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Stargate - The Ark of Truth by Robert C. Cooper (director)
Review by Charles Mohapel
Date: 30 March 2008 List Price $26.98 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: IMDB Entry / Show Official Info /

The Stargate: The Ark Of Truth DVD was well worth the wait and the scheduled July 2008 release date of Stargate: Continuum can't come too soon. Whether you're a Stargate completist or not, I wholeheartedly recommend Stargate: The Ark Of Truth to any and all Stargate fans.

Whether you choose to watch Stargate: The Ark Of Truth with or without the prelude, it's nice of MGM to offer you that option. Curious as to what the difference between the two was, I chose with prelude and it was the right choice to make since it takes you back to Season 9 where we first encounter Col. Cam Mitchell and follows the entire Ori timeline to the end of Season 10.

Next is a flashback to a time millions of years ago where we see a small group of Alterans discussing how they can fight back against the more numerous Ori who threaten their very existence and whether they should use the Ark to "brainwash" the Ori.

Cut to present day, where SG-1 is searching for something in the ruins of Dakara when a detachment of Ori soldiers led by Vala's husband, Tomin, arrives and attacks them. Trapped and badly outnumbered, SG-1 accepts Tomin's offer and surrenders peacefully. The prior accompanying the soldiers was the village holy man who burned Vala to death once before and now orders Tomin to kill SG-1. When Tomin argues that he gave his word, the prior becomes enraged. Taking advantage of the distraction, Mitchell grabs an Ori weapon and kills the prior. Tomin stops his men from killing Mitchell, after which everyone stands quietly, letting the reality of the prior's shocking death slowly sink in.

The next scene begins in the SGC where Tomin is now their guest, having surrendered to SG-1, and is cooperating fully with them. Marrick, the new IOA representative, arrives and informs them that Wolsey is now occupied full-time with Atlantis, and that he has been assigned to replace Wolsey to provide oversight of the SGC. In an attempt to show Mitchell that he knows what Mitchell has gone through, he says, "I used to do what you do" and exits the room. Puzzled Mitchell turns to General Landry and asks him about it. Smiling wryly, Landry informs Mitchell that Marrick used to be CIA black ops. Marrick is slimy, unctuous, and reminds me of the stereotypical used car salesman. And he has secret orders from the IOA.

Tomin provides SG-1 with a vital clue as to where the Ark may be hidden.

To avoid giving away all the secrets and ruining the story, I'm stopping now, at the 20-minute mark in the film. If you want more, you'll just have to buy the DVD.

Special Features:

Audio Commentary with Writer, Director, and Producer Robert C. Cooper, Actor Christopher Judge, and Director of Photography Peter Woeste (on/off during movie)

    Watching the movie with Rob, Chris, and Peter chatting is like being there in the screening room with them. If it was anyone else chattering throughout the movie, you'd tell them to keep quiet. This time around, you're much better off keeping quiet and listening to them providing background and insights that only an insider would have. My recommendation is to watch the movie with the audio commentary off first, then enable it and watch it a second time. Amazing what slipped by in the rush the first time around.
Stargate SG-1, The Road Taken: Prelude to The Ark Of Truth
    This nine-minute prelude is the same one you see if you choose to watch the movie with prelude and it's nice to be able to watch it as a standalone feature. As I wrote earlier, this thorough but short and enjoyable feature covers the period where Col. Cam Mitchell reports to Gen. Landry at the SGC in Season 9 all the way through the end of Season 10. Think of it like having twice as much of your favorite pizza toppings.
The Ark Of Truth: Stargate At Comic-Con
    Shot on July 27 at San Diego Comic-Con 2007, this entertaining featurette is edited down from the one-hour panel I had the pleasure of attending in person. Moderated (and I use the term loosely but in a humorous manner) by Gary Jones (Chief Master Sgt. Walter Harriman), this rollicking panel includes Robert C. Cooper, Martin Wood, Amanda Tapping, Ben Browder and Christopher Judge.
Uncovering The Ark Of Truth
    Here producer Robert C. Cooper, who also wrote and directed The Ark Of Truth, takes us behind the scenes where we learn that if SciFi Channel had commissioned Season 11 of Stargate SG-1, The Ark Of Truth would have been the Season 10 cliffhanger and its conclusion would have been the beginning of Season 11. While it finally ties up the Ori storyline, other loose threads remain, leaving the producers with more material to work with. This movie was so large, it required the services of both Dan Shea, stunt coordinator for Stargate SG-1, and James "Bam Bam" Bamford, stunt coordinator for Stargate Atlantis. Shea served on Stargate: The Ark Of Truth as stunt coordinator while Bamford served as fight coordinator.

    We hear Cooper say that he has always felt that the musical score is 50% of the final product, telling the audience how to feel as much as the faces of the actors, the dialogue, or the action.

Trailers for the DVDs
    AVPR: Aliens vs. Predators – Requiem
    If you're a fan of either the Aliens franchise or the Predators franchise, or both, then you really need to get AVPR: Aliens vs. Predators – Requiem since it begins with a scene from the end of the original Aliens vs. Predators movie where you see something you might have missed if you blinked. As usual with both franchises, there is lots of the usual mayhem with some new variations thrown in for good measure.

    In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
    If you're into the kind of hack-and-slash mayhem found in Dungeons & Dragons or video games like "The Legend of Zelda" and "God of War," then this movie should please you. It stars Jason Statham, Leelee Sobieski, John Rhys-Davies, Ron Perlman, Claire Forlani, Kristanna Loken, Ray Liotta, and Burt Reynolds. The trailer was quite an attention-getter.

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