Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

The X-Files: I Want to Believe (The Ultimate X-Phile Edition)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
9 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
David Duchovny as Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully
Amanda Peet as ASAC Dakota Whitney
Billy Connolly as Father Joseph Crissman
Xzibit as Agent Mosley Drummy
Callum Keith Rennie as Janke Dacyshyn
Adam Godley as Father Ybarra
Fagin Woodcock as Franz Tomczeszyn
Marco Niccoli as Christian Fearon
Carrie Ruscheinsky as Margaret Fearon
Spencer Maybee as Blair Fearon

Special Features:
Includes both the Theatrical Version and Unrated Extended Cut of the film
Audio commentary by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz
Body Parts: Special Make-up Effects featurette
Chris Carter: Statements on Green Production featurette
Deleted Scenes
Gag Reel
Music Slideshow - "Dying 2 Live" by Xzibit
Theatrical Trailers
Still Galleries
Collectibles
Storyboards
Concept Art
Unit Photography
Digital Copy of the film for portable media players
Trust No One: Can The X-Files Remain a Secret? Feature-length documentary
- Part 1 - "You Can Go Home Again"
- Part 2 - "Misinformation"
- Part 3 - "Don't Give Up"

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Language Tracks
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 104 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the official DVD description:

"When a group of women are mysteriously abducted, it becomes a case right out of 'The X-Files.' The best team for the job is ex-agents Fox Mulder and Dr. Dana Scully, who have no desire to revisit their dark past. Still, the truth of these horrific crimes is out there somewhere... and it will take Mulder and Scully to find it!"

"The X-Files: I Want to Believe (The Ultimate X-Phile Edition)" is rated PG-13 for violent and disturbing content and thematic material.

Mini-Review:
"The X-Files: I Want To Believe" is essentially a standalone episode of the TV show. There's no alien mythology, no grand conspiracy, and few of the recurring characters beyond Mulder and Scully. In fact the only real supernatural element is the psychic priest leading our heroes through the investigation. Someone with minimal knowledge of "The X-Files" could go into this movie and enjoy it as a crime drama. (I would not have been surprised if this was a non-"X-Files" script that they retooled... but they didn't.)

The first three quarters of the story is your typical crime drama. The heroes follow clues leading them to the oddball serial killer. The last quarter of the film ends up being more like a horror film in the spirit of "Saw" or something. We're treated to a ghastly house of horrors as Mulder and Scully save the day. It's quite a shift in tone, but if you're watching "The X-Files" you should expect the weird or unusual.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson settle into their respective roles rather easily. They still feel like the characters we know from the TV show. However, a few new aspects are added to their roles. Most notable is a romantic relationship between them that, oddly enough, isn't even apparent for the first half hour they're on screen together. Anderson also shows a lot more range in her character as she faces off with a pedophile priest. Rarely has her spirituality and profession been brought into conflict like it is here. The two are backed up by a good supporting cast that includes Amanda Peet as Dakota Whitney and Xzibit as Agent Mosley Drummy. But most notable is Billy Connolly as Father Joseph Crissman, a pedophile priest with psychic powers.

"The X-Files: I Want To Believe" is rather slowly paced, but there are a few good action scenes in it. And some of the imagery related to the murders is so haunting that you can't help but be pulled into the story. I wasn't as thrilled with a sub-plot involving Scully coming into conflict with the Catholic hospital administration over the use of stem cell treatments. It got a bit too preachy for my tastes and took away from the more interesting central storyline (Maybe there is more of this in the extended cut that I watched than in the theatrical version.)

I don't know how die-hard "X-Files" fans liked this movie since it doesn't feature the trademark (and fun) alien mythology, but it stands by itself well and should be accessible to "X-Files" newbies. Anyone that likes a good crime drama should enjoy this.

There are a ton of bonus features included on this DVD. Most of them are your standard offerings - gag reels, commentary (without Duchovny or Anderson), making-of featurettes, galleries, and deleted scenes. But the bulk of the bonus features are in the feature length documentary "Trust No One: Can The X-Files Remain a Secret?". It's almost as long as the film itself. You get a detailed look at the making of the movie, but as they go on and on about the secrecy surrounding the script, you have to wonder if anyone really cared. I never saw people clamoring for the "X-Files" script like they were the "Star Wars" script. Anyway, there's a ton here. It's way too much for the casual fan to care about, but X-Fans should be very excited by the amount of bonus features here.

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