Chadwick H. Saxelid | Concord, CA United States | 03/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"During his winter years in the 80s, international action star Charles Bronson made movie after movie for the maligned Cannon Group Inc, the production company run by Menachem Golan and Yoram Globus. Cannon got its start making (and did quite well with) exploitation pictures and just about every one of Bronson's films for them has the flavor of grindhouse exploitation cinema in the mix. But that does not mean the movies are plain bad, or so bad they're good, far from it. While Bronson did make some clunkers (Death Wish 2 in my opinion) and a few cult classics perfect for the MST3K treatment (Death Wish 3), some of his Cannon pictures are quite good. The quite good ones were usually directed by J. Lee Thompson. This box set gathers together the Bronson/Thompson team ups, with the exception of Death Wish 4: The Crackdown. All feature widescreen anamorphic transfers, again with the exception of the not included Death Wish 4: The Crackdown. Each movie is a solid piece of entertainment where Bronson did not simply phone in an embarrassed and wooden performance. Odd trivia: the cover of the box set uses an image for Death Wish 4, did I mention it's not inlucded in this set?10 TO MIDNIGHT (1984): Was the first thriller Thompson and Bronson worked on for Cannon (the two had previously teamed on The Evil That Men Do and, I believe, The White Buffalo) and its one of the best. Bronson plays a cop (a standard role for him when he wasn't replaying Paul Kersey in Death Wish sequel after Death Wish sequel) who matches wits with a cunning serial killer. Gene Davis plays the killer with a bemused and arrogant indifference that might appear wooden, until his mask of control slips. Andrew Stevens is Bronson's book smart partner and the lovely Lisa Eilbacher plays Bronson's estranged daughter (obviously she got her looks from her mother). Bronson grows desperate when his emotional investigation puts his daughter at risk. The characters and mind games are well set up in the script, but it degenerates into a slasher movie in the final reel. Nonetheless, it's a solidly crafted thriller.MURPHY'S LAW (1986): Bronson is a cop (again) who is dealing with his wife's leaving him by hiding in a bottle of booze. When he is framed for her murder, he escapes (with foul mouthed girl-woman Kathleen Wilhoite shackled to his wrist) to find the real killer. Gail Morgan Hickman's script (she also wrote Death Wish 4: The Crackdown and the story for the third Dirty Harry movie, The Enforcer) won't win any awards, but the story places enough obstacles in Bronson and Wilhoite's path to keep the yarn from getting boring.MESSENGER OF DEATH (1988): This is a real change of pace for Bronson. He plays an investigative reporter trying to get to the bottom of a mass murder that, at first, seems to be result of a venom filled blood feud between two fundalmentalist Mormon brothers. The mystery gets the emphasis over the action (though there is enough of that to keep it from getting boring) and only a rushed conclusion keeps it from being more than a tad above average.KINJITE: FORBIDDEN SUBJECTS (1989): This was last movie from the Bronson/Thompson/Cannon team and it's the weakest. Bronson is a vice cop slowly cracking from the pressures of dealing with the sleaze soaked Job. His obsessive hunt for a particular pimp named Duke is hampered by things like due process and his teenaged daughter getting groped in a crowded bus. What he does not know is that the father of the child kidnapped by Duke is the same man who felt his daughter up on the bus! The unpleasant subject matter (molestation and child prostitution) just isn't mixed well with the standard plot. It isn't there to make commentary about the characters, it's there to either titilate or shock. The script needed a little more work ironing out those story problems to really cook.Any fan of Bronson or Cannon or both (they're out there, I should know, I am one of them) will want this collection, as it pretty much puts the best of Bronson's Cannon years in one box. Recommended."
Finally on DVD. Go Get them !
Mian Sukiman | Jakarta Indonesia | 02/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All 4 films are directed by J. Lee Thompson. All films won't win any awards for any categories but all 4 are fun films especially for Bronson fans.10 to Midnight from 1983 : Bronson tracks serial killer (co-stars Andrew Stevens)Murphy's Law: Bronson is up against corrupt police forceMessenger of death: Bronson as Denver reporter up against nasty developer Kinjite: Bronson Vs. child prostitution ringAll 4 are in wide screen anamorphic which has good picture. The sound quality is so-so (10 to midnight and Murphy's law are mono) but overall this is one box set to get for Bronson fans. Highly recommended and hopefully someone will be releasing Death Wish 2, 3, and 4."
