Archivio Stampa John Kenneth Muir's Reflections on Cult Movies and Classic TV (USA)

The X-Files: "My Struggle III" (January 3, 2018)

The X-Files (1993 – 2002; 2016, 2018) has returned for Season 11, and I’m behind the eight-ball here reviewing the new season of ten episodes.    Hopefully, I will catch-up quickly. (Right now I’m two episodes back!)   We must begin our look at the new season with “My Struggle III,” the shocking resolution (of sorts) to the Season 10 cliffhanger. The third part of the “My Struggle” saga, written and directed by Chris Carter, aired in the U.S. on January 3rd, 2018, and has fiercely divided critics and audiences for two reasons. ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files: The Mystery of William

Last week, I speculated a bit about the directions The X-Files might take in season 11 in terms of Mulder's illness, Reyes, the plague, and the Conspiracy. This week, I want to study the figure who is, literally, the key to everything. That figure is William, the son of Mulder and Scully. One of the reasons I so much admire this revival series is that it has been structured in such a way that it leads us to one inescapable conclusion: William is our savior. We see and register Dana's despair about losing William in episodes including "Founder's Mutation," and "Home Again," for example. In ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files: "My Struggle II" (February 22, 2016 )

Scully (Gillian Anderson) is disturbed to arrive at the X-Files basement office one morning and find Mulder (David Duchovny) missing. When she checks his laptop, she sees that Mulder has been watching “Truth Squad” with Tad O’Malley (Joel McHale), a web program that has returned to broadcast after a six week hiatus. O’Malley reports that something sinister is occurring, nationwide. The conspiracy is on the move, through the use of a deadly contagion that will kill millions, while preserving only a handful of chosen survivors. Scully and Agent Einstein (Lauren A ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files: "Babylon" (February 15, 2016)

In “Babylon,” a young Muslim man in Texas -- an apparent terrorist -- is involved in the suicide bombing of Ziggurat, a local art gallery displaying controversial imagery. This young man, Shiraz (Artin John) survives the deadly blast, but does not awake from a coma afterwards. This is a grave concern because he is the only person living with information about a terror cell operating in the area. Investigating the case, FBI agents Miller (Robbie Amell) and Einstein (Lauren Ambrose) seek the assistance of Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) in communicating with t ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files: "Home Again" (February 8, 2016)

In “Home Again,” Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate the brutal murder of a HUD official, Joseph Cutler (Alessandro Juliani) who was attempting to forcibly relocate a group of homeless people in Philadelphia. His body was discovered… pulled apart…with his head discarded in a trash can. While Mulder pursues a lead involving a street artist, Scully is called back to Washington D.C. because of terrible personal news. Her mother, Margaret (Sheila Larken), has suffered a devastating heart attack and is near death. But efore slipping into un ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files: "Mulder and Scully Meet The Were-Monster" (February 1, 2016)

Typically, The X-Files concerns two dueling viewpoints or philosophies. We can understand the world through Romantic principles (belief and faith); and these ideas are usually expressed in the series by Mulder. Or we can experience and comprehend our reality via the tenets of the Enlightenment: science and reason.  Most often, Scully is our voice for this world-view. Sometimes -- such as those occasions when Christianity is involved -- these roles and viewpoints are reversed. But there is a third philosophy that viewers encounter in The X-Files, particularly in the catalog of writer ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files: "Founder's Mutation" (January 25, 2016)

In “Founder’s Mutation,” agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate a horrific and violent suicide at Nugenic Technologies. The investigation leads the duo to the company’s founder, Dr. Goldman (Dr. Savant), who is a self-professed “champion of the unborn,” and demonstrates a remarkable obsession regarding children with genetic deformities. As Scully and Mulder soon learn, Dr. Goldman -- who has ties to the Department of Defense -- is hiding a secret about the deformed children in his clinic. Some of them are no mere accident ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files: "My Struggle" (January 24, 2016)

