El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie


Sony Pictures;
$40.99 Blu-ray/DVD Steelbook;
Not rated.
Stars Aaron Paul, Jesse Plemons, Charles Baker, Matt Jones, Scott MacArthur, Scott Shepherd, Robert Forster.

The Blu-ray edition of this follow-up movie to “Breaking Bad” is the kind of fan-pleasing disc studios tend not to bother with much anymore. Loaded with extras in support of a fantastic main feature, the El Camino Blu-ray offers practically everything a “Breaking Bad” fan could want from it.

The movie serves as something of an epilogue to “Breaking Bad.” Written and directed by series creator Vince Gilligan, the story deals with what happens to Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) immediately after escaping from the criminals who were holding him hostage in the “Breaking Bad” finale.

Whether by coincidence or design, the movie is paced so it feels like watching three episodes of the show. The movie’s story can be roughly broken down into three sections, with a moment at the beginning of each section where one could imagine fitting in the iconic “Breaking Bad” title graphics. If one were inclined to think in such terms.

Even with all the baggage of serving as a sequel to one of the greatest TV series of all time, El Camino works just fine as a movie on its own — a neo-Western about a man’s quest to free himself from the consequences of his criminal past.

To set himself up in a new life, Jesse needs cash. And to get it, he recalls an incident with Todd (Jesse Plemons), one of the criminals who was forcing him to cook meth for them in the final episodes of the show. Several well-constructed flashbacks set during the time of the series inform on Jesse’s current actions, as well as giving the show’s fans plenty of material to fawn over. The movie is crammed with background details and Easter eggs.

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Even the title is emblematic of Gilligan’s knack for layering multiple meanings into his projects. While an El Camino is the type of car Jesse uses to make his escape, the words el camino are Spanish for “the road,” representing the way forward for Jesse as he tries to escape his past.

And there are a few welcome but not altogether unsurprising cameos from some old favorites.

This is also one of the final roles for beloved character actor Robert Forster, who reprises his role from an episode of “Breaking Bad” as a man who specializes in creating new identities for those who need them (and can pony up big bucks to buy them). He died the same day the movie premiered on Netflix. Forster ended up reprising the role again (posthumously) in an episode of the “Breaking Bad” prequel series “Better Call Saul.”

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The Blu-ray, which comes in an attractive Steelbook case alongside a DVD version, includes two great commentary tracks, one featuring Gilligan and Paul, and the other with 46 members of the cast and crew providing scene-specific insights.

Also included is the half-hour “Making of El Camino” featurette, as well as three scene breakdowns totaling nearly 23 minutes that offer picture-in-picture comparisons with a scene from the film to its storyboards, which Gilligan refers to as “homework.” There are also two-minutes of visual effects progression reels, showcasing a lot of subtle work in creating various backgrounds to match the look of the show.

Gilligan’s original cut of the film was reportedly three hours long, which eventually was trimmed to just over two hours. The Blu-ray includes seven deleted scenes that run about 17 minutes and include a few surprises. There’s also an amusing six-minute gag reel.

Rounding out the package is a trove of promotional material, starting with the two-and-a-half-minute short film Snow Globe, which centers on Todd. There are also two faux commercials for some of the fake companies used on the show, and a three-minute “Enchanted” music video featuring clips from the series.

Last up is the film’s trailer, plus a couple of teasers. The “Skinny Pete in the Box” teaser also pulls double duty as a sort of deleted scene.

The only thing missing is a digital copy so fans can add it to their digital libraries alongside “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul.”

‘Better Call Saul’ Season Five Coming to Disc Nov. 24

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release Better Call Saul: Season Five on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Nov. 24.

In the fifth season of the critically acclaimed “Breaking Bad” prequel, Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) begins practicing law under the name Saul Goodman, while Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) begins to question both the direction of her career and her relationship with Jimmy. Meanwhile, Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) aids Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) in his war on the cartel, putting Nacho Varga (Michael Mando) in a compromising position with the relentless Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton).

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Extras on the Blu-ray and DVD include cast and crew commentaries on all 10 episodes, a gag reel, Mesa Verde Bank and Trust TV spots, Kim’s ethics training videos, and a “Crystal Balls” featurette. The Blu-ray also offers deleted scenes, looks at “The Ambush” and “The Cannon Roll” from the episode “Bagman,” and the featurettes “Tell Me Again,” “The Effects for This!” and “The Good, The Bags and The Ugly.”

‘Breaking Bad’-Themed Retail Store Opening in Albuquerque

Drive around Albuquerque, N.M., and it’s hard not to see references to “Breaking Bad,” the acclaimed series that aired on AMC Networks for five years (2008-2013), was marketed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray Disc and later streamed on Netflix.

