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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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This March 2010 Blu Ray reissue (15th Anniversary) of Roland Emmerich's 1994 Sci-Fi blockbuster is a bit of a mixed bag. At least it has 4 hours of NEW extra content (on top of previously released features) and both the Extended Director's Cut and the Theatrical versions of the film - but its print is gorgeous one moment and awful the next...

There's a lot on here, so let's get to the spec details first:
* 1080p High Definition Print in 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
* Opening Menu Offers 3 language versions - German (overdubbed), French (overdubbed) and English (see subtitles)
* Theatrical Version (121 minutes)
* Director's Cut (130 minutes)
* New 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio for English
* 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio for both French and German
* Subtitles German and French ONLY (NO ENGLISH SUBTITLES)
* New "Deciphering The Gate: Concepts And Casting" Featurette
* New "Opening The Gate: The Making Of The Movie" Featurette
* New "Passing Through The Gate: The Legacy" Featurette
* New "Never-Before-Seen Gag Reel"
* New "Picture-In-Picture STARGATE Ultimate Knowledge" Feature
* "Is There A Stargate?" Featurette
* "The Making Of Stargate" Documentary
* Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Roland Emmerich and Writer/Producer Dean Devlin
* Original Stargate Previews
* B-Roll Footage
* BD Live

As you can clearly see from the impressive list above, this Optimum Releasing/Studio Canal reissue isn't blindly throwing the film out there - there's really great new extras on here and fan-orientated too. But having said that, the whole shebang is let down somewhat by the actual print itself.

Primarily because of how the movie was originally filmed and the mercilessness of the Blu Ray format - the outdoor sequences are beautiful to look at - but anything 'indoors' - inside the secret American site where the circle of stones is held - the Stargate device sequence - arriving at the entrance of the new world - in the slaves sand-filled shacks - in fact anything involving 'indoors' is full of bad lighting and blocking. So while you are impressed with the beauty of the opening 'Indiana Jones' desert-sequence at the beginning of the Theatrical version and the car pulling to Kurt Russell's home to get him on board the project - you are sent in the opposite direction by how bad the wedding sequence is between James Spader and the lovely Israeli actress Mili Avital - the spaceship landing on the pyramid when 'Ra' returns and Russell's soldiers are trapped underneath - and so on. In short, if you're looking for pristine picture quality all the way through, then this Blu Ray print will disappoint... Having said that and all things considered - this release is being pitched at less than ten quid, it has great sound and genuinely superb extras - and when the print sparkles, it really does.

To sum up - this Blu Ray is probably the best were going to get by way of presentation for the hugely entertaining and eminently re-watchable "Stargate - The Movie". Just be prepared to accept and forgive the less-than-great visual bits in between...

PS: When the film opens it offers 3 language versions - German (overdubbed), French (overdubbed) and English - but please note SUBTITLES are only in German and French - not in English.
The US variant (which is All Regions) does have the English subtitles!
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on 3 January 2013
Too many one-line reviews here. "Ah like/hate it" and "Best/worst muhvie evah" reviews are notoriously both moronic and unhelpful.

Too many "Bad quality" claims, too. A lot of people complain with a lot of blu-ray versions of slightly dated movies; for example that the movie looks grainy, when in fact it looks about as good as it ever did on celluloid. It is quite easy to find qualified information about transfer/reproduction quality in professional reviews with technical information on picture quality, comparisons with other releases etc. The subjective and unqualified opinions that some people put forth about "good releases" which are measurably bad and "bad releases" which are measurably good are not very helpful if you actually want to know about the quality of a specific release.

It is of course okay if a person does not like the original picture quality. But it's not okay to blame a technically very good reproduction for being the opposite. That is clearly putting the blame in the wrong place.

A few facts are needed, hence this review:

1) Quality

If you are in doubt about the picture/sound quality, look up a technically backed review, for example on blu-ray.com (search for Stargate Anniversary Edition), or on ign.com (search for Stargate Ultimate Edition). At ign.com the review offers comparison pictures with the earlier blu-ray release which will remove any possible doubt that complaints about this release being "bad quality" are completely off the mark. The transfer and picture quality of the "Ultimate Edition" blu-ray is simply close to perfect. To be fair, the established reviewers also remark that there is some grain in dark indoor scenes, but they also explain - with documentation - how this release is a vast technical improvement over previous releases and that the overall quality is very good.

2) Complaints

There is one complaint about the UK release that is very well founded:

The UK version of the blu-ray release omits English subtitles, which is a complete no-brainer. A lot of people who are not hearing imparied will still have use for original language subtitles in order to hear what's being said by people who mumble, when more people talk at the same time, in noisy scenes etc.

This is a serious complaint in my book. Solution: Go for the US "Anniversary Edition" release instead. It is basisically the same release, most importantly it's the same transfer. It's cheap (presently) on Amazon.com, it has the two movie versions, it is region ALL, the differences being that it DOES have English subtitles - and a bit less of extras. So the choice is between more extras (UK) or English subs (US). (For region info, bluray.liesinc.net is very helpful although incomplete since it only has the data that users provide. For content comparisons (also limited to what users contribute) I recommend dvdcompare.net).

3) The movie itself

This will obviously be an opinion, not "facts", but technical quality would be irrelevant if the movie was. So - well, Stargate is certainly not serious science fiction, but very much an Indiana Jones-like adventure sci-fi movie. I like serious sci-fi, but I also like good fun, and I certainly think that Stargate qualifies quite well in the latter department. Most people considering purchase of a copy of Stargate probably know the movie already, and I don't want to tell what it's about if you don't. If you don't know it, be prepared for a real "popcorn movie". I cannot say whether you will like it or not. But if you know and like other Roland Emmerich movies it's a rather safe bet that you will. If you are going to see Stargate for the first time, I would recommend seeing the theatrical version first. It is a bit shorter and I agree with many others that the added scenes in the director's cut version mostly just make the movie longer and clumsier.

Personally, entertainment which I find sufficiently sympathic, fun and good-looking to make me want to see it again and again is among the best I can get, I'll happily give five stars to anything with those qualities. But the five stars are not for intelligence, they are for "VERY good fun".

So: Recommended for the movie, and for quite objectively being a quality release. US version recommended over the UK version if you want English subs.
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on 17 January 2004
I have seen many reviews for this film. There are some good ones that take the film for what it is, but these are short and unhelpful. The longer reviews tend to find holes in the plot, and complain about pace of the action. First of all I would like to say to those people, if you would like all the science and backstory explained to your satisfaction, we'd have a film that you'd only get half way though if you watched it walking to Abydos. Secondly the pace of this film lets you take in what's going on and gives it a much more realistic feel, as you are not being force fed action and useless information just to get it all into the two hours.
My advice is take this film for what it is, a relaxing feel good movie that can inspire your imagination. This more than your average blockbuster. Finally do not try and compare this to the TV series as they are very different, you'll only be disappointed they are not what you were expecting as they have different actors and a whole different feel about them.
This is truly a Sc-Fi movie that rises above the norm, not just an excuse to use lots of special effects.
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on 31 May 2007
Back in ancient Giza a large circular artefact is buried under some capstones. Later in the 1920s an archaeological dig uncovers the 'stone' ring and various items of jewellery all dedicated to the Egyptian sun god Ra. Then in the 1990s, Dr Daniel Jackson, a radical Egyptologist who is widely disbelieved by the academic community is co-opted into a project run by the USAF, a project researching the large ring. Jackson with his differing interpretation of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs rapidly solves the problem of the ring showing it to be a transportation device, a Stargate. Together with a USAF commando team lead by the recently returned from retirement Colonel Jack O'Neill, Jackson and co. head through the Stargate to another world; a world populated by 'Egyptians' and their gods. Can they return home? Can they prevent Ra from his plans of domination?

On the theatrical release of this movie I have to say that I was under whelmed, and to be quite honest disappointed with the whole experience. I watched it again, and perhaps on my initial viewing I wasn't particularly attentive but it seemed like a different much better movie. I've since been given the Directors Cut on sale here and once again I've found my enjoyment to be greater still. So what is it about this movie that takes time to engage with? Maybe the slowish middle after the initial excitement of Daniel Jackson (ably played by James Spader) solving the riddle of the Stargate had something to do with it. Maybe the wooden and often lacklustre performance by the supporting cast was the problem (excluding of course the excellent Kurt Russell as Jack O'Neill and the typecast Viveca Lindfors as the venerable Dr Catherine Langford). Maybe there have been so many theories about the Ancient Egyptians that we think, "Ho hum, here we go again". I just don't know. In the end, I've found myself really enjoying the film, especially in the light of the release of Stargate SG-1 on TV.

The Directors Cut version (theatrical version also on the disk) is a more rounded story providing a better story flow, but as a previous reviewer has noted, the production quality of these restored scenes is not quite as good as the theatrically released scenes. Some sequences were unnecessary, but others vital - why would the USAF include O'Neill "Just in case the project succeeds" if they weren't aware of a potential threat as shown in the Directors Cut? The DTS soundtrack is pretty good too - if you've a decent rig, crank it up when Ra's ship is landing and make the house shake!

