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4.7 out of 5 stars
Breaking Bad: The Complete Series [DVD]
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386 of 399 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2014
Having watched Breaking Bad since it's first release, I decided to buy send this DVD set to send to my parents in NZ as a Christmas gift. Both are in their 80’s and I worried that perhaps it was too violent and the language offensive for them but decided to risk it as they both enjoy gritty films and novels. They received it just before Christmas and then I never heard from them for about a week which was rather alarming. When I finally got through to them, all they could talk about was 'Breaking Bad', how exhausted they were from watching it all night and how they couldn't wait to get off the telephone and back to the final episodes. My mum couldn't stop talking about 'Jessie' and how she adored him; my dad said without the swearing and violence, it wouldn't be authentic. About 10 days after Christmas, they finally got to the end, did some food shopping, caught up on their sleep and hurt their backs from overworking in their neglected garden. I was so glad to be able to share it with them!
p.s They've now told me that nothing else on television compares to this so they're thinking of watching it all over again.
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2014
The "Breaking Bad" Complete Series collection is a must own for fans of the show. If you've always watched the show or if you've just discovered it recently, then you know how great it is. If you've never seen "Breaking Bad", then I encourage you to give it a chance. Rarely has a show had this much universal acclaim (a 9.6 on IMDb, a 99/100 on Metacritic, 3 Emmy wins for Drama Actor and 4 Nominations for Best Drama Series, etc). [Note: If you want to sample the show, the entire series is streaming on Netflix at the time of this review].

This complete series blu-ray set features the same disc content as the now out-of-print "money barrel set" that was released last year. It contains every episode of the show as well as the special bonus disc only available in the Complete Series sets. So for those that missed out on the barrel set or just wanted simpler packaging, this new product is the perfect option.

No Spoiler Review begins here:

If ever a character personified the dichotomy of good and evil, it's Walter White. I don't watch too much TV, but I do believe this is the most interesting television character I've ever seen. In the first episode, Walt learns that he has terminal lung cancer. Therefore, he must - no, he decides to - cook crystal meth and leave behind a large sum of money for his family. So while being a meth cook is illegal and perhaps immoral, Walt's ultimate intentions are good... at least that's his point of view.

Make no mistake, Mr. White is a bad guy - if you saw him in real life or read about him in the paper, you would absolutely say he should go to prison (or worse) without hesitating. But through the medium of television and the 50+ hour journey we've taken with the character, there are still moments where the audience can identify and sympathize with him. Despite all the despicable actions he has done and all the deception of those around him, I often still find myself rooting for Walt. I think this is due to the intelligent writing on the show as well as the amazing performance given by Bryan Cranston. I'm confident you will find this character as interesting as I do.

There are two main types of narratives in TV. There's the plot-driven shows, where things move fast and there are mysteries to be solved - a lot of the enjoyment rides on the twists and turns in the story. Then there's the character-driven shows, that move more slowly - the characters are more realistic and well-rounded. "Breaking Bad" is a perfect example of how to simultaneously execute both types of storytelling - the interests of both plot and character coexist peacefully. The pacing is just right. There are many plot twists and surprises, but none of them render the show unrealistic. And above all, you care about the characters and find them fascinating. This series also plays with tension and conflict in a way that is rarely achieved in TV or film.

If you think of yourself as a "movie person" more than a TV person, then this is your show. The production value rivals that of your average Hollywood feature film. The fact that the directors achieve this with only a fraction of the budget of a Hollywood movie makes the accomplishment all the more impressive. In particular, I would like to single out the cinematography of the show - the camera work on display is near perfect, especially the time-lapse and POV shots.

Now at first glance, the story of a dying man with cancer, cooking meth, and depictions of drug use may sound unappealing and even offensive to some people on it's surface. But I'm confident that once you see the show you will understand how much more there is to the story and the characters, and drugs are never glorified. "Breaking Bad" is the type of show that my mother would hate on paper... but then she gives it a chance and winds up getting hooked!

So if you've never seen the show, hopefully I convinced you to give it a chance. And if you're already fan of the show, now's the perfect time to watch it again - I've seen each episode a minimum of 3 times. I hope I shared what I think makes "Breaking Bad" special.
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122 of 132 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2014
I've just watched the 62nd and final episode of Breaking Bad and here, without any major spoilers, is why you should begin the same breathtaking journey.

The series is an action-drama that centres on Walter White. He's a 50-year-old respected chemistry teacher, just about keeping his family afloat with the aid of a second job at a car wash, who one day is given a diagnosis of terminal cancer. With a wife, son (who has cerebral palsy) and soon-to-be-born baby to care for, not to mention his considerable medical expenses, he needs money - and fast.

Walt takes the fateful step of combining his perfectionist chemical know-how with one of his more street-savvy former students, Jesse Pinkman, to 'cook' and supply the highest quality crystal meth that their area has seen. He discovers that once on this path, although there are many detours, it's very difficult to go back. Walt's relationships with his family and friends (including his DEA agent brother-in-law) are suddenly beset with problems, and he frequently relies on resourcefulness, ingenuity and serendipity to both keep his illicit activities from them and play the criminal fraternity at its own game.

So why does the series enjoy so much acclaim? It comes down to a brilliant original idea from Vince Gilligan, working closely with a talented writing team who, over the course of five seasons, hammer out every single plot point and use all the narrative devices in the book to tell an utterly compelling story of one man's embarkation on a hazardous voyage. Not just that, it has the magical combination of a first-rate ensemble cast (Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul play Walt and Jesse respectively), innovative hand-held camerawork (beautiful timelapse establishing shots; out of kilter POV moments) and excellent characterisation.

