Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The X-Files - The Complete Ninth Season|
Actors: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Robert Patrick, Annabeth Gish, Mitch Pileggi
Directors: David Duchovny, Chris Carter, Cliff Bole, Dwight H. Little, Frank Spotnitz
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Now you can own the entire ninth season of THE X-FILES?. All 19 classic episodes (including the 2-hour series finale) are available for the first time in this exclusive 7-disc collector?s edition. From the revelation about... more »
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Not The X-Files' best, but still better than most TV.
Lee | Los Angeles, CA | 04/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sure, the ninth and final season of The X-Files was probably its weakest season, but here's the deal: The X-Files at its worst is much better than most TV shows out there today. This season retained excpetionally high production values and looking back, actually had some standout episodes, including the spectacular 2-hour finale that could never satisfactorily wrap up such a long-running series but did have a feel of the classic mythology episodes from the show's glory days. This season tries to pass the baton to Agents Doggett and Reyes, a partnership that is very solid but would never ever have the appeal of Mulder and Scully. Scully is present all season in a somewhat annoying advisory role, only occasionally getting her feet muddy. Towards the end of the season though, she steps into the spotlight much more. David Duchovny's return for the 2-hour finale isn't handled perfectly, but it's so satisfying to see David and Gillian together on screen that you can all but forgive the fact that he left. The DVD presentation is simply superb, as we have come to expect from this show. Spread over 7 dvds as opposed to the 6 dvd sets of recent seasons, this set has fantastic extras. But here's the deal: the real gem on this set is the hour long documentary, The Making of The Truth. Ever since the show started I've wanted to see something like this and never have until now. It takes you into the production meetings, location scouts and then the production itself, and it gives you a real sense of how hard working every member of the crew was and how much they loved working on it. It's an extremely thorough making of, not the usual puff-piece you see on DVDs. Another little treat is "Reflections on The X-Files", in which various guest stars discuss in new interviews what it was like to be a part of the show. Cher, Seth Green, Ed Asner, the Dust Brothers, Burt Reynolds are some of the participants. Other behind the scenes documentaries include Secrets of The X-Files and More Secrets of The X-Files, two shallow 45-minute shows from the heydey of the show. Nothing special but they do take you back to when the show was omnipresent. Also included are the usual promo spots, and a couple of decent new documentaries on Season 9 as a whole and also "Reflections on The Truth", which features key crew members talking about working on the last episodes. It's nice that the show's editors get a voice here. There are a couple of commentaries, one from Chris Carter on the episode "Improbable". They're very matter-of-fact but are very interesting and frank. One thing I cannot forgive about this season is the fact that even though the show's producers knew this was the last season well before the end, they did not use the last, say, 5 or 6 episodes to wrap up the show. Instead they wrapped up a couple of plot points quickly in one (good) episode (directed by David Duchovny), and then give us some mediocre stand alone episodes. And the biggest slap in the face is that the penultimate episode ever is wasted on a silly story involving the Brady Bunch. Oh well, too late now. The show has passed up so many opportunities for true geatness in its nine-year run, but like I said before, it remains one of the best TV shows ever.Recent press reports indicate that a second movie is likely to go ahead. So, now's a good time to start familiarising yourself with the show's last year. It feels great to put this up there with the previous eight seasons and see the entire collection on one shelf. It's hard not to get all warm and fuzzy inside knowing you own every episode of this groundbreaking series. And you can't argue with the price for this beautiful set!"
