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The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by jade1013 on Fri 4 Dec - 22:53

Binge Watch: Blu-ray stokes 'X-Files' fire

Dec. 4, 2015
Updated 4:11 p.m.


Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in the upcoming miniseries revival of “The X-Files” debuting Jan. 24. The pair also starred in the original series.
COURTESY OF ED ARAQUEL, FOX

By MICHAEL HEWITT / TELEVISION CRITIC

If you have a fan of “The X-Files” on your holiday shopping list, that task will soon get a little easier. On Tuesday, 20th Century Fox issues the entire series on Blu-ray, in a collector’s set (list price: $299.99) or individual seasons ($29.99 each).

On the other hand, I’d think twice before dropping $300 – or even $30 – for the uninitiated eager to try out the series based on its reputation.

“The X-Files” unfortunately doesn’t hold up that well today, a victim of the limitations of television of its time. One of the last of the pre-“Golden Age” series to survive, “The X-Files” loses out in comparison to the dramas we’ve seen since it departed in 2003.

Even series that claimed “The X-Files” as a predecessor, notably “Lost” and “Fringe,” were much better.

Created by Chris Carter, “The X-Files” starred David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, two FBI agents assigned to solve paranormal cases. The pair soon found themselves on the trail of a deep conspiracy that reached into the highest levels of the government – and beyond.

The core problem with “The X-Files” was the scheduling demands of network TV at the time. The series averaged 22 episodes a season, and only about a third of them concerned the serial story. The rest were what fans dubbed “Monster of the Week” episodes, where Mulder and Scully would chase down and defeat some paranormal villain.

The serial story, too, had to last more or less forever. No one knew when the series would end, and by Season 7 the once-interesting tale had stretched itself to ridiculousness.

The upcoming revival will be a six-episode miniseries, which may at last fulfill the show’s long-delayed promise.

‘THE X FILES’

Ran: 1994-2003 on Fox; returning Jan. 24

Starred: Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny

Binge commitment: 202 one-hour episodes

Rated: TV-14

Watch it: New Blu-ray release; DVD; streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Vudu and others; airs on Chiller channel at varying times.


The Orange County Register

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by sir on Fri 4 Dec - 22:55

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Ant-Man’ Comes To Home Video Alongside Mulder, Scully, And Harold Lloy

Post by sir on Tue 8 Dec - 20:39

Ant-Man’ Comes To Home Video Alongside Mulder, Scully, And Harold Lloyd




DISNEY
Pick of the Week
Ant-Man
 (Disney)


Ant-Man is one of those movies that gets points simply for not being disastrous. It was in the works for years — its development pre-dating even Iron Man — as a film to be directed by Edgar Wright from a script he co-wrote with Attack the Block‘s Joe Cornish. Then, at the 11th hour, Marvel and Wright parted ways, necessitating a new director and a last-minute rewrite. Enter Adam McKay, who reworked the script with star Paul Rudd, and director Peyton Reed, who years earlier almost got to make a Kennedy-era version of the Fantastic Four.



The seams show, but not as much as you might expect in a brisk, comic spin on Marvel superheroics. Rudd plays hapless criminal Scott Lang whose skills as a thief allow him to excel, eventually, when he takes on a shrinking suit created by the scientific genius Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). The film grinds to a halt when it has to spend too much time in the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe — as in an encounter with Anthony Mackie’s Falcon — but Rudd’s charming and Reed brings a light touch to the film. It’s hard not to wish for the Wright version we’ll never see, but the one we got will do.


The Blu-ray and DVD editions are anchored by a fun commentary by Reed and Rudd (albeit one that only mentions its troubled origins in passing).


Also New




FOX

The X-Files: The Collectors Set
 (Fox)


The time seems right to revisit The X-Files, Chris Carter’s great series about two FBI agents who investigate supernatural happenings. Not only is the series’ imminent revival earning great buzz, the paranoid climate is feeling pretty X-Files-friendly. Time also forgives a lot, like the fact that the first season takes a while to find its footing and the last few scenes feel like a few seasons too many. Still, when it was great, it was great, so it makes sense for fans to shell out for this brick of a box set that collects the series in the best form possible.




Minions (Universal)
What happens when characters who served as comic relief in the Despicable Me series get their own film? The answer: A movie kids are more likely to go for than grown-ups.





LIONSGATE
Knock Knock (Lionsgate)

Apart from a few films he produced, it’d been a quiet stretch of years for director Eli Roth. That changed in 2015 with the back-to-back release of his long delayed Green Inferno and this provocative home-invasion thriller starring Keanu Reeves as a happily married man menaced by seductive women.





CRITERION
Speedy (Criterion)

Fans of silent comic Harold Lloyd have had cause to celebrate over the past few years thanks to Criterion, which has been putting out nice editions of Lloyd’s best films. After Safety Last and The FreshmanSpeedy continues that trend. Released in 1928, it was Lloyd’s last silent feature and, perhaps appropriately, casts him as a man out-of-step with the pace of the modern city. Bonus: Babe Ruth makes an appearance.





SHOUT! FACTORY
The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (Shout! Factory)

There’s really no reason that this 1987 attempt to bring the gross-out trading card series to the big screen should receive a loving Blu-ray. No one liked it then. Those who like it now are likely blinded by nostalgia. Nonetheless, Shout! Factory, as usual, has gone out of its way to present the best possible, features-packed version of a film the New York Times called “too repulsive for children or adults of any age.”



Uproxx.com

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by jade1013 on Tue 8 Dec - 21:19


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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by jade1013 on Wed 9 Dec - 15:50


The X-Files - FOX

'The X-Files: The Collector's Set' Blu-Ray Review

by Brittany Frederick1h ago  

Just in time for the new miniseries, Fox has re-released ‘The X-Files’ on Blu-Ray in one brand-new package and it’s the rare successful double dip.


It’s not uncommon for studios to re-release “new” editions of TV shows whenever they’re commercially viable. This set marks the fourth time The X-Files has been available – first in its original DVD release, then the slim set DVDs, then the complete series box set from 2007. Chances are, you already own this show.

But you don’t own it on Blu-Ray.

Answering the cries of many fans, Fox is making the original series (that’s seasons one through nine) available on BD for the first time – and wow, is it amazing. Blu-Ray works best on shows that have lots of dark coloring and/or special effects, and The X-Files has those in spades, making the BD transfers like watching the series for the first time. It actually makes the episodes even spookier, which for this show is saying a lot.

The question then becomes if a greatly superb transfer is worth spending an additional $200 to $300, especially in a December where there are other major BD releases (The X-Files shares a release date with Marvel’s next Cinematic Universe collection, which is actually $100 cheaper). This is definitely worth owning, but maybe not at its immediate price point.

Fox is also making each season available individually simultaneously with The Collector’s Set, and as of this writing, the seasons are available from the studio for $19 apiece. That’s roughly $185 after tax and shipping, and the only thing you’re going to miss out on is the spiffy box. It’s a very nice box, but it’s not a $100+ box.

Also worth nothing: this being a TV on DVD release, it does not contain either of the X-Files feature films. That’s not a huge surprise. Even Universal’s Law & Order set didn’t include Exiled: A Law & Order Movie. But this is the complete TV series, not a complete franchise collection.

These Blu-Rays come jam-packed with special features, though. While there’s nothing new for this release, FOX has mercifully collected seemingly every X-Files special feature that’s ever been created. For example, the Season 5 Collector’s Edition DVD had two commentary tracks with Chris Carter and John Shiban respectively, then when the Mythology DVDs were released, they included “Patient X” with commentary by the late Kim Manners. On the Season 5 BD, you get all three commentaries in the same place. This is tremendously helpful especially if you just stuck to the Collector’s Editions and didn’t double-dip on other releases.

In short, this is the most comprehensive X-Files series release we’re ever likely to see, in all respects. The biggest problem with it is that the table of contents for each BD is on the inside liner, hidden underneath the first disc. It’s a small flaw compared to everything you get.

Double-dipping in general is a tremendously annoying practice, and often feels like a kick in the teeth to fans who spent their hard-earned money as a show was airing only to be asked to dish it out again later on. But in the case of The X-Files: The Collector’s Set, this really is worthy of a re-release because of the superior quality of the Blu-Ray transfer and the collection of all the previously scattered bonus material.

If FOX would drop the price point down to somewhere in the $200-250 range, it would be a no-brainer. As it is, you’ll have to ask yourself if you want to pay this much now or wait for a sale later on (or, as previously suggested, just buy the seasons individually) – but whatever you choose, eventually this one must end up on every X-Phile’s shelves.

The X-Files: The Collector’s Set is available now at all major retailers.


Hidden Remote

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by sir on Wed 9 Dec - 15:52

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by jade1013 on Wed 16 Dec - 2:13

by Witney Seibold  Dec 15th, 2015  



Despite the fact that Chris Carter's seminal '90s TV show The X-Files is most certainly a product of its time – The X-Files most certainly could not have been made outside the ultra-paranoid peacetime post-Cold War milieu – the show is indeed returning to the airwaves in January of 2016. The show, in case you're too young to have run across it during its heyday, follows a pair of FBI agents, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), as they investigate the bizarre, paranormal, extraterrestrial, supernatural-themed cases on the Bureau's books, cases typically filed under "X." Mulder was the believer who saw aliens and creatures everywhere, while Scully was the skeptic who was always looking for a more scientific explanation. Mulder was always right.

To celebrate the show's return, the gurus at Fox have released the entire series on Blu-ray, just in time for Christmas. I suppose it's always time to stoke your paranoiac conspiracy theories.

To offer a brief editorial on the show itself: The X-Files (1993 – 2002) is a pretty excellent show. Although it most certainly took its setup from other shows like Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The X-Files took a lot of the wilder paranoid theories of the day and made them seem palpable and probable. It's entirely possible, The X-Files argued, that the government is hiding aliens from the populace. It's probable that they are experimenting with alien technology and mind-control viruses. It was all told in a somber fashion (a few “silly” episodes notwithstanding), assigning a strange weight to liver fluke men and brain-eating addicts. The show had a funereal score (music by Mark Snow) and the photography was gray and damp; every shot looked like a fog bank.



Today, The X-Files feels dated like crazy. It could only have been made during the Clinton years. The hard-edged War on Terror that broke out under W. pretty much killed the shadowy spy paranoia toward one's own government, replacing it with brutality, sadness, and weary cynicism; we didn't have the energy to worry about aliens after 9/11.

But we can always look back on an excellent show, no matter how dated it may be. Now we have Blu-rays to pore over, we can revisit every last conspiracy to see how they hold up, and how they look in a crisp new digital format. How does that aforementioned visual fog bank look on Blu-ray? The short answer: Great and not great.

