With the dawn of DVD in the UK came a crime so hideous it certainly didn't help promote the format in the early years. PolyGram released a DVD of "Trainspotting" that, frankly, looked like it had been made using a well-worn VHS. We've waited many years for a replacement, and with this new two-disc edition, finally we can enjoy the movie like never before.
Picture The film now looks as fresh as when it came out, with a vivid transfer that makes the most of the carefully colour-managed hallucinogenic scenes.
Sound You've got a choice of 5.1 sound the Dolby or the DTS way. Both do the job well, showcasing the brilliant soundtrack to full effect, particularly with the low bass sonics of Leftfield or Underworld.
Disc One Special Features
Audio Commentary This commentary track has been created by taking interviews conducted in 1996 with Danny Boyle, Andrew Macdonald, John Hodge, and Ewan McGregor. Each speaker is introduced so you can keep track of who's talking, and real effort has gone into matching comments to what's on screen.
Danny Boyle talks about the unique way his team works, with Hodge being involved throughout the shoot - unlike most films, where the writer is excluded. He also takes us through the shoot and explains the economic and artistic reasons for most of the film being studio-shot.
Quite amusingly, he also recalls how, in a screening in the US, a comment was made by one of the audience that the Volcano club was not in Edinburgh, but indeed in Glasgow. That someone over there should know that fact was odd to say the least, but certainly picks up on the fact that most of the exteriors were shot in Glasgow, despite the story being set in Edinburgh.
The Beginning In this ten-minute featurette, we take a trip back to the mid 90s and the making of the movie. As well as the behind-the-scenes footage, you get Irvine Welsh discussing how it's good for a movie to transform the ideas of a book into something new.
Deleted Scenes There are eight short scenes and a montage to explore here, and you can either watch them as part of the film or on their own. There are some amusing moments, plus a powerful scene with Peter Mullan that was reluctantly cut from the film.
Disc Two Special Features
Look of the Film This title covers two featurettes: one is an interivew with Kave Quinn, conducted during the making of the movie; the other is a retrospective look back with Danny Boyle. Kave takes us through the visual inspirations for the film, while Danny makes the point that modern UK films tend to lack a strong visual style. With "Trainspotting", Danny felt the visual impact was important in driving the story forward and interpreting nuances of the original novel that couldn't be told through script.
Sound of the Film Again we have 'then' and 'now' featurettes. The first is a fairly dull look at the sound editing, while the second is all about the now famous soundtrack. Andrew Macdonald amusingly recalls his alarm thinking that the whole movie would be accompanied by Underworld, after Boyle lent him an album of their music.
Interviews This section holds a mix of new and old interviews. One from the old category is the dodgy video footage of Irvine Welsh, who admits that he thought the book would never get published, let alone turned into a stage play and then a movie.
John Hodge talks about his experiences as a doctor having to deal with heroin addicts, and how he worked that into a script, along with a reference to "Nightmare on Elm Street". John also expresses his surprise at how well the film did, as does Danny Boyle, who explains why they deliberately made the movie on a low budget.
Behind the Needle This rather strange multi-angle feature allows you to watch a scene with Danny Boyle as he talks about it. Both the finished film and behind-the-scenes footage are available as options.
Cannes This section is hardly worth watching. Cobbling together bits of footage shot at the Cannes screening, we're treated to nonsensical interviews with Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn.
Additional Extra Features Also on disc two are two trailers and a gallery of continuity shots of the cast.
Ratio: 1.66:1 (anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1
Audio Tracks: English
Captions: English subtitles are available
Menus: Animated, with music
Special Features Subtitles None of the special features come with subtitles.
This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-N5 DVD player.