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post #1 of 25 Old 08-31-2014, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Locke (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



Ivan Locke, a dedicated family man and successful construction manager, receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets in motion a series of events that threaten his careful cultivated existence.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

82



Details:

Studio and Year: LionsGate - 2014
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 84 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Tom Hardy
Written & Directed by: Steven Knight
Music by: Dickon Hinchliffe
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 12, 2014


"No turning back…"


My Take:

Ivan Locke (Hardy) is a man at the top of his game. A dedicated husband and father and a star employee at a high-powered construction firm, he's the model of cool professionalism with a talent for managing complex situations. Driving home on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career, Locke makes a sudden choice to go confront the only situation in his life that can't be neatly handled. He quickly learns that the cost of becoming a better man is high. Locke is an interesting cinematic experience and gripping story of choices, consequences and a man who risks everything he holds dear in order to do the right thing.

Locke is an overtly simple film in that it tells a story that takes place in the span of a few hours where the main and only character you see drives from one point to another. Having said that writer/director Steven Knight makes use of an interesting conceptual spin to draw viewers into that world of grounded individual whose life is thrown into utter turmoil on what is arguable the biggest night of his professional career.

Locke may be small in scope however it reaches far into the depths of the human condition as we are given an up close and intimate snapshot of a man who has seemingly devoted his life to ensuring that he doesn’t repeat the mistakes of the one who apparently at every turn proved to be a disappointment as a man/father. It is clear that doing so comes at a cost even though Ivan may not be able to see that. This is a character driven film with an unraveling aspect that tantalizes as the crisis continues to chip away at Ivan’s resolve. Tom Hardy is the only actor physically in the film and the perspective never leaves the car. The other characters are all derived from the phone calls Ivan makes or receives while driving from Birmingham to London. This is done to excellent effect as it provides all the details needed to understand exactly what has happened, what motivates Ivan Locke and ultimately the circumstances that will forever change his life.

I went into this viewing with reserved expectations and came away very pleased. The premise is rock solid and executed very well. The film has the feel of a live performance shot in a continuous take (which it wasn’t) which really connects you to it. On the surface it seem to be a cautionary tale, and it is, however it explores slightly deeper themes about morality, and the lingering effects of existential angst. Tom Hardy gives a terrific performance that carefully extrapolates Ivan’s inner conflict as he struggles to maintain control of an uncontrollable situation. I loved the cast that portrayed the “phoned” characters. This was done in real time and served as the catalyst for Hardy as he put on a one man show.

At 84 minutes the film is perfectly paced although keep in mind that it stills plays out on a scale that is slower than typical films. Locke is an engaging film and wonderfully executed character study that features apt direction and a spot on performance by star Tom Hardy.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for pervasive language.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 80
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA


Video: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Locke comes to Blu-ray Disc from LionsGate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.2 Mbps.

The video has an intentionally stylized look that utilizes a limited color scheme with sepia tones casts limited lighting and faux dash mounted camera angles intended to provide the aesthetic feel the filmmakers were striving for. Contrast is dialed back a notch, blacks are fairly strong and detail in dark areas and shadowy backgrounds is excellent. Resolution is good overall however due to the nature of the photography definitive sharpness and fine detail perception ebbs and flows. These instances didn’t inhibit the ability to visually resolve the structure of objects within the frame but did slightly diminish it. I didn’t notice any obvious signs of video related anomalies and thought that the look of the film mated quite well with the nature of the story.

The lossless audio presentation had no trouble conveying the elements present in the sound recording. Dialogue reproduction was strong with clear intonation and fair room penetration. The mix did a nice job of handling the film’s various spatial cues and near field simulation. Atmosphere creating sounds mixed to the surround channels created a neatly balanced rear soundfield that seamlessly blended with the front soundstage. This generally consisted of ambience however discrete effects were present and prioritized based upon the events transpiring onscreen. Low frequency content was limited to the upper registers but was detectable and appropriate when needed.

