February 10, 2009

The X-Files: I Want to Believe

The X-Files: I Want to Believe would fit right into the television series, as a decent installment in Scully's "Lapsed Catholic" arc. Mulder's "UFO Conspiracy" arc gets all the attention, but the shows that directly address Scully's wavering religious faith are some of the best. This isn't one of the best, but for an X-Files fan, it's still worth watching.

Granted, we're supposed to accept that that the relationship between Mulder and Scully has advanced beyond the fraternal. But since nobody--actors, writers, or director--seems the slightest bit invested in making us believe this, it fades from memory even while watching the movie.

What had me scratching my head, though, was that nothing about The X-Files: I Want to Believe says MAJOR MOTION PICTURE. There's nothing--aside from Amanda Peet and Billy Connolly--that couldn't have been done for a tenth the budget on the original Vancouver lots. (To give Chris Carter credit, he only spent $30 million).

The reason I bring this up is that because it's a MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, they shot the blasted thing in 2.40:1. I could literally see no reason for this. Normally I could have just hit the format button on my DVD player that resizes 2.40:1 to 16:9. Except that Carter stuck those quintessential X-Files datelines way down in the corner of the screen where they got lost.

Even back when I went to actual movie theaters, 2.40:1 bugged me. Either I ended up sitting so far away from the screen I might as well be watching TV, or I couldn't see the whole screen without swiveling my head. In the old days, the director PANNED the camera and used a WIDE-ANGLE LENS! (If it was important, it'd be in the center of the frame anyway.)

Any movie shot in greater than 2:1 will end up letterboxed (losing visual information), or the viewer hits the reformat button and whacks it down to 16:9 (losing visual information). So let's drop the pretense about "artistic integrity."

I hereby declare that unless you (Mr. Movie Director) can prove that you are the freaking reincarnation of David Lean and Akira Kurosawa, you are required to shoot your MAJOR MOTION PICTURE in the worldwide HDTV standard of 16:9! (And, no, you aren't the freaking reincarnation of David Lean and Akira Kurosawa, okay?).


# posted by Blogger Th.
2/10/2009 1:24 PM   

I think, regarding the relationship, we were just supposed to have already anticipated it. Anyway, it was a clever way of disposing with the problem.