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*** Official THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE Review Thread

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#1 of 15 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted July 25 2008 - 12:52 AM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The X-Files: I Want To Believe". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.


#2 of 15 OFFLINE   TravisR


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Posted July 25 2008 - 05:12 AM

I liked it well enough but it's nothing great. There's lots of good Mulder wisecracks, in-jokes for the eagle eyed fans and it's just plain fun to see Mulder and Scully together again. There's definitely problems with the movie. The case they investigate would only rank as an average episode of the series and they didn't try to make a big movie adventure (like the first one). It has a schizophrenic tone- the X-File is a scary story but there's a subplot that involves the larger issues that the series looked at like faith and belief- which I'm sure will be off putting to alot of viewers. I always liked when the show looked at faith and I like it here it too but that subplot kills the suspense that might have built up if they just stuck to the scary plot. Overall, I think it'll only really appeal to people who are still loyal fans and most others won't like it at all.

#3 of 15 OFFLINE   PatW



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Posted July 25 2008 - 12:18 PM

I didn't mind it but I was expecting alot more. I was a big fan of the TV series and own all nine seasons on dvd. This really didn't seem like an x-files movie other than Mulder and Scully being in it. I think they should have stuck to a mythology type movie. Those episode on the series were the most interesting and though there was some inconsistency in the later seasons, I think it would have been a more interesting movie. I know Chris Carter wanted to appeal to a broader audience but the 5 pm showing I went to had 3 other people besides myself so I think he failed which is too bad. I'm sure there is a good x-files movie in him but unfortunately I don't think it will ever see the light of day.

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Ron68


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Posted July 25 2008 - 03:05 PM

I thought the movie was pretty good, it was better than the last movie but both were weaker than the series. I'm a huge fan of the show and I liked that the new movie was more of a stand alone movie than a Mythology based one. I always found the stand alone episode were far better. There were some good character moments between Mulder and Scully and I loved the humour. Anderson gave the best performance and had a better role, Duchovny seemed tired at the beginning but felt more like Mulder by the second half. The movie got off to a slow start but improved greatly in the second half. I thought the story was interesting. I also enjoyed the nods and references to the series throughout but I do wish I had watched the series finale before seeing the movie. I think the weakest part of the movie was the villains, they were really underwritten. They would have been far more menacing had I got to know them. Usually the TV series had really strong and memorable bad guys. I thought what they were doing was intriguing and that Carter should have explored that aspect of the story more. I went to the first screening this morning, the theatre was 1/3 full and the movie played in one of the smaller auditoriums. Some of the audience clapped when the titles came up and I heard some say they liked the movie afterwards. I hope the movie does well enough to earn a sequel, I enjoyed it despite it's faults. It was good seeing Scully and Mulder again.

#5 of 15 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted July 25 2008 - 04:15 PM

This followup to the X-Files suffered from a very clunky script in its attempt to truly shoehorn into the film the "I want to believe" motif, which was carried through its run on TV for 9 years. While it's a small treat to see Mulder and Scully together, the case at hand wasn't strong enough, and I didn't think these main 2 characters felt "right" in how they were written for this film. So, not even a solid effort by Chris Carter and company, and I'd only recommend it to die-hard fans of the show, otherwise, it's not going to elicit much enthusiasm from the general public. I give it 2.5 stars, or a grade of C+.
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#6 of 15 OFFLINE   Craig_Ehr


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Posted July 25 2008 - 05:07 PM

If you didn't (don't) like the show you aren't going to enjoy the movie (more than likely). I love(d) the show and thoroughly enjoyed the film. The film felt like the show (prior to the phoned-in last few seasons), which is what I had hoped for. I will see it again in the theater and definitely pick up the BD when it's released. B+ from me.

