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Lockout [DVD]
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on 27 April 2012
Amazing sci-fi action movie with a retro feel!! The story is sweet and simple and probably predictable but that matters not as you will have so much fun with this movie, it feels really oldschool action like something the 80s would have thrown at us with Bruce Willis back in the day. Guy Pearce is a quality actor who plays a fun character in a ridiculous situation in space saving the presidents daughter from thousands of the worlds most dangerous criminals, all good fun, lots of great action and plenty of cheesy one liners, make sure you check it out.
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on 13 November 2012
I received my copy of Lockout at the weekend and I am happy to say that I love it. Yes it's cheesy, yes it's derivative but it's fun and, with the exception of the awful bike chase, the SFX hold up very well. Guy Pearce's wisecracking tough guy performance is thoroughly entertaining and I can happily add the film to my shelf along with other shameless throwback movies like Doomsday.

Unfortunately I have a low tolerance for low quality products and the UK blu ray of Lockout is one such product. All the reviews I had read previously of this release had been glowing when appraising the visual quality so I was a little bit surprised to see a fairly soft and murky image in places and, worse, some genuinely appalling and thoroughly distracting occurrences of colour banding, most noticeably in space scenes. The shot of the prison at around 55 minutes is a good example with the sun flare on the right hand side of the screen looking like it was rendered by an 8 bit computer. The skydiving sequence at the climax of the movie is even worse. As a result I spent an hour fiddling with my TV and blu ray settings to try and resolve the issue, to no avail. It occurred to me then that the numerous reviews I had read were specifically for the US release, distributed by Sony, so I ordered a copy from a market place seller and it arrived today, only two days later. It turns out I was right. The US release IS reference quality and absolutely flawless. The UK version is distributed by Entertainment in Video and is the inferior product by some considerable margin.

Apologies if you think I'm being too finnicky but if I buy a blu ray I expect blu ray quality, not this second rate, lazy and flawed transfer that we have been fobbed off with in the UK.
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on 25 April 2017
Government agent Snow (GUY PEARCE) is accused of murder and espionage when a mission to deliver a briefcase to his contact John Mace (TIM PLESTER) goes horribly wrong. Soon arrested and interrogated by the devious Scott Langrall (PETER STORMARE), things look increasingly bad for him despite the intervention of ally Harry Shaw (LENNIE JAMES).

Meanwhile President Warnock (PETER HUDSON) oversees his daughter Emilie (the lovely MAGGIE GRACE) on a humanitarian visit to MS One, a space station now used as a maximum security prison, in order to see that the five hundred inmates are treated well. During her brief tour a dangerous incident escalates when dangerous criminal Hydell (JOSEPH GILGUN) escapes his jailers, arms himself with a gun and captures the control room. Before long he has released all his fellow inmates from their frozen stasis and, accepting the leadership of the respected Alex (VINCENT REGAN), holds several hostages including Emilie. Fortunately for her none of the prisoners recognize her as the President's daughter.

The situation on MS One gives Snow the chance to redeem himself. While negotiators stall the prisoners, who have now activated the defence systems on the space station, Shaw believes that a single man – Snow – can infiltrate the base undetected, rescue Emilie and return her safely to Earth in a hidden escape capsule. Langrall reluctantly agrees to the ruse and the plan is swiftly set in motion.

Such is the premise to LOCKOUT, based on an idea by LUC BESSON, and ably directed by STEPHEN SAINT LEGER and JAMES MATHER.

I watched the film with mixed feelings for various reasons. Although there is certainly plenty of action during the 91 minute running time, we have seen the likes of it many times before and there were no fresh ideas. The film has been likened to DIE HARD in space, but (for me) it seemed closer plot wise to ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK set in orbit!

PEARCE is as always a likeable hero and GILGUN rather crazy, while REGAN gives a restrained but rather menacing performance. GRACE goes from spoiled and naïve brat to determined survivor during the course of the film. Her banter with PEARCE is often cliched but at least there is chemistry between them.

One rather disappointing sequence near the start of the film – which lets it down badly – has Snow chased by the authorities. What should have been an exciting thrill-ride instead uses some rather crude CGI work which left me wondering if its inclusion was left late and the production ran out of money before the special effects could be satisfactorily completed. To me it just looked bad. Perhaps a wiser option would have been to keep this sequence as a cut scene and not had it in the film at all, as it sticks out like a sore thumb!

