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My take: Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

HD Goofnut
12-04-2009, 10:28 PM
http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/images/post/10/10795/original.pjpeg
Title: Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
BD-50 Dual-Layer Disc
Video: 1080p/VC-1
Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
Subtitles: Several Languages
Run time: 108 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Rating: R
Region Coding: Region A Only
Player used for review: LG BH200

Cast/Crew Info:
Jason Flemyng as Tom
Dexter Fletcher as Soap
Nick Moran as Eddie
Jason Statham as Bacon
Steven Mackintosh as Winston
Vinnie Jones as Big Chris
Directed by Guy Ritchie

Guy Richtie is notorious for making British based criminal movies that tend to have a dry wit about them, which makes them that much more intriguing that most movies that fall into this genre. I didn't care much for his recent release RockNRolla considering I had never seen this one before and missed it some 11 years ago. The story follows that of four guys: Tom, Soap, Eddie, and Bacon who try to make a living doing various illegal things. When Eddie (the card shark) loses half a million pounds in a gamble it is up to him and his three buddies to come up with the money in a week or they'll be in serious trouble. When the four men find out that their neighbors are knocking off some marijuana growers who are loaded with cash they decide that they that their load could solve their present money problem. Filled with action and some dry humor I say this is worth a purchase for fans and a rental for everyone else.

This movie looks painfully bad on Blu-ray, but not near as bad as 28 Days Later (http://www.highdefforum.com/blu-ray-movie-reviews/103406-my-take-28-days-later.html). I did some research and discovered that the film was filmed in 16mm versus 35mm to keep the budget down. Because of the budget drawback the picture quality is literally all over the place. Colors are saturated most of the time, but at times there is evidence of some artifacts and crushing within them. Flesh do appear accurate since everyone is naturally pale anyway. Grain is extremely heavy and it is so heavy at times that detail is muddied by the excessive grain. you grain haters will definitely hate this one with a passion. On the bright side fine detail is actually decent in many of the closeups, but it does suffer with just about all of the wider shots. Given the source this is about as best as the film is going to look on home video.

The audio is noticeably better than video quality with this Blu-ray release. We receive a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track that really excels during the action packed gun battle scenes, but is simply mediocre during the rest of the film. Dialogue is prioritized to the front, but it often times is difficult to hear without increasing the volume. Surrounds see plenty of action from fired weapons and from the musical score, but other than that they are usually silent. Your sub will see some thump during the action scenes, but in the majority will remain rather silent.

There's nothing really all that special to be found in this meager supplemental package, but we do get a couple things. We get an 11 minute look at the film's photography and a two minute look at how many times the word f*@% is used in the film. There's no trailer to be found on this disc though. Both the above features are presented in 480.

Movie: 7.5/10
VQ: 5/10
AQ: 6.5/10
Supplements: 2/10
Final word: A Purchase For Fans

As always thanks for reading folks.

sigill
12-06-2009, 05:53 PM
Thanks for the review. I have always liked this film but i am going to give it a miss with the PQ being poor. I have the DVD and even though it is soft the grain isn't too overpowering. I find too much grain annoying when i am watching a movie. I didn't know it was originally filmed on 16mm, perhaps that is part of the problem.

HD Goofnut
12-06-2009, 09:21 PM
Thanks for the review. I have always liked this film but i am going to give it a miss with the PQ being poor. I have the DVD and even though it is soft the grain isn't too overpowering. I find too much grain annoying when i am watching a movie. I didn't know it was originally filmed on 16mm, perhaps that is part of the problem.

Thanks sigill. Yeah, I believe that the overall problem with this transfer is that 16mm film does not transfer well onto Blu-ray. Reminds me of the abysmal transfer that 28 Days Later received.