The series was filmed in and around the city with Netflix recently acquiring the local studio where many of the show’s interior shots were filmed. One company runs ‘Breaking Bad’ RV tours and now two entrepreneurs are opening a separate retail store akin to the The Walking Dead Store in Atlanta.

Marq Smith and Ed Candelaria are in the process of readying The Breaking Bad Store ABQ in Old Town, Albuquerque, which will be located near where the popular RV tours originate.

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“I believe this is going to be an extremely successful business because of the popularity of the RV tours, now we have an actual location that we can drop people off at and they can get their ‘Breaking Bad’ fix,” Frank Sandoval, founder of the RV Tours, told KRQE News 13.

Smith and Candelaria say their store will feature one-of-a-kind memorabilia, merchandise (including DVD/Blu-ray Disc) and ‘Breaking Bad’-themed art from local artists.

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“We are going to make it an interactive store as well,” Smith said. “We’re going to have photo-ops where people can take pictures on the [‘Better Call ] Saul bench, Saul’s office. You can be Walter White in hazmat suit.”

The store will have a soft opening after New Year’s Day and a grand opening on Jan. 4, 2020.

Netflix Says 25 Million Households Streamed ‘Breaking Bad’ Movie in First Week

Netflix officially disclosed streaming data for original movie El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, which launched Oct. 11.

The title, featuring Aaron Paul as meth-cooking Jesse Pinkman, who escaped in a 1978 Chevy El Camino at the conclusion of the “Breaking Bad” TV series, was watched by 25,753,392 million households in its first seven days, according to Netflix.

The service reported 6.5 million homes streamed the movie in the first three days, which is less than the 8.2 million Nielsen reported earlier this week.

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The data suggests continued strong appeal for the “Breaking Bad” brand on par with Kevin Costner’s The Highwaymen. 

The Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston original comedy Murder Mystery set an all-time weekend Netflix streaming record with 30.87 million views. Another 20 million streamed The Christmas Chronicles, starring Kurt Russell as Santa Claus.

Netflix traditionally doesn’t disclosed viewership data for original programming, citing a lack of advertisers to satisfy.

‘Breaking Bad’ Movie a Streaming Sensation

El Camino, the feature film sequel to the TV series “Breaking Bad,” was seen by nearly 6.5 million viewers its opening weekend, according to Nielsen, the ratings company.

According to Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings, the film reached nearly 8.2 million unique viewers in the United States during its first three days of availability on Netflix.

El Camino has Aaron Paul reprising his role as Jesse Pinkman, who in the series finale had been enslaved by a drug lord and ordered to cook meth, only to be set free by his former partner, Walter White (Bryan Cranston. He’s last seen driving off in an El Camino that belonged to a drug lord.

Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings does not include mobile or PC streaming.

Netflix’s ‘Breaking Bad’ Movie ‘El Camino’ Bowing in Theaters Oct. 11

Breaking from tradition, Netflix’s much-anticipated feature length film based upon the acclaimed “Breaking Bad” series is debuting in select theaters Oct. 11 – 13.

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie will also stream on Netflix Oct. 11, in addition to airing later on AMC Networks, which broadcast the original Emmy-winning series from 2008 to 2013.

While the theatrical offering is part of Netflix’s desire to satisfy industry awards rules, it will likely not appease exhibitors’ mandate for an exclusive 90-day release window.

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The movie revolves around the series’ meth-making Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) character dealing with the aftermath of his infamous partnership with terminally ill chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston).

Cranston’s White character remains an integral component of the movie.

“Jesse must come to terms with his past … in order to forge some kind of future,” reads a promo tagline.

“Breaking Bad” celebrated its 10th anniversary last year.

Netflix Premiering ‘Breaking Bad’ Sequel Movie Oct. 11

Netflix will make El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie available for streaming worldwide Oct. 11.

Set after the events of the “Breaking Bad” television series, the movie focuses on Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) as he deals with his past in order to forge some kind of future. The thriller is written and directed by series creator Vince Gilligan, and produced by Paul, Mark Johnson, Melissa Bernstein, Charles Newirth and Diane Mercer in association with Sony Pictures Television.

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On “Breaking Bad,” which ran from 2008 to 2013 on AMC, Jesse was depicted as a low-level drug dealer who finds himself in near constant danger from the larger criminal underworld after being recruited by Walter White (Bryan Cranston) to help cook and distribute crystal meth.

