A Stone’s Throw

HINT: I TALK ABOUT BREAKING BAD IN THIS POST AND SOME SPOILERY THINGS. SO DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN BREAKING BAD’S FINALE, ETC. ETC. SPOILERY ALERT OVER…. 🙂

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Apparently, Oliver Stone came out back in early October slamming Breaking Bad for it’s series finale as ‘unreal’ and ‘ridiculous.’ Oliver Stone words are quite ridiculous when compared to the fact that the man has professed that he a) had only seen a handful of episodes and b) saw only 15 minutes of the finale.

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While I give Oliver license to have an opinion, again, it is a ridiculous one. Stone’s first movie was a horror film about a writer’s violent nightmares come to life and his second film as a director was a 1981 thriller titled “The Hand”. It starred Michael Caine as a man who lost his hand. Caine’s character believed the severed hand was alive and murdering people. Ok, Stone wants to talk about ridiculous and fantastical violent premise.

“Nobody could park his car right then and there and could have a machine gun that could go off perfectly and kill all of the bad guys!” – Oliver Stone….(and yet he made The Hand, just saying)

While Stone cites that the violence displayed in the finale is unrealistic, he offers no example of how the scene could have been shot and portrayed realistically. Don’t dismiss the portrayal of violence in Breaking Bad just because it didn’t happened they way you would have done it. Furthermore, how is the ending of Breaking Bad any different from ending of cinema classics like the 1932 version of Scarface, James Cagney’s White Heat, westerns like Django, The Wild Bunch, or recent times – Unforgiven, and what about Taxi Driver or The Matrix. All of these movies end in fantastical shootouts. Most of them, a central figure makes it out alive but some like Scarface and White Heat – the main character does not and such as the same with Walter White. Out of all these films, I think Walter White went out like James Cagney. Top of the World, Ma! Suspending the whole setting of the final hours of Walter White, character wise and story wise – everything wrapped up and quite unforced. I was satisfied. No lingering. The end is justified.

Again, Stone offers a flimsy critique. Watch the entire show. I admit there are moments were Breaking Bad stretches things (i.e. G. F. ‘s Death and the machine gun rampage) but this is what fiction is about. I am totally sick of the hyper realism given in many films today. I personally have a problem with going to movies to see incredibly realistic violence, etc. Not that I won’t watch it, but my problem with it is – the news is filled with enough murders, violence, etc that is way too real and not featured on celluloid. I like the violence to be a little lubricious. I admit it makes me feel more at ease. It’s not that I can’t appreciate the approach of projecting a very authentic display of violence, but I honestly want to be taken away by film. I don’t want to placed too directly back into reality. That’s a personal preference of mine, so unlike Stone, I have no problem with Batman or Superman. What I object chiefly to…is bad films. I mean throw my notions about hyper realistic violence out the window, it comes down to bad film making, bad television.

Breaking Bad is my example of what a knockout TV show or even a movie should be: a complex story with engaging characters that manifest over a period of time. Breaking Bad intricately wove a man full of a desperate need to be fulfilled in all aspects of his life but to be honest he really was searching for that golden unicorn – power of himself and his destiny. That’s really scrapping the surface of this show. However, all the foreshadowing and escalation and transformation that was pulled together by great writing, amazing acting, and fantastic direction….you just don’t get any better. Well, there are some choice Winchester moments that cannot be surpassed, but Breaking Bad is some fine television and given our choices in good movies. TV is kinda of handing it to movies hands down (see: Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Mad Men, Oprhan Black, Archer etc.) Even South Park is way more relevant and interesting than many movies getting put out.

Don’t immaturely pass off a show that you have barely watching (as Seth Meyers and Tina Fey would say – REALLY? ..REALLY?) a few episodes (which will give you a good grasp of the maturation of the story arcs) and only 15 minutes of the finale. It’s a lame critique at best. I honestly expect a little more from him than such a quip. And so endeth my rant and time to sigh in relief. 🙂

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