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i think that saying that the x-files is one of this summer's most anticipated films is safe .
for five years , " the x-files " television show has developed a dedicated fan culture , whose rabid devotion to the series rivals that of " star trek " fans .
the premise of both the movie and the television series is two fbi agents who investigate the paranormal ; fox mulder ( david duchovny ) is the avid believer whose quest to find the truth about extraterrestrial life borders on the paranoid , and dana scully ( gillian anderson ) is the scientific skeptic trying to find a rational explanation to mulder's flights of fancy .
outlining the plot of the x-files movie is virtually impossible , since to be general would result in confusion , yet to be specific would give too much away .
nevertheless , i will try .
" the black ooze , " and extraterrestrial , virus-like substance is threatening earth .
a " shadow government " is aware of this , but tries to cover-up the alien existence .
mulder and scully know " the truth is out there , " and so try to expose both the invasion and the cover-up .
there are three central questions i have heard asked about this movie : 1 .
will those who don't watch the series be able to understand the movie ?
yes .
isolated as an individual text , the x-files can stand alone .
they have given enough background for anyone , familiar with the show or not , to understand the movie .
although some of the secondary characters' histories may confuse the uninitiated , those characters are not essential to the film .
this is a major problem : they trot out token secondary characters from the series out for an appearance and then disappear just as quickly .
why bring superintendent skinner into the picture in the first place , and then have him sat silently on an fbi internal affairs committee ?
why bring in " the lone gunmen , " three computer geek conspiracy theorists , for an even briefer appearance ?
these characters are recurrent on the series , and their appearance in the film was met with whoops from the audience ( suggesting their popularity among fans - actually most of the audience could pass for " the lone gunmen " ) .
still , then they vanish just as quickly .
2 . the television show never gives us any answers .
will the movie actually explain some things ?
yes .
in the x-files we get a fairly complete history of " the black ooze , " what it is and what it wants .
we finally get some understanding of the motivations behind the " shadow government . "
there are even some subtle tie-ins with contemporary ufo-ology , including the " greys " and the roswell crash of 1947 .
3 . is the movie any good ?
no . the x-files is a dreadful movie and shows some fundamental problems with writer/creator chris carter's talents and the relationship between cinema and television .
first off , the screenplay by series creator chris carter is sloppy and cliched .
after approximately forty-five minutes ( the length of a television episode minus the commercials ) , the pace drops to a snail's crawl .
not long after that point , when carter attempts to answer some questions we have had about the series , we wish he had not .
the explanations are so trite and ridiculous that one would have preferred it had carter not explained quite so much .
i am willing to suspend my disbelief a fair bit , but the absurdity carter wants me to swallow was just too much .
breaking the suspension of disbelief destroys the movie - and listening to other fans leave the cinema , maybe the series too .
the explanations are not only absurd , they are tired and unoriginal .
the extraterrestrials breed and gestate like those from the alien series , and their craft looks like a leftover set piece from independence day .
note that the alien movies , id4 , and the x-files are all from 20thcentury fox - a studio that is beginning to cannibalize itself i think .
the x-files is noteworthy for being the only movie based on a television series to be produced while the series was still running .
in comparing the movie and television series certain aspects of the respective media emerge .
the avoidance of the series to answer the questions it raised annoyed and frustrated many people .
however , i rather liked that about the series .
television allows you to impose as much , or as little , meaning on a show as you want .
it is the proverbial " blank screen " which we project our minds on .
meaning on television is open and ambiguous ; it is the nature of the medium .
cinema , on the other hand , is the opposite .
it projects onto us the filmmakers mind .
we can , in some films , fill the textual gaps ourselves , but that almost never happens in an american film .
meaning , in cinema , needs to be self-contained and determined .
so , when the x-files made that jump from small to big screen , carter needed to take into consideration the differences in the medium as well .
he did not .
by making explicit , what the television show left implicit , carter reveals the limits of his creativity and skill .
when they say that " fans " make a tv show , it is not far from the truth .
on television , fan culture must impose its meanings on the text because there is nothing there .
how true that is when we see the " explicit " x-files - there is nothing there .
the following was printed in the st . john's express , st . john's , newfoundland , canada .
all views are the authors , but copyright is held by robinson-blackmore , 1998 .
&nbsp ;
movie review by mikel j . koven
&nbsp ; i think that saying that the x-files is one of this summer's most anticipated films is safe . &nbsp ;
for five years , " the x-files " television show has developed a dedicated fan culture , whose rabid devotion to the series rivals that of " star trek " fans .
&nbsp ; the premise of both the movie and the television series is two fbi agents who investigate the paranormal ; fox mulder ( david duchovny ) is the avid believer whose quest to find the truth about extraterrestrial life borders on the paranoid , and dana scully ( gillian anderson ) is the scientific skeptic trying to find a rational explanation to mulder's flights of fancy .
