Finally a movie that has a real anecdote to go with the watching of the film. So I taught at the prison that Lock Up was filmed at! It’s the East Jersey State Prison, formerly known as Rahway, and known in the film as Gateway. There were a lot of shots of the outside of the prison, which is instantly recognizable, and a single shot of the entrance that I used to go into the prison through. Surprisingly there were only two scenes set in the central hub of the prison, which is a big open space under the dome that contains a circular cage area that I had to wait in while they tried to get me up to the library/classroom area. It’s kinda cool looking (albeit depressing, as everything in a prison is), so I expected it to be featured more. That was it though! Only a couple other brief moments where I recognized anything. Such is life. The craziest thing was that there was a scene in the film with an electric chair and I was like, “OMG! Was there an electric chair in that prison?!?!” But I don’t think so… or at least certainly not when I taught there. There are some claims that there was an electric chair in the dome of the prison at one time, but I think that’s a myth. I believe the only electric chair in NJ was in Trenton. That would have given me the creeps if there had been one in Rahway. Anyway, that’s enough prison talk.
Well I would have really loved for this to be part of the Stallone Food Trilogy, but he doesn’t talk about food nearly enough. Instead I’ll just do my own BMT-solution. I feel like too many times in the past year we were presented with a very interesting adaptation and Patrick and I cited “time” and “work” as valid excuses for not reading the source material. No more! I resolve to read the source material for any and all films that we watch this year. I feel like this will give us a more well rounded idea of just what kind of travesties we are witnessing. Imagine if I hadn’t read Endless Love before watching Endless Love (and Endless Love)?! Impossible! Unacceptable! This is my BMT-solution. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it… Juwanna Mann’s not based on a book, right? Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Lock Up?! More like Shlock Up! Amirite?! Except … wait for it … I kind of dug this movie. Let’s get into it:
- It had the cheesy weird Sly moment (like him pretending he can play football, presumably to legitimatize hiring a former NFL player to truck people in the prison), but he was okay. He had a little of the incomprehensible Sly talk going, but it was okay.
- The movie is interesting in two ways. First, they hide his (obviously) noble reason for going to jail for almost the entire film. There is a history to the film with naturally revealing exposition slowly developing his background. Digging it.
- Second, it is a little grindhouse-y. Like Cobra. There is the ultra-violence, prison-exploitation kind of thing going. Explains the weird Maltin review to an extent.
- And a lot of the performances and writing are solid. The only tough spot is the bonkers insanity of Sutherland. Oh … and the ending makes no sense. Like Sly is in prison forever. So yeah, that’s an issue.
I’ll leave it there. Because we need a little Prequel to this. Lock Up: Origins. Fortuitously Kiefer Sutherland is 31 years younger than his father. It has been 26 years since Lock Up was released, and the prequel would take place five years prior to that movie …. 31 years ago in 1984! The time is now! Do it! Netflix! Lock Up: Origins! The only question is who plays Stallone? Looking at pictures I think Channing Tatum would weirdly work. But since this is going to be a BMT Production on the cheap let’s get Kellan Lutz on the horn. Boom. Done.
Also, I feel like my negativity is bringing BMT down. This is supposed to be fun guys! Watching movies is fun, right? (right?…). So, introducing my 2016 BMT-solution (oooo, I’m digging that terrible name). My BMT-solution is that I’m going to be less negative in my reviews. Get back to the fun. Try and not brutalize movies like Ridiculous 6 anymore (hey, Ridiculous 6, you got me and my bros to sit down and watch a movie together, that’s something). I’ll see how long that lasts.