Thread: X-Files Bombs
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Old August 17 2008, 10:44 PM   #229
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Re: X-Files Bombs

I LOVE passing this around. At one of the film score boards I read, an average joe member like myself, posted this well written and thought out review of the films which I feels captures it perfectly:

Long story short - The X-Files: I Want To Believe gets everything right what The Dark Knight got wrong.

2008 is turning into the year where I'm starting to think the problem isn't Hollywood making bad movies but Hollywood having stupid audiences. For the nihilistic, "damned if you do, damned if you don't" popular morality blather that is the new Batman movie, the new X-Files movie will fail in every possible way. No one is shot, no one is dead-then-alive only for someone else to be dead instead, there is no pastiche of a superior film in attempts to glob another movie's ideas. There is no overblown nonsense of Oscar nominations. There is little preconceived notions about the film and the ones that are are thrown out the door after the first two thirds. The plot's reveal is a good one in that you don't see it coming.

I won't go into the "monster of the week" format - since it isn't there. In fact, there is no monster - and not in the overplayed "humanity is the real monster!" copout or its variations. The "monster" takes a backseat (perhaps too far back) from the rest of the story, revolving around a missing FBI Agent and a local woman. Mulder (complete with crazy man beard) is eventually pulled back into the investigation world by his former partner Scully (who looks great, even though she looks like she could stand to sleep more). Billy Connolly plays a role of a priest with a very dirty background; his part is part-paranormal, part moral center of the film. And in the end, the movie leaves you to ask you where you stand, instead of telling you what to think (which was really the most insulting element of TDK).

Its not a perfect mix - somewhere around the middle it lags and Amanda Peet is simply not convincing in the role. There could have been one more chase and a little less criminal justice science just to give it a little more punch but thats a small misgiving considering the end result.

Its a slowly paced character drama, reminding us that a movie without good characters and a good message is not worth seeing. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that as far as summer blockbusters go - the morality in this is almost reaffirming of something greater than I can describe here. Its not a concrete feeling or a specific moral quandary solved - its simply a lot of good questions and a lot of ernest hope for the future. But being you and I are in this world where people pay to have their intelligence and morals trampled on so long as they can agree that someone dead deserves an acting award as a consolation prize - this film will not be popular, not even for its fanbase. I would go as far to say that the movie is in many ways the movie everyone says they want to see, but end up actively avoiding. After all, how dare we have hope in each other when we can bury ourselves in self-actualizing narcissism.

Chris Carter directs (Frohike is first assisstant director!) what is essentially the biggest valentine of a movie a fan can hope for. If there is no other X-Files movies to follow, he went out on the best note possible and for a man whom I've derided for years as losing track of what made the show great in the beginning, has reaffirmed my faith in him as a writer.

I originally hesitated at the subtitle to the movie. It had long been established as one of the show's catchphrases - but as a movie title, it didn't quite roll around in your mouth. But I wouldn't change it for anything because it really gets the whole idea down pat - I want to *believe*.
Mr. Signature
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