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Friday, June 23, 2017

'T2 Trainspotting' BD: The Heroin-Addicted Lads Are Back in Town

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment awesomely bucks the trend regarding overdue sequels regarding "T2 Trainspotting," which is coming out on Blu-ray and DVD on June 27, 2017. The bright colors, highly stylized images, and soundtrack that rivals that of the 1996 original makes buying this one on BD a no-brainer. Choose your format, choose your television, choose your entertainment, choose your bliss.

The other no-brainer is to spend a couple of bucks to buy the DVD of the Oscar-nominated "Trainspotting" as homework for "T2," to enjoy an exceptional film with wonderfully perverse humor, and to have the treat of a terrific double feature.

Following the plot of "T2" does not require familiarity with "Trainspotting," but that background enhances the experience of watching the new film. It also will make those of us who know "Trainspotting" from its theatrical run regret waiting so long to revisit the film on DVD.

The following YouTube clips of the theatrical trailers (in chronological order) of both films validate the opinions expressed above.

"T2" begins with violent psychopath Begbie (Robert Carlyle of "Once Upon a Time" and "The Full Monty") not responding well to be denied parole from his unfortunate incarceration. The action soon shifts to Mark Renton, whom Ewan "Obi-Wan" McGregor currently of the "Fargo" television series plays just as well as he does back in the day (and who displays his Danial Radcliffe style fondness for full-frontal nude scenes), returns to Edinburgh 20 years after the events of "Trainspotting."

Renton returns to his childhood home, which looks exactly as it does in 1996. This also is the first of a couple of occasions in which director Danny Boyle (of "Trainspotting" and "Slumdog Millionaire") makes the most creative use of shadows since "Peter Pan."

Describing the reunions that Renton has with former chums/fellow heroin addicts Simon nee Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller of "Elementary") and Spud (Ewen Bremner) as involving facing his demons is very apt in this case. Much of "Trainspotting" revolves around the heroin use and related nefarious dealings of this trio regarding whom friendship-related loyalty does not go very far. The final scenes of this film revolve around Renton massively demonstrating the franchise theme of betrayal following opportunity.

Getting decades-old resentments out of the way allows Renton and Simon to team up to start an Edinburgh-style brothel; this includes a hilarious scene in which this pair uses every buzz-word and related selling technique there is to get funding for their urban-renewal project.

Although "T2" has less humor than "Trainspotting." it has moments that pay homage to that spirit. One of the best involves a business competitor getting hilarious revenge against Renton and Simon.

The award for most humorous moment of the franchise goes to a perfect sadistic scene in "Trainspotting"  that involves Sean Connery impressions and shooting a previously docile pit bull with a pellet gun to provoke an attack on his owner. (Second place goes to Spud wrestling with the mother of his girlfriend for soiled sheets; the spoiler is that the fan is only thing that is not hit.) Other great "Trainspotting" moments include an American tourist begging for a beat-down and a sex tape getting hijacked.

Meanwhile "T2" era Spud is struggling to get his disastrous life back on track; this includes documenting the past and present exploits of him and his chums.

Begbie, who predictably is not in a forgiving mood, getting his shot at Renton drives much of the action in the final third of "T2." Their initial encounter and almost immediate pursuit is pure "Trainspotting" with a nice dash of classic Western. Their final showdown is a great payoff.

Boyle remains especially true to the "Trainspotting" spirit in the final "T2" scene, which pays wonderful homage to the opening scene of its "parent." One can only hope that Boyle does not keep us waiting another 20 years for a sequel. Choose a script, choose a shooting schedule, choose a release date, choose an award acceptance speech, choose a retirement island.

The Blu-ray special features include deleted scenes, Boyle and the lads discussing making "T2," and audio commentary by Boyle.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Trainspotting" or "T2" is strongly encouraged to email me; you additionally can connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.