Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Stargate - The Ark of Truth [Blu-ray]
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on March 13, 2008
This review is spoiler free!!

I have to preface this review with the statement that I am an avid Stargate fan, and as such, my review may be biased (but I think not!)

After enduring season 4 of Atlantis this year, it is nice to get back to the show I truly love, Sg-1. Opposed to Atlantis, SG-1 takes place on earth, spends time on the explorations, and takes into account ancient mythologies, opposed to Atlantis, which is more action oriented, with dumbed down dialog, and shooting anything that moves.

I have been awaiting this release since it was announced, it finally came to my home yesterday, I watched the movie, then the extras (comic con conference which was really cool! and a behind the scenes which was great as well (this is almost 1 hour of material), I then watched the movie again, this time with commentary (again, I love SG-1).

This dvd has a "prelude" which basically goes over everything you need to freshen up on to fully enjoy and prepare for this viewing. As someone who has seen each episode of stargate countless times, I found this prelude a great review, as it has been a while since I watched it all.

The movie then follows, and it is a great movie. The scenery in this movie is astounding, it looks much better than we are used to seeing on the TV show. The pacing is slower, more akin to when the show aired on Showtime, which works well, as the aspect of stargate that i enjoy most, is the interactions between the characters, the explorations of new worlds and civilizations, and how everyone reacts to the culture.

This brings the conclusion to a satisfying end. I think several of the cliffhangers are drawn out a bit much (putting a tad too much tension near the end), but all in all, I enjoyed the movie.

This reminds me of why I love this show, I know they are coming out with another movie soon (this one will have Richard Dean Anderson in it), and word on the streets is, it should arrive this July.

I truly hope people are not just downloading bootleg copies of this dvd, and I really hope everyone will buy this dvd, and the next one. I really want this show to continue on, if the studios do not get the results they are looking for, this could be the end.

I really hope the dvds do sell well, maybe they can continue to do movies throughout the year, and maybe even a mini series or another season. There are many aspects of the Stargate world that have gone unexplored, and unfinished.

I hope the producers read this review, and understand that what make stargate work is not the snappy dialog, the wonderful interactions, the brilliantly designed enemies, sound design, artwork, and constant tension, but the exploration of new worlds, the ability to learn something (ancient history, see ancient figures, the Egyptian gods) and the exploration of these foreign cultures. Something Stargate Atlantis completely misses, which is why I do not enjoy it as much.

I truly hope everyone will buy this dvd, enjoy it, and more get made.

I also must comment on the beautiful video quality and sound design, the show has never looked or sounded this good (they did use 35mm film) and it shows.

Please keep up the great work, and I hope everyone enjoys this fantastic dvd.

(note, if you are a fan of the movie, and haven't watched too much of the series (last 2 seasons--9 and 10) this dvd is likely not for you, do yourself a favor, and buy the complete series collection, and catch up, then enjoy this fantastic dvd, as you will not be able to understand much of what is going on)

Also, the creators of the show, are working on a third show, that deals with the ninth chevron, tentatively called "Stargate Universe" which is set in present time. I really hope this will be the return of intellectual Stargate, and I eagerly await its arrival on TV.
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on March 14, 2008
I've watched every episode of Stargate. I even paid for Showtime just so I could see it, before it gated over to Sci-Fi. I very much hated the last episode for reasons I won't go into here. This should give my review a context.

Ark of Truth was good. Not great. I really like the actors and the characters they portray. The effects were up there and the interesting Ori story arc was closed nicely. HOWEVER, there was nothing new here. It was an extended episode. What was worse was the whole plot thread that seemed to be added by a fan of the Terminator. It was cheap and a waste. I can only guess their reasons for it but it was insulting to have to watch that to get to the real story.

The ending hints at more adventures to come and I'm glad for that. Maybe they can take the Ark over to the Pegasus galaxy...
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on March 12, 2008
Ark of Truth is a must see for fans of the series. It concludes the Ori battle and yet ends with SG-1 starting another mission. Something SG-1 has not had time to do for a couple years. Let's face it most of us have missed Jack and the exploring they use to do. The bulk of the movie is finding a weapon to destroy the Ori, but it turns out it is not where they first thought and when they find it, it doesn't do what they originally thought either. However they are victorious and there are changes of loyalty from a place you might not expect. Overall I was not at all disappointed, but I must admit the scene with Teal'c walking across a desert after being shot by a Ori weapon was a bit much.

The wife and I were a bit disappointed that Richard Dean Anderson didn't even put in a cameo appearance. Excellent production values as always, they won't seem better as the TV series was so good that we were all spoiled by them. The DVD includes plenty of extras including a prelude you can play previous to watching the movie. The prelude is snapshot segments from several episodes from the last two seasons and that lead up to the final battle. I bought a copy because I loved the series and it wouldn't be complete without this movie. They made it clear another movie is in the works. Let us hope there will be more exploration and singular episodic adventures for future movies. Great quality picture and sound and good replayability.
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on March 30, 2008
SPOILERS AHEAD....

