MAGNOLIA has released the acclaimed film, "BRONSON" on blu-ray. Touted as being "Britain's most violent prisoner," one would think the film would be at least engaging, if not gripping. However, Nicolas Winding Refn, throws in so many jarring, theatrical moments, making some of Bronson's pandering to the camera annoying to an exponential degree, that the other captivating moments are buried in the mess. Originally sentenced to seven years for burglary, Bronson's propensity for violence, keeps him imprisoned for three decades. Sure, there's probably plenty of room for social commentary, but none of that comes to the screen with any substance. His back-story, while explored with more jarring imagery and editing, leaves the viewer feeling completely detached. The lack of any empathy for Bronson, is no small problem. It manifests in every aspect of the film. So, when there are moments intended for dark humor, even these fail, as one can't laugh with the character depicted. "BRONSON" has certainly won its share of fans, and will undoubtedly find many more, however, this critic has to advise against one wasting valuable time in it. Watching it all the way through was "cruel and unusual punishment."
MAGNOLIA has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray release. The level of detail and noise varies between the alternating 16mm and 35mm source material. Colors are much more impressive when viewing the 35mm material. Detail is intentionally swallowed up by the shadows in many scenes, and this appears to be an honest replication of the theatrical presentation. The gritty environment is aided by the film's consistent grain. A solid transfer, but not at all what most blu-ray owners would want to show as demonstration for their home theater capabilities.
MAGNOLIA has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that impresses! While not an aggressive mix, the balance of music, dialogue and discrete effects, creates some effective moments. While not a fan of Bronson's monologues to the captive audience, at least they were perfectly intelligible, even with his accent! Bass offers some solid impact as well.
MAGNOLIA has included enough extras to please any of the film's fans.
"MONOLOGUES" offers the real Bronson and recordings he's made, with less than solid fidelity, set to stills from the film.
"A documentary" in standard resolution, offers interviews with the cast, director, and friends and family of the real "Bronson." Standard definition.
"TRAINING TOM HARDY" is a brief look at the 5 week physical routine taken on by the actor for this role. Standard definition.
Other supplements include almost an hour of interviews with the director and cast, as well as behind the scenes footage. Trailers are the only extras provided in full 1080p.