Special Features on the disc include a couple of extended and cut scenes, a breakdown of some action sequences plus brief interviews with cast and crew.

No doubt those who love action films and care not too much about dialogue will absolutely love LOCKDOWN as there is much to enjoy here. However, people wanting something fresh and different to the standard action fare will be left a little disappointed when the end credits roll.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 26 September 2014
'Snow' ( Guy Pearce ) has been wrongly accused of treason and the killing of a fellow agent and faces a long prison sentence.
the presidents daughter 'Emile'(Maggie Grace) is visiting a penal institution for dangerous prisoners which is situated many miles above earth, she is investigating the treatment of the in-mates on 'Maximum.Security Prison One' (M.S.One)
While she is there a massive prisoner breakout takes place, 'Emily' is now a hostage.
Debating how to rescue her and restore order is discussed by the authorities rather than a full-scale attack which would almost certainly see 'Emily' killed, it is suggested that one man should try to rescue the presidents daughter.
The imprisoned 'Snow' becomes the obvious choice with his no-nonsense approach, he is reluctant believing it to be a suicide mission, however an agent tells him that 'Mace'(Tim Plester) is a prisoner on 'M.S.One'
'Mace' maybe the only man alive that can help 'Snow' prove his innocents.........'Snow' takes on the mission.
this is a really good action movie set some way into the future, well worth watching with it's impressive special effects.
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 August 2013
An action/science fiction movie, set in the reasonably near future.

A few decades from now, and life on Earth thus doesn't look much different. But orbital space planes are in existence. And there's a big space station orbiting the Earth. Which is being used to keep the worst kind of convicts. In suspended animation.

At the same time, CIA operative Snow [Guy Pearce] a laconic and wise cracking individual, is in the middle of a mission that turns into a double cross. He has to fight and run to survive. But doesn't get too far. He faces years in suspended animation on the station as a result.

But when Emilie [Maggie Grace] daughter of the US president, goes to the station on a mission to find how the prisoners are being treated, only to be caught up in a mass breakout, Snow has no choice but to agree to take on a solo mission to rescue her.

On the station awaiting him are a scottish psychopath [Joseph Gilgun. Rudy in the tv show misfits] and a very cunning sociopath who is calling the shots. But Snow has another reason for being there as well. Can he survive and walk away? And will anyone else?

This starts with earthbound sequences that show you what happens when Snow gets double crossed. These are good action set pieces, although the cgi in a motorbike sequence doesn't really convince. Guy Pearce's performance does command the attention from the off as he makes Snow quite a likeable and appealing hero, by delivering lots of good one liners with aplomb.

Up on the station Maggie Grace does make Emilie a three dimensional character, neither too tough nor too weak. And Joseph Gilgun's performance -the strong accent he uses does take a slight moment to get used to - is also strong, making him a good villain. As is the sociopath calling the shots.

Once Snow is on the mission the pace and the tension do escalate, and it all results in some very good and exciting moments. At the heart of it is the relationship between him and Emilie. The two leads do play this very well, meaning that you never find the man/woman who initially hate each other but get to know and like each other routine at all cliched.

There is some clever plotting which holds back a few revelations right to the end.

This is exactly what it sets out to be. A fun and exciting action movie. It's very good escapist entertainment and well worth a look if you're in the mood for that kind of thing.

Languages and subtitles on the dvd are:

Languages: English.

Subtitles: English.

Extras are:

Interviews with cast and crew. These are short featurettes that can be watched individually or all in a row. The interviews are interspersed with shots of the film being made.

They are as follows:

Guy Pearce [8 Minutes]
Maggie Grace [5 minutes]
Joseph Gilgun part one [Three minutes]
Joseph Gilgun part two [Four minutes]
Stephen St. Ledger - one of the two directors [five minutes].

Torsion fields sequence shows how one fight scene was flmed. This runs for five minutes. And is narrated in french. With english subtitles.

MS one action: runs for four minutes and show how some of the action sequences were done.

MS one constuction: runs for seven minutes and shows a lot of the production design.

