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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Stargate (The Movie)
Ultimate Edition


Starring: Kurt Russell and James Spader
Optimum Home Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: PG
Available 29 March 2010

When a mysterious artefact is unearthed at Giza, tough-minded military man Colonel Jack O'Neill clashes with archaeologist Daniel Jackson over the origin and potential of the object. When Jackson identifies the object as a portal to another world, O'Neill leads him and a team through the "Stargate". They are transported millions of light years from Earth where they are stranded on a strange and alien planet. When Ra, the enigmatic ruler of this extraordinary world, discovers that the doorway to Earth can be reopened, he devises a deadly plot. Racing against time, O'Neill and Jackson must overcome Ra if they are to save Earth and find a way back home...

Stargate (1994) is a sci-fi movie which follows the typical hero's journey style narrative. Here we follow Daniel Jackson as he is thrust into another world after he is brought on board a secret military operation to decipher symbols on a mysterious object that allows travel from one planet to another.

When we first meet Jackson he's an outsider on the fringes of academia. His theories are debunked by every serious scientist and he's just about broke. He's approached by a mysterious group who want to employ his services as a translator of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. But what he unearths his far beyond his wildest theories.

The DVD contains the original theatrical release of the movie (2 hr, 58 sec) as well as the extended edition (2 hr, 9 min, 50 sec). I'd forgotten just how entertaining this film was. The extended edition also adds a little more suspense by revealing that along with the buried Stargate on Earth there are two fossilised humanoid creatures - which we later discover are Ra's soldiers. It also features more scenes with O'Neill's team.

Extras include Stargate - History Made (22 min, 19 sec look at the origin of the movie and how it became so loved by so many people); Making of Stargate (52 min, 02 sec featurette that appears to be French in origin as whenever they cut to a film clip it's the French dub version. There is also some pretty bad sound on some of the footage); Is There a Stargate? (12 min, 11 sec look at Erich von Däniken's (author of Chariots of the Gods?) theories on how aliens may have been influential in our early culture. If you do a little background reading on Däniken you'll discover he has been charged with fraud and several of his findings have been proved to be fake. But this is still an interesting featurette); Original Stargate Previews (17 min, 19 sec teaser featurettes for the movie including a running gag that the director could be an alien); B-Roll (6 min, 03 sec raw behind the scenes footage); Gag Reel (3 min, 13 sec well choreographed continuous scene packed full of stunts and effects starring the crew); Picture in Picture: Stargate Ultimate Knowledge (allows you to play the film and see a small screen with behind the scenes information and footage); Director's Commentary with Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin; and Trailer (2 min, 38 sec).

The only thing that really ages this movie is Kurt Russell's hair and the CGI effects which now look a little rough around the edges, but were cutting edge in their time - otherwise this is a timeless classic.


Darren Rea

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