#7 of 15 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted July 26 2008 - 12:03 AM

I thought it was very good. They took the best parts of the show and translated them to the screen, and every creepy, intense moment from the heyday of the show was there. My wife saw it with me, and she has only a casual knowledge of the show, and she enjoyed it very much. I also agree with something Roger Ebert said in his review: It was refreshing not to have a single explosion or buckets of blood flowing throughout the movie. Much of the gruesome details of what was going on was left up to your imagination, with a few fleeting exceptions. So I sincerely recommend it to fans and non-fans. I hope they have a big enough opening weekend (the film reportedly only cost $30 million, so even a second-place opening could be good for them, a la Mamma Mia) and get a chance to continue the series.

#8 of 15 OFFLINE   Chad R

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Posted July 26 2008 - 02:30 AM

It was obvious where Chris Carter's head was for this movie, and it wasn't in the X-File at the center of this movie. Carter was far more fascinated with the evolved relationship of Mulder and Scully. There was potential in the creepy plot, but it's resolved without any struggle what-so-ever that the story just kinda stops rather than concludes. Gillian Anderson treats the lazily written material with all of her effort and is able to transcend it, but both Carter and Duchovny are obviously collecting paychecks. Overall, it ranks somewhere in the middle of stories told on the show when it needed to be in the top third to truly satisfy.

#9 of 15 OFFLINE   Dennis Castro

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Posted July 28 2008 - 12:08 AM

I wanted to believe. I wanted to believe that this could be a stand alone film and still be a big enough story for a feature film. Sadly it was not the case. The script in many places was flat and boring. Both Duchovny and Anderson seemed to be mailing it in at times. I wasn't necessarily looking for a re-hash of the old story lines. What I was looking for was as story that was big enough to carry a movie and this wasn't it. I had the feeling that this could have been an average one hour TV episode. I've been a fan since the first episode. This was very disappointing.
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#10 of 15 OFFLINE   Neil Middlemiss

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Posted July 28 2008 - 01:08 AM

I have been grappling with how I felt about the movie. On one hand, I was a little disappointed. It felt small and poorly paced. But on the other, it was the most intimate, patient and pensive X-Files experience I have had (and I am mid-way through rewatching the entire series, yet again). I felt performances from Duchovney and Anderson were strong and right for two people who had been through what they have and out of it for as long as they were. Somehow, among the crash, bang and wallop of the summer, the film was like putting the breaks on and asking for thoughtful consideration rather than just experiencing a couple of hours at the movies. Rewatching will be the only way to answer the questions I have about the film, I think.
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#11 of 15 OFFLINE   Ed Moroughan

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Posted July 28 2008 - 03:00 AM

As a fan of the show I was very disappointed. Like others have said, a lot of emphasis on Mulder/Scully being a couple, but not much of an adventure for them. Plus, didn't they do a
Dr. Frankenstein
episode already? 2/5 rating for me. Posted Image

#12 of 15 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted July 28 2008 - 04:43 AM

If you like character drama, this is a fine film graced by three good lead performances from Duchovny, Anderson and Billy Connolly and solid supporting work from Amanda Peet and a creepy Callum Keith Rennie (proving that the unsettling effect he brings to Battlestar Galactica is no accident). If you're a big-time X-Files fan looking for a return to the past, you'll probably be disappointed, because this film jettisons most of the old series except for the characters and their history. To me, though, that's a good thing. By the end, the series was horribly played out; its overblown mythology was an albatross as it became increasingly obvious that Carter & Co. had never worked out a coherent or credible explanation for the alien plot; and the paranormal investigations had degenerated into self-parody. By putting the spotlight on the relationship between Mulder and Scully and their respective inner struggles, Carter wisely focused on the few elements of the X-Files that still have vitality. Had he gone in the direction that so many reviewers seem to want, the results would have been stale and disappointing (and, I suspect, would have been rejected by one or both of Duchovny and Anderson). Instead, we get a chance to reacquaint ourselves with old friends at a later stage in their lives, still struggling with many of the same unanswerable questions that made them interesting to us for so many years. Oh, and the crime they're asked to investigate is pretty creepy, and they do end up saving some lives. M.
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#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Dale MA

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Posted August 01 2008 - 12:03 AM

