Lock, Stock...-And Spaghetti Sauce/And Two Sips (2000)
|Category||Mob||Main Menu Audio|
|Year Of Production||2000|
|Running Time||96:25 (Case: 100)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Various|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Initially made for Channel 4 in the UK, this short-lived television series was loosely based upon the highly successful movie, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels by director Guy Richie (who acts as an executive producer on this series). The intent of the series was obviously to use the same framework as the original movie, inhabit it with similar characters and create a weekly series based on the movie. Unfortunately the biggest problem this series had (and by the brevity of the series' lifespan I'd say others also had similar ideas) is that it becomes boring and monotonous very quickly. There are only so many ways you can can put the same group of lads into mortal peril, or run the same set of scams, or run foul of the same nasties without it becoming very predictable.
Episode: Lock, Stock & Spaghetti Sauce
The lads (Moon - Daniel Caltagirone, Jamie - Scott Maslen, Bacon - Shaun Parkes and Lee - Del Synott) have a new money making scheme - videotaping weddings, but things come unstuck when they accidentally tape over a consignment of primo porn destined for Debbie the Dominatrix (Jelena Budimir) and her hard man sidekick Deep Throat (a very overweight Hywel Bennett). Complications further arise when their attempts to make a porno movie to replace the erased version causing local underworld kingpin Miami Vice's (Ralph Brown) girls to make a beeline for one of his competitors, Spaghetti Eddie (Andy Lucas). Now Miami has given the boys an ultimatum - deliver up Spaghetti's TV studio to him or else!
Episode: Lock, Stock & Two Sips
The lads' pub, The Lock, is doing stellar business and things are looking good when they are offered £50,000 to sign a paper and pocket the cash, no strings attached. It all seems too good to be true until they find out that they are in fact stepping on Miami's toes. Now the boys are in deep trouble as Miami extracts his revenge in the form of £20,000 each in recompense and the lads are having a hard time in coming up with the cash. In order to avoid any unpleasantness, Eddie agrees to do a favour for his least favourite uncle, Uncle Keith (Charles Cork) who wants him to play minder for an old friend, Two Sips David Schofield, who has returned to England to die, but who is none too popular with the old crims. After convincing the lads he'll be no bother he gets them to agree to take in a boxing match where he can say farewell to a few old mates. The trouble is, Two Sips seems to have his own agenda. Things take a real turn for the worst after the lads discover Two Sips in the can where he's just offed one of Miami's lieutenants.
The original movie had sharp and incisive wit, over-the-top characters and a screenplay of subtle satire and black comedy. What resulted was a cult classic. The problem is, the original good idea should probably have been left alone, or finished off with Snatch and that would have been that. Obviously someone had different ideas and so the series was born. The biggest problem is how do you replace 'Hatchet' Harry Lonsdale (P.H. Moriarty), Barry the Baptist (the now deceased Lenny McLean) and the ultimate bad guy Big Chris (Vinny Jones)? Fair enough with Ralph Brown as the unscrupulous Miami Vice, but the rest of the cast just don't have it for me. I suppose some will find this ultimately enjoyable, and I can't say I felt too drained watching these episodes, but I can only consider it a good thing that the series didn't last any longer than it did, because in the long run they are only a pale shadow of the original in my opinion. One last thought does occur though; seeing as there are so few episodes, they could find themselves being seen as cult classics in their own right - now that would be 'emotional'.
If you watch this with an open mind you'll be quite pleased with the quality, but be warned this isn't shot in your average manner. The whole look and feel was something surreal at times, but then I assume that was the desire of the makers and it succeeds quite well.
Although originally made for television this was shot in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced
In both episodes, grain is noticeable throughout but not excessive. Sharpness is excellent except for the green halos (see below) with plenty of shadow detail discernable even in the darkest shots. Low level noise was noticeably absent and the whole show looked quite stylish (if you are into this sort of style that is).
To paraphrase an old English saying 'the colour in this is all over the shop'. The heavy use of filters to make blues and whites austere and to overemphasis the yellows and browns makes this hard to comment upon. Rarely does the colour look natural or realistic, but that, I suppose, is the whole point of the series. There was no colour bleed that I could see or any chroma noise, and the palette used was quite extensive and varied. There was one very annoying problem - a green halo being visible around the actors throughout the two episodes. This was probably caused by the brightness of the picture and the filters and not the transfer, but it is a little hard to miss at times.
Lots of little blemishes can be discerned on the print, but nothing extraordinary or problematic. In ...Spaghetti Sauce there is slight ringing on the church bricks at 3:07, the occasional moiré artefact noticed (eg:3:54 on a car grille) and the odd touch of aliasing (38:02 on a necklace) to be seen. In ...Two Sips the artefacts are even rarer. The only one of real note was at 27:44 with some slight aliasing.
There were no subtitles on this disc.
This was a single layered disc
Although made for television, this has a quite decent Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack with a bitrate of 224 kilobits per second. The sound was really excellent for what it was with good separation across the front channels with the centre holding the dialogue, although the lack of surrounds or rears was a pity.
There are no problems with the dialogue or the audio sync on this one, although the lack of subtitles and the accents employed did make it a little hard to understand what was going on at times. Still, that is a problem of the viewer, not the transfer.
The music is by John Lunn whose work isn't generally known to me. It is similar in style to the original movie with lots of interspersed music that I couldn't put my finger on as to who it was done by (but it sounded very familiar for some reason). Not the worst soundtrack you could have on this type of series by a long shot and quite enjoyable.
Neither the surround channels nor the subwoofer were noted on this disc.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
At this time there doesn't appear to be any Region 1 issue of this disc, although there is a similar release in Region 2. Given the current pricing on these discs (for those interested, I've seen them for sale as low as $8.95), I doubt you'd be interested in looking overseas for a copy!
This is definitely not going to be in everyone's Christmas stocking, but at the price it's actually hard to pass over buying these discs since they are diverting for a couple of hours at the very least. If you are a rabid fan of the original movie then you may relate a lot better to the series, although I know a lot of people who saw these on the ABC and were more than a little disappointed.
The video presentation is very good, despite the obvious coloured filters in use. If it wasn't for the green halo around the various characters this would be very good indeed.
The audio is nicely up to speed, considering this was a TV series after all.
There are no extras, but for the price that's a minor issue.
|DVD||Toshiba SD5300, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Rotel RSP-976. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Rotel RB 985 MkII|
|Speakers||JBL TLX16s Front Speakers, Polk Audio LS fx di/bipole Rear Speakers, Polk Audio CS350-LS Centre Speaker, M&KV-75 Subwoofer|