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Trainspotting - Director's Cut
With its hallucinatory visions of crawling dead babies and a grungy plunge into the filthiest toilet in Scotland, you might not think Trainspotting could have been one of the best movies of 1996, but Danny Boyle's film about unrepentant heroin addicts in Edinburgh is all that and more. That doesn't make it everybody's cup of tea (so unsuspecting viewers beware), but the film's blend of hyperkinetic humor and real-life horror is constantly fascinating, and the entire cast (led by Ewan McGregor and Full Monty star Robert Carlyle) bursts off of the screen in a supernova of outrageous energy. Adapted by John Hodge from the acclaimed novel by Irving Welsh, the film was a phenomenal hit in England, Scotland, and (to a lesser extent) the U.S. For all of its comedic vitality and invigorating filmmaking, the movie is no ode to heroin, nor is it a straight-laced cautionary tale. Trainspotting is just a very honest and well-made film about the nature of addiction, and it doesn't pull any punches when it is time to show the alternating pleasure and pain of substance abuse. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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As the film opens, Renton is already a heroin addict - though, as it progresses, he tries several times to get off the drug. Most of his friends are also addicts - the most notable exception is Begbie, played by Carlyle. Franco (as he is occasionally known) is an ignorant, obnoxious, violent, hard-drinking bully, who likes nothing better than being at the center of a brawl. Sick Boy - played by Miller - is as much a rival to Renton as a friend. He is also something of an expert on Sean Connery, particularly in his 007 days. (Miller's grandfather, funnily enough, played "M" in the Bond movies until 1979). For some reason, I found Spud (played by Ewen Bremmer) to be the most likeable character - or, at least, the one I had the most sympathy for...I'm not entirely sure why, when it was Tommy who had the worst luck of all. (Bremmer was also in the running for the part of Renton - he'd played that part on stage in Edinburgh and London). The gang's dealer is known as Mother Superior - it's not that he's particularly religious, it's more to do with the length of his habit.
The soundtrack is superb - New Order feature, while Primal Scream begged to be allowed to write a song after seeing a rough cut of the movie.Read more ›
The first disc features an audio commentary that first appeared on the Criterion laserdisc with actor Ewan McGregor, director Danny Boyle, screenwriter John Hodge and producer Andrew Macdonald. This is a very informative track with excellent insights by everyone as one would expect from Criterion.
There are also nine deleted scenes with optional commentary from the Criterion laserdisc. Most of it is extra footage that unnecessarily explained things and provided more information than needed.
The second disc contains the bulk of the extra material. "Retrospective" examines various aspects of the film with interviews done at the time of production and brand new ones conducted last year with Boyle, Hodge and Macdonald.
"Behind the Needle" shows a scene where Renton shoots up from three different angles with video commentary from Danny Boyle.
There is also vintage footage from the movie's screening at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival. A camera crew interviews Martin Landau, Oasis' Noel Gallagher, Blur's Damon Albarn and Ewan McGregor as they exit the screening and offer their impressions of what they saw. Nothing too substantial here but it is a nice snapshot of the times.
There is also a teaser and theatrical trailers.
"The Making of Trainspotting" featurette was done at the time of the production.Read more ›
Yet, the film is not a deadbeat documentary. With its tongue firmly planted in one cheek, it employs glorious wit and a razor sharp narrative to drive home other points. For instance, ironically, the movie's most pathologically twisted character is not a substance abuser but an alcoholic who never touches drugs.
The thick Scottish accent lends that mildly comic cadence to the affair, and this is where the subtitles come in handy. It takes a while to get used to, but when you do, you realize that the script is topnotch.
Not to mention, the uncannily perfect compilation of popular music from Iggy Pop to Blur to Underworld. Sumptuous!
NOTE: This DVD that I am writing the review for is a simple one, with just the movie. Thankfully, there is another "director's cut" version that comprises two discs, including a making-of documentary, retrospective, interviews, and a multi-angle feature. Deleted scenes and a feature length commentary round up the extras. Try getting hold of that one if possible to include this truly grand movie from the 90s into your collection.
Most recent customer reviews
One of my favourite movies of all time. Just shows what it's like when your young and aimless with no positive influences in your life.Published 17 months ago by CiCiCiCI
cé donc ben l'fun acheter des affaires, tsé quand t'a l'gout de te sentir en vie, y a rien comme sortir ta carte de créditPublished on Jan. 29 2014 by simon roy
This is one of my favourite movies - I watch it at least once a week. It is not for the faint hearted or for those looking for a story with a definite ending. Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2014 by sandra bell
Bought it on recommendation by a friend. It is a well acted glimpse into the underbelly of society. A tamer version of a Clockwork Orange. Overall an uplifting film.Published on Jan. 4 2014 by Thomas Koreman
Wildly inventive, extremely funny (often sickly, disturbingly so), filmed with an insane sense of energy and pace,
and an eye for truly inventive surreal images, and a... Read more
took no time at all to arrive and was of excellent quality which i was pleased about since it was a gift for bf.Published on May 5 2013 by Megan
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