Lock Up: 4K UHD, Blu, DVD, VOD

Tuesday, 17 September 2019 16:16

Sylvester Stallone and Donald Sutherland star in this prison thriller from the late 1980s. Stallone (“Rocky”, “First Blood”) plays Frank, essentially a good man seeing out the end of his sentence for protecting a friend in danger. Frank is transferred to a max security facility where Sutherland (“Don’t Look Now”, “The Hunger Games”) is Warden Drumgoole, a man bent on revenge against Frank for a past escape that harmed his career.

Drumgoole rigs the system so that Frank’s life is made a living hell, manipulating the guards and inmates in a bid to force him into committing an act that extends his stay indefinitely. Meanwhile, Frank tries to form a small group of trustworthy, like-minded cell mates who will look out for each other and make the experience tolerable. John Amos (“Die Hard 2”), Sonny Landham (“Predator”) and Tom Sizemore (“Saving Private Ryan”) also star.

“Lock Up” is the very essence of a dependable, entertaining thriller with a predictable rollercoaster plot structure. Frank’s lot worsens, improves, worsens etc… with satisfying certainty, with the only surprise being that he does not see all of the curve balls coming. Despite this, there is plenty of suspense and Stallone delivers a fully committed performance that ensures we are right on his side.

Sutherland is slightly under-used but oozes malicious menace in his limited screen time. Landham lumbers around as the chief henchman, a massive rhino of a criminal who has everyone other than Frank cowering in his presence.

The good guys, including Sizemore, Larry Romano (“The Thin Red Line”) and Frank McRae (“Licence to Kill”), make a likeable bunch amidst all the gloom and doom, and their roles help to prevent the tone of the film becoming too dark. Darlanne Fluegel (“To Live and Die in L.A.”) plays Frank’s love inAterest, giving us an occasional link to life outside the prison.

This is a rock-solid action-thriller with plenty of twists and turns, decent performances and capable direction by John Flynn (“Out for Justice”, “The Outfit”). If you like 1980s action movies you should get a kick out of this. Watch out for the electrifying finale…

  • Special features include:
  • Making Of
  • Sylvester Stallone Profile
  • Trailer
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Sylvester Stallone Interview
  • Donald Sutherland Interview
  • Sonny Landham Interview
  • John Amos Interview

These bonus features are in standard definition and total around 25-30 minutes. The regular Blu-ray version reviewed has particularly sharp image quality and contrast depth, and in a moody prison flick like this the spectrum between light and shadow is key to telling what is going on.

"Lock Up" (1989) is released on 23 September 2019 on 4K UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and VOD courtesy of Studiocanal. The main feature has a running time of 109 minutes approx, carries an '18' certificate and retails for £29.99 on 4K (including Limited Edition Steelbook, 2 discs), £22.99 on Blu-ray and £17.99 on DVD, or less from www.culttvstore.com.


Last modified on Tuesday, 17 September 2019 16:21

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