Breaking Bad

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Breaking Bad

#751 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:41 pm

It's up everywhere else

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Murdoch
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Re: Breaking Bad

#752 Post by Murdoch » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:19 am

I don't know what to spoilertag so I'll just do the whole thing.
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The movie was a decent way to pass time and nothing more. Those expecting closure for Jesse's character won't find any since the entirety of the plot is him on the run. It plays out like fanfiction, with a few cameos and references to appease the audience but the main arc largely independent from the series.

That's the most disappointing part - it's an epilogue stretched into a feature, with a lot of padding to lengthen the runtime (most of it is just Jesse gathering money to give to Robert Forster). There's a lot of time spent on Meth Damon, which felt like a waste since we all know how that character ends up. It's hard to draw any suspense from Jesse pulling a gun on him while the two are alone yet Gilligan tries to wring every last drop he can. The two crooks masquerading as police also elicited a shrug from me. Neither were in the series, and they come across as the most basic outlines of people that any scene after their first encounter with Jesse is one scene too many.

I was hoping he would get caught, since that would make a far more interesting story than him just going up to Alaska to rough it. But I suppose this is an alright way to bring the saga to a close, even if it's not the big finish for Jesse I was hoping for. Paul is great as ever as Jesse, and I enjoyed spending two hours with him more than I would any other character in the show. Plus, the beginning with Badger and Skinny Pete was one of the trio's best scenes together.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Breaking Bad

#753 Post by mfunk9786 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:39 am

Murdoch, I haven't watched yet, but read your post because I had a feeling there wasn't much to spoil here to begin with. My question is - why do you think Gilligan felt so compelled to make this? And why do you think he hasn't been able to move on from this universe after what is now almost a decade?

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tenia
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Re: Breaking Bad

#754 Post by tenia » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:43 am

I'll second what is written above : it felt like a 2hr movie with the content of a 45 min episode. It's all the more frustrating because the movie is strongly stuck in the past, and it ends up feeling like the little content it offers runs on fumes very quickly. It's still competently done and shot, like Breaking Bad did, and Pauk is still marvelous as Jesse, but I do wonder what purpose it serves for the show itself. Gilligan chose to have an open ending back in the time, so why changing this direction now ? From a narrative point of view, it doesn't make lots of sense since, providing he chose not to back then, most of what El Camino brings could have been more efficiently included then (in probably 25% of El Camino's runtime).

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Breaking Bad

#755 Post by Mr Sausage » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:38 am

I mostly agree, except you guys are wrong about there being no closure for Jessie.
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He ends the final episode of the show and the finale scene of the movie in very different places. This is not closure in the sense of finality, but in the sense of gaining peace and a feeling of hope. Much of the movie is about Jessie gaining his sense of resolve and purpose. That scene with the gun in the desert is less about suspense than inner conflict: Jessie has no idea where to go or what to do, he's broken and cannot confront either Todd or himself. It's meant to contrast with his final stand off and show his progression. The movie's a fitting send off in that sense.
Also, I thought the stuff with Todd was terrific. Such an odd character and performance from Plemons (who I was surprised to find out is a bit younger than me--he seems to've aged a couple decades since the show ended). The combination of a gentle, almost childlike demeanor, with a coldness and emptiness was riveting, I found.

We spent a lot of time in the past, but almost all of it was clarifying the finer points of Jessie's motivations. Rarely was it ever purely to visit the past. So I'll give it that. The show always had a significant amount of padding each season, and the movie's no different, but it felt like it served a bit more of a purpose here than the show. So, yeah, a fine way to spend a couple hours, but oddly low stakes.

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Murdoch
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Re: Breaking Bad

#756 Post by Murdoch » Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:24 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:39 am
Murdoch, I haven't watched yet, but read your post because I had a feeling there wasn't much to spoil here to begin with. My question is - why do you think Gilligan felt so compelled to make this? And why do you think he hasn't been able to move on from this universe after what is now almost a decade?
I think he wanted to give Jesse more of a sendoff than the show did, which is a shame because Jesse weeping tears of relief and driving off into the sunset was a better conclusion for me than this.