Because Sony was taking a tentative punt on the series and it coincided with a writers' strike, the episodes in the first batch are few in number (just seven). However, each of the next three seasons comprises thirteen instalments and season five is split into two runs of eight apiece. The low episode count for season one works to its advantage as it allows plenty of time to set the scene and introduce characters while still telling a blackly comedic tale, which leads directly into the series proper, if you like.

This is a programme you'll want to stick with. It continually raises the stakes as it goes on and, come the final episodes, you'll be bingeing on it. Breaking Bad is, quite simply, one of the finest examples of television art. There are many British shows that could learn from it.
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142 of 154 people found the following review helpful
on 22 January 2014
The funny thing about Breaking Bad is that when you urge people to watch it, and describe the basic idea of the show, they think it all sounds a bit ridiculous. Well, hands up, so did we when it was explained to us. To anyone out there who has these doubts - put them from your mind! This is, without doubt one of the finest pieces of drama ever made. There is not a weak performance from any of the actors, and the consistent quality of the storyline is maintained through all 5 series. I would go as far as to say that Bryan Cranston's portrayal of Walter White (mild-mannered chemistry teacher gone bad) is bordering on genius.

Although there is a fair degree of violence on show, there is also a thread of humour that runs alongside, particularly in the earlier series. It does get quite dark towards the end, but by that time you have probably decided that some of them are getting what they deserve! The ending is perfect and left us feeling a bit breathless and strangely bereaved! What are we going to do in the evenings now? The only minor gripe we have is that the quality of the packaging leaves a bit to be desired (Blu Ray version). It looks as though they rushed to get this out for Christmas before it was perfected. Didn't affect the playing of any of the discs, so no stars off for that.

I cannot recommend this highly enough. Buy, borrow beg or scrounge a copy - you won't regret it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 25 February 2015
This box set has 21 discs and all the seasons have English subtitles available.

I'm not a massive fan of US television, everything is far too drama-fied and generally painful for me to watch. However Breaking Bad is probably the best thing I've ever watched. I went into this wondering how enjoyable it would be when it had the goofy dad from Malcolm in the Middle as the main role, but my god it's a genius casting as he is absolutely brilliant in the role. Solid side characters entering in all seasons as quickly as they depart makes this so gripping, you won't be able to get away once you're sucked in.Can't wait to see how it all ends...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2015
One of the best box sets we've watched but marred by the awful quality of the dvds. 1 set suffered from sticking and crashing the dvd player, replacement set arrived last week does the same thing. Unsure whether to complain again and get a 3rd set of sticking discs as many reviews seem to infer similar issues.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2014
The best show I've ever watched on TV by far. Heard a lot about it and forked out the money to buy in German Amazon so my girlfriend who is German could watch it first and I watched it after (comes in English aswell obviously). Cannot praise the blu ray box set enough. We both agreed that this is the best TV show we've ever watched and she's so glad I recommended this to her. Kills many many hours of otherwise normal crap on TV. Be warned- you will be hooked from the first episode!!! Brilliant acting. 5 stars.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2015
Don't buy this as it does not work correctly the episodes freeze and stick and then refuse to work. I have had it replaced and the new one came today and guess what does the same what a joke. This was a Christmas present and we really enjoying it and now can't carry on watching it. This needs to be taken off sale as wrong to let people buy and then get disappointed
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2015
This is about the DVD packaging.
The outer is nice, solid thick board in the shape of a box file. Wrapped around this a paper cover which has all the legal certificates and the rear discription information. This is a nice touch because it is designed to be removed so the box can sit on the shelf with no red and blue certificates. But my criticism of this is that people will want to at least keep the back cover information, they could have included a card inside the box of the back cover information.
Inside the box is where it all goes wrong, each seperate series is inside a thin card envelope with each disc held in a slit in the card. Discs held in carboard slits are a recipe for scratched discs. And that is why I don't like the packaging.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2015
So first things first. EVERYONE I have spoken to who has seen this, agrees that it is utterly amazing.
Nothing short of.
The majority of those people also agree (with me) that it is the best television series every produced.
I've only just finished watching it, about 18 months after everyone else, so I was skeptical that I was going to like but also that it would live up to the hype. Exceeded on both counts.
I won't spoil anything, though it's hard not to say "look out for the bit where..." and goodness knows there are plenty of instances where your jaw will metaphorically hit the floor and you'll say to yourself "did that just happen?"
I'm not even going to say what the story is about, though that is pretty well documented, just to say that the phrase "Breaking Bad" is very, VERY apt.
You'll get to know and love the characters and the two main leads who play Walt and Jessie have won numerous awards and plaudits with good reason. The performances (and it has to be said, the scripting) are phenomenal.
In turns funny, bloody, gory, shocking and immensely moving, I simply cannot recommend this enough.
It's rare that I watch TV or can find time to devote to something like this. I did and boy, am soooo glad I did.
To use a music analogy. Sometimes, in the moment, when you listen to music, you'll listen to a track and you think to yourself "OK, I need to stop now. That was just perfect and If I listen to anything else, it'll spoil it". That's how I feel about this. When I reached the end of Breaking Bad I was heartbroken, as was my partner. That something so perfect had ended.
You'll laugh and you'll cry. it'll be the best think you've ever watched. Do it. Do it NOW!
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