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The X-Files: I Want to Believe


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Guest Laurent.
I don't think that's exactly the case. The X-Files went through different patches of light and dark, with a constant mixture of tones. For example, Seasons 2, 4 and 8 were quite dark on the whole, while Seasons 6 and 7 were very light, and the remainder somewhere in the middle.

But I do agree that I Want to Believe would match the kind of tone of the 2/4/8 group. So in terms of tonality, I can see the comparisons to Millennium, but in terms of plot and genre, I think the paranormal and "extreme plausibility" elements of the movie are too far removed to simply substitute in Frank Black. This was Mulder and Scully's world -- with psychics, paranormal bonds and fantastical science -- not the world of human depravity, warped psychology and millennial anxiety.

When I say dark, I'm not only talking about the lighting or the violence on screen. I agree that season 2 of XF is very dark with episodes like Fresh Bones, Calusari, etc. But the overall theme of the season is not as dire as the first season of Millennium for example. And I think that Frank Spotnitz is a fan of this atmosphere, because he's one of the reason (just my opinion, can't back it up) why the show became so dark in the last seasons; not only because of his role as producer, but also as the writer of episodes like The Gift, Alone, Daemonicus, Via Negativa...

And I do agree with you on the plot of the movie, IWTB is too XF to be MM haha!. But I could see someone being able to rewrite it in order to take out Mulder and Scully, replace Father Joe by Frank Black and the mad scientists by the group (as we've seen them do a lot of fantastical science in season 3). Only then, it wouldn't be the same movie at all! The main thematic are too intricately linked to Mulder and Scully for this movie to be anything else than a X-Files movie in my opinion.

Anyway, my conclusion is that the atmosphere (or tonality, however you put it) behind IWTB definitely brings the same feeling in me as season 2&8 of The X-Files and season 3 of Millennium. But then again, Zeus is right that the plot is clearly in XF territory. So I guess it's simply a pure 1013 production in the world of Mulder and Scully.

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Guest ZeusFaber
When I say dark, I'm not only talking about the lighting or the violence on screen.

Oh, same here. Seasons 2, 4 and 8 are probably the darkest seasons in terms of tone and theme, both in their individual episodes (e.g. "Irresistible" / "Unruhe" / "Invocation") and also their wider thematic arcs (Scully's abduction / Scully's cancer / Mulder's abduction). Having said that, I do think there is also a correlation with the physical lighting at times, most notably in Season 6 where the switch to LA forced brighter locations and more desert environments, thus necessitating a lighter tone at times to match the new landscape.

But the overall theme of the season is not as dire as the first season of Millennium for example.

Absolutely. I think it goes without saying that The X-Files rarely, if ever went into as dark territory as Millennium, particularly as originally conceived in its first season. That was really the point in creating Millennium, of course -- to go to the darker places The X-Files could rarely go due to its fantastical conceits.

And I think that Frank Spotnitz is a fan of this atmosphere, because he's one of the reason (just my opinion, can't back it up) why the show became so dark in the last seasons; not only because of his role as producer, but also as the writer of episodes like The Gift, Alone, Daemonicus, Via Negativa...

I'm not so sure about that. I can see where you're coming from in the sense that Spotnitz's individual writing credits in the last two years of the show were generally darker entries than some of his previous scripts (e.g. "The Amazing Maleeni", "Dreamland", "Detour"), but then again his first standalone was the cannibalistic "Our Town". What I don't really subscribe to is the idea that both Season 8 and Season 9 have the same overall tone. For me, Season 8 is much darker and more relentless, while Season 9 is leavened with lighter fare and thus has more rise and fall. So while I agree that Season 8 was the show returning to its darker roots, I think Season 9 lightened it up a bit again without fully returning to the smiles and sunshine of Season 7. Tonally I'd say it was more in line with Seasons 3 and 5 in the spectrum of light and dark.

And I do agree with you on the plot of the movie, IWTB is too XF to be MM haha!. But I could see someone being able to rewrite it in order to take out Mulder and Scully, replace Father Joe by Frank Black and the mad scientists by the group (as we've seen them do a lot of fantastical science in season 3). Only then, it wouldn't be the same movie at all!

I'd agree with that. You would have to significantly rewrite it to make it work as Millennium -- as you say replacing Father Joe with Frank, taking away the psychic stigmata, bleeding eyes, and link to the perpetrator, and merging in elements of Mulder and Scully's return to the FBI. But indeed, once all that's done it already becomes a quite different movie. And even then I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with the idea of Frank investigating a head transplant. Despite the fact that Season 3 explored some similar material in a few episodes, it would nonetheless remain a struggle to keep it outside of The X-Files's bailiwick, where a first season type human sociopath would be a better fit.