Unreleased scenes: runs for two minutes and has slightly extended versions of two key scenes. The first of these in particular is an esssential watch. You will see why.

There are also three trailers in a preview section. For totally unrelated films. That can be watched individually or all in a row.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 July 2013
This is a mostly failed attempt to make a good action film in space and barely a couple of weeks after seeing it I already forgot most of the "plot" - still, it has some elements that make it possible to watch. Below, more of my impressions with some limited SPOILERS.

Year of Grace 2079. A CIA agent called Snow (Guy Pearce) is arrested for... well, something, it doesn't really matter. For reasons unknown, it is the Secret Service director Scott Langral (Peter Stormare) who is in charge of Snow's arrest, interrogation, torture and future incarceration in (deep breath here!) absolutely most maximal maximum ultra-modern high-security top-level sophisticated super space super-penitentiary MS One (you can expire now).

But lucky for him, in the same time Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace), daughter of President of United States, arrives at (deep breath here!) absolutely most maximal maximum ultra-modern high-security top-level sophisticated super space super-penitentiary MS One (you can expire now), for some kind of bull%£$t mission necessary to explain her presence there. Just a little moment after she arrives, psychiatrically challenged quasi-neanderthalian inmates break out and seize control of the (deep breath here!) absolutely most maximal maximum ultra-modern high-security top-level sophisticated super space super-penitentiary MS One (you can expire now), as easily as if they were stealing lollipops from kindergarten children!

Immediately after Snow receives an offer from Langral (gosh, it seems that Secret Service director is the REAL guy in charge of USA) - he will infiltrate (deep breath here!) absolutely most maximal maximum ultra-modern high-security top-level sophisticated super space super-penitentiary MS One (you can expire now), save the girl (to hell with other hostages...) and bring her back to safety. In exchange he will receive full amnesty... And then the film continues, mostly along the lines of "Escape from New York"...

This is not a good film and you can fast forward some fragments - and if you interrupt the watching and return it, you will not lose much... For a moment I pondered the possibility to give it two stars, but then I found some elements which allowed me to give a third one:

- Maggie Grace, a very pleasant vision (but regretfully always with her clothes on...)

- Peter Stormare and especially his character, ultimately less stereotyped and stupid than suggested at the beginning of the film

- some good lines, mostly during the exchanges between Snow and Emilie

- couple of good jokes

- Snow's first name

- one action twist, somehow less predictable than the rest of the film

- a message of hope for guys all around the world: you can verbally abuse a girl, hit her in the face, shove her around, brutally cut her hair, cover her head in dirty smelling grease and even throw her in the void from great heights - and she still will want to have sex with you. There is just a catch - you must look like Guy Pearce...

Bottom line, this is a barely average film, borrowing enormously from better movies, with a ridiculous scenario (and especially a completely laughable space battle) and an extremely predictable ending - but nevertheless still in the limits of watchable. My advice, RENT instead of buying, as it is really a thing to see once.

Fully functional brain is not necessary to watch it. Also, the intake of a minimum of three good beers just before or in the early watching stages certainly will help enjoying "Lock out".
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 February 2013
Lockout is one of those Sci-Fi action movies which is more about the action than the actual Science Fiction. As long as you're not expecting anything ground-breaking then there's plenty of fun to be had from Lockout.

A few decades in the future an ambitious scheme to hold convicts in a state of suspended animation in space-prisons means that undesirables can be kept away from society in a facility which will not see any riots or altercations - not so much as a raised voice! However all good plans eventually go awry and pretty soon a situation arises where the inmates are defrosted and have taken over the place ...and the daughter of the president of America also happens to be there. This certainly isn't a unique film, there are no new premises here and it all seems very derivative. When you read about this film you see many references to Escape from New York and Fortress - and it's easy to see why, this looks like a love letter to those films, a knowing nod.

