Bronson (Blu-ray Review)

BronsonI watched the first 30 minutes and then I reluctantly forced myself to finish the film.  It was that bad.  The lack of story, plot and the development of the main character, Charles Bronson, is what made the film so difficult to watch most of the times.  Can you believe it?  That’s what the main draw of the movie was too.  Let’s talk a bit more about the story before we dive into the Blu-ray vitals.

The Film 

The story takes place in 1974 when the main character, Michael Peterson played by (Tom Hardy) is arrested for armed robbery of a post office.  Peterson is then locked up for a seven-year sentence and sees his prison term as an opportunity to become famous.  From here we see Peterson in random prison scenes where he starts fights with the prison guards.  These fights could be an opportunity for action or entertainment during the film, but they leave much to be desired and are therefore repetitive and boring.  Over and over again we see Peterson smothered by the prison guards after throwing a few punches.  Eventually, Peterson ends up at Broadmoor Asylum for the Criminal Insane.  The Broadmoor Asylum scene is especially boring because the once violent Peterson becomes a drugged drooling vegetable.

In 1988, Peterson is released from Broadmoor and stays with his uncle (Hugh Ross) for 69 days until he returns to prison again for robbery.  During his 69 days of freedom, Peterson changes his name to Charles Bronson and becomes an underground fighter where we see more lack luster fights.  Bronson returns to prison.  His violent behavior in prison is repeated for the rest of this life.

The film attempts to portray some type of artistic style with random interludes of Bronson’s monologues on a stage in weird makeup in front of a fake theatrical audience.   These attempts are far from artistic and overwhelmingly boring.  If you check out the image below they are almost downright scary too.



This is Blu-ray?  The filmmaker attempted to add some type of grit or grain to the film in postproduction most likely, but it just detracts from the movie and contradicts the quality of the Blu-ray format.  During the first 10 minutes of the movie I thought something was wrong with my TV.  The film quality appears as a poorly transferred DVD film.  It seems the way it was ultimately shot contributes greatly to how poor it looks on Blu-ray.

  • Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
  • Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio: 1:85:1
  • Original Aspect Ratio: 1:85:1
  • Video Bitrate: 33.87 Mbps




To me, the DTS-HD 5.1 sound is almost irrelevant as the majority of the film is.  However, there are few complaints to be had here.  Everything from the score, the general background sounds, the dialog and the fighting sounds, although lackluster at times, sound just fine.  The bass was spot on during the majority of the presentation.  In short, there are very few problems with the sound.  It’s just that the lackluster film did not help the cause.

  • English: DTS-HD MA 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish


Special Features 

For a lackluster film, there are several extras to peruse and spend your time on.  I have taken the liberty to list below what you can expect to find on the Blu-ray release.

  • Charles Bronson Monologues (17:15)
  • Making of Bronson (15:15)
  • Interviews with Writer/Director Nicolas Winding Refn, Actors Tom Hardy, Matt King and Paul Daniels (48:00)
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage (11:40)
  • Training Tom Hardy (5:45): How he added 35lbs. for the part.
  • Trailer (0:55): Teaser movie trailer.


Final Thoughts 

I was very disappointed with the film Bronson.  The film was mediocre at best in all areas. The greatest negative about the film was the director’s utter failure in attempting to mimic Stanley Kubrick’s directing style. 


Bring home Bronson today on Blu-ray!



Bronson Blu-ray Cover Art



4 Responses to “Bronson (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    If I did not know any better, from the photos I would have thought I was watching a R. Zombie movie! He looks like Captain Spaulding!

  2. dvdvoice

    I managed through it myself as well. Skippable – very skippable. It made me a little interested in why he’s Britain’s most notorious when on the outside he didn’t go on a crime spree or much of anything (at least according to the film).

  3. Thor

    true the film was misguided style all over the place, still Hardy is great in it. Hopefully his next project will be more suitable to his talent (i heard he’s the new Mad Max?)

  4. Gerard Iribe

    Wow, I’m glad I stumbled on this review, because it couldn’t be more wrong.

    I had the UK import almost a year before the domestic release and think this film absolutely rocks.

    BTW, Tom Hardy will play Mad Max in TWO films directed by George Miller.