DVD & Blu-ray

Bronson on DVD

Buy Bronson on DVD at Amazon UK

Bronson is a British film about the life of notorious prisoner Charles Bronson (Tom Hardy).

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn it is a striking look at how a man from a respectable family became one of the most notorious prisoners in Britain, persistently causing havoc in the system by staging riots, protests and taking hostages.

Born Michael Peterson and later re-named by his fight promoter in the 1970s – he has spent 34 years of his life in prison, and 28 of those in solitary confinement.

Although on the surface it might seem like another British gangster film, it is actually a very interesting and often darkly funny look at an extraordinary character.

Much of the strength of the film comes from the fact that it eschews the usual biopic route by having Bronson as narrator.

Can we trust him? Probably not, but that is what makes the film interesting as he refuses to blame his background and admits to being a strange kind of fame seeking performer.

Tom Hardy (who actually met with the real life Bronson in prison) gives a remarkable performance in the title role and Refn directs proceedings with considerable style and pace.

Extras on the DVD include:

  • Director’s Commentary
  • Making-of
  • Cast and Crew interviews
  • Audio Introduction from Charles Bronson

Bronson is out now on DVD

> Official site
> Bronson at the IMDb
> Buy the DVD at Amazon UK

N.B. This should have been included in my DVD picks this week but slipped through the net. Apologies.


UK Cinema Releases: Friday 13th March 2009

UK Cinema Releases 13-03-09


Marley And Me (20th Century Fox): Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston star as two journalists who adopt a dog named Marley in this story adapted from the bestselling memoir of the same name by John Grogan.

Directed by David Frankel, it did stellar business at the US box office around Christmas and looks set to have similar success over here, powered by dog lovers and less discerning audiences. [Vue West End & Nationwide / Cert PG]

Bronson (Vertigo Films): A biopic of the criminal Charles Bronson – one Britain’s most notorious prisoners. Tom Hardy takes on the central role and it is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn.

Vertigo will be hoping for good word of mouth, mostly based around Hardy’s acclaimed performance, although the 18 certificate may limit its overall box office. [C’World Haymarket, Empire Leicester Sq., Odeon Covent Gdn & Nationwide / Cert 18]



UK limited cinema releases 13-03-09

The Burning Plain (Paramount):  The latest film from writer Guillermo Arriaga sees him make his debut behind the camera.

Like his previous work (Amores Perros21 Grams and Babel) this has a fractured narrative and stars Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger as two women in different parts of America struggling to deal with their lives.

It also stars Danny PinoJennifer LawrenceJoaquim de AlmeidaJ.D. PardoRobin Tunney and Brett Cullen

Although some critics are going to take the predictable ‘why can’t he tell a straight story’ line, it is actually an involving and well crafted tale with some fine visuals from DP’s Robert Elswit and John Toll[Key Cities / Cert 15]

Hush (Optimum Releasing): A low budget British horror film about a young couple on a motorway journey are drawn into a game of cat and mouse with a truck driver following a near accident. Written and directed by Mark Tonderai. [C’Worlds Enfield, Shaftesbury Ave., Wandsworth & Nationwide / Cert 15]

Alone aka Issiz Adam (Most Production): A Turkish film written and directed by Çağan Irmak which explores the lives of two people who live in Istanbul who happen to meet each other in a second-hand book shop. [Odeons Greenwich, Holloway Rd, Lee Valley & Panton St. Only / Cert 15]

In The City Of Sylvia (Axiom Films): A 2007 Spanish film – almost entirely devoid of dialogue – which follows a young man (credited only as ‘El’) as he scours suburban Strasbourg in search of Sylvia, a woman he asked for directions in a bar several years before.

Directed by José Luis Guerín and starring Xavier Lafitte and Pilar López de Ayala. [BFI Southbank, Curzon Soho & Key Cities / Cert PG]

Not Quite Hollywood (Optimum Releasing): A new documentary exploring the world of Australian exploitation cinema that began in the early 1970s. 

Directed by Mark Hartley it shows how a new generation of maverick filmmakers capitalised on the relaxing of censorship laws to create wilder films on smaller budgets. [ICA Cinema only / Cert 18]

* Listen to our interview with director Mark Hartley *

Wonderful Town (Soda Pictures):  Set in post-tsunami Thailand, the story deals with an architect (Anchalee Saisoontorn) who moves into a town to develop a construction project and begins an affair with a sensitive local girl (Supphasit Kansen). [ICA Cinema & Key Cities]


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