The makers of the Blu-rays, to ensure a clear and full look, went back to the original film masters to make these Blu-rays, and elected to change the show's aspect ratio from its original 4:3 (for the first four seasons) to the now-standard 16:9 (which the show started using in 1997). As a result, the picture is expanded on the left and right, making for an entirely new visual experience. The aesthetic is, as a result, altered, which may upset some purists. I personally don't mind. There was a bit of an uproar when Netflix began streaming the updated episodes in HD earlier this year, but the end result is actually really nice-looking. Plus, show creator Chris Carter has said that they planned out a wider screen upon initial shooting anyway. So it's even been sanctioned.



This meticulous expansion to HD, however, is the only real advantage this new Blu-ray box set has over The X-Files: The Complete Collector's Edition, the DVD complete series release from 2007. While DVDs lost their luster when people began upgrading from CRT TVs, the DVD set is actually far superior to this version.

For one, the Blu-ray set has neither of the X-Files feature films. This is especially frustrating as the 1998 film tied very strongly into the events of the show. The DVD set included the first film only (as the second, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, hadn't been made yet). Indeed, the Blu-ray set is little more than a fancy box containing all of the standard Blu-ray editions of the individual seasons. For those of you who like unique packaging (and who doesn't?) you'll be ponying up $270 for a box. You could piecemeal out each season and save money.

To be fair, the Blu-ray box contains an empty slot for the eventual release of the new 2016 season, so you'll have a place to store it when the time comes. But additionally, there is an empty box glued to the interior of the case. Why not include the movies in that slot?

Also – and this may seem like a petty quibble, but I feel it's significant – in the upgrade to HD, the producers of the show elected to change the font of the show. Each episode featured a specific typewriter font that was unique to the show to explain settings and times of day. The well-known X-Files font has been inexplicably replaced by a new font. What's more, that practice extends into the show's iconic intro sequence, where the credits, and the ubiquitous "THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE" now look different.



Another disadvantage to the HD upgrade is its distinct alteration of the show's style. The new HD imagery looks great from a technical perspective, but it looks... too good. The X-Files was shot on film and broadcast on CRT TVs, so I'm used to seeing look wet and foggy. The new HD photography takes the uniqueness of the show's photography, and makes it look like any other well-lit HD show. It's clear, crisp, and looks great. And that's kind of a problem.

The special features are, mercifully, pretty special. There are new commentaries, a new convention appearance, and, as the press releases like to brag, a complete 23 hours worth of original material. None of these new features are any more insightful than the old special features, but at the very least you won't be shelling out a huge amount of cash for the exact same set you got before. The DVD's features were paltry in comparison, and tried to pass off “international clips” (read: dubbed scenes) as special. Those are fun, but there's not much to them. The Blu-ray still has those, but it also has more.

So the choice is between a great set with a pure look but old-fashioned tech, and a new set that looks good, but is little more than a box to hold discs in. For the time being, I'll stick with the former.

Photos: Fox


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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by sir on Wed 16 Dec - 6:53

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by jade1013 on Wed 16 Dec - 18:28

The truth is still out there: X-Files collection hits Blu-Ray

December 16.2015 11:39 am
BY Myke Bartlett
     
Photo: 20th Century Fox

While there’s much about the 1990s we’d like to forget (Hypercolour T-Shirts, shapeless suits and the inexplicable popularity of US band Live), our love for The X-Files remains pure.

For nine seasons, FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully chased aliens and monsters from one small American town to another, without ever getting closer to The Truth (which, it seems, is still out there).

Ahead of a new run, 20th Century Fox has released the entire series on Blu-Ray. Early episodes have been completely rebuilt from the camera negatives and transformed into cobweb-banishing widescreen, high-definition.

Put simply, it doesn’t look like TV made in 1993. The effect is pretty much like discovering your Ex has been spending their free time down the gym. It’s all too easy to fall in love again.

Here are eight good reasons to look back with affection:

1. Mulder and Scully


Classic couple: Mulder and Scully. Photo: 20th Century Fox

Forget Ross and Rachel. Forget Johnny and Winona. The greatest screen love affair of the 1990s was Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Certainly, the chemistry between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson was (in the early years, at least) spookily good.

But the real reason for the couple’s enduring appeal is that they weren’t ever allowed to actually become a couple. An exercise in extraordinary restraint, The X-Files is a reminder that anticipation is 9/10 of the pleasure.

We know Mulder and Scully are gagging for it, but we don’t really want them admitting as much. Ah, the longing. No wonder they were immortalised by forgotten Britpop act Catatonia.



2. Unanswered questions

Just as the simmering romance was never allowed to come to the boil, the series understood better than most that the answers to mysterious questions almost always fall short.

Although the show-runners did eventually start to run out of red herrings when it came to the central conspiracy, the series thrived on its never-quite-show-anything approach. (Check out the Gender Bender episode from series one, with its textbook ambiguous ending.)

Monsters were always kept two-thirds in the shadows and we were usually given the benefit of a more worldly explanation – even if we really knew aliens were to blame. (They always are.)

3. Aliens

Geekdom is big business now, but back in the 90s, nobody was going to admit to watching a show about little green men. The X-Files went a long way to rehabilitating TV sci-fi, by basically pretending it wasn’t sci-fi. In fusing comic book horror with a police procedural aesthetic, the show looked like a proper drama — the kind of program nobody would be embarrassed watching.

4. Scares

While the main thrust of the series was all about the aliens, most of the best episodes were self-contained monster tales. Early on, the show had a reputation for being the sort of thing you watched with the lights on.

The first season alone is packed with genuinely terrifying moments. In Ice, Mulder and Scully are trapped in a remote Arctic base with possessed, homicidal strangers (alien worms are the culprit).
Tooms sees an immortal psychopath squeeze in through improbable gaps (air vents, drains, ducted heating) to eat his victim’s livers.

But the most frightening is Darkness Falls, in which swarms of phosphorescent bugs take their unholy revenge on an isolated group of loggers.

5. The season arc

While individual episodes might have shone, the real hook was the ongoing arc about alien cover ups, government conspiracies and Mulder’s abducted sister.

Missing an episode meant you might never find out exactly what the sinister smoking man was up to. Or so we thought. Twenty years on, we’re still wondering.

Maybe the new series will explain everything. (I kind of hope not)

6. Serious face

It’s hard to remember what genre telly was like, pre-Buffy. Joss Whedon’s cult hit about a teenage vampire slayer left us with a legacy of self-aware, irony-infused sci-fi that refused to take itself seriously. The age of the geek had arrived.

But while much contemporary science fiction seems designed for the permanently adolescent, The X-Files looks and feels like it was made for adults.

Its straight-faced legacy can be found in the incredible, if forgotten Ultraviolet, hit-and-miss Torchwood and, yes, True Detective.

7. The music

Leaving aside his perfect, eminently whistleable theme tune, Mark Snow’s score managed to define what true horror sounds like — for the 1990s and beyond.

8. Scully

For a while in the 90s, Gillian Anderson was topping every lads’ mag poll for hotness. But that’s not the reason we love Scully. It’s because, despite appearances, it’s Scully who carries the series.

Long before Duchovny decamps to sleep with every young woman in California (on- and off-screen, it seems), it’s Scully who is doing all the hard work. Ostensibly, she’s the straight man, the serious sidekick that allows Mulder’s kooky genius to shine.

Yet, Anderson makes Scully far more than that. Standing in the background, she’s delivering a masterclass in giving your character an inner life.

On paper, Scully is starchy and emotionally stunted, but Anderson gives glimpses of warmth, compassion and dry-as-dust humour.

You always get the feeling she — both character and actress — are simply too good for the show they’re in.

Of course, it’s not all down to Anderson. From the first episode, it’s clear Scully is the sort of woman we weren’t used to seeing onscreen.

Capable, clever and ever-so-slightly kickarse. Welcome back, Scully.







  • X-Files, The: The Collector’s Set (Complete Seasons 1-9) is available now on Blu-Ray, $329.95, fox.com/the-x-files



The Weekly Review


Last edited by jade1013 on Wed 16 Dec - 18:32; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by sir on Wed 16 Dec - 18:30

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by jade1013 on Sun 20 Dec - 19:52

The X-Files – The complete series Blu-ray Review

Brad Sturdivant   December 20th, 2015  

  • Director: Chris Carter
  • Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Robert Patrick



I have a running list of the top TV shows of all time that I regularly debate with my friend and I always get stumped when the conversation turns to The X-Files. On one hand, the show has some of the best single episodes in television history, managing to capture humor, horror, mystery and suspense all in one 42 minute episode. On the other hand, the entire series lacked direction and it felt at times the showrunners were just making things up as they went along. So I could easily pick 100 episodes that would blow anything else out of the water. Unfortunately, the series ran for 202 episodes, so I’m not sure a 50% success rate is enough to consider the entire run “great”.  But I have to admit; I had a blast revisiting The X-Files.


The premise of the show focuses on FBI agent Mulder (Duchovny) who is obsessed with finding his lost sister, who he believes was abducted by aliens. After an immensely successful early career, Mulder is rewarded by the FBI and given the X-Files program. The X-files are a series of cases that all have mysterious circumstances, from alien encounters to monster sightings. To help him with his investigations, the FBI assigned Agent Scully (Anderson) to be his partner. At first, she’s skeptical and feels like she’s being punished, but it doesn’t take long for her to realize there’s some truth to the mysteries in the X-files cases.


There are two types of X-files fans; some fans love the individual, standalone episodes. These are the episodes that always begin with Mulder telling Scully about some crazy event and then the two run off to investigate. The other types of fans are the ones that love the “drama” episodes. In The X-Files, there are a few running plots that last the duration of the series, such as the search for Mulder’s sister, the proof of alien life or the various conspiracies and cover-ups. I’ve always been a fan of the “drama” episodes as I like to see characters grow and develop over the course of a season or series. But that’s really where The X-Files failed.


The problem I have with The X-Files, at least when discussing its greatness, is that it didn’t go anywhere. Fans stood by for nine seasons while nothing got resolved and every answer came with a series of questions. I attribute this to a lack of planning and laziness on the part of Chris Carter and the rest of the show’s writers. By not closing anything out, they afforded themselves the opportunity to revisit any storyline anytime they got a case of writer’s block. Although this might have seemed like a good idea, it burned them in the long run, most notably with the second movie. The other major issue with The X-Files was the fact that it had, in my opinion, the worst series finale in television history. We suffered through the ninth season without David Duchovny, only to have him show up for the finale screaming nonsense in an episode that looked like it was written by someone that had not seen a single episode. It was very frustrating.