The Truth About Season 9
Just Bill | Grand Rapids, MI United States | 06/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Thanks to only catching a few episodes on TV when it aired -- not to mention the plethora of negative reviews -- I was all set to dislike Season 9 of The X-Files when I sat down to watch it from start to finish.But I can't. No way.Season 9 is actually quite good. A few episodes in particular are superb. "Release," for example, the episode in which Agent Doggett learns the truth about his son's death and puts the past behind him. My wife and I were stunned by that episode. It had "Wow Factor" written all over it. Great acting by Robert Patrick. Intriguing story line.The final episode (titled "The Truth") was only so-so when I watched it on TV. But that was because I hadn't seen the rest of the season (or Seasons 7 and 8 leading up to it) in context. When I watched all of Season 9 back to back, I discovered "The Truth" to be a powerful way to end the series. It was great to have Fox Mulder back, but -- to be honest -- we didn't really consider the show to be about Mulder any more.Blasphemy? Am I do for a tarring and feathering?Don't think so. True, The X-Files started out as a show about Mulder and his partner Dana Scully. And the show endeared itself to millions of fans worldwide because of that pairing.But when David Duchovny (Mulder) left the show at the end of Season 7, just appeared in a handful of episodes in Season 8, and only appeared in the final episode of Season 9, the show changed. But not necessarily for the worse. The other characters stepped up to the plate. Doggett and Monica Reyes were fascinating characters. Each brought depth and strength to the roles.The X-Files was a show about the unexplained, the paranormal, the out-there-ness of Truth. As such, it was a show that was constantly filled with surprises, twists, turns and even dead-ends.When people get hung up on keeping the show exactly the same -- with Mulder and Scully in every episode -- they fail to see the point of the series: the unexpected.If the show would have gone downhill without Mulder, *then* I could see justification for all the bellyaching. But it didn't. The writers and directors rose to the challenge. Season 8 is one of the best of the series, in my opinion. And Season 9 is far from the worst.One thing we noticed, however: there was a distinct lack of character continuity from episode to episode. Plus, it seems like one or the other of Doggett and Reyes was always hovering on the brink of death -- with the healthy partner watching, praying and hoping for a complete recovery. When the recovery happened, emotions ran high. It seemed like things would change. But, in the very next episode the characters were back to the way they were before the crisis.In other words, when Reyes almost died in the hospital, Doggett was in tears. He felt deep emotion -- far beyond that felt for a partner in the FBI -- and couldn't wait until she recovered to tell her. But when she recovered, he didn't. Nothing changed.Those kinds of inconsistencies hampered Season 9. If the writers were true to the characters, changes would have occured from crisis to crisis. They would have siezed the opportunity to get more involved emotionally.Ditto for the episode in which Scully has to give up William for adoption. In that episode, she's racked with emotion. Yet, in the very next episode, she's composed and emotion-free. Like the adoption never happened. How is that possible? Scully lived for William in virtually every episode. Yet in the very next one after she gives him up for adoption, she doesn't shed a tear and, if memory serves, doesn't even mention him.As large as those kinds of character consistencies seem, I don't think they completely derail Season 9. The build-up to the end -- combined with a few truly stellar episodes -- make Season 9 well worth having if you're an X-Files fan.Oh, and let's not forget the bonus material. Two full DVDs of bonus material -- including a wonderful behind-the-scenes peek at the making of "The Truth."My advice? Don't listen to the naysayers who slam Season 9 and call it the worst. There really isn't a "worst" when it comes to The X-Files. Every season is excellent in its own way."
Uneven 9th season still had diamonds in the rough
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 03/11/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The 9th season of "The X-Files" was announced as the last and, as such, Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz, Vince Gilligan and Kim Manners tried to imbue the last season with the top notch writing quality that had been a hallmark of the first 6 seasons. Unfortunately, the series didn't quite live up to its potential during the 9th season. With the fate of Mulder, Scully and their baby still hanging along with too many loose ends from the mythology arc (and a new mythology arc that was begun during season 8)the show had to juggle too many balls with too few hands. Still, the last season had some diamonds in the rough and a strong cast to polish them. The show looks extremely good in this DVD set and the boxed set is a lot smaller than the previous set because of the use of the thinpak holders.
"Underneath", "Scary Monsters" (an interesting variation on the same themes and material as Jerome Bixby's story "It's a Good Life"), "4-D", Sunshine Days" and most of the stand alone episodes are better than many of the mythology arc episodes particularly the finale "The Truth" which crams the previous seasons loose ends into a mishmash that doesn't quite work. "The Truth" in fact feels like it was setting us up for a sequel that has yet to be made (although Carter is reportedly working on a screenplay for a film)particularly since William disappears from the lives of Scully and Mulder for his safety. "Release" is a pivotal episode from this season and provides Robert Patrick with an opportunity to shine as well as Cary Elwes and Annabeth Gish.
Carter and his crew would have done better to play wrap up the season over five or six episodes and dropping some of the weaker episodes in the season. "Jump the Shark" where the Lone Gunmen meet their fate is either brave or incredibly stupid depending upon which fan you talk to. It also ticked off a lot of fans that these quirky and enjoyable characters finally meet (SPOILER)
The thinpak boxed set has all 19 episodes. Despite comments to the contrary some extras ARE included for this set including the commentary track for "Improbable" by Carter, writers Gilligan, John Shiban and Spotnitz on "Jump the Shark" and director Kim Manners on "The Truth". Deleted scenes are also included for episodes and can be reintegrated through the main menu (a small X will appear in the corner noting which are deleted scenes). The shows are presented in anamorphic widescreen with exceptional transfers. During some of the darker scenes in a couple of episodes the transfer turns murky for a brief period of time but that's few and far between. The Dolby Digital Surround tracks are nicely used to create atmosphere and add to the tension for the best episodes.
What's missing? The documentary on the making of "The Truth", the deleted scenes that were grouped together on the last discs, the profiles, featurettes and the DVD-ROM game "The Truth". While it would have been nice to have these on this set they are hardly essential for fans that want the shows themselves.
Personally I felt that the show could have continued if they had eased out Mulder and Scully in season 8 as the characters of Doggett (Robert Patrick) with his hardnosed approach and Reyes (Annabeth Gish)with her new age, quirky personality would have made for an interesting series by itself. Perhaps they should have kept the characters for a spin-off outside of "The X-Files" either way the two actors had nice chemistry together and Patrick had a dynamic screen presence that would have insured an intersting show. Deputy Director Kersh (James Pickens Jr) and Cary Elwes' Brad Folmer made gret foils/allies during this season. Elwes' Forlmer was a complex villian and he does a terrific job of keeping the character intersting throughout the season. Either way it was time for Carter to wrap up the tattered ends of the mythology and the relationship for Scully, Mulder and William their baby William.
The light shines in the darkness
Ian K. Hughes | San Mateo, CA | 08/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 9th (and final) season of THE X FILES (2001-02) stands, along with Season 6, as the most consistent of all the years filmed in Los Angeles and exhibits a number of unique qualities.
First and foremost, the loss of David Duchovny's participation created the necessity to play off (as in Season 8) his absence. While the (not insignificant) feeling of contrivance concerning yet another Mulder disappearance was unfortunate, the writers made full creative use of this (business related) circumstance. Specifically, through scripts (mostly "stand alone") that fleshed out new characters (Agents John Doggett & Monica Reyes) and through the mythology arc, in which themes from the previous year (and the series as a whole) were developed.
Secondly, the show regained a sense of equilibrium, its structure a throwback to the Vancouver years, where the (uniformly interesting) "mythology" episodes were aired at specific points: early, mid, and late season. This well-planned strategy mitigated the effect of some of the more routine "stand alone" efforts while moving inexorably towards a conclusion illuminating much of Chris Carter's "underground project".
STAND ALONE EPISODES:
There were several efforts by writers ( relatively ) new to THE X FILES:
An ambitious attempt to marry characterization to storyline appears in two of Steven Meada's scripts: both "4-D" and "Audrey Pauley" share similar sci-fi plots against a backdrop of (implied) romantic affection shared by Agents Doggett and Reyes. "Audrey Pauley" in particular, benefits from excellent writing as well as fine performances from the principles (esp Annabeth Gish) and guests (the actress playing Audrey was previously seen in the 3rd Season masterpiece "Oubliette").
