a vortex that leads to a planet at the other side of the known universe.

          Enter Colonel Jack O'Neill, who is ordered to reconnoitre the other side, determine any threat and if necessary destroy the other Stargate. Daniel Jackson claims to be able to operate the other Stargate and bring them back home, so he joins the expedition.

          Thus begins a fantastical journey through millions of light years to a distant planet. Once there, Jackson realises that he cannot return them without studying native hieroglyphics, which are conveniently absent, so they must explore the world to find these. They find natives who are enslaved by Ra, and while negotiating with them Ra returns. To return home they must lead a slaves' revolt against Ra and free the world.

          By and large, the anamorphic transfer is flawless. The sets are expansive and detailed and are well portrayed on this disc. My particular bugbear is extra footage. This hasn't had the lavish care that the rest of the film has and it shows. When the focus switches to an added scene the quality change is very visible. It feels like you're watching VHS all of a sudden. This can be quite disconcerting and is the main reason I wish that the theatrical release was included on the disc.

          The sets are very lavish, especially Ra's spaceship and the care and attention that was placed on the design of this movie is evident. This film was made on the cusp of the revolution in Digital effects and relies on both CGI and models. It's a surprise to see, but wires are evident holding up Ra's flying machines. Perhaps a little extra work could have sorted that out too.

          Sound is well implemented in four languages. The English tracks are DD 5.1 and DTS. The Dolby Digital is more than acceptable with the action and effects well represented. The Soundtrack is excellent with David Arnold providing a memorable score.

          Extras include the director's commentary, photo gallery, trailer and promo reel. The photo gallery contains 22 stills taken from the movie and the production. The promo reel is 10 minutes of movie.

          The DVD release is Stargate: Director's Cut, which is actually more of an extended edition rather than a reworking of the movie. The scenes do add a little to the story, but don't essentially alter the film and it seems more of the filmmakers conceit rather than any creative decisions that have included them. For instance, the prologue where Ra happens upon the prehistoric people is repeated in flashback later in the film. Unlike Independence Day, where you had the choice of watching the Theatrical or Extended versions, here you have only the Director's Cut, which is a shame. I personally would have preferred having the choice.

          The characters in these films are usually clichés and this is no exception. However the cast is more than up to the task and succeed in fleshing out the bare bone that they no doubt had to work with. James Spader plays the archaeologist and does show the expected absent-mindedness with aplomb. However he does portray a competent scholar, while the audience shares his sense of wonder, especially when he first steps through the Stargate.

          Kurt Russell is the army Colonel O'Neill and does well with what would normally be a gung-ho marine character. He has a back-story concerning a deceased son that brings a sense of personal angst to the portrayal. But I have to say that, Jaye Davison's performance of Ra is exceptional. He brings an otherworldliness and majesty to the role that really fleshes out the character to more than just your average bad guy. You'll also see French Stewart (Third Rock) in a memorable minor role as Ferretti

          This is a fun film, full of action and Egyptian pop-mythology. Close Encounters crossed with Indiana Jones. In the scheme of things it's an enjoyable piece of fluff. The design of the film is grandiose and lavish and it makes great eye-candy. There is the usual Hollywood schmaltz and sentimentality, but thankfully it is not too cloying, cheesy salute not withstanding. Its a blast.

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            21.08.2008 12:13

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            Good stuff.

            I've never bothered with the television series of Stargate, but I remember going to watch the original film at the cinema and wanted to see it again.
            The film is about a mysterious ancient gateway to another dimension. James Spader and Kurt Russell go through this gateway and find a planet that has some similarities to Ancient Egypt.
            Certainly not as good as I remembered it. I think the premise of aliens having built the pyramids is good, and has been done more recently with Indiana Jones, but really - why is it so hard to believe that humans couldn't do it? Why do we have to belittle ourselves like that? Anyway, theres some good bits in it, but overall it was too long and did get quite boring towards the end.
            Kurt Russell's hair is the most ridiculous ever committed to celluloid and for that, Stargate loses one star.

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            12.04.2007 18:41
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            A "take me away from it all" movie

            I bought this DVD from Amazon for £4.97 last week and it arrived today. My grubby little paws were ripping open the packaging to get to all my goodies I had bought using vouchers I had earned (thanks dooyoo!). I could not wait to get this in the DVD player as I am an avid Stargate fan. Hubby likes it too but complains it's not Star Trek - thank goodness!

            ***The Film***

            The film begins in Egypt approximately 8000 years ago, with a tribe of natives sleeping when a mysterious object appears out of the sky. One young man is curious and goes to investigate ...

            Fast forward a bit to 1928, where a team of archaeologists have discovered an artefact at Giza in Egypt. Not knowing what it was, they took it back to America where it sat in a vault for decades, waiting to be re-analysed.

