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Trainspotting Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 94 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x Digital Copy)
  • Studio: Miramax/Lionsgate
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 13, 2011
  • List Price: $19.99

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BestBuy.com:
Trainspotting - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dolby Dts

Purchase Trainspotting on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:5/5]

Director Danny Boyle’s (Slumdog Millionaire; 127 Hours) second feature film was this 1996 break out, Trainspotting. It’s a highly stylized, visually enticing, surrealistic, yet gritty look at the life of a heroin addict trying to get clean. Propelled by a rock and roll soundtrack rooted in the druggy tunes of Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Velvet Underground, and Elastica, it is a fast-paced and trippy diorama of youth gone astray.

Renton (Ewan McGregor; I Love You Phillip Morris; The Island) is strung out on heroin and thoroughly engulfed in the Edinburgh drug scene with his group of drug-addicted and criminally-minded friends. He longs to get clean of his addiction, but the allure of his friends and the call of the drugs is too enticing. It all come to a head when he finally makes a move to London, only to have his three friends Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle) follow behind with a plan to “punt” a big score of heroin and share the earnings.

Boyle’s palette in this film is a colorful journey of reds, blues, and greens aided by a neo-modern set design from Kave Quinn. Numerous surrealistic dream-like sequences permeate the drug-like atmosphere, such as the famous toilet scene in the opening quarter of the film. It’s a marvel journey of filmmaking that falls shy of glamorizing a drug culture by its frank exploration of circumstances like the death of an infant, HIV infection, and other more humorous, but still somewhat disgusting, turns of events.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

I was somewhat disappointed in this AVC/MPEG-4 encodement of Trainspotting due to the fact that the wonderful color palette didn’t really “pop” as much as I would have liked it too. Also, there was a rather coarse gran structure complicated by numerous instances of scratches and dirt that were rather obvious. It could have been cleaned up a bit more. Background detail was also a lot softer than I recall this film looking. Otherwise, I didn’t see any video noise or evidence of edge enhancement and it does look film-like.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The DTS-HD master Audio 5.1 mix was big and reverberant, but it sounds a bit too artificial to my ears, almost like a reprocessed stereo mix, particularly when the music pumps up to the fore. Low frequencies aren’t as extended as I’d like them to be either and dialogue tends to drop a bit low in the mix, although during some of the club scenes this is obviously done on purpose.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

They haven’t added any new HD features to this release, so what you’ll get here is recycled standard definition DVD-era supplements.

The supplements provided with this release:

  • Audio Commentary by Danny Boyle, Andrew Macdonald, John Hodge, and Ewan McGregor
  • Deleted Scenes with optional commentary (1.33:1; 480i/60)
  • Trainspotting Retrospective (1.33:1; 480i/60):
    • Look of the Film:
      • Then
      • Now
    • Sound of the Film:
      • Then
      • Now
    • Interviews:
      • Origins – Irvine Welsh
      • John Hodge
      • Danny Boyle
      • Andrew Macdonald
    • Behind the Needle:
      • Angle 1
      • Angle 2
      • Angle 3
      • Calton Athletic Boys
  • The Making of Trainspotting (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:09:32)
  • Cannes (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:02:12):
    • Martin Landau
    • Noel Gallagher
    • Damon Albarn
    • Ewan Mcgregor
    • Cannes Snapshot
  • Gallery (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:05:06)
  • Theatrical Teaser (1.33:1; 480i/60)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1.33:1; 480i/60)
  • Digital Copy

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Trainspotting is a modern cinematic classic with superb acting performances anchored by keen directorial skills from Danny Boyle. Although this Blu-ray release does not rise to the level of the absolute best catalogue titles we have seen, it is definitely worth owning.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B0057ZAA0S[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Trainspotting - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dolby Dts

Purchase Trainspotting on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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