But when The X-Files was on, it was up there with the best of them. David Duchovny is one of the best television actors of his generation and he carried every single episode. Gillian Anderson looked lost for the first couple of seasons, but when the show hit its stride, she was incredible. There was also an intense chemistry between Duchovny and Anderson and that chemistry alone saved many episodes. I enjoyed revisiting the series again on Blu-ray and Fox needs to be applauded for giving fans such a great set.

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video: So, I guess this is where there’s some controversy with this Blu-ray set.  Hardcore fans of the show might remember that the first four seasons of The X-Files were presented in a full frame aspect ratio.  Well, ALL nine seasons are presented in the traditional widescreen format (1.78:1).  Fans have gone a little nuts with this news and I’ll point out two things.  First, this is supposedly the way they were intended to be shown in the first place according to cinematographer John Bartley.  Second, the show looks fantastic and if I had to choose between this and the original full frame version, I would choose this every time.

Audio: Likewise, this is the best we’ll ever get in terms of audio quality.

There are nine seasons worth of special features on this disc with most seasons duplicating the same types of features.  So I’ll cover the gist of what each feature goes over.  My one complaint about this set is that all of the special features are spread out randomly.  I would have liked to have all the special features on a couple of discs and episode-specific features like deleted scenes and commentaries on the individual discs.


Commentaries: 32 commentaries are somewhat evenly spread out over the nine seasons, although the latter seasons seem to get more.  Chris Carter shows up for most of them while others have the writers.  I especially enjoyed hearing Kim Manners talk about her shows, but everyone seems to like talking about their episodes.

Chris Carter introductions:  Carter shows up for a few minutes every season to talk in general terms about that season.  These were nice, but I would have liked the option of watching them all together.  There are also some show-specific introductions, which serve as mini-commentaries.

International Clips: Select episodes have some short clips of what the show looked like in various languages.  Not sure this was necessary, but a fun feature nonetheless.

Deleted Scenes:  There are a handful of deleted scenes sprinkled throughout the set.  I didn’t see anything that stood out, but more X-Files is never a bad thing.

Behind the Scenes Clips:  Another random sampling across the nine seasons shows some behind the scenes footage from the show.

Documentary: The truth behind season X: Each seasons gets about a ten minute “documentary”.  Again, something I would have liked to watch all at once, but these occasionally offered some interesting tidbits.

FX featurettes:  These cover a wide range, but last between 5 and 15 minutes.  Some of them cover a specific episode and others cover a specific sequence within an episode.

Threads of Mythology: Things like black oil and abductions are covered in these 30 minute featurettes.  They focus on the running mythology of the shows and it’s impact to the series.

There are also some random featurettes on some seasons like “Inside the X-Files” on the sixth disc of season 5.  These feel a little out of place and maybe a little overkill after countless hours of X-Files.

MOVIE REVIEW 4/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW 5/5

OVERALL 4.5


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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by sir on Sun 20 Dec - 19:57

Thanks

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Thank you Maria!
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Home video review: 'The X-Files' goes high-def on Blu-ray

Post by sir on Mon 21 Dec - 0:16

Home video review: 'The X-Files' goes high-def on Blu-ray





FOX
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny.


On Jan. 24, Fox reboots “The X-Files” with Emmy-winning stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson back on the paranormal case 14 years after the show’s original end. To mark the occasion, the series’ initial nine-season run has been gussied up on Blu-ray with extras culled from previous releases and new features.

It’s actually less expensive to buy the seasons individually on sale for $15-$25 each with no loss in bonus material. True X-philes who spring $270-$280 (the going sale price) for the collector’s set will get a glossy box with space for the eventual home-video release of the new episodes.


Oddly, the cardboard case has been configured to prevent adding the Blu-rays of the two “X-Files” films. Maybe that’s a good thing.



Startribune.com

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by jade1013 on Mon 21 Dec - 0:19


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Credit to original photographer, poster, scanner, site & anyone I may have missed in between



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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by jade1013 on Thu 24 Dec - 23:10

X-Files: The Collector's Set (Blu-ray)
20th Century Fox // Unrated // December 8, 2015 // Region A
List Price: $299.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Francis Rizzo III | posted December 24, 2015

In 10 Words or Less
The (almost-)complete mythology of Mulder and Scully



C O N T E N T


V I D E O


A U D I O


E X T R A S


R E P L A Y


A D V I C E
Recommended


Reviewer's Bias*
Loves: The X-Files, cult television, sci-fi, The Lone Gunmen, "Blood"
Likes: conspiracy theories, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, complete series sets
Dislikes: Not getting new extras, expensive box sets
Hates: Shows that overstay their welcome, season nine, Krycek

The Story So Far...
A legendary cult television drama, The X-Files aired for nine seasons on FOX from 1993-2002 (along with a pair of theatrical films), tracking the investigations of FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), as they looked into all manner of unusual phenomena, in search of the truth, with a 10th season, in the form of a new miniseries, coming in 2016. The episodes in the nine original seasons have all been released in a variety of full-season and special collection DVD sets (between 2000 and 2008.) DVDTalk has reviews of most of those sets.

The Show
As the first episode of the new miniseries of The X-Files finished showing at New York ComicCon in October, a familiar feeling came rushing back. It was like traveling back to the Friday nights of 20 years earlier, when watching The X-Files was a weekly highlight, because you knew you were going to see something great, something exciting and something that you weren't seeing anywhere else on TV. It was easy to get sucked into the world of Mulder and Scully, because everything about the series, from the writing to the acting to the production, was simply top-notch. However, this feeling engendered by this new episode quickly gave way to the memory of what The X-Files eventually became: something very disappointing, something tired and something you didn't want to watch anymore.

This set, which collects the first nine seasons of the series, lets you ride the roller coaster, with all its extreme highs and frustrating lows, yet again. One of the things that made The X-Files work so well was the series' structure. Rather than approaching the show as a pure serial drama, telling the story of Mulder and Scully's investigation into the unknown week after week, unfolding twists and turns, the series mixed "mythology" episodes, which focused on the big-picture story of conspiracies, with "monster of the week" entries, which spent an hour on an individual case, usually centered around something weird and likely paranormal. As such, the show wouldn't get too bogged down in the long-running plot, servicing the story regularly, while offering standalone episodes that cleansed the palette and let those working on the show stretch their legs and stay fresh.

The mythology was naturally the backbone of the show, helping establish the characters and their backstories, while giving Mulder and Scully motivation to continue their efforts to find the truth behind the X-Files. Both agents have rather complex histories which we discover as the seasons roll on, though they both start off reasonably, as Mulder is motivated by the loss of his sister to what he believes was an alien abduction, while Scully is led by a belief in science. However, things get dramatically messy as they dig deeper, bringing them into contact with many elements that would do them harm, resulting in a slew of changes to their lives, not the least of which is their relationship with each other. Though an attempt to keep them as platonic co-workers is obvious, fans wanted their heroes to get together romantically, while the time and experiences they shared made it more likely that they would at some point give in to the tension between them.


Though the deep conspiracies that swirled around the series were a key to the show's popularity, as stories about a creepy black oil that infects people and orifice-free, torch-wielding killers provided the mysteries that kept viewers returning, hopeful for answers, the one-off episodes are among the most memorable, as the creative staff, freed from the expectations that came with the mythology episodes, could push the limits of what The X-Files could be. If you were to come up with a list of the best episodes the show ever produced (a popular pastime online), aside from them coming mostly from the show's first five seasons, you'd find the vast majority are of the "monster of the week" variety, be it the horrifying hillbilly tale of "Home" (an episode so disturbing it was never re-run on FOX), the gorgeous black-and-white James Whale homage of "The Post-Modern Prometheus" or the witty late-run crossover with the reality show Cops ("X-Cops"). When the writers and directors cut loose (a frequent occurrence in early seasons), the results are often fantastic, whether they are aiming for frightening or funny (as some of the best episodes surprisingly end up.)

Part of that success was the talent on board, starting with series creator Chris Carter, who was behind the keyboard and behind the camera for several of the show's best outings. For such a long-running show, the circle of writers and directors was surprisingly small, with just four guys, led by Kim Manners' astounding 52 episodes, combining to direct over half the show's 202 episodes. That lent to the consistent feel (at least for the first half-dozen or so seasons) despite some very varied episodes, as well as some incredibly striking visuals, aided by impressive (especially for the tme) special-effects work. The artists at work here created moments that are unforgettable decades after they originally aired.

Fantastic writers like Carter, Frank Spotnitz, future Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, Darin Morgan and the team of James Wong and Glen Morgan, among many others, including series stars Anderson and Duchovny, all helped to craft iconic, relatable characters in Mulder and Scully (who, for the most part, didn't betray their characterizations), while putting their own unique stamp on their episodes, which gave us shows like Darin Morgan's amazingly meta "Jose Chung's From Outer Space", Gilligan's terrific vampires-meets-Rashomon "Bad Blood", and Morgan and Wong's ever-tense take on The Thing in "Ice". Impressively, though working on a network series, and staying in tune with the mythology's seemingly never-ending mysteries, not every episode delivered a clean ending, with "Blood" being a wonderful example of how the show can get to a resolution, even while taunting an audience that wants to know what's actually happening.


While the writers are great, great writing can easily die in the hands of a bad performer. In this area though, The X-Files was beyond blessed. In the leads, Duchovny's dry wit and Anderson's effortless gravitas served the show well in most situations, but they were adaptable as well, equally comfortable in high drama, all-out action and legitimate comedy, while still maintaining the reality of Mulder and Scully, no matter the situation. One scene where Scully screams at a suspect, unloading piles of personal grief, could have easily gone over the top, but instead just comes off as pure pain. Duchovny similarly wields a sarcastic sense of humor through most situations, but when he goes hard, it's completely believable as the other side of the Mulder coin.

Anderson and Duchovny are surrounded by a bevy of acting talent, which often made secondary characters into fan favorites, at times resulting in them being promoted from recurring roles to series regulars, as it was with Assistant Director Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), whose conflicted loyalties pitted him against or alongside the agents, depending on the situation, leading to Pileggi earning a sizable fan base. In the case of the Lone Gunmen, a trio of conspiracy theorist who helped Mulder and Scully on occasion and added some comic relief to the show, they even made the leap into their own series (which unfortunately made it through all of 13 episodes.)

However, no one made more of less than William B. Davis, whose attention-drawing silent early appearances, simply smoking a cigarette, would result in the creative staff turning him into what some have called the Darth Vader of The X-Files, a title that is more than fitting in a number of ways, with his machinations powering most of the series' mythology. Unfortunately, his character wore out his welcome over time, when, through coincidences and questionable plotting, not to mention increased dialogue that removes some of the mystery, he became less menacing and nearly morphed into a cartoon villain, especially when it became clear that everything and everyone in the show was related in some way, pushing the boundaries of believability. The same decrease in effectiveness can be seen in Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea), a key nemesis to the team, who just kept coming back for more.


