on 16 October 2013
THE X FILES MOVIE COLLECTION: The X-Files: Fight The Future  / The X Files: I Want to Believe  [Limited Edition SteelBook] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] Take Your Greatest Fear and Multiply It By X! To Find The Truth, You Must Believe!
Buried beneath the FBI’s countless case files lay mysteries so strange, so impenetrable, that only two agents would ever dare confront them. FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder [David Duchovny] and FBI Special Agent Dana Scully [Gillian Anderson]. Based on the hugely popular, award-winning television phenomenon that ran for nine seasons, and in response to a worldwide demand from millions of devoted fans, these thrill-packed films take The X-Files inventive blend of paranoia, horror and suspense to a whole new level. In ‘The X-Files: Fight The Future,’ Mulder and Scully risk their careers and their lives to hunt down a deadly virus that may be extra-terrestrial in origin and could ultimately destroy all mankind. Then, when a fellow agent mysteriously disappears in ‘The X-Files: I Want To Believe,’ the pair enlist help from a priest with a questionable past...and a startling vision of the future. As sparks ignite between FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder and FBI Special Agent Dana Scully, paranormal realities rise up to confound their work at every turn as the quest for truth continues.
FILM FACT: "We wanted it to be true to the TV show, for one thing. We didn't want The X-Files to become something else in the movie, just because we had a bigger budget to work with. Yet, we were also mindful that it had to be a culmination of something for the people who had been watching the show for five years, as well as an introduction of these characters and this story to people who hadn't." — Frank Spotnitz talking about the development of The X-Files film.
The X-Files: Fight The Future  Cast: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, William B. Davis, John Neville, Dean Haglund, Bruce Harwood, Tom Braidwood, Blythe Danner, Martin Landau, Jeffrey DeMunn, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Michael Shamus Wiles
The X Files: I Want to Believe  Cast: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, Alvin "Xzibit" Joiner, Mitch Pileggi, Callum Keith Rennie, Adam Godley, Xantha Radley, Fagin Woodcock, Nicki Aycox and Alex Diakun
Director: Rob Bowman  and Chris Carter 
Producers: Brent O'Connor, Bruce Devan, Chris Carter, Daniel Sackheim, Frank Spotnitz, Lata Ryan, Mary Astadourian
Screenplay: Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz (story)
Composer: Mark Snow
Cinematography: Ward Russell  and Bill Roe 
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, German: 5.1 DTS-HD, French: 5.1 DTS-HD, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital, English: 5.1 Dolby Digital (audio description) and Russian: 5.1 DTS-HD
Subtitles: English SDH, German, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Norwegian, Swedish and Thai
Running Time: 221 minutes
Region: Blu-ray: All Regions and DVD: Region B/2
Number of discs: 2
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: The X-Files may have been off-air for 11 years, but the fan base for the show is still strong. After originally debuting in the US in 1993, the show went on to become one of the biggest science-fiction shows of all-time following the adventures of FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder [David Duchovny] and FBI Special Agent Dana Scully [Gillian Anderson]. The show lasted for 9 seasons and produced two spin-off films with its last outing in 2008. Amazingly the show has never been released on Blu-ray and up until the past few weeks only one of the films had been.
For the show’s 20th Anniversary Edition, 20th Century Fox have finally released the 1998 film The X Files: ‘Fight The Future’ and re-released the 2008 sequel The X Files: ‘I Want To Believe.’ The two films can be purchased individually but it’s the UK Limited Edition SteelBook that is likely to get a lot of fans in a big lather. Before we dig into the actual films themselves, let’s talk a little bit about the packaging for the release. The Limited Edition SteelBook is a beautifully embossed presentation, but with a minimal design on the front and back featuring images of FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder and FBI Special Agent Dana Scully. The front has a border which looks pretty cool and makes the SteelBook look pretty chunky. Inside, the case is backed with a still featuring the two FBI agents which is a nice little touch.
The two films that were spun-off from the show are wildly different stories. The X Files: ‘Fight The Future,’ which was the more successful of the two, acted as a standalone film between seasons 5 and 6 of the TV show. Long-time fans of the show obviously get more out of the movie as there are plenty of nods to the complex mythology of the series but the film didn’t alienate first-time viewers either. The plot finds FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder and FBI Special Agent Dana Scully caught up in a government cover-up related to the mysterious black-oil that was seen several time throughout the series. After a building explodes killing several people, the agents secretly come together to prove that the explosion was part of a cover-up and try to save their jobs.
