Posts Tagged ‘Rob Bowman’

The X-Files

Monday, July 9th, 2018

June 19, 1998

(or is it THE X FILES?)

(note: Some people call it X-FILES: FIGHT THE FUTURE, but I think “fight the future” is just the tag line, like “DIE HARDER.”)

Oh shit, man. The ’90s. The X-Files sure was a bigger deal in the ’90s, wasn’t it? And in some ways this movie spin-off of the show is the most era-representative of the ones I’ve watched in this series so far. Not in style, or in any kind of fun, nostalgic way – it doesn’t feel very dated – but just in its view of the world. It spoke to a type of pre-millennium paranoia that has uncool associations today, but at the time was fresh and edgy and hip.

See, the internet was pretty new, so it wasn’t common to know about every strange belief or kooky fringe group. If you wanted to find out about some weird creature somebody claimed to spot you had to read outdated cryptozoology books at the library. If you wanted to know about UFO cults you had to know their address and send them a self addressed stamped envelope and read their newsletter. I don’t know why, but that’s what I did at a certain age. One time I even went to a UFO cult’s presentation on a college campus. All I really remember was a woman with a shaved head who seemed very sincere about all this. A few years later when the mass suicide happened I dug out a handout I’d saved, and though it didn’t say “Heaven’s Gate” on it anywhere it described the same theology, following the teachings of someone called “The Two” or “Ti and Do.” And I always wondered if that lady got out in time. (read the rest of this shit…)

Reign of Fire

Friday, July 12th, 2002

I heard a rumor, or actually I just saw it on the ad, that REIGN OF FIRE is supposed to be the perfect summer movie. And in a way I think it is. Because it takes a good special effects extravaganza premise – the world is obliterated by firebreathing dragons and a small community of survivors fight back in postapocalyptic england – and treats it much smarter and more dramatic than you’d expect.

Yeah, this is a movie with computer animated dragons, and a bunch of people fighting them. But the emphasis of the story is not on the fighting. It’s always on the drama. After a prologue and a MAD MAX-like dragons-take-over-the-world explanation montage, you get basically a DAY OF THE DEAD setup. Here is this community of survivors living in spruced up castle ruins using what limited resources they can find to survive. You find out about their whole system – how they eat, their security system, how they use birds for lookout and what they teach their kids to do if they see a dragon. There’s also a little I AM LEGEND in there because they treat the dragons scientifically. They are not magical. They explain how they breathe fire, how they reproduce, the best way to kill them. (read the rest of this shit…)