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Stargate: The Ark of Truth(2008)
This thrilling feature-length film picks up where Stargate SG-1 left off, thrusting the Stargate team - Daniel Jackson, Vala, Teal'c, Sam and Cam - into their most exciting adventure yet. In search of an ancient artifact they hope can defeat the oppressive Ori, the team learns that the Ori are set to launch a final assault on Earth and a double-crossing I.O. operative is aboard the Odyessy!
For more about Stargate: The Ark of Truth and the Stargate: The Ark of Truth Blu-ray release, see Stargate: The Ark of Truth Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on October 4, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Director: Robert C. Cooper
Writer: Robert C. Cooper
Starring: Michael Shanks, Claudia Black, Christopher Judge, Amanda Tapping, Ben Browder, Morena Baccarin
» See full cast & crew
Stargate: The Ark of Truth Blu-ray Review
Newcomers will be lost, but longtime "SG-1" fans should love this movie.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, October 4, 2009
Foolhardy are those that do not follow the path.
It was just supposed to be another movie. 1994's Stargate, however, proved to be just a bit more. Opening more doors than just the portal to another world, Stargate paved the way for "Stargate: SG-1's" debut several years later, a spinoff television show that enjoyed a 10-seaosn run, longer than "The X-Files" or any "Star Trek" series. Retaining the same two primary characters but replacing Kurt Russell and James Spader with Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Shanks as O'Neill and Jackson, respectively, "SG-1" itself has spun off two additional television series ("Stargate: Atlantis" and the newly-minted "Stargate Universe") and two direct-to-video films: Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum. Suffice it to say, Stargate mania is in full force with little sign of slowing down.
Picking up where the tenth season of "Stargate: SG-1" left off, The Ark of Truth finds the team in search of the ultimate weapon to destroy the Ori, a group of "Ascended" aliens who seek to be worshipped by lesser beings through a religion known as "Origin" and destroy those beings that refuse to praise them. When it is discovered that the "Ark" -- the weapon that is destined to destroy the Ori -- is still located in the Ori galaxy, Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell (Ben Browder) is placed in command of the starship Odyssey and the ship travels through the Supergate in search of the Ark. Mitchell and the SG-1 team -- Jackson (Michael Shanks), Lt. Col. Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping), Vala (Claudia Black), and Teal'c (Christopher Judge) -- face adversity on the Ori home world and in the Odyssey itself where a secret backup plan to destroy the Ori goes terribly awry.
As an extension of "Stargate: SG-1" and not a standalone movie, The Ark of Truth is not a good movie for newcomers to the series. The film revolves around complex themes, various alien species, and mythology that all makes sense when absorbed in the context of the foreknowledge granted by the previous ten season's worth of episodes, but seem almost like gibberish to the uninitiated. Unlike more mainstream, widely-released movies based on a Science Fiction universe, for instance the Star Trek or The X-Files films which walk the delicate line between pleasing longtime fans and easing newcomers into the universe with minimal effort, Stargate: The Ark of Truth makes no such concession. It's possible to grasp the basic nuts-and-bolts of the story from the outside looking in, but viewers without at least a modicum of knowledge of the "Stargate" universe probably won't be able to enjoy the movie beyond a fairly superficial level. It's even difficult to assume that many newcomers would watch the film and find themselves yearning to go back start the series from scratch; though the show's legions of fans would say otherwise, The Ark of Truth features so many oddities, from the presence of the old English wizard Merlin to species that clearly hint at the age-old battle of light and dark or Heaven and hell, that the material seems spread so thin and desperate for ideas that the filmmakers have resorted to every last trick in the book to keep the series running.
Fans familiar with the world, however, will find The Ark of Truth a most satisfying journey. Taking place in the "Stargate" timeline after the final episode of "SG-1" and before the fourth season of "Stargate: Atlantis" (the story of which is mentioned in the film), The Ark of Truth retains the show's trademark mixture of extensive back story, strong characterization, exceptional writing that intertwines humor and drama, good acting, and exciting action. The film fully realizes the conclusion of the "Ori" story arc first introduced in season nine of "SG-1," though the amalgamation of themes and characterization build upon lore established all throughout the series. Though it ultimately feels more like an extended episode rather than a full-length film, The Ark of Truth does play out as a bit bolder and with noticeably higher production values. The film retains the same style as the show, however, and it does deliver as expected of both the series and the particular story arc that defines it. It can drag at times, but overall, fans should be pleased with the experience.
