Much like the first theatrical outing for Mulder and Scully, this will disappoint some for what it is not, and others for what it actually is. It is very much the type of stand-alone story which used to be squeezed between the conspiracy and mythology episodes. The problem presented by the avenue chosen by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz is that after so many years have passed, fans aching for what The X-Files did best will be confronted by a dreary and snowy low-key and intimate story which while excellent on its own, is not what fans had anticipated.
That being said, I do believe, however, after the initial shock, and perhaps after a second viewing, fans will embrace it for Carter's courage to once again fly in the face of the powers that be and tell an often creepy stand-alone story showing how the darkness always found Mulder and Scully, and how it was having each other to lean on which helped each keep their faith. It is almost as if this is a segue to something more on the horizon. For even within the confines of a story which does not deal in the slightest manner with any of the X-Files mythology fans have hungered for, there are portents.
Beginning with both Mulder and Scully leading very different lives than those we came to know, Carter uses the darkness to bring them back together. It is a kidnapped F.B.I. Agent and a Bureau ready to forgive Mulder for his many indiscretions if only he will help work with the psychic who may or may not be genuine which starts things rolling. Scully's need to help a young boy with an incurable disease and the relationship of our favorite F.B.I. couple, even though neither works for the Bureau anymore, gets as much screen time as the premise, which is like a creepy episode rather than a feature film.
Duchovny and Anderson are still fabulous together, perhaps even more so in a somber and low-key outing such as this. The intimacy and history of the couple is what the film is about, and how faith can be restored even amidst the darkness which always found them, and sometimes kept them apart. This really plays better as a small screen episode of the show, but because we have missed Mulder and Scully for so long, it gets an A.
There are references to Mulder's sister, the alien abduction which haunted and drove him in his quest for the truth. It is a story line we thought wrapped up. Now that is unclear. Carter did say in an interview about the film that no one ever really dies for good on the show. And though the film itself has dealt in absolutely no way at all with X-Files mythology, what should show up as a background to the closing credits? Black oil, that's what. And it ain't Texas tea. It is worth seeing if only for a very touching and tender moment between Mulder and Scully near the end. It is the kind of intimate conversation which made the show better than anything else we got to watch during its long run.
The story itself might have been better as an episode of the show, and those who venture into theatres expecting something grandiose after all this time will certainly come away wondering if it was worth the wait. Fans of the show, however, were fans because of the relationship between Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. So if you go in knowing that this is that sort of episode, in which the case is only an excuse to bring them back to who they were, then you'll enjoy it much more. It has much more in common with "Beyond the Sea" or "Irresistible" than say, "Nesei" and "731."
See it on the big screen to show support, so we can have more, but know you'll probably enjoy it more on your set once it comes to dvd.
I am a fan, I would have been happy with 2 hours worth of Mulder and Scully doing absolutely nothing in the screen, as long as they were back. But, we have been given a lot more! Chris Carter has given us a thriller and a pretty good one at that.
The film follows FBI agents in their search for a missing agent. They are aided by a man, a priest of questionable morals, who has visions. They bring in Mulder and Scully, now a surgeon (since when?!) to help them in their investigation. If Mulder helps, all will be forgiven (a bit of a stretch since he was charged by the military for murder after all). Regardless, our favorite couple discovers a sinister plan that will make you cringe.
Amanda Peet is the FBI Agent that brings Mulder in. Her character could have been better used. Skinner makes an appearance!
The movie was sinister, evil, spooky and just plain wrong. It was great! To top is all off: Mulder and Scully. There is nothing bad we can say about their acting and their portrayals...they own these characters, they created them, and made them the memorable characters we like. The direction was excellent, with amazing long shots and beautiful photography. The great musical score was done by Mark Snow, who else would have been better for this?!
For the X-philes (fans): oh, this will be fun, sunflower seeds, "I want to believe" poster, pencils in the ceiling and a whole lotta Mulder and Scully talk. Priceless. Did you see Chris Carter in the scene at the hospital, sitting down?
For the X-shippers, you will be happy. Mulder and Scully, what has happened will be answered and then some.
For the non-fan: it was very easy to understand, there is not that much mythology, just some references here and there that are not necessary for the understanding of the plot.