After far too long an absence from television, Chris Carter’s The X-Files (1993-2002) returned to television on Monday night with an episode titled, cannily, “My Struggle.” That title -- not coincidentally, I presume -- is also the translated-to-English title of Adolf Hitler’s 1925 literary autobiography, Mein Kampf.  That historical fact may prove the key to understanding better this new starting point for the series. When we consider Hitler and his particular “struggle,” we think immediately of genocide, totalitarianism, and fascism.  We thin ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: "Home" (October 11, 1996)

I make no bones about the fact that “Home,” written by Glen Morgan and James Wong, and directed by Kim Manners, is one of my all-time favorite episodes of The X-Files (1993 – 2002). This fourth season installment is ultra-violent, witty, and scary-as-hell. “Home” is so disturbing and disgusting in fact that Fox TV only aired it once, and then banned the episode from prime-time television permanently. Or as Chris Carter told me during a 2009 interview: “We did an episode like "Home," and the day after we did it I was given a very stern lecture about never, ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" (April 12, 1996)

As I’ve noted before, Darin Morgan’s stories for The X-Files (1993 – 2002) are something of a philosophical anomaly. Where Mulder and Scully typically voice facets of belief or skepticism, Morgan often populates his episodes with a lead character who is a surrogate for his own belief system: nihilism. That surrogate in “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” is an opportunistic “non-fiction/science-fiction” writer, Jose Chung (Charles Nelson Reilly) who is seeking a quick buck by writing a history of an alien abduction experience. And at one point in ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: "Pusher" (February 23, 1996)

Written by Vince Gilligan and directed by Rob Bowman, “Pusher” is one of those so-called “signature episodes” of The X-Files that I discussed a little bit last week, in my review of “Syzygy.” No matter how many times you’ve seen this third season installment a re-watch immediately draws you in, and you find yourself glued to the television through the nail-biting final act. Part of the reason this episode succeeds so splendidly is because it establishes a nasty psychic assassin, Robert Patrick Modell (Robert Wisden) as a dark reflection of the Mulder ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: "Syzygy" (January 26, 1996)

Although it is not widely considered a signature episode of The X-Files (1993 – 2002) like “The Host,” “Irresistible,” “Home,” “Pusher,” or “Bad Blood,” Chris Carter’s “Syzygy” is nonetheless one of my favorite installments of the two-hundred-plus strong catalog. In part that position of favor arises from the episode’s deliberate and crafty re-purposing of familiar horror tropes. In a very real way, the story is a wicked inversion of Stephen King’s Carrie (1976). Only here, the victimizers and not ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: "War of the Coprophages" (January 5, 1996)

Writer Darin Morgan returns to The X-Files (1993 - 2002) with "The War of the Coprophages," another humorous installment that gazes at humanity with unblinking and unromantic eyes. In particular, the story involves the “insect mind” as it relates to cockroaches. However, “The War of the Coprophages” also compares the relative purity and simplicity of the insect mind to the “over-developed” human mind, a biological machine which permits for non-useful responses or “reactions” to threats; responses such as paranoia or hysteria, for example. These ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: "2Shy" (November 3, 1995)

“2Shy” is another brilliantly-conceived and executed third season installment of the Chris Carter series The X-Files (1993 – 2002), one that considers 1990s social mores in terms of a then-new technological advance: the Internet. Today, the term “internet predator” is a common one, and it defines a person who utilizes the world-wide web for purposes of unsavory or even illegal activities, usually involving sex. “2Shy” imagines a literal predator of this sort: a genetic mutant, Virgil Incanto (Timothy Carhart) who talks female users of the net into ... [Continua a leggere]

The X-Files 20th Anniversary Blogging: "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" (October 13, 1995)

“Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” brings a new philosophy to The X-Files, straight from one-of-a-kind writer Darin Morgan (“Humbug.”) Previously, on The X-Files, we have seen commentary about belief vs. skepticism, and religion vs. science. However, this episode introduces to the series the concept of caustic, cynical nihilism; the notion that life is without intrinsic purpose or value, and perhaps even absurd to its core. In a series that often concerns faith, commitment, truth, and “never giving up,” this (brief) turn towards nihilism nonetheless -- ... [Continua a leggere]



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