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Trainspotting [DVD] [1996]

235 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle
  • Directors: Danny Boyle
  • Writers: Irvine Welsh, John Hodge
  • Producers: Andrew Macdonald
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Channel 4
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Jun. 2009
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (235 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0014MY1F8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 462 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Director Danny Boyle's internationally successful adaptation of Irvine Welsh's novel about a group of young Edinburgh heroin addicts. Ewan McGregor stars as Mark Renton, the most reflective member of a group that also includes the compulsive womaniser, Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and the hapless Spud (Ewen Bremner). Renton, Spud and Sick Boy's issues with drugs alternatively irritate and amuse their friend, Begbie (Robert Carlyle), a periodic psychopath whose outbursts of violence are one of the many factors that convince Renton to leave for London in the hope of starting a new life. Renton enjoys some success remoulding himself as an estate agent in the English capital, but it isn't long before his Edinburgh friends catch up with him. Begbie and co need the money Renton has saved from his job to finance the drug deal that could make them all rich...

From Amazon.co.uk

The film that effectively launched the star careers of Robert Carlyle, Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller is a hard, barbed picaresque, culled from the bestseller by Irvine Welsh and thrown down against the heroin hinterlands of Edinburgh. Directed with abandon by Danny Boyle, Trainspotting conspires to be at once a hip youth flick and a grim cautionary fable. Released on an unsuspecting public in 1996, the picture struck a chord with audiences worldwide and became adopted as an instant symbol of a booming British rave culture (an irony, given the characters' main drug of choice is heroin not ecstasy).

McGregor, Lee Miller and Ewen Bremner play a slouching trio of Scottish junkies; Carlyle their narcotic-eschewing but hard-drinking and generally psychotic mate Begbie. In Boyle's hands, their lives unfold in a rush of euphoric highs, blow-out overdoses and agonising withdrawals (all cued to a vogueish pop soundtrack). Throughout it all, John Hodge's screenplay strikes a delicate balance between acknowledging the inherent pleasures of drug use and spotlighting its eventual consequences. In Trainspotting's world view, it all comes down to a question of choices--between the dangerous Day-Glo highs of the addict and the grey, grinding consumerism of the everyday Joe. "Choose life", quips the film's narrator (McGregor) in a monologue that was to become a mantra. "Choose a job, choose a starter home... But why would anyone want to do a thing like that?" Ultimately, Trainspotting's wised-up, dead-beat inhabitants reject mainstream society in favour of a headlong rush to destruction. It makes for an exhilarating, energised and frequently terrifying trip that blazes with more energy and passion than a thousand more ostensibly life-embracing movies. --Xan Brooks --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 27 July 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having bought the original DVD away back in 1999 (in the old-style transparent plastic case and everything), I have to say I was aprehensive about paying the extra money for the extra scenes and interviews. However, it was well worth it.
To recap, Trainspotting follows the lives of three junkies (Renton, Sick Boy and Spud) and a psychopath (Begbie) in Edinburgh (although quite a lot of the film is actually shot in my home town of Glasgow). Having recieved a mixture of acclaim and controversy when it was released, those who make the effort to watch it will realise it is not about glamorising drugs. It is essentially about the break up of friendships between men who have been pals since school and whose lives decay in a furore of drink, violence, sex, and drugs. It also makes an important statement of how mundane junkies' lives are.
The most disturbing aspect of this film is actually the amount of humour: from the bookmaker's toilet to the psychopath Begbie, quite simply a nutter, to use a nice vernacular phrase. Also look out for Sick Boy's great impressions of Sean Connery.
The extras on the DVD are great and a perfect length. Various missing scenes are included on the first disc. On the second disc, there is a mixture of interviews (including one with the author of the book, Irvine Welsh), and good behind-the-scenes material, including some nice multi-angle material.
Admirers of Trainspotting will have already appreciated its pulsating and eclectic soundtrack: from Lou Reed's 'Perfect Day' to Sleeper's cover of 'Atomic'; from Iggy Pop's 'Lust For Life' to 'Habanera' from Carmen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Dec. 2013
Format: DVD
I always find it a bit worrying when I return to one of my favourite films some time later (particularly films of a more recent vintage) only to discover that I had rushed to judgement. I'm pleased to say, however, that a recent re-viewing of Danny Boyle's vibrant 1996 Edinburgh-set tale of boredom, criminality and heroin addiction (based on Irvine Welsh's brilliant novel) has (for me) lost none of its original appeal. Not only is Boyle's film a fast-moving, brilliantly edited visual treat (with an intoxicating soundtrack featuring Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, New Order and Underworld that is a perfect fit), but in John Hodge's witty and ironic script and its set of outstanding acting turns (plus some great cameos, courtesy of some of 'Scotland's finest'), it adds up to a film vying for a place in my top 10 British films ever (and certainly would be in my top 5 or 6 of the last 20 years).

Casting aside any 'picture-book' notions held by us English of Edinburgh Castle on tins of Walker's Shortbread, Boyle pitches us immediately into the netherworld of Auld Reekie (albeit most of the film was actually shot in Glasgow), a world of teenage boredom, petty criminals, drug dependency and self-deprecating nationalism as Ewan McGregor's Renton and Ewen Bremner's Spud 'leg it' down Princes Street, shoplifters on the run from the 'polis', all to Iggy's thundering Lust For Life. (In fact, not only does Boyle's masterpiece have one of the greatest opening sequences in cinema, it also has one of the finest conclusion's, this time to Underworld's Born Slippy). As was the case with Welsh's novel (actually a collection of short stories), Boyle's film is essentially a series of vignettes, an expletive-ridden voyage through late-20th century urban decadence, both hilarious and tragic.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "gazthefool" on 23 Jun. 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Danny Boyle's Irvine Welsh adaptation treads the line carefully between attacking the drug lifestyle and glamourising it, by doing what most filmmakers seem afraid of doing: saying that yes, it does feel like it has great benefits. "Why else would we do it?" says Ewan McGregor, who gives the film a fantastic narration. The Scottish isn't as hard to decipher as it's made out to be.
It shares with Clockwork Orange a clutch of harrowing, graphic scenes of violence or drug use, but also a sense of a story well told, and an innate watchability. Once you've seen it once or twice and gotten over the initial "Agh!" of a few scenes, it becomes quite likeable. The cast are all down to Earth and believable (McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller, aka the sly Bond-obsessed Sick Boy, are fantastic, with Ewen Bremner as the loopy but loveable Spud and Robert Carlysle in his breakthrough turn as psycho Begbie) and the easy-to-get-to-grips-with script sticks to Irvine Welsh (the first credit at the end of the movie is to him).
It's can be equally gritty (the toilet scene and some of the film's harsher realities) and surreal (the trips), which ensures it's not boring for a second, and Danny Boyle's direction makes sure it won't displease the eye for a moment either. The pop soundtrack is brilliant, and enfuses the film with energy (as if it was lacking already, which it isn't), allowing the proceedings to leap forward without anyone feeling too bothered. Choppy editing adopted by Lock Stock also slickens things, and the fact that none of these characters get any real depth or life story - even McGregor's Renton tells nothing of his past or how he met these people - the ensemble performances and overall gradual story make up for it. You'll more than likely be cheering for McGregor in the finale.
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