07 March 2009

Bronson released 13 March

I read a book about legendary nutter Charles Bronson many years ago and always felt it would make a great bio-pic. Well, here it is! And it's good. 

Michael Peterson, better known as Charles Bronson (named after the Death Wish actor for want of a fighting name) has the dubious honour of being known alternately as Britain's 'most notorious prisoner' and 'Britain's most dangerous prisoner'. A fascinatingly complex and self-destructive figure, he has spent most of his life behind bars. Prison gave him the recognition he craved; earning a reputation for insane random acts of violence and a punishing exercise routine.

This grimly humourous and often surreal drama takes us through the pivotal moments of Bronson's (a buffed up Tom Hardy; RocknRolla) life, including hold-ups, prize-fights and dancing to the Pet Shop Boys in a mental hospital. No punches - or kicks, or choke-holds - are pulled along the way.

However, despite Bronson's commitment to ultra-realistic violence (the predictable outcry about glorification can already be heard), the second act of the film concentrates on the man's idiosyncratic artistic ability; developed through prison classes and encouraged by James Lance's (I'm Alan Partridge, Teachers) entertainingly camp teacher. Bronson's twin passions of art and violence culminate in an extraordinary climax, which will surely be one of the most talked about in a British movie this year. 

Essentially an English take on Aussie crime classic Chopper, a similarly cult audience is assured. 

Breakdance 1 and 2 released on DVD

Somehow I had never seen these movies before - despite a love of electro and early hip-hop. I had seen clips, of course. (Van Damme!) Anyway, they are bloody funny. Here is my review...

(along with it's sequel Electric Boogaloo) or Breakin' in the US has to be hailed as a serious contender for most 80's movie ever. A bold claim certainly; but one that is wholly supported by weapons of mass distraction such as insane moves, street 'tuff' fashions and plot lines centering on fighting evil corporate yuppies solely through the medium of dance. 

It comes as no surprise that the ludicrously cheesy scrapes involving the three main characters; Ozone, Turbo and, erm, Kelly are merely a vehicle for them and their mates to show off some stunning dancing. Still, the filmmakers were unlikely to have been overly concerned with the depth of plot or character development when coming up with the initial 'concept'. 

As an often hilarious and always endearing slice of 80's nostalgia the Breakdance films are hard to beat. Worth the price alone is a blink and you'll miss him Jean Claude Van Damme breakin' away and a slightly embarrassed looking Ice-T, rapping in distinctly non-gangsterish manner. Fresh, y'all! 

The DVDs are released in UK on 6 April 2009