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Guy Ritchie
Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Jason Statham
Writing Credits:
Guy Ritchie

A botched card game in London triggers four friends, thugs, weed-growers, hard gangsters, loan sharks and debt collectors to collide with each other in a series of unexpected events, all for the sake of weed, cash and two antique shotguns.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Castillian DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
German DTS 5.1
Latin Spanish
French Canadian
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish
French Canadian

Runtime: 108 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 12/1/2009

• “One Smoking Camera” Featurette
• “Lock, Stock and Two F**cking Barrels” Featurette


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels [Blu-Ray] (1998)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 31, 2020)

Before he married – and later divorced - Madonna and directed box office hits like 2009’s Sherlock Holmes and 2019’s Aladdin, Guy Ritchie needed to start somewhere. With 1998’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, we go back to Ritchie’s debut.

Card sharp Eddy (Nick Moran) conspires with three friends to get into a high stakes game run by Hatchet Harry (PH Moriarty). However, it turns out Harry runs a crooked contest, so Eddy finds himself with 500,000 pounds of debt.

When Eddy hears his neighbors plan to rob a secret drug-growing operation, a plan emerges in which he and his pals will burgle the burglars. This plot inevitably goes awry, with wild repercussions.

Is it fair to say that Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction revolutionized cinema in the first half of the 1990s? Perhaps “revolutionize” seems a little extreme, but Tarantino certainly became a massive influence in the era, one whose impact we feel in Barrels.

I suspect that if Barrels came into existence 10 years earlier, it would’ve felt somewhat different – perhaps not radically so, but the Tarantino impression feels clear. The film comes with the kind of profane, glib, violent fare that Tarantino made popular.

Not that this makes Barrel feel like a QT ripoff, though. God knows we saw plenty of 1990s movies that offered cheap imitations of Tarantino, but that doesn’t become the case here.

Sure, we see the QT influence, but it doesn’t overwhelm. While we discern the cinematic connection, we don’t feel as though Ritchie brings us an imitation.

The big difference comes from the greater street vibe Ritchie offers, as he creates a grittier world. He also doesn’t go off on the kind of florid dialogue Tarantino favors, so while we get some clever, interesting material, the lines tend to feel more “reality based”.

Although my synopsis implies a tight, focused story, Barrels instead throws a slew of characters and narrative elements at us. The wide spread of roles and situations can stretch the flick thin at times, but Ritchie manages to hold it all together pretty well.

That said, I think the film might work better with a tighter focus. The characters lack the breadth I might prefer, so we don’t get to know any of them especially well.

Still, Ritchie turns Barrels into a fairly lively romp. Violent and profane, it delivers a good twist on the caper genre.

The Disc Grades: Picture D+/ Audio B-/ Bonus D+

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Even when I accounted for the limitations of the 16mm source, this became a problematic presentation.

Sharpness seemed adequate at best, as the image lacked great definition. Some of that reflected the source, but the omnipresent edge haloes damaged accuracy and gave the image a persistent sense of mushiness.

Some shimmering occurred, but I saw no jagged edges. Given the 16mm source, plenty of grain appeared, and the image also displayed sporadic print flaws. While not dominant, I saw more than a few instances of specks and marks.

Colors opted for a heavy yellow/sepia tone, with only occasional signs of other hues. These looked bland and flat.

Blacks tended to feel crushed and overly dark, while shadows were fairly dense. As noted, the source limited the potential quality of the image, but I know Barrels could look better than this disaster.

Though not great, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 track at least easily outdid the visuals. Despite the movie’s action orientation, the soundfield tended to feel less active than one would expect.

This left us with a mix that favored the forward channels. Music showed good stereo presence and effects spread across the speakers reasonably well, but the whole package felt less involving than anticipated.

The surrounds didn’t lack any information, but they became surprisingly passive partners. During the most violent scenes, these came to life acceptably well, though they could seem a bit “speaker specific” and they didn’t mesh as smoothly as I’d expect.

Audio quality felt more than acceptable, with speech that felt natural and concise. Any intelligibility issues connected to the accents, not the recordings.

Music appeared fairly full, though the score could’ve seemed a bit more dynamic. Effects felt about the same, as they showed reasonable heft but didn’t come across as particularly robust. All in all, this was an adequate mix but not a memorable one.

Only minor extras appear here, and One Smoking Camera runs 11 minutes, 10 seconds and brings notes from director of photography Tim Maurice-Jones, editor Niven Howie, and effects coordinator Simon Gosling.

The featurette looks at storyboards, photography, editing, and effects. “Camera” becomes a pretty good overview of the subject matter.

Lock, Stock and Two F**cking Barrels goes for one minute, 55 seconds and offers a montage of “F-word” uses in the film. This seems pointless to me, but it’s harmless.

Guy Ritchie’s debut, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels can seem rough around the edges. Nonetheless, it packs a lively wallop and becomes a fun entry in the crime drama. The Blu-ray comes with adequate audio but visuals look terrible and we find skimpy supplements. The film needs a new transfer.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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