On the other hand, the special guests, with only a handful of appearances at most, were definitely a case of less is more. Among the big names to take a turn on The X-Files were Cary Elwes (as a new Assistant Director standing in the way of the X-Files), Michael McKean playing a delightful con man, the great Steve Railsback (The Stunt Man), Lucy Lawless, Bryan Cranston, an incredibly creepy Brad Dourif, Tony Shalhoub, Giovanni Ribisi and Jack Black sharing screentime, Peter Boyle as a psychic, Charles Nelson Reilly stealing an entire episode, John O'Hurley as a whacked-out doctor, Lily Tomlin and Ed Asner as a couple, Felicity Huffman and Lucy Liu in early roles, fantastic performances by Luke Wilson in a dual role and Bruce Campbell in a unique one, Garry Shandling and Tea Leoni as Mulder and Scully (!), Kathy Griffin, Burt Reynolds playing the role he was meant to play, Jesse Ventura, Alex Trebek, a young Shia LeBeouf, veteran film stars like Reuben Blade, R. Lee Ermey and M. Emmet Walsh, Ryan Reynolds (in one of his first American roles) and a voice performance by Jodie Foster. What's surprising is, despite the presence of so much notable talent, the rest of the cast kept pace, making their mark in the X-Files universe opposite legit stars, including writer Darin Morgan, who stepped out from behind the camera to play the lead in "Small Potatoes", a fan-favorite "monster of the week" episode.

It's generally accepted that after season five, the show just wasn't the same. (Some blame it on the production's move from Vancouver to Los Angeles, which, while having some possible drawbacks, seems like an easy target.) While there would be an episode or two that would stand-out (early in season six, Gilligan and Carter go back-to-back with memorable episodes "Drive" and "Triangle"), the alien abduction storyline was losing steam thanks to the many changes it would undergo as more and more revelations were made, some of which deserved an eyeroll. As that tale thankfully came to something of a conclusion, change would have to come to The X-Files.

The series had already been on a downslide heading into its final seasons, and the replacement of Mulder (who all but left the series) and Scully (who hung around in a less-featured role) with new agents John Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) represented the last straw for many fans (despite both actors doing nothing wrong, other than not being Mulder and Scully.) The problem was that, though often brilliant in its storytelling (particularly during the early days of the overarching conspiracy mythology), the show was truly character-driven, having long ago become more about the relationship between the two starring FBI agents, with the X-Files cases being more of an opportunity to spend more time with Mulder and Scully, than the reason to watch.

Remove Mulder and Scully from The X-Files after seven seasons and you rip the heart out of the series, but even worse, by keeping Scully around and allowing the specter of Mulder to continue haunting the storyline, the baton was never cleanly passed to the new characters, never allowing it to become their show and try something new (despite making an attempt in "Vienen", an episode teaming up Doggett and Mulder.) As such, viewers would keep comparing Doggett and Reyes to the admittedly superior pairing they followed. (That their mythology storyline, which felt less organic than the original, paled in comparison didn't help either.) This unfair perception of the new agents as either knock-offs or, worse, placeholders hampered the show's final two seasons, and an increasingly (and unnecessarily) convoluted storyline made sure anyone left watching were more likely to abandon ship than learn to love the newcomers. All that was left was to tie up loose ends, which it failed to do in several spots (though that's hardly a mortal sin for a series that trades in unsolvable mystery.) Rare is the show that goes out on top, and The X-Files is sadly the rule, rather than the exception.

Of course, with season 10, that may change...


The Discs
The nine seasons of The X-Files are spread over 55 Blu-ray discs, held in eight extra-thick dual-hubbed Blu-ray keepcases with two dual-hubbed trays and one double-width Blu-ray keepcase with three dual-hubbed trays (for the longer second season.) Each case has an attractively-designed two-sided cover, with a disc guide on the inside. The nine cases are held in two columns, in a stylish, wide, four-sided die-cut box, which slides inside a glossy, stiff cardboard slipcase. The case has a removable insert which can eventually be replaced with the inevitable 10th season's release, as well as an insert permanently glued in place (apparently to balance out the thickness of the season two case.) The discs have clean animated menus based on the show's titles (accompanied by the iconic theme song), with options to select episodes, adjust the set-up, search through timelines and bookmarks and check out the extras. Audio options include English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 and French and German DTS 2.0 tracks, while subtitles are available in English SDH, Spanish, French and German.

The Quality
The episodes are presented in 1080p, AVC-encoded transfers, which, depending on your perspective, is excellent or terrible, because that's not the original aspect ratio for the first four seasons, which aired in 4:3 full-frame. That said, based on behind-the scenes footage and some of the featurettes, the show had been shot in 16:9 with 4:3 safeties, while special effects shots were composed in 16:9 and cropped to 4:3. As such, the 4:3 presentation seems to be more of a technical presentation limitation than a creative decision. As such, these transfers should be greeted with open arms (interestingly, the upcoming Freaks and Geeks Blu-ray release will offer both the aired 4:3 and the filmed 16:9 versions.)

Overall, the film material shot for the show looks great, with good clarity, an impressive level of fine detail, appropriate color and solid black levels (for the most part The X-Files is a rather dark show) while a consistent layer of grain and no obvious issues with digital distractions result in a pleasing image. The series was often experimental, trying black and white and other different looks, and it made use of a variety of archival or stock material, some of which doesn't look quite as good as the base film in the show. The only real downside to this presentation is the show's CG, which never really looked great, but which looks almost comical (particularly the worms in Ice) in the clarity Blu-ray offers. The series has never looked this good.

After watching so many TV shows that treat surround sound like an afterthought, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks here are a treat, taking full advantage of the show's more bombastic moments to craft engaging soundscapes that utilize all the channels to put the viewer in the moment. Atmospheric effects are heard in the side and rear channels, while music and sound effects get a boost from the surrounds, with the iconic theme songs sounding fantastic in the surround mix. The low-end is not a huge element, but the overall feel is great, with a clear, thick sound that offers no concerns.

The Extras
Sadly, there are no new extras in this set that weren't available on previous DVD releases of the show (if anything, you get less, since the DVD Ultimate Collection included the film Fight the Future.) With the exception of that film though, everything else is included here, so there's over 23 hours of bonus content spread over these Blu-rays (though it's presented in standard definition.) Much of the content is fantastic and will appeal to the show's fans and the curious alike, but some ends up as overkill when brought together from across the nine original season releases. It quickly becomes obvious that the extras decreased with each subsequent season, until Season Nine returned the bonus content to glory.

One of the big inclusions is the selection of 32 audio commentaries, with a handful for each season, mainly accompanying key episodes. There's a lot of variety amongst the participants in the tracks, from creator Chris Carter to directors R.W. Goodwin, Rod Hardy and Kim Manners, to writer/producers like Vince Gilligan and Frank Spotnitz. Anderson is on hand for an episode (the one she wrote and directed) while Patrick sits in for his debut episode, and both are enthusiastic and talkative. Some of the commentaries are definitely better than others, as Anderson, Gilligan, Hardy and Spotnitz have plenty to say (including a story involving Anderson and a large rubber phallus), but Carter and Manners can get caught watching, leaving decent-sized gaps of dead air. Some episodes pair up commentators, to good effect thanks to the opportunity for give and take, as Patrick joins Manners on one track and Manners teams with Carter on another, resulting in good conversation; director Rob Bowman sits with writer Darin Morgan, while Gilligan, Spotnitz and John Shiban share a friendly, regret-tinged chat about the last Lone Gunmen episode they wrote. Each track has its own style and focus, ensuring that a good deal of ground is covered in terms of the entire series, though across the spread of extras you will hear several stories repeatedly. Did you know that Duchovny runs very fast? You sure will after watching this set.

"Deep Throat" - Chris Carter
"The Erlenmeyer Flask" - R.W. Goodwin
"Duane Barry" - Carter
"End Games" - Frank Spotnitz
"Anasazi" - R.W. Goodwin
"Apocrypha" - Kim Manners and Carter
"Jose Chung's From Outer Space" - Rob Bowman and Darin Morgan
"Talitha Cumi" - Goodwin
"Memento Mori" - Spotnitz
"Memento Mori" - Bowman
"Max" - Manners
"Small Potatoes" - Vince Gilligan
"The Post-Modern Prometheus" - Carter
"Patient X" - Manners
"The Red and the Black" - Carter
"The Pine Bluff Variant" - John Shiban
"Triangle" - Carter
"Two Fathers" - Manners
"One Son" - Spotnitz
"Milagro" - Manners
"Closure" - Manners
"First Person Shooter" - Carter
"All Things" - Gillian Anderson
"Je Souhaite" - Gilligan
"Within" - Manners and Robert Patrick
"Deadalive" - Spotnitz
"Vienen" - Rod Hardy
"Alone" - Spotnitz
"Existence" - Manners
"Improbable" - Carter
"Jump the Shark" - Gilligan, Shiban and Spotnitz
"The Truth" - Manners

Over the course of the first seven seasons, nine introductions (seemingly taken from other shorter collections) were included for specific episodes, courtesy of Spotnitz and Carter (running 14:44 in total.) Though brief, they do setup why the episodes are important, and they should be watched to see a special appearance by a fan favorite. Unfortunately, you might miss them, since the only way to find them is to navigate to viewing those single episode.

Each of the nine seasons is accompanied by a featurette titled "The Truth About Season…" (running a combined 2:55:03) which feature interviews with cast, crew and guest stars, covering key themes, storylines and real-world elements (like the production's move to Los Angeles following Season Five and struggles with censors). Similarly, 18 season-focused featurettes are spread across the first three seasons, titled "Chris Carter Talks About…" (84:10 in all), which offer the series creator's thoughts about the show, like details of the plots, production info and discussion of the people involved (including shooting around a pregnant Anderson), as well as a number of general series elements. Carter wasn't the only one getting a chance to talk though, as Season Four tried something different with short interviews with Spotnitz (1:47), James Wong (2:20), Gilligan (2:16 & 1:38) and Carter, focusing on specific episodes. Combined with the "Truth About" featurettes, these are the next best thing to getting more commentaries.

More info about what goes into making The X-Files can be found in "The Making of ‘The Truth'" (69:75/S9), an in-depth exploration of the series finale's production, covering prep, shooting and post-production, with a bonus look at the show's 200th-episode celebration Few behind-the-scenes pieces capture collaboration the way this one does, and that it also covers the end of an era makes for a great documentary. For more of a formal look at the finale, the 13:12 "Reflections on ‘The Truth" (S9) brings interviews with the stars and plenty of the emotion of saying goodbye, along with some bonus Burt Reynolds.