Stargate has always had its homages to other genre shows and they are clearly on display here -- the opening caption paraphrasing "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away", the peak-to-peak aeral shot just beging for Gondor outposts to light the signal fires, a Terminator-like rise from an explosion, ... (I'm sure folks can spot more).

The visual effects were lovely, and there were some really good bits of characterization. The converation between Teal'c and Tomin was wonderful, as was Tomin's final scene with Vala.

As for the rest...
While many a Stargate villain comes direct from Central Casting, Marrick (the IOA guy) is particularly ill-written in a series that brought us Senator Kinsey, Colonel Maybourne, and even the briefly-referenced Mr. Woolsey. In prior episodes where the IOA, NID, or Senator Kinsey were challenging the SGC often they had a legitimate PoV, even if they were wrong. Here, they are just wrong and profoundly stupid.

Similarly, Adria mostly gets to chew scenery in her scenes with Vala rather than have some character development before her inevitable defeat. (Itself a solution borrowed from Oma Desala's final battle with Anubis.)

Others have commented on problems with the Replicator subplot and Repli-terminator -- one other aside -- what did they make the walls and BLUs (blinkie-light-units, per the commentaries) out of?! Thousands of high-power rounds blasted around them, and not one bit of damage? Yet they bend when Mitchell is tossed into them? Yes, limits of CGIs, but might have been nice to show some collateral damage on a movie-scale budget.

The wounded Teal'c walking montage eventually blew my suspension of disbelief -- particularly when it is apparently occuring at the same time as Carter and Mitchell's battle with the Replicators (who knew Teal'c could walk that fast!).
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on November 14, 2012
It was nice to finally have closure on the story arc. Stargate is one of my all time favorite shows and the movie was well done. There were some parts that were campy, but I could overlook that because I have enjoyed this characters for a number of years.
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on May 3, 2015
I figure if you are going to watch it then it's because you got to the end of the regular series, another meh installment in the series IMO, then you are already committed to seeing this. I'm a huge SG1 fan so know that I am writing this review from an informed and non-bashing POV.

Ark of Truth as a series finale is fair. Not nearly the best adventure finale for the series by any stretch but it did have some great moments. Just don't pay too close attention to the details. Several characters are dropped in with little more than exposition for dialog. And many coda of the series are simply ignored in order to move the plot along. Also, there are a lot of drawn out scenes that just take up time and budget - an extended fight that involves Mitchell and a trek taken by Teal'c together eat up 10 minutes of this 90-minute film.

However as lazy as one of the major plot points is, it is a great twist and you don't see it coming. The overall suspense is just doom-y enough to carry you through to the end so it is worth it, but just barely.
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on March 17, 2008
For those of us fans of Stargate SG-1 on the Sci Fi Channel, August 21, 2006, was a very depressing day. Production had already passed the midway point of its 10th season, making it the most enduring science-fiction TV series in U.S. history after Chris Carter's The X-Files, which lasted nine seasons from 1993-2002 on Fox TV. (I was just as equally a fan of that one, too, and I look forward to the upcoming second feature film.) That was the day that Sci Fi pulled the plug on our venerable "SG-1" as of the conclusion of season 10 in the spring of 2007. "SG-1" ran from 1997-2007: five seasons on pay-cable network Showtime and five seasons on the basic-cable network Sci Fi Channel. Ten seasons on television is a venerable legacy no matter the genre, but to survive that long in science fiction is downright remarkable.

Despite the cancellation, however, there was a ray of sunshine. MGM (the production company) was eager to continue their very profitable franchise, as was executive producer Robert C. Cooper. (Spinoff series Stargate Atlantis recently completed season 4 on Sci Fi Channel [as of this review date] and will return with the first half [10 of 20 episodes] of season 5 in July 2008).

Thus came the announcement that "SG-1" would continue with at least two DVD movies, the first of which is this film, Stargate: The Ark of Truth. Filming occurred in their usual Vancouver, BC, soundstages as well as on location in the frigid Arctic in the early spring of 2007, and was immediately followed by the filming of STARGATE: CONTINUUM, which will be released on DVD in July 2008. The second DVD film will reportedly involve time travel and will feature the return of original "SG-1" series star Richard Dean Anderson as Col. Jack O'Neill. MGM and Cooper are hopeful that continued interest in "SG-1" will fuel the fire for more DVD films with the "SG-1" casts (present and/or past).