Writer Thomas Schnauz also turned in two scripts: "Lord of the Flies" (the season's only overtly comedic take) is a clever but at times strained affair. The main attraction is really for diehard X-philes, since the episode is full of playful allusions to writer Darin Morgan's classic 3rd season script "War of the Copraphages". More effective is Schnauz' "Scary Monsters"; while its surface story is purposely borrowed from THE TWILIGHT ZONE, the whimsical "Mulder vs Doggett" subplot is a fun spoof. Agent Scully's impromptu "kitchen autopsy" is also a great bit, harkening back to the classic comedy of the series' golden years.
Three more scripts, in what could be termed the "Exorcist File" vein, were seen in Season 9:
"Daemonicus" (written & directed by Frank Spotnitz) features some eerily creative camera work and a "Hannibal Lechter" type villain while adding further details to the character of Agent Doggett. The graphically violent "Hellbound" outlines writer David Amann's deliberately odd theological juxtaposition: Calvinist predestination and Buddhist reincarnation. John Shiban's "Underneath" is a disaster; easily the worst episode of the season.
Chris Carter wrote and directed the superb "Improbable", the latest in a long line of quirkily humerous yet serious scripts (a la Darin Morgan) that deal with perennial philosophical issues (free will/determinism good/evil, et al ). The episode features an excellent performance by Burt Reynolds; the brilliantly shot street scenes (and music) are a Carterian homage to Italian "cinema dell'arte".
Longtime staff writer Vince Gilligan's two contributions are mixed affairs: the sepia-tone cinematography of "John Doe", coupled with Robert Patrick's fine acting make this episode enjoyable up until the oddly strained "crash and bang" finale. "Sunshine Days" is one of Gilligan's rare missteps; a re-tread of his "Je Souhaite" (Season 7) with an unfortunate undercurrent of saccharine sentimentality.
The ongoing subplot (treated in various episodes of Seasons 8-9) relating to Agent Doggett's personal tragedy was resolved in "Release" ( particularly beautiful music by Mark Snow ). It is a testament to the quality of THE X FILES that in their last season the staff writers (John Shiban & David Amann) would prepare so properly respectful a vehicle for Robert Patrick, whose performances were so vitally important for the series in its final years.
"Jump the Shark" was neither the best nor worst treatment that could have been prepared as the swan song of the beloved Lone Gunmen. However flawed the script, the heroic efforts of the three misfits in this episode were a necessary correction to the idiotic mischaracterization that shot through the (mercifully short-lived) series (Spring 2001) that bore their name. In "Jump the Shark" some of the eccentric nobility of the Lone Gunmen was restored.
The symbiotic partnership between Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz continued with their co-writing of 6 of the 7 myth arc episodes airing in Season 9 (the finale was penned by Carter alone).
The ambitious 2-part opener ("Nothing Important Happened Today I/II") fuses the familiar "alien hybrid" concept with the newer (logically consistent) element of "supersoldiers".
The Orwellian/Kafkaesque atmosphere of "Trust No1" is a compellingly well-framed continuation of the myth arc as well as a dark commentary on certain governmental strictures enacted in the wake of 9/11.
An extraordinary degree of openly religious (Christian) symbolism (in terms of plot, dialogue and cinematography) pervades the mid season 2-parter titled "Provenance/Providence".
"William" is taut episode creatively directed (and co-written) by David Duchovny; the clever double twist ending has dramatic ramifications that extend backward and forward in time. Gillian Anderson puts forth a customarily moving performance emphasizing Scully's unique qualities of nobility and loving self-sacrifice.
The grand 2 hour finale ("The Truth") exudes a special glow, starting out ("in media res") with the return of Mulder, lagging a bit during the lengthy court-room trial scenes and ending with a fireworks flourish in which director Kim Manners pulls out all the stops. The final scene of THE X FILES is a quiet coda; a truly beautiful moment between Mulder and Scully as they share their mutual belief that, in spite of all appearances, hope is not lost and that "the light shines in the darkness" .