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The X Files: I Want to Believe(2008)
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny re-team to unravel a bizarre case right out of “The X-Files.” Amidst an eerily deceptive calm, F.B.I. agent Monica Bannan is abducted. Not only does the search for the missing woman ignite sparks between partners Scully (Anderson) and Mulder (Duchovny), it defies the boundaries of science, the supernatural and the terrifying spaces in between!
For more about The X Files: I Want to Believe and the The X Files: I Want to Believe Blu-ray release, see the The X Files: I Want to Believe Blu-ray Review published by Ben Williams on December 17, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, Xzibit, Mitch Pileggi
Director: Chris Carter
» See full cast & crew
The X Files: I Want to Believe Blu-ray Review
Trust No One
Reviewed by Ben Williams, December 17, 2008
"The X Files" was one of the most groundbreaking and innovative television shows of the 1990s. Creator Chris Carter drew from his love of the classic television mysteries "The Night Stalker" and "The Outer Limits" to create a fascinating story that revolved around rogue FBI agent, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), and his attempts at investigating cases that involved paranormal activity. The shows brilliant conceit was in pairing Mulder with a skeptical partner, Scully (Gillian Anderson), who served as a voice of reason to his conspiratorial ramblings. The show was steeped in tales involving urban legend, hauntings, monsters, alien abductions and vast governmental conspiracies. Mulder and Scully faced insurmountable odds in every episode as they were shunned by their peers, questioned by their superiors and faced life and death situations on a weekly basis. Years have passed since this once groundbreaking show has disappeared from the public consciousness. It's still widely seen in syndication, but not much had been heard from "The X Files" in years. Last year, Chris Carter surprised fans around the world by announcing that X Files: I Want to Believe was in production. The film debuted this past summer and was instantly hit with a barrage of scathing reviews. The film quickly floundered at the box- office, never having found the die-hard "X Files" audience that had propelled the previous film, Fight the Future, to relative box-office success. As I Want to Believe arrives on Blu-ray, the question remains: Is the film really that horrible?
I Want to Believe begins years after the final events depicted in the last season of "The X Files." Scully works as a doctor while Mulder toils away, hiding from the very FBI that he once served so valiantly. Not all is well within the FBI, however, as a young agent has gone missing and only a defrocked child-molesting Priest, Father Joseph Crissman (Billy Connolly) has been able to offer any clues to her disappearance. Father Crissman claims to possess psychic abilities that allow him to see the events of the crime as they took place. He warns that this agent, while still alive, is in grave danger. Sensing their lack of experience and skepticism dealing with psychics, Agents Whitney (Amanda Peet) and Drummy (Xzibit) offer to drop all of the remaining charges against Mulder if he agrees to assist them on the case. Reluctantly, Mulder agrees; but only if Scully assists him. Can Mulder and Scully rescue the missing agent before she is the victim of unspeakable crimes?
I Want to Believe is what "X Files" fans refer to as a "Monster of the Week" story. For whatever reason, the film's creators decided to not tell the alien invasion story that fans have been begging for and, instead, focused their attention on this standalone story. The problem with the film lies in the fact that this "Monster of the Week" story doesn't really have any monsters, doesn't really touch on the paranormal (other than with the psychic priest) and doesn't really feature any compelling story elements that allow it to fit in to the larger "X Files" universe. Sure, there's talk of strange events, a few tense moments and a whacked-out villain (Callum Keith Rennie), but nothing really compelling ever transpires in the film.
The bright spot to the film is the performances. Both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson seem to be enjoying being back in the roles that made them famous. The supporting cast is solid and even Xzibit turns in a passable performance. All the right elements are in the movie, with the exception of a story that was designed to please fans. It seems pretty obvious that the film was designed to bring new fans to the franchise by creating a story that didn't require too much knowledge about "The X Files." It's a real shame, unfortunately. I Want to Believe is fairly enjoyable as a throwaway "X Files" diversion; it just doesn't light a fire under fans who have been itching for their favorite FBI agents to leap back onto the silver screen with a resolution to all the mythology created in this franchise over the years. So, bearing that in mind, I Want to Believe isn't going to offend you because it is terrible. It might just bore you a bit.
