T2: Trainspotting is the Pick of the Week

New releases this week include a Trainspotting sequel, Alfred Hitchock's second film, some Power Rangers, and more.
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The mid-'90s were a great time to be a burgeoning cinephile.  Independent films were becoming mainstream, which meant you could catch really interesting, off-beat, non-studio films at the mall.  Guys like Steven Soderbergh, Kevin Smith, and Quentin Tarantino were blowing up cinemas with films not like anything this young college student had ever seen before.  

Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting was a great shot of adrenaline (er, heroin?) right to the center of this movie lover’s heart.  It was so stylish and entertaining.  It used music to huge effect.  And despite the dead, crawling babies and the diving into the worst toilet in Scotland, it kind of made me want to be a drug addict.  At least for a minute or two.

Irvine Welsh wrote a sequel to his novel (upon which the movie was based) and honestly, I couldn’t get through it.  It was a bit all over the place, narratively speaking, and Welsh’s use of Scottish dialects made it really difficult to comprehend for this Oklahoma-born boy.  Danny Boyle apparently wasn’t all that impressed with it either as my understanding is that he only loosely based his film on it.

It got pretty decent reviews but hardly made a cultural blip here in the U.S.  Presumably, it made greater waves in the UK where its based. Either way, I’m excited to see it.

Also out this week that looks interesting:

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (Criterion Collection):  Criterion’s been releasing a lot of Hitchcock’s early films of late and now they have the third one he made as a director.  Made in 1927, The Lodger is about a nice London family who take in a guest and discover he may be a notorious serial killer.

The Belko Experiment:  James Gunn directed this "Battle Royale in a corporate office" styled horror film.  Reviews have been very mixed, but is sounds like loads of gruesome fun to me.

Power Rangers:  The newest incarnation of the Might Morphins stars Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Banks, and Naomi Scott.  It feels like it got quite a bit of hype in the run up and quickly died in the theaters.  I’m too old to have cared about the original series so I have no desire to see this.

Straw Dogs (Criterion Collection):  Sam Peckinpah’s controversial film stars Dustin Hoffman as a nebbish American who finds his English cottage under siege by a group of bullish men attracted to his wife.  This is an upgrade to the Criterion DVD package released several years ago.

CHiPS:  Hollywood’s constant remaking of our collective nostalgia continues with Dax Shephard both starring and directing this big screen remake of a not-so-classic '70s TV show.

The Strain: The Complete 3rd Season:  I keep telling myself I need to watch this rather ridiculous-looking vampire horror show from FX, but there is just so much other TV that I need to get to first.

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