For those unfamiliar with the "Stargate" universe, the Stargate teams are a super-secret branch of the U.S. Air Force, in cooperation with participants from other nations, operating beneath the NORAD complex located at the Cheyenne Mountain complex in Colorado. The real entrance to the complex is used for exterior shots. The public at large, of course, has been prevented from learning that humans from Earth have contacted aliens from other planets. The Stargate itself is a circular portal through which humans are able to walk through and almost instantaneously, via a form of wormhole, be transported to planets in other star systems. The Stargate is powered by alien technology, and the discovery of the Stargate and contact with aliens explained why earlier human civilizations believed in many of the gods with whom we are familiar in popular mythology today.

If you've never seen "SG-1," you might be a bit confused by the complex mythology of "Stargate," which really began with the 1994 feature film Stargate, starring Kurt Russell as Col. Jack O'Neill (later played by the aforementioned Anderson, who left the show as a regular after the eighth season to be closer to his family in L.A.) and a pre-"Boston Legal" James Spader as Dr. Daniel Jackson (played throughout the series [with the exception of one season due to salary and the omnipresent "creative" issues] and also in this film by Vancouver native Michael Shanks). Plotwise, the TV series' 1997 debut picked up one year after the feature film ended.

Suffice it to say, if you don't know the show, that it would be a good idea to think back to 1986's Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. It was arguably the most popular of the 10 feature films (which will become 11 films in December 2008 with J.J. Abrams' prequel to the original 1966-69 TV series, where we find the young Kirk/Spock/McCoy triumvirate at Star Fleet Academy) because it was a basic, stand-alone story about saving two humpback whales whose survival literally also meant Earth's survival. One needn't be a "Star Trek" fan to enjoy the so-called "whale movie."

In this film, the basic plot involves a threat to Earth by the evil race known as the Ori ("OR-eye"), who march across the galaxy and force entire planetary populations to submit to the Ori's bible, known as the Book of Origin (from which their name "Ori" is derived). The Ori have the power to overcome virtually all that oppose them, and their retribution is swift and deadly. The Ori are able to maintain their reigns of terror with the help of local representatives known as priors, to whom they are supremely dedicated and whom the Ori are able to totally control; or, resistance results in brutal retribution, with death and destruction in the Ori's wake. Naturally, it's up to the SG-1 team to find the Ark of Truth, which holds the only known answer to eradicating the Ori before they reach Earth and fulfill their ultimate victory. In a nutshell, it's your classic good vs. evil story, and it's a good one.

It's also the proper conclusion to the Ori storyline, which basically consumed the bulk of the ninth and tenth seasons' storylines. Because the cancellation notice came while the writers and producers were more than half-way into the final season, the series finale left fans (like me) feeling ultimately unsatisfied. This DVD film basically wraps up that storyline.

I promise that if you haven't seen the series, picking up the DVD will not make you feel like you've walked into a movie theater halfway into the film. Like the "Star Trek" whale movie, it's a stand-alone DVD that you can easily follow. You are just as easily able to determine who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. Also, there's a wise addition of a "catch-up" sequence that provides clips from the series that refreshes viewers' minds of how we got to where we are, since the last new "SG-1" episode aired almost exactly one year prior to the release date of this DVD.

All of the cast members from seasons 9 and 10 are here: Ben Browder (who is currently 45 as of the date of this review; Ben was raised in Charlotte, NC) as Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell (effectively Anderson's replacement); Amanda Tapping (42, from Toronto) as Lt. Col. Samantha Carter; Christopher Judge (43, from Los Angeles) as Teal'c; the aforementioned Shanks (37, from Vancouver) as Jackson; the seasoned veteran and always enjoyable Beau Bridges as Maj. Gen. Hank Landry (66, from Los Angeles, who replaced Don S. Davis, whose character, Maj. Gen. George Hammond, was "promoted" and shipped off to Washington, DC, at the end of season 7); and Claudia Black (35, from Sydney, Australia) as Vala Mal Doran.

The core cast is superb as usual. Black can always be relied upon for comic relief, especially when Vala is frustratingly torturing the patience of Shanks' Jackson. Those of us who were addicts of the late and supremely, fantastically great Farscape (1999-2003) still can't help but remember the chemistry that existed between Browder and Black, not Shanks and Black. To placate some of the fans' very vocal ire at its cancellation, Sci Fi commissioned a two-night, four-hour miniseries in 2004, Farscape - The Peacekeeper Wars, as a wrap-up. The cost of producing the series in Australia, coupled with a drop in ratings in the fourth season, were the reasons given for the show's cancellation, but for its very dedicated fans, Sci Fi's excuses still ring as hollow today as they did then.

The cast and writers tip their caps to a couple of other sci-fi franchises, as you might recognize one character as "Ah-nold" in a certain, um, poor state of existence; and then Lt. Col. Mitchell takes the helm of the Odyssey to fight the Ori and mangles the order to get underway to the point that would probably make Capt. Jean-Luc Picard absolutely blanch, pull his shirt down stiffly, turn and walk into his ready room, and bark "Earl Grey - Hot!" at the replicator. Seriously, they're both nice touches and honor other sci-fi classics that have gone before.

