The X Files: I Want to Believe (2008)
September 16, 2020 6:16 PM - Subscribe

Six years after cutting ties with the FBI, Scully is a staff physician at a Catholic hospital and Mulder is clipping newspaper articles and throwing pencils into the ceiling of the remote farmhouse in which they live, when they are asked to lend their paranormal investigation expertise to an FBI task force after a former priest claims to be receiving psychic visions pertaining to a kidnapped agent.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"Well, at least we got out of the house."
- Me, to my wife, after leaving the theater after watching this.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:06 PM on September 16, 2020 [4 favorites]

I haven’t seen this since 2008; my recollection was it was a long and passable if unremarkable episode that somehow appeared years after the show had ended. It was as if now in the midst of the COVID year a feature film of Boardwalk Empire suddenly was released. Okay, great for fans, I guess, but the current situation doesn’t seem to call for this flick and I don’t know anyone who’s eager to rush out to see it.

Second finding: that both Duchovny and Anderson both reached near maximum hotness in their forties.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:05 PM on September 16, 2020

I liked this movie better than any of my friends did, although I remember the ingestion of several mojitos. I guess I no longer expected scientific accuracy. I no longer cared about the Mytharc. I wasn't a shipper, so I didn't mind a sort-of realistic relationship between a functional person (Scully) and a dysfunctional person (Mulder). I wasn't happy with the Skinner-scarcity. What I mostly remember is the absurdity of having a giant iceberg of body parts that you bring indoors to melt. And that Scully, a certified brain surgeon, was doing google searches for techniques. It's fortunate, though, that it's so easy to become a certified brain surgeon. Wait. Am I beginning to sound snarky? I still liked it better than any of my friends. No bees.
posted by acrasis at 2:12 PM on September 17, 2020

This felt unnecessary.

For once they listened to a scientific consultant, but the actor on the video call couldn't pronounce the enzyme name correctly.

Duchovny does not rock that beard (and apparently it's not his).

Didn't newspapers die by 2008? It feels like Mulder deliberately renovated his study with drop ceilings just so he could put up some compressed fiber tiles just so he'd have something to throw pencils at.

Sly nod to GW Bush - wasn't there an alternate ending where he was presented with The Truth and he was all, like, whatevs bro?

Had forgotten that Amanda Peet! was in this, and wearing FBI approved footwear for a field agent. And Billy Connolly! on the downswing of his career. Father Joe appears to be a bed-smoker.

Watching this now, and I'm really meh on it. Scully rejecting her old life conflicting with Mulder's rediscovered obsession ought to ... do ... something. Anything. But.

As for Googling brain surgery techniques, it would be PubMed and in the context of arming oneself with knowledge to have a meaningful discussion with the expert(s) actually doing the procedure (to decide which procedure(s) to use).

Not sure how surgery is supposed to help with a lysosomal enzyme disease.

The head transplant thing is beyond dumb. Yes, (some of) the old time-y dogs survived a few weeks but those were completely useless "experiments." They were oxygenated, but otherwise, not really attached to the nervous system or anything.

Also, HLA matching and anti-rejection drugs.

Azopromazine is a thing. In horses, a side effect is priapism. That little prick in the neck...

Nice seeing Gastown in X Files again, I guess.
posted by porpoise at 3:12 PM on September 17, 2020

Second finding: that both Duchovny and Anderson both reached near maximum hotness in their forties.

And Anderson was a lot looser and more playful now; she was in her early 20s when she was first cast, and was probably taking things very seriously because it was her first big job and she didn't want to screw up, but here she's gotten a couple more jobs under her belt and is feeling a little looser.

Which means that the outtakes are way funnier now; there's one where she's in a confrontation with the former priest - who was played by Billy Connolly; her line was something like "I have just one question...." and then she asked the question, but there's one outtake where she says "I have just one question....why do you wear your hair like that?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:13 AM on September 21, 2020

I remember being excited when this came out, because it was just so nice to see Mulder and Scully together again, but the plot was a turkey, and a thin turkey at that. It's a shame that the X-Files team couldn't turn out movies that were on par with the best episodes or even the solid episodes of the show.

That scene with Janke Dacyshyn leering at Cheryl Cunningham underwater as she swims is pretty repulsive. Why would a gay couple be looking for a female body to replace the dying partner's body?

Nicki Aycox (who played Cheryl) had about as thankless a role as I've ever seen an actor do. The shoot must have been pretty miserable for her.

I also thought that Crissman's pedophile past was treated too lightly. How would he even be out of prison? And I could have done without Mulder and Scully joking about how she described Crissman's crimes.

Duchovny's beard was awful. Thank heavens he shaved it. It seems he hated the fake beard because it was itchy and uncomfortable and couldn't wait to take it off. I can't remember him ever being other than clean-shaven for a role or for real life. On a more positive note, he looked just as good shirtless at 48 as he ever did when much younger, so props to him for that.

Now that she has a man in her bed every night, Scully wore a slightly sexed-up version of her usual pajamas: she added a camisole underneath.

There was a great moment in one of the promotional interviews for this movie. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson were asked, "When are we going to see Mulder and Scully get it on?" Gillian Anderson said, "Oh, that's the fifth movie," and David Duchovny added, "But by then, no one will want to see it." It's funny because it's true.

The novel on Scully's nightstand is by Dori Carter, Chris Carter's wife.

Chris Carter suuuuuuucks at creating conflict between his characters. Scully urges Mulder to help the FBI with their case, then as soon as he does get involved with it and begins to work the case as single-mindedly as he always did every case, she says it's about his sister, and then says she doesn't want him involved with it.

Scully doing brain surgery and google searches for stem cell therapy was any eye-roller even to a layperson viewer like me.

"Christian Fearon" sounds like a name straight out of Pilgrim's Progress.

Would Agent Drummy really have told Scully that Mulder disappearing "wasn't an FBI matter"? He was working the case, for heaven's sake, and was a former FBI agent.

The bit with Scully and Mulder looking askance at Dubya's photo, and the theme music playing, was a fun touch.
posted by orange swan at 10:46 AM on September 22, 2020

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