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The X-Files – Millennium (Review)

This November, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the seventh season of The X-Files and the first (and only) season of Harsh Realm.

There are any number of ironies around the cancellation of Millennium.

The show was cancelled by Fox to make room for Harsh Realm, hoping that Chris Carter’s new show would perform better in the Friday night slot. Of course, that did not turn out to be the case; Harsh Realm was cancelled after only three episodes had been broadcast, all failing to even match the already low numbers of the third season of Millennium. A show in its third season was cancelled to make room for a hip new show that was pretty much dead on arrival. However, that is not the only irony.

Frank Black's return...

Frank Black’s return…

Millennium concluded with Goodbye to All That in May 1999. The show fell seven months shy of its own deadline. If Fox had commissioned only eight new episodes, the creative team would have been able to take the show right up to the turn of the millennium itself. (Well, in a way that would make sense to most viewers. “Nobody likes a maths geek, Scully.” Even one who is technically correct.) It seems like Frank Black would not get to see the arrival of the date that had defined his show. (It was the title, after all.)

If Christmas is the season of goodwill to all men, then it is a nice gesture that The X-Files invited Frank Black to ring in the new year (and the new millennium) with them. It might not be much more, but it is a nice gesture.

... is just one thing that fans remember about this episode.

… is just one thing that fans remember about this episode.

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Non-Review Review: Super 8

Super 8 is a love letter to film. It’s an ode to the trashy, forgettable – yet still endearing – stuff, like a bunch kids screwing around with an obvious fixation on the work of George A. Romero. It’s also a sweet tribute to the film that emotionally connects with us, like the footage of a long lost relative projected against a wall, almost convincing us for a second that they’re still with us. JJ Abrams might consciously evoke early Spielberg with his style, but it’s only to celebrate the common ground they both share, the believe that film is truly powerful and emotion medium, one that strikes a chord on the most improbable of notes, teaching us life lessons and engaging us in nothing short of magic. The posters and trailers might convince you that Super 8 is a classic monster movie with seventies trappings – and it is – but it’s also that other difficult-to-get-quite-genre, the coming-of-age tale. Just one that features giant monsters.

Nice camera work...

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Non-Review Review: The Crazies (2010)

The Crazies is a fairly decent little horror movie, as far as modern horror goes. It’s relatively restrained, smartly acted and generally well-directed, with the kind of horror which reflects back on modern society. It’s not perfect and it’s certainly not excellent, but it’s another above-par remake of a George A. Romero cult classic.

Timothy Olyphant lights up the screen...

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Non-Review Review: Land of the Dead

Welcome to the m0vie blog’s zombie week! It’s a week of zombie-related movie discussions and reviews as we come up to Halloween, to celebrate the launch of Frank Darbont’s The Walking Dead on AMC on Halloween night. So be sure to check back all week, as we’ll be running posts on the living dead.

Zombies, man. They creep me out.

– Kaufman

Land of the Dead is something of a delayed epilogue to Romero’s “dead” trilogy. The first three films were produced roughly once every decade, with The Night of the Living Dead appearing in the sixties, Dawn of the Dead in the seventies and Day of the Dead in the eighties. There was no zombie movie from Romero during the nineties (save a remake of his original film – and even then Romero didn’t direct it – his frequent collaborator Tom Savini was behind the camera. Land of the Dead is a somewhat more controversial film than the first three films Romero produced, perhaps because it’s the first time that it feels like Romero gives his zombies more development than the human survivors. It also plays with the audience’s expectations a bit more than the first three films – and, whiel I’m not convinced that this sort of toying around with the formula works, you have to give the director credit. It isn’t as strong as the earlier films, but it still feels like a director who has something to say about the state of modern society. And that is about good enough for me.

Hopper-ed up...

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Non-Review Review: Day of the Dead (1985)

Welcome to the m0vie blog’s zombie week! It’s a week of zombie-related movie discussions and reviews as we come up to Halloween, to celebrate the launch of Frank Darbont’s The Walking Dead on AMC on Halloween night. So be sure to check back all week, as we’ll be running posts on the living dead.

Day of the Dead is the third in Romero’s classic “dead” trilogy and perhaps the last film he produced that has been universally accepted. While he has, to date, produced three more zombie films (and there are those – including myself – who appreciate some of those to a greater or lesser degree), Day of the Dead is considered something of a closing note on Romero’s epic zombie apocalypse saga – perhaps the other three acting as appendices (with Land of the Dead an epilogue and Diary of the Dead a “reimagining”). Either way, it’s a strong little film which holds together relative well. It will never be iconic as the two earlier films produced – The Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead – but it still feels like a fitting companion piece.

He's got him undead to rights...

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Non-Review Review: 28 Days Later

Welcome to the m0vie blog’s zombie week! It’s a week of zombie-related movie discussions and reviews as we come up to Halloween, to celebrate the launch of Frank Darbont’s The Walking Dead on AMC on Halloween night. So be sure to check back all week, as we’ll be running posts on the living dead.

I know there’s some debate as to whether this is actually a zombie movie – what with the “infected” not technically being dead and all (not to mention the running) – but I think it feels like a “zombie” movie, even if the creatures aren’t necessarily zombies. I’m going to be entirely honest here and confess that while I was impressed with Trainspotting, it was 28 Days Later which confirmed to me the Danny Boyle was a talent to watch. Not just for offering a film which feels different yet never inaccessible, but also for his ability to shift genre – The Beach confirmed him as a quirky almost-indie director, but 28 Days Later demonstrated that he could bring the same talent to low-budget horror. More than that, he constructed a shrewd little film which feels more like a George A. Romero film than any of his more recent efforts.

Danny Boyle's on fire...

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The Zombie Revolution Will Not be Televised…

I watched Quarantine with my aunt, uncle and brother last night. It was fairly okay – it did pretty much exactly what it promised on the tin, nothing more nothing less – but it was undermined by a fine third that revealed to us (and the characters) the reason for said outbreak. The reason wasn’t particularly smart or original – it was really exactly what you’d expect, which isn’t what you’re looking for in the final twenty minutes of a horror film. It got me thinking, are these horror films scarier the less we know about the beasts lurking in the darkness?

Hangovers were worse than usual at the office Christmas Party - no one could remember where they parked...

Hangovers were worse than usual at the office Christmas Party - no one could remember where they parked...

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