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251. Up (#123)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, this week with special guests Deirdre Molumby and Brian Lloyd, The 250 is a (mostly) weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released every Saturday at 6pm GMT.

This time, marking the passing of Ed Asner, Pete Docter’s Up.

Carl Fredricksen is a widower who finds himself facing the end of a modest life in the small house that he once shared with the love of his life. When it looks like what little remains of that life migth be disturbed and destroyed, Carl decides to embark on the one last adventure that he never got to take with his beloved life: a trip to mysterious “Paradise Falls”, without leaving his home.

At time of recording, it was ranked 123rd on the list of the best movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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The X-Files – How the Ghosts Stole Christmas (Review)

This July, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the sixth season of The X-Files and the third (and final) season of Millennium.

Building off episodes like Triangle and Dreamland, How the Ghosts Stole Christmas continues to develop and expand upon the sixth season’s fascination with issues of time and love.

With the closing of the X-files in The End, it seems like The X-Files has abandoned any real focus on the procedural element of the series. Instead of being a show about two people employed to investigate weird phenomenon together, it seems that The X-Files has evolved into a series about two people who investigate weird phenomena in their spare time. It seems likely that Mulder would have invited Scully on his Christmas Eve stake out even if they were working on the X-files together, but the fact that this is a recreational activity certainly recontextualises it.

Semi-title drop!

Semi-title drop!

The first half of the sixth season of The X-Files is perhaps the most invested that the show has ever been in the nature of the relationship between Mulder and Scully. After all, the seventh season shies away from questions concerning a Mulder and Scully romance; the eighth season keeps William’s parentage a mystery until the last possible moment. The opening stretch of the sixth season is really the only point in the show’s run where the series has an extended conversation about what the two mean to one another and how they express that.

How the Ghosts Stole Christmas is essentially an episode about Mulder and Scully receiving paranormal couples’ counseling that goes horribly wrong.

"Merry Christmas, everybody!"

“Merry Christmas, everybody!”

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Non-Review Review: Up

Pixar, how I love you. If Up isn’t the film of the year so far, it’s pretty damn close. Don’t let the fact it’s a far more conventional film than Wall-E fool you – it is just as emotionally honest (it is odd how true to human feelings Pixar can be while running with more outlandish ideas). Pixar have always dealt with real experiences through metaphor – from the fear of middle-age in The Incredibles to the concerned single-parenthood of Finding Nemo – but this movie is particularly upfront about what it’s dealing with. That honesty is almost as endearing as the magical imagination which elevates the film like so many helium-filled balloons.

Almost a clear sky...

Almost a clear sky...

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