            The American government decided to get Dr Daniel Jackson (James Spader) to have a look at it. Dr Jackson is an eminent Egyptologist (and a bit of a geek!) who actually manages to decipher the ring-like structure and discovers that it is actually a "gateway" to other galaxies and worlds.

            Then we meet the "hard-man" of the movie, Colonel Jack O'Neill, who is on a form of compassionate leave after his son accidentally shot himself with his service pistol. Jack is emotionally shut down and is suddenly thrust back into the world of the military with a top secret mission.

            We then go to Creek Mountain, where Dr Jackson has unravelled the mystery of the "Stargate". Dr Jackson is supposed to just take the team there and take them back to earth but it is not that simple (never is!). In order to take the team back to earth, Jackson must find and decipher the correct address from this planet (now named Abydos).

            Along the way, we meet the indigenous people of the planet, who are humans and were taken through the stargate thousands of years previously by Ra, the Sun God. We discover that Ra is not a god but a highly advanced parasite that needs a human body to occupy in order to survive. They only seem like Gods because they are extremely scientifically advanced and seem to have god-like powers to the primitive native people. On Abydos, reading and writing are forbidden by Ra. Why? To prevent a rebellion like the one that took place on Earth thousands of years before.

            Will the team get back to earth? Will Dr Jackson manage to find and decipher the correct "address"? Will Ra defeat them or will he be defeated?

            The answers to these and other questions like in the viewing of the DVD! Ha ha and you thought I was going to tell you the whole story!

            ***My Opinion***

            I am a huge Stargate fan and have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this film as it is the prequel to the major television series that I will review separately (you have been warned!). the only downside is that now that I have seen the television series, I have begun to compare the cast, which is not a great thing to do but sometimes cannot be helped.

            Spader actually manages to play Daniel Jackson absolutely perfectly. The allergies, the geekiness, it's all there in one package! I am really impressed by the ease with which he managed to portray this character and thoroughly enjoyed his performance in the film. Sadly, in my opinion, the same cannot be said for Kurt Russell. His performance is more wooden than my solid pine coffee table. Russell is renowned for his portrayal of the hard soldier who does not say much but manages to look totally menacing (he did this amazingly in Soldier four years after Stargate) but this performance is certainly not his best. Although to be fair, his performance does get better near the end of the film.

            I have to say that the real star of the show for me was Jaye Davidson, who played Ra, the sun god. His performances were outstanding and far made up for any lack of performance on the part of any other actor (namely Russell - sorry for any Kurt fans out there!). Sadly this was to be the last film he ever acted in, as he retired from acting shortly after this film was released, and he now works as a fashion assitant in london (just a bit of trivia for you there!). Another star for me had to be Erick Avari (also starred in the Mummy and the Mummy Returns), who plays the "Good Father" Kasouf, the leader of the tribe of natives on Abydos. None of his dialogue was in English but he was outstanding in his portrayal of the leader/father of the tribe, only wanting the best for his people.

            As a bit of trivia to break things up, Alexis Cruz (Ska'ara) and Erick Avari (Kasouf) are the only two actors who were in the original movie that were recast into the same roles in the television series Stargate SG1! And Jaye Davidson hated his Ra costumes so much that on the last day of filming he stripped naked without going to his trailer! These little snippets of trivia came from the imdb website.

            The special effects are not the best but this was made in 1994 and the art of special effects has advanced considerably since then. However, as most of the movie is shot in the desert (Abidos has a similar atmosphere to Earth) the need for SFX was only for the "spacey" typed scenes and the effects were certainly satisfactory for me.

            The bottom line is that I really did enjoy this film, it certainly took my mind of the stark realities of life, and that's what films are supposed to be about - taking us all away from the here and now and transporting us into a world of fantasy. But how true could some of it be?

            ***DVD Info***

            Region - 2 (PAL)

            Run Time - 124 minutes approximately

            Languages - English, German, Italian, Spanish

            Subtitles - English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Turkish

            Rating - PG (general viewing but possibly unsuitable for young children - I would let my 10 year old step-daughter watch this but certainly not my 5 and 2 year olds, they are a bit too young!)

            Cast - James Spader, Kurt Russell, Jaye Davidson, Alexis Cruz. Erick Avari, Viveca Lindfors ...

            ***DVD Extras***

            1 - Trailer - as the name suggests this is the trailer to the movie.

            2 - Photo Gallery - a selection of photographs from the film - quite interesting but a wee bit boring

            3 - Audio commentary - this is a commentary on the film by the director Roland Emmerich and the producer Dean Devlin. I did watch some of it but it was a bit distracting for me. Anyone here that knows me knows that I don't really like commentaries but some people do, so it may be interesting to some, but not me.