If you're looking for deleted scenes, this set has them in bulk, 69 in all, running a combined 2:06:06. Depending on which season you're watching, they could be served without comment, with forced commentary by Rabwin or with optional commentary from Carter, Spotnitz, Carter and Spotnitz or Spotnitz and Shiban. There are a few notable moments in this pile of excised material, including two scenes featuring different actors than the performances that aired, a cut early kiss between Mulder and Scully, an argument between Skinner and the Cigarette Smoking Man and an emotional moment between Scully and her mother. However the best part of these scenes is usually the commentary, as the explanations for why the scenes were cut are why fans are watching them. It's worth noting that the presentation of these scenes is pretty terrific, as they include the moment before and after the cut scene in black and white, so as to put the color deleted scene in context.

Also in the deleted realm is the alternate audio for the cold open of "Home," which was forced out by FOX's standards and practices folks, and which remains truly disturbing. Listen if you dare.

Some of the most engaging extras in this set are the 62 special-effects clips (1:36:46), which (with the exception of the first segment) are provided with non-optional commentary, first from visual-effects producer Mat Beck and then later from producer Paul Rabwin. There's a little bit of everything in these informative peeks at how the show's visuals were achieved, whether it's the use of mattes, fire effects and various digital fakery. Getting to see various takes and the process that led up to the final product is what makes these clips so interesting. Three additional behind-the-scenes clips (2:13/S2), one with commentary from Carter, show some additional work done to achieve some memorable moments.

The international clips are an interesting idea at first. For the lingually-curious, there a variety of clips in a number of different languages. It's amusing to hear some of the performances in a foreign tongue, particularly when you hear an iconic performance recast in a very different way (Teutonic Mulder and Scully are a personal favorite, followed by Japanese Skinner and the Italian Lone Gunmen.) Somehow the Cigarette Smoking Man is less threatening in German and we get to hear German and Italian spoken through an electronic voicebox. However, after a few season's worth of these clips (there's 182 in all), they become less intriguing and just more of the same. Each language's clip comes from a different scene, so you can't really compare and contrast. Switching between languages in a single scene might have been more interesting and more efficient. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of consistency, as you sometimes get Italian, and sometimes you don't, while the Spanish clips seem meaningless, since these discs have Spanish audio tracks available. (Perhaps someone noticed, as later seasons mostly eliminate the Spanish track.)


  • "Pilot" - German (1:13), Italian (:54), Japanese (1:03) and Spanish (1:05)

  • "The Jersey Devil" - German (1:03), Japanese (1:16) and Spanish (1:22)

  • "Ice" - Italian (1:08), Japanese (1:05) and Spanish (1:03)

  • "Space" - German (1:12) and Japanese (:58)

  • "Fire" - Italian (1:05), Japanese (:59) and Spanish (:52)

  • "Beyond the Sea" - German (1:10), Italian (1:05), Japanese (1:08) and Spanish (1:23)

  • "E.B.E." - German (1:06), Italian (1:04), Japanese (1:25) and Spanish (1:01)

  • "Tooms" - German (:48), Italian (1:08), Japanese (1:04) and Spanish (1:18)

  • "The Erlenmeyer Flask" - German (:57) and Japanese (:56)

  • "Duane Barry": German (1:24), Italian (1:09), Japanese (1:28) and Spanish (:38)

  • "One Breath": German (1:00), Italian (1:04), Japanese (:55) and Spanish (1:24)

  • "Irresistible": German (:52), Italian (1:05), Japanese (1:14) and Spanish (:55)

  • "Humbug": German (1:22), Italian (:56), Japanese (1:15) and Spanish (:52) (Note: the Spanish clip is actually silent)

  • "Anasazi": German (1:10), Japanese (1:04) and Spanish (1:10)

  • "Paper Clip": German (1:06), Italian (1:01), Japanese (:55) and Spanish (1:08)

  • "The Walk": German (1:03), Italian (1:55), Japanese (1:10) and Spanish (1:01)

  • "War of the Coprophages": German (1:02), Italian (1:05), Japanese (1:02) and Spanish (1:04)

  • "Piper Maru": German (1:05), Italian (1:02), Japanese (:59) and Spanish (1:02)

  • "Pusher": German (1:03), Italian (1:04), Japanese (1:07) and Spanish (1:01)

  • "Talitha Culi": German (1:08), Italian (1:00), Japanese (1:01) and Spanish (1:01)

  • "Home": German (:48), Japanese (1:27) and Spanish (1:03)

  • "Tunguska": German (1:07), Japanese (1:24) and Spanish (1:23)

  • "Paper Hearts": German (1:03), Japanese (1:05) and Spanish (1:18)

  • "Momento Mori": German (1:04), Japanese (1:18) and Spanish (1:24)

  • "Tempus Fugit": German (1:07), Japanese (:57) and Spanish (1:11)

  • "Gethsemane": German (1:20), Japanese (:47) and Spanish (:36)

  • "Redux": German (:54), Italian (1:02), Japanese (1:31) and Spanish (1:12)

  • "Christmas Carol": German (2:05), Italian (1:08), Japanese (1:25) and Spanish (1:28)

  • "Kill Switch": German (1:20), Italian (1:09), Japanese (:56) and Spanish (:51)

  • "Patient X": German (1:19), Italian (:54), Japanese (:51) and Spanish (1:10)

  • "The End": German (:54), Italian (1:14), Japanese (1:26) and Spanish (1:25)

  • "The Beginning": German (1:20), Italian (1:33), Japanese (1:02) and Spanish (:45)

  • "Dreamland II": German (1:27), Italian (1:01), Japanese (1:35) and Spanish (1:39)

  • "Two Fathers": German (1:20), Italian (1:01), Japanese (:35) and Spanish (1:05)

  • "Arcadia": German (1:05), Italian (1:19), Japanese (1:04) and Spanish (:50)

  • "Three of a Kind": German (1:04), Italian (1:18), Japanese (1:11) and Spanish (1:23)

  • "Biogenesis": German (1:09), Italian (1:16), Japanese (1:05) and Spanish (1:02)

  • "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati ": German (1:39), Italian (1;15), Japanese (00:55) and Spanish (0:47)

  • "The Amazing Maleeni": German (1:05), Italian (00:57), Japanese (1:42) and Spanish (00:50)

  • "Closure": German (1:56), Italian (1:40), Japanese (1:55) and Spanish (1:29)

  • "En Ami": German (1:13), Italian (1:07), Japanese (1:46), and Spanish (1:13)

  • "Hollywood A.D.": German (00:40), Japanese (1:33) and Spanish (1:43)

  • "Requiem": German (2:32), Japanese (1:56) and Spanish (1:35)

  • "Within": German (00:57), Italian (00:56) and Japanese (1:27)

  • "Via Negativa": German (2:09), Italian (2:17) and Japanese (1:24)

  • "The Gift": German (1:27), Italian (1:36) and Japanese (2:10)

  • "Three Words": German (1:41), Italian (2:10) and Japanese (1:34)

  • "Essence": German (1:46), Italian (00:56) and Japanese (1:56)

  • "Existence": German (2:04), Italian (1:24) and Japanese (2:01)

  • "Nothing Important Happened Today II": German (2:34), Italian (1:52) and Japanese (1:25)

  • "Trust No 1": German (1:56), Italian (2:02) and Japanese (1:43)

  • "Provenance": German (2:02), Italian (1:16) and Japanese (1:37)

  • "William": German (1:36), Italian (00:35), Japanese (2:15) and Spanish (1:05)

  • "The Truth": German (1:27), Italian (1:47) and Japanese (1:55)


Previously available on the mythology collection releases (and in the Ultimate Collection) are the four "Threads of Mythology" featurettes, (1:53:23) covering the four themes in the show's core storyline: "Abduction" (S3), "Black Oil" (S5), "Colonization" (S8) and "Super Soldiers" (S9). Interviews and a chronology of episodes explain the core elements of the key storylines, but sometimes the focus gets a little lost, particularly in the final entry, which gets caught up in the idea of the series' ending. Otherwise they offer solid overviews of the show's mythology.

Additional overviews are available in the form of the Inside The X-Files (45:29/S5), Secrets of The X-Files (42:58/S9) and More Secrets of The X-Files (45:02/S9) TV specials which served mainly to give newcomers to the show a chance to catch up and get acclimated to the complex storylines (and in the case of Inside, to promote the upcoming movie.) Straightforward explanations of all the main players and storylines offer a handy jumping-on point, and an opportunity for long-time fans to refresh themselves. Though there's some behind-the-scene peeks included, you're not going to learn any real secrets though. The same goes for the "X-Files Profiles" (50:53/S6-S9), eight short looks at secondary characters like Samantha Mulder and Gibson Praise, which originally appeared on international mini-collections. Through interviews and show clips, these characters and their key episodes (naturally the ones on the original releases) get a bit of a spotlight.

"Reflections on The X-Files" (17:42/S9) lets some of the show's famous fans and some one-time guest stars, including Cher, Kevin Smith, Kristen Davis, Martin Landau, Bryan Cranston, Donal Logue, Burt Reynolds, Peter Boyle, Mimi Rogers, Alex Trebek, Ed Asner and musicians The Dust Brothers, talk about their interest or involvement in the series, in a rather entertaining featurette highlighted by Cher's regrets and Trebek's memories of riding with "The Body."

To see the core crew in a more relaxed setting, check out their panel at WonderCon 2008 (26:48/S9) to promote the second film, with the two stars, Carter and Spotnitz. The Q&A displays Anderson and Duchovny's senses of humor well, but the presentation is very choppy, as the con-goers asking the questions were cut out, replaced by on-screen text questions.

The bonus content wraps up with promo content, including two short fluff pieces, "FOX Behind the Scenes" (2:01/S6) and an FX featurette (1:54/S5), and the 50 "Behind the Truth" pieces (52:05/S2-S5) that were tied to the show's syndication run on FX. For what were basically ads, these quick-hit pieces of content were actually rather solid, touching on characters, actors, and crew members' responsibilities, and having some fun with them. Among the more interesting entries are an interview with author William Gibson, a look at the wardrobe and a set tour, as well as some discussion of Mulder's pornography collection. Then there's 398 television commercials for all nine seasons' worth of episodes (mostly 10 or 20 seconds long), spread across the nine sets, running nearly 110 minutes in total. The nostalgia factor ("Friday at nine, eight central") is the key for these promos, but the most interesting element here is the change that occurs in the promos over the course of the show's run, becoming increasingly stylish along the way.


