Movie Review: T2 Trainspotting (2017)

Choose life. Choose blogging. Choose being late talking about the sequel to a Scottish cult hit from the 90s. Choose moving on to the review.

Ladies and gents… “T2 Trainspotting”.

20 years after the events of “Trainspotting”, Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to Scotland to try to find and reconcile with his old friends. So now we have the premise for the plot. Really, the basic idea is that simple, but it’s the overall execution that is a lot more layered than that. Kind of like the first movie, it’s not so much a plot with a typical beginning-middle-end structure, but it’s more just the characters doing things. The only real overarching part of the plot is how they all have issues to work out in various ways. And I think that works for these movies, it gives them a unique style. It’s more about miserable people and their miserable lives, rather than a hero having to save the day. My only flaw with the movie is that it doesn’t feel quite as uncomfortably unpredictable the first, but this is a gripe so small that it doesn’t ruin it all for me. Just don’t think it’s as great as the first movie. Though it’s still pretty great.

The characters here are all (for the most part) horrible people, but they’re so well written that it works. Ewan McGregor is back as Renton, and he’s got some things to work out in his life. Seeing Renton’s journey to try to reconcile with his friends is really interesting, and as we go through the movie we can tell that his life isn’t as great as he tries to make it seem. And McGregor is of course great in the role. Ewen Bremner returns as Spud, the most sympathetic and possibly most tragic of all the characters. He’s always been a bit of an unlucky loser, and in this movie it still mostly rings true. But he’s fun, and I cared about him. And Bremner is great in the role. Jonny Lee Miller returns as Sick Boy (now going by Simon), a very bitter man that feels a lot of resentment towards his old friend. He’s a scheming jerk, but I still at times found myself caring about him. And Miller is great in the role. Then we have Robert Carlyle back as Francis Begbie, a very angry psychopath who wants to kill Renton for what he did to him 20 years ago. He’s just as angry, foul-mouthed, murderous, and intense as in the first movie… potentially even more now that I think about it. What is a bit surprising is that he does have a little bit of an arc here that is kind of compelling… sort of. And Carlyle is just amazing in the role. Then we have a newcomer in the form of Anjela Nedyalkova as Veronika, girlfriend of Sick boy. She’s good at heart, but has a bit of a dark side (who doesn’t in this fucked up universe). And Nedyalkova is great in the role. Really, there are no bad performances here.

Like in the first one, “T2” has no actual score composed for it. Instead it’s a soundtrack featuring all kinds of songs. From remixes of tracks from the first, to newer songs. And while I personally wouldn’t listen to several of the tracks during my free time, I think all tracks work wonderfully within their respective scenes and help give the movie it’s identity.

Danny Boyle returned to direct this sequel to his classic movie. And what I like about the directing/editing here is that it retains the unique style of “Trainspotting” while also showing off the improved talents of Danny Boyle. It’s a great mix of new and old. Combining the clever camerawork with slick editing gives it such a unique and engaging style that I can’t help but love. The first movie’s signature dark humor is also back and it’s just as awkwardly hilarious as it was the first time around.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 67/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“T2 Trainspotting” is one of those sequels that exceeded my expectation. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/editing. Like I said earlier, my only (minor) flaw with the movie is that the plot isn’t quite as unpredictable as the first one, but it doesn’t take away too much for me. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “T2 Trainspotting” is a 9,23/10. So while mildly flawed, it is definitely worth buying!

My review of “T2 Trainspotting” is now completed.

“T2 Terminator-spotting”… god damn it, now I want to see Begbie go up against a Terminator. Can we make that happen, please?

Movie Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

With the impending release of “Justice League”, I thought that it was time to finally get around to watching/reviewing this movie. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Wonder Woman”.

After an American soldier named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes on the mysterious island of Themyscira, he finds himself at the mercy of the Amazons, the group of warrior women inhabiting the island. And he soon brings Diana (Gal Gadot), the princess of the island, to Europe to help in the fight against the Germans during World War 1. So now we have our origin story. And I honestly thought this was a solid plot. There is a bit of a fish out of water element to it, with Diana coming to our world and experiencing World War 1, as well as things people at the time took for granted. But it’s not just a fun little “Oh, she’s not from here” type of story, as it is also an interesting look into her origin and how she has to learn to be Wonder Woman, and there’s a surprising amount of emotion in that journey. The final act is the weakest, as it becomes kind of like the other DCEU movies, but I also feel like this movie earns it by having a great story for the rest of the runtime. Really, this is a good, emotional, not messy, and fun plot.