I saw "I Want to Believe" at a midnight screening last night here in the UK, the cinema was packed. Really enjoyed it, I've read that people like it because it feels like an early episode but to me it felt like one of those really dark season eight episodes. Carter did a really good job with the picture with a nice balance between funny (mostly in the first half) and creepy elements that made the show such a hit. The film focuses more on the relationship between Mulder and Scully than the actual X-File - however, for those confused with the films plot there's talk of an unrated cut coming to DVD that will likely flesh out elements of the X-File case. I liked how subtle the film was and I didn't once think "Ouch, that looks fake!" during the movie which makes a refreshing change from most summer blockbusters - in fact that's how I'd sum up "I Want to Believe", a refreshing change of pace in a summer that's full of CGI laden action fests. Lot's of nods to series, my favourite being:
The girl that catches Mulder's eye in the FBI building is the actress that played his young sister Samantha in the series. I thought that was pretty cool.

#14 of 15 OFFLINE   L. Anton Dencklau

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Posted August 05 2008 - 07:08 PM

The bulletpoints: *too many trailers: Blindness, Mirrors, Miracle at St. Anna, Eagle Eye, Death Race, Traitor, Babylon AD....zzzzzz. has the movie started yet? *There are some nice shots, but overall I think the reason why the film got poor reviews was less about the content than the ho-hum way it was filmed. What's missing here are stronger transition shots between the FBI and the killer. The initial transition is just a straight cut; we need some sort of floaty steadicam intro, or a long take POV, or dolly in with a soundtrack flourish, or something to break the flow. Perhaps that's why there were so many (justifiable) complaints that the film seemed like a long TV episode. You wouldn't even have needed that many of them, just the establishing shots. *Is there anything here you couldn't get on TV? The set pieces are small. The gore is very minimal, no language, no sex. While I admire the restraint after so many years of torture porn films, there is something odd about so little queasiness with so many severed limbs. *There are some nice music cues, particularly the one for the brain surgery scene, maybe a more in front score could have helped. I dunno. *The two action sequences are OK, but the first one doesn't establish the place very coherently. *ok, lets get it over with: the movie isn't well directed. The story elements are fine, the actors are all good, set design/art direction all fine, but there isn't enough of the artistic spark going on in the camera work. The movie just feels too small. Its a shame, because there is an interesting theme being developed about the marginalization of the exploratory academia that Mulder and Scully represent. The clinton era pushed the duo through a broad canvas from highest government, across continents, all the way down to local folklore and scientific minutiae. Seeing the two reduced to pushing against a hospital board and, in mulder's case, idly collecting newspaper (newsprint itself rapidly becoming anachronistic) with a unabomber beard pretty much sums up the W era. Its an interesting jumping off point for this story. While it does descend occasionally into romantic cheese, the smallness of the story is actually a plus, because it allows so much character interaction; despite the films problems, these are still interesting characters that are fun to watch. There is a giddy thrill in seeing the duo fly into Washington in a black helicopter, and stride into a FBI room full of agents looking at them like they are relics. We get mulder prowling around remote buildings and scully delivering heartfelt medical jargon. We get reasonable discussion of psychic phenomena and the circumstances of faith. We get the frustrations of bureaucracy. Its good stuff, but its a shame it was delivered in such an average fashion. This is for the big screen: even if its an intimate story it needed to be told in a bigger way.

#15 of 15 OFFLINE   Brett_M



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Posted August 08 2008 - 01:46 AM

Huge fan of thr show. Liked the film just fine. Felt small but intimate. Some great humor. I was creeped out by the X file. The villains needed more screentime, though. Loved the psychic aspect. I want to believe. Nice performances, although whenever Xibit was on screen I was expecting him to be detailing someone's car. The role was a bit too big for him. He does not have the gravitas to pull it off. Many complain that it focuses too much on Scully's doctor subplot, failing to realize that her subplot feeds into the resolution of the film and acts as the main thread for the theme -- "I want to believe."/"Don't give up." All in all, I enjoyed it and hope that they continue to make X-Files movies every few years. Hell, it's Scully and Mulder! I just wish Skinner was in it more. ***.5/*****
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