Before they unleashed the idiotic mayhem of Independence Day and Godzilla, the idea-stealing team of director Roland Emmerich and producer-screenwriter Dean Devlin concocted this hokey hit about the discovery of an ancient... more » portal capable of zipping travelers to "the other side of the known universe." James Spader plays the Egyptologist who successfully translates the Stargate's hieroglyphic code, and then joins a hawkish military unit (led by Kurt Russell) on a reconnaissance mission to see what's on the other side. They arrive on a desert world with cultural (and apparently supernatural) ties to Earth's ancient Egypt, where the sun god Ra (played by Jaye Davidson from The Crying Game) rules a population of slaves with armored minions and startlingly advanced technology. After being warmly welcomed into the slave camp, the earthlings encourage and support a rebellion, and while Russell threatens to blow up the Stargate to prevent its use by enemy forces, the movie collapses into a senseless series of action scenes and grandiose explosions. It's all pretty ridiculous, but Stargate found a large and appreciative audience, spawned a cable-TV series, and continues to attract science fiction fans who are more than willing to forgive its considerable faults. --Jeff Shannon« less
"First off, once you get past the idea of a Stargate the rest kind of falls into place. The government, with the help of Professor Daniel Jackson (James Spader), figures out how to work it. Pro. Jackson, with an escort of soliders led by Colonel Jack O'Neil (Kurt Russell) step through it to the other side.
They find a desert planet where humans are being made to mine for the same material that the gate was made from.
The people are Egyptians who were removed from Earth over 10,000 years ago, by an alien, and even Daniel Jackson can't understand their language because living languages CHANGE.
The movie is careful to stay away from many of the cliches of most sci-fi movies but also stays away from having characters which are TOO simple. Both Daniel and Jack (played by James and Kurt) are real people, not cardboard cut-outs, with all the flaws and merits of our own reality. The natives are catch between trying to be friendly towards strangers AND not pissing off their Gods.
The science and technology used by Ra and his men look very sleek and very real. From the spaceship to the gliders, everything has a touch of old Egyptian myth mixed with advanced alien know-how.
The DVD comes with two versions of the movie, Director's Cut and the theatrical cut, in which the former has audio commentary. The DVDs also have a great 'Making of Stargate' featurette, a 'Is There a Stargate?' short starring Erich von Daniken himself, trailers, scane access, crew and cast information and production notes.
Everything you could want in a DVD set, a mixture of sound science fiction, a touch of great effects and the pinch of old fashion adventure. This is a great pop corn flick. Enjoy!"
Director's Cut Is Excellent!
chemikalguy | Durham, NC USA | 04/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not sure what makes the ultimate edition much different from the special edition, as both include the director's cut and theatrical version. The ultimate edition does include a 'making of' featurette, as well as a 'Is there a stargate' featurette that isn't included on the special edition. These are both interesting, but nothing to write home about. One big difference is the audio. The ult. ed. includes DTS 6.1 audio, as well as dolby digital 5.1.Good: Being a fan of Stargate SG-1, I wanted to own the original movie as well, and when the ult. ed. was released, knew it was time to buy. I watched the director's cut, and was amazed. There were added scenes, as well as extended existing scenes. These changes really gave me a better understanding of how things in the tv show came to be the way they are, such as the relationship between Jack O'Neill and Daniel Jackson. In the director's cut, we see more interaction between them. We also get more into the head of Jack, and better understand just how messed up he really is after the loss of his son.Bad: The only disappointment I have with the ult. ed. is that there were no 'gag reels' or bloopers, or other deleted scenes included. I enjoy watching these on other DVDs I have, and would have loved to have seen them for Stargate.Overall, I'm glad I added this DVD to my collection. My only wish is that the Stargate SG-1 DVDs included behind the scenes or blooper reels as well."
Stargate on Blu-Ray-The Best Version Available! But...
Bill E. | California, USA | 05/30/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First, let me start by saying that I love this movie. Perhaps because I traveled to Egypt when I was 16 and I saw the glory of the giant pyramids in person (just don't tell an Egyptian that it was the aliens who built their pyramids and not their ancestors, he or she will be mad at you forever!). I also love Sci-Fi flicks, and this movie has a great story. if you haven't seen it and you like Sci-Fi movies, even adventure movies with Kurt Russell, you'll love this one.
Now about the Blu-ray DVD:
Let me say that I have been a happy HD DVD owner for almost a year now, but seeing some the movies that I love in Blu-ray only, made me decide to get a Blu-ray player.
Video: The picture quality of this Blu-ray disc shows excellent CLARITY and BRIGHTNESS and BETTER COLORS that were not on the standard DVD. It seems that the brightness level was boosted, but also at the cost of some graininess and video noise.
The Picture looks almost perfect in the bright sunny desert scenes, but with very visible grains indoors. Overall, comparing this version to the dark (less grainy SD DVD) is like the difference between Day and Night! Also, This BD has a cool disc menu with ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic that turn into English letter.
There was a problem with the subtitled translation of the Alien language or ancient Egyptian (I'm not sure if this language was actually made up in Hollywood like the "KLINGON" language in the Star Trek Movies). The problem is, the translation should show up in English whenever that language is spoken, but it doesn't!!!!!! One helpful reviewer on this page suggested going to the main menu and selecting English subs, and it works!, but you end up with subtitles throughout the whole movie. This release might have been rushed to the market (like many Blu-ray releases of 2006 in order to compete with the other HD format). How long do we "Stargate" fan have to wait again before we get a release with a good picture quality (hopefully grain free and no subtitle problem)????
Audio: very good
Conclusion: I can say that this is the best version of this movie available to date! but it has its problems. If you can't wait and you don't mind turning on the subtitles during the whole movie, it's a great release under $20."
Subtitle issue...correct solution here.
Christopher Lord | Whittier, CA United States | 09/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I own this disc although the reviews of subtitle problems. However, I found the solution! Do NOT go to the menu screen and select english subtitles. The correct way to do it is to press your subtitle button on your remote and select English 3. This will correctly display the alien subtitles without the English subtitles. Whew! I am glad I found this out!
4 stars due to no major special features. The Blu Ray transfer makes this movie look more and more like 1994! Great movie!"
Paul Buchan | Toronto, Canada | 12/07/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Like other reviewers, I love the movie and already had it on dvd, but was VERY disappointed with the Blu-Ray transfer. When the scenes are bright (e.g., in the desert), the picture is excellent. But darker scenes are horrible. Very grainy. I'm not even sure grainy is the right word. There's snow on the picture like I'm receiving it with an antenna and the signal is weak. But then, switch to a brighter scene and we're back to crispy again. I can't figure out what went wrong. Was the original film poor in lower light conditions? I doubt it. Did they transfer from a copy of a copy of a copy? Probably. Regardless, I CANNOT recommend this Blu-Ray for now. Perhaps an "ultimate" or "collector's" edition will come out so I can buy it a 3rd time and they'll have cleaned it up. Hello? Criterion? Are you there? Somebody get the rights off these Lionsgate boobs.
I understand a lot of companies are doing this - rushing to put out a blu-ray versions with no effort to make good transfers. I'd rather they hadn't issued a Stargate blu-ray at all. I suppose they know I'll buy it again and again, like a lab rat getting repeatedly zapped at an electrified food dispenser.
Also, I didn't see any extras on the blu-ray at all, just the commentary, which was on the dvd."