The X Files: Fight The Future Blu-ray Review
PictureThis decade-old first X-Files movie comes to Blu-ray with a next-generation High Definition 1080p video presentation in its original, theatrically broad aspect ratio of widescreen 2.40:1. Although it is significantly better than any previous DVD incarnations, it is not a patch on the quality of the more recent sequel. Detail is consistently solid if far from outstanding, the clarity being marred occasionally by light edge enhancement, occasional grain, or even some noticeable and unnecessary softness. It could be age, or just the original print, but this movie looks slightly more dated than perhaps it should. The colour scheme is still broad and fairly lovingly rendered, the greens of the fields, the barren desert, the icy cold tundra, all coming across as authentic, whilst the FBI headquarters and the alien spaceship have comparatively good interior representation. Blacks are quite solid as well, but don't hold up as well as you need for a movie as populated by shadow as this affair is, and overall, whilst it is unlikely to really detract from your enjoyment of the movie - and whilst it is still easily the best presentation of this film thus far - the video does not really add a great deal to your enjoyment either.
SoundTo accompany this first Big Screen X-Files adventure we get a top of the range (at least technically) DTS-HD Master Audio track that, whilst occasionally a little blunt, is nothing if not powerful, and sometimes even overpowering. Dialogue gets prime placement, but the low level whispers offer up a stark counterpoint to some of the louder alien screeches, screams, explosions and other larger-than-life effects. In fact, the frontal array is awash with sudden thundering noises, the rear surrounds offering up more subtle ambient promotion. The score is also more grand than that of the standard series (although the familiar theme is in there) and this works well for the scale of the movie, allowing even more bass beyond that offered by the punch of some of the louder effects.
ExtrasFor this Blu-ray release we get not one but two Chris Carter Commentaries. The man behind the whole show did one ten years ago for the original release, and now we get a new one, quite blatantly to tie-in with the release of the sequel (which he also did a Commentary for). Paired up on the first one with Director Rob Bowman, although they were blatantly recorded separately and spliced together, it's quite a dry, technical offering, although it has the advantage over the more recent recording of being far more honest. The latest Commentary (which is also available as a Picture-in-Picture track) sees Carter joined by Co-Writer/Producer Frank Spotnitz, Producer Daniel Sackheim and Director Rob Bowman, and has them all grouped together for a visit down memory lane. Although they have plenty of little bits to add, their comments are often unsatisfactory or even slightly pompous, boasting about their Big Screen creation in a slightly unnecessary way.
Blackwood: The Making of The X-Files - Fight the Future is a 20 minute Featurette which unfortunately just appears to be a promotional montage of old footage (which can also be seen in the included 1999 Making-Of Featurette). This is all fine, interesting stuff, but a little too self-congratulatory, with the cast and crew chatting about their masterpiece, and an overview of how they made the small-to-big-screen transition, and what it took to realise it. There's a Visual Effects Featurette and a Scoring Featurette to expand on those respective areas, and snippets of all of the Behind the Scenes footage offered in these various extras is available on the Picture-in-Picture track. We also get an amusing Gag Reel that fans will enjoy, a single Alternate scene (the well chosen kissing sequence), a Stills Gallery (also available as Picture-in-Picture) and a bunch of Trailers for both X-Files movies.
VerdictMarking a superb TV to Big Screen transition, this grand Hollywood X-Files adaptation may not have given fans much closure, but it certainly proved accessible and enjoyable to avid followers and newcomers alike, and was definitely a high point in the X-Files' history. Duchovny and Anderson too fare well on the Big Screen, and it is a very different - and equally worthy - X-Files movie when compared to the sequel. On Blu-ray the video does its best but is still not quite up to scratch, the audio is definitely punchy, but goes for power over finesse, and the extras are numerous and substantive enough to entertain fans for hours. This is good, entertaining X-Files action, and comes recommended to fans and newcomers alike.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £21.69
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