Trainspotting: Special Edition

DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005

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Starring Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, Robert Carlyle, Kevin McKidd, Kelly Macdonald, Peter Mullan, James Cosmo, Eileen Nicholas
Written By: Irvine Welsh (novel), John Hodge
Directed By: Danny Boyle
Studio: Miramax
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Believe it or not, I haven’t seen this movie until a few days ago. I don’t know why I haven’t seen it until now. It was never really on TV when it came out. The film is really cool though, and stylish and I can see why it became a cult favorite.

Trainspotting is about a group of friends trying to make it in the world, but get sidetracked with drugs and stealing. The main character, Renton, played by Ewan McGregor narrates the film, and tries to get out the Scottish drug scene, but sometimes the drugs are too good and his friends are too influential. Then there’s Sick Boy (Johnny Lee Miller), who talks about Sean Connery and James Bond a lot. Spud (Ewen Bremner), is a dimwitted but generous addict who’s hard to understand. Tommy (Kevin McKidd) is the straight laced one among the group. He’s never touched drugs and is an athlete and works out, but he’s also curious about drugs as well. Then there’s Begbie (Robert Carlyle), who’s just a fucking psychopath. Renton keeps trying to start a new life but his friends keep getting in the way. Towards the end of the movie, they develop an ultimate scam and try to get a lot of money through a drug deal.

This DVD is the director’s cut but I honestly can’t tell you what they added back into the movie. Perhaps more descriptive shots of the needles going into arms? From seeing this movie for the first movie, I liked it very much. The look of the film was very stylish and cool. I like films like this, Tarantino and Guy Ritchie films are another example of movies like this. I can see why Trainspotting was such a hit, it’s got realistic drama, comedy, and an awesome soundtrack. Plus the acting is great. Ewan McGregor broke out tremendously after this movie hit the big screen. I didn’t know who he was til this movie came out. I recognized some actors from Braveheart in this as well. Renton’s father, and the drug dealer guy, Swanney. Robert Carlyle and Ewen Bremner’s accent’s are so thick and they speak so fast, I had to put the subtitles on throughout the movie. Usually I’m pretty good with accents but this movie I had to use the subtitles. They certainly come in handy on certain DVDs.

What makes this movie so intriguing to watch is how realistic some of the drug scenes are, and shows why they actually do it. It shows how shitty their lives are, but also feels like an orgasm times ten when taking certain drugs. Not too many films show the needle sticking into arms and going all the way so to speak, but Trainspotting shows it. I’m sure films now do it all the time but 9 years ago, it was still a problem in certain parts of the world, mainly the U.S. I liked the fantasy and tripped out scenes when Renton took drugs, like him climbing into the worst toilet of Scotland, and swimming past the land mine. I could be mistaken, but isn’t the landmine a metaphor for shit? I think I almost barfed when he was sticking his hand in that toilet. And I like the editing for some scenes like where Renton jumps over the wall and lands into a room, and say’s the classic line “What’s on the menu this evening sir?” One scene I thought was funny was when Renton picks up the 14 year old chick. Shit, I would have feel for that too. I mean, she’s hot, in a bar drinking beer, of course you’re going to think she’s off age right? But anyway, first impressions of the movie make me want to watch this again so I can understand it more. Some scenes were confusing at times, and the strong Scottish accents doesn’t help either haha.

On disc 1, there’s commentary and deleted scenes. Some of the scenes were decent. Scenes involving more in- depth conversations with Sick Boy and Renton, and then added scenes with Diane. She ended up with someone her age, and was going steady with him. Another scene where she catches Renton and the gang stealing Cds at a record store. Like I said before, they were decent. On Disc 2, there’s a whole bunch of miscellaneous extras. There’s a “Then and Now Film Retrospective” with interviews from director Danny Boyle from back then, and ones from last year. Most of these extras range from 4 minutes to 9 minutes long. I liked the featurette on the sounds of Trainspotting. Danny Boyle said he wanted to have the film show that it went through a long time period, and he did that through the music. In the beginning of the film, they are listening to punk and new wave, and then as the movie progresses they start to get into the house and rave music, and then into the more modern day Brit pop like Blur and Underworld. I thought that was a creative way of doing it. There’s a Multi-Angle commentary with Danny Boyle and he talks about this one scene involving Renton shooting up, and a close up of a prosthetic arm. That was very interesting to watch and listen to. Also on disc 2, is Galleries, Trailers, Biographies and Cannes Film Festival Interviews.

Overall, this DVD will please fans and make new ones, including myself. The film has a great European cast, awesome look to the picture, and cool soundtrack. Check it out if you haven’t yet, you might like it. Come on, you know you want to. “All the cool kids are doing it.”

– Making of Trainspotting
– Trainspotting Retrospective
– Interviews with Filmmakers (Director Danny Boyle, Author Irvine Welsh, Producer Andrew MacDonald and Screenwriter John Hodge)
– Behind the Needle (“Multi-Angle” Behind-the-Scenes Special)
– Cannes Film Festival Interviews
– Biographies: Cast and Crew
– Feature Commentary
– Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary
– Gallery
– Teaser Trailer
– Theatrical Trailer

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1

Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)


Favorite Scenes: “Begbie’s Story” “The Worst Toilet In Scotland” “The Morning After”
Rating: Rated R
Running Time: 94 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: