Stallone’s B-movie ’80s prison action thriller Lock Up has been released on the 4K Ultra HD format. So, how does it behave on the format? Is it a model prisoner, or should you throw away the key?
The story: When you think of big ’80s action movies, it’s fair to say that Lock Up doesn’t normally get mentioned in the same company as the likes of Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. Viewed with 21st century eyes though, it’s mindlessly fun and cheesy in an entertaining way, with Stallone’s character Frank coming across much like the Fonz of the US prison system – he’s a model prisoner and pal of everybody, on both sides of the bars. Well, everybody except Warden Drumgoole (Donald Sutherland). Having had a previous run-in with Frank, Drumgoole has sworn revenge and, just before Frank’s pending release, orchestrates his transfer to his maximum security prison, where he’s instructed his guards – and inmates – to give the guy the absolute treatment. Will Frank crack, or is he made of sterner stuff? (Like you don’t know the answer…)
“This is Hell, and I’m going to give you the guided tour.”
The 4K disc: While we’re not sure that Lock Up was ever sitting on anybody’s, “Ooh! I really hope this film comes to 4K Ultra HD” list, now that it’s here the quality video presentation from StudioCanal is most welcome. The Stallone actioner has been given the full restoration treatment, and comes to us in a good-looking native 4K presentation, with Dolby Vision high dynamic range. Detail is high, and while the colour palette of prison is understandably rather dull, outbreaks of colour – in particular that gorgeous Mustang – look lovely. As Lock Up was shot on film, grain is present, and tends to vary a little. Some darker scenes it’s fairly noticeable, while at other times you tend not to notice it unless looking for it.
The audio hasn’t had the same TLC lavished on it as the video, and comes to us as a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. We found it to have much the same sometimes slightly thin sound as the similar vintage Die Hard on 4K Ultra HD. Some prison atmosphere occupies the surrounds when appropriate, and things tend to pep up somewhat when there’s music involved – seriously, a couple of times it’s kind of like Grease goes to prison – but we’d have liked a more immersive soundtrack to accompany the action.
Extra fans rejoice, for the 4K disc comes toting a selection of brief featurettes, a series of interviews with various cast members and a trailer. A standard Blu-ray of the film is also generously included in the package.
Release date: November 13, 2019
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland, Tom Sizemore
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.