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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Locke [Blu-ray]


(Steven Knight, 2013)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: IM Global

Video: Lions Gate



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:24:49.918 

Disc Size: 23,851,761,018 bytes

Feature Size: 19,568,431,104 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.47 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: August 12th, 2014



Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3309 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3309 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround



English, English (SDH), Spanish, None



• Commentary by director Steven Knight

• Ordinary Unraveling: Making Locke (9:37)

• Trailers






Description: Written and directed by Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things), Locke tells the adrenaline-fueled story of one man's frantic race against time. Tom Hardy and Tom Holland star in a film produced by Paul Webster and Guy Heeley.


Ivan Locke (Hardy) is on the brink of the biggest job of his building career. Putting his entire career at risk, Ivan gets into his car and drives across the country, making a series of phone calls that mean his life will be transformed once he reaches his destination.



The Film:

Hardy is Ivan, a construction worker (also unaccountably and a little distractingly Welsh), who leaves a building site the night before a huge project as a valued worker and beloved family man. He then locks himself in his car and drives through the night, during which time his career, wife and two sons will gradually slip away from him. Or rather he will gradually push them away as he unburdens his conscience over a series of phone calls and heads toward the biggest mistake of his life.

Steven Knight’s first film as director was the dreadful Hummingbird, a movie that fudged an interesting idea (Jason Statham as a damaged, homeless soldier) with a complete lack of subtlety and a slow slip onto the rails of near-enough every other Jason Statham film. Locke is very exposing for a director and Knight shows himself to be now in need of nothing to hide behind. He has to fill a screen for just shy of an hour-and-a-half with just one man. One way he keeps this from being as visually drab as a test drive up the M6 is by setting the film in the latest hours of the night. The bright city lights and abstract reflections play across the frame, but nothing ever touches the isolated, muffled little confessional that is Ivan’s world for tonight. The darkness just makes Ivan more alone.

Excerpt from Empire UKlocated HERE

A truism about cinema and television, two tributaries that increasingly flow into one image stream, is that together they have turned the human face into our favorite destination spot. The ubiquity of close-ups, particularly in broadcast television, with its parade of bobbling heads and babbling mouths, could have drained movie faces of their power. Yet we can’t seem to get enough of other people’s faces, whether they’re as frozen as masks or changeable as churning water. We trace stories across these familiar landscapes, becoming geographers of emotion.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The visuals of Locke are deceptively important to the viewing experience. The lighting, close-ups, angles, distortions (not dissimilar to Sokurov's Mother and Son) are intentionally positioned and assist in drawing you into narrative. It would be a mistake to judge the film's desirability based on these few screen captures. The Lions Gate to Blu-ray does its job.  This is single-layered with a reasonable bitrate and supports the film's style very adeptly. There is no noise, colors seem accurate and contrast very capable of exporting the lighting flares - as would be DoP Haris Zambarloukos' precise intentions.
















Audio :

The film has no music, no score. It is transferred via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 3309 kbps. There are a few instances of notable depth and separation. But despite the film's lack of effects or music accompaniment - the lossless track has immense control - fulfilling any need when required. There is a vérité element to the car cabin space's dialogue - and the track helps achieve this without being excessively scattered. There are optional subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Lions Gate include a commentary by director Steven Knight who reveals some of the challenges of filming inside the confines of the car and other production details. He is very easy to listen to - enjoyable and informative. There is also a 10-minute, standard, featurette entitled Ordinary Unraveling: Making Locke with sound bytes from many of the filmmakers and Tom Hardy. There are also preview trailers and the BD disc is bookmarkable.



I was totally blown away by this masterpiece. Those who've been reading DVDBeaver for long know my, personal, leaning to minimalist cinema. You don't often see this style existing in modern film (I recall Meek's Cutoff as one, rare, example). Locke is my favorite 'new' film viewing of the year. The Lions Gate Blu-ray offers a 1080P presentation with lossless audio - it, effortlessly, wrapped me right into the film. The supplementary commentary was appreciated. I see Joe Wright (Atonement) was an executive producer. I give Locke my highest recommendation. Don't miss it! 

Gary Tooze

August 4th, 2014


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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