Bonus Features:
  • Audio Commentary by writer/director Steven Knight
  • (HD) Ordinary unraveling: Making Locke – 9 minute featurette
  • Digital HD Copy





Final Thoughts:

Locke is a conceptually interesting dramatic film that comes from the mind of writer/director Steve Knight. I found it to be an engaging film and wonderfully executed character study that features apt direction and a spot on performance by star Tom Hardy. It comes to Blu-ray from LionsGate Home Entertainment featuring gratifying high definition audio/video quality and a light supplemental package that includes a worthwhile audio commentary and making of feature. If you tend to like films with character driven plots than Locke deserves a spot at the top of your rental queue.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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post #2 of 25 Old 08-31-2014, 04:49 PM
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Nice review, Ralph - I think you've summed this up aptly. I wasn't sure if I would want to see this a second time, but you've reminded me of the strength of Tom Hardy's performance. Maybe I'll give it a second look to see some more details.

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post #3 of 25 Old 08-31-2014, 05:59 PM
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This was a pretty good movie. Tom's great in it thankfully, just because it really is a one man show. I like Tom alot so I'm not surprised he was so good in it.

It was an entertaining flick, but I had a slight issue with a certain character that Tom had to rely on so much in this movie. And also one other thing about the movie...

Spoiler!

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post #4 of 25 Old 08-31-2014, 06:15 PM
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After reading Ralph's review and having enjoyed Hardy in depression era "Lawless", I will put this film on my to watch list forthwith.
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post #5 of 25 Old 08-31-2014, 11:59 PM
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Nice read! Looking forward to thus one.
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post #6 of 25 Old 09-01-2014, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orbitron View Post
After reading Ralph's review and having enjoyed Hardy in depression era "Lawless", I will put this film on my to watch list forthwith.
As will I.

"Bring out yer dead!".."Wait I'm not dead yet!"..(Sound Austrian here) "WRONG !!" (You know what happens next..)
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post #7 of 25 Old 09-01-2014, 04:46 AM
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Nice review-awful-awful film. Sorry, just my take. I have spent a $1.65 on better items: A candy bar - a glass of beer - a bag a nuts - in this case, the cash was better off just staying in my pocket.
One actor - never gets out of the car , and I thought "Rage" was bad.
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post #8 of 25 Old 09-01-2014, 04:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quad4.0 View Post
Nice review-awful-awful film. Sorry, just my take. I have spent a $1.65 on better items: A candy bar - a glass of beer - a bag a nuts - in this case, the cash was better off just staying in my pocket.
One actor - never gets out of the car , and I thought "Rage" was bad.
Greetings,

Thanks for offering your "take" on this one quad4.0.

Sorry to hear it didn't work for you and I can understand how some may feel as you do. Next time...


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post #9 of 25 Old 09-01-2014, 08:22 AM
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Great review Ralph of a great film. Tom Hardy hit a home run with this one. Maybe you have to be of a certain age to fully appreciate the dynamics of his situation. If he were a friend of mine I wouldn't condone what he did but I wouldn't abandon him either -- it's hard not to admire his decision and his resolve and the reasoning behind them. Most people hide from or rationalize their mistakes to avoid assuming any responsibility for their actions -- Ivan meets his head-on regardless of the inevitable hard consequences.

Latest personal favourites:
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Locke
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post #10 of 25 Old 09-01-2014, 09:42 AM
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Normally I like long, dreary, suspenseful films, but I found this one to be just a series of tired cliches strung together to the point of complete lack of believability.

Spoiler!

Last edited by Ralph Potts; 09-01-2014 at 02:49 PM. Reason: Added Spoiler Tags
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post #11 of 25 Old 09-02-2014, 09:33 AM
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Thanks Ralph this will make an interesting Rental.
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post #12 of 25 Old 09-02-2014, 03:41 PM
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I enjoyed and was thoroughly engrossed in the movie as it was playing.....but then the ending had me and my wife saying "oh....that's it?".
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post #13 of 25 Old 09-02-2014, 10:08 PM
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I might give that one a chance, just for the sake of curiosity.
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post #14 of 25 Old 09-03-2014, 07:11 PM
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Thanks Ralph for a great review...

