Monday, 30 January 2017

T2: Trainspotting - A Brutally Beautiful Depiction of Our Times! *Spoiler Free*

So last night I went to the cinema to see the eagerly anticipated, for twenty years in fact, sequel to one of the most culturally important films of our times.  And a Scottish indie flick at that!  Of course I'm talking about Trainspotting 2....although the T2 is giving me mixed feels, hahahaha.   Terminator yo!!  

Seeing Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie, back together again, with their colourful array of supporting characters in the mad world around was pretty fucking special!  This is absolutely going to raise major feels and nostalgia for so many people and that is a beautiful, albeit fucked up (haha) thing!

Trainspotting came out in 1996 when I was 16/17 and in 5th year at school.  It was during the height of Britpop and the time where my friends and I would spend every weekend in the pub.  There are so many songs that as soon I hear them, I am immediately transported back to that time.  One such song in particular is Underworld's Born Slippy.  I think out of all the songs on the Trainspotting soundtrack, that let's face it, was so popular you'd be lucky to find a single one of your mates that didn't own it at the time (within the 16-27 age group at least), that Born Slippy is definitely the definitive Trainspotting track for me.  Total summer of '96 tune!

It's weird, this was a total time of rock and roll, where the politics of the UK drastically changed with New Labour, and the future actually looked kinda bright!  (Now it's just VERY orange!  Sorry, couldn't resist, haha!)  I think that is definitely reflected in the nostalgia that people feel towards the film and of the Britpop era in general.  Of course, everything soon went downhill in the world of UK politics not too long afterwards....into the shit encrusted, piss soaked, vomit splattered, cum percolated toilet of misery and despair that we know today.  The one that the people of Scotland are desperately trying to climb their way out of!  Let's face it, Scotland has always been shat on, but it is now worse than ever with us being dragged out the EU despite voting to remain.   Renton's speech in Trainspotting is one of the truest things ever said on film, and I won't even attempt to pretend that I haven't quoted the fuck out of it, haha!  

What made Trainspotting 2 particularly important and appealing to me was the fact that twenty years have passed.  Look at what Scotland has been through as a country!  I genuinely think that T2 is the perfect representation of this.  Of the referendum, of Brexit.  Of the shit storm that we have been continually stuck in for the past twenty years....despite trying to move forward!  This basically sums up our protagonist's lives!

I won't even lie, through a large part of Trainspotting 2, I felt nothing but patriotic pride.  We have a story about addicts, and truly deplorable people, but we also have a story of friendship and hope!  People that have been pushed into a truly horrific situation....something that Scotland as a whole has been fighting against and is trying to move forward from.  T2 is a statement against our times.  We try to move forward, to progress.  But there is always something in our way.  For our characters, it is drug addiction.  Individuals trying to change their paths....change the story...choosing life!  I don't think we see this in anyone more than we do Spud.  Sweet lovely Spud.  Spud represents the character that is even more desperate for change....for progress.  His story so far has been written, but he has an almost childlike enthusiasm and a sense of self that needs to be further explored.  Like Scotland, Spud's story is far from over.  

I won't even lie, I had total teenage pangs of 'eeeeeee' for Jonny Lee Miller and Ewan MacGregor, both of whom I adored back in the day.  With Jonny Lee Miller as well, there is a sad sense of melancholy when I remember this German guy I met on my Berlin exchange who was so like Miller!  Steve Schliemann.  I approached him and asked him to dance with me in German when I spotted him at the school dance.  I was totally in love with Trainspotting and Hackers at the time.   We kept in contact but then a year later, his dad messaged me to tell me that he had killed himself.  This has always stuck with me and made me sad.  Especially now, 19 years later....he was just a fucking kid!  

These memories though; the nostalgia, the love of my Germans...we might be 20 years on, but I genuinely believe that Scotland still feels the same!  The level of love in T2 for Scotland and the EU, it is something beautiful.  This is clearly a political film.  But Trainspotting was always a political film!  And at the end of the day, all you need to do is follow all these guys on Twitter for two seconds and you realise they stand up against the bullshit that we are dragged into as a country!  

Visually and story wise, this is a wonderful follow-up to a cult classic.  The only thing that makes it second best I would say is the soundtrack.  But that is PURELY for the nostalgic reason such as I stated above.  This was the music of our time.  Our youth!  In 1996, it all gelled together so perfectly well.  In 2016, it's still almost pretty fucking perfect!  And that is going on one viewing.  I already want to watch it again and so that says a lot. 