The Bottom Line
The X-Files is rather timeless, remaining just as engaging more than 20 years after it first aired, even if the show experienced diminishing returns in later seasons. The episodes look and sound fantastic (though the CGI looks more obvious now) and all the extras previously available (both the outstanding and the excessive) are here, but the two films are not included, nor are any new extras. At last check, buying the seasons individually, which means the only thing you're missing out on is the box, will cost you about $100 less (and you don't even have to buy season nine, though it boasts the most extras.) As such, it's easy to say you should pass on this complete collection, which is a real disappointment (nearly as big as that delivered by the one-time finale.)



Francis Rizzo III is a native Long Islander, where he works in academia. In his spare time, he enjoys watching hockey, writing and spending time with his wife, daughter and puppy.


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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by sir on Thu 24 Dec - 23:18

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by sir on Fri 25 Dec - 8:47

The Time Has Come for all Truths to be Known…





The truth is out there…and now it can be found in its entirety when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment exposes the complete world of “The X-Files” on Blu-ray for the first time – just ahead of the event series premiere Sunday, January 24, 2016. “THE X-FILES” THE COLLECTOR’S SET – featuring a slot for the upcoming six-episode event series – giving fans the chance to own a piece of television history and one of the year’s must-have giftset collections.


Now for the first time, all nine exhilarating, groundbreaking seasons of “THE X-FILES,” along with special features, can be yours to own on Blu-ray! Although they began as reluctant partners, FBI special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson) ultimately form a powerful bond as they struggle to unravel deadly conspiracies and solve paranormal mysteries.







“THE X-FILES” THE COLLECTOR’S SET features more than 23 hours of content across all nine seasons – perfect for catching up on the series before the new event series airs. Relive all the mythology, conspiracy theories with special features, including behind-the-scenes featurettes, and commentaries by executive producer Chris Carter (“Millennium,” “Harsh Realm”), R.W. Goodwin, Rob Bowman, Kim Manners, Frank Spotnitz, Robert Patrick and Rod Hardy.

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by jade1013 on Fri 25 Dec - 9:00


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The best Blu-ray box sets of 2015

Post by jade1013 on Thu 31 Dec - 16:16

The best Blu-ray box sets of 2015: Hellraiser, The X-Files, Back to the Future and more!

Jeff Spry
Thu, Dec 31, 2015 12:16pm



The fragrant scent of pine and fir tree needles still lingers in the post-holiday air and you've no doubt scavenged through the epic rubble of wrapping paper and discarded boxes to find those lost gift cards and holiday cash bestowed from loving relatives far and near.  That Christmas cash was never meant to fill your gas tank or pay your cell phone bill, so let's huddle up and figure out an appropriate place to spend it.  2015 was a stellar year for blistering Blu-ray releases in the geek realm and we've corraled the coolest premium editions and multi-disc miracles that ascended to greatness and topped our year-end roundup.

From the frightening Hellraiser Scarlet Box Set, Battlestar Galactica and The Rocky Horror Picture Show 40th Anniversary release, to a monumental Marvel's Cinematic Universe Phase 2 collection, a brilliant batch of Hiyao Miyazaki movies, Star Wars Steel Boxes, a Back to the Future Mega-Set and the retro fun of Lost in Space - The Complete Adventures, each of these sweet picks will provide endless enjoyment entering the new year and make your Aunt Louise or Uncle Ernie very pleased you bought yourself something nerdy and nice.  

Browse through these sparkling selections and tell us which ones you're itching to add to your library.


BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION


Here's a frakking ultimate HD collection of the original Battlestar Galactica episodes from the '70s.  It's a remastered 18-disc behemoth that comes fully-loaded with Battlestar Galactica: The Original Series (Widescreen and Full Frame), Galactica 1980: The Complete Series (Widescreen and Full Frame), Battlestar Galactica - The 125-minute theatrical edit of the premiere episode "Saga of a Star World", Remembering Battlestar Galactica - a 45-minute retrospective documentary featuring cast and crew on the making of the series, outtakes, TV spots, trailers, episode commentary with Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict and Herbert Jefferson Jr., Glen Larson on the Creation of Battlestar Galactica and a musical featurette, Stu Phillips: Composing the Score.  An absolute MUST for serious fans.


SHERLOCK - THE COMPLETE SEASONS 1-3 LIMITED EDITION GIFT SET


The game's afoot with the BBC's new 14-disc mega-set showcasing seasons 1-3 of their intriguing historical hit, Sherlock. Includes every episode on both Blu-ray and DVD formats, along with the original bonus features and extras released with each season. Additionally, the set features all new commentaries, rare, never-before-seen outtakes and exclusive collectibles including a set of limited edition art cards and stylish busts of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Contains the behind-the-scenes featurettes: "The Fall" "Fans, Villains & Speculation: The Legacy of Sherlock Holmes" "Shooting Sherlock," "Unlocking Sherlock" and "Sherlock Uncovered."  I detect that you might want this set!


MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE PHASE 2


Brace yourself for an avalanche of awesome with this 13-disc, limited-edition collection of all Marvel Phase 2 movies packed in an eye-catching "Morag Orb" gift set.  Includes Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and Digital copies of Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and Avengers: Age of Ultron).  The distinctive collectible packaging was designed by pop artist Matt Ferguson.  This boxed beauty is stuffed like a Christmas goose with deleted and extended scenes, screen tests, Marvel Studios memorabilia, including a gold-foiled page from the book of the Dark Elves, an ancient drawing from the Morag vault, Avengers and S.T.R.I.K.E. uniform patches, a sweet replica of the Tony Stark tattoo from Iron Man 3 and more!


THE X-FILES - THE COLLECTORS SET


Catch up on all the creepy conspiracies before the new show returns!  The truth is in this astounding multi-disc mega box set from 20th Century Fox that includes all 203 TV episodes of Chris Carter's seminal sci-fi mystery show that ran from 1993-2002.  Just released this month, the prodigious package offers a full spread of special features from all nine seasons, crammed with a mind-boggling number of deleted scenes, extended scenes, commentaries, documentaries on the special effects, profiles on characters, cast photos, behind-the-scenes featurettes and more.  With the new X-Files revival show coming to Fox in January, this could be the ultimate geeky after-Christmas dream gift of all time.


LOST IN SPACE: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES


This spectacular box set is dangerously close to making itself at home in my collection. The '60s sci-fi TV series was a pivotal part of my childhood and although the sets and production values of this Irwin Allen classic were sometimes unintentionally funny, it had a warmth and heart to its "Swiss Family Robinson In Space" premise. It's a gigantic 18-disc set containing all 83 episodes remastered in crystal-clear high definition, and a galaxy of extras and recently discovered content to set you soaring into the new year. Bonus content includes a 50th Anniversary Interviews with Original Series Cast Members, the Original Cast Reunion Performance of Bill Mumy’s 1980 Unproduced Script, LOST IN SPACE: THE EPILOGUE, vintage versions of 4 Original Network Episodes, original TV commercials, the 1973 Animated Special, a 20th Anniversary audio Interview with Lost in Space Series Creator Irwin Allen, two full-length Lost in Space documentaries, the unaired Series Pilot Episode: “No Place to Hide," original network commercials and vintage cast interviews. 


BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY: 30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION


Here's an excellent eight-disc birthday special edition complete with deluxe Flux Capacitor packaging and all three theatrical films in newly transferred 1080p, Back to the Future: The Complete Animated Series on DVD and countless hours of bonus content.  It's a gorgeous, 1.21-gigawatt box set to pass on to your geeky heirs, jammed with all-new original shorts, including "Doc Brown Saves the World!," starring Christopher Lloyd, "OUTATIME: Restoring the DeLorean," an inside look at the 2012 restoration of the most iconic car in film history, "Looking Back to the Future," a nine-part retrospective documentary from 2009 on the trilogy's legacy, "The Physics of Back to the Future," deleted scenes, a Michael J. Fox Q&A, a 64-page commemorative booklet, rare behind-the-scenes footage, music videos, multiple audio commentaries and a featurette on Back to the Future: The Ride


THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON


Return to Terminus and Alexandria in Season 5's 5-disc, limited-edition box set, complete with a striking Asphalt Walker statue crafted by McFarlane Toys.  The frightening figurine is based on the original walker designed by award-winning SFX make-up Supervisor and Executive Producer, Greg Nicotero.  Its putrefying packaging also includes exclusive "walker" cover art and a swarm of creator commentaries and special features like Beth's Journey, Bob's Journey, Noah's Journey and Tyreese's Journey (characters that passed away this past season),along with A Day in the Life of Michael Cudlitz, A Day in the Life of Josh McDermitt and Rotters in the Flesh. 


HELLRAISER: THE SCARLET BOX LIMITED EDITION TRILOGY


This killer crimson-boxed monster has such sinful sights to share!  This is the absolute ultimate Hellraiser Blu-ray release by Arrow Video and one I can't wait to get my innocent hands on in the new year. Every attention to detail has been covered in this stunning 4-disc beast of a box set that simply had to be added to our Best of 2015 bonanza, crammed with Cenobites hunting for your soul and enough bonus material and documentaries from all three films to last into oblivion and beyond.  Here are the highlights:

•Brand new 2K restorations of HellraiserHellbound: Hellraiser II, and Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
•Uncompressed PCM Stereo 2.0 and Lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound for Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II
•Lossless DTS-HD MA 2.0 sound for Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
•Limited Edition bonus disc with fresh Clive Barker interviews and short films
•Exclusive 200-page hardback book with new writing from Clive Barker archivists Phil and Sarah Stokes
•20-page booklet featuring never-before-seen original Hellraiser concept art
•Limited Edition packaging with new artwork from Gilles Vranckx
•Set of 5 exclusive art cards
 

THE HOBBIT TRILOGY - EXTENDED EDITION


Hunker down in middle-Earth with The Hobbit Trilogy in striking HD with this new 9-disc release of all the extended editions of Peter Jackson's questionable adaptations of the Tolkien classic. You may not hold these up to the same sublime light as the Lord of the Rings films, but there's still much to be enjoyed if you aren't too harsh on the director's cinematic decisions.  This lumbering edition contains the extended cuts of The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyThe Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, with dozens of hours of bonus material, outtakes, blooper reels, featurettes and screen tests, including an audio commentary with Peter Jackson, the film's director/producer/screenwriter, and Philippa Boyens, co-producer/screenwriter and a multi-part documentary "The Appendices" and "New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth - Part 3."


THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW: 40th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION


Wow, it's actually been 40 years since unsuspecting fans were treated to this sexy sci-fi musical and its later cult status as the ultimate midnight movie.  This decadent Blu-ray release is double-stuffed with multiple featurettes centered on past celebrations and rowdy midnight screenings, deleted musical scenes, 11 outtakes, alternate endings, commentaries by Richard O’Brien (Riff Raff) and Patricia Quinn (Magenta), a Rocky-oke: Sing It! feature with 18 musical numbers from the immortal soundtrack,. Mick Rock's Picture Show photo gallery and a sweet pair of pink surgical gloves. 