&nbsp ; outlining the plot of the x-files movie is virtually impossible , since to be general would result in confusion , yet to be specific would give too much away . &nbsp ;
nevertheless , i will try . &nbsp ;
" the black ooze , " and extraterrestrial , virus-like substance is threatening earth . &nbsp ;
a " shadow government " is aware of this , but tries to cover-up the alien existence . &nbsp ;
mulder and scully know " the truth is out there , " and so try to expose both the invasion and the cover-up .
&nbsp ; there are three central questions i have heard asked about this movie : &nbsp ; 1 . &nbsp ;
will those who don't watch the series be able to understand the movie ? &nbsp ;
yes . &nbsp ;
isolated as an individual text , the x-files can stand alone . &nbsp ;
they have given enough background for anyone , familiar with the show or not , to understand the movie . &nbsp ;
although some of the secondary characters' histories may confuse the uninitiated , those characters are not essential to the film . &nbsp ;
this is a major problem : they trot out token secondary characters from the series out for an appearance and then disappear just as quickly .
&nbsp ; why bring superintendent skinner into the picture in the first place , and then have him sat silently on an fbi internal affairs committee ? &nbsp ;
why bring in " the lone gunmen , " three computer geek conspiracy theorists , for an even briefer appearance ? &nbsp ;
these characters are recurrent on the series , and their appearance in the film was met with whoops from the audience ( suggesting their popularity among fans - actually most of the audience could pass for " the lone gunmen " ) . &nbsp ;
still , then they vanish just as quickly .
&nbsp ; 2 . &nbsp ;
the television show never gives us any answers . &nbsp ;
will the movie actually explain some things ? &nbsp ;
yes . &nbsp ;
in the x-files we get a fairly complete history of " the black ooze , " what it is and what it wants . &nbsp ;
we finally get some understanding of the motivations behind the " shadow government . " &nbsp ;
there are even some subtle tie-ins with contemporary ufo-ology , including the " greys " and the roswell crash of 1947 .
&nbsp ; 3 . &nbsp ;
is the movie any good ? &nbsp ;
no . &nbsp ; the x-files is a dreadful movie and shows some fundamental problems with writer/creator chris carter's talents and the relationship between cinema and television .
&nbsp ; first off , the screenplay by series creator chris carter is sloppy and cliched . &nbsp ;
after approximately forty-five minutes ( the length of a television episode minus the commercials ) , the pace drops to a snail's crawl . &nbsp ;
not long after that point , when carter attempts to answer some questions we have had about the series , we wish he had not . &nbsp ;
the explanations are so trite and ridiculous that one would have preferred it had carter not explained quite so much . &nbsp ;
i am willing to suspend my disbelief a fair bit , but the absurdity carter wants me to swallow was just too much . &nbsp ;
breaking the suspension of disbelief destroys the movie - and listening to other fans leave the cinema , maybe the series too .
&nbsp ; the explanations are not only absurd , they are tired and unoriginal . &nbsp ;
the extraterrestrials breed and gestate like those from the alien series , and their craft looks like a leftover set piece from independence day . &nbsp ;
note that the alien movies , id4 , and the x-files are all from 20thcentury fox - a studio that is beginning to cannibalize itself i think .
&nbsp ; the x-files is noteworthy for being the only movie based on a television series to be produced while the series was still running . &nbsp ;
in comparing the movie and television series certain aspects of the respective media emerge .
&nbsp ; the avoidance of the series to answer the questions it raised annoyed and frustrated many people . &nbsp ;
however , i rather liked that about the series . &nbsp ;
television allows you to impose as much , or as little , meaning on a show as you want . &nbsp ;
it is the proverbial " blank screen " which we project our minds on . &nbsp ;
meaning on television is open and ambiguous ; it is the nature of the medium .
&nbsp ; cinema , on the other hand , is the opposite . &nbsp ;
it projects onto us the filmmakers mind . &nbsp ;
we can , in some films , fill the textual gaps ourselves , but that almost never happens in an american film . &nbsp ;
meaning , in cinema , needs to be self-contained and determined .
&nbsp ; so , when the x-files made that jump from small to big screen , carter needed to take into consideration the differences in the medium as well . &nbsp ;
he did not . &nbsp ;
by making explicit , what the television show left implicit , carter reveals the limits of his creativity and skill .
&nbsp ; when they say that " fans " make a tv show , it is not far from the truth . &nbsp ;
on television , fan culture must impose its meanings on the text because there is nothing there . &nbsp ;
how true that is when we see the " explicit " x-files - there is nothing there .