Blu-ray Review “Breaking Bad: The Fifth Season”

breakingbad-5Actors: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt
Directors: Bryan Cranston, Adam Bernstein, Colin Bucksey, George Mastras, Michael Slovis
Number of discs: 3
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Run Time: 374 minutes

Season: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

“Breaking Bad” was a show that I never got into. I am was not a fan of this show right away and was introduced to it when “The Walking Dead” drew me to AMC. I am not sure if I really am a fan actually. I like parts of the show and the idea of it but overall it is still entertaining. The first half of Season five, felt a little rushed but left us on a major cliffhanger. The second half will premiere on August 11, 2013 and will bring this series to a close. So I expect that it is going to be quite epic and hopefully they were saving the bang finish for the series’ ending. Fans of the show will still appreciate this Blu-ray release though as it is jam-stocked with get extras.

Official Premise: Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul return in their Emmy winning roles of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman in the fifth explosive season of Breaking Bad. With Gus Fring dead, Walt’s transformation from a well-meaning family man to ruthless drug kingpin is nearly complete. Forming a partnership with Jesse and Mike (Jonathan Banks), Walt proceeds to make a killing in the meth business until the fruits of his murderous schemes are threatened by a new development in the investigation led by his relentless brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris). Executive produced by Vince Gilligan and Mark Johnson, the fifth season charts the murderous rise of Walter White as he reaches new highs…and new lows.

Comparing this show to its airing on AMC, it looks stunning on Blu-ray.  It’s 1080p transfer really set the tone for the show and delivers the episodes very clear.  Same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track, which sounds amazing. In terms of special features like I mentioned below, this release is quite awesome.  There are a few Blu-ray exclusive special features including “Scene by Scene: Directors Discuss Memorable Moments”, must watch for fans. Also “The Writers of Breaking Bad” gets the wrtiers together to chat about the season. The coolest features is easily “Chicks ‘N’ Guns”, which is an eight-minute, uncensored bonus scene, written and produced exclusively for the home entertainment release. The scene starts Aaron Paul, Bob Odenkirk and Charles Baker and tells a very pivotal back story to episode eight, “Gliding Over All.”

There is a cast & crew commentary track on each of the eight episodes.  There are a few other deleted scenes and outtakes included.  There are three all-new featurettes including “Nothing Stops This Train”, which looks into the train heist.  “The Cleaner: Jonathan Banks as Mike” feature the actor talking about his role. There is a Behind-the-Scenes look into “Chicks ‘N’ Guns” with Aaron Paul and Bob Odenkirk. “Writers’ Room Timelapse” is a cool look into the writing of Episode four, “Fifty-One” with commentary from the writers. There is Laura Fraser & Jesse Plemons audition footage, as well as the prison stunt rehearsal footage. If you watch “The Nerdist”, you will like “Chris Hardwick’s All-Star Celebrity Bowling”.  There are 19 minisodes for “Inside Breaking Bad”. Lastly there is “Gallery 1988 Art Show” with inspired artwork from the show.

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