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5.0 out of 5 stars In a way, a very realistic movie...
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...
Published on June 19 2004 by Denny Vu Quach

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stargate Special Edition
The low rating I am giving this disc does not reflect my opinion of the film, but rather my opinion of the discs poor quality. The below average image quality is surprising, considering the fact that this is already the second DVD release of this movie. Not only is the overall image quality not as good as it should be, but to top it off the entire film features a video...
Published on Nov. 23 2002


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stargate Special Edition, Nov. 23 2002
By A Customer
The low rating I am giving this disc does not reflect my opinion of the film, but rather my opinion of the discs poor quality. The below average image quality is surprising, considering the fact that this is already the second DVD release of this movie. Not only is the overall image quality not as good as it should be, but to top it off the entire film features a video burn on the right hand side of the picture. Lower end monitors may cut this area off and therefore hide it, but a good screen will feature this irritating flaw. One can only hope that a Superbit or Criterion version of this film will be released one day. The disc presently available is certainly a disapointment.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Solid Flim, This DVD Is Lacking, However..., June 30 2004
Stargate, as a film, is really a solid example of imaginative science fiction. The characters are a little cardboard-y, and the plot is, of course, wholly unbelieavble (as is the norm for science fiction, though!)...Overall, though, this film succeeds in being very, very entertaining to watch. Additionally, the entire premise of the film is so original that it was a thoroughly enjoyable - if light - film experience. The ending had something to be desired, but this is still an entertaining movie.
Of course, this film really doesn't have much to do with the actual stargate conspiracy, but it is interesting, nonetheless. Kurt Russell does, believe it or not, an excellent job with his role and manages to balance a powerful character in this film.
Now, for this DVD. Firstly, the DVD is cheap. That's always a plus. However, all the DVD has on it is the movies: I was pretty much expecting there to be what MOST DVD's have (-ie, traliors, interviews, etc)...I was disappointed to find that this edition did not contain any theatrical trailers. There is, however, a short side-film about the Stargate and the prospect of there even being one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In a way, a very realistic movie..., June 19 2004
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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!
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3.0 out of 5 stars fun, if forgettable actioner, May 21 2004
This review is from: Stargate (VHS Tape)
In "Stargate" an ultra-secret military experiment on a mysterious ancient Egyptian artifact reveals it to be a device for crossing huge distances of interstellar space. How or why the device works proves less important than how it can be used. So, with eccentric Egyptologist "Mr. Jackson" (Spader), and led by burnt out Col. Jack O'Neal (Russell), a crack team of American commando travels through the gate and finds themselves on a distant planet on the other edge of the galaxy. There, they will find a primitive civilization of humans looking pretty much like those of Khemitic Egypt. They will also learn the secret of the Stargate's creator, and its dark plans for humanity. Turns out that the gate was created by Ra, a super-intelligent being that used super-science to create the ancient Egyptian empires. Fearing Ra's power, his ancient slaves buried their stargate, thus trapping Ra on the other side. Now realizing the way is open to return to Earth, and feeling somewhat vindictive, Ra plans to attack our planet. Only Jackson and O'neal stand in its way.
This was a nifty idea for a movie, though not a very original one. (If "Independence Day" was like "War of the Worlds" with F-18's, then "Stargate" was a rip-off of the "Dr. Who" serial "Pyramids of Mars" of 1975 - both feature a vindictive demi-godly Egyptian being trapped on one side of a stargate; "Stargate" swaps Tom Baker's jibes for Kurt Russell's machine guns). The flick generates little suspense (Spader's character can read the hieroglyphics that helpfully explain the premise behind the scrtipt) and the villains (once we've determined that they are just that) have little depth or menace - the script calls for them to look like ancient Egyptians, which gives them the appearance you'd expect from CB Demille. Spader and Russell are two interesting actors, but the script gives them little to work off each other with. O'Neal, we learn early on, is grief and guilt stricken because his son accidentally killed himself with O'Neal's gun. By the end of the flick, he's found his groove again, and is ready to battle evil - but the turnabout seems shallow, and doesn't seem as much fun as it should. Like the rest of the movie, it's big and loud, and not as much fun as it should be.
