Merry X-Files: Do not open till January 25th. NOT SPOILER FREE
I have now seen the episode twice. That is the same number of times I have seen Star Wars Awakens, and the impression is very similar. I LOVED IT. Sure there were flaws, but it was the movie we have all been waiting for since 2002.
Oh, did I say movie?
Well On Tuesday January 12, 2016, I was privileged to watch the episode at the California Science Center IMAX theater. And the experience was completely cinematic. In fact I have been telling everyone I can, including Chris Carter himself at the after party under the space shuttle Endeavor’s tail pipe, I want to see the next 5 episodes in IMAX. Or even better? This summer’s rewatch – #thexfiles207days – ALL IMAX!!!
WARNING!!! SPOILER ALERT!!! COME BACK JANUARY 25th to read the rest…
X-FILES “MY STRUGGLE” MY REVIEW
No one piece of art can be all things to all people, but I truly believe this is 42-minutes of The X-Files we have been waiting for since 2002. Many might argue since 2000’s season 7 finale. Tons of nostalgia bring those fanboy and fangirl tears of joy to surface.
LAST CHANCE TO TURN AWAY… SPOILERS in 3 – 2 – 1… LEt me put in some more art so you cannot see if you do not wish to see the next statement…
From the very first seconds of the introductory Mulder Monologue ranting about past conspiracies and the histories of the X-Files in summary form, through the BIG ENTRANCE of a pivotal character, the audience is captured. At the New York Comic Con, the crowd went wild when we hear “My name is Fox Mulder…”. At the California Science Center, I let out a solo howl. Guess all else were taking notes lost in their judgmental modes.
The first thing one notices? X-Files 2016 has a far greater production value than 1993. No more hiding in the shadows. The problem with this is we lose all the film noir. Originally Chris Carter had to hide the show in the shadows to hide cheap effects and rubber monster suits. This gave the show a certain 1950s Black and White horror quality. Somehow a Mulder Conspiracy rant looks better as Film noir.
But instead we get a modern cinematic experience. When I saw that Flying Saucer crash land (YOU WERE WARNED) my mind immediately goes back to 1977 Making of Star Wars specials. The recreation of Roswell is the best ever seen on screen. Even the alien was completely believable – no more need for invisible creatures, complete with Men in Black and small army of Hazmats. GAME CHANGER!
Akin to revealing entrances of The Falcon, Han Solo, Chewbaca, Leia, Luke, C3PO, R2D2 and Darth Vader’s mask in The Force Awakens, the old gang each have their moment. We find Dr. Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) on a team of doctors fixing kids without ears, when she gets the call from Skinner. Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) is in borderline hermit mode when he takes the call from Scully. One might say Chris Carter is pandering to the emotional nostalgia. I find no issue with that.
So the big question all want to know? What’s up on the Mulder / Scully front?
We do not have all the answers, but clearly since leaving us in 2008, Scully has left Mulder. via a few quick verbal jabs by Mulder and well placed glares by Scully, the tension is set. The next 5 episodes have some explaining to do.
And in this reporter’s unbiased opinion, PLATONIC ACTIVITY DOES NOT CREATE THIS MUCH RESENTMENT!!! Just saying…
The story is thrust forward when the agents meet Tad O’ Malley (Joel McHale from Community, The Soup), the right wing conspiracy theorist online news blogger that has found some success spreading fear. While he seeks an ally in Mulder he finds skepticism. To dramatically align Tad to Mulder, he gets his own fair share of Monologues with B-roll flashes of impending and past doom and gloom. Tad’s extreme theories are far fetched enough to make Mulder blush.
Tad takes the agents to see supposed alien abductee, Sveta (Annet Mahendru from The Americans). Scully goes to test Sveta’s blood. Mulder goes on Tad’s field trip to see an ARV (man man ship from Alien technology). Mulder has a clandestine meeting with a Roswell doctor. You know, the X-Files usual routine.
Like a great X-Files episode every answer reveals more unanswered questions which Mulder attempts to answer in one giant leap that would make Superman Shutter.
Most notably as we get to see Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), we see that while the actual X-Files files have been taken away, they left Mulder’s pencil collection on the ceiling.
The few plot holes I can find are from the same place we had for 9 years. In order to forward the story in a 42-minute show, Mulder leaps to conclusions. But as we learn in this episode those leaps may not have always been as right as Mulder thought.
Basically as TV’s best 42-minute popcorn movie in years. you have to suspend some belief to survive the trip. There will be plenty that will criticize the plot leaps. I recognize the “issues”. I will be discussing in length via podcast to be released January 24 after the episode. But in contrast to shows that SLOWLY / PAINFULLY show us every leap – thereby taking an entire season (or 5+ seasons) to reveal as much story – I find it a relief.
X-FILES 2016 shows more than ever before. It does more. It blows things and people up more. There is less mystery and suspense but it is still intense. I have joked this 42-minute film is more like a George Lucas meets Michael Bay experience – More Space Ships, More Aliens, Lots of things going BOOM – than the Chris Carter of yore.
In short the die hard fans will have the nostalgia the want, the new world of potential fans will be drown in by the non stop intense action and discovery. The real test will be the nest 5 episode. And what Season 11 will bring…
THERE WILL BE A SEASON 11, RIGHT!?!?!
Watch X-Files “My Struggle” January 24th at 10pm EST after the Football games, then Monday January 25 for episode two as the shows slips into its 5 week home slot.