Monday, November 24, 2014

Good Movies - "Breaking Bad" Redux

I've always liked a good movie.  Thing is, there are so few of them these days. 

Last night was an exception.  Last night I watched TWO DVD's (three episodes each) of "Breaking Bad."  The much acclaimed crime drama television series originally aired on the AMC network (can you believe it? AMC!) for five seasons, from January 20 2008 to September 29, 2013.  Below is a description of this much acclaimed series:

The main character is Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer at the beginning of the series. He turns to a life of crime, producing and selling crystallized methamphetamine, in order to secure his family's financial future before he dies, teaming with his former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). The show was set and produced in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Walter's family consists of his wife Skyler (Anna Gunn) and children, Walter, Jr. a.k.a. Flynn (RJ Mitte) and Holly (Elanor Anne Wenrich). The show also features Skyler's sister Marie Schrader (Betsy Brandt), and her husband Hank (Dean Norris), a Drug Enforcement Administration(DEA) agent. Walter teams up with lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), who connects him with private investigator and fixer Mike Ehrmantraut(Jonathan Banks) and in turn Mike's employer, drug kingpin Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). The final season introduces the characters of Todd Alquist (Jesse Plemons) and Lydia Rodarte-Quayle (Laura Fraser).
Breaking Bad is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time. By the time the series finale aired, the series was among the most-watched cable shows on American television. The show received numerous awards, including sixteen Primetime Emmy Awards, eightSatellite Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two Peabody Awards and a People's Choice Award. In 2014, Breaking Bad entered the Guinness World Records as the highest rated show of all time.

Folks, this is the BEST TV series I have EVER seen in my life.  This is the BEST movie I have EVER seen in my life.  THE BEST!!!!!

I know, I know I've written a blog post about "Breaking Bad" before but this show is so good I have to write about it again.  

Everything and I mean EVERYTHING about this show is excellent.  Listed below are just some of the factors that make this the best show/movie ever:

Production values

The acting is superb. And by the way, it is such a pleasure not to have the Usual Suspects cast like Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Tom Cruise.  Fine actors all but man oh man, don't we have a larger acting pool than that tired old bunch?

Thank God!  Not the usual cast of actors. BRAVO!

I like real movies about real people.  Leave the super heroes to others.  Leave the hobbits and the gremlins to those who want to escape into a fantasy land.  For me I have always been fascinated with the human condition, not make believe.  Real life conditions, not some unrealistic made up crapola that is fed to the masses.

They may look like cartoons but they are anything but - Walter, Hank and Skyler

When I watch real movie about real people I get involved because I can identify with these people.  I can't identify with cartoon characters (even though some of my non-fans claim that I can). There were more than a few times when Walter and Jesse got into a tight situation I so identified with their characters that I was sweating along with them, not knowing what was going to happen next.  With the usually Hollywood crap burgers, you know that the Good Guys are always going to win. In fact you could write the script.  The hobbits are going to slay the giant dragons.  Always.  

Just another day at the office

Perhaps that's why I always found W.C. Fields to be a much funnier comedian than Charlie Chaplin.  W.C. Fields was an Everyman.  Charlie Chaplin was a cartoon. Fake, phony.  If you like cartoons, fine.  For me the real drama and comedy is REAL LIFE.  Something I can identify with.  I have zero interest in Superman and hobbits from the middle earth.  It's just like movie musicals and Broadway show tunes.  All fake, phony. Zero interest.  But hey, that's just me folks.  Everyone to their own interests eh?  

"Who are you gonna call? SAUL GOODMAN that's who!"

The casting, even the minor characters is perfect.  Usually in movies the star doesn't want any of the other actors to outshine him/her so the supporting acting is mediocre or worse.  This show, all outstanding.  Just soooo good.

Just saw this scene last night - I'm still wiping the sweat off of my forehead!

And here is the really big one - the writing.  When is the last time anyone has seen a show this well written?  Every episode, I'm glued to the screen, not knowing what will happen next. Gone are the usual Hollywood cliches where even a 10 year old can predict what's going to happen next in the script.

I think one of the aspects of "Breaking Bad" that draws me is the flawed nature of the characters.  Nobody is all good or all bad.  Three dimensional people just like in real life.  With all the reality shows around (which in fact are anything buy "reality", heavily scripted as they are), how refreshing to watch a drama (with some black humor even) about REAL people.

"Breaking Bad" has just raised the bar and set a new standard for making good movies - acting, writing, and casting - who would've thunk and all without Brad Pitt (or any of the other small stable of "stars" like Johnny Depp, et al)

For the past few weeks I've been stocking up on my Netflix "Breaking Bad" DVD's to watch at the Tipton Cinema.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights I settle in my Archie Bunker recliner in my private movie theater and watch the adventures of Jessie "Yo bitch!" Pinkham, Walter White, Walter White, Jr., Skyler, Hank, Gus, Marie, Hank and other assorted characters that populate the world of Walter White in the hot, sandy climes of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  But here's a problem, what am I going to do when I run out of DVD's.  When this series ends?  

Hey folks, I'm not a druggie but I will be going into withdrawal.  HELP! 


  1. Ron,

    Yes, there is a bit of withdrawal shakes when the series ends. Where are you now? It looks like you may have gotten to "the Cousins".


    1. Lar,
      I just began to watch season 5.


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