The X-Files Redux

February 15, 2016 at 10:17 PM | Posted in Geekdom, TV | Leave a comment
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The X-Files revival

The return of The X-Files on the small screen brought back my obsession with this show since the series ended in 2002, and since its second movie, I Want to Believe came out in 2008. Like many X-philes around the world, I anxiously anticipated its season premiere last January 24. Luckily for us Filipino fans, we got to watch the new season on cable via Fox Channel Philippines the same day as it aired in the US.

Suffice to say, I had mixed feelings about the first three episodes. The first time I watched each of these episodes, it left me with questions and feeling wanting more. Thus, I decided to watch all the three episodes again before I make a proper review of each. Here’s my take:

Episode 1: My Struggle

I didn’t like this episode. The general feeling I had about “My Struggle” was that it felt contrite. I had a feeling that Chris Carter – who wrote and directed the episode, wanted to build up excitement among the fans about the series’ mythology arc by putting practically all conspiracy theories involving alien abductions and government cover-ups in one episode. The narrations were too long. What could have been explained by Mulder in a couple of sentences were dragged out and narrated in a long, unnecessary dialogue. Carter even crammed the show’s two popular slogans in one dialogue.

 “I want to believe!” “The truth is out there!” These words were exchanged between Mulder and Scully during a scene where they were arguing.

Scully & Mulder_My Struggle

To me, this episode was just a general introduction to the newbie fans about the world of The X-Files. Nothing was really new except that Mulder and Scully weren’t together anymore. Yeah, apparently they broke up sometime after the movie, I Want to Believe. Bummer! Anyway, I deviate…

I wasn’t impressed by the supposedly shocking revelation in this episode. The plot twist being that it was a conspiracy of men all along. Men from a shadowy government used alien technology derived from the UFO crash in Roswell in the 1940’s and abducted innocent victims to experiment on them. There were no alien abductions after all. It’s all just a government cover-up.

Also, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson weren’t their best in this episode. I found their performance to be lacking in depth. But perhaps that’s because they’re still adjusting and settling in into their old characters?

Episode 2: Founder’s Mutation

This second episode was better. It felt like the old X-Files I knew and loved. “Founder’s Mutation” was a monster-of-the-week episode about a doctor doing questionable experiments on children and a teenaged boy with strange powers. It’s creepy enough, but not in the traditional sense of the word. I loved that Mulder and Scully were like their old selves again in this episode. I think David and Gillian felt more at ease with their old roles here.

Founder's Mutation_X-Files

In this episode, Mulder and Scully were back working at the FBI under the X-Files unit with Assistant Director Walter Skinner still as their boss. The fact that this wasn’t supposed to be the second episode from the lineup could explain why there were no mentions in the story about how Mulder and Scully were reinstated in the FBI. But I still have questions about this episode. Firstly, were there any objections from the other powers that be in the FBI about Mulder and Scully’s reinstatement? Where was FBI Deputy Director Alvin Kersh? Correct me if I’m wrong but as far as I could remember, weren’t there supposed to be Super Soldiers masquerading as agents within the walls of the FBI? What happened to them? I guess these questions might be answered in the upcoming final episode, “My Struggle II” which is a return to the mythology arc.

Anyway, this episode also touched upon the sensitive subject of William – Mulder and Scully’s son who was given up for adoption in season 9 to keep him safe from the people who wished him harm. Both Mulder and Scully imagined what life might have been for them if they didn’t give up William. The scenes were sweet and touching. I’m glad that Chris Carter and the writers decided to address this issue since after season 9 ended.

Episode 3: Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster

I’ve always loved the comedic episodes of The X-Files (“Small Potatoes” being one of my favorite funny episodes). It brought balance to the show, which was a refreshing break away from some of the heavy drama and scary stuff that the show was known for.

Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster

Such was the case with the third episode, “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster.” It’s  campy on purpose and hilarious as hell! Darin Morgan, known for the funny and quirky episodes he’s written for the show, wrote this episode. I loved this episode for its witty dialogue and fun twist to the age-old story of a man turning into a werewolf during full moon. But this time, it wasn’t a werewolf but a were-lizard. Also, I just loved the banter between Mulder and Scully in this episode. It reminded me a lot of “Bad Blood.”

Rhys Darby, who played the were-monster/lizard, was superb in this episode. The delivery of his punchlines was exceptional. He was funny, lovable and endearing. Kumail Nanjiani, who played the animal control officer, was just as good. His facial expressions were priceless. And who could forget Scully in this episode being all flirty and stuff? That scene was hilarious! Also that scene with Mulder being clueless about his camera app was too cute and funny!

This is how I like my Mulder

There were a lot of funny scenes in this episode, but what fans probably loved the most were the Easter eggs scattered all throughout the episode. They were a tribute indeed to the X-philes – the fans who stayed loyal even after the series ended. I, for one, belong to that group.

I am enjoying The X-Files revival so far, and there are only two episodes left before season 10 comes to an end. I will be reviewing the three final episodes of the show next time. Here’s hoping that the show will still return for another season. I want to believe!

