i want to believe

Nothing Important Happened Today

If there’s one thing I remember from the Clerks franchise (besides the necrophilia and donkey) is that Randal harps on how everyone latches onto something tragic, whether it’s Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Gundam, or Obama. There’s always something that maybe you’re just too much of a fan of.

In terms of being a fanboy, I learned everything I knew from two people: Mulder and Scully. That was my “something tragic.” I loved The X-Files. I was an X-Phile. I remember organizing get togethers on Friday nights (and eventually Sunday) to watch The X-Files with friends, enjoy some greasy take-out, and then spend the next two hours after the show discussing it, tearing it apart, and rebuilding it. And a lot of that has carried over to how to write about anime episodes now… I’m always trying to recapture that atmosphere of what happened back then.

So, of course, even though it’s been six years since the show left the airwaves, how can I resist The X-Files: I Want To Believe? Part of me was very skeptical, part of me was very open-minded. And, once I realized that, I had to go see this movie. I ended up liking it. The movie had a lot of weak points, but it did feel like a 2 hour long goodbye and apology from the franchise. It felt a lot like watching the Kenshin Reflection OVA where the main characters aren’t as awesome as they used to be, and it’s kinda sad seeing them struggle trying to retain their past glory. Hell, even the Scully and Mulder relationship reminded me of Kaoru and Kenshin.

The main problem with this movie was that there just wasn’t anything in the movie for casual moviewatchers. Absolutely nothing. It’s not like they would be lost during the movie (the movie is more accessible to non-fans than Fight the Future), but it would just feel like a two hour long CSI episode. The other problem was that there are hardcore fans like myself who want some sort of conclusion to all the conspiracies. And this movie gave none of that. It is a bit sad seeing Mulder and Scully resigned to their fate of living out their lives… as normal human beings.

Here’s some spoiler-lite thoughts:

– I’ll be amazed if this movie breaks $20 million. The theater I went to usually, even for bad movies, manages to sell at least half the seats on a Friday night. I mean, it was almost sold out for Rambo. For I Want To Believe? I’d say it was about a quarter full.

– To top it off, at least six people (all looked like high school kids bored out of their minds) left the movie during the movie. Needless to say, I doubt they’ll be recommending The X-Files to their friends. What depresses me more is that there’s a good chance none of these kids were born when Scully first met Mulder.

– Pretty much everyone in the theater (who stayed) were hardcore fans of the show, laughing with every in-joke and every obscure series reference.

– There were a lot of in-jokes. I liked the pencils in the ceiling, Mulder’s address book, the classic “I Want To Believe” poster, and smoking man. There was also a concession to the popular ‘shippers in an OH GEASS NO Skinner x Mulder scene.

– And, yes, if think yaoi fangirls are scary, you have not met X-Files ‘shippers. They will put those Gino x Suzaku fangirls to shame.

– I’m pretty sure that this was Californication David Duchovny and not X-Files David Duchovny. When Mulder popped up from behind Scully in bed talking about the stupidest things, I could have sworn I was watching Californication.

– I can tell that time has not been good to the franchise. In Fight the Future, Mulder and Scully traveled around the world and had a very elaborate glacier sequence. In I Want To Believe, Mulder and Scully wander around a snow-covered street for two hours. There’s literally like two sets for this movie. I wonder if they even topped $20 million to make it.

– To make me feel old, Fight the Future was filmed back when we had glaciers. I think I’m going to test drive a Prius tomorrow.

– The movie’s catalyst is a pedophile who lives with other pedophiles in a pedophile apartment complex. I feel you should know these things. I also think Adam Carolla’s Pedif Isle idea is coming closer to reality.

– Billy Connolly did a great job as the pedophile. Gillian Anderson did a fantastic job as Scully. Amanda Peet look really cute in her hat thing-a-ma-gig. Xzibit looked constipated during the whole movie.

– Did Scully go from MILF to GILF? It’s official. I have never felt as old as I do today.

– Mitch Pileggi had a ten minute cameo as Skinner. The whole theater wooted when he showed up on screen. He’s the only character who didn’t seem to age– both Mulder and Scully are noticeably older. Then I felt old. If the goal of Chris Carter is to make fans of his show feel like aging mortals, mission accomplished.

– Would have loved for a Ratboy cameo.

– Throughout the movie, I was thinking horrible alien conspiracy. Nothing of the sort. Frankenfran… or an episode of CSI… maybe.

– Kinda disappointed that the franchise didn’t continue like CSI or Law & Order. The basic premise is better than both. Though I understand that the strength of the show has been and always will be Mulder and Scully.

– Mulder once commented (and forgive me since I cannot remember the episode, maybe too much Tomoyo has clogged my brain) that some of the scariest things that happen in the world aren’t done by monsters or aliens but by humans. In that respect, this episode is kinda like Home, but without the massive incest.

I guess this post is also my way of saying goodbye to the franchise. We all grow up. We all grow away. There’s other tragic things in my life, but it’s hard for me to forget about the original. Mulder… Scully… maybe you’ll come back one day, reclaim your former glory, and solve all those mysteries still left unsolved…. I really want to believe that.