The movie is very good, and spooky, it talks about morality, about persistence and about beliefs. The movie once again, as the entire series of the X-Files did, challenges both Mulder and Scully in their beliefs along the way of solving yet another sinister crime. There are tons of plot holes and far fetched things though. Yes, there have been better episodes. But still, a great addition to The X-Files.
Still, I am going to wait for the Special edition which is sure to come.
on September 22, 2008
Mulder and Scully are back...and that's incredibly awesome!!!
I think it was a shame this movie didn't get the attention it deserved when it was released. I believe that the studio's poor promotion and the unfortunate date of release --THE DARK NIGHT's SUMMER-, among other external conditions didn't help it attract more viewers. But now that this fantastic 3-disc edition is here, there is no earthly excuse to not watch Mulder's and Scully's triumphal return.
Give this movie a chance if:
1)You were a fan back in the 90's --oH THOSE HAPPY DAYS!--.
2)You are sick of flat characters who never actually grow up, grow old and /or mature.
3)You are in the mood for an intelligent little movie and you have had your share of CGI and exaggerated action sequences -that, let's face it, turn out to be a whole lot of nonsense most of the times-.
4)You want to be captivated by 2 of the most representative characters in TV history.
Give it a try, re-watch some of the tv series'episodes, get in the mood and enjoy!! Remember the Truth is out there...and we want to find it in a third movie. I waited 6 years for this one, I hope I won't be waiting that much for an XF3!!!
Note: If you watched the movie in the theatre and thought the storyline had some slight plotholes, check out the DVD edition of the film. This is REALLY the film Carter wanted to give us. Few extra scenes give a subtle but meaningful enhancement.
The X-Files TV series' untidy conclusion left fans wondering what happened. 2008's "The X Files: I Want To Believe" is producers Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz' attempt to scratch that itch. The fan base of the TV series should find the result enjoyable if not completely satisfying.
As the story opens, a female FBI agent is subjected to a brutal kidnapping. The FBI's principal lead in the case is a disgraced pedophile priest (Billy Connally) with psychic visions of the kidnapping. The FBI lead investigators (nicely played by Amanda Peet and Alvin "Xzibit" Joiner) find themselves out of their depth and seek out former agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprising their roles). Scully is working as a doctor at a Catholic hospital, trying to save a young boy with a nominally terminal illness. Mulder is living in seclusion in a rural cottage, avoiding the FBI. The FBI offers them a clean slate if they will help.
Thus begins a bizarre case that would have been a solid "monster of the week" episode from the series. Mulder and Scully wrestle with clues that defy easy explanation; the credulous Mulder and the skeptical Scully will debate their meaning while racing to stop a hideous medical experiment. In a thrilling conclusion, Scully will call upon an old FBI friend to help rescue Mulder, whose relentless pursuit of the clues leaves him in mortal danger.
Carter and Spotnitz largely avoid X-Files conspiracy mythology while delivering the standard format of the TV series. Most satisfying to this reviewer, they honor the nuanced relationship between Mulder and Scully, who pick up their repartee without missing a beat. The progression of their relationship since the end of the series is revealed in an extremely well-done bedroom sequence in which Scully ponders aloud the case of her dying patient.
"The X-Files: I Want To Believe" is highly recommended to fans of the TV series. Newcomers may find the self-referential plot and characters difficult to follow. Fans should enjoy seeing what amounts to a new and extended TV episode whose concluding sequence offers some hopeful closure in the best tradition of the X-Files. Be sure to watch all the way through the closing credits for a nice postscript to the story.
on July 12, 2010
When I was thirteen years old, I broke up with my boyfriend Michael because he wanted to go to prom and prom just so happened to fall on the same night as the X-Files season finale. It just goes to show that I had my priorities in check even back then. Unlike the last X-Files movie (and most of the X-Files episodes), I Want to Believe steps away from the government conspiracy mega-plotline and instead focuses on the day-to-day lives of Mulder and Scully and the challenges they have to overcome in their personal and professional lives, set against the backdrop of a missing FBI agent and a seemingly clairvoyant pedophiliac priest. It's not as big as the last one, or as explosive, but in my opinion, change is good, and 'I Want to Believe' worked well as a standalone. What can I say? I'm addicted all over again.
on November 30, 2008
Here's where I stand on THE X-FILES: I was a fan of the show for the first couple of seasons when every episode was different (remember the Jersey Devil episode and the one about the deformed redneck family?) and before it got really heavy into the same continuous storyline, and I saw the first X-FILES movie a couple of times when it first came out but it's been so long that I barely remember it. So I did enjoy the show, however I wouldn't consider myself a hardcore fan and I wouldn't go so far as to say that this was a highly anticipated movie for me. So, with that out of the way...
In THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE, Mulder (David Duchovny) is living in seclusion and Scully (Gillian Anderson) is now a doctor. They are reunited when the FBI seeks them out for help to find a fellow agent who has gone missing. Mulder and Scully, along with the help of the FBI (with the two primary agents being portrayed by Amanda Peet and rapper Xzibit) and a goofy psychic named Father Joe (portrayed by Billy Connolly), eventually find clues that lead them to something gruesome and disturbing.
Throughout the movie there is a subplot where Scully is going through an ordeal at the hospital she works at involving a sick child who she is trying to save, the child's family, and the "powers that be" of the hospital who refuse to offer any further treatment for the child due to the fact that he suffers from an incurable disease. For most of the FBI investigation, Scully is absent and is faced with the dilemma of going through a radical medical procedure (stem cell) which may or may not help the child but will surely cause him a lot of pain. And then there's the Father Joe character who, while somewhat annoying at first, ultimately won me over due to actor Billy Connolly's charm. Father Joe is interesting in that he has a haunting past and is judged because of it, claims that God talks to him and gives him these psychic visions, and no one believes him except for Mulder.
Overall I enjoyed this film a lot! I really had no desire to see it, and actually decided to watch it just to see Xzibit in a "serious role". This film surprised me and kept my interest throughout. The entire film was definitely a throwback to the first seasons of the show in which they had the whole "Monster of the Week" thing going on which I mentioned earlier. It's basically a standalone Sci-Fi/Thriller with elements of Horror. The chemistry between Duchovny and Anderson is awesome and it's always great to see them back together on screen. Amanda Peet and Xzibit were both pretty good in their roles. It's sort of hinted in the movie that Peet's character has a thing for Mulder, but it never really goes anywhere for reasons I can't really talk about without ruining the movie. Xzibit was more of a background guy who didn't say a whole lot, who's character had a thick exterior to contrast Peet's more easy-going demeanor. And of course Connolly was great as always.
Another thing that I loved about the movie was the Cinematography. It was filmed in Canada during the winter and the snowy scenery and photography in the film was gorgeous. There aren't really any bad things about the movie that I can really think of. The lack of a major villain was a bit disappointing, but the twist at the end more than makes up for it. Obviously I won't say what the twist is, but it most definitely treads the waters of the Horror genre. Also the film isn't really as epic as a TV show-turned-feature length film should be and seemed like it could have been a longer version of a TV episode. Other than that, it was great. Entertaining, great cast, great acting, beautiful Cinematography, great music, nostalgia, and a twist that will satisfy Horror fans. There's also a little something special during the closing credits (with two songs provided by U.N.K.L.E. including a remix of the X-FILES theme) which is kind of cheesy but is still pretty cool to watch.
I've only seen the 1-Disc Version of the DVD so far and the Extra Features are OK. It has a great Commentary track by writer/director Chris Carter and writer Frank Spotnitz. There is also a ten minute Gag Reel, which by the looks of it the cast had a blast making the film. Overall, it's a great film and I would definitely recommend it.
EDIT: The 2-Disc Version has the same Extra Features as the 1-Disc version, but the second disc has a feature-length Documentary on the production of the movie that covers everything from the cast, to the filming, to reuniting the cast and crew, and the secrecy of the movie. It's actually really interesting when they talk about how secretive they were during the filming to the point that some of the crew didn't even KNOW they were working on the new X-FILES movie. Another thing that is brought up is how they leaked staged photos of a Werewolf prop on the set to throw people off. Includes interviews with the cast and crew and Behind-the-Scenes footage. I would recommend spending the few extra bucks to get the Special Edition as opposed to the 1-Disc. It's worth it.
on May 20, 2011
***October 6, 2013 Update***
The Hollywood Reporter confirms that 'Illuminate Hollywood' has been creating new 4k HD Masters of the X-Files TV series. The original unedited camera negatives are being scanned in HD and will be re-edited back into complete shows. Special effects will have to re-created with CGI in HD. Cutting continuities and SD Videos of the original shows will be used as reference for editing. The bad news is that this is the new name for the company that botched the Star Trek TNG season 2 Blu-ray with DNR & other errors. CBS cancelled their contract with them after that.
