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post #1 of 4 Old 09-22-11, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Series - Blu-Ray Review

Title: Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Series
Starring: Joe Flanigan, Rachel Luttrell, David Hewlett, Jason Momoa
Creators: Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright
Studio: MGM/United Artists
Rated: PG
Runtime: 3400 min
Release Date: 7/26/2011 (Blu-Ray)
Show:
Packaging:
Video:
Audio:
Extras:




HTS Overall Score:88

Summary:

Stargate Atlantis follows the present-day adventures of Lt. Colonel John Sheppard and his military team from Earth that, along with two dozen other teams, explore distant planets in the Pegasus Galaxy. They use an alien device known as a Stargate that was built millions of years ago by an advanced race of humans known as the Ancients. The expedition is based in the Lost City of Atlantis on the planet "Lantea". The city was built millions of years ago by the Ancients. Five to ten million years ago, due to a plague in the Milky Way Galaxy, they were forced to flee to the Pegasus Galaxy, and there they seeded life on hundreds of worlds as they had done to Earth in the Milky Way. After encountering a powerful enemy known as the Wraith and going to war with them for one hundred years, the Ancients ultimately lost and were forced to submerge their city beneath Lantea's ocean, which, in the Stargate universe, is the source of the Greek myth of the Lost City of Atlantis.

Stargate: Atlantis episodes feature a self-contained story that also contributes to the larger storyline of the war against the Wraith and the Atlantis residents' search for the means to destroy their enemy. Each season has also featured a two-part episode, and a few episodes that, while not technically two-parters, feature direct continuity with the story of the previous episode (for example, season 3 "Progeny" and "The Real World"). Each episode begins with a cold open, sometimes preceded by a recap of events relevant to the upcoming narrative.
[Source: Wikipedia]


Packaging:

The packaging for this collection is superb, with so many discs and so much content, it's amazing how shelf friendly this is measuring in at about 2.5". The quality of the sleeve and cases is excellent and comes organized into three cases, Seasons 1 & 2, Seasons 3 & 4, and Season 5. The discs are arranged in an easy to access flip format and are much better protected than your typical cardboard sleeve.

Series:


Just to remove all worries of bias, I'll come straight out and say it: I'm a huge Stargate nerd. I spent many of my evenings in college watching Stargate: SG-1 episodes at my desk, and when Atlantis first aired in 2004, it was no surprise to my friends that I was officially "hooked". Stargate: Atlantis has some of the highest production value I've ever seen on a TV show - especially a 20 episode per season show and not an HBO miniseries. This combines with great writing and a very well selected cast to create some compelling TV.

The writers of Stargate: Atlantis consistently came up with great story arc's, and did a wonderful job of developing characters, giving back-story, and really investing the viewer in the show. There are plenty of overused elements in the narrative (captured..again?), but overall it's hard to find fault with such a fun show. If you are even remotely interested by sci-fi or Stargate, I highly recommend you give this hidden gem a look.

Video:


It's hard to be overly critical of a TV show that was shot in full HD as far back as 2004 - because it looks far better on Blu-Ray than it ever did via broadcast TV. There is of course a lot of inconsistency from scene to scene with great variations in graininess and other artifacts such as macro blocking, but this largely seems consistent with the light level and season (grain is more apparent in later seasons). Considering the age and budget of this show MGM deserves credit for giving it the best possible presentation, with loads of fine detail and excellent colors. While some dated effects shots are terrible to behold (see certain scenes of Atlantis floating on the ocean in Seasons 2 and 3), others are spectacular - particularly the space shots of planets like Lantia.

It's hard to find much to complain about when comparing this series to other television shows on Blu-Ray. The budget and age of the show are apparent, but by and large I was far to busy enjoying the show to notice. Stargate: Atlantis has never looked this good, and it's unlikely it could look any better.


Audio:


All five seasons and approximately 100 episodes come to Blu-Ray with DTS-HD MA lossless surround encodes - and while use of the surround channels is neither as aggressive nor artful as in many movies, the end result is still a very pleasing sonic experience with dialogue that is clearly intelligible the vast majority of the time. Explosions, wraith hive ship engines and action in general is very well preserved and is highly immersive. While VLF content is sparse, there are some episodes that feature more bass than I've ever heard outside the Blu-Ray release. Overall this is an excellent audio experience - especially taken in context of the resources available to the show's crew.