Double the Pleasure, Double the Fun

December 7, 2010 at 4:32 PM | Posted in Food and Dining, Lifestyle | Leave a comment
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The end of the year always means one thing for me: social gatherings and reunions. December is usually the month where I meet with friends I haven’t seen in a long while. It’s an annual tradition of sorts that my friends have created to keep in touch with each other. Though my friends in Pinoy X-Philes and I regularly meet, we still hold annual year-end gatherings. Same goes with my other set of friends from where I used to work. We also meet a few times a year then we would have a reunion before the year ends.

So between my busy schedule these past couple of weeks of finalizing my transfer to a new apartment with the landlord, clearing all the stuff in my current apartment, and going from store to store and checking out new homeware to buy, I made room to see my two sets of friends on a weekend (Not that I’m too busy to see them. Of course there would always be room for my friends). And since our December social calendar tend to fill quickly, my friends and I would make plans as early as November.

My fellow X-phile friends had plan to hold our year-end gathering by this month but since some of them were already unavailable the whole month, we managed to set it last November instead – on the 27th to be exact. Our get-together was just casual and laid-back. We dined out at La Maison Cafe in Makati, had coffee in Figaro, and chatted most of the night. But we had a great time just the same.

On the other hand, reunion with my other set of friends who I used to work with tend to be rambunctious at times and usually lasts until the next morning. And that’s exactly what happened last December 4. We had dinner at Kabisera in Bonifacio High Street then proceeded to Synder in Pioneer, Mandaluyong for karaoke. Unfortunately, the place was packed so we headed to Eastwood in Libis instead. We had coffee at Mile Hi Diner then transferred to Jack’s Loft for a nightcap. We left Eastwood at around 3:00 AM and I was already home by 3:30. Hanging out with my two groups of friends for the past two weeks was a good thing for me. I needed that to relieve my worries from work and recent hassles.

We Still Want to Believe

July 27, 2009 at 11:20 PM | Posted in Fandom, Movies, TV | Leave a comment
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The Pinoy X-Philes’ celebration of the first year anniversary of The X-Files: I Want to Believe movie release happened last Saturday, July 25. As all the X-philes all over the world knows, July 25, 2008 was the date of the US theatrical release of the movie. My group and I decided to celebrate it by holding a simple dinner at one of our fellow member’s residence. And to make the celebration more meaningful, we held a private screening of I Want to Believe. My fellow X-philes and I have already seen the movie five or more times but we didn’t mind watching it again.

Our IWTB-XF stuff

IWTB Anniv cakeIt was agreed upon that we would have a pot luck dinner, with each attending member bringing his or her own prepared food. But since some of us would be traveling far or couldn’t cook a decent meal (including me, hehe), we ended up just buying takeout food and bringing them to Sam’s (the host) house.

The private screening was supposed to start at 6:00 PM but since the five of us (Lily, Christie, Vel, Enna, and me) arrived late and we still had to arrange the food and wait for the other guests, the film showing didn’t start until past 8:00 PM. By then, we just dined while watching the movie. We used the projector and white screen again for the film showing. Three of us brought each of her own DVD copy of the movie as well as other I Want to Believe-related stuff. Too bad two of our long-time members couldn’t join us that night because of professional and personal reasons.

As always, my fellow X-philes and I enjoyed the evening immensely. We wanted to watch even the bloopers/gag reel of I Want to Believe, but there was not enough time. It was decided by the group beforehand that we would also watch an episode of Kolchak: The Nightstalker – the inspiration behind the creation of The X-Files – as most of us hadn’t seen the classic 70’s series. So that’s what we did after we’re done watching the second X-Files film.

IWTB private DVD screening

I Want to Believe private screening

We originally intended to leave Sam’s house before midnight but it was already past 12:00 AM when we’re through watching the pilot episode of Kolchak. And since Vel, Lily, and Christie didn’t want to go home in that ungodly hour due to safety reasons, they opted to stay at Sam’s overnight. I didn’t want to go home alone in that hour either so I decided to join them. We slept on the four couches in the screening room and left the house at around 8:00 AM the next morning. I wasn’t able to sleep properly at Sam’s so I was still feeling sleepy and groggy when I got home. But the experience was all worth it.  Like what Scully said in the “Bad Blood” episode, “I do it all for you, Mulder. I do it all for you!”