            4 - Stargate: Promo Reel - again quite interesting and as its name suggests, this is a promo reel. But to be fair, I have not watched this yet as I didn't get finished watching the rest till late and have written this. I would assume for the Stargate fan it will be interesting but once I have watched it I will update the review. Promise!

            And there is the now-normal scene selection tool, allowing you to watch your favourite scenes over again, without having to watch the whole film.

            ***Final Word***

            Do I recommend this to others? Yes I do. I have given this a four star rating, but have to say that as a prequel to the majorly successful television series, this is a really good one. The only downsides have to be the mediocre special effects and the acting of Kurt Russell, which have cost this film one star.

            If you are a fan of Stargate, the television series, then this is a really good introduction to the series, and for less than £5 on Amazon, that can only be a good thing!

            Thanks for reading! Di xx

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              12.04.2005 23:07
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              After picking this veteran movie up at a car boot sale, remember it is over a decade since it first hit the big screen, I thought that I was going to sit down to watch a now fairly dated and average sci-fi movie. I had seen this at the cinema when it was first release but I had forgotten just how good it was. What was meant to be a "watch and forget" movie experience transformed into a gripping and totally thrilling experience. Stargate is probably known to most people from its serialised spin off in more recent years but this is a watered down money spinning exercise when compared to the original. Unlike, say, Buffy where the TV serialisation far outweighed the original film, Stargate was a masterpiece in ideas and well made production for its day and stands high above the TV follow up.

              Like most good sci-fi films it has a good concept around which to base the plot. Films like the first Matrix film and Blade Runner present concepts which set you thinking a long time after the credits have rolled and Stargate falls into this elite category. Whereas the films mentioned deal with the metaphysical subjects of life and death, reality and perception, Stargate deals with the more tangible subject of the origins of Egyptian culture, and with the renewed interest in the origins of humanity and extraterrestrial contact in recent decades this film, whilst remaining pure entertainment proposes some fascinating questions. In Egypt in the 1920s a stone artefact was found that appears to be a ritual or purely architectural portal. Unfortunately the inscriptions and hieroglyphs have evaded translation and the true nature of the item has never been revealed. In the present day James Spader plays Daniel Jackson, a discredited professor who has some ground breaking ideas regarding ancient Egyptian culture. Unable to hold down work within the establishment he accepts an offer to work on translations relating to the artefact. He cracks the code and reveals that it is a portal to the sky, a stairway to heaven, in other words a STAR GATE. Once its nature is revealed as a portal to a distant planet an expedition is required to explore the intended destination. In charge of the team is Jack O `Neil a gloomy career soldier struggling with personal tragedy. Once through the gate the film really gets going. On the other side is a land that mirrors ancient Egypt in man ways, but one held under the grip of a master race with some pretty flash technology. The team must battle with the evil and self serving designs of this race whilst trying to find their own way home. To tell more would be to ruin a great plot so if you have read this far then I will leave the rest up to you.

              Visually the film is great to watch, the landscapes are convincing, bleak and understated and the special affects are well done if maybe a bit low key by today's standards. But what the film lacks in affects it rewards with its concept. What if there are other planets that parallel parts of earths historical past due to contacts made between the two? The idea of a technologically advanced version of ancient egypt as presented by the film is intriguing to say the least. The master race are the icing on the cake as far as the film is concerned, and Jaye Davidson is the best of the bad guys. Davidson made only a handful of films, the other notable role being in the Crying Game, but here he plays Ra the leader of the dominant race with a cold menace and an aloofness that would make Princess Anne envious.

              James Spader is an odd choice as the main character, thought this fact makes him more convincing as a bookish type caught up in events beyond his control. Kurt Russell is adequate as the expedition leader, but then I don't think that he is the sort of actor that can be stretched too far beyond that tough moody role that he seems to be type cast in. The rest of the marines in the expedition are unmemorable as are most of the characters encountered on the other side of the gate, with the exception of Ra, as mentioned above.

              Writers Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin were sued for stealing the story line from someone who submitted the story to them about ten years before the movie was made (they "rejected" the story at the time). The person that sued the men (a student of Egyptology) even had a well-respected Egyptologist from Johns Hopkins University vouch for him, since he put his own theories into the story. The only differences between the story and the movie are slight name variations. The issue was finally settled out of court.

              Law suits aside, the film is good entertainment and even if you are not well read on ancient history will appeal to fans of old style boys own adventures like Indiana Jones or Tarzan. A well rounded concept, full on action and a few thought provoking ideas for those who dig a bit deeper. Not bad for a quid at a car boot sale and worth catching on TV next time around. Stargate, it will take you a million light years from home..but will it bring you back?