Return of the vigilante senior citizen...
The Straw Man | 01/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At long last, Charles Bronson comes to DVD. Forget the people that tell you his best movies are 'The Magnificent Seven', 'The Great Escape', or even 'Death Wish'. For me, and countless other film-literate fans, his J Lee Thompson 80's output is the best.This box set features:Murphy's Law: Bronson teams up with a young female hoodlum to stop a maniac, the mafia, AND corrupt cops. Guess who wins...10 to Midnight: Bronson manages to deliver justice to a serial killer who likes 80's soft-rock.Messenger of Death: Bronson plays a reporter who teaches a lesson to greedy child-murdering land-developers.Kinjite, Forbidden Subjects: Charlie displays his love for everything Japanese, in this bittersweet tale of a father's love, cultural exchange, and (surprise) vigilante justice.All in all, a classic load of Bronson-style brutality, all delivered in pristine anamorphic widescreen, with original trailers, and trendy new artwork. Don't expect realism, just expect 100% old-age action. Classic stuff!!!"
The smooth, deadly, astute, gray master comes home
The Straw Man | Aloof October on April's Birthday | 08/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to say this box set is a great way to attain a nice selection of Charles Bronson's work or for a CB fan to get their grubby little paws on four of CB's films at a nice price. This box sets features four of Mr. Bronson's flicks from the 1980s and believe me, these films don't pull any punches, kicks, guns or one liners. These are B movies (lower budget), but that gives them charm and character. I would much rather watch these movies over some the modern CGI, product placement and poorly acted films of today.
The first movie is "Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects" in this film Charles Bronson plays a cop who is investigating a child prostitution ring. This movie is pretty raw and gives viewers Charles Bronson with an "in your face" performance. Bronson doesn't hold anything back in this gritty film. There is also a subplot surrounding a Japanese family and how the prostitution ring influences them. There is one scene that involves Bronson, a watch and a pimp, I will say nothing else.
The second movie is "Messenger of Death" in this film Charles plays a new journalist named Garrett Smith. Smith is reporting a murder involving an entire family of Morons which was a result of a feud between two brothers. Of course Smith believes that there is much more going on with this murder and is determined to find out the truth. This movie is very different from some of Charles Bronson's other films. It relies more on mystery and some drama rather than action and violence. I have heard some negative things about this movie, but I liked it. Charles Bronson was smooth and astute as always and does manage to get his hands "dirty" a couple times in this film.
The third film is "Murphy's Law" this movie has a special place in my heart because it is the first movie that introduced me to Charles Bronson many, many, many years ago. Charles plays Jack Murphy a burnt out cop who is framed for killing his ex-wife. Jack ends up getting hand cuffed to a young girl he arrested prior for stealing his car. Jack breaks out of jail, takes his new "hand cuffed partner" with him in order to find the killer. This movie gives you Bronson at his best, fighting scum, great one liners and a drinking problem that never seems to be addressed.
The fourth movie is "10 to Midnight" this movie is sort of like "Friday the 13th" meets "Death Wish". In this movie Charles plays another cop, but this time he isn't framed. He is on the hunt for a serial killer who only kills women. Now the strange part is this killer gets naked when he kills these women. Look for B movie prince Andrew Stevens as Charles Bronson's partner. Keep an eye open for a very young Kelly Preston. This movie relies more on suspense than action and the result is a nice little horror flick.
All the movies are offered in widescreen or full screen on a double sided DVD. The trailer for each film is also offered. One thing I did notice in some of these movies, Charles Bronson can kick. He could punt for any major NFL team, no kidding. Also as a side note, J. Lee Thompson directed all four of these movies. Therefore not only are you getting a taste of Charles Bronson's work, you are also viewing some of Mr. Thompson's directing. You will also notice that the many of the same supporting actors are used in these four films.
In 2003 Charles Bronson left us and I truly believe he was one in a million. This box set pays homage to a wonderful guy and a great actor. So go on you little vigilantes, grab this collection of movies and reward yourself.
Charles, you are missed."
Movies for Guys who like Movies
Yen-Chien Lim | 05/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nice 80's action films produced by Golan Globus played by one of the toughest guys of all time."