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While SG-1 attends the execution of Ba'al, the last of the Goa'uld System Lords, Teal'c and
Vala inexplicably disappear into thin air. Carter, Daniel and Mitchell race back to a world where
history has been changed: the Stargate program has been erased from the timeline. As they
try to convince the authorities what's happened, a fleet of Goa'uld motherships arrives in orbit,
led by Ba'al, his queen, Qetesh, and his first prime, Teal'c. The remaining SG-1 members must
find the Stargate and set things right before the world is enslaved by the Goa'uld.
For more about Stargate: Continuum and the Stargate: Continuum Blu-ray release, see Stargate: Continuum Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on August 7, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Michael Shanks, Claudia Black
Director: Martin Wood
» See full cast & crew
Stargate: Continuum Blu-ray Review
"SG-1" fans, hurry up and buy this disc!
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, August 7, 2008
This is not the way things are supposed to be.
If there is a Holy Trinity of modern Science Fiction, it is the three "Stars" -- Star Trek, Star Wars, and Stargate, and the greatest of these is Star Trek. Beginning with the 1966 television series "Star Trek," Captain Kirk, Mister Spock, and Bones McCoy blazed the galactic path for four additional, very-long running television series (and a short-lived animated series) and, to date, ten motion pictures (with one in the works), each taking us where no man or beagle had gone before, doing so in a future several centuries ahead of our own. Star Wars created an entirely new galaxy, one far, far away, where good and evil vied for galactic dominance in six motion pictures that spanned three or four generations of characters. These two series offered a time and place different from those that encase us here on Earth, and offered to audiences an escape from the "mundane" confines of their own planet. Where Stargate differs from the other "Stars" is that its setting is in the here and now. One may argue that the best Science Fiction is that which alters the world in which we live ever so slightly. Motion pictures such as Independence Day, The War of the Worlds, The Day the Earth Stood Still, I Am Legend, and Cloverfield each show "now" with a twist, and it is the twist that makes them all that more real and escapist. Seeing the Death Star looming in space through the windows of the Millennium Falcon does not have the same impact as seeing a flying saucer the size of a city floating a quarter of a mile above Los Angeles, or a smaller flying saucer landing on a Little League field a few blocks from the White House.
Stargate began in Egypt during the 1920s, but almost immediately skipped seven decades to the present, and then took us across galaxies with the ease of walking through a doorway. The television series, "Stargate SG-1" picked up the same story with the same characters. The characters in "Stargate" drive the same kinds of cars we drive, live in houses like ours, and perhaps enjoy a good Blu-ray like we do. These people who walk to other galaxies might be our neighbors, our co-workers, or fellow Blu-ray.com forum members. Could anything make the program appear more authentic? "Stargate SG-1" ran ten seasons, and at the beginning of its eighth season, in July 2004, "Stargate: Atlantis," a spin-off series was debuted, and that show is currently in its fifth season. One thing that never dies in Hollywood is an idea, good or bad, as long as someone thinks there is an audience willing to give time and money for entertainment. As audiences have proven again and again, they consider the three "Stars" of Science Fiction worth their time and money, a fair exchange of value. Thus, the creative talent that made "Stargate SG-1," is back with a direct-to-video movie, Stargate: Continuum.
As the SG-1 team (including Jack O'Neill, portrayed Richard Dean Anderson, TV's "MacGyver") witness an hours-long "boring" ceremony, they and the city around them begin to vanish into thin air. Only three team members -- Jackson (Michael Shanks), Mitchell (Ben Browder), and Carter (Amanda Tapping) are able to retreat through the Stargate only to find themselves in the frozen hull of a derelict ship rather than SG-1 command on the other side. When they meet O'Neill (a special forces operative who has no knowledge of the timeline where the team exists) and Major General Landry (Beau Bridges, 10.5: Apocalypse) who knows of the Stargate project but will not permit the remaining SG-1 team members to correct the timeline and destroy the lives of everyone in his own, Jackson, Mitchell, and Carter are separated one from another and told never to meet again without government consent. A year later, the team members in this skewed timeline begin to piece together what's happened -- and must take action to prevent the immediate threat to come -- but it will take the help of the entire SG-1 team, including Teal'c (Christopher Judge) and Vala/Qetesh (Claudia Black), to save Earth from a new history marred by slavery and death at the hands of deadly aliens.
Stargate: Continuum is a fine direct-to-video feature that has the look and feel of a big budget, two-parter episode from the acclaimed series. The approach works, and the smaller budget never hinders the film from achieving its primary purpose -- to insert a new chapter into the legendary canon of the Stargate universe while retaining many of the characters, props (such as the famous FNH P90), and sets. In this regard, the film can get away with questionable special effects, none-too-fancy set pieces, and silly dialogue because all of these quirks keep it firmly entrenched in the look and spirit of the fan-favorite show. The writing is sufficiently smart and is replete with humor, and the characters are written in such a way as to satisfy the show's biggest fans while easing new audiences into the Stargate universe and not overwhelming them with too many inside jokes or references to past episodes to bog them down and ruin the experience. The film is satisfying enough for newcomers and should please hardcore fans who have stuck with Stargate since the original film's theatrical debut in 1994.