The 2008 film The X Files: ‘I Want To Believe’ came some years after the end of the TV show. Instead of returning to the mythology of the show, the film was a standalone thriller with FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder and FBI Special Agent Dana Scully returning to help the FBI after a fellow agent is kidnapped. With the help of a convicted child molester Joseph "Father Joe" Crissman [Billy Connolly] who claims to have psychic visions, the agents are drawn into a dark and gruesome mystery. The X Files: ‘I Want To Believe’ was met with mixed reactions from critics and fans upon its theatrical release. Whilst it wasn’t as good as the first film, we still really enjoyed it and it was a real joy to see FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder and FBI Special Agent Dana Scully on the big screen again after all these years.
The key to The X-Files has always been the dynamic between lead actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. In both of the films the two actors give superb performances giving fans the chemistry they loved in the show. Of course The X Files: ‘Fight the Future’ was down between seasons but the chemistry is still there in The X Files: ‘I Want To Believe’ with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson sparking together on-screen. Fans revisiting The X Files: ‘Fight The Future’ will find a lot of joy in revisiting some of the series’ shadier characters who pop up throughout including the Well-Manicured Man [John Neville] and of course the Cigarette Smoking Man [William B. Davis].
Blu-ray Video Quality – The ‘X Files: ‘Fight The Future’  is brought to this particular Blu-ray and it features a really nicely rendered 1080p transfer, in the film's original aspect ratio of 2.40:1. The film is extremely dark and features very few shots filmed in full sunlight. Fight the Future was filmed in accordance to the look and feel of the "X Files" television show, only with a significant upgrade in film stock as well as a little more forethought given to the overall composition of each scene. The film is a difficult one to pin down. To be sure, this is an excellent transfer devoid of artificial digital picture artefacts like noise or edge enhancement, but it is a rather dreary looking film. Shadow detail is excellent throughout the presentation and black levels are rock solid. Grain is clearly visible as well, albeit in a natural and non-intrusive way. Detail is, at times, lacking, but I feel that this is an intentional side effect of the dark filming conditions. Given the intended look of the film, this Blu-ray presentation accurately delivers the experience that the makers of ‘Fight The Future’ had intended. It's not demo worthy, but it's accurate. Please Note: Playback Region B/2: This only applies to the PAL DVD enclosed. This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications.
Blu-ray Video Quality – The X Files: ‘I Want To Believe’  on this particular Blu-ray is a faithful reproduction of the film that was shown in cinemas. The film was shot with both 35mm film as well as high definition video cameras and there are occasions where the transitions from film to video are apparent. I noticed instances of banding during several of the night-time scenes in shots where intense lights pierce through the darkness. It occurs consistently throughout the film and was also presented theatrically. So, the transfer isn't at fault in this case. On the bright side, edge enhancement and noise is non-existent. In fact, digital annoyances are never a problem in the film. Contrast is also excellent and the film displays tremendous levels of shadow detail. One other issue that is worth noting lies in the style of photography present in the film. There's a lot of handheld camera being used in the outdoor scenes of The X Files: ‘I Want to Believe’ and that often gives the picture an out-of-focus appearance. There is very little depth of field to this film; the focus pullers must have had a hell of a time keeping some of the longer shots in focus while the camera panned between characters. Naturally, this isn't the fault of this Blu-ray encode, but it is worth noting for those who find such stylistic choices bothersome.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – The X Files: ‘Fight The Future’ has an exceptional 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack. The film is both very voice driven as well as action packed and this lossless track does an outstanding job of handling the highs and lows of the presentation. Dialogue is expertly rendered; even scenes with loads of background noise allow for the dialogue to come through clearly. Action scenes are exciting and create a visceral sonic experience. Helicopters race overhead while car tires squeal and the entire experience is delivered with an abundance of directional effects and nice bass extension. Mark Snow's unique score is also placed perfectly within the overall mix. It's as effective a source of drama and tension within the film as any sound effect. The X Files: ‘Fight the Future’ is a huge leap in sound design over what the "X Files" viewers have experienced with the show's television broadcasts. This fantastic sonic experience elevates The X Files: ‘Fight The Future’ to the realm of true reference upgraded audio.