Deja Vu nailed it in his post and I couldn't have said it better myself. I loved how everything was happening in real time and I felt like I was riding in the car with Locke. The wide AR really worked well and I thought the DP did a wonderful job!

I would have skipped this but your review and other members comments pushed me to give it a try.
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post #15 of 25 Old 09-03-2014, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post
...but then the ending had me and my wife saying "oh....that's it?".
My wife and I immediately started to guess what tomorrow would bring to Ivan Locke...part of the charm with this ending!
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post #16 of 25 Old 09-03-2014, 08:08 PM
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My wife and I immediately started to guess what tomorrow would bring to Ivan Locke...part of the charm with this ending!
Could there be more sequels (franchise) comin' up on 'Locke'?
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post #17 of 25 Old 09-03-2014, 09:39 PM
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I thought this was a pretty thoughtful film and I liked it. Not only was there solid writing within the script, but all actors, even those you only hear over the phone, do a great job building tension, making the film quite engaging. Hats off to Hardy, whose acting prowess provides the backbone to this film. Very few actors could anchor a movie where their character talks on their phone in a car for 90 minutes.....and hold a viewers interest. Hardy is really coming into his own as a leading actor. It's impressive the way he's able to take the audience through the range of emotions his character is feeling, from anger, to fear of uncertainty, to regret, to being at peace with the choices he's made. If you're in the mood for something a little more intellectual and do not require Michael Bay explosions and scantily clad T&A to hold your attention, this may be worth a look.
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post #18 of 25 Old 09-04-2014, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quad4.0 View Post
Nice review-awful-awful film. Sorry, just my take. I have spent a $1.65 on better items: A candy bar - a glass of beer - a bag a nuts - in this case, the cash was better off just staying in my pocket.
One actor - never gets out of the car , and I thought "Rage" was bad.
Just wasted 84 minutes of my precious life, I could have done a lot of things in 84 minutes. Greed trying to make millions on very very low budget movie just like "paranormal activity" using a single consumer camera.

Last edited by latreche34; 09-04-2014 at 01:48 AM.
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post #19 of 25 Old 09-04-2014, 04:31 AM
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Could there be more sequels (franchise) comin' up on 'Locke'?
You never know...

I like the fact that the viewer fills in the ending...gives us an insight on how we see the world. My wife and I saw two very different "tomorrows" for Ivan. I will invite six friends over and watch this again, open a bottle (or two) of wine and see what people think the future holds for Ivan.
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post #20 of 25 Old 09-04-2014, 09:45 AM
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It's another movie that is a filmed version of a one-actor show, or close to it. Such as Phone Booth or Gravity. Broadway's been doing it for years, periodically giving a stage to one actor that captivates the audience.
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post #21 of 25 Old 09-05-2014, 09:51 AM
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There are a few motivational issues I had with the script, but those were easily overcome by the things I enjoyed about this film.
  • Tom Hardy is just brilliant, showing incredible emotional range in both subtle and very overt ways. He's becoming a must see actor.
  • The camera work, with it's use of reflection was simply outstanding given the claustrophobic location.
Overall it's an outstanding film, one that I'll definitely watch again.
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post #22 of 25 Old 09-05-2014, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robnix View Post
There are a few motivational issues I had with the script, but those were easily overcome by the things I enjoyed about this film.
  • Tom Hardy is just brilliant, showing incredible emotional range in both subtle and very overt ways. He's becoming a must see actor.
  • The camera work, with it's use of reflection was simply outstanding given the claustrophobic location.
Overall it's an outstanding film, one that I'll definitely watch again.
Now I'm going to watch it, for sure, thx.
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post #23 of 25 Old 09-05-2014, 01:22 PM
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Now I'm going to watch it, for sure, thx.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Looky here!
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post #24 of 25 Old 09-05-2014, 01:48 PM
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I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
I will everyone let know...
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post #25 of 25 Old 09-05-2014, 11:08 PM
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It's a good story for an audio book not a movie.
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