As for why he's stuck with this universe, it's his cash cow and I think he realizes he's never going to top it, at least not in popularity. I cannot imagine the immense burden on a writer's shoulders following a success like that but it says a lot about Gilligan that his immediate follow-up was a police procedural on CBS. After Battle Creek died after one season, he's decided to play it safe. But this universe is not one he can pull from for the rest of his career since he's still a pretty young guy, so maybe once Better Call Saul concludes he'll take a break and not start writing a Skinny Pete and Badger spinoff. At least, I hope he doesn't.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Breaking Bad

#757 Post by Mr Sausage » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:07 pm

Or maybe it’s just as simple as he loves this world and its characters. He’d hardly be the first artist to spend large chunks of his career in a universe he’d created. Especially if it kept offering storytelling opportunities.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Breaking Bad

#758 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:08 pm

Mr Sausage wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:38 am
Also, I thought the stuff with Todd was terrific. Such an odd character and performance from Plemons (who I was surprised to find out is a bit younger than me--he seems to've aged a couple decades since the show ended). The combination of a gentle, almost childlike demeanor, with a coldness and emptiness was riveting, I found.

We spent a lot of time in the past, but almost all of it was clarifying the finer points of Jessie's motivations. Rarely was it ever purely to visit the past. So I'll give it that. The show always had a significant amount of padding each season, and the movie's no different, but it felt like it served a bit more of a purpose here than the show. So, yeah, a fine way to spend a couple hours, but oddly low stakes.
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Not just his motivations, but perhaps how he now frames the past, and the people in it. The flashback with Walter tells me that on his way to Alaska, that Jesse has forgiven him, preferring to think of him as not just the man who set him free, but back to the desperate dying man who needed to leave something for his family.

The final one would have had me crying right there and then if I wasn't watching it with my brother and dad. Truth be told I lost a woman I loved to drugs, and I never really thought about the whole Jane arc except when Walter said he watched her die. I liked this a hell of a lot but that single moment raised the emotional temperature I had with this more than virtually anything else in the whole movie.
Last edited by flyonthewall2983 on Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Breaking Bad

#759 Post by Mr Sausage » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:28 pm

That's a good point. The flashbacks were also a way of Jesse finding closure on the past through dialogue with the people who'd had the largest impact on his character. It's telling that all of those dialogues are constructive. Rather than, say, become trapped in bitterness and sorrow over the past as he'd done throughout the series, the flashbacks imply he now takes from the past what's valuable and moves forward. He's going to be alright.

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Re: Breaking Bad

#760 Post by Persona » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:00 pm

I thought El Camino was quite good, to be honest. People say it was unnecessary but I think Jesse's arc, while essentially the same, feels more complete now.

I loved the visual humor of the series translated into widescreen Alexa 65 gorgeousness and with all that time to breathe thanks to the slower pacing. And Gilligan remains a wonderful storyteller even if the story here is a very simple one. Plus, there's just something very interesting to me about this retroactive play into Jesse's character to kind of fulfill his arc while also giving this cinematic, elegiac epilogue to the series as a whole from Jesse's perspective/memory/recovery.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Breaking Bad

#761 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:17 pm

It speaks a lot to the complexities to the character that you would not have assumed upon the initial impressions of the character one may have had in the show's beginnings, that by this point you can buy him as a more matured and world-weary man.

I'm not usually a fan of introducing new characters this late to the game, but I have to say that Scott MacArthur made quite an impression as Neil. More than just finally recognizing him from The Righteous Gemstones in the flashback where he has a full beard, but as a typically complex and interesting heavy for Jesse to overcome.

Didn't realize this was shot digitally, but makes sense since they did the shoot entirely in secret, how they did I'd love to know.

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Re: Breaking Bad

#762 Post by RIP Film » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:35 am

I liked it, even though it all but disappears into vapor. It was more of a long episode with cinematic indulgences than a “movie”, for me the latter comes with an element of being self-contained. If you didn’t finish BB this would probably be confusing.

Great writing and pacing though by Vince Gilligan, who seems to be in ‘Better Call Saul’ mode here. Worth watching alone for lines like “What kind of asshole doesn’t like pineapple?”

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Breaking Bad

#763 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:16 pm

I do feel weird calling it a movie, but it works best to see it as really an epilogue, in sort of the same way Better Call Saul is to a degree. That said it doesn't feel episodic either, but in sort of a middle ground between "movie" and "episode". It's almost experimental to both forms, and that's as deep as I can get into how I feel about it in how we define what El Camino is, besides from being very damn good.

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