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: Filth (2013)

I honestly don’t know what to say here. I can usually write something that somehow relates back to the movie. Problem is that this movie is so… itself. It doesn’t have any aspect that I can focus on for the intro, and that’s rare for a movie. Well done, you filthy fuck.

Ladies and gents… “Filth”.

Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) is a Detective Sergeant in Scotland. He’s looking to get a promotion, and he’s willing to manipulate anybody to get it. So we follow his misadventures as he tries to get this promotion while also battling with a lot of his inner demons. So now we have our plot. And I’d say that it’s quite an interesting one. Seeing the journey of this horrible man is both fascinating and entertaining as he’s not your typical protagonist, but also because it takes some really interesting turns throughout. My only complaint about the plot is that it at one point makes quite a drastic change in tone. It goes from fun and really dark comedy into a really serious and harrowing drama. Now, I actually kind of understand why the filmmakers did that, it’s just that the change in tone felt a little bit sudden and took me out of the story a bit. Overall the plot was really solid, but was brought down a bit for me with that shift in tone.

The characters in this thing are all kind of troubled and flawed, but that’s also what makes them interesting and quite entertaining. Bruce Robertson is one of the most corrupt asshole cops that I’ve ever seen on a screen. He’s foul-mouthed, a junkie, a bigot, he basically just ticks all the boxes for “total fucking asshole”. But he does also battle a lot of demons, which makes him a more compelling character. And James McAvoy is fantastic in the role, giving a fearless and incredibly layered performance. Jamie Bell plays one of his colleagues who’s pretty much the rookie of the gang, and he’s also mildly corrupt, but not as much as Robertson. And Bell is great in the role. Imogen Poots plays another one of Robertson’s colleagues, and she’s probably the least corrupt of them all. And Poots is great in the role. Eddie Marsan plays Robertson’s dorky friend who gets brought along on some of Robertson’s misadventures. And Marsan is great in the role. John Sessions plays Robertson’s superior office, and he’s great in the role. Really, it is overall a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Clint Mansell and it’s really good. It’s dark, dramatic, funny, and just overall well composed, fitting the movie very well. There were also a whole bunch of licensed tracks throughout, and they were all very well implemented into the movie. So yeah, there’s some really good music here.

This movie was directed by Jon S. Baird and was based on a novel by Irvine Welsh (you know, the “Trainspotting” guy, which explains a lot about “Filth”). Now, I haven’t read the book, but I’d still say that Baird did a really good job bringing it to the screen. His directing is very tight and made me feel a bit uneasy from first frame. It’s a filthy world that this movie explores, and that is conveyed very well by Baird’s directing. There’s also a lot of comedy in this movie and I found it quite funny… that said, the comedy here is quite dark, which some people might not be very fond of. But it made me laugh, and that’s the important part here. I should also mention that this movie is filled with cursing, graphic sex/nudity, drug use, and even some violence. So if you’re a prude and can’t handle that stuff… consider yourself warned.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 64% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 56/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

“Filth” certainly isn’t for everybody, but I found it to be a really solid movie. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and really good directing. My flaw with it came from the aforementioned tonal shift. Time for my final score. *A-fucking-hem!*. My final score for “Filth” is an 8,98/10. So while it is flawed, I’d say that it is wroth buying.

My review of “Filth” is now completed.

McAvoy is one of the most underrated actors ever.

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

chamberofsecrets

The other day was the blogathon thing, and we still got some Month of Spooks stuff left to do… but we can also not forget my series of “Harry Potter” reviews leading up to “Fantastic Beasts” in November. And now we are finally continuing it after,,, two and a half weeks, good grief. Anyhow, let’s stop with this intro and get into the review itself!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”!

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) begins his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in a rather rocky way. First off, he got warnings from a house-elf named Dobby (Toby Jones) about bad things that will happen at Hogwarts. Secondly, his journey from Little Whinging to Hogwarts was kind of troublesome and filled with mishaps. But the trouble is not over yet, as people start getting petrified for some reason. And this of course creates a mystery where Harry, Ron (Rupter Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) to try to figure out who/what might have done this. With that said, I really liked how the plot unfolded… a lot. What I think the plot of this movie benefited from was how it doesn’t have to set the world up, since that was done (pretty fucking well) in the last movie. So now we can just get right into the main plot of this movie, which of course gives the plot of this movie a much better pace. Which is of course a bit ironic seeing as this movie is longer than the last. But yeah, it was an interesting plot which created a compelling mystery which of course led to the plot going to some darker places when it comes to this world and it’s main character. It was pretty great.

The characters in the movie are about as great as in the first one, but as the plot unfolds we do get a little bit more development from them as they learn more things. Daniel Radcliffe once again knocked it out of the park, getting some more moments to shine here in comparison to the first one. And the development of the character itself is actually really good, as we learn more about who he really is, at the same rate he does. Rupter Grint and Emma Watson also did great in this movie in their roles. And the chemistry between these three central actors is so great and so believable. The other actors in the movie do pretty great as well. Tom Felton as Malfoy once again was great, with his character being even more despicable than in the first movie. Richard Harris (R.I.P) was also really great as Dumbledore, Maggie Smith once again was great as professor McGonagall, Alan Rickman (R.I.P) was still amazing as Snape, and it goes on like that for pretty much every returning actor/character. But we also got a few new interesting faces in this one, so let’s go through them. First off we have the previously mentioned Dobby the house-elf, a magical little dude voiced by the great Toby Jones. At first he is actually a bit annoying, but after a while you grow to actually kind of like him, especially near the end when you find out some more stuff about him and his “family”. Next is Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart, a very famous wizard who you immediately can tell is more bark than bite. Basically he is the magical equivalent of the classic saying “Girls want to be with him and guys want to be him”. Think to have that dude as the “Defense Against the Dark Arts” teacher… yeah. But you can tell that Branagh had fun with the role, and I think he did a good jobas the character. And finally we have Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy, AKA Draco’s dad. And this dude just oozes of self-important asshole, as soon as he enters the scene you immediately tell that this guy is bad news. And Jason Isaacs is pretty damn great in the role. In other words, this cast is great!

Once again the music was composed by the one and only John Williams and its still great. Some of the themes in there are of course the same as in the first movie, but that’s nothing to complain about because those tracks are pretty great. But there are also a bunch of new tracks composed for this movie as well, and they are pretty great too, perfectly capturing the magical and whimsical but still dark world that Harry and his friends live in. Yeah, the music’s fucking great.

Like the first movie, this was directed by Chris Columbus (still not re-discovering America). And he did a great job again. Sure, a lot of bits remind me of the first movie a lot, but it’s not too much of a complaint. But he is a very talented director who did a great job, giving us some great directing and some great angles. He also managed to make this movie even more suspenseful and even scarier than the first. I mean, the final act is really tense and actually a bit scary. And the visual effects in this movie are even better than in the first, especially the Quidditch match which looks so much better than the first movie, which of course makes it more engaging and more fun.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 82% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 63/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” is a a definite improvement over the first movie. With a really interesting plot, better pacing, great characters/acting, great music, fantastic visual effects, and better suspense/tension. Time for my final score. *Magically summons score*. My final score for “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” is a 9,67/10. So of course it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” is now completed.

If you have arachnophobia then this movie might not be the best for you…