Image Courtesy of Amazon.com
Vinnie Jones”¦”¦”¦.Big Chris
Lenny McLean”¦”¦”¦.Barry the Baptist
Peter McNicholl”¦”¦”¦.Little Chris
P.H. Moriarty”¦”¦”¦.’Hatchet’ Harry Lonsdale
Plenty of crime films have graced the cinema in the last two decades, as the genre has become to a current generation that the western was to a previous one. Combining elements from the western, the crime thriller has become an accessible vehicle for many of the better films of the last decade. Amongst them is Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Lock, Stock, released in 1998 to critical acclaim and a $4 million gross in a limited release, was the first of the wave of brilliant English films that raised the bar for the genre in the last decade. With both Snatch and Layer Cake earning rave reviews and decent box office receipts following in the wake of Lock, Stock, the film has earned a second DVD release.
Lock, Stock follows the tale of four friends who are in a bit of a hard situation. Tom (Jason Flemying), Soap (Dexter Fletcher) and Bacon (Jason Statham) have given their life savings to Eddie (Nick Moran) to get him into a high stakes poker game with Harry (P.H Moriarty). When he loses that, and winds up owing 500,000$ to the man, the quartet have one week to come up with the cash or find themselves on the business end of a handgun.
To go more into the film’s plot would give too much of it up, as the film is a cleverly written crime drama with more than its share of twists and turns involving an increasing number of inept criminals looking to snake their share of the money. Infused with as much comedy and drama, it would show just how good Guy Ritchie (better known as pop diva Madonna’s husband) can be when given the motivation.
Ritchie has been compared to Quentin Tarantino by many, as this film feels derivative of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs as opposed to a separate entity. While it’s more probable that both developed the sort of pop culture sensibilities and tongue in cheek dialogue styles independently, the similarities are striking enough that the film feels like a companion piece to the aforementioned two films as opposed to an independent entry. The dialogue is what a British version of what Tarantino would do with similar material, the sort of diverse camerawork and action sequences used are similar as well. Throw in some pop music references and some drastic plot turns and this could easily be something Tarantino could do.
The difference is that Ritchie looks at the violence in a bit different manner than Tarantino. While Tarantino has a more graphic sensibility, using blood spatter and bullet wounds for dramatic effect, Ritchie minimizes the violence of his world. Lock, Stock has all of the violence off camera; it’s not what’s shown but what isn’t that matters most.
In this all new “unrated” edition of the film, there is a small amount of new footage interspersed in the film. It is all in small snippets and scene extensions; most of it is rather innocuous and doesn’t change the viewing experience or the quality of the film either way.
Presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1, the film’s audio is identical to the previous release in terms of quality. It’s still a good audio transfer that’s well-separated and uses the format well, but it isn’t better than what’s already been released.
Presented in an anamorphic widescreen format with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Lock, Stock has the same exact look as it did in its earlier DVD release. Nothing has changed, as it’s still a great looking picture.
Only two featurettes for this new edition and don’t really add much to this DVD version of the film. One Smoking Camera is a look back at the camerawork involved in the filming. With a small budget to work with it’s interesting to hear the cinematographer talk about how much of the camerawork, which was considered cutting edge for the time, come about as a result of doing it “on the fly” by the crew. The DVD’s other feature is Lock, Stock and Two F**king Barrels, a compilation of shots involving the sheer amount of profanity in the film.
The Inside Pulse
With two rather insignificant extras to go with virtually the same film, this new edition of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is not recommended for either purchase or rental for anyone who already owns the film on DVD. This edition is recommended for lovers of the original, but if one already owns the original it isn’t worth a purchase on name alone.
|The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels: Locked Ã¢â‚¬Ëœn Loaded Directo’s Cut
||RATING(OUT OF 10)
||7.5(NOT AN AVERAGE)|