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                14.11.2001 18:44
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                Before Roland Emmerich came to fame for such movies as ‘Godzilla’ (an all time personal favourite) and ‘Independence Day’ he gave us a hint of his flair for all things visual in the shape of the 1994 movie ‘Stargate’. This movie was originally released on a fairly abysmal DVD – a very poor picture transfer and extras that weren’t really worth writing home about, does this new Directors cut release offer any improvements? Lets take a look at the movie itself first, then the DVD in order to find out. StarGate tells the story of young Daniel Jackson (played here by James Spader who you may recognise from films such as ‘Crash’ and ‘Wolf’) Jackson is a doctor in Egyptology; an expert on all things ancient who often challenges the long-held beliefs of his peers. With funds running low and times looking desperate however he receives a visit from Catherine Langford, a rich elderly woman who has watched Jackson’s work closely – but why is she so interested in him? It turns out that many, many years ago she accompanied her father on an archaeological dig. Here they discovered an object that nobody had seen before, a huge archway covered in hieroglyphics – but made from a substance not found anywhere else on earth. With no idea what it was meant for and no clue as to what the writing on it meant, it lay in wait for someone to unlock its powers – could that someone be Jackson? As with all things of a sci-fi film nature, the military are involved somewhere along the line. Here we are introduced to Colonel O’Neil (played in typical ‘I’m dead hard me’ fashion by Kurt Russell) you sense a slight stand-offish approach between the military powers and the scientists, but by fluke of chance Jackson manages to unravel the mystery of the Stargate. A portal is opened between Earth and a planet on an entirely different galaxy to o
                ur own. It soon becomes evident that there is another Stargate on the other side of this portal, this could indicate an intelligent civilisation exists and one that should be investigated. O’Neil gathers his squad of soldiers together and along with Jackson they make their way through the portal. On their arrival however, they discover a world not unlike Egypt on Earth. The people appear primitive, speaking in an ancient language that has been unheard of for centuries. They appear friendly, but it soon becomes apparent that they are slaves, held captive by the evil Egyptian god of Ra (played a little too camply to be taken seriously by Jaye Davidson) With the team captured and a risk of never getting back home the race is on to discover just who these people are and how they got there. Ra has some incredible powers at hand too, will he prove too tough a match for them? Intent on freeing the slaves, can Jackson and O’Neill get over their initial distrust of each other in order to save not only the slaves but also earth itself? Can they reopen the Stargate to get back home? It’s certainly got its tense moments and makes for a great story. That’s not to say the movie isn’t without it’s flaws sadly, and I’ll come to those now. At the start of the movie we discover that O’Neill is retired from the army, it’s hinted at that his young son had died in a shooting accident. His character in these very brief scenes looks very vulnerable – something which was never really explored much more in the rest of the film – a real opportunity missed here for me I’m afraid. For me though the weakest part of the movie has to be Jaye Davidson in the role of Ra. Ra is supposed to be some really evil, nasty piece of work but for me he just didn’t bring this across on screen. I found him more laughable more than anything else and that’s a real shame.
                The movie has aged quite well actually, OK, some of the CGI does look a bit iffy now and then, but the sets themselves and the action scenes all combine to make for a top action film which (I feel) is sometimes overlooked by many people – definitely one to check out. Now, as I mentioned earlier, this is a ‘Directors cut’ version of the movie – but what does that mean? I’ll be honest, it doesn’t mean much really. In essence all we get are a few extra scenes that weren’t present in the original 1994 cinema release of the movie. These scenes don’t really add all that much to the movie and I was often hard pressed to see bits that made me ‘that’s new’. So why bother with this release? Well firstly the picture transfer is outstanding for the most part, sharp and detailed, you can count the grains of sand in the desert (if your inclined to that is). A fair chunk of this movie sees our heroes scrambling around dark catacombs and inside ancient pyramids, such colours could often prove a problem for a DVD transfer but thankfully not here. That’s not to say there aren’t any problems however – sadly whilst the main movie (i.e. the original release material) has been spruced up, the extra scenes are of a very poor quality indeed. Don’t get me wrong, they are more than watchable, but it’s akin to flicking between a Digital TV broadcast and one using a ropey indoor TV aerial – quite disappointing. The soundtracks on the other hand are both excellent – I say both because (are you sitting down for this?) the R2 version has a DTS soundtrack on here too! Finally, my amp has an extra disc to use the processor on! Whilst the DD5.1 transfer is great, the DTS soundtrack is even better – much more punchier and a far greater dynamic soundstage is created – the sound of gunfire and sandstorms will soon be swirling around your front
                room. This really is what home cinema is all about, a cracking picture and a soundtrack that delivers. Any other extras to speak of? Well we also get a commentary track from director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin, I’ll confess though I haven’t had time to listen to this track yet, but I’m in no hurry to – Emmerich strikes me as someone who thinks everything is ‘excellent’ and ‘superb’ after I watched him on the ‘Godzilla’ DVD. I like a commentary to be critical and informative, somehow I fear this will not be the case here however. Any other extras? Well we get the movie trailer and a ‘promo reel’, which is more or less an extended trailer interspersed with snippets of interviews with the various cast members – worth a watch but hardly something you’ll be coming back to again and again. One other thing that is worth a special mention is the DVD packaging. The DVD is presented in a special slipcase those folds out to make a pyramid. Whilst it sounds (and looks) pretty cool, it’s a real pain to put back inside the slipcase! I think that, by and large, this movie sets out to be a no-brainer action flick and it does that very well. A story as decent as any other and a cracking (in most parts) picture coupled with a great soundtrack make this a DVD I’d highly recommend you take a look at.