The X Files: I Want to Believe Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in 1080p, compressed using AVC Mpeg-4 and preserving the film's original aspect ratio of 2.40:1, I Want to Believe on Blu-ray is a faithful reproduction of the film that was shown in theaters. The movie 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 nighttime scenes in shots where intense lights pierce through the darkness. It occurs consistently throughout the film and was also present 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 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.
The X Files: I Want to Believe Blu-ray, Audio Quality
I Want to Believe arrives on Blu-ray with an impressive DTS HD-Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack that does an eloquent job of helping to build and sustain the film's chill-factor. Unlike its predecessor, I Want to Believe is a mostly dialogue-driven film that values expository conversation over explosions and fireworks. There are a few scenes that do up the decibel levels in your home theater, but they are few and far between. The majority of the film centers around conversations, and, as such, this soundtrack was tasked with being sure that every last syllable is perfectly presented. In that respect, it succeeds wildly. For those looking for something more akin to Transformers, you won't be finding it here. As in the first film, Mark Snow's outstanding musical score is well preserved and adds its own creepy element to what transpires on screen. I Want to Believe features a high quality soundtrack that, while low on the excitement factor, still maintains enough atmosphere and ambiance to effectively serve the story.
The X Files: I Want to Believe Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Here's what's included:
-Audio commentary with Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz
-The X-Files Complete Interactive Timeline - featuring over 80 video clip segments from "The X-Files" archives
-Picture-in-picture commentary with Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz
-The X-Files Dossier: Agent Dakota Whitney Files - create your own Special Agent avatar profile to browse through 5 "X-Files" case files on clairvoyance; users can also participate in several online forensic challenges with Agent Drummy
-Isolated Score track
-Body Parts: Special Make-up Effects featurette
-Chris Carter: Statements on Green Production featurette
-Music Slideshow - "Dying 2 Live" by Xzibit
-In-Movie Features via BD remote direct access:
-Real-time Index (Red Button)
-BonusView Commentary (Green Button)
-Behind The Camera (Blue Button)
-Storyboards and Concept Art (Yellow Button)
Fox delivers again with a huge number of special features on this Blu-ray edition of I Want to Believe. There pretty much something for everyone contained in this set. As with Fight the Future, I enjoyed the picture-in-picture commentary as it offers fresh perspectives on the film from the creative team behind its creation. I Want to Believe has a special and 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. Fox 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 featurettes, 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.
The X Files: I Want to Believe Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
It's a pretty sad situation when diehard fans of a series don't even bother defending its latest vision. That was the case with I Want to Believe. I don't think the film is bad or unwatchable; it's just disappointing. Millions of "X Files" fans have been waiting to see their favorite science fiction heroes save the world from an alien invasion for years. So, it's understandable that so many felt let down by a throwaway tale with no real relevance to the overall arc of the show. From a technical standpoint, this Blu-ray edition features excellent video and audio as well as tons of compelling supplements. I just hope that if and when someone at Fox decides to give the "X Files" one more try on the big screen; someone remembers what the fans are itching for. As a good friend of mine once said: "you please the fans and the large audience will follow."
The X Files: I Want to Believe: Other Editions
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• Today on Blu-ray - December 2nd - December 2, 2008
Author Stephen King is generally known as the king of horror, and many of his novels have gone on to become very successful horror films. And it is that generalization that catches most people off-guard when they find out that one his short stories was the inspiration ...
• The X-Files: Fight the Future Coming to Blu-ray - September 16, 2008
Fox Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring 'The X-Files: Fight the Future' to Blu-ray on December 2nd, day-and-date with the Blu-ray release of its theatrical sequel 'I Want to Believe'. Video will be presented as 2.40:1 1080p AVC accompanied by ...
• The X-Files Gets Detailed - September 16, 2008
Fox Home Entertainment has revealed the technical specs and special features for the upcoming Blu-ray release of 'The X-Files: I Want to Believe', which is due to hit store shelves on December 2nd, day-and-date with the DVD release. The film will come on a BD-50 ...
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