All in all an excellent movie (now it has grown on me) and one I recommend to Sci-fi fans wholeheartedly. A pity about the extra scene quality hence the four stars. One thing though, it can damage your knowledge of Egyptian history - I did watch opening sequences of "The Mummy Returns" and then wonder why the Jaffa weren't using their staff weapons to fight the Scorpion King!
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on 18 February 2011
Warning!! Do not buy this version of the film on Blu-ray the picture quality is awful. I try to watch it about 3 times or more, but I just couldn't. I've bought the later released "Ultimate Edition," and that version is a proper transfer to Blu-ray, so if you have this version then throw it in the bin and buy the "Ultimate Edition," and just suffer you lost.

The Ultimate Edition -> Stargate [Blu-ray] [1994]

Update: Their is a new improved Blu ray release and definitely worth buying. Stargate: Ultimate Edition (Blu Ray) [Blu-ray]
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on 19 October 2001
This is an excellent DVD for those of us who like the Stargate saga. The transfer of the original part of the movie is truly superb: sharp and wonderful colours. The sound is also amazing, even though I only have Dolby Pro Logic to hear it on (Dolby Digital and DTS are included). The extra footage is welcome, but suffers from not being as high quality as the rest of the movie. It's interesting to hear the commentary from the producer & director, usually explining which is their favorite bit (most of the film it would seem!). All round though, an excellent disc.
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on 2 April 2014
Stargate the 1994 production directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich, the story which starts at a archeological dig in 1928 and ends up on another World, starring Kurt Russell as Colonel Jack O’Neill the hard noised broken Army Officer and James Spader as Dr Daniel Jackson the Linguists’ expert who may or may not hold the key to the Stargates mystery this movie finally gets the UK release on this format it deserves.
This 2010 edition supersedes all previous versions on Blu-ray that where available in the UK, this 50GB disc with its improved picture quality encoded using the MPEG-4 AVC codec and its all new English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio there is audio tracks in French and German 5.1 DTS Master Audio and subtitles in French & German there is a choice of cuts of the film between the theatrical cut which runs at 120 minutes and the extended version 130 minutes long.
Something I wish the Film companies would do when there are more than one cut of a movie.
This Blu-ray is jam packed with extra features that are exclusive to this particular edition which run over 4 hours long including Stargate –A history made and a never before seen new gag reel.

Making a direct comparison between this edition of the film and the 2001 DVD is like night and day this Blu-ray has a better field of colours which have skin-tones that are more realistic and a deeper more varied range of blacks, gone also is the blurring round the opening credits and overlays of the DVD along with the flat sound and the grainy picture of the other versions of the film on Blu-ray are a distant memory all in all a worthy up-grade and addition to a Blu-ray Collection...
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on 6 November 2001
When I first saw this film I instantly loved it. I own it on VHS too, and when I recieved this DVD I was quite surprised while watching it. The picture quality is nothing short of superb. The improvement with the transition from VHS is ludicrous - it's really sharp and clear with great colours, even for a DVD. The only bits that are not so crisp are the extra scenes added for the directors cut edition. The sound quality is also fantastic - having only watched the VHS edition previously I was pleasantly surprised while listening to the full DTS version. Incidently, Dolby 5.1 is also incuded. The acting in the film itself is also pretty good - particulary the scenes with James Spader and Kurt Russell together. Buy it if you have a DVD player - it's an excellent film made better.
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on 28 July 2009
The menu for this DVD mysteriously announces that this is 'Disc II: Theatrical Version' - one wonders what happened to Disc I. The film itself is worth a five star rating, but it is once again let down by the DVD release: the picture quality is hardly improved compared to the 2001 director's cut release and because this is the theatrical version, it is missing the extra ten minutes of footage. This one has more special features, although the 'Making of' is still not included, and neither is the director's commentary which both featured on other European releases. It is a shame that the film which started an entire franchise is still not getting a proper special edition.
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on 20 January 2010
The movie itself still stands the test of time as one of the true classics of the genre.The Blu-ray transfer is good but not perfect.The whole film is crisper, sharper and shows more detail in the dark scenes. Colours are generally rich and vibrant with the outside scenes,in particular, very brilliant by comparison to the standard DVD. Whilst I do not see this transfer as 'benchmark', it none the less improves the visual experience of the film by a fair margin. Well worth the upgrade to Blu-ray.
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