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – The X Files: ‘I Want To Believe’  arrives on Blu-ray with an impressive 5.1 DTS HD-Master Audio soundtrack that does an eloquent job of helping to build and sustain the film's chill-factor. Unlike its predecessor, The X Files: ‘I Want to Believe’ is a mostly dialogue-driven film that values expository conversation over explosions and fireworks. There are a few scenes that cranks up the decibel levels in your home theatre set up, but they are few and far between. The majority of the film centres on the conversations, and, as such, this soundtrack was tasked with being sure that every last syllable is perfectly presented. In that respect, it succeeds wildly. As with the first film, Mark Snow's outstanding musical score is well preserved and adds its own creepy element to what transpires on screen. The X Files: ‘I Want To Believe’ features a high quality audio soundtrack that, while low on the excitement factor, still maintains enough atmosphere and ambiance to effectively serve the story.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment delivers again a huge number of Blu-ray Special Features on the Blu-ray disc edition, which there pretty much something for everyone. As with The X Files: ‘Fight The Future’ and ‘I Want To Believe,’ I really enjoyed the picture-in-picture commentary as it offers fresh perspectives on the film from the creative team behind its creation. The X Files: ‘I Want To Believe’ has a special and very unique feature that intrigued me beyond anything else on the set, however: The "X Files Complete Interactive Timeline" is an outstanding extra that gives the viewer the option of selecting events from the series and viewing clips that illustrate the franchise's mythology. It's a whole lot of fun to play around with and could be quite informative to those not familiar with the original "X Files" TV series. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has also included a special feature that is frequently begged for by fans of supplements: The film's isolated musical score track. It's a great track and fans of Mark Snow are going to be thrilled. What remains are a truckload of features, presented in high definition, that detail the film's production. It's all pretty sold stuff, but none of it measures up to the excellence of the Interactive Timeline. But because there is a vast amount of Extras, sadly I am not going to give individual details on the Extras. If you want to know more details, then you will have to go and look on individual internet web sites. Enjoy!
Special Blu-ray Features and Extras: The X Files: Fight The Future:
Feature Film: Extended Version
Feature Film: Theatrical Version
Audio Commentary Extended Version
Audio Commentary Theatrical Version
Original 1999 Audio Commentary
Alternate Bee Sting Scene [1080p]
Gag Reel [1080p]
Blackwood: The Making Of The X-Files: Fight The Future
Visual Effects Feature [1080p]
Scoring Feature [1080p]
Making Of The X-Files Movie 
The X-Files Trailers
The X-files: I Want To Believe Trailer
Special Blu-ray Features and Extras: The X Files: I Want To Believe:
Feature Film: Theatrical Cut
Feature Film: Seamlessly Branched Extended Cut
Audio Commentary by Director Chris Carter and Producer Frank Spotnitz [Theatrical Version]
Audio Commentary by Director Chris Carter and Producer Frank Spotnitz [Extended Version]
PIP Commentary by Rob Bowman, Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz
X-Files Complete Timeline
Isolated Score: Theatrical Cut
Three Deleted Scenes
"Trust No One” – Can the X-Files Remain a Secret feature
Chris Carter: Statements on Green Production
Body Parts: Special Makeup Effects
Dying to Live by Xzibit
In Movie feature: Real time Index
In Movie feature: Bonus view commentary
In Movie feature: Behind the Camera
In Movie feature: Storyboards, concept Art
In Movie Feature: Complete timeline
Finally, this UK Special Limited Edition SteelBook release is a must-have for fans of The X-Files. Whilst the two films may vary in quality, we love both of them and like that they each try to do something different. Hopefully this release will finally pave the way for the full series to be granted a Blu-ray release, which is something we’ve been waiting on for years. There’s talk at the moment of a third X-Files film with Gillian Anderson recently appealing to fans to campaign for it. The show’s creator Chris Carter has promised a new film would return to the extra-terrestrial mythology and we have our fingers crossed it will happen? Unfortunately, The X Files: ‘I Want To Believe’ is a bit of a let-down for us fans of the TV show, as it eschews the popular alien invasion mythology in favour of a more generic plot that doesn't help to resolve any of the unanswered questions from the show's finale. Both films have been given the golden treatment from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment; featuring outstanding video and reference-grade audio. Supplements are also well conceived while offering solid entertainment value along with a high level of great behind the scenes information. I hope that the powers that be at 20th Century Fox will budget for a final "X Files" film that can tie up all the loose ends from the series. As it stands now, the show is missing its big finale. So all in all this is brilliant package and what makes this package stands out, the fact that the UK has the Special Limited Edition SteelBook, which is so beautiful to look at and to feel, especially the embossed front cover. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom