Stargate 15th Anniversary Blu- Ray Review

I actually saw Stargate in the theatres when it first came out and found it pleasantly entertaining.  At the time there weren’t too many Sci-Fi movies or televisions shows around like there are now.  Much like with comic book movies, much improved visual effects and the general audience’s more open acceptance of such films has changed that.

Stargate which was written by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin (same duo did Independence Day and Godzilla) and directed by Roland Emmerich still remains their best work.  While the characters and plot itself are nothing novel, the concept of the ‘Stargate’ itself combined with good acting from the cast and entertaining action make the movie better than the sum of its parts.

 Kurt Russell plays the hardened military officer Jack O’ Neil that leads the team through the Stargate and onto the new planet which is galaxies away, while James Spader plays the stereotypical “smart yet dorky with crazy theories that happen to be true” professor Daniel Jackson. 

stargate james spader

Both actors carry the film well, and along with the rest of the cast’s performance kept me engaged and with a movie like this is very important to not take the viewer out of the “world” they were creating.  Other sci fi movies and television shows have suffered when the actors don’t fully commit to the roles because either the script isn’t strong enough or they don’t believe in the material.

The special effects while obviously dated compared to today’s movies, still holds up and doesn’t detract from the overall engagement, and some of the model work is still better than stuff you see on TV shows today.

VIDEO

I had my LG Blu Ray player hooked up to my 46” Samsung LCD HDTV through a HDMI cable, and the picture looks great especially during the daytime scenes out in the desert.  The movie is displayed in 16 X 9 widescreen and in 1080P.  Some of the darker night scenes however had some grain, though most likely because the original film had it and transferred over.  I didn’t expect the picture to be quite so clear for a 15 year old picture (before they started transferring film to HD copies), but it looks clear.

AUDIO

I can’t really comment on how good the audio is because I don’t have a surround sound system that would fully bring out the 7.1 surround sound.

SPECIAL FEATURES

There is a new 3 part featurette that goes into the casting, behind the scenes, and the legacy of the original Stargate film.  This featurette gives some backstory on how at the time, a big budget sci fi movie was actually quite an anomaly and its eventual box office success a surprise.

Also included is an older documentary that features more of the main cast than the newer featurettes, though it the video quality is like that of an old VHS tape.

There is also a featurette called “Is There A Stargate?” which I tried to watch but wasn’t interesting enough to me, so I turned it off.

Now I know it’s the “cool” thing for Blu Rays to have interactive games, but personally its not the actual content of the game that bothers me, but the mechanics of using the remote control to navigate and pick your answers to trivia that annoys me.  This would work more on a PC type system where you have a mouse and faster response time, where this is sluggish and eventually you get frustrated and exit out.

The Gag Reel is one of the highlights of the special features because it isn’t your typical gag reel where you see the cast messing up or pranking each other but instead is one long 3 minute choreographed take around the set of the crew messing around in an entertaining fashion. 

stargate james spader and girl

CONCLUSION

Overall I found the movie to be entertaining, though not totally original in its characters or plot, but the concept of the Stargate itself to be fascinating and I can see why it has spawned many TV series, direct to DVD movies, and a cult fanbase. 

If you are fan of the original movie or its offspring, I definitely recommend getting the Blu-Ray, if you are a casual sci fi fan and haven’t seen it, I say renting or buying it would not be a bad choice either, just don’t expect the effects to be state of the art compared to today’s big budget blockbusters.

P.S. To enter to win a free copy of the Stargate: 15th Anniversary Blu-Ray, go to Twitter and RT this post from the ThinkHero account, and I’ll pick one random person that does this

– Dennis

I give the Stargate 15th Anniversary Blu-Ray:

B Grade

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