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Guest Jim McLean

I really liked the film. It felt a little X-Files, a little Millennium. Yes, in an ideal world, I would liked to have seen a short phone or personal scene maybe with Fox consulting Frank given the nature of the "gift" involved, but I don't think it was required. I was happy to watch this as an X-Files movie.

I felt a little bad for the 1013 team. After being slammed for - IMO - the excellent Fight the Future being too arc driven, they're slammed on IWTB for being too much like an X-Files standalone episode. You can't help wonder where the middle ground is? Well okay the middle ground is perhaps something less subtle and more movie formulaic with a werewolf or green aliens, but I really liked where this went. The story was subtle, it had a hint of X-Files without feeling it was stealing from the old series to stay alive and it wasn't predictable (okay, maybe when Scully slugs Callum at the end). It felt like the X-Files had moved on and grown up.

What really worked for me was the lack of soapbox antagonist. Too many films suffer from having to have an opposing villain who is quirky as he is evil and I'm glad they never went down that route - with any really defined villain. It helped vitalize the film away from the "monster-of-the-week" pop culture inference and make it far less predictable. I also thought the chemistry between the leads was strong without feeling convoluted or manufactured for Phile-Fandom. It was tasteful and the actors seemed comfortable with it.

Great to see Skinner again though dear Billy didn't blow me away in his role. Being such a star in his own right he did draw me away from the character a little - bringing a little too much star baggage to a role that might have been more effective with an unknown. Not knocking the film for this - you need to add some star status to sell your film. Fact of life. His acting was solid and it wasn't long before I was comfortable with his casting. It was just that initial appearance that pulled me out of the story.

A good solid film, wisely put together given its heavy mythology. A joy to watch. Sad to see it lost in the deluge of Summer Blockbusters, but hey, that's life. Maybe they figured it would make as much wedged in between Batman, Hulk, Hellboy 2, Iron Man, etc etc than a Winter release. It certainly didn't have room to expand its promotional wings.

Yet to watch the features, but yes, really enjoyed the movie. Best cult film I've seen this year - and let me say, I've seen very, very few!

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Guest Laurent.
Great to see Skinner again though dear Billy didn't blow me away in his role. Being such a star in his own right he did draw me away from the character a little - bringing a little too much star baggage to a role that might have been more effective with an unknown. Not knocking the film for this - you need to add some star status to sell your film. Fact of life. His acting was solid and it wasn't long before I was comfortable with his casting. It was just that initial appearance that pulled me out of the story.

You see, I didn't know the man before IWTB and I thought he did an incredible job! So you might be right that it is his "star baggage" who "pulled you out", and not his actual performance.

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Guest Jim McLean
You see, I didn't know the man before IWTB and I thought he did an incredible job! So you might be right that it is his "star baggage" who "pulled you out", and not his actual performance.

Given your perspective, I agree I think that must be very much the case. Shame for me, but it didn't take long to get over. I particularly liked the scene between him and Dana. I thought that was dramatically charged.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest faintedblueornaments

I know this doesn't really fit here, but I didn't know where else to put it.

I was watching an episode of the X-Files, I believe it was "Deep Throat" and I noticed that The Budahas' (I believe) house looked very familiar.

Is it Frank's house, only a different color?

Or am I just crazy?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just want to put my 2 cents in about this movie. I thought it would have made a great Millennium tv episode but as a movie it was really a dumb idea. A comeback movie for this series needed to be big in scope , and mythology based. Especially with the way the series ended on such a poor note. The series finale was abysmal and a real let down. Ghosts of past characters helping Mulder open doors and giving him important information. That ridiculous prison , a jury with an alien as one of the members. The only thing new that was learned was the date of the impending invasion. The horrible way CSM died and the off the cuff stupid remarks he made to Mulder. Those last 2 seasons I liked , as I am a nut for the X-Files but most people thought those last 2 seasons stunk. The series finale and this latest movie show me that Chris Carter lost his way with these shows. That he would agree to stop running Millennium so that he could run that new abomination Harsh Realm really enraged me. I was happy as all hell when it got cancelled in almost record time. I was furious to lose Millennium , I loved that show.

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Guest Laurent.
That he would agree to stop running Millennium so that he could run that new abomination Harsh Realm really enraged me. I was happy as all hell when it got cancelled in almost record time. I was furious to lose Millennium , I loved that show.

I'm not so sure that this is the right way to put it. Of course the fact that he had Harsh Realm in development didn't help, but Millennium was mostly produced by Chip Johannessen at that time. And besides, Harsh Realm was pretty cool.

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