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Trainspotting (Collector's Edition) [VHS] [1996]

4.5 out of 5 stars 361 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: VHS
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Universal
  • VHS Release Date: 4 Nov. 1996
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000057KSQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 259,305 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Highly accomplished tale of drug addicts and by far the best thing Ewan Mcgregor has ever done. It's a tightly knitted, poetic, horiffic and incredibly humorous depiction of people who have fallen into low life (which anyone can, given circumstances). The acting by everyone is absolutely superb and aptly glibly directed by of course Danny Boyle. I wish certain directors would take note of him; that to convey anything so grim as the stories within Trainspotting, one has to employ humour somewhere.
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By Albatross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Aug. 2013
Format: DVD
Despite an offshoot of moral crusaders berating `Trainspotting' in 1995 for allegedly `glorifying heroin' there seem to be few who can doubt the greatness of such a cult classic.

Yes, it is about a band of horrible, nasty people, but - most importantly - it does NOT glorify any form of drugs. On the contrary, it would recommend that this film is shown to youngsters as a way of showing just how wretched and awful people's lives can be when they're hooked on substance abuse.

Ignoring `Shallow Grave' this could be considered as Ewan McGregor's `breakthrough' performance and, although he does steal the show in every scene, the whole `ensemble' cast should not be forgotten - special mention to Robert Carlyle as `Begbie' who is a truly terrifying on-screen psycho.

It's hard to imagine there are too many people who don't like Trainspotting. It's a great British film which catapulted many of those involved into mainstream stardom. Some people say that it's quite bleak and, although the subject matter is pretty dark, the cast handle it with enough wit and charm to have us - sort of - rooting for them (or at least Ewan McGregor's `anti-hero' - Renton). Yes, it can be a bit dark and disturbing at times, but the real life `horror' of the `junkie lifestyle' has to be shown in all its glory if its really going to portray it accurately.

So, if you're any way interested in popular culture the Trainspotting perfectly sums up the nineties. Even if you're not, it's one of those films that you really should see before you die - if nothing else then sooner or later you'll find yourself in a situation when all those around you are talking about it and you really don't want to be left out!
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