The characters here are fun and interesting and for the most part quite layered. Gal Gadot reprises her role as Wonder Woman (after 2016’s “Batman v Superman”), and I have to say that I really liked the character here. In “BvS” she was just a fun little addition that didn’t add anything of value, but here she becomes a real character. You see Diana grow as a character here, from a somewhat naive person who wants to see the world and doesn’t know shit about it, to something more. And unlike the DCEU other “heroes”, she’s not broody. She’s fun and optimistic and just incredibly likable. She gets a lot of great character development here and I think Gadot was great in the role. Chris Pine plays Steve Trevor, the soldier who crashes on Themyscira and acts as a sort of guide/love interest for Diana. And what I liked is that he’s not just some one-note person that is either total badass or a helpless idiot, he feels like a legit person here who helps a lot in the development of Diana’s character. And Pine is great in the role. Danny Huston plays one of the movie’s villains, and he’s a bit cartoony. He seems like he’s just evil for the sake of evil (muahaha). He gives a good performance, but the character isn’t very well developed… but I will not dock any points from the movie because I did kind of enjoy him here. Then I’m not gonna go in-depth with more characters, but I can say that the rest of them are pretty interesting. I’ll at least give you the list of actors instead. Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock, Saïd Taghmaoui, Lucy Davis, Elena Anaya… and they’re all great. This is seriously a talented cast.

The score for the movie was composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams and I thought it was great. It’s big, epic, dramatic, fun, triumphant, awe-inspiring, and just overall worked very well for the movie, often elevating scenes throughout the movie. It is probably my favorite of the DCEU scores so far.

This movie was directed by Patty Jenkins and I thought she did a great job with it. Her direction has a lot of energy to it, keeping it from getting boring. And that is important, because this is an almost 2,5 hour long movie, but I never felt that it dragged, often due to Jenkins’ energy-filled direction. And holy shit, colors! There are actual colors in this DC movie! Let’s talk about the action. While there’s a ton of slow-motion in this (which I hoped they’d use less of in future movies), it didn’t bother me too much and I enjoyed the action scenes. And by enjoyed I mean that there are some fucking awesome action scenes in this. There’s one scene especially that is in a battlefield (people who’ve seen this know which scene I mean) that is one of the best action set pieces of the year. AS for visual effects in this movie, they range from terrific to meh. There were a couple moments where stuff looked less than stellar, but I’m not gonna take points away because they weren’t really that big a distraction, but I thought it could be worth mentioning.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/100.

“Wonder Woman” is a great movie. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Wonder Woman” is a 9,76/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Wonder Woman” is now completed.

Dear “Justice League”. Please be good.

Movie Review: Trainspotting (1996)

trainspotting

Well… now is a good a time as any to finally check this movie out, since a sequel is coming out very soon and such. So here we go.

Ladies and gents… “Trainspotting”.

Renton (Ewan McGregor) is a young man living in Scotland. He also has quite the drug problem. And we follow Renton as he is trying to go clean, with all the problems that entails, such as peer pressure and the sweet allure of those dirty fucking drugs. And the tale of Renton is definitely an incredibly interesting one. The stuff we witness Renton (and his friends) go through is fascinating, disturbing, odd, and entertaining. It’s hard to really describe my feelings about the plot here because it is very unique and doesn’t really follow any typical formula. Like I said, I was constantly engaged and entertained by it.

The characters in this movie are all assholes in one way or another, but I didn’t completely hate any of them. And they were all very entertaining. Ewan McGregor was great as Renton, perfectly playing this drug-addicted young man. Jonny Lee Miller played Sick Boy (actual character name) and he was really good. Ewen Bremmer played Spud, another one of Renton’s friends, and he was really good. Then we had Robert Carlyle as Begbie, a real wild card of a character. Let me just put it like this: Just breath in his general direction the wrong way and you will have the worst day of your life… yeah, he’s that level of asshole… and Carlyle was great! Then we also get some really good supporting performances from people like Kelly Macdonald and Kevin McKidd. Yeah… interesting characters, great performances.

What’s interesting about the music in “Trainspotting” is that there’s no original score… yeah, that’s an unusual one. Instead we simply have a soundtrack. Not that it’s a bad thing, oh no. Because the soundtrack in this movie is pretty great, containing a perfect mix of pop, rock, and techno, all perfectly fitting the scenes they’re used in.

This movie was directed by Danny Boyle and I think he did a terrific job here. The shots and editing here all perfectly fit this dirty, uneasy, drug-fueled world the characters live in. With that said, there are some trippy scenes in the movie, and they are kind of weird but also very well done. There’s also a decent amount of humor in the movie. Very dark humor, but definitely humor. And I thought that said humor was funny and entertaining. But there are also one or two parts that were a bit disturbing, which I understand why they’re there… because stay away from drugs, kiddos.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 83/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,2/10 and is ranked #160 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best adapted screenplay.

“Trainspotting” is a kind of weird but very engaging  movie. It has a great plot, entertaining characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Trainspotting” is a 9,86/10. Which means it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Trainspotting” is now completed.

How the fuck do you sequelize this?