Extras:


It's rare you'll see a five star rating from me for extra content entirely in standard definition, but the sheer volume here is hard to fathom. There are almost ninety audio commentaries, dozens of behind the scenes featurettes, and a lot of character specific bio information. This is the definitive resource for Atlantis fans, and is hard to fault.
  • Mission Directives [Seasons 1-5, [SD], 242 min.]
  • Stargate Atlantis Set Tour [Season 1, [SD], 11 min.]
  • Wraithal Discrimination: It's Not Easy Being Green [Season 1, [SD], 11 min.]
  • Diary of Rainbow Sun Francks [Season 1, [SD], 9 min.]
  • A Look Back on Season 1 [Season 1, [SD], 17 min.]
  • Introduction to a Character: Ronon Dex [Season 2, [SD], 15 min.]
  • Stargate Atlantis: Stunts [Season 2, [SD], 18 min.]
  • Road to a Dream [Season 2, [SD], 19 min.]
  • Profiles On:[Seasons 2-3, [SD], 57 min.]
  • Inside the Stargate Atlantis Visual FX Department [Season 3, [SD], 18 min.]
  • General O'Neill Goes to Atlantis [Season 3, [SD], 14 min.]
  • Masters of the Alien [Season 3, [SD], 18 min.]
  • A Look Back on Season 3 [Season 3, [SD], 20 min.]
  • A New Leader: Amanda Tapping Joins Atlantis [Season 4, [SD], 15 min.]
  • Stargate Atlantis Bloopers [Season 4, [SD], 7 min.]
  • The Making of Trio [Season 4, [SD], 16 min.]
  • Deleted Scenes [Season 4, [SD], 24 min.]
  • A Look Back at Season 4 [Season 4, [SD], 12 min.]
  • Bringing the Seed to Life [Season 5, [SD], 7 min.]
  • Showdown! Ronon v. Tyre [Season 5, [SD], 6 min.]
  • Tricks of the Trade: Submerging the Stargate [Season 5, [SD], 7 min.]
  • Joe Flanigan: A Conversation with the Colonel [Season 5, [SD], 6 min.]
  • Building a Humanoid [Season 5, [SD], 7 min.]
  • Dr. Jackson Goes to Atlantis [Season 5, [SD], 6 min.]
  • The Life and Death of Michael Kenmore [Season 5, [SD], 7 min.]
  • Inside the Stargate Costume Department [Season 5, [SD], 7 min.]
  • Stargate Atlantis Goes to Vegas [Season 5, [SD], 21 min.]
  • Deleted Scenes [Season 5, [SD], 17 min.]


Overall:


If you are a science fiction lover, a Stargate fan, or just a Stargate: Atlantis nut this is the ultimate version of the show and all associated extra content. I am incredibly grateful to MGM for giving this series such a spectacular release to Blu-Ray with so much care given to the details and extra features. The audio and video presentation is excellent - and really impossible to improve upon barring a complete re-rendering of all effects.

Stargate: Atlantis has been a very important part of my life, both the first time through as I eagerly awaiting a new episode each week, and the second time as I watched the show alongside my wife and she experienced it for the first time. The story and characters might suffer from occasional repetition, and the dialogue may be corny at times - but very few TV shows have the same sense of fun and adventure from season to season. The true essence of Stargate - that of exploration, new technologies and overcoming obstacles shines through in this series and it's well worth your time. I highly recommend that you borrow Disc 1 from a friend or your favorite movie by mail service and give the pilot "Rising" a watch, I'm sure that more than a few of you will be hooked. Highly Recommended.






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Last edited by Dave Upton; 09-22-11 at 10:48 AM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-24-11, 12:24 PM
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Re: Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Series - Blu-Ray Review

Sounds like a good review to me. By any chance do you know how the video quality of this compares to the "HD" quality on netflix? I definitely want to get the entire series one of these days, but so far my cravings have been satisfied by netflix. On there the picture quality looks quite nice, but then again, i first watched the series in SD, so i have little reference point.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-24-11, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Series - Blu-Ray Review

It's night and day compared to Netflix - I do admit I'm a total hater of Netflix since the stream quality is always so compressed compared to Blu-Ray. It's really impressive how good this series looks on Blu-Ray and if I were you, I'd add the first disc to your queue so you can see for yourself what I mean.

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post #4 of 4 Old 10-24-11, 01:48 PM
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Re: Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Series - Blu-Ray Review

Currently i'm just on their streaming plan, but may up my plan for a month to check it out. To me netflix's HD version looked way better than the SD version i originally watched, so if the bluray is better, then i may be in for a treat.
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