Guy Pierce is good as special agent Snow - the one man rescue team, and his one-liners are enjoyable if a bit cheesy. But there's no development of the character and half the time you wouldn't really care if he ended up blasted out of an airlock or not. The only characters of any interest are the brotherly double-act of Alex and Hydell, the villains of the film. Joe Gilgun is excellent as the unhinged psychotic baddie with absolutely no regard for human life. He is genuinely unnerving on screen and the scenes with him and Vincent Regan as his gang-leading brother are the strongest of the entire film. The film relies on action, sometimes at the expense of a completely cohesive story, but the plot is so simple that it doesn't really seem to matter. Lockout gets lots of things right though, it creates something which is incredibly familiar, it looks like a natural progression of our own world with some advances in technology which are absolutely plausible. Initially there are questions asked surrounding the morality of using prisoners as 'guinea pigs' for stasis technology, a technology which has heavily vested interests from a company with political influence. Such musings are soon forgotten though and swept aside which is a shame as there was scope to turn this formulaic film into something more substantial.

This Blu-Ray looks okay, it's not earth shattering but the level of detail is what you'd expect from a good High-Definition transfer. There is a lot of banding though when a light source appears in an otherwise dark scene which is a shame, it's what you'd expect if you were streaming it online or watching on DVD rather than a Blu-Ray disc.

In a nutshell: This is an enjoyable action film which re-packages some elements of the classic '80s sci-fi thrillers that many of us grew up on. As a result it looks very familiar and is otherwise unchallenging. It's not a bad film, it's definitely entertaining, but it's just too unoriginal to ever be considered a classic in its own right.
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on 6 September 2012
Set in the not too distant future, Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential) stars as a wisecracking government agent, Snow, who is wrongly convicted of murder & selling state secrets. But he may just have a way to redeem himself, as the presidents daughter Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace -Taken) who was visiting a maximum cryostatis prison in space to check on the well being of the inmates, is smack dab in the middle of a prison riot. Only one person would be crazy enough to go in there, Snow!

To start with it's quite obvious from reading the synopsis alone that this is a reworking of the classic Escape From New York with Kurt Russell. None the less, Lockout turns out to be a very watchable brutish action movie, but with some intelligence thrown in there, in the shape of the sub plot rumbling underneath the main events. The action is fast, furious, brutal & smart in places, but there are a couple of far fetched moments that even the most hardened of action fans may raise an eyebrow too. The CGI & special effects used are pretty good on the whole with some exceptions here & there, but, considering the budget worked with it's not surprising. Some interesting ideas used in places, no doubt thanks the man who came up with the idea of the film, Luc Besson. But he will undoubtedly be pleased with the work that directors & co writers James Mather & Stephen St. Leger have managed to produce, in keeping with Besson's fast & furious action style.

Now, a film like this needs really convincing villains, and in my book, Joseph Gilgun (Emmerdale[Eli Dingle]) was impressive as the oddball psychotic inmate, as was Vincent Regan (Black Knight) to the other extreme, as the more stable leader trying to keep him & the situation under control. Guy Pearce was solid as the wisecracking Snow, who shares more in common with John McClane from Die Hard than Kurt Russell's more rugged & darker Snake Plissken. Maggie Grace was very watchable as the presidents daughter, having a good rapport with Pearce & giving as good as she got from Snow. Her father played by peter Hudson, less so. But the addition of the well traveled Peter Stormare (Armageddon) & Lennie James (Colombiana) added the much need gravitas that the film needed to give it that serious edge.

In conclusion, i found Lockout to be a watchable, if somewhat predictable action movie. But it manages to give a little ray of intelligence through the story about Snow, to cling too, through it's racing 1 hour & 30 minute run time. Another shining example after Colombiana of what Mr. Besson & Co. can do with a relatively small budget. Recommended.
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on 7 June 2012
Luc Besson has been behind some of the best action and sci-fi films of the past eighteen years; directing films such as Leon: The Professional and The Fifth Element and contributing to the writing process for films such as Kiss of the Dragon, The Transporter, Revolver, and From Paris With Love. Besson's films aren't always the smartest or the best written, but they don't have to be when they're usually so damn entertaining. On top of that, I'm a fairly huge Guy Pearce fan other than last month's Seeking Justice, which we'll just pretend doesn't exist for the sake of argument. So Lockout looked like it could be a hell of a lot of fun, but there was something I couldn't quite put my finger on that didn't seem quite right in the trailers and TV spots.

Accused of a crime he didn't commit, Snow (Guy Pearce) is about to be locked away for thirty years. The president's daughter Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace) is sent to a prison in outer space to help psychologically diagnose the prisoners when an interrogation goes wrong and prisoner Hydell (Joseph Gilgun) escapes and sets all 400+ prisoners on the space station free. Snow is offered his freedom if he can break into the prison and rescue Emilie.

