Stargate – The Ark of Truth, Blu-ray (2008)

by | Mar 1, 2009 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Stargate – The Ark of Truth, Blu-ray (2008)

Feature continues from where TV series Stargate SG-1 left off
Starring: Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Claudia Black, Christopher Judge, Julian Sands, Beau Bridges
Studio: Fox/MGM  [Release date: Mar. 3, 09]
Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 color, 1080p HD
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish DD 5.1, French DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Extras: Commentary track with writer/director/producer Robert C. Cooper, Christopher Judge & Dir. of Photography Peter Woeste; “The Ark of Truth: Stargate at Comic-Con” featurette; “Uncovering the Ark of Truth” featurette; “Stargate SG-1: The Road Taken – Prelude to Stargate: The Ark of Truth”
Length: 102 minutes
Rating: ****

I haven’t been keeping up on Stargate SG-1 so didn’t realize it had ended.  The Prelude featurette should definitely be viewed first – there is an option to do so if you just click on view the feature. It moves very fast and shows that an awful lot has been happening in the Ori Saga since I last viewed any SG-1 episodes. I didn’t even know there was an Ori Saga.  It turns out it had been central to the final two years of the ten-year-run of the highly-regarded sci-fi series. The most fun for me was to have both Ben Browder and Claudia Black back from FarSpace, though there’s no longer a romantic interest between them. However, Black – the quintessential sci-fi heroine – does get a couple sexy costumes.

In the previous episodes the Ori, who are ascended beings, had been cleverly eliminated, but somehow they and their huge spaceships are still around and they intend to destroy Earth.  There is now an immense super-Stargate in space and the SG-1 crew must pass thru it to confront the Ori. The expedition is threatened from within by an arrogant government official whose nefarious deeds aboard the ship result in the return of thousands of the insect-like metallic Replicators.  There are trips back to a medieval society on a mountainside which I didn’t fully understand. There are incursions from mythical characters such as Morgan La Fay and Merlin, and even visits to what seems to be Atlantis – part of another (but much less acclaimed) Stargate spinoff. Didn’t quite get all of that either. When the leader of a band of warriors serving the Ori turns coat and joins with the SG-1 team, it results in a fine dramatic scene when alien Teal’c – who earlier had a similar change of obeisance back on the original Stargate planet (with the trans-gender “god” from The Crying Game – remember?) – tells the warrior he will never escape the guilt over those he caused to be killed and injured.  Locating the Ark on Earth is the key to putting an end to the Ori and a few godlike creatures who have assumed their powers. Of course you know they do, and that fearless leader Col. Cameron Mitchell will end up bloody but victorious in the ship’s medical bay, comforted by tech-expert Col. Sam. 

I felt there were a few too many last-minute disasters to deal with all at once on the ship, on Earth, and elsewhere.  But I suppose that’s what raises the tensions and makes the final positive denouement more effective. The Blu-ray transfer looks great, some of the cgi work is very impressive, and Joel Goldsmith’s music works well, but can’t hold a candle to the terrific original Stargate theme. There are a number of gorgeous snow-mountain scenes shot in the Canadian Rockies, which have a bit more visual interest than the arctic scenes in the previous Stargate: Continuum feature.

– John Sunier

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