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                  23.10.2001 04:54
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                  Once this movie was destined for release I became fascinated by the idea. I actually saw it 3 times at the cinema and have watched it many a time since, on TV and Video. Egypt is a subject that sparks many imaginations when spoken. Movies like this are sure to be appealing to interested people. Following the story of the stargate, a mystical contraption for travelling to other planets. An attempt at a magical idea of the gods of Egypt in ancient times. More enjoyable than watching slaves supposedly build it. A colourful case is the first attraction. The packaging is a strange idea with the inside being able to shape a rather weary pyramid. When released in America it got the same groan that was present when received here. A bit of a thin box that`ll be lost in the DVD collection on the shelf because it wont be noticeable. Presentation is very nice beginning with the cover, right to the menu screen. Pleasantly futuristic and ancient mixed with nice font. The menu screen has no glitches like other movies. Especially for the PC DVD players out there. Ive tried on PS2, PC and standard DVD and it is fine. The special features are none too exciting with a trailer and a press teaser. The pictures are a usual "oh there nice", never looked at again shots. Its the actual movie which is a directors cut with all the extra missing clips in the actual movie rather than in the menu. Thats more like it. Picture quality is fantastic and looks very clean. The sound is Dolby Digital and downwards. Extra inserted clips are noticeable because the picture is slightly grainy and unfinished looking compared to the rest. The only downfall in quality. This is a movie i have looked forward to and feel satisfied by the wait. It could have been a bit more involving with some egyptian info like the Mummy DVD. Though this is a movie for the all people, the ones that want excellent quality to be e
                  njoyed in actual digital TV with surround sound on the high quality sets will be pleased. This passes the test with easy colours.