Lockout has this superb beginning. The interrogation sequence with Snow and Langral (Peter Stormare) and the fight sequence immediately afterwards are both extremely entertaining and fast paced. The closing part of it with the gun is something taken right out of a Jackie Chan flick, which should be taken as the highest compliment. The entire movie has incredible momentum anyway as the slower moments are tense and everything else is just go-go-go the whole time. Snow is a great character, as well. While he's basically John McClane from the Die Hard films, he's the most entertaining character Pearce has ever played. Cynical, sarcastic, and a complete smart aleck, Snow reminds me of me to the most exaggerated extent.

Things begin to go downhill fast during the freeway chase. The special effects are very unusual. Everything is so blurry and whizzes by you so fast that you can't really process what's going on. It's like it almost feels like it's low budget or something, but it's not quite that bad. The outer space battles are along the same lines. The Snow character never gets old though as he's downright hilarious throughout the entire movie. His interactions with Emilie are just as good if not slightly better as both Pearce and Grace have fairly decent chemistry together on-screen.

The sci-fi action film has this Paul W.S. Anderson and Michael Bay quality to it that keeps you from fully enjoying it. The TV spots are comparing Lockout to Die Hard and Blade Runner. While there is a small Blade Runner vibe early on before Snow is shipped off into space, it disappears quickly. Lockout is more like a combination of Die Hard, The One, Event Horizon (without all of the implications of hell), and Armageddon. It's like there's something good in there, but it has to compete for your attention with its weird special effects and storyline that doesn't exactly put you off entirely but feels hackneyed to a certain degree.

If it wasn't for the thoroughly amusing and brilliantly written character of Snow, Lockout probably wouldn't be worth seeing at all. Since he is though, Luc Besson has helped create another fairly satisfying sci-fi action adventure. It's just a shame that its entertainment value fluctuates so often throughout its duration.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 September 2012
I was kind of inclined to headline this as being the movie guaranteed to make highbrow film fans froth with incredulity. That anyone could enjoy such a derivative, tongue-in-cheek, low ambition piece of schlock, is surely cause for venomous spleen venting from the serio film brigade. They call them guilty pleasures, but thing is, I just don't feel guilty about having such a wonderfully fun filled great time with the Luc Besson produced Lockout.

Plot? Well it's the future and basically Guy Pearce (Snow) is wrongly convicted of a crime and sentenced to do stir in stasis until whenever. But up in space at the MS1 prison facility, home to all the maniacs found in Demolition Man, the president's daughter, do-gooder babe Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace), is suddenly taken captive and it's a big hostage situation. This looks like a mission for a serious hard bastard type! Well Snake Plissken wasn't available, so they get Snow, who is bulked up, full of wise cracks and has a point to prove. Guess what follows? Yep, complete popcorn frenzy as Pearce and Grace cut a swathe through MS1 and have a date with coolness personified.

On the way, via a truly gorgeous sci-fi affected Blu-ray print, we will tick off the homages and influences and compare notes with our viewing partners about how it's a Snake Plissken movie but with Shane Black type dialogue. While those who are partial to a bit of sci-fi design are well served here. Because even though there might be the worst CGI effects ever during a chase scene (that mercifully only runs for 50 seconds), the space ships, sets and Torsion System sequence, prove that you don't need Michael Bay type bucks to please the eyes. From the quite brilliant and hilarious opening interrogation beat down, to the big reveal and punch line, this Besson produced piece is serving popcorn with a smile to a certain segment in the film watching populace.

With bits of the Snake Plissken movies, Fortress, Die Hard, Commando, Demolition Man, Minority Report, Last Boy Scout and any other quip laden dude/wronged man on a mission movie, Lockout clearly lacks originality. But seriously! Was anyone involved playing it as anything other than a sly homage movie? No, they wasn't. Pearce is great fun in the role, but he isn't trying to worry the highbrow crowd's votes for films of the year. Anyone viewing it expecting something cerebral should feel more guilty than those who stand up to say they had a great time watching it. Ingem Ferem. 7/10
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