DVD reviews - Locke - The Big Sleep

Tom Hardy in Locke
Tom Hardy in Locke

In a new feature we have linked up with Gamestar Entertainment Exchange to provide you with reviews of DVDs.

Each time we will look at a recent release plus a movie from the Gamestar’s extensive back catalogue.

Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep

Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep

This week we have a film that is fast becoming a cult classic and a movie that, 70 years later, is still regarded as a masterpiece.

Locke (15) is really a film you don’t want to describe.

I tried with a colleague and made it sound like the most boring thing on the planet.

However, it’s a quite remarkable piece of film-making based on a very simple premise.

Take one man who has made a single mistake in an otherwise pretty good life.

One evening the effect of that mistake builds to a climax. We join him in his car as he drives from work to sort out that problem.

On the way he makes several phone calls (all hands-free of course) and receives several more.

By the end of the movie the man’s life is completely transformed and, like him, will head off in a totally different direction.

It stars Tom Hardy, sporting a Welsh accent, who is project manager for a massive building project.

At the start of the film he draws up to a crossroads and his decision leads to a series of events, from which there is no return.

It all sounds mysterious, but this is a human drama played out in front of us.

We only see Hardy, in one of his best roles, but we hear the likes of Olivia Coleman and Ruth Wilson, only able to use their voice to project emotion.

It’s certainly a different kind of film, but well worth a visit.

Video Re-View - The Big Sleep (1946)

With the recent death of Lauren Bacall, it was fate that my eye was drawn to this classic film noir in which she starred alongside husband Humphrey Bogart.

Bacall was in her early twenties but absolutely nailed the role of Vivian Rutledge, daughter of wealthy but dying General Sternwood.

The whole movie oozes class - based on a Raymond Chandler novel, directed by Howard Hawks, screenplay by William Faulkner and Leigh Brackett, it couldn’t go wrong.

And it doesn’t.

However, you need to concentrate as the plot requires your attention (it was criticised on release for being too complicated).

Bogart, playing private eye (or shamus) Philip Marlowe is asked by General Sternwood to find someone who is blackmailing his younger daughter Carmen (Martha Vickers).

This sets off a series of events that include murder, assault and drug abuse.

At near two hours it was lengthy for a thriller in the 1940s but it romps along.

Bogart grimaces and wisecracks his way through the film and the scenes with Bacall positively sizzle.

Vickers, who sadly died at just 46, is also great and there were fears she was too good, putting Bacall in the shadow.

Even 70 years on The Big Sleep still looks superb.

Unusually, the 1978 re-make with Robert Mitchum and Sarah Miles isn’t bad either.

But if you want to see film-making at its best check out the original.

DVDs courtesy of Gamestar Entertainment Exchange, Sussex.

Entertainment Exchange buys, sells and exchanges games, Blu-rays, DVDs, CDs and accessories. You can find them in Brighton, Hove, Burgess Hill and Horsham. The shops are open from 9am - 6pm Monday to Saturday, and from 10am - 4.30pm on Sundays and bank holidays