Paul’s performance as Jesse on the show earned him three Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

Netflix also debuted a trailer for the film, which features former Pinkman associate Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) refusing to divulge Jesse’s location to law enforcement.

Netflix Buying ‘Breaking Bad’ Production Facility in Albuquerque, N.M.

Netflix is opening a production studio complex in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with plans to bring $1 billion in production revenue to New Mexico over the next 10 years, in addition to creating upwards of 1,000 production jobs annually.

The SVOD behemoth is in final negotiations to purchase ABQ Studios, located in Albuquerque’s Mesa Del Sol. The facility was used for the production of AMC Networks’ “Breaking Bad,” among other shows.

Netflix will produce film and television series in the new facility and at locations around the state, including apocalypse dramedy “Daybreak,” supernatural drama “Chambers” and drama “Messiah,” among others.

“Chambers” and “Messiah” are currently being produced in the Albuquerque area; both productions have provided jobs for over 700 statewide crew members. Previous Netflix productions in New Mexico included the Emmy Award-winning limited series “Godless,” The Ridiculous Six and “Longmire.”

“After years of hard work to cut taxes and make New Mexico business-friendly, we’re seeing incredible results,” Governor Susana Martinez said in a statement. “Now, New Mexico is leading the nation in economic growth and lowering unemployment and we’ve brought the world’s leading internet entertainment service, Netflix, to our state.”

Actually, Netflix’s physical move to Albuquerque is being paid for by local government. The State of New Mexico will provide up to $10 million in Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) funding and the City of Albuquerque will commit up to $4.5 million in local LEDA funding to the project. The City of Albuquerque will be the fiscal agent for the LEDA awards.

“Landing Netflix is a transformative victory that will change the business landscape in the Duke City,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “The city has leveraged the groundwork laid over the years by our partners in the film and TV industry and we’ve made sure that film and the creative economy remained a tenet of our economic development plan, so we can create accessible, high-paying jobs in this industry.”



Report: OTT Video Platforms Upping Original Content to Bridge Netflix Divide

With Netflix reportedly spending upwards of $13 billion on original content in 2018, over-the-top video competitors Amazon Prime Video, Facebook, Apple and Google-owned YouTube are ratcheting up their content spend in an effort to remain competitive.

Netflix has greenlighted more than 250 original titles – double the output from two years ago as Disney begins to pull original movies from the service for its own OTT ventures, according to Ampere Analysis.

The London-based research firm said Apple, YouTube Premium (formerly You Tube Red) and Facebook have greenlighted 65 combined original productions, with YouTube slating 50 original shows by the end of 2019.

Upstart OTT video services from Disney, Britbox and WarnerMedia’s DC Universe have disclosed original content forays – including 19 titles from Disney that include spin-offs High School Musical and Monsters Inc.

AMC Networks’ Acorn TV and rival BritBox are in a race to stream original British fare to American viewers. Acorn TV just announced a new co-production for “Blood,” a six-part thriller. Other titles include Agatha Christie’s “The Witness for the Prosecution,” “Love, Lies & Records,” and “Striking Out.” It also has exclusive rights to season two of “Jack Irish.”

In April, the company also acquired exclusive digital and home video rights from DCD Rights for Season 2 of the critically-acclaimed mystery series “Jack Irish.”

BritBox, the OTT video service from BBC Studios and ITV, is developing “Dark Heart,” “Three Girls,” “Bancroft,” daytime drama, “Shakespeare & Hathaway,” “Hold the Sunset,” and “The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco.”

Sony Crackle, the ad-supported OTT video service, original content includes comedy “Accident Park,” and dramas “The Butcher,” “CAPO,” “The Row,” “RPM,” “The Transplant,” and “Tribes,” among others.

“With so much new content being produced across a range of subscription services, [Apple, Facebook, YouTube] are under increasing pressure to create content that not only attracts new audiences but also prevents existing consumers from churning,” analyst Richard Cooper said in a statement.

Specifically, Cooper said OTT players are increasingly opting for niche titles in an effort to differentiate themselves across different genres. Indeed, comedy is the most greenlighted genre, followed by science fiction.

Apple TV’s high-profile content includes a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s 1980s anthology series “Amazing Stories,” in addition to “Are You Sleeping,” Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”); psychological thriller “Calls”; musical comedy “Central Park,” and “Dickinson,” starring Oscar-winner Hailee Steinfeld.

Ampere said Amazon is focusing on drama for 29% of its originals compared to 17% for Netflix. It said YouTube and Facebook have upped scripted content, with YouTube focusing on youth-orientated comedy.

“They are shying away from reality content with just 6% of new commissions compared to 32% of their current catalog,” Cooper said.