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                    23.10.2001 04:45
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                    In 1928, on an archaeological dig, Professor Langford discovers an ancient Egyptian artefact at Giza. It is a strange stone circle, about twenty feet in diameter, covered in unusual and as yet indecipherable hieroglyphs. As is normal in these cases the US Army takes the stone into 'protective custody!' Alas nobody knows what is does or how to use it. Seventy years go by and they are still working on the hieroglyphs. This is still a civilian operation, headed up by Katherine Langford, (the professor?s daughter). The team has got as far as deciphering six of the symbols on the stone but are at a loss to the seventh. Enter Doctor Daniel Jackson, an ancient language and text whiz-kid. Ten minutes of seeing the texts he has unlocked the problem. The downside to this moment of jubilation, the military arrives in the form of General WO West and Colonel Jonathan 'Jack' O'Neill. To everyone?s amazement, the first to speak is Katherine Langford who says 'Why are you here? Why you?? to which Jack O'Neill replies ?In case you succeed.' For anybody interested the Stargate works on the wormhole principle, of joining to points in space, any distance by a temporary wormhole punched through the fabric of space. To the layman you step in at point 'A' and step out at point 'B', which could be five inches or five thousand light years away. This is of course instantaneous. When the gate is activated, what appears to be a jet of water spurts from the centre of the Stargate?s Taurus. A team of seven is chosen to go through the gate, after a robot surveys the other side to make sure it is safe (breathable air etc.). O'Neill leads the team and Jackson has to go because he is supposedly the only person who can read the texts to bring the team home again. Before they go through the 'gate Katherine gives Jackson a medallion with Ra's symbol upon it, Ra being the Egyptian sun god, which Jackson duly puts on. <
                    br>When Jackson goes through the Stargate the special effects team goes to work, showing the view that Jackson sees in the wormhole. It is like being inside a fibre optic cable which twists and turns through the sub-fabric of space. The viewer sees Jackson enter with his head and shoulders, so until he steps through fully he is standing on earth, yet his head is on a far distant planet. On arrival at Abydos, the planet to which the earth bound Stargate is connected, the team make base camp. The Abydos Stargate is inside a pyramid. The team is split into four members led by Lieutenant Ferretti and the reconnaissance team led by O'Neill. While on reconnaissance a massive electric storm blows up which cuts off radio communication. Unaware of this O'Neill and co. find the native?s settlement and the natives are friendly. The team discover that these people are in fact slaves and they are forbidden, by their masters to read or write. Under the cover of the storm a space ship lands on the pyramid, which turns out to be a docking port for these vessels. Now for all those of the romantic persuasion! Jackson is 'given' the headman?s daughter (Shau?re), due to the medallion, being the gentleman he is; he turns her sexual advances down. She finds this a little insulting, however Jackson tells her that he does love her but this is not the time for it. In the ship is Ra, who is not a god, but a member of an ancient race called the Goa'uld. These erstwhile owners of the Stargate are actually not, they stole the technology several millennia before from a more advanced technological race. Here again the special effects come into play. The Goa'uld wear body armour which reassembles animals on the helmets, hence the Egyptian 'Gods?. It is activated like the shielding on the Batmobile in Batman. The Goa'uld are a parasitic worm that controls the host human which they have 'infected'. The Goa'uld foot soldiers ov
                    erpowers the part of the team left to guard the Stargate and the team is taken prisoner. Ra is not happy to see the earthmen, he is still smarting from the loss of earth 2000 odd years ago when the Egyptians revolted having discovered that the 'Gods' were not all powerful. A s a result of the revolt the Stargate was buried, to keep the Goa'uld to their side of the galaxy, and all knowledge of what the pyramids were for was deliberately forgotten. Following the capture of part of the O?Neill and Jackson go off on the rescue mission. Things get complicated and they too are taken. Ra is especially not happy to see Jackson, as he is wearing Ra's medallion, the one lost on earth centuries before. Ra sees Jackson as a usurper to his 'title'. As a brief aside O'Neill has another purpose to the main mission. His job, which he has decided to accept (tape self-destructing etc.) (really ordered) is to destroy the Stargate, Abydos end if he considers it to be a threat to earth security. Goa?uld seem a pretty safe bet as a threat. To this end O'Neill has a small nuclear device, about 5 megatons give or take. This item Ra finds out about and has other uses for it. (later). In the mean time the SG team has persuaded the locals that Ra and his cronies can be beaten. Jackson meanwhile has been hypnotised and in front of the gathered populace is ordered to execute the members (captured) of the SG team. He cannot bring himself to shoot his cohorts and the revolution is on. Ra is defeated and in true baddie style he makes a run for it, back to his ship, where he has been tinkering with the aforementioned bomb, it is now a superbomb! Big enough to take out earth, Ra's idea of revenge. There is of course the teleport device between ship and pyramid. Just before the superbomb is sent through the 'gate as its timer is nearly ready to blow, O'Neill sends it up to Ra, KERBLOOIE etc. biggest fireworks the planet has eve
                    r seen! Back to the romance, Jackson decides to stay and marry Shau're, O'Neill's parting words are 'I'll be seeing you around Doctor Jackson.' Thus ending the film. I like the film and think that there is something for most people, especially if it's a wet Saturday afternoon and you're killing time, there is not too much effort if you do not want to analyse this film. The special effects are good but they do not detract from the story line as some 'Sci-fi' films do. For those interested, The Cast: Col. Jonathan "Jack" O'Neill - Kurt Russell Dr. Daniel Jackson - James Spader General WO West - Leon Rippy Lieutenant Charles Kawalsky - John Diehl Lieutenant Ferretti - French Stewart (Third Rock from the Sun) Katherine Langford - Viveca Lindfors Shau're - Mili Avital Ra - Jaye Davidson Screenplay - Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich Director - Roland Emmerich But wait there could be more. Coming soon to an opinion near your Stargate - SG1!

