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Movie Review: Stylish Highs and Nostalgic Lows in ‘T2: Trainspotting’

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T2 Trainspotting Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

What happened to Mark Renton, Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie? Read our movie review of T2 Trainspotting to find out:

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s been over 20 years since Ewan McGregor ran with the money, Ewen Bremner kept quiet, Robert Carlyle was caught by the police and Jonny Lee Miller lost his infant child to neglect. Did you forget all those moments from Trainspotting? Don’t worry; Danny Boyle will do his best to bring you up to speed while simultaneously bringing down the focus and energy of the T2 Trainspotting sequel. Sure, the director still has some of that wicked wit, grit and style, but it comes down hard as the movie spins out of ideas into a nostalgic free fall.

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

The gang’s all here!

You can pinpoint when the movie loses its mojo after McGregor delivers a familiar rant on what to choose in life. Having shirked the more simple and quiet life he swore to after dumping his heroin kick, he angrily spins into a stream of denouncing the Internet, social media and conspiracy theories as no more than data attempting to distract us from life. He ends his rant with an amusing “anyway,” shrugging and chugging his drink before leading a woman to bed. From this point forward, his character slips into his cloudy wonderland of looking back fondly on his past, all the way back to childhood. Now that’s some ultra nostalgia, but I suppose schoolyard days are more golden than those of doing heroin.

From the first shot, T2 Trainspotting does have an undeniable energy and finds enough for every character to do after all this time. Mark (McGregor) has recently returned to Edinburgh after a divorce with his wife and needs to find a new venture. Simon (Jonny Lee Miller) is still hanging around with his pub and extortion racket, but decides to let Mark in on his scheme of building a sleazy sauna. Spud (Ewen Bremner) is struggling to reform his junkie lifestyle that has hindered him, taken in by Mark to go straight and write about his experiences. Meanwhile, the aged and still-angry Franco (Robert Carlyle) has broken out of a prison and is eager to get some bloody revenge on the junkies who wronged him.

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Lookin’ good, fellas.

There’s a lot to love in Boyle’s visuals for making relatively simple scenes a little more involving and inspired. I love how Carlyle’s Scottish accent is so thick during his first appearance in a prison conference room that subtitles are not only appreciatively present, but wrap around the room with a liveliness to them. I became entranced by Spud’s depressing apartment life with some great camera work, including a unique shifting perspective of his attempt at suicide. There’s real energy in a scene where Mark and Simon secretly rob a club and the only way out is through a song about despising Catholics. Even the final shot is an impressive use of visuals to transform a small room into an endless tunnel. This is a dazzling picture to look at even for as downplayed as it is with its manic nature.

While it’s impossible to fault T2 Trainspotting for being as gorgeous as it is, it becomes a bit muddy and lost in its attempts to delve deeper into the characters’ outlooks on life. There’s so much going on in the lives of all these characters that the whole angle of buying a sauna soon becomes an afterthought in the mess of revenge and drugs. The brakes are pumped hard on that plot to provide an emotional callback to the previous film. Clips from the original film are not only pulled, but also additionally duplicated, as history repeats itself with McGregor once more staring up the hood of a car as he flees for his life.

Read more for the rest of the T2 Trainspotting movie review:

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Robert DeNiro de-agedHave you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. ????

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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