Review: T2 Trainspotting

First there was an opportunity……then there was a betrayal. Twenty years have gone by. Much has changed but just as much remains the same. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place he can ever call home. They are waiting for him: Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Other old friends are waiting too: sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, diamorphine, self-destruction and mortal danger, they are all lined up to welcome him, ready to join the dance. Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
-Synopsis taken from IMDB

I feel like all my reviews at the moment are “The reason this film wasn’t brilliant was because it was, in essence, wasted potential.” But for me, that is the summary I would use for T2.

Spontaneous-Brain-Thoughts;
An aside… what is it with the only films being made at the moment being sequels and remakes? Is it that difficult to find more book adaptations or original plot ideas? The Oscar nominations might be a little heavy-going but at least they’re full of originality!

The vast majority of the film was setting the scene for the ‘betrayal’ and played largely off references to the first. This was certainly not a stand-alone-film. That isn’t an insult as it was advertised heavily as being a sequel to a cult classic. If you enjoyed the first, then you’re likely to enjoy the second. On the whole, if you went in expecting it to be as good, you were bound to be disappointed.

Begbie was being cast as the villain in this film and Robert Cartlyle was amazing. That man is such a versatile and outstanding actor. Ewan McGregor is fantastic in everything he’s in and the fact that he was able to get back into a character that initiated his career was admirable. I know that there was a disagreement between the director and him for a considerable length of time but hearing them talk about it on the Graham Norton show it’s clear that they’ve set all their differences aside. It was clear that this time around, these characters reached new depths I didn’t think fathomable.

There was a moment towards the end that would have changed my impression of the film substantially. In the first film they killed off a main character… and it actually added to the plot. I think we all knew they wouldn’t do it again. When that was happening… I found myself being amazed by the shock and I was empathetic for all of the characters. They didn’t, however, follow through with it… leaving me with a bit of a lackluster sensation about the film.

Random-Brain-Thoughts

Come on, guys! 2017 has to be better for film!!

Character writing = Good.
Plot = Hit and miss.
Acting = Incredible.
Enjoyment Factor = 6.5/10

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Review: Jurassic World

Premise: 22 years after the original Jurassic Park failed, the new park (also known as Jurassic World) is open for business. After years of studying genetics the scientists on the park genetically engineer a new breed of dinosaur. When everything goes horribly wrong, will our heroes make it off the island?

I’m not sure I’d have the most positive things to say about this film other than the fact that the graphics are sublime! The new and old dinosaurs are exceptional.

I’ve recently become part of an advocate for film & literature at my local school (I’m a secondary school teacher) and have subsequently joined a monthly film club. I must admit that I was hesitant and somewhat skeptical to watch this film surrounded by a group of students. It did, however, make the watch more enjoyable — mostly because the eye-rolling predictability was somewhat lost on them. (“I know why they wouldn’t tell us what it’s made of…”)

On its release I was certainly worried that the film was so popular; the reason being is that I think it is a very misogynistic film. 5/6 of the directors and writers were male and I would like to add a note that the person credited with the character writing (Michael Crichton) is also male. I have no qualms with a male-heavy crew, that has never been the issue. I’m bothered purely by the lack of a decent female role-model in this film.

The lead, Claire, was utterly ridiculous of the most part of the film; she was complaining about running in heels and a business suit… she cheesily rolled up her sleeves, pathetically tied something around her waist and did this whole “ready for action” thing – only to be a running and screaming powerless woman in need of rescue by her big hunky boyfriend. Also, both children were male, why? Why did the main three characters who actually managed to contribute to the plot and the solution have to be male? I really do think I would have felt less insulted by the film if they’d successfully included a woman within the plot. (Don’t even get me started on the woman who was supposed to be looking after the children – Karen, was it? Eugh!)

Initial opinions from the students (and I’m paraphrasing); it’s a good stand alone film but didn’t have the same feel as the original. They felt that this was mostly due to the fact that the original was filmed mostly at night with a lot of rain but this one was fundamentally more colourful. Think they’re trying to hard – they had to create a make believe dinosaur in order to adhere to blockbuster expectations and people becoming accustomed to the drama in current films. The SFX were amazing but the amount of the blood was a bit unnecessary. Perhaps these films are just made for slightly younger audiences? But then my argument would be don’t pick a classic film where an older generation that saw the original would want to enjoy it.
Edit: Someone added that they might’ve made this film for the original fans to watch with their children.

I do have an additional thing that I should be thankful for – the ‘easter eggs’ and throwbacks to the original! I enjoyed that because it wasn’t all done in a cheesy terrible manner. Some of the nods to the classic were subtle and tasteful – I loved them. Overall, I wish that I’d not been able to predict everything.

By the way, I’m not naïve enough, to realise that the film wasn’t taking itself seriously.– but it didn’t stop it being irritatingly formulaic.

I love blue!