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                      23.10.2001 03:09
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                      Fans of the Stargate Sg-1 TV Series who haven’t seen this movie will instantly notice that all of the characters with the exception of Skarra are all played by different actors and that Teal’c, Samantha Carter, and General Hammond aren’t even in the movie. But after about ten minuets you don’t even notice the difference. Giza, 1928 an archaeological dig discovers a huge ring covered in Egyptian hieroglyphics and some undecipherable inscriptions. Scientists have been unable to decipher what the ring is for or what the inscriptions say. So the owner of the ring enlists Daniel Jackson (James Spader) a well-known linguist who has recently been fired from his job for his “out there” theories on who actually built the Egyptian pyramids. After correcting a fellow linguist’s translation of the hieroglyphics Jackson discovers the ring is called a “Stargate”. He then spends weeks trying to decipher the unreadable markings that were on the cover stones. Purely by luck he discovers they are star constellations and that the markings create an address that can be “dialled out”. When he tells the owner and the military (who have conveyed the Stargate as “classified”) about the address they dial it out and the Stargate explodes into life with a “wall” of water. So a team is sent through the gate to see who and what is on the other side. The team is lead by colonel Jack O’Neal (Kurt Russell). When they emerge on the other side of the gate they discover a civilisation very close to Earth’s Ancient Egypt, but not only that Jackson realises he cant get them back because the symbols on the Abydos gate are completely different to those on the gate back home. After spending a slightly different night with the locals, a huge pyramid shaped spaceship lands on Abydos and its soldiers have an all out fire fight with the rest of the t
                      eam who stayed behind whilst O’Neal and Jackson explore. Finding out there is a threat on this side of the Stargate O’Neal puts his secondary orders into practice to find any hostiles and deal with them. After setting up the nuclear device Ra takes it and decides to send it back to earth with a shipment of the mineral the Stargate is made from making it a hundred times more powerful. So its now up to Jackson and O’Neal to get the bomb back and decipher the dial out sequence to get back home and seal Earth’s Stargate before Earth is destroyed. Stargate is a special edition DVD that comes in a limited edition folding pyramid box, which can get annoying but admittedly does look cool. Being a special edition the movie is the Director’s cut containing over thirty minuets of unseen footage. (Total running time 124 min) The special features aren’t anything to shout about you get the obligatory Trailer and subtitles, the promo reel is basically a best bits of the movie backed with classical music. The audio commentary is by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, which give you an insightful look at how the movie was made. The picture quality is anything you would expect from a DVD but what is cool is that you get a choice of 5.1 and DTS, which sound amazing. If you are more bothered about special features then this may not be for you but if like me you see them as a bonus on top of a great film then Stargate: Directors Cut is one for you. 4/5

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                      15.05.2001 01:31
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                      Yes I believe Stargate is a classic movie released on October 1994. It has been such a hit that there have been all kinds of shows made about it on one of the movie channels. I got the movie as a gift on DVD. It has one draw back that I haven't seen on any other DVD yet, half the movie is on one side and the other half is on the other side. So if you are in the market for this DVD look for the special edition. The special edition has the complete movie on one side and on the other side is the movie with 9 Minutes of Additional Footage. The Movie The movie starts out in Giza Egypt in 1928 where an archaeologist finds the Stargate and a little girl finds a medallion. Then it jumps to present day where Daniel Jackson (James Spader) an Egyptologist is giving a lecture and an old woman finds him for help to figure out the writings on the Stargate. The old woman turns out to be the little girl from 1928. The Stargate is now under military command by the government and Colonel Jack O'Neill (Kurt Russell) is in control. They have tried for years to figure out the symbols on the Stargate and cannot figure out the last key to get it going. Daniel Jackson figures it out and now the adventure begins. The Stargate is a teleporting path to another planet, so to see what happens they first send in a probe. The probe zooms through space at an amazing speed and it comes out on the other Stargate on another planet. This was to be a military mission only but when they saw pictures back from the other gate, Daniel Jackson noticed there were different symbols so he ends up going on the trip. What they find on the other side of the Stargate is, the Stargate is inside a temple that resembles our pyramids in Egypt. They also find a culture of people living in an almost stone age society where reading and writing is forbidden. Then King Ra (Jaye Davidson) lands on top of the pyramid with his spaceship. It seems Ki
                      ng Ra is an alien that long ago was dieing and he needed a host so he could live forever. He chose the human body and gets a new one whenever he needs. The people on the planet think he is a God. The thing no one new was Colonel Jack O'Neill was sent there to destroy the other Stargate with a hidden nuclear weapon. My Last Thoughts I really enjoy this type of movie, there is a lot of excitement and some suspense. The quality of the picture on DVD was excellent and the Dolby 5.1 sound was superb. The acting was fair and Kurt Russell & James Spader did a superb job on their part. Some of the special effects are excellent even compared with today's standards. Other Things It is directed by - Roland Emmerich. It is rated PG-13 and is 119 minutes long. The Cast Kurt Russell (Colonel Jack O'Neill) James Spader (Daniel Jackson) Jaye Davidson (Ra) Viveca Lindfors (Catherine) Alexis Cruz (Skaara) Mili Avital (Sha'uri) Erick Avali (Kasuf) John Diehl (Kawalsky) DVD Extras This seems to be an earlier made DVD before they were adding a lot, it doesn't have much extras. An Interactive menu Letterbox 1.85:1 viewing English Dolby 5.1 and French Dolby 2.0 sound. Subtitles: English, French and Spanish Cast & Crew biographies Theatrical Trailer and Teaser