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5.0 out of 5 stars can't think of a better sci-fi movie, March 28 2004
By 
L. Carmel "justwanderin" (Earth) - See all my reviews
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indeed this is probably the best sci-fi movie, personally speaking of course. i've seen it countless times and this special edition includes the way-better director's cut which features more depth and more action. first i'll mention that the actores are all amazing - james spader and jay williamson in particular deliver exceptional performances, especially during their scenes together (i'd even say you can write a queer studies seminar paper on ra's character), and mili avital was an excellent casting choice as well (though too bad she has not gathered much momentum since and mainly does israeli tv nowadays).
dvd-wise the featurettes are great, especially the erich von däniken segment, the director/producer commentary is very very interesting as well just because of the great thought and resources that went into creating this film. i have to say that the reason this is one of the best sci-fi films ever is because it's so well researched, and it doesn't try to make itself simple to understand for the average joe viewer. i've also read the novel adaptation and it's the same case there as well. when you compare this movie to the tripe that's usually being produced when it comes to sci-fi, you can see that there is a clear motivation for everything and even a highly believable scenario - aliens don't just come to earth out of the blue, just like von däniken's book states, there has always been enough 'evidence' on earth to suggest that the ra character exists, that the stargate existed etc.. of course it's all far-fetched but not impossible nonetheless.
finally the musical score in the movie is one of the greatest scores ever so make sure you have your sorround system installed for this movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Look to the Stars, March 13 2004
By 
Andrew "Radaar" (Chicago, IL, USA) - See all my reviews
I have to hand it to science fiction; it is one of the few genres that can have mediocre acting and still be a good movie. Stargate's story is the reason for its success. The movie tells the story of a race of aliens that used (notice how I did not say built) an interstellar portal, called a Stargate, in order to bring humans to a new planet for slave labor. This all happened during the time of ancient Egypt, so there is a disticnt Egyptian flavor throughout the film, which I found very intriguing. In 1928, archeaologists find the Stargate and are baffled by it. In the present day, the Stargate is in the hands of the United States Air Force, and they hire an Egyptologist named Daniel Jackson (James Spader) to decipher the markings on the gate. Jackson is somewhat infamous in his field, because he denies that humans built the pyramids. He believes that it was done by aliens, but he has no proof to back it up. The Air Force also brings in an old retired colonel, named Jack O'Neil (Kurt Russell) in order to "supervise" the project. Once Jackson gets the Stargate operational, a team, led by O'Neil and including Jackson for scientific purposes, goes through the gate and ends up on a planet in a galaxy far far away (sorry, I couldn't help myself). On the planet, they encounter other humans who still speak ancient Egyptian as well as a race of humanoid aliens who are keeping the men as slaves.
The story is very inventive and it is what finally saved the movie for me. Spader did okay in his role, but Russell seemed to have two modes: angry and sarcastic. One thing that I didn't understand was that Russell gets top billing, but the movie is essentially about Spader's Jackson. Also, I didn't like Ra (Jaye Davidson), the leader of the aliens. He was a good character, but he was so creepy just because he looks so much like a woman! I could barely look at him it was so disturbing. But besides these two things, Stargate is a great movie. The effects are great, and as I have already stated, the story is amazing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Looks good, sounds good, but..., March 12 2004
By A Customer
I think one of the reasons a highly successful television show spawned from this film is because the producers felt they had to redeem themselves. Although the movie manages to fit ancient Egyptian deities, a pyramid-shaped spaceship, aliens,a nuclear bomb, military ops, a marriage, and messages about everything from slavery to gun control into its two hours, there are still enough plot holes to fit the Giza pyramids in.
In fact, the film seems like it would have made a much better movie for TV to begin with. Throughout the entire film, I felt like I had already watched every scene in some other Sci-fi flick. Maybe it was a prototype ten years ago, but now the ideas seem just too stereotypical. The film starts out with an ancient Egyptian dig in the 1920's- Indiana Jones, anyone? - where an ancient stone portal is unearthed, then flashes forward to an unappreciated scientist in the present day, who is recruited to work on the mysterious project of figuring out what the heck the so-called Stargate is supposed to do. Once he does (which takes him all of seven minutes, and you're supposed to assume that the scientists before him couldn't figure out what a triangle symbolized in ancient Egypt)he goes with a scout team led by Kurt Russel into a strange desert planet where dread-locked, shabbily dressed people mine minerals.
