DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Danny Boyle
Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle
Writing Credits:
John Hodge

After 20 years abroad, Mark Renton returns to Scotland and reunites with his old friends Sick Boy, Spud, and Begbie.

Box Office:
$18 million.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Descriptive Audio
Supplements Subtitles:

117 min.
Price: $30.99
Release Date: 6/27/2017

• Audio Commentary with Director Danny Boyle and Writer John Hodge
• “20 Years in the Making” Featurette
• “Calton Athletic” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


T2 Trainspotting [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 25, 2017)

Back in 1996, Trainspotting became a cultural touchstone, a movie that didn’t earn a ton of money but one that made an indelible mark on cinema. 21 years later, director Danny Boyle revisits the characters and scenarios from the 1996 classic via T2 Trainspotting.

Back in the 1990s, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) ripped off a large sum of money from his friends, including psychotic pal Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Rather than risk Begbie’s violent wrath, Mark fled his native Scotland.

20 years later, Mark finally returns to Edinburgh and reunites with his old buddies Spud (Ewen Bremner) and Simon (Jonny Lee Miller). Their renewed acquaintance leads to some complicated paths – as does the potential vengeance intended by Begbie.

Unusually, 2017 brings us two sequels to movies from decades earlier. In addition to T2, we get the next chapter in the Blade Runner saga. The 21 years between the first Trainspotting and T2 seems like a long period of time – until you consider it took 35 years for another Blade Runner to arrive.

Blade Runner 2049 will become a subject for another day, but on the surface, it seems like a logical extension of the original, as the first film’s world comes with much material ripe for exploration. The universe of Trainspotting, however, appears less open for sequel treatment.

Maybe other fans disagree, but when Trainspotting ended, I didn’t feel a great need to see what happened next – the movie told a pretty self-contained narrative. That said, I liked the first film enough to want to see what Boyle would do with the material all these years later.

It would be a clear mistake to expect something with the impact and force of Trainspotting, of course. That film created a real sensation in 1996 and remains a legitimate classic, so one can’t legitimately anticipate the same from the sequel.

With expectations in check, I think T2 gives us a moderately interesting update on the characters, but I can’t claim it delivers a crucial extension of the original. While T2 keeps us engaged from start to finish, it doesn’t do a lot to stand out as its own beast.

In the positive vein, I’m glad Boyle doesn’t try to re-enact the anarchic energy of the prior film. Not only would that feel desperate, but also a story about characters in their 40s necessarily needs a different vibe contrasted to a tale about their younger selves.

Not that this makes T2 a sedate experience, as it occasionally reminds us of the first flick’s out of control vibe. However, it focuses more on a somewhat contemplative feel, as the characters tend to use the narrative to take stock of their largely-wasted lives.

Which seems like a good choice, but it doesn’t pan out to give us an especially involving narrative. As I mentioned earlier, at no point over the last 21 years did I feel a strong urge to reinvestigate the lives of Mark and his pals, and T2 doesn’t contradict my belief that we got enough of those characters back in 1996.

This doesn’t mean T2 offers a bad movie – not by any stretch of the imagination. It manages to create a fairly compelling update and it gives us a decent look at the participants across its 117 minutes.

That doesn’t sound like a glowing endorsement, though, does it? Inevitably, a sequel will find itself compared to its predecessor, and when that predecessor was a milestone like Trainspotting, “decent look” and “fairly compelling update” turn into faint praise.

But they’re all the praise I can throw at T2. I’m glad I saw the film and I like much of what it conveys, but I admit I don’t know what purpose it serves.

T2 offers a mildly involving chance to catch up with Trainspotting’s characters but it never really threatens to turn into something more dynamic. It simply lacks a true reason to exist as its own narrative.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus B

T2 Trainspotting appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a high-quality presentation.

For the most part, sharpness worked fine. A few interiors looked a smidgen soft, but the majority of the flick appeared well-defined and accurate. No signs of jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I witnessed no edge haloes or print flaws materialized.

The movie’s palette opted for a teal tint much of the time, though it brought out a mix of other strong primary hues as well. These looked well-rendered and dynamic. Blacks seemed dense and tight, while low-light shots presented good smoothness and clarity. Overall, this was a pleasing transfer.

In addition, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack also worked well. Dominated by music, songs and score blasted from all five channels on a regular basis, and these added zing to the proceedings.

Effects became a less active participant, as they usually focused on ambient elements. Some louder bits emerged as well, but most of the mix went with environmental material, and that seemed fine, as thbe soundscape opened in an appropriate manner.

Audio quality was fine, though note that T2 came with an unusually loud track – I needed to drop my normal volume level quit a bit when I watched the film. Music varied a little dependent on the source, but the score and songs boasted positive range and heft.

Due to all those Scottish accents, dialogue occasionally became a bit tough to understand, but the lines were reproduced with good clarity. Effects showed nice accurate and dynamics as well. This turned into a worthwhile soundtrack.

When we move to extras, we start with an audio commentary from director Danny Boyle and writer John Hodge. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters and connections to the first film, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, and related domains.

Overall, this turns into a fairly insightful chat. We get a good mix of production details, all presented in an engaging and informative manner. Those factors make it a worthwhile discussion.

20 Years in the Making runs 24 minutes, 49 seconds and involves Boyle and actors Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle and Jonny Lee Miller. They discuss the original film and revisiting the characters, reflections on the first flick and expanding its horizons for the sequel, and aspects of the production.

While we get a few good thoughts here, much of “Years” offers appeal just as a “family reunion”. Absent Ewen Bremner – who couldn’t attend – it’s nice to see the main crew chat and reminisce. They just don’t tell us a lot that I’d call substantial.

Called Choosing Endorphins Over Addiction, a featurette about Calton Athletic that lasts four minutes, 25 seconds. The team features a roster of former addicts who turned to sports to help kick their habit. It’s an intriguing notion but it doesn’t give us actual information, so it feels more like a trailer for a longer program than a concrete discussion itself.

A whopping 29 Deleted Scenes last a total of 30 minutes, 11 seconds. Most of these provide minor extensions and snippets that don’t add up to much.

We do get some intriguing additions, though, with more of Renton/Diane as the prime attraction. Actually, I can’t claim the added footage of the two provides much of interest – the existing “reunion” of the former lovers works better – but it’s interesting to see these clips.

Another moderately compelling new theme comes from more of Begbie and his attorney. These don’t need to be in the movie, but they’re entertaining and become some of the better scenes. Otherwise, much of the material remains forgettable.

The disc opens with ads for Spider-Man: Homecoming<, Underworld: Blood Wars, Rough Night, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Resident Evil: Vendetta and Life. No trailer for T2 appears here.

Perhaps the most we could hope from it, T2 Trainspotting presents a decent update on the 1996 film’s characters. While it doesn’t do much to create its own identity or purpose, it manages to offer a watchable sequel. The Blu-ray provides very good picture and audio along with a nice collection of supplements. I doubt anyone will look back on T2 20 years from now, but it creates a reasonable view of its participants.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
1 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main