If the original 35mm camera film elements exist there is some hope, but like ST-TNG every episode would have to be re-edited and the special effects re-created using the original 35mm films.
The first 4 seasons of the X - Files were not produced in Hi-Definition, the original camera negatives were transfered to standard definition video and the video was edited into the final shows. Unlike classic filmed TV shows of the 1950's, 60's & 70's where in those days the final editing was done on 35mm negatives, so a Hi-Definition transfer can be made of those old shows. From mid 1980 to 1998, the camera films were directly transfered to standard definition video for editing, no edited 35mm film master exists to make a new hi-Definition transfer.
Starting with season 5 (1997) the X-Files was produced in wide screen, but even that does not mean it was in hi-Definition as it pre-dates U.S. Hi-Definition broadcasts & standards. Hi-Definition broadcasts didn't start until October 1998, and then it was not for regular TV series. The FOX network did not start Hi-Definition broadcasts until September 2004, WAY after the X-Files was out of production.
The bottom line is that unless FOX would do a major computer enhancement to scrub out the grain of the original TV series, a Blu-ray release of the X-Files TV series would not be an improvement. And based on FOX's Blu-ray releases of their 1970's feature films, they are not investing the money.
If a TV show was produced between 1980 & 1998, don't hope for a good Blu-ray release. The Classic Star Trek will always look sharper that its sequels (except for Enterprise).
Now the two X-Files theatrical movies were edited in Hi-Definition with a 35mm master negative produced. So that is why they are on Blu-ray.
on July 1, 2008
The X-Files is the definition of iconic television. In the vein of series like Star Trek, Gunsmoke and The A-Team, X-Files defined high quality television for a generation during the 1990's. Plenty of scary monsters, a complex mythology surrounding alien invasion and a well developed love story, this show had it all and set the bar for shows to come such as Smallville, Firefly, Lost, etc.
Looking back, one can clearly see the influence X-Files has had on the shows to follow it. However, none have quite the staying power of the X-Files which lasted 9 full years in prime time, a feat nearly unheard of in our current era of reality glut televison.
X-Files moved the FOX network into contention with ABC, NBC and CBS as a force to be reckoned with. Prior to X-Files, FOX was known for Married with Children, The Tracey Ullman Show, In Living Color and The Simpsons. All good shows, but with the ratings X-Files delivered in the key demographics, advertisers lined up with $$$ that FOX had not previously seen. This influx of advertising cash allowed FOX to obtain the rights to broadcast NFL games and the SuperBowl, thus changing the network TV landscape forever as FOX joined the ranks of the "Big 3 Networks" and moved from a bit player into the major leagues of TV.
Now FOX is seen as one of if not the major network in TV with shows like 24, Prison Break, etc. None of this would have been possible without the break out hit that was the X-Files. It deserves to be on Blu Ray. When you consider how much utter worthless junk is out on Blu Ray already and when you look at the strong sales for previous X-Files home media, it is a no-brainer that X-Files should be out on Blu Ray sooner rather than later.
on December 2, 2008
As a huge fan of the X-Files and as someone who was disappointed by the 2nd movie, I was looking forward to watching the "extended cut" of the movie offered in this special edition set. In articles about the movie's production, Chris Carter moaned about Fox saying the movie couldn't run longer than an hour and a half and talked about having to cut the movie down quite quickly. I had hoped that the "extended cut" would fill in some of the holes I saw in the movie and would reflect Carter's original vision. Instead, the "extended cut" is only 4 minutes longer than the theatrical release and contains only one extra scene, that I noticed. Disappointing.
on April 2, 2016
I personally find the case ugly with its stupid "Own the moments" tagline, but if you're looking for the two films, this is the cheapest way to go (currently), and as a bonus, they're separate discs with their own supplements.