From there, what could have been a promising movie disintegrates into one goofy scene after another: the native's discovery of the miraculous workings of guns and cigarette lighters (just what I would want to give another civilization), a group of liberty-minded teenagers form a motley crew of militants dressed in the scout team's army vests and helmets,James Spader suddenly learns how to speak ancient Egyptian, subtitles appear, than inconveniently disappear, then appear again, and Kurt Russel gets to kick the stuffing out of Anubis and Horus.
There are, however, advantages to this film. There are some winning scenes, most of them with Viveca Lindfors, who plays the aged leader of the Stargate investigation team. She's absolutely charming. James Spader is presentable as the geeky but heroic Daniel Jackson, but he doesn't really have to do anything in the last forty minutes or so because he's always running around. He's much better playing skeevy guys (for instance, his neat role in Sex, Lies and Videotape). Kurt Russel and Jaye Davidson, as Colonel O'Neil and Ra respectively, are the best parts of the whole movie, probably because they just look so fabulous. Jaye Davidson is so androgynously beautiful you wish there were more scenes with him. Kurt Russel plays the melancholy but efficient O'Neil with far less humor than Richard Anderson does on TV, but golly, does he look handsome. Plus, keep an ear open for David Arnold's score. Like everything else in this movie, it borrows heavily from its genre predecessors (in this case, Star Wars), but it's still very, very good.
As for the DVD, the special features didn't mean much to me, since I didn't like the film too much anyway, but the color was striking (much yellow and blue, which seems to have been picked solely to accent Mr. Russel's blond hair and blue eyes, and I'm not just saying that) and the sound was also great. If you're in the mood to get a movie that you don't have to think much about, or if you're looking for a creative explanation of the origin of mankind, then this might be of some interest to you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cat squiggle gate symbol star..., Dec 30 2003
By 
FrKurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (Bloomington, IN USA) - See all my reviews
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The film 'Stargate' is based on an interesting albeit not entirely original premise -- the idea that the ancients have been visited from beings from the stars is as ancient as is humanity; the particular idea for this film probably came from the Erik von Daniken type of UFO conjectures quite in vogue in the 1970s. In all, it is an intriguing idea, pulling in the mystery of ancient civilisations, the ancient pyramids, the mysticism that underlies all forms of writing, and pictographic/hieroglyphic writing at that, and good old fashioned heroism.
The story begins with a discovery during the golden age of Middle Eastern archaeology, in the early twentieth century. Drawing on ideas that still circulate today in real academic circles that the pyramids and other structures pre-date the actual historically-recorded empires in Egypt, in the story it turns out the discovery was actually an ancient device that served as a passageway for extraterrestrials who needed mining workers for the resources of this and other planets.
The key to this 'stargate' is embedded in the inscriptions on the device, and Daniel Jackson (James Spader) is the only one who can decipher them. Jackson is a down-on-his-luck Egyptologist whose out-of-this-world ideas rendered him unemployed and destitute -- the perfect recruit for a secret government mission.
Enter into the scene Colonel O'Neil (Kurt Russell), a depressive, mourning military officer pulled out of retirement to take charge of a near-certain-death mission through the stargate. The clash between the academics/scientists and the military is a classic story development, but the clash is shortlived here as the team going to the distant planet must work together.
Arriving on the distant planet, they find people and environment similar to that of ancient Egypt, and the whole civilisation has the purpose of mining minerals for their 'god', who turns out to be an extraterrestrial with nearly infinite lifespan and manipulative ways of subduing cultures, primarily by keeping them illiterate and technologically backward. This 'god' presented himself as 'Ra' to the ancient Egyptians (played here by Jaye Davidson, the ambiguous star of the 'The Crying Game', being the only other film he starred in before opting out of acting).
The action picks up with 'Ra' arriving for a regular shipment, only to find the Earth team ready to begin revolution and destroy the distant stargate with a smuggled nuclear weapon.
The special effects are good if not innovative; the idea of the device and the method of transport is an effective use of special effects technology at hand, and much is carried on the story and the idea of the device rather than the actual computer or miniature effects. This has proven a boon to the producers, who are able to budget for a weekly series derivative of this film, not something originally planned with the production of this film.
