cover of Stargate (1994)
'Stargate (1994)'

the movie reviewed

This movie is uninfluenced by Spielberg-style stuff.

      It doesn't start going too fast.

            Or fast in any sense of the word. Not at all.

It's good in other terms than the (box-office ticket sales) terms of smash hits: it is specifically made to appeal to a limited audience, boys and young men of the brainy kind. As opposed to drama designed for "all viewers" - which, for all its slick success and money yield, is less than perfect for any one person.

Without spoiling anything for those who haven't seen this movie yet: Archaeology, or any science devoted to exotic people, strange and foreign lands, and the attempt to come to understand them, is the point of interest of the story.

It's definitely not a trashy 'SCI-FI' movie made solely for the purpose of selling video games. Think Ancient Egypt, the exotic and the futuristic, and the massively picturesque. Or read C.W. Ceram's 'Gods, Graves, and Scholars' (esp. Book II, Chapters X and XI, about Jean-Francois Champollion, the young genius who was first to correctly decipher the hieroglyphic script of Pharaonic Egypt via his expertise at the Coptic language.)

The costumes and scenery, the general look, is superb. And the actor who plays the arch-villain projects a appearance of both beauty and alarming evil, in an uncommon way. His replacement(s) on the derived TV series 'Stargate SG-1', alas, is more commonplace looking.

A new term, "Archaic futurism", is suggested by 'Stargate':   the ancient Egyptian style is alien-futuristic, the 'spears' are really ray guns, etc.   Past as alien future, accenting a fondness for the commonplace capabilities of the present day untainted by futurism, OR 'past-ism' either.

- All these people:   What do they eat? The whole place is nothing but barren sands and rock; people here drink - in sips, very small ones it looks like - but don't eat, except some "chicken" at the big honorary banquet.

Not for women nor really good athletes, nor for those who like rudeness, realism, wit, or complexity.

[ Review (c) R. Hess, December 2 2002 (with addition and emendations December 20, & March 2 2003.) ]

- Read the movie reviewed on this web page (and the book I mentioned!):
  1. Stargate (1994) cover of Stargate (1994)
    ( - on VHS videotape (NTSC, CC, Dolby): Stargate (1994), starring Kurt Russell (shown at top left of this page), currently $9.98 plus shipping, and ships in 4 to 7 days.)

  2. Stargate (Special Edition) cover of Stargate (Special Edition)
    ( - on DVD: Stargate (Special Edition)  (shown at top right of this page), currently $16.99 plus shipping, and ships in 24 hours.)

  3. Gods, Graves, and Scholars cover of Gods, Graves, and Scholars
    ( - paperback: Gods, Graves, and Scholars, currently $11.20 plus shipping, and ships in 24 hours.)

- Page created December 11 & 20 2002 and March 2 2003, (using ReviewZoom version 1.18) by Russell Hess, Webmaster ( of 'UpSky2' & 'UpSky'.

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