20 Responses to “i want to believe”

  1. I think the Xfiles started when I was like 5 and my Parents told me not to watch it. They said the show was probably too weird for me to watch. I did like the theme song though. Years later, I was flipping through channels and I found myself watching some Xfiles. I thought it was going to be some alien mishap, but it was about some virtual reality game and how some virtual chick totally dominates the real life people. That was a hella cool episode. (I’m tired and its like 3 in the morning. Excuse my shitty english)

    I found it strange cause when I clicked on the bookmark to this site, I was thinking if I was ever going to get a first post on one your articles again. Lo and behold, I do. Is dat sum X-files?

  2. I first watched X-Files back when I was 5 or 6.. It was an episode about binary codes (that’s all I could remember), like, this girl drew out a big picture in her home with 0 and 1… I don’t know, it was scary. I didn’t watch the movie yet but liked your review of it

  3. Oh, X-files…. I used to be a great fan of this myself… but I stopped watching after the mulder-scully pair was split up. It really just wasn’t the same and wasn’t half as good without them as a team…

  4. Seriously, what’s with all the GILF mentions over the last few posts? Traps are one thing, but please keep this new fetish to yourself *_*

  5. It went downhill after season 6 or whenever they moved to California due to Duchovny. Then it went on life support once Mulder got replaced by Robert Patrick. Also, did this solve the Skinner was poisoned by nanomachines plot, or did they forget that too?

    As for CSI, that formula was always based on a team… not on two specific characters as X-Files was… and that’s why there are three CSI shows. And that NCIS show. And whatever other copycats are out there.

  6. >>>I thought it was going to be some alien mishap, but it was about some virtual reality game and how some virtual chick totally dominates the real life people.

    Hey! I remember that episode!

    I had my first experience with X-Files when I was about 6. The theme song scared the shit out of me back then, but the mystery aspect of it made me keep watching. There was this one episode where Scully was on a ghost train and FOX was advertising it saying: “Do not watch this with your kids!”. I couldn’t watch it though because my bedtime was at most 10 pm.

  7. >>>Seriously, what’s with all the GILF mentions over the last few posts?

    Do I smell a new Sixten doujin?

  8. Hey. I want(ed) to believe, too.

    But there are just some franchises that should be left for dead.

  9. I am still a fan of the X-Files. I haven’t watch the movie as of now. Hmm, back here, the show was aired on reruns and delayed ir was it taped? It was really a long time ago but I did enjoy it. I agree with Jason that the premise of the series is good. The only thing flawed was the execution of the story.

    The thing that really bugged me was all they did was all foreplay and they really never did get into the whole “encounters with the keroro gunso” thing…short version is that they just lead the fans along hoping that either Scully and Mulder finally get it on and just finding out the long lost armpit of the friggin alien. The show was run for just a season or two and was eventually cut off in our country. The show that was in the same era of the X-Files that I was also fond of was Mac Guyver (another good show)…
    damn, I feel so old…^_~

    Well hey, always hoped before that Spielberg will take this one up and put E.T in it to be captured and eventually dissected by Scully and Mulder…wouldn’t that be a blast? hahaha….^_~

  10. hmm this dose make me feel old. oh well if they can bring x-files back maybe they could get Strazinski to do a Babalon 5 movie. (ya know if he could take some time off from the comic book writing..)

  11. Looking at critics reviews … not looking good …

    Also I read this pearl:

    When we last left our heroes Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) were on the run from the Government after Mulder was framed and convicted of murdering a federal Agent. Six years later, they are still wanted but not. It appears the FBI just stopped caring. Scully has finally become a Doctor and Mulder is a recluse. When an agent goes missing the Agent In Charge, ASAC Dakota Whitney (Amanda Peet) offers Scully and Mulder complete amnesty if Mulder helps. This entire beginning is typical MOTW crap.

    Wait … WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?

  12. Isn’t there being work done on more Lost Tales for Babylon 5? We got one DVD with two episodes already and a known plan for at least one more episode.

  13. Well, Carter did say that if this one did good in the box office, they would do a final one concerning the 2012 invasion plot, though it now looks less and less likely..

  14. Never was much of a x-files fan.. too young to care when it was on.

    Now Doctor Who… thats a great series.. Flying blue box = brilliant.

  15. It wasn’t the first episode I ever saw, but I remember having nightmares after watching the episode with those damn cocoon bugs for, like, months. The opening also scared the bajeebus out of me for a long time, but it was probably just because I was the chickenest little kid ever.The funniest bit is, I’ve gotten my 7 year old brother addicted to the show, and he’s always wanting to drag my box sets out to watch a bit.

    I’m so proud. *sniff*

  16. I’m totally GAR for B5.

  17. Phil: yea buddy! not sure if I’m more gar for Lando or G’Kar. those two need to be trapped together in a an elevator thats on fire more often.

    Ithekro : oh neat. will have to look that up

  18. God damn you kids! Get off my lawn!

    I suppose I’m not as old as Derry, but I was in my early teens while X-Files was on. I loved it and miss miss miss Scully and Mulder.

  19. God damn it, I’m still drunk.
    Jason, not Derry. God damn it.

  20. god this post makes me feel disgustingly old. I was in high school when the X-Files was on. And now I went and saw this movie and now this post which makes me feel older. This blog makes me feel pedirific as it is.

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