The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2008
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Feature running time: 98 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: MPEG-4 (AVC)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master audio Lossless, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English & Spanish
Starring: Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Claudia Black, Cliff Simon, Beau Bridges, Richard Dean Anderson, William Devane
Directed by: Martin Wood
Music by: Joel Goldsmith
Written by: Brad Wright
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 29, 2008
"History may never repeat itself again"
An elite military unit (Sg-1) must flee back to Earth when two members of their team inexplicably disappear into thin air. But they return to a world in which the Stargate - an Ancient device which allows them to travel to hundreds of planets - was never discovered, and their own history has been erased. Now they must convince a dubious government and military that the timeline was altered by a powerful alien enemy (Ba'al) in order to conquer Earth, and time is not on their side....
My Take:The Stargate franchise has grown quite a bit since the original film was released back in 1994. It has spawned several TV series and feature films based on them. Stargate Continuum is based on the popular SG-1 TV series and features the show's cast. I liked the original film which starred Kurt Russell and James Spader but have never watched any of the television shows. Being a Sci-Fi fan and having liked the original movie I figured this probably would have something to offer. At the start of the movie I was concerned because its opening was less than auspicious. I have never found Richard Dean Anderson to be credible as an actor and his opening scene reinforced that. However as the story progressed it was evident that you didn't need to have watched the show to be able to follow the characters and figure out what was transpiring. I do think that having some conceptual background on Stargate (like having seen the original film) would be helpful but not a prerequisite. As it turned out I found the film to be entertaining. I liked the characters and the story didn't try to weave together too much information but rather got right to the point and stayed on it. At 98 minutes it moved along nicely and wrapped things up with a predictable but tidy ending. I think that fans of the series will like Stargate Continuum. It plays out like a long episode that features the special effects and budget of a feature film.
Parental Guide:This film is not rated. Other than some minor Sci-fi violence and brief language there is nothing egregious here.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Stargate Continuum comes to Blu-ray Disc featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 21 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 mbps.
For a lower budget production I was pleasantly surprised at how good this audio video presentation was. Images were well detailed with crisp resolution and good dimensional depth. Colors were richly saturated with a deep palette that really showed off the costumes used in the film. Fleshtones were on the bronze side but retained enough tonal variation to maintain natural looking complexions. Blacks were above average and didn't have the rich and dark dynamic extension that comes with the best blacks I have seen. They still looked black rather than dark gray though. Detail in dark areas and low lighting revealed good visible structure with perceptible gradation as light transitioned toward dark. I saw no signs of bit starvation or compression related artifacts. The DTS-HD audio delivered clean, concise dialogue with excellent tonal balance across the front soundstage. The entire system was used to good effect to create the immersive surround sounds contained in the soundtrack. The mix sounded quite good as discrete sound effects passed by and around the sweet spot. Low frequency effects had enough reach so that deep bass had good palpable extension when present. A good example of this was during a scene in the early parts of the film where a 1939 steam boat is cruising across the North Atlantic. The steam engine's low level rumble was produced with clean articulation and room filling depth that approached the 35hz bass region. I thought that this was a very good overall technical presentation for a film like this.
The bonus supplements are all offered in standard definition and contain 3 documentary style features totaling just over 53 minutes in duration and an audio commentary track. Both the Making of and Arctic pieces offered good inside info while the Time Travel feature was a bit of a yawn. The commentary track was quite good and should prove entertaining for fans of the series.
- Commentary with Director Martin Wood and Writer Brad Wright.
- The Making of Stargate Continuum: featurette
- Stargate goes to the Arctic: featurette
- The layman's guide to time travel: featurette
I would not consider myself a fan in the Stargate universe. Fortunately that is not necessary in order to enjoy this film which I found to be fairly entertaining. Its presentation on high definition Blu-ray Disc delivers solid audio/video quality and above average bonus content which is sure to please fans. For those who are curious I would recommend a rental.
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