When Ewan McGregor took that dive into Scotland's most disgusting toilet bowl, a star was born. It was eight years ago that this eye-popping look into the life of heroin addicts dared to be released, and it's still a blast to behold. The creepy baby will never lose its horror factor. Robert Carlyle's baddie will probably always remain his seminal work, and Spud still shits his bed with major aplomb. When this came out, it looked like director Danny Boyle would take over the cinema world. That didn't exactly happen, although last year's 28 Days Later indicates that he still has remarkable capabilities. There had been talk of a Trainspotting sequel, but that seems to have died down. That's OK. It's a good enough thing that this masterpiece exists, and repeated viewings will suffice for a continuation of the story.
Special Features: This disc is worlds better than the recently released movie-only DVD. Those who owned the Criterion Collection's Laserdisc of the film might recognize the fine commentaries from cast and crew on disc one of this two-disc set. In fact, much of this disc is simply a repackaging of the Laserdisc, although that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I mean, how many of us dumb-dumbs actually ran out and bought a Laserdisc player in the first place? (By the way, I currently have a Laserdisc player on sale, complete with an extensive and expensive collection of films gathering dust, if anybody is interested. It will hit eBay any day now). Deleted scenes, a making-of documentary and interviews (some of them recorded recently, after the Laserdisc) round out the package. Fans will be very happy, indeed.
James DiGiovanna proclaimed that the script for this one seemed to be "farted out of Bruce Willis' ass." While I applaud his hilarious choice of words, I disagree on the film. OK, it's not the smartest movie in the world, but Ron Perlman is extremely enjoyable as Hellboy, a demon from the bad place sent here on a mission that is a mystery to everyone, even himself. Until the time when his purpose is revealed, he remains confined by a secret agency, fighting various monsters to save the world and pursuing his love interest (Selma Blair, and who can blame him?). Director Guillermo del Toro has created a movie that looks incredible, has a sly wit, and features some nice mounting tension as the world approaches the apocalypse. One of the better comic-book movies ever made, in my humble opinion, of course.
Special Features: This two-disc set will give stratospheric joy to lovers of the film. A nearly two-hour documentary goes behind the scenes with great humor and detail. Two audio commentaries, one for the creators and one for the performers, go even deeper. A remarkable feature shows the progression of del Toro's doodles, to full-blown storyboard, while the actual scene from the movie plays in the corner. This is an outstanding disc, but buyer beware: del Toro states during a deleted-scene commentary that there is an extended edition of the film due in two months. Aw hell, buy both discs. This thing is great.
The Bourne Supremacy, the sequel to this solid thriller, is currently tearing it up at the box office (see supercritic James DiGiovanna's full review in this issue), and I actually liked it a little more than the first film. That said, the first film in what I hope becomes a long and profitable Bourne franchise is very good stuff, with Damon giving birth to a great, complicated screen hero. The amnesiac angle is terrific, the action (filmed by Doug Liman) intense, and Franka Potente certainly isn't hard on the eyes.
Special Features: Oh, there is some cruelty involved with this release. It's not a bad disc, and it contains some decent behind-the-scenes stuff. But it doesn't have Liman's commentary, which can be found on a prior DVD release. Therefore, fans will have to make a dual purchase to get everything.
Aww, this movie is cute. Jennifer Garner essentially does Big, and she does Tom Hanks proud as a 13-year-old girl who gets the chance to be a 30-year-old magazine executive. Garner is charming; Mark Ruffalo makes for a great love interest; and Judy Greer is perfect as the snooty friend. A harmless little bonbon of a movie.
Special Features: Mega deleted scenes, two audio commentaries, and "I Was a Teenage Geek," featuring hilarious archival photos of Greer. Rick Springfield and Pat Benatar videos ... you can't lose!