X-Files 1: Mythology [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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The definitive American television series of the 1990s. The X-Files comes to the big screen with an anticlimactic whimper. And how could it be otherwise? Why should material so perfectly realised in one medium necessarily translate well into another? The series is crisply and thoughtfully executed in just about every detail, but the heart of its appeal lies in the elegant handling of complicated and evolving ongoing story lines, which is not something movies are especially good at. The big-screen drive for closure cramps the creative style, though it may also help nonfans get a grip on the proceedings. We do get some invigorating thrills and chills, however, and a more satisfying sense of the scale of an all-enveloping human-alien conspiracy than ever before, but there's no more plot development here than in an average two-part season-ending. FBI black sheep Mulder and Scully have been temporarily transferred from the X-Files project to an anti-terrorist unit to investigate an Oklahoma City-style bombing. They uncover a new wrinkle in the Syndicate/Cancer Man conspiracy--basically an attempt to help one bunch of (benign?) aliens fight off another bunch who want to colonise Earth. A spectacular, ice-bound finale thrillingly staged by series-veteran director Rob Bowman offers Mulder (but not a conveniently unconscious Scully) his first clear look at a You Know What, which in some quarters qualifies as an epochal event. Martin Landau offers the agents some crucial clues, and several familiar TV faces (including the Lone Gunmen and Mitch Pileggi's indispensable Assistant Director Skinner) turn up briefly to wink knowingly at faithful fans. --David Chute --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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On the whole the film is very good and extends the groundwork laid in the series for a new direction of conspiracy and colonisation, as you can only fight so many mutants of nature, yet it doesn't fully alienate (had to) those new to the show framework. The Blu-Ray video and audio quality is as you would expect for a recent release on excellent form. You also have the theatre and directors cuts of the film and some behind the scenes features regarding the music, effects and transition to the big screen from TV.
Surprisingly, the movie lacks the depth and engrossing atmosphere of the series. The cigarette man's character is totally wasted - in the series he's so interesting and important, while in the movie he is no more than a shadow. And something is definitely wrong with the pace of the movie. Sometimes everything just happens too fast. The dialogs are not particularly interesting. Picture and sound quality are not particularly good. Some films made before the II World War look better on DVD than this one.
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