Stargate: Continuum Blu-ray, Video Quality
Stargate: Continuum opens its portal on Blu-ray with an adequate 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer that shows its lower-budget roots but manages to mostly impress nevertheless. Many details look great, especially the military uniforms the team wears during Ba'al's extraction. From the webbing of various pockets, the zippers, and the kevlar -- that has both body and weight to it -- everything looks marvelously real. Other details do not look quite as good, though. The image often appears murky and devoid of exceptional detail, although a close-up of Ba'al in chapter 18 reveals all of his facial hair, blemishes, and other features with great clarity. Grain is present throughout the entire movie. It's not intrusive, but it's plainly obvious, something to keep in mind if you are an anti-grain Blu-ray fan. Black levels are acceptable, but not great. When the team comes aboard the icy ship through the Stargate and the scenes are lit only by flashlights, grain is especially heavy and blacks hold a decent but not true black, rather looking somewhat gray. I noted some minor cases of edge enhancement, such as in chapter eight when Carter and Mitchell are walking through the harsh Arctic morning. Colors are natural if somewhat dull in appearance. There is no lack of color in the film, but none stand out, either. The movie shows generally soft backgrounds. Foregrounds are never overly sharp and clear, but they aren't abundantly soft, either. This is a fairly typical high definition image. It looks just fine, but there is little to be overly excited about at this stage of the game, either. Fans, enjoy, as this is the best you're likely to see your favorite "Stargate" characters look for a while.
Stargate: Continuum Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The audio portion of the Stargate: Continuum experience fares somewhat better than the decent video presentation. Coming to you via a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound experience, this active, lively track brings the "Stargate" world to life as never before. A solid surround presence is obvious from the very beginning. The sound we hear as the team travels through the Stargate is excellent as we whoosh through a wormhole and the sound is brought to life in our media rooms. Bass rumbles and rattles with a nice presence in many scenes. The feeling of being aboard the ship (I won't tell you which ship) is brought to pleasing life. The entire experience is a fun and lively one with plenty of booming bass, solid surround presence, and great directionality, whether we are hearing ice crackle and collapse in chapter seven, the revving of a classic car's engine in chapter 13, jet fighters flying over us, machine gun fire in the night sky, or space ships dropping out of hyperspace. Echoing and reverberations in the rear channels are excellent; when the team comes through the Stargate and find themselves in the frozen hull of the Achilles, for example, we can hear every syllable rattling around the room as it bounces off the various icy surfaces. Dialogue in general is clear and never presents any volume issues. This engaging soundtrack is a joy to listen to, and a nice addition to a solid Blu-ray presentation of Stargate: Continuum.
Stargate: Continuum Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Stargate: Continuum arrives on Blu-ray with a standard-sized helping of supplements. First is a feature-length commentary track with executive producer/writer Brad Wright and director Martin Wood. These participants are energetic and excited, never afraid to praise the film or discuss the things that they were not happy with. Fans will be interested in hearing about the difficulties of creating the "puddle effect" of the Stargate itself, re-dressing the sets, and more. This informative track will please fans a great deal. The Making of 'Stargate Continuum' (480p, 22:35) is a nice making-of piece. Director Martin Wood and others discuss how the film represents everything good from the various seasons of the show, reminding them of the better aspects of each season. Some of the information from the commentary is recounted here as well, but with a different twist, and the thoughts of the cast in addition to the crew makes for a fairly interesting piece. Next up is Stargate Goes to the Arctic (480p, 21:53), a feature very similar in style to the previous one, but this time focusing on the shooting of various scenes in the arctic. The Layman's Guide to Time Travel (480p, 9:19) is an entertaining piece that focuses on the fascination with time travel, the paradoxes of time travel, the science and Science Fiction of time travel, and more. Finally, 1080p trailers for Street Kings, The Happening, and Behind Enemy Lines 3 (which, as far as I could tell, shows only scenes from the first two films of the series) conclude the special features.
Stargate: Continuum Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Stargate: Continuum is a fine direct-to-video film and a nice compliment to the ever-popular television show. Not only is the film a worthy entry to the series for those not familiar with the numerous seasons gone by, but grizzled "Stargate" veterans will enjoy the continuation of the camaraderie between the characters and the way the film progresses the story lines and characters of the show. MGM brings Stargate: Continuum to Blu-ray in a nice package that is fairly average and doesn't distinguish itself through either video, audio, or supplemental features quality. The soundtrack is the strongest aspect of the disc, but the supplements and picture quality are fine, too. Hopefully, the television series isn't far behind on Blu-ray, but until then, Stargate: Continuum is a must-buy for fans of the show, and a great introduction to the series for newcomers. Be warned, though, that there are some spoilers for the show during this film. Recommended.
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Stargate: Continuum Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Stargate Continuum Coming to Blu-ray - April 16, 2008
MGM Home Entertainment has revealed that they will bring the direct-to-video movie 'Stargate: Continuum' to Blu-ray on July 29th, day-and-date with the DVD release. Based on the popular Stargate SG-1 TV series, film will be presented in 1.78:1 1080p video and accompanied ...
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