EDWARD SCISSORHANDS 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION


I always associate the holidays with Burton's best magical fantasy film and applying Christmas cash to snap up this 25th anniversary release only seems fitting. Tim Burton's touching suburban fairy tale starring Johnny Depp scores a newly restored deluxe edition in time for its silver anniversary. It comes with a treasure of movie-themed commemorative items like Edward's paper dolls, heart-shaped cookie cutter, topiary air freshener, new commentaries with the creative team, outtakes and never-before-seen footage. Watch it for Burton at his most personal best, Depp's superb performance as the gentle clockwork creation and especially Vincent Price's heartbreaking final big-screen appearance.


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF HIYAO MIYAZAKI


Hiyao Miyazaki has been respectfully dubbed, "The Walt Disney of Japan," and the venerable animation director has advanced the art of animation more than anyone in the last four decades.  This super-premium new 12-disc collection includes his Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the WindCastle in the SkyMy Neighbor TotoroKiki’s Delivery ServicePorco RossoPrincess MononokeSpirited AwayHowl’s Moving CastlePonyo and The Wind Rises.  A bonus disc containing a wealth of extra features, including Miyazaki's retirement conference and a 1972 TV pilot of Yuki's Sun and a retrospective book exploring the themes and techniques of the legendary Japanese filmmaker also adorn this sumptuous box set.


DOCTOR WHO: THE CHRISTMAS SPECIALS GIFT SET


Celebrate the yuletide spirit with this 3-disc collection of all 11 Doctor Who Christmas Specials, with the traditional seasonal episodes featuring the modern-era Doctors played by David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi.  Watch the Time Lord dash through time to save the planet from a gallery of villainous foes including the Master, the Cybermen, Weeping Angels, The Snowmen and even Kris Kringle, himself.  Comes with a fancy TARDIS wireless bluetooth speaker to receive messages from across the temporal void.


STAR WARS SAGA - THE STEEL BOOK EDITIONS


After you've gorged yourself on repeat viewings of The Force Awakens, it's time to dress up your boring old Star Wars Blu-ray collection with yet another upgraded release from Disney/Lucasfilm. They're still the tinkered-with versions, but these slick metallic covers are pretty cool. This time, the six Star Wars Saga films are housed in individual commemorative steel cases with new character cover artwork emblazoned on the front. In addition to the cool collectible steel book packaging, each single-disc Blu-ray includes existing audio commentary with George Lucas and the film crew as well as audio commentary from archival cast and crew interviews. 


THE ULTIMATE JAMES BOND COLLECTION


Pour yourself a shaken martini and drink in this crazy collection of James Bond movies packaged in one epic 23-disc collection, ranging from Dr. No to Skyfall, and including some space for the upcoming home video release of Spectre. Extras and bonus content includes multiple featurettes, a poster book, and the 90 minute documentary Everything Or Nothing: The Untold Story, detailing just how producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman partnered up to deliver Ian Fleming's dashing British superspy to the screen. 


Blastr

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by sir on Thu 31 Dec - 16:20

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by jade1013 on Thu 31 Dec - 16:53

High-Def Digest's Essential Picks: December 2015

Posted Thu Dec 31, 2015 at 07:00 AM PST by Steven Cohen



Every month, dozens of Blu-rays hit shelves, littering stores with High-Def temptation. New releases, catalog titles, complete TV seasons, and elaborate box-sets all vie for attention, and with so many worthy releases targeting our wallets, choosing which discs to spend our hard earned cash on can be rather tricky. To make things a little easier, we here at High-Def Digest thought it might be helpful to bring you our top three must own recommendations for the month.

From important classics to contemporary blockbusters, these are the discs that we consider to be the absolute cream of the crop. High quality releases with great video, audio, and supplements, these are the Blu-rays that are truly worth every penny.

Last month we spotlighted an emotional animated adventure, a masterpiece of Japanese cinema, and a promising TV spinoff. Be sure to check out the Essential Picks for November 2012, December 2012, January 2013,February 2013, March 2013, April 2013, May 2013, June 2013, July 2013, August 2013, September 2013, October 2013, November 2013, December 2013, January 2014, February 2014, March 2014, April 2014, May 2014, June 2014, July 2014, August 2014, September 2014, October 2014, November 2014,December 2014, January 2015, February 2015, March 2015, April 2015, May 2015, June 2015, July 2015, August 2015, September 2015, October 2015, and November 2015.

For December, we're covering a groundbreaking sci-fi series, a very tiny superhero, and an impossible mission (if you choose to accept it).

Please be aware, that if you haven't already seen them, there are some SPOILERS for the discs listed. 

If you only buy three titles that hit Blu-ray in December, here's what we suggest you pick up, starting with the most essential...


'The X-Files: The Collector's Set' - The current golden age of TV owes a lot to several key shows that helped pave the way for the many complex, cinematic series that now flood cable networks. And hovering high atop that list like a shimmering UFO, is Chris Carter's 'The X-Files.' Balancing classic episodic storytelling with an ever-expanding conspiracy-fueled mythology of serialized plotlines, the show has had an invaluable influence on small screen narrative structure and remains a brilliant mixture of sci-fi, horror, and mystery.

Alien abductions, black oil, human cloning, shapeshifting bounty hunters, super soldiers, Lone Gunmen, and an infamous Cigarette Smoking Man are all just part of what makes the show's evolving mythology so engrossing and addictive. And in in between all of these serialized bits, the writers make sure to turn in some truly memorable "monster-of-the-week" episodes as well. In fact, some of the shows very best installments are self-contained mysteries featuring creepy cases that force Mulder and Scully to question everything they think they know... even if Scully still refuses to believe. And it's this central dynamic between "believer" and "skeptic" that becomes the heart of the series, allowing the characters' relationship to evolve and grow even as little green men, parasite monsters, in-bred horrors, and the deadly effects of secondhand smoke threaten them on a weekly basis.

Sure, the final two (mostly) Mulder-less seasons definitely reveal a drop in quality and the show's once compelling mythology does start to become rather convoluted as it reaches the home stretch… but when viewed as a whole, 'The X-Files' remains one of TV's very best shows. Available in a fantastic Collector's Set and as individual seasons -- all with great video, audio and supplements -- the series hits Blu-ray with the love and care that it deserves, resulting in the month's top release. Yes, the truth is indeed out there… and it's in this box-set!



Buy the Blu-ray



'Ant-Man - 3D' - I love comic books. At their best, they can be just as entertaining or artistically deep as any other medium… but even I can admit that sometimes they can also be pretty damn silly. Case in point? The general premise behind Marvel's Ant-Man -- a superhero who can shrink down to microscopic size and communicate with ants. Even in a cinematic universe that already includes a talking raccoon, bringing such a character to the big screen is by far the studio's riskiest move yet, requiring just the right balance of tone to avoid a complete and utter embarrassment. Thankfully, despite some behind-the-scenes shuffling, director Peyton Reed's take on the famous pint-sized Avenger proves that good things can come in small packages. That is, as long as those good things look and act like Paul Rudd.

When it was first announced that original director Edgar Wright was leaving 'Ant-Man,' I was extremely disappointed. The initial prospect of Wright getting to play in Marvel's big-screen sandbox always seemed too good to be true, and when their relationship fell apart I pretty much lost all interest in the flick. A few ho-hum trailers didn't help matters much either, and I actually ended up missing the movie when it ran in theaters. Thankfully, I've now had a chance to make up for that mistake, as the resulting film is an absolute blast. Peyton Reed's sensibilities fit nicely within Marvel's established mold and the director does a great job of balancing the movie's potentially tricky tone, resulting in a genuinely funny superhero flick that doesn't take itself too seriously or come across as unintentionally dumb. Likewise, despite the lighter mood, the emotional stakes still feel real and there is some solid character work. Hell, I even cared about the ants! Sure, this might not be one of the studio's very best efforts, but the sheer fact that the creative team somehow manages to make a film that features a tiny man riding a flying bug that isn't a laughable mess is a rather impressive accomplishment on its own. Much of this success can likely be chalked up to star Paul Rudd's limitless charm -- a charm that somehow turns Scott Lang into a perfectly believable everyman ex-con expert thief divorced-father turned superhero.

A comic book heist flick marked by some creative shrinking special effects and a playfully self-aware sense of humor, 'Ant-Man' strikes just the right balance, salvaging what could have easily been Marvel's first real disaster. In fact, the flick is so entertaining that it almost makes me forget what could have been if Edgar Wright had stayed on to direct. Almost…


Buy the Blu-ray 3D



'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' - What's a sure-fire way to keep a long-running movie franchise fresh? Well, why not replace the director with each new installment? At least, that's what seems to work for the 'Mission: Impossible' series. Taking the reins from previous filmmakers like Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams, and Brad Bird, franchise newcomer Christopher McQuarrie places his own adrenaline fueled stamp on the TV show turned big-screen blockbuster -- and the results are appropriately explosive. But while the man behind the camera might be different, series mainstay Tom Cruise is once again back in action… and he's found a whole slew of new and exciting reasons to constantly be on the run!

Seriously, the man is a cardio beast. And as he races through exotic streets by foot and by car and by motorcycle, Cruise effortlessly reminds us why he remains one of Hollywood's most enduring action stars. In fact, he genuinely shoves it in our faces by hanging off a damn airplane! Was climbing up a towering 2,722 ft. skyscraper in 'Ghost Protocol' just not harrowing enough? Of course, Cruise doesn't get to hog all the action, and Rebecca Ferguson turns in a memorable performance as the kick-ass Ilsa Faust -- a woman so dangerous that she turns a piggy-back ride into a deadly attack. Throughout it all, McQuarrie brings an assured and exciting sense of style to the loud set-pieces while handling the plot's "everybody's gone rogue!" conceit with enough twists and turns to result in a very satisfying ride.

Among the franchise's most entertaining and spectacular entries, 'Rogue Nation' ramps up the action while still giving audiences a reason to care for Ethan Hunt and his fellow IMF agents. After all, what good is seeing Tom Cruise perilously hanging from an airplane as it takes off, if viewers won't give a damn if he falls? With solid supplements, stellar video, and a powerful Dolby Atmos soundtrack, this disc is an easy mission to accept.


Buy the Blu-ray

So, there you have it. While there were many titles worth picking up this December, those are our top three must own recommendations. We'll be back next month with three more essential picks, but for now, what do you think of our selection? What are your choices for December's must own titles?