Stargate: The Ark of Truth Blu-ray, Video Quality
Stargate: The Ark of Truth arrives on Blu-ray with a decent 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer. It's as-expected of a midline direct-to-video movie sequel to a longstanding television series; the film enjoys solid production values but it's clear that The Ark of Truth isn't meant to be the next great thing in high definition. Fine detail is adequately rendered in clothing, and assorted foreground objects -- buttons on a ship's console or rocks and leaves on a planet surface -- look appreciably good, though faces often appear devoid of fine textures. Still, the movie takes on a generally flat appearance and goes inexplicably soft in a few scenes. Black levels are adequately rendered, though flesh tones vary between a shade of deep red and a more neutral tone. The film does feature a tremendous level of grain in some scenes, and appears fairly smooth in others. Overall, Stargate: The Ark of Truth delivers a suitable high definition image that's about as one might expect of a film of its budget.
Stargate: The Ark of Truth Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Stargate: The Ark of Truth features an impressive DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Action scenes -- the highlight of the film -- are loud and immersive. A shootout early on features gunfire and energy weapons blasting throughout the soundstage to excellent effect, with a high volume, plenty of power, and a good presence across both the front and rear halves of the soundstage. Music enjoys a fair deal of clarity, and dialogue reproduction is sound. Sound effects are clear and distinct, and the track delivers a nice amount of atmospherics that spread throughout the soundstage. The rear channels aren't utilized to full force throughout, but there's a nice presence to them when called upon. Bass isn't terribly aggressive, but one scene does deliver enough energy to noticeably rattle the floorboards. All in all, Stargate: The Ark of Truth delivers a satisfying action-oriented sonic experience.
Stargate: The Ark of Truth Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Stargate: The Ark of Truth unearths a few bonus materials of note. First up is a commentary track with Writer/Director/Producer Robert C. Cooper, Actor Christopher Judge (Teal'c), and Director of Photography Peter Woeste. The participants discuss the differences between the scope of a television show and a feature-length film, the nitty-gritty details of the shoot, the difference between shooting on 35mm versus digital high definition and the choice behind shooting on film, the professionalism of the cast and crew, and more. This is a surprisingly informative track that, unlike the film, should satisfy a broad range of audiences. 'The Ark of Truth:' 'Stargate' at Comic-Con (480p, 19:53) allows viewers to sit in on a question-and-answer session between a vast audience and several cast and crew members. Uncovering 'The Ark of Truth' (480p, 29:45) is an in-depth piece that takes viewers behind-the-scenes of the making of the film with the requisite collection of interview clips and footage from the set. Also included is The Road Taken (1080p, 9:05), a companion piece that unveils crucial information pertinent to the understanding of the film, and 480p trailers for "Stargate Atlantis: Season Four" and the entire "Stargate" franchise.
Stargate: The Ark of Truth Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
A tale of two worlds in more than one sense, Stargate: The Ark of Truth is a film that only a true "Stargate" fan could love. Longtime viewers will appreciate the resolution of complex story lines and the appearance of a plethora of characters and races, while newcomers will be confused by the jargon, the mysticism, the dialogue, and the alien species found throughout the film. 20th Century Fox's Blu-ray release of The Ark of Truth suits the film. Featuring a respectable 1080p transfer, a strong lossless soundtrack, and a few bonus features, this Blu-ray release of Stargate: The Ark of Truth comes recommended only to established fans of the series.
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Stargate: The Ark of Truth Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - January 13 - January 13, 2009
After an exciting CES 2009 - drooling over the latest Blu-ray hardware and software advancements - we are back to reality: Blu-ray releases. The latest sales data indicates that for the week following Christmas, Blu-ray took a record 16% of the home media disc ...
• Ark of Truth Gets Blu-ray Date - October 8, 2008
In an early announcement to retailers, MGM Home Entertainment in conjunction with Fox Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring the 'Stargate - Ark of Truth' to Blu-ray on January 13th, day-and-date with the DVD release. Video will be presented in 1.78:1 ...
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