**/**** Image B Sound A Extras B-
starring Kurt Russell, James Spader, Jaye Davidson, Viveca Lindfors
screenplay by Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich
directed by Roland Emmerich
by Bill Chambers Spawning a television show and solidifying the Hollywood career of German director Roland Emmerich, 1994's Stargate was the last movie to get the memo that Abyss-ian water walls and morphing technology no longer evoked World's Fair awe. These special effects are merely the epitome of Stargate's second-hand wonder; part of the film's value as a curiosity piece is its New York street-merchant vibe: like peddlers of the Rolux watch or Parda handbag, Emmerich and co-producer/co-writer Dean Devlin are selling us an approximation of a blockbuster by a licensed hitmaker, and we excuse them the same way we allow for the smudgy print of carbon copies or the colour bleed on VHS dubs. It must be a human impulse to absolve a facsimile of its absence of novelty.