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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by sir on Thu 31 Dec - 17:06

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by jade1013 on Sun 3 Jan - 22:18

A look inside 'The X-Files' HD Blu-ray



"Trust no-one, Mr Mulder!" (NASDAQ:FOXA)

By: Ben Gourlay | Blu-ray Movie Reviews in HT & Movies | Posted: 3 hours, 19 mins ago

TweakTown Rating: 83%
Manufacturer: Twentieth Century Fox



From humble beginnings in 1993, The X-Files rapidly amassed a large and loyal cult following, pushing the envelope and presenting audiences with a dose of theatrical quality TV week after week. While it's true that the series ran out of steam late in its run, a similar fate as many other long-running shows, the 201 episodes that make up its nine-season duration hold up remarkably well today. That the show is still so revered and admired nearly fourteen years from leaving the airwaves made it a prime candidate for a full high definition remaster - the source of this superb Blu-ray release.

Similar to most TV shows of the era, The X-Files was originally captured on 35mm negative, before being transferred to the standard definition realm during editing and assemblage of the master. This has been the source of all previous broadcast, VHS, laserdisc and DVD releases, featuring all the limitations of the technology, including woefully low resolution, analogue errors and artifacts. In the meantime, the original film negatives sat safely in archives at an undisclosed storage location - a mystery worthy of Mulder and Scully indeed.



In 2013, Twentieth Century Fox hired Californian post-production facility Illuminate to undertake a nearly two-year project to scan millions of feet of the original negative and completely rebuild the show in high definition, the source of this spectacular new presentation. For more information on this remastering process, see our in-depth interview with Illuminate CEO Jim Hardy.

The Australian version of the Blu-ray boxset includes all 201 episodes of The X-Files, from seasons one to nine, as well as the two feature films Fight The Future and I Want to Believe and an empty spot for the forthcoming Blu-ray release of the six episode miniseries revival.



Video

The X-Files is presented in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 throughout all episodes.

While the first three seasons were originally filmed for a 1.33:1 square aspect ratio, there's been somewhat of a backlash to the decision to re-frame these episodes on this Blu-ray release for a widescreen aspect ratio, which arguably doesn't reflect the creative decisions of filmmakers, nor the original presentation. While I'm sympathetic to their complaints and normally a stickler for the original aspect ratio myself, there's no getting around the fact that the show looks undoubtedly more cinematic and infinitely improved by its new widescreen presentation.

Director of photography John Bartley had the foresight to shoot the first three seasons series protected for a 16x9 frame, and because Illuminate scanned the whole negative, there's more image on the side of the frame and slightly less on the top and bottom. I only recall two or three times, particularly in the first handful of episodes, where the framing was just a little too tight on the subject, compared to the multitude of shots which generally look better composed and more natural in widescreen. From season 4 onwards, the show was produced specifically for widescreen and thus features nearly identical framing on Blu-ray.

Unfortunately, Illuminate was unable to locate the entire original negative, necessitating some shots to be upscaled from the standard definition masters. These instances exhibit all of the flaws you'd expect, including analog artifacts, dot crawl, and a noticeable drop in resolution. While they're regrettable (albeit unavoidable), they stand to further prove how great the other 99% of native HD footage actually is.



Barring the aforementioned, The X-Files in HD is a serious treat, with newfound clarity, stunning black levels, and rich upgrades to color and detail that simply haven't been glimpsed before now. From the opening shot of the pilot episode, with lush green forest and perfectly rendered black levels, it's clear that The X-Files in high definition is going to be something of a revelation. And thus, it proves to be. Marvel at Scully's freckles. See every line in Mulder's furrowed brow. Catch the now obvious flaw in the monster of the week makeup job!



Audio

The X-Files is presented in a remixed DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 track at 24 bits.

Originally mixed for two channel stereo, each and every episode of The X-Files now sports a brand new 5.1 channel mix, courtesy of audio mixing facility Mi Casa Multimedia, which complements the newly improved visuals rather perfectly.

The X-Files was always a bit on the talky side, and while the mix reflects those origins, the soundstage is now much more spacious and far more 'alive' than ever before. The show always relied on general ambience to elicit reactions and set the mood, and this particularly benefits from the sonic upgrade. Sound effects are now positioned far more aggressively, and Mark Snow's iconic score spreads evenly across the front channels and bleeds nicely into the rears.

While perhaps still a little on the conservative side compared to the best modern production mixes, those more familiar with the traditional X-Files sound will be pleasantly surprised at the newfound aggressiveness of the tracks on offer.



Extras

Proudly proclaiming the inclusion of over 23 hours of extra features on the front box, The X-Files comes to Blu-ray porting over all of the previous bonus features from the season DVD box sets, best of DVD volumes, and feature films. With features sprinkled throughout all 57 discs, you'll need to swap through quite a few discs to get to everything.

Some of the more interesting features are the 32 Audio Commentaries, which include a range of X-Files cast and crew luminaries, including actress Gillian Anderson, creator Chris Carter, directors Rob Bowman and Kim Manners, and writer/ producers Frank Spotnitz, R.W. Goodwin and Vince Gilligan (of Breaking Bad fame), which shed some interesting light on their production.

There's dozens of brief featurettes, including syndication produced Behind the Truth featurettes and multilingual clips that get pretty old fast, but the meatiest are the Truth About... documentaries which give some sometimes honest insights on the evolution of the series and generally run around 20 minutes a piece.

Some of the most in-depth material is reserved for the final disc of season nine, which includes a 90 minute Secrets of The X-Files featurette, a retrospective Reflections on The X-Files featurette, a one hour long documentary on the making of final episode; the Truth and a 2008 WonderCon panel reunion featuring Duchovny and Anderson. Both feature films also feature their own collection of extra features including Picture-in-Picture Commentaries, Featurettes, Documentaries, and Gag Reels.




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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by sir on Sun 3 Jan - 22:23

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by jade1013 on Mon 4 Jan - 16:54

By Allison Hazlett
Jan 04, 2016 11:45 AM EST

X-Files: The Collector's Set Blu-ray Review

I know lots of fans that will be eagerly awaiting the first of 6 Episodes to come on January 24th, and, in the meantime, they can sit back and relive the past, refresh their memories and enjoy what they loved most about The X-Files once again.


Purchase  Blu-ray | Digital HD

Whether or not you watched The X-Files from 1993- 2002, you would have had to been living under a rock to not know the names Scully and Mulder.  The characters, the actors who played them, and even the theme song for the television series, were widely known and easily identifiable.  For nine seasons, these FBI agents investigated paranormal phenomenon, with the former agent being a skeptic, and the latter being a "believer".

For years, fans of the show have been left with the feeling of wanting more from this franchise, even after nine seasons and 2 feature films, one released in 1998 and the other in 2008. Finally, beginning on January 26, 2016, there will be a 6 episode miniseries with all of the main characters returning.  In anticipation of this long sought after reunion, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is selling a collector's edition Blu-ray set.

With all 9 seasons neatly housed in a compact box, the collector's edition fits nicely on any bookshelf.  It is the complete set with all 202 episodes and plenty of extras to keep a diehard fan happy for a long time.  Each season is in it's own case, including cover art which leaves everything nice and neat.

Even though the early seasons of X-Files were originally presented on television in 4:3 aspect ratio (as well as the subsequent DVD releases), it's nice to see that 20th Century Fox has given them the widescreen treatment they were originally filmed in; and, while presented in 1080p AVC encoded video, the quality is not quite as good as a newer series simply because the show was shot 13 to 23 years ago. The same can be said for the Master 5.1 audio track which provides some of the nuances of today, but doesn't quite capture all of them simply because it can't.

Each disc comes with a multitude of extras including commentary from Chris Carter, deleted scenes, FX: Behind the truth, documentaries about each season and Inside The X-Files.  With over 23 hours of extras, there is so much to watch besides the plethora of episodes from each of the 9 seasons.   

Selling for over $250, this is an expensive set that not everyone will be able to afford, but anyone who loved the series enough to watch all 9 seasons over again might be willing to shell out that much for such a keepsake. Side note: The individual seasons are for sale as well but don't come with the artistic box.

I know lots of fans that will be eagerly awaiting the first of 6 Episodes to come on January 24th, and, in the meantime, they can sit back and relive the past, refresh their memories and enjoy what they loved most about The X-Files once again.  Whether it was the paranormal creatures, the relationship between Scully and Mulder, or something else entirely, you can't argue The X-Files wasn't a part of pop culture that many are looking forward to seeing again.


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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by sir on Mon 4 Jan - 17:00

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Re: The X-Files: The Complete Series Blu-ray

Post by sir on Wed 6 Jan - 14:27

GIVEAWAYSGiveaway: The X-Files Blu-ray Complete Collectors Set – Ends 1/24/2016

By Carol | January 6, 2016



The truth is out there… X-Files is BACK on FOX January 24th! Are you a new fan of X-Files or did you start watching 22 years ago when is first aired on FOX Sept 10 1993? I personally loved the show! This 2016 reboot pilot reintroduces “The X-Files” and reunites Agent Mulder with Dana Scully after the collapse of their relationship when Mulder is engaged by a TV host. Mulder proclaims new evidence that alien abductions have been faked.


I’VE TEAMED UP WITH SOME OF THE WEB’S MOST INFLUENTIAL BLOGGERS TO HOST AN EPIC GIVEAWAY!

What are we giving away?  I am glad you asked, one lucky winner will be chosen to receive ONE X-Files Complete Collector’s Set [Blu-Ray] Valued at over $399 USD.

We are super excited to launch this giveaway, but before you enter there’s a few things you should know:
Fake accounts will be disqualified

You must do each entry to be considered a valid participant
Giveaway is valid in US and Canada only

Must be 18 years to enter

The X-Files Collector’s Set Giveaway runs from 12:01 AM CST 01/05/2016 to 11:59 PM CST on 01/24/2016. Use the giveaway tool below to enter.  Winner will be notified within 24 hours of the giveaway ending and will have 48 hours to respond via mail. If response is not received by the deadline, prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.  Good luck everyone!


The X-Files Collectors Edition Giveaway



For the first time on Blu-rayTM, the original nine exhilarating, groundbreaking seasons of The X-Files, along with exclusive special features. Although they begin as reluctant partners, FBI special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (Golden Globe® Winners David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson* ) ultimately form a powerful bond as they struggle to unravel deadly conspiracies and solve paranormal mysteries. With over 23 hours of extras, including documentaries, and commentary by creator Chris Carter and the production team as well as special effects sequences and deleted scenes this collection, which includes space for the upcoming X-Files Event Series in 2016, is a must-have for any fan of the truth!

Disclaimer: There will only be ONE winner for this giveaway and the Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Giveaway open to US Residents 18+. Prizes MUST be shipped to a valid US address. NO P O Boxes will be accepted.

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