Shippers’ Night

July 8, 2009 at 11:37 AM | Posted in Fandom, Lifestyle, TV | Leave a comment
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Three months after the last DVD marathon I had with my groupmates from PXP, I decided that we hold another one this month. As my group always holds marathons in different venues, this time I thought of holding it at a hotel. Through the generosity of the management of The Mabuhay Manor, a balikbayan hotel in Pasay that caters mostly to OFWs, I was able to procure a room that my groupmates and I could use as our venue for the marathon.

at the pool

So my groupmates and I decided to hold the marathon there last July 4. It was sort of a special Pinoy X-Philes DVD marathon as the gathering was small and limited. In the last marathon, only Lily and I stayed overnight at Sam’s house. This time, five of us were going to stay for the night at the hotel. But since none of us were able to bring a portable DVD player, we just decided to use Lily’s laptop.

inside room 210Three of us checked-in at The Mabuhay Manor at noon last Saturday. Sammy the bellhop graciously led us to our room on the second floor. The room that was given to us was spacious and squeaky clean. The two beds were comfortably soft and there was enough space in the room for an extra mattress. The closet in the room was also big and airy, and there were two side tables we could use. The bathroom, though small, was spotless and furnished with the necessary amenities. My groupmates and I were very pleased with the room set-up. It was a perfect venue for a DVD marathon.

After settling in, we headed out to the Mall of Asia, which was just nearby. We met with Christie there and had our late lunch. Shortly after we went back to the hotel and waited for Eugene to arrive before we could start the marathon. Sure enough, at about 4:00 PM, he arrived. We found out unfortunately that he wouldn’t be able to stay for the night with us since he had to go to work the next day. Being the only guy in the bunch that day, I guess that was a good thing.

at the bridgeway me, Lily, Vel

The swimming pool at the hotel looked too good not to try so the five of us decided to take a swim first before starting the marathon. Ever since Eugene joked that he was going to wear a red Speedo at the marathon just like Mulder did in one episode of The X-Files, us girls (especially Lily, LOL!) were looking forward to see if he really dared. But he didn’t! There were only a few people at the pool and most of them were kids. So we still had the pool quite to ourselves.

The marathon started at around 6:00 PM. We couldn’t decide on which X-Files episodes to watch so we just randomly chose the ones we like. Eugene was only able to watch two episodes before he went home. After we had dinner, the night turned into a Shippers’ Night as we watched classic shippy episodes like “Triangle,” “Small Potatoes,” “Bad Blood,” and “How the Ghosts Stole Christmas.” Good thing there weren’t any Noromos present that night or they would be rolling their eyes in exasperation! Christie brought her DVD copy of Bleak House (the BBC drama series) so we watched a couple of episodes from that one too. The marathon lasted until the wee hours of the morning and by the time it ended we were all too exhausted to stay awake.

watching Reflections on TXF-2

A few hours of sleep and we woke up that morning feeling sluggish. So we trooped to the hotel restaurant at Lobby Lola’s and had our buffet breakfast to perk us up. The staff greeted us warmly at the door and showed us to our table. A staff promptly served us coffee and hot chocolate and we had our fill of the menu: a choice of Filipino or American breakfast. We had a lovely, hearty breakfast and lingered at the restaurant for a while then headed back to our room. Not content with the marathon the night before, we watched a couple of episodes more then packed up our things and prepared for check-out.

last pic before check-out_2 check-out time

We took a cab from the hotel through the receptionist’s help and headed off to Makati where we had lunch together. We split up afterwards and I went home tired but happy. The marathon was a whole lot of fun. Too bad some of the members couldn’t join us. But even though we were just a small group that day, we still enjoyed the experience. Thanks to the management and staff of Mabuhay Manor for making our stay at the hotel worthwhile.

Just Shoot Us

June 21, 2009 at 11:58 PM | Posted in Fandom, Lifestyle, TV | Leave a comment
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So the Pinoy X-Philes group photo shoot happened yesterday without any major hassles.The weather was hot and sunny so we were able to take advantage of the light. Only the usual crowd of PXP members were able to attend the photo shoot, with the exception of one who did not make it in time. But it was all good. We still had a blast while taking shot after shot of ourselves in different poses and background. We wanted to take as many good pictures as possible so we could have many choices for the postcard.

the unofficial PXP postcard photo

Just another test shot…

The postcard, by the way, will be our group’s official postcard, which will be mailed to X-Files News as part of the Believe in the Future Campaign, a.k.a X-Files 3 Campaign. We also have another design for the postcard as another option, which I think is equally beautiful in its simplicity.

Anyway, we thought of having the photo shoot somewhere spacious and a bit dark so we could have that X-File-y vibe. So we decided to have the shoot happened at one of our member’s house in Malate. It was actually the same place when our group had a DVD marathon in March. Sam’s place had a balcony and roof deck that had amazing views of Manila Bay and the city skyline. His place also had a large living area with dim lights which were perfect for what we had in mind.

weena, christie, and vel

Taking a break from the shoot and waiting for the sun to set

So there we were yesterday afternoon doing our poses in the living room looking much like The Syndicate plotting on Mulder and Scully’s doom. We had our serious facial expressions on and no one was allowed to smile or make funny faces. Of course eventually we had a few informal and candid shots of our own. We started at mid-afternoon and finished at around past seven in the evening.

The photos we took, though not done by a professional photographer, were good enough to be included in the postcard design. It will now be up to Lily, the group’s designated Web designer/programmer and co-founder, to tweak on the chosen photo and place it on the postcard. And I believe it will turn out pretty good.

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