BLU-RAY REVIEW: Bronson
The story of the most violent inmate in Britain takes center stage...
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Violence begets violence and there’s no better proof of that than the story of Charles “Charlie” Bronson, a man who, while some would consider artistic, most would consider barbaric, brutal, and psychotic. Now, thanks to Magnolia pictures, Magnet and the 6-Shooter Film Series, those looking to know a little bit more about Britain’s most violent and popular inmate can check out a film loosely based on his life.
Entitled Bronson and staring a masterful Tom Hardy in the title role, the film follows the escapades of the man born Michael Gordon Peterson. Growing up in 1950s and 60s London, there’s little doubt the man who would become known as “Charlie,” was different from most boys. Popular in underground fighting rings on the east side of London, this brawler’s story makes for one of the most interesting – and eccentric – stories. Of course, it’s often said truth is stranger than fiction and the story of inmate Charles “Charlie” Bronson proves this true.
While more information about the real man can be found HERE, the film – spectacularly directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Pusher series) – brings to life the character of Bronson beautifully. One part artist, one part poet, four parts anger, and all parts fighter, Bronson’s character – thanks to the wonderful acting of Hardy – is a stunning. And while the film has no concise end (after all, Bronson’s still in jail to this day), the story begs to be seen, heard, and experienced.
The Bronson Blu-ray includes a solid picture in 1080p as well as an impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound track. Likewise, there’s a solid amount of bonus material featured that’s well worth mentioning, including a 15 minute “making of” featurette that includes not only interviews with the director and cast members , but also interviews with friends and family of the real Charles Bronson. A 17 minute long “Charles Bronson Monologues” featurette includes a number of hard to understand ramblings by the real Charles Bronson. While some fans will appreciate this, others might find it a bit odd. A 5 minute “Training Tom Hardy” featurette walks us through the training of the main actor as he works to portray Bronson.
Other bonus features include nearly 50 minutes of interviews are also featured, including extensive talks with director Nicholas, actors Hardy and King. Lastly, more than 10 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage is also included for those who appreciate deleted or extended scenes and b-roll footage.
While Bronson isn’t for everyone – especially the faint of heart, it’s truly a work of cinema genius. True stories like this – as previously mentioned – can’t be made up and it’s not only stunning that a man like this exists, but that a man like this can be considered so many different things by so many different people. If you’re a fan of cinema, don’t mind a bit (or a lot) of violence, and can appreciate the fact that everyone – no matter their place in life – has something to contribute to humankind, than Bronson is worth a look.
- Jess C. Horsley