After a couple of weeks binging on Hammer Horror movies at home (Yes I still prefer blood that looks like paint and fake, crappy looking bats with strings attached over CGI), I finally got back to the cinema to see something new.
Here are a few spoiler-free thoughts (not a review or synopsis – just my thoughts!) on two great movies I saw recently.
Like a lot of people, I was apprehensive about this. You just can’t follow up a movie like Trainspotting right? How dare they? The original was a perfect thing and why would Danny Boyle and crew want to piss all over their 1996 masterpiece by making a shoddy twenty-years later sequel?
(Note – The Colour of Money was made twenty-five years after The Hustler and although it has its critics I actually think it’s a pretty good film. Later sequels CAN work)
T2 Trainspotting works brilliantly. A few friends back in Scotland went to see this before me and their positive reports were enough to convince me that it was going to be good. Props to screenwriter John Hodge, who’s nailed it with a brilliant script. This is a very moving, funny/tragic film about growing older, disillusionment and all those weighty things that happen when you’re no longer in your early twenties.
The performances are all top notch. Beforehand I was a little worried that Robert Carlyle might be caricaturing his original and outstanding portrayal of Begbie. He doesn’t. Although Begbie is still a psycho with a grudge (understandable!) he’s carrying as much baggage as the other characters and there are some great scenes with his son who is the complete opposite of his father given that he’s working on getting a career in hotel management.
Begbie Junior running the Hilton? Makes you think…
Favourite scene? Spud coming out of the boxing gym and witnessing a scene from the original film (and from his own past). A few lingering notes of ‘Born Slippy’ add tremendously to the atmosphere. That for me was the most moving moment of the film. Quality stuff.
I saw this in Australia and I’m pretty sure my Scottish accent was more Begbie-esque as I went swaggering out of the cinema.
So what next? T3? I’d actually like to see an adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s The Blade Artist which sees Begbie in very different surroundings. I enjoyed the book and there’s an interesting film in there. Apparently Irvine Welsh is up for it and so is Robert Carlyle.
Someone give them the money. Please.
I didn’t know much about X-Men before seeing this. In fact, until recently I’d never seen any of the films and I’d never read any of the comics either. But recently I kept noticing articles about Logan and the premise had me intrigued. I love the whole superhero getting older thing. No matter who it is, it makes the character more human, fragile and ultimately much, much more interesting.
So in advance of seeing this, I binged on the X-Men movies over the past week or so. And I enjoyed them. Most of them 🙂 But it set me up nicely for going to see Logan a couple of days back. I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a great, emotional violent frenzy of a movie. A kick in the guts in more ways than one.
There are some tender moments in there for sure, so it’s not your typical Marvel thing, which to be honest can get a bit boring. This movie has soul – the magic ingredient and the one thing I demand in everything that promises to entertain me.
Patrick Stewart is brilliant. He’s always brilliant. Ever since I saw him prancing around on a horse in Excalibur I’ve loved that man. Hugh Jackman is great too. This is his last appearance as Wolverine and in my opinion it’s his best. Again, something about fragile heroes – like Bruce Willis in Die Hard. Knowing that the hero is vulnerable and that he really could get hurt or even die makes a story so much more engaging. So much more tense. That’s why the violence in Logan (and there’s lots of it) has the impact that it does. It feels like life and death and much less like the cartoon violence of some other superhero movies.
Is Wolverine gone for keeps? No way. I’m sure we’ll be seeing the character again brought to life by another actor. (There’s an obvious character in this film who should take up the mantle. Why does Wolverine 2 have to be a man?)
Richard E. Grant is in this film too. Anything that has Richard E. Grant in it makes me smile. Even in this film where he plays the big bad villain, he’ll always be Withnail to me (lots of Withnail and I quotes buzzing in my head right now. You haven’t seen it? You must. You bloody must!)
Anyway, this was a great film. Logan was everything I’d hoped for and more. Great characters, fast-paced and with an emotional core that will kick you where it hurts but in a good way.
If you haven’t seen either T2 Trainspotting or Logan, go catch them in the cinema while there’s still time. If I WAS reviewing them (and I’m not) I’d give them both five out of five.