Prolific character actor Currie Graham ("NYPD Blue," "Suddenly Susan"), who hails from Hamilton, Ontario, does his usual fine job playing the nasty guy with an ulterior motive. This time his James Marrick is an agent from the secretive black-ops organization IOA. He arrives under the premise of interrogating the captured "enemy combatant" Tomin (Tim Guinee). The real purpose for his presence soon presents itself, however, and he puts everyone in peril.

Reprising her role of Adria is the simply stunning Morena Baccarin, who fans of Joss Whedon's work will remember as "companion" Inara Serra in the woefully underappreciated 2002-03 Fox TV series Firefly and its excellent 2005 followup feature film, Serenity. Adria, the daughter of Vala, has been genetically altered by the Ori to grow from a normal baby into an adult incredibly rapidly in order to serve as their epitome (and far beyond that) of the term "demon child." The special effects used with Baccarin are quite impressive.

And also reprising his role as the commanding and all-fearing Ori leader Doci is one of my very favorite actors, Britain's Julian Sands, who is barely recognizable under his ghostly and unnerving makeup. With his cape, collar, and staff, he makes for an imposing and fearsome foe.

The film, at 1:42, came across to me as what would have been a two-episode season-ending cliffhanger and season-premiere resolution, had they aired on Sci Fi. In one of the bonus features, Cooper mentions that this film pretty much was written as such, since he didn't have the time to wrap up the plotlines because of the fairly late cancellation notice. It wrapped up the Ori storyline, but that's pretty much all. To that end, I wasn't exactly blown away. Still, there was much to admire.

Having admittedly acrophobic Chris Judge (as you'll learn in a bonus feature) dropped onto a knife-edge snow-capped mountain peak in the Arctic and have him, as Teal'c after being injured by an Ori weapon, trek along toward a destination he is determined to reach, is gut-wrenching, nerve-racking, beautifully executed, and exquisitely shot. (That's one difference between the budget of an hourly TV episode and a [perhaps modest] feature-length DVD film.) The Arctic landscapes are, to quote a heroic moonwalker some three decades ago, magnificent desolation. Judge's performance in this film reveals the ever-growing quiet dignity that he has given Teal'c in the last 12 years, counting his recent "Atlantis" appearance. Watching him struggle--injured, exhausted, in excruciating pain--to walk just one more step, and another, along a low-tide beach toward a holy city almost makes you feel his struggle come right through the TV. His performance is exceptional.

Ultimately, I enjoyed this film and am happy that the Ori storyline is resolved. How it is done so, you must see for yourself. It's a thrilling and enjoyable conclusion. Season 10 on Sci Fi did not accomplish this, but STARGATE: THE ARK OF TRUTH does, and satisfyingly so. And the bonus segment with most of the core cast at ComicCon in San Diego, hosted by one of my favorite but underutilized supporting cast members--Gary Jones (Chief Master Sgt. Walter Harriman, best known for a few lines such as "I can't get chevron seven to engage!" and "Unscheduled off-world activation!")--is absolutely hysterical. If Gary doesn't do stand-up, maybe he should consider it, now that he has, er, some "free time" on his hands. (I have seen him in a few guest-starring roles recently, though.) The bonuses aren't numerous, but those that are provided are made to count.

So sit back and enjoy, and don't forget! In four months comes "STARGATE: CONTINUUM" and "RDA" is back as Jack O'Neill! Now THAT'S something to really get excited about! :-)

DVD REVIEW: **** (out of 5) -- 17 Mar 08 (Happy St. Patrick's Day, all!) -- BOB BOURBEAU
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on March 2, 2016
So listen - I love me some Stargate. I saw the film in theaters when it came out, and was instantly in love with the concept. I watched 10 seasons of SG-1, 5 seasons of Atlantis, and was sad when they canceled Universe.

So every year, SG-1 always wrapped up their main plotline... because they always figured they'd be canceled. And every year they were pleasantly surprised when they weren't canceled.

When they were finally actually canceled, they weren't expecting it. So they made two movies to tie up the plotlines that Season 11 would have wrapped up. Ark of Truth is the better of the two.
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on May 27, 2016
I watched the entire Stargate SG-1 series and was disappointed at the end when I learned funding was cut and this movie was all I got for a series finale. But it was a good movie. They wrapped up well and answered a lot of questions. If you watched the series, this movie will provide all the closure you need.
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on April 17, 2016
I find it a shame that they didn't allow sufficient seasons to complete the story arc completely.

They really needed to specify on the box cover just exactly when this movie was supposed to be viewed in relation to the Stargate: Atlantis series.
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