LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS
Reviewed March 19th, 2000 by Brian White
If Quentin Tarantino had never made a movie, director Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels would be the greatest movie ever made. While it’s true that comparisons can also be made to the Shallow Grave / Trainspotting / Life Less Ordinary films, LSTSB bears a greater resemblance to Tarantino’s films. Despite being the British Pulp Fiction, LSTSB is still a brilliant movie, and a fun ride.
Four East London lads (with little to no criminal experience) hatch a plan to win some money off a very dangerous gangster. As luck would have it, they’re screwed over and suddenly in a lot of danger. The bizarre/exciting/hilarious pattern of events that follow put Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels on a level with Tarantino’s best. The comic book-like characters are familiar territory, but still very satisfying. An added bonus is the great small role played by Sting, who has the movie’s best line.
Some viewers might find that the video transfer suffers a little from the cinematic style employed for the film. Everything is shot through gold camera filters which seem to dull the colors and render the movie sort of like a Guinness ad. It’s a very cool look, but it also creates blemishes which look like artifacts: the brightest lighting (especially on characters faces) sometimes glow white. The effect is more cool than distracting. The disc contains both a standard 1.33:1 transfer and an anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer.
The audio mix is full and dynamic. Being a Tarantino-esque film, there is a great soundtrack, which is mixed well through the front channels. There are plenty of atmospheric split surround effects.
For extras, there’s a trailer, and a game of sorts which introduces the bizarre East London dialect spoken throughout the film.
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