Lock Up (Blu-ray)
Sly is Frank Leone, a relatively straight shooter who ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. With only six months to go on his prison tab, Frank’s suddenly hauled out of his country club prison and shipped up to the meanest cell block around complements of a warden from his past who’s hell bent on breaking him and seeing that he spends the rest of his life behind bars.
Prison, that’s the one place I hope to God I never see in this lifetime. I do enjoy a good prison based flick but after seeing just about every one of them out there I’ve come to realize that it’s no place for me. Frank Leone feels the same way but unfortunately he’s passed the point of no return. I liked this flick when I first saw it and re-watching it now is like singing and eighties farewell tour which is good and bad. The good part being that I love eighties flicks, the bad part being that we don’t get that kind of movie anymore.
There’s a lot of my favourite eighties nuances here from the gritty finish, the ballsy language and the no holds barred violence, all of which are good to see but truth be told this is one of my least favourite Sly flicks from back in the day. I will say that this movie bridged a nice gap for his performance in TANGO AND CASH (now THAT was a prison scenario that kicked some ass!). I enjoyed Frank’s character here but the movie I wanted to see was the back story between him and warden where Frank busted out of his prison and made him look like a fool. Sadly this isn’t the case which doesn’t make this film bad by any stretch, just a little mildly paced.
It was nice to see Donald Sutherland in action (I miss that guy and always picture him in BACKDRAFT which makes me smile) and of course there were some other familiar faces but the one that sticks out the most is Larry Romano (First Base) who I wouldn’t have known then but recognize now from one of my favourite comedy sitcoms THE KING OF QUEENS. One of the best parts about revisiting oldies for me is catching small cast things like this, and you’d be amazed how many of them there are to catch. The acting, dialogue and overall performances were pretty tight and not all cheesy like some eighties fodder, which is also nice considering many of these films are known for that.
LOCK UP is nowhere near Sly’s best film, if anything it felt like a dramatic roll of the dice from a man who was used to just doing shoot ‘em up action pieces. Is that a bad thing, not really, it’s just not the adrenaline rush you might be used to when it comes down to Sly’s older stuff. Flicks like this one are what made me love PRISON BREAK and or prison films in general. Nobody wants to be in general population but I think we’re all very curious about what goes on in there…aside from the soap dropping end of things. The upgrade to Blu-ray is solid but this one’s for Sly fanatics in my opinion. One thing’s for sure, this has made me want to go out and hunt down OVER THE TOP on Blu-ray and re-watch TANGO AND CASH on Blu-ray which I happened to pick up last week (new) for nine ninety-nine.
Video: 2.35:1 Widescreen in 1080p HD with AVC codec. Prison never looks fun, but the transfer to Blu-ray is slick here and the prison football game did look fun…well sort of.
Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD in English, French and Spanish with the same subtitle options. As I mentioned before, the writing and dialogue were exceptionally well done for an eighties movie.
The Making of Lock Up (6:50): This old school look at how the film was put together has Sly backing his character and a lot of talk about the ups and downs of shooting on location at a real prison which hadn’t been done much at the time.
Sylvester Stallone Profile (3:13): I was hoping for a movie profile here but this is more Sly giving us a profile of his character Frank Leone than of himself as an actor.
Behind the Scenes (8:12): Here we get more insight into how a movie gets filmed when you’re in a real prison. It was more than enough to put everyone involved a little on edge.
Interviews (7:01): There are five brief interviews with cast members who share their thoughts about the film, Sly’s is a five minute repeat of stuff he’s already said leaving the other ones clocking in at between twenty and thirty seconds, which as you can imagine isn’t enough time to say much.
Previews: There’s also a trailer for the film.