Plot: What’s it about?
Just as their black leather jackets proudly claim, these four guys from Brooklyn really are The Lords of their lives. They dress how they want, go where they want, do what they want, no one tells these guys how things are. While their appearance and attitudes might scare some folks, these guys are really just looking to have a good time, as well as stay in their youthful ways as long as possible. Stanley (Sylvester Stallone), Chico (Perry King), Butchey (Henry Winkler), and Wimpy (Paul Mace) have always done everything together, living the life of freedom and immortal youth, but time stands still for no one, as they soon find out. The fun and fancy free lifestyles they’ve been living are coming to an end, and the abyss of being an adult is just around the corner. This transition first happens to Stanley, when his girlfriend informs him that she is pregnant and they must get married, which shatters Stanley’s spirit of freedom. Then Chico falls in love with a girl of a different social status, which means he must leave his blue collar roots behind to maintain the relationship. But perhaps these four guys can find some freedom in their new lives and remain young in the one place they can, their hearts.
While this movie is geared toward nostalgic types, it does have more to offer others as well. This film finds the most fame as the flick that has some very early performances by Henry Winkler and Sylvester Stallone, both of whom went on to much success. But there is more to this movie than that, as it offers a glimpse into the last days of true youth for these guys, who have avoided that very concept for as long as they could. Personally, I can relate to the guys and their quest to stay young and responsibility free, as I am sure a great number of you can as well, so the movie speaks to me on that level. The writing is above average, but the issues the guys face rarely delve into serious stuff. This is acceptable however, since the movie seeks to insure humor along with the drama, and no one laughs (except maybe me) at extreme tragedy. Those of you readers who like nostalgic movies or are looking for a solid movie with a nice blend of drama and comedy, this is a safe bet.
While Sylvester Stallone made his mark on Hollywood as an action star, this early role is devoid of the traits he later carries. Sure, he’s still muscle bound and all, but he uses effective dialogue here, as opposed to witty one liners before blowing some guy’s head off. This isn’t his best work by far, but does offer a chance to see him in a role where talking is the focus, not guns and ammo. His comedic skills are in top form here, he provides the funniest lines to be found, including a classic scene where he buys his girl an engagement ring. Henry Winkler also appears here, and it’s not difficult to assume his Fonzie character on television’s Happy Days emerged from this role. While not as amusing as his work as The Waterboy’s Coach Kline, he does an adequate turn here. The supporting cast here includes Paul Mace (Paradise Alley), Perry King (Mandingo, Slaughterhouse-Five), Susan Blakely (Dream A Little Dream, Over the Top), and Paul Jabara (Midnight Cowboy, Legal Eagles).
Video: How does it look?
The Lords of Flatbush is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame version included on the flip side. This film was a low budget project, so the image is grainy at times, but looks quite good, given the origin and age of the print. The image is a little on the soft side, but to an extreme degree. The colors appear bright despite the grain, and flesh tones are natural and consistent. The contrast looks good also, with high detail level visible and great shadow delineation. If you’ve been wanting a superb looking version of this film, this is your chance.
Audio: How does it sound?
Aside from the soundtrack, the movie puts little emphasis on non dialogue audio. So, you’ll get a crisp sounding version of the film, but you won’t be blown away by the mono mix. The dialogue sounds very good, and the hiss that usually follows mono everywhere is absent for the most part.
Supplements: What are the extras?
An insert booklet contains some production notes, while the disc itself houses talent files as well as theatrical and bonus trailers.