The X Files-Nothing Important Happened Today (2001)

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Released 23-Jul-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Featurette-Monica Reyes Revealed
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 83:33
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Kim Manners
Tony Wharmby
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Gillian Anderson
Robert Patrick
Annabeth Gish
Mitch Pileggi
Case ?
RPI $31.95 Music Mark Snow


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Dutch
English
English for the Hearing Impaired
French
German for the Hearing Impaired
Italian
French Titling
German Titling
Italian Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    On the 4th of July 1776, a man called King George III made an entry in his diary. The single entry for the day read "Nothing Important Happened Today" yet we now know the importance this date played in the American Revolution. The diary entry made all those years ago sums up the mood and sentiment of this feature.

    We are presented with Episodes #1 and #2 from Series 9 of The X-Files on this disc, spliced together to make this wonderful movie-length presentation. It is great to see these feature-length episodes released, and to have something from the latest series is fantastic.

    In the summer of 2003, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission will switch from Chlorine to Chloramine as the primary disinfectant in the public's water supply. It is only fitting that the writers of The X-Files use this as a basis for the gripping plot of Nothing Important Happened Today. The story poses the question "What if Chloramine is not as harmless as we have been lead to believe". In true Chris Carter fashion, the writers put forward a story of cover-ups, deceit and in the end, despair.

    The agents begin by investigating the death of Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator Carl Wormus (Nicholas Walker) when his car crashes off a bridge and into a river. What starts out as a routine investigation of a high profile government employee becomes more intriguing when bruises on his leg appear to have been made by someone holding him down after the accident. As the agents go about trying to track down this suspect they come across more deaths, all of which are connected in some way to the local water supply. All the while Doggett is working on his career-ending investigation against Deputy Director Kersh.

    These days, starting a discussion about The X-Files never fails to end up as a heated argument about "How things changed when Mulder left". As I have already mentioned in previous X-Files reviews, Robert Patrick tried to fill a void in the show but for me at least, never seemed to quite hit the mark. From my point of view, this void was filled when Monica Reyes, played by Anabeth Gish, made her debut. In this double feature, Monica is back again and plays a pivotal role in the episode. In fact while I'm on the subject on Monica, why does she smoke the same cigarettes as The Cigarette-Smoking Man???

    Also in this episode, The Lone Gunmen make a reference to being "unemployed," which is a joke about their series of the same name being cancelled by FOX in 2001. Coincidentally, Langly is wearing the blue face paint from the show's final nail-biting episode.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer of this double feature is superb, and was a real pleasure to watch.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is extremely clear and extremely sharp and a great improvement over the video quality of previously-released episodes. Shadow detail is excellent, with an enormous amount of detail revealed in the dim lighting used throughout the series. A perfect example is at 43:53, with deep blacks without a hint of grain on show. There is no low level noise.

    The colours were true to life and extended across the entire gamut from dull and muted to bright and vibrant. Skin tones appeared natural.

    There was a single moiré effect at 4:26. Aliasing is very rare and mild when it does occur and is really the only problem with the video transfer. Film artefacts are also non-existent in this episode.

    In traditional fashion, there are a huge number of subtitle options to choose from. The English subtitles that I checked were not exact but pretty close to the spoken word.

    This disc is a single sided dual layered disc. I was not able to detect the layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    This is the first The X-Files DVD that I heard with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Whilst it is a vast improvement over the Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks used previously, this particular episode offers a remixed 5.1 track rather than a track that was originally created in 5.1. It is still, however, a big step in the right direction.

    There are 4 audio tracks present on this DVD. The default is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Additionally present are French Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1 and Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks.

    The dialogue was difficult to hear at 8:55 as the Assistant Director is speaking. Later on at 51:18, the dialogue quietens just a little for a few scenes. Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer, and was completely spot on.

    The musical score was more open and expansive because of the extra channels being used by this particular soundtrack. This was especially noticeable during the opening scene, but this effect was carried throughout the presentation.

    The surround channels were used for ambience, music and special effects. In each case the tunes were a real pleasure to hear and the effects definitely added to the story. Directional effects are used as required to match the on-screen action. A good example of ambience produced by the rear speakers can be heard at 39:24.

    The subwoofer was used sparingly but with good taste so as to not distract from the presentation. Two sections that come to mind as demonstrating good subwoofer usage are at 12:08 and 42:05 where there was enough emphasis on this speaker to really add to the desired effect.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     A small selection of shortish extras are present.

Menu

    The menu is themed around the show. The main menu features an animated clip from the movie and Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded audio.

Monica Reyes Revealed (3:36)

    Anabeth Gish, along with the Executive Producer Frank Spotnitz, introduce and explain their views of the character Anabeth plays. Being a favourite character of mine, I enjoyed hearing their opinions, but wished the featurette ran for longer. Their comments are backed up by clips from previous episodes that Monica featured in.

Behind The Scenes Featurette (2:59)

    The Executive Producer Frank Spotnitz walks you through the making of these two episodes. It is an informative and intriguing insight into one of my favourite episodes (since Mulder left anyway).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There is no Region 1 version of this title available for comparison. This is the same title that is available in Region 2.

Summary

    This is an enjoyable X-Files episode spliced together in the format that it deserves.

    The video contains a few quirks but most will most likely miss the subtle problems. It was nice to finally see an X-Files presentation in widescreen.

    The audio quality is heading in the right direction and was a dramatic improvement over the usual Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks.

    The extras were enjoyable but just too short.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Friday, July 26, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-533K, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe 72cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersWhatmough Audiolabs Magnum M30 (Mains); M05 (Centre); M10 (Rears); Magnat Vector Needle Sub25A Active SubWoofer

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Anthony H (read my bio)
Jeff K's Australian DVD Info Site - Magalie S
The DVD Bits - John Z

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