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                        28.10.2000 22:35
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                        Fans of the TV series Stargate SG1 may already know this film. If you like the series and haven’t seen the film then it does help to put the series in context. It is about the discovery of the Stargate and the consequences of its use. The Stargate is a portal that allows travel to other planets. In this film the explorers find a planet where what appear to be Ancient Egyptians with advanced technology are oppressing the locals and then they have the two problems of helping the locals and getting home safely. For those who don’t know the series this is still a good sci-fi film. It not only has all the requisite gadgets and action but the story demands that knowledge of archeology and sociology are vital making an interesting aspect. The main characters (scientific expert, go gettum Army guy, female interest etc) are a little stereotypical but are well portrayed.

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                        25.10.2000 05:16

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                        It doesn't happen that often that a film has a series made AFTER the film has been made, often they get films at the end of their runs (B5, Trek), or to tell a particular story (X-Files). But Stargate managed to get a brand new series from the really simple premise of travelling through a series of huge gates, with a really bad guy at the other end of the gate, and no way back (in hte film). It's from the guys who did ID4 and Godzilla, so the pedigree is very good, and the film is top notch, starring as it does Kurt Russell and james Spader, as Col. Jack O'Neill and scientist Daniel Jackson, who unravels the mystery of the gate, and works out how to run it! Special FX are as always good, although looking a little dated now (although the actual gate is still top notch, and the pyramid landing is good too!) A solid building block for a very good TV series!

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                        17.10.2000 04:49

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                        A familiar story with some minor new twists (aliens colonized our planet...in a sense)about a linguist (Spader) enlisted by the military to travel through a mysterious gateway to another universe, where they help liberate an oppressed people from a super race that wants also to destroy earth. Good production from the same guy who did "Independence Day" and, more recently, "Patriot," but much of it is hard to believe. A primitive people become very comfortable with advanced automatic rifles, for instance, despite having initially been horrified by a Zippo. Spader is able to understand their language once he "gets the vowels down," which he does very quickly. (This is an ancient Egyptian dialect--remember, these people were the ancient colonists--which over thousands of years has not changed! Absurd!) Jay Davidson, looking as lithely feminine as ever, plays "Ra," god to both the ancient Egyptians, and the primitives in this other universe. He is cagey enough to survive for thousands of years, but so inept that he gives a weapon to Spader, expecting him to kill his comrades...Duh, Ra! How could you be so stupid? Small details like this can spoil a movie for me because they are so easily fixed...but aren't, apparently, out of sheer laziness. This is a B-movie in fancy clothes, but enjoyable enough, and worth a look if there's nothing better available

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                      A self-consciously epic sci-fi adventure of Cecil B DeMille-sized proportions, Stargate refreshes and combines several well-worn sci-fi and sword 'n' sandal genre conventions with some Erich von Daniken-style Biblical Egyptology. The directing-writing-producing team of Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin had previously collaborated on B-movies Moon 44 (1990) and Universal Soldier (1992), but handed a significantly bigger budget they were able to give their Steven Spielberg pretensions free reign here ("Indiana Jones and his Close Encounters with the Chariots of the Gods" might be a suitable subtitle). James Spader is endearingly dithery as the fish-out-of-water academic who finds himself teamed with taciturn tough guy Kurt Russell: the two excellent leads are largely responsible for imparting what depth there is to otherwise two-dimensional characters. British composer David Arnold makes his major studio debut in the grandest fashion with an outstanding score that pays suitable homage to epic film music (John Williams' CE3K and Maurice Jarre's Lawrence of Arabia in particular). It's all done with such unabashed enthusiasm that viewers will happily forgive the film's derivative elements and even overlook the high-camp theatricality of Jaye Davidson's bizarre bad guy. Despite subsequent huge box-office hits (Independence Day, Godzilla, The Patriot), Stargate remains Emmerich and Devlin's freshest, most satisfying film. On the DVD: This special edition version adds approximately seven minutes of additional footage, much of which is in the form of slightly extended scenes, but does also include an opening sequence in Ancient Egypt, a scene with Kurt Russell and the fossilised Horus guards, and Ra's bath scene. These are also collected in a bonus "Promo Reel". The anamorphic widescreen presentation of the 2.35:1 Panavision picture looks sharp and clear, although some of the additional footage is degraded; the sound is suitably spectacular 5.1 or DTS. Devlin and Emmerich provide a relaxed, chatty commentary ("We have nothing to do with the TV series"!), although you have to access this from the Set Up menu not the Special Features menu. There's a photo gallery and trailer, but sadly no "making-of" documentary. --Mark Walker