To my American friends, I hope I've not given away any spoilers....this is more of a political rant to be fair....which you probably kinda expected from me, haha.    All I can say; is don't judge a book by its cover.....unless it is a sexist, misogynistic, racist, narcissistic prick of a book.  Then you can judge it all you fucking like!  

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Plan Z Interview - Mark Paul Wake

Plan Z is the awesome new Scottish zombie flick from Stuart Brennan. Released on Monday 16th January 2017, this is totally a film for both zombie fans and indie film fans to check out. You can check out my review here.

Here, star Mark Wake answers some very Morley, zombie questions!! :) Check it! And FYI, I would totally have Mark on my team in a zombie apocalypse, dude kicks ass!! *fistbump*

Plan Z has the ultimate plan...head to a remote island! Now I personally am all about Skye as well, however, it’s always nice to big up this incredible place; so why Skye!?

(Director Stuart Brennan)

Skye was actually one of Stuart’s favourite locations which he visited a good few years back. From the get go he told me that’s the destination he wants for the escape so it was a case of planning a journey to their from Dunfermline and where we might end up along the way, with a detour to Perth of course but I’ll say no more.

This was a very human take on a zombie apocalypse, how important was that for to you to achieve?   

(Pictured above - Mark Wake and Eugene Horan)

The importance of the humanity aspect in this film was why we used the actors we did. Each one of the cast was a very emotional adaptive actor so Stuart could draw true feelings from each of them to convey a very gritty and real apocalypse. I myself aim to create three-dimensional characters so to have Stuart lead with that in mind was a dream so we got to work on expanding the character of Bill and at one point even contemplated having him with bandages around his wrists after the time jump to show he attempted suicide but failed, showing the character clearly become so mentally weak he thought best to take his life, but looking at the chances of someone surviving such an injury with no medical care seemed a little off. Yet it was great to envision that Bill being pushed to that state of mind.

(Mark Wake getting ready to be a badass yo!

We all like to think (or a large percent of us, haha) that we would totally be able to survive a zombie apocalypse. Anyone that knows me knows that my biggest concern would be zombies munching my precious Beagle, I mean...he already eats waaaay too much so zombie Alfie....the HORROR!! 😉 On a serious note though, what would be the thing that scared you most? Except Beagletoes on the prowl? (Stuart still needs to have the pleasure, haha!)

Lack of Beagles to protect us, that’s the fear! I believe Stuart touches on this a lot and it’s the emotional toll of your actions. You would go through situations and do things which you will have never done before. Even though they are undead you are still breaking that notion of harming something else and seeing the wreckage you leave behind, I’ve never seen a skull smashed open but it would probably not be a great sight.

If you had to be stuck in a zombie apocalypse with anyone, who would it be?
Could be your Gran, your first crush, favourite star, pet fish...take your pick!

I would be stuck with my younger brother. Mainly because it would be a mixture of brains and brawn plus I wouldn’t have any doubts that he would always have my back the same I would his…I hope haha! Plus having to stay alive to save your family member would hopefully add to the focus and survival instincts…

Weapons are essential, what is your ultimate pick and why?

(Pictured above - Mark Wake and Stuart Brennan)

I would have to go for the old short baseball bat, it’s not a full sized one e but has some swing on it meaning if I was done a tight staircase I could still cause some damage plus it’s light enough to fire down the belt to make a runner.

What is your preferred zombie type and which do you feel to prove the greatest threat, slow or fast?

Greatest zombie experience of modern day which altered the way I looked at them was 28 Days Later, amazing film. (Oh yes it is! Yay Jeremy! Haha.) The Crazies was great too!

The thumbs going through the eyes in 28 Days still gives me the jeebies. Rec was also a new experience as well, the Spanish one obviously, just some intense. Good old George’s Dawn Of The Dead would be my old school fav, I believe it was the first movie I saw with the shambling zoms.

Last but not least, what is your ultimate dream project?  

My ultimate dream project would be a zombiesque feature I wrote about 10 years ago which still gives it a fresh look even though a decade has passed. It would be a great project to make and from the script feedback I’ve received, it would be one heck on a twisting turning apocalyptic tale. Who knows what the future will hold but I hope it’s not running zombies…well excluding the ones on set.

You can check out the trailer for Plan Z below. Also be sure to check out the Facebook page as well. :)

You can buy or rent Plan Z from:


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