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Sunday, March 03, 2013

Stargate, the movie


- Dr. Daniel Jackson (Spader)

This week's old movie from the library was Stargate, the 1994 science fiction film starring Kurt Russell and James Spader. Doubtless everyone knows the plot, if not because of the film then because of the tv series that followed, but basically the story was about an archaeological find in Egypt that created a wormhole allowing travel to other worlds. The US government picked a team to go through the "stargate" which consisted in part of Colonel Jack O'Neil (Russell), so depressed over his son's death that he was willing to go on a suicide mission, and Dr. Daniel Jackson (Spader), an archaeologist and linguist who'd committed professional suicide by asserting that aliens had built the pyramids.

Roger Ebert really disliked the film and only gave it one star in his review. Here's the beginning of it ...

"Stargate" is the kind of movie where a soldier can be transported to "the other side of the known universe" in a whirlpool of bizarre special effects, step into a temple on an alien planet, and say, "What a rush!" It is also the kind of movie where the sun god Ra, who has harnessed the ability to traverse the universe at the speed of light, still needs slaves to build his pyramids. And where the local equivalent of a Nubian princess is sent into the chamber of the Earth visitors, to pleasure them. Don't tell me there aren't any coincidences. The movie "Ed Wood," about the worst director of all time, was made to prepare us for "Stargate." The movie opens with the title "Egypt, 1928." (Other titles say "Present Day" and "Military Installation, Creek Mountain, Colorado" - the latter, of course, with rum-dummy-dum military music.) Scientists uncover a mysterious archeological find. Flash forward to the Present Day, where Egyptologist Daniel Jackson (James Spader), looking uncannily like John Lennon, explains his theories to experts who walk out after about two sentences. Jackson, who is considered a crackpot, is obviously the man the U.S. government would choose to translate the hieroglyphics on the secret find of that 1928 expedition - a giant circle of carved stone which is a stargate, left behind by the builders of the pyramids. And, of course, Jackson and Col. Jack O'Neil (Kurt Russell) are the guys to walk through the gate, leading a squad of soldiers with automatic weapons ....

Oh well, I thought it was pretty fun, but then I'm a fan of the series too. Here are a few pics ...

They travel through the stargate to a desert planet ....



And encounter the evil alien, Ra ...



Ra's minions have interesting armor ...



Daniel meets Sha'uri, a women among the slaves of Ra, and when she's wounded he places her in a sarcophagus-like healing device ...



Oh, forgot to mention, Ra had a cat :) ...



Happy ending ....



Here's a trailer ...



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