Instant Gratification Quick Takes: July 29, 2011

Highlighting odd and off-beat new releases to watch instantly on Netflix

New for July 29, 2011

Trainspotting (1996), directed by Danny Boyle, with Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle and Kelly Macdonald – My pick of the day. It’s been about 15 years since Trainspotting was injected into the bloodstream (thoughtstream?) of film fanatics worldwide and I’m happy to say that we are still coming down from the high and we may never crash. Trainspotting is some good shit. Trainspotting made the career of Danny Boyle and launched the careers of Ewan MacGregor and Robert Carlyle — I still remember the WTF moment when I learned that MacGregor had been cast as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the The Phantom Menace because it was hard to imagine MacGregor as anything but a heroin addict squatting in a rundown flat in London BLOODY SCOTLAND. Trainspotting is about addiction. Compared with something like, oh — Requiem for a Dream Trainspotting‘s overall approach to the subject is lighter (it’s supposed to be a comedy, in theory), except for when it gets dark. And when it gets dark — boy, does it get dark. There’s this nightmarish detox segment that I guarantee will stick with you. Throw in an incredible soundtrack and you’ve got a near-perfect movie. Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” is going through my head right now as I type this and I guarantee that if you’ve seen this before (or even seen the trailer), you’ve also got that song stuck in your head. Watch it. Now. (Available until November 1, 2012)

The Visitors (1993), directed by Jean-Marie Poire, with Christian Clavier, Jean Reno, Valérie Lemercier, Marie-Anne Chazel, Christian Bujeau, Isabelle Nanty, Gérard Séty, Didier Pain, Jean-Paul Muel, Arielle Sémenoff – This could be interesting. Jean Reno (The Professional, La Femme Nikita) is a medieval nobleman who, along with his squire, is magically transported to contemporary times. In addition to trying to find a way back, he has to try and reclaim his castle, which has been turned into a hotel. Okay … so, by interesting, I mean terrible. Okay, so it’s 50/50 between being terrible and awesome. But it’s definitely interesting. You know you want to look. This was remade by Poire as an American film called Just Visiting in 2001, with Reno reprising his role from the 1993 original. (Available until June 1, 2016)

Hey! Follow Matt on Twitter at @CM_MattDunn!

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6 responses to “Instant Gratification Quick Takes: July 29, 2011

  1. Scotland. That’s right. That’s why I can’t understand a single word they’re saying ‘cept for the C-word and the F-word. Definitely not London. My bad. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention.


  2. I think my fatherhood had gotten in the way of my ability to appreciate media. After spotting your initial post, I had an itch to relive my halcyon days of youth with some vicarious nihilism done large. I started humming “Lust for Life” while my x-box booted and was excited to see young Obi-Won (One?) even younger than I remembered.
    It all came crashing down in the next scene. Instead of enjoying Johnny Lee Miller’s Sick Boy dissecting Bond flix while preparing to inject Alison, the only thing I could think of was that poor crying baby. She is only shown for a moment, but it is a powerful moment. She is alone. She is crying on the floor. In the next room her mother is either ignoring her or too interested in Sick Boy or the heroin to care (more likely the heroin given her reaction). It’s a vignette of the film in 10 seconds. The same thing happened the first time I saw the video for MGMT’s Kids. I am aware, in that part of my mind that accepts that passenger jets will fly more often than not, that that little girl is very likely a well cared for child, that she will not die of neglect, and that this is all a movie. The reptilian father sense in me, however, screams that this is wrong.
    This, however, is a testament to the staying power of the film. Just not for me. I had to shut it off.

    BTW My kids thank you for the gratuitous hugs they received as a result of seeing the first ten minutes of Trainspotting.


  3. harrison, that’s an awesome take. i haven’t seen trainspotting in years myself, and i’m also a new dad, reacting as such to things that probably wouldn’t have bothered me 10 years ago, so i’d probably have the same visceral gut feeling. thanks for commenting.

    and matt’s got a young’un himself, so it’s obvious he’s simply a monster.

    i kid!

    (although, matt, i do compare you to anton chigurrh in an upcoming review – stay tuned for that one!)


  4. Great post! I love Trainspotting so much, it really put Danny Boyle on the map. Like you said it is primarily a comedy but that only accentuates the massively disturbing and upsetting parts which are juxtaposed so skilfully. Amazing. The book is great as well. Oh and Boyle has shown interest in making the follow up ‘Porno’ in the future, so maybe we’ll be getting another taste of his bleak brilliance!


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