Sunday, 30 January 2011

“Stargate The Movie – Ultimate Edition”. A Review Of The 1994 Film Now Reissued On A 2010 BLU RAY.

"…What A Rush!..."

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 – German, French and English
• 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 English, German and French
• 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 bits in between…

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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