The acting is good, occasionally great. The perhaps the best character is Viveca Lindfors, who plays the daughter of the original archaeologist who discovered the device; now an elderly woman, her dream comes true of activating the device. Lindfors died the year after this film was made, after a career in acting that spanned over six decades. Watch closely for French Stewart, as a disgruntled soldier, barely recognisable as the same person who plays on 'Third Rock from the Sun', a very different science fiction idea.
In all, this is a good story, a fine film and it captures the imagination well. It is not over the top and doesn't overwork the classic science fiction stereotypes. The special edition contains interesting commentary from the director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin in director's cut, includes the theatrical trailer, includes both director's cut and theatrical cut, and presents things in a widescreen format.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Aims high; mostly succeeds, Dec 21 2003
By 
John S. Ryan "Scott Ryan" (Cuyahoga Falls, OH) - See all my reviews
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I've never seen the TV series that this movie spawned; this is a review of the movie on its own terms.
This movie is _so_ close to being great that it's frustrating not to be able to award it five stars. Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin had a terrific idea here and _almost_ sustained it for the length of a feature film.
The essential idea owes a lot to Robert A. Heinlein's _Tunnel in the Sky_ (and some of the plot details show debts to other Heinlein works as well). There's this stargate, see . . .
Well, that's enough about the plot, just in case you haven't seen it yet. For SF geeks like me, the first hour and a half is like a wet-dream come true. The ending doesn't exactly fall apart or anything, it's just that it doesn't manage to remain at the high level of the first two-thirds of the movie.
As Col. Jack O'Neil, Kurt Russell is terrific as usual (and I happen to think he deserves far more credit as an actor than he's generally gotten). James Spader is a bit hammy but generally credible as Daniel Jackson, the absent-minded academic-outcast astro-Egyptologist dweeb. In lesser hands these two characters could have devolved into cliches, but these actors manage to keep them alive. Of course there's also Jaye Davidson, the special secret surprise from _The Crying Game_, here used very effectively in a role I can't say anything about without spoiling the plot.
David Arnold's soaring score is just awesome. You'll want to plug your DVD player into your sound system for this one (if you don't have it there already).
And the plot is intellectually engaging for at least most of the way through. The, um, foreign culture in question is nicely evoked and fleshed out, with a few cinematic nods to everything from _Dune_ to Indiana Jones to _The Man Who Would Be King_, and without too many of the oversimplifications that always threaten films of this sort.
I have no idea at all how well the TV series has done in sustaining this stuff. But the movie stands quite well on its own.
The _Ultimate_ DVD set includes both a 'director's cut' and the original theaterical-release version -- plus some nice commentaries and interviews. The interviewees include (who else?) Erich von Daniken, whose _Chariots of the Gods?_ was part of the popular literature of my youth. If you've even heard of him, you'll probably like this movie.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Should Have Been A T.V. Show From The Start, Aug. 22 2003
By A Customer
This film directed Roland Emmerich and written/produced by Dean Devlin deals with the discovery of an ancient Egyptian portal to extra-terrestrial worlds. A young Egyptologist (James Spader)is able to translate the portal's hieroglyphs and activate it. He then joins reconnaissance force led by Kurt Russell to a desert planet that eerily resembles ancient Egypt. The team soon brings on the wrath of an extraterrestrial who was/is worshipped as the sun god Ra (Jaye Davidson) and who threatens the fate of humanity on the other side of the portal.
The story is imaginative but shoots itself in the foot. The aliens in the movie seem far less of a threat than those in the T.V. show. At one point, Ra foils the team's detonation of a tactical nuclear device and, in an ominous voice, threatens the world's leaders by saying "We have weapons a hundred times more powerful!" The absurdity of the threat being that such weapons would be but a mere fraction of the total nuclear arsenal possessed by the U.S. alone! I couldn't help but laugh and, realistically, the humans receiving the message would have laughed too or breathed a sigh of relief at the very least. The audience also never really gets a glimpse of this seemingly omnipotent being's powers other than a small number of Anubis look-alike guards carrying laser staffs and clumsily piloting seemingly unimpressive flying saucers. Where are his legions of doom? Where is the threat that seems to instill so much fear among the characters and bring the climax to the story? The audience sure doesn't see it!
I like the t.v. series much better than this pretentious sci-fi production. The acting was decent and the special effects o.k. Unfortunately the writers should have thought their story through before releasing it to the theaters. Nice to rent once but it's not worth owning: save your money and buy the T.V. series instead.
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Stargate [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]
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