Trainspotting 4K Blu-ray Review

Trainspotting 4k UHD Criterion Collection Glow-In-The-Dark Packaging

Danny Boyle’s “Trainspotting” starring Ewan McGregor was restored for release on 4k Blu-ray and a new Blu-ray presentation on January 30, 2024. The movie is Boyle’s second feature film (following “Shallow Grave”) and was ranked No. 10 out of 100 by the British Film Institute (BFI) in consideration of titles released in the 20th century. It’s also been called the greatest Scottish film. The 2024 edition features a new 4k digital restoration of the uncut version of the film with a total run time of 94 minutes. 

Packaging

The packaging of this Criterion release was thoughtfully designed. There’s a mini booklet “Brand Guide” inside the 3-fold, 4-panel cardboard case, and the discs are easily removable from a top slot position. A real nice touch is how they distinguished the disc formats by printing “Choose 4K” and “Choose Blu-ray” on the disc faces, a reference to one of the themes of the film. Limited Editions from Criterion also have a glow-in-the-dark slipcover.

Video

Criterion presents an excellent restoration of “Trainspotting” on 4K Blu-ray. The film is presented in 2160p resolution at 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Color depth is increased to 10-bits with the use of Dolby Vision (compatible with HDR10) which is an improvement from the SDR BD 8-bit color capacity. Video bitrates hung around the 80Mbps mark, which really takes advantage of the capacity of a BD-100. The 4k Blu-ray color grading and texture provides the natural look of film, with deep shadow areas that don’t necessarily need to be artificially expanded. “Trainspotting” is a dramatic film, and the contrast ratio adds to the intensity and dark topics of the story. In short, the visual image an accurate representation of 35mm film perfected in a digital age.  

Audio

English audio is provided in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo and DTS-HD 5.1. The audio averaged about 2.0Mbps (Stereo) and 3.5Mbps (5.1). It’s sort of hard to decide which format sounds better. The stereo is a much more frontal and direct approach to the dialogue and music composition, overall providing a louder level than 5.1. The surround sound, on the other hand, offers some spatial experience with minimal low frequency effects. Perhaps one scene that serves as reference to the 5-channel mix is the detox scene at 51 minutes with techno background music that mildly activates subwoofer levels. A mono track provides audio commentary from Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald, screenwriter John Hodge, and actor Ewan McGregor. Our Arcam AVR10 receiver had some trouble jumping from format to format, which is likely to be a fault of the receiver and/or HDMI connection and not the disc. English subtitles are provided for the deaf and hard of hearing

Bonus Materials

Bonus features on the BD-50 include the documentary Memories of “Trainspotting,” reflections from soundtrack artists, nine deleted scenes with commentary from the filmmakers, audio commentary with featuring Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald, screenwriter John Hodge, and actor Ewan McGregor, new interview with production designer Kave Quinn and costume designer Rachael Flemingand, the documentary Memories of “Trainspotting” and more.  

Summary

You’ll want to add this 4K Blu-ray edition of “Trainspotting” to your collection. Criterion always provides quality in both packaging and presentation. They’ve become the standard for cinephiles’ most revered films in physical media formats (as well as having a generous streaming library), and “Trainspotting” is just another example. 

Scores

Movie
5/5

Video
4/5

Audio
3.5/5

Bonus Features
5/5

Details 

  • New 4K digital restoration of the uncut version of the film, supervised by director Danny Boyle, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
  • One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray with the film and special features
  • Alternate 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
  • Audio commentary featuring Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald, screenwriter John Hodge, and actor Ewan McGregor
  • Nine deleted scenes with commentary from the filmmakers
  • New interview with production designer Kave Quinn and costume designer Rachael Fleming
  • Off the Rails: The Making of “Trainspotting,” a documentary featuring archival interviews with cast and crew and behind-the-scenes footage
  • Memories of “Trainspotting,” a documentary from 2008 featuring the filmmakers as well as actors McGregor, Kelly Macdonald, Ewen Bremner, and Robert Carlyle
  • Reflections from soundtrack artists Iggy Pop, Jarvis Cocker, Bobby Gillespie, Damon Albarn, Leftfield, and Underworld
  • Theatrical teaser and trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

PLUS: Essays by critic Graham Fuller and author Irvine Welsh, Welsh’s glossary of terms from the novel, and limited-edition glow-in-the-dark packaging

New cover by Mark Blamire

Trainspotting 4k UHD Criterion Collection Glow-In-The-Dark Packaging

Product Photos