Mark Webber as Anthony ‘Blest’ Campo
Gano Grills as Justin ‘Buk 50’ Broady
Jade Yorker as Kevin ‘Lune’ Broady
Jaclyn DeSantis as Alexandra
Joey Dedio as Hazer
Stephen Buchanan as Noble
Al Sapienza as Officer Bobby Cox
Bonz Malone as Officer Nole Shorts
Donna Mitchell as Diane Campo
Kumar Pallana as Kumar Baba
Blake Lethem as Lazaro
Dylan Mikson as Gabriel
Joshua Gustin as Young Blest
KaDee Strickland as Toni
Semz as Knife
Extended Scene: Video Graf
Theatrical and Alternate Trailers
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 93 Minutes
The following is the description from the DVD cover:
“In the first feature length film in over 20 years to focus on graffiti, Anthony ‘Blest’ is one of the most talented and notorious artists in New York City. Despite the tragic loss of his older brother during a nightly bombing foray with a graffiti crew, Anthony has the same insatiable addiction. With the other members of his crew, Justin and Kevin, Anthony parties, shoplifts spray-paint, and tags virgin walls with his signature Blest.’ He does his best to avoid run-ins with the cops and hostile rival crews, but he can’t avoid the pressure from his mother to attend college, and from his girlfriend to leave New York with her. After a physical threat from the cops, Blest’s crew declares an all out war on the city and intensifies their bombing excursions. When the inevitable confrontation happens, a tragedy results that pushes Anthony to make a decision that has darker consequences. Bomb The System is an unforgettable portrait of the often-misunderstood art form and culture of graffiti.”
Bomb the System is rated R for pervasive language, drug use, some violence and sexuality/nudity.
Bomb the System was bad on a lot of different levels. First off, the acting is terrible. Every single character in this film uses street slang and they say it in a way like they’re imitating how they think it would really be said on the street. There’s lots of “Yo, yo, yo’s”, “Whass up’s”, and “mad props”. It doesn’t seem real coming from the actors and a lot of the lingo seems very out of date even though this only came out in 2002. It doesn’t help matters that our hero, Mark Webber as Anthony ‘Blest’ Campo, appears to be a middle class white boy doing his best impression of a black street punk. Things go even more out of control as a couple of cops turn into raging psychopaths by the end. It wasn’t terribly realistic.
The story is also bad. I thought this movie would give some sort of insight into the world of graffiti ‘artists’ (and I use the term loosely), but it didn’t. It didn’t portray the graffiti as art, it didn’t give any legitimate reason for the people to paint it, and it didn’t give audiences any more knowledge about the illegal extracurricular activity. They tried to portray it as some sort of freedom of expression or some noble way of bucking the system, but I didn’t see any sort of system for them to buck besides the out of control cops. The artists seemed like rebels without a clue that had been sniffing paint fumes too much. They were not sympathetic at all.
My final gripe is about the cinematography. The movie looks like someone’s film school experiment. They use every conceivable camera trick in the book. There’s shaky cam, slow motion cam, camera strapped to the actors face while they run, split screen, and more. The final result is a picture as psychedelic as the graffiti that is shown. It’s like a music video out of control.
I’m not sure who to recommend this movie to. Graffiti enthusiasts will probably have problems with their portrayal in the movie. General audiences will probably get bored with the story or motion sick from the camera work. About the only possible audience for this movie is the independent film crowd.
There are a few bonus features included on this DVD. Here are the highlights:
Deleted Scenes These are more alternate takes than deleted scenes. One shows Kumar Pallana doing about a bazillion takes of one scene. Another shows alternate takes of the cops’ reactions to finding their car painted. The only real deleted scene is that of a freestyle, or rap, competition. It’s basically a contest to see who can rhyme more profanities with attitude than someone else. The main characters aren’t even in this scene.
Interviews There are three interviews. They are with a couple of the crew and one of the actors that played one of the cops. The two crew members discuss the script and how the idea for it came up. The actor does the entire interview with a mask and hood on and attempts to talk with as much attitude as possible. I don’t know if he’s really on probation like he says or not, but I don’t really care either.
Behind-the-Scenes Footage This is random behind the scenes footage from the production office, shooting on the street, and more. The most interesting footage is from when one of the actors breaks his ankle while filming a scene. I’ve never seen anything like it before and it’s interesting to see how everyone reacts when it happens. Of course the actor was replaced with another one for the movie.
Extended Scene: Video Graf This is the original video footage shot by the main characters in the movie. All of the footage is shown here though it’s kind of stupid to see the one guy painting while wearing a wrestling mask.
The Bottom Line:
Pass on this and find a documentary about real graffiti instead.