As life may have it, my self-crusading boycott of this summer's blockbuster film THE DARK KNIGHT has become a lot harder than I thought. The "right place and time" has come along in several instances since the midnight release of the film, but rather than giving in to the on-going coincidences pushing me to shell out $12.50 CAD to the very money hungry Cineplex Odeon corporation, I've taken the time to distract - er, immerse - myself in some of my favourite episodes of the television show THE X-FILES in order to get pumped for the release of THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE.
I don't believe in coincidences, anyway.
THE X-FILES was a Fox television series that ran for nine seasons and centered (for the most part) on Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully and their investigations into paranormal phenomena.
Although stories and conspiracies of the well-loved cult series are as numbered as the genre of science fiction that THE X-FILES represents, probably the most popular phenomena associated with the show would be that which is extraterrestrial.
There are several alien-related plot branches within the show, including the abductions of Mulder's sister (arguably the original basis of the series) and of Scully, the colonization of Earth, the development of hybrid human/aliens and, of course, the government conspiracies to conceal it all.
In fact, if one did not believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life before the show, THE X-FILES and its exciting search for truth as played out by Mulder and Scully sure as heck made you want to believe.
But there is plenty of reason to believe that the upcoming movie will stray from the series' characteristically alien nature.
The film is directed and co-written by series creator Chris Carter, who has told publications that the movie is to be a stand-alone film, and unlike the first X-FILES movie,
not intertwined with heavy show plot. Completely acceptable; plenty of the vital plot lines of the series had been wrapped up during the show's run.
Then there is the recently released DVD THE X-FILES: REVELATIONS, a so-called "Essential Guide to the X-Files movie." Hand-picked by Carter himself, these eight episodes are supposed to prep you for I WANT TO BELIEVE. Upon further inspection (and, of course, inspiration-purposed purchasing) the episodes chosen not only have no correlation to each other, but that they are only in fact a handful of episodes that are supposed to give non-fans an insight to the show and a look at some of the "best" moments in THE X-FILES. Well, no alien plotline here, either.
Lastly, there is the trailer for the film.
As an X-Phile and an absolute loather of spoilers, I had been avoiding the trailer for BELIEVE as long as I could. This may not make sense to many, but I would rather traipse into the theatre with no expectations and no clue as to what the film may hold in store. My plans were ruined, however, when I went to see IRON MAN - lets face it, there's just no changing the channel during movie previews.
I just recently viewed the trailer a second time, and just like the rumours, there doesn't seem to be an extraterrestrial-type theme. A trailer is obviously a subjective thing, but if I had to take a gander, I'd say that the film is to explore a more "higher power"-type story.
Religion in THE X-FILES is not entirely a new topic, but it isn't one that has been frequented often. Character Dana Scully has been known to be a skeptic of the paranormal, but a believer in Christianity. Cases have touched upon spirituality of different cultures, including some Native American cultures, but as a whole the topic has been arguably left alone.
It's worth pointing out that one of REVELATIONS' eight hand-picked episodes
includes "Beyond the Sea," where Scully deals with the death of her father and her faith in a higher power.
A movie featuring a pre-apocalyptic styled theme with religious overtones would definitely captivate my attention (and hopefully take away from the supposed overly sappy and 'shippy storyline.)
But this is all too much speculation for me.
When relating THE X-FILES to film, one of the most fun things for myself to look back on is the incredible cast of actors that have guest starred on the show.
Specifically, there have been several famous faces that appeared in the series before they were very well-known in the film community.
Seth Green appeared in the series' second episode ever, entitled "Deep Throat." He played a helpful yet air-headed youth who aided Mulder in trek to find the truth about mysterious UFOs appearing above an air force base.
Both Giovanni Ribisi and Jack Black starred in the third season episode "D.P.O" as a lightning-controlling youth and his friend, respectively. (In fact, for the longest time I referred to both Ribisi and Black as "the guys from the X-Files!")
Ryan Reynolds made a short-lived appearance in the episode "Syzygy" (also of third-season fame) as the second young male victim of a supposed satanic cult.
Actress Lucy Liu appeared in the series before she was a famous face, also in the third season. During the episode "Hell Money" she appeared as the daughter of a man playing a dangerous game involving sacrificing organs, and ancient ghosts.
Already well-established actors have also been known to partake in the cultural phenomenon known as THE X-FILES.
The episode "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" (also in the third season) won an Emmy for writing and starred Peter Boyle as a bitter man with psychic abilities who unwilling helps Mulder and Scully solve the murders of local self-proclaimed
psychics. Boyle also won an Emmy for the role.
My very own Scully.
Jodie Foster lent her voice to a devious, pin-up girl tattoo who causes her host to murder in the episode "Never Again" of season four.
Bruce Campbell of EVIL DEAD and ARMY OF DARKNESS fame starred in the episode "Terms of Endearment," as a demon who longs to live a normal life as a family man. He murders each of his spawn that turns out to be a demon rather than a human.
Cary Elwes, probably best known as his role Westley in THE PRINCESS BRIDE, played the small recurring character of FBI Assistant Director Brad Follmer in season nine.
These guest stars are only a small part of the fun that lies within the series of THE X-FILES. Although character development may be deep and plotlines even deeper, the show covers a vast and interesting array of different paranormal phenomena, as well as a span of sub-genres from drama to comedy. The show was well-known for being suspenseful and in its prime it kept viewers on their toes as to what would be thrown their way next.
The show won many awards, including Emmys and Golden Globes. According to wikipedia.com, the show was also the longest-running science fiction series on television at the time of its final episode, and was named by TV Guide as the second greatest cult television show in history.
The upcoming film may or may not be successful but thing is for certain - it has got movie-goers curious. Whether one seeks the comfort of familiar favourite characters, the suspense of a supernatural-type plotline or just to take part in a cultural phenomena, THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE is definitely a summer flick worth checking out.
And heck, if you're like me and are trying to avoid the misplaced hype of THE DARK KNIGHT, well, you've just found a better place to put your money.
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