The X-Files: Fight the Future (1998) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Adventure / Drama / Mystery / Science Fiction
Fox || PG13 - 122 minutes - $34.99 || December 2, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-12-08


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Rob Bowman
Writer(s): Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz (story), Chris Carter (screenplay)
Cast: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Martin Landau, Blythe Danner, Mitch Pileggi, Armin Mueller-Stahl, William B. Davis, John Neville


Theatrical Release Date: June 19, 1998


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Theatrical Version and Extended Cut
  • 2 Audio Commentaries
  • BONUSVIEW: Picture-in-Picture Commentary
  • Alternate Scene
  • 4 Featurettes
  • Gag Reel
  • Still Galleries
  • Theatrical Trailers


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese

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.::THE FILM::.

I remember going to see The X-Files: Fight the Future back in 1998. It was only the second time in my life I got up early to see the first showing of a movie (the other was Batman Begins). It was the city mall and I, along with a few other X-Philes, waited in line to get our tickets (this was before online ticket sales, mind you) and after the movie was over, I was pretty much satisfied. I didn’t call myself a true X-Phile because while I watched the show on a weekly basis for the first few seasons, it was not priority viewing and my interest in the show waned quickly.

Now 10 years later I am watching it for only maybe the third time and I actually have a little more respect, even though I don’t feel it’s a great film, worked as a B-movie monster/alien flick, the third act especially. The movie is genuinely scary and even if you’ve never seen an “X-Files” episode in your life, you won’t be clueless to what’s happening, though it does help to have a little background on The X-Files division, but it’s not mandatory. Compare that to Serenity, a movie based upon Joss Whedon’s “Firefly”. I was utterly lost in who those characters were and general plot. Having now seen the series, it makes sense, but that movie was a case where you needed to have a firm understanding of that world; such is not the case for The X-Files.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson star as Mulder and Scully, FBI agents who, at the film’s opening pivotal moment, are searching a Federal building for a bomb even though the threat said it was in the building across the street, but Mulder has a hunch and so they search. Of course, Mulder stumbles upon the bomb and the result, after making it out alive, is a destroyed building — eerily similar to Oklahoma City — and the Feds looking for somebody to blame, namely Mulder and Scully.

Their investigation takes them from Dallas to Washington D.C. — where Mulder receives important info from a spook named Dr. Alvin Kurtzweil (Martin Landau) — to cold tundra of Antarctica. Mulder and Scully square off against the sinister government officials like The Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis) and Strughold (Armin Mueller-Stahl).

The X-Files: Fight the Future allowed director Rob Bowman, who also helmed several episodes throughout the series, to take a large budget (vs. episode-sized budgets) and expand the world not only to make the experience more worthwhile rather than making it an extended episode, but it gives the story much more depth and importance to the characters. The direction itself isn’t masterful or anything but the fact Bowman and writers Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz could put together a story that could appeal to fans and strangers alike is something to behold.

That being said, at 122-minutes, the movie tends to feel a bit long and the plot that, as much as I admire the writers for being all-inclusive, made little sense even 10 years later. You’ve got black oil, killer bees and an alien virus, helped by shadow government fellows, that threatens all human life.

The film also has some good supporting roles from a then unknown Lucas Black (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift), series staple Mitch Pileggi, Blythe Danner and Terry O’Quinn ("Lost") in a small but important role.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All the features from the 1999 DVD release have been ported over:

Audio Commentary by Rob Bowman and Chris Carter, Making of “The X-Files” (26:52) and a few theatrical trailers are all included on the disc.

The rest are considered to be ** Blu-ray Exclusives ** until Fox decides to release some of them on a new edition on DVD.

Both the Theatrical Version and Extended Cut of the movie are now available for the first time. The “Theatrical Version” would be considered a ** Blu-ray Exclusive ** while the extended cut was available on previous DVD editions. I only watched the extended cut but I did take the running times of each and it’s only a difference of just over a minute (2:02:40 vs. 2:01:38).

BONUSVIEW: Picture-in-Picture Commentary (1.1/2.0 Profile) – Director Rob Bowman, creator/writer Chris Carter, co-producer/co-writer Frank Spotnitz and producer Daniel Sakheim sit down for an enjoyable track going over details about the movie and reminiscing about the old days. The PiP aspect is a big box on the lower right corner of four dudes sitting in chairs talking about the movie.

Feature Commentary – The same commentary is available in just the audio format for those maybe with 1.0 Profile players or just don’t want the big box obscuring the movie.

Alternate Bee Sting Scene (2:19) is the infamous kiss/make-out scene that has appeared on the Internet but now is available for the first time for home viewers. It’s a nice scene but I do think what they went with in the final cut was the right decision even if it disappointed the fans.

Blackwood: The Making of The X-Files: Fight the Future (19:29) is a new featurette... sort of. Although the scenes intercuts are in widescreen, all the interviews are old from 1998. I guess you could consider this to be extended interviews from the original featurette.

Visual Effects (8:49) and Scoring (5:03) are two new featurettes with the visual effects supervisor or composer Mark Snow talking about their respective jobs on the movie and how they were done.

Gag Reel (2:40) is presented in widescreen and has many flubbed lines and cast pratfalls.

Last there are Still Galleries (Concept Art, Storyboards, Unit Photography).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The X-Files is presented for the first time on Blu-ray in 1080p High-Def (AVC video codec on a 50GB Dual Layered disc). The video quality on this release is good. Nothing more and nothing less. I did notice that the dark or blue scenes showed off a good amount of grain, but overall it looks like a nice, sharp image that, although not demo worthy, is an upgrade from the 1999 DVD release.

The Blu-ray offers a good DTS-HD Master Audio track, but it’s not perfect. Given the movie is 10 years old, I realize there isn’t a lot they can do to make it that amazing home theater experience like newer films (The Dark Knight and The Incredible Hulk), but I found myself adjusting the volume between scenes as one moment dialogue would be too quiet so I turn it up and the next thing would be an action sequence and it would be too loud.



.::OVERALL::.

The X-Files: Fight the Future will always have a place in my movie collection as it releases some fond memories of my days as a fan of the series and in turn the movie. In regards to this Blu-ray release, it’s well worth purchasing for the new bonus features and good audio/video quality. Although neither one is demo worthy, not many over a certain age are, it is an upgrade over the DVD version.