Blu-ray: Highly Recommended
4.5 Stars out of 5
Release Date: October 13th, 2020
Movie Release Year: 2019
Release Country: United States
COLLAPSE INFO -

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (SteelBook)

Review Date October 29th, 2020 by
Overview -

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie follows the events the second after Breaking Bad the TV series ended as Jesse Pinkman escapes the Brotherhood and looks for a better life in Alaska, but is met with many dangerous obstacles along the way crossing paths with many people from his past. It's a phenomenal sequel to the highly acclaimed show. The release arrives in a SteelBook case and comes with a 1080p HD transfer, a DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track, and over 1.5 hours of bonus features. Highly Recommended!

 

OVERALL
Highly Recommended
  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs: Blu-ray + DVD
    Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p AVC/MPEG-4
    Length:122
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):2.39:1
    English Descriptive Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
    French: DTS-HD MA 5.1
    English Descriptive Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions: English SDH
    Special Features:
    • Audio Commentary with Vince Gilligan and Aaron Paul
    • Deleted and Extended Scenes
    • Gag Reel
    • Scene Studies with Vince Gilligan
    • Super Commentary!: An ensemble audio commentary featuring 46 members of the cast and crew
    • Making El Camino: A behind-the-scenes documentary featuring never-before-seen interviews with the cast and crew
    • Snow Globe: A Breaking Bad Short
    • Skinny Pete in the Box Teaser
    • On the Radio Teaser
    • Rocker Salvage Commercial
    • Vamonos Pest Commercial
    • “Enchanted” by Chloe x Halle
    • Visual Effects Design Galleries
    Movie Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
    Release Date: October 13th, 2020

Story Review Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

5 Stars out of 5

Unarguably, Breaking Bad was one of the best television shows to ever grace the airwaves due to its phenomenal storytelling, relentless violence and ability to tell a complex tale, its layered characters, and their respective performances, along with a great soundtrack and unique visual style from show creator Vince Gilligan. Breaking Bad spawned a spinoff prequel series that is equally as good or even better with Better Call Saul that follows the witty, intelligent, and slimy lawyer Saul Goodman who helps Walt and Jesse get their meth empire off the ground. With the finale of Breaking Bad, there were a few questions left unanswered, mostly with the character of Jesse Pinkman played by Aaron Paul, which is where Vince Gilligan comes back to the director's chair with the Breaking Bad sequel film El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie that is as wonderful, brilliant, and suspenseful as any Breaking Bad episode ever was.

The climax in the final episode of Breaking Bad revealed Walt's big plan of killing everyone at the Brotherhood compound while saving Jesse's life from capture and torture. The last image of Jesse is of him driving off, laughing, and crying about his escape as Walt quietly dies amongst his only friend - the meth lab. This is where El Camino picks up, only mere seconds after the final shot of Breaking Bad as Jesse (Aaron Paul) drives to Skinny Pete and Badger's house. Jesse is a shell of a man at this point, but after a good night's sleep, he takes his first shower in what seems like a year and cleans himself off, ready for the next step towards his freedom.

With zero clothes, assets, or money - Badger and Skinny Pete give their hero Jesse just enough to make an escape from law enforcement that has Jesse headed to the late Todd's Alquist's apartment to take his giant money stash in order to start a new life in Alaska. By doing this, Jesse is met with some bad guys and former employee's of the Brotherhood that doesn't exactly go his way. After this sequence of events, Jesse heads to Ed Galbraith (Robert Forester), the vacuum cleaner salesman who moonlights in making people disappear, in order to ensure his safe passage and fake documents to Alaska.

It's not an easy road for Pinkman for these elements to fall in place, but what El Camino showcases so well is Jesse's transformation into a skilled chess player, always thinking at least three steps ahead and succeeding in his plans, something he was never able to do during the events of Breaking Bad without the help of his partner Walt. By the end of El Camino, Jesse is the calm and vicious mastermind that Walt once was that has him metaphorically and literally on fire. In between the scenes that are set present day, Gilligan reveals some of the events that took place when Jesse was captured under the severe conditions of the Brotherhood, his submissive psyche towards Todd, and even a new wonderful early conversation with Walt when they were cooking meth out of the RV. These little moments dig even deeper into the many states of Jesse and what he went through that made him the guy he is now in the present. 

El Camino is packed with cameos from Breaking Bad in some form and fashion that gives even more closure and depth to their characters, but overall, this is the final act for Jesse Pinkman and a well-deserved one at that. Gilligan once again uses his unique way of storytelling with the mix of flashbacks that meld perfectly with the present along with some dark humor and subtle symbolism from the show. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is a fantastic send-off for the Pinkman character and the story of Breaking Bad

 

Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie cooks its way to Blu-ray + DVD inside a wonderful looking SteelBook. The discs are housed in an amazing metallic-embossed Steelbook package with excellent new artwork featuring the vehicle driving in that iconic green color from the show. There is no digital copy included, due to it being available digitally with a Netflix subscription. 

 

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    Blu-ray + DVD
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p AVC/MPEG-4
    Length:122
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    2.39:1
    Audio Formats:
    English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
    French: DTS-HD MA 5.1
    English Descriptive Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English SDH
    Special Features:

    • Audio Commentary with Vince Gilligan and Aaron Paul
    • Deleted and Extended Scenes
    • Gag Reel
    • Scene Studies with Vince Gilligan
    • Super Commentary!: An ensemble audio commentary featuring 46 members of the cast and crew
    • Making El Camino: A behind-the-scenes documentary featuring never-before-seen interviews with the cast and crew
    • Snow Globe: A Breaking Bad Short
    • Skinny Pete in the Box Teaser
    • On the Radio Teaser
    • Rocker Salvage Commercial
    • Vamonos Pest Commercial
    • “Enchanted” by Chloe x Halle
    • Visual Effects Design Galleries
    Movie Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
    Release Date: October 13th, 2020

Video Review

4.5 Stars out of 5

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie comes with a 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 2.39:1 aspect ratio here. The movie was shot at 6.5k resolution and finished as a 4K digital image for the Netflix streaming print, however, Sony has declined to release the film in 4K physical format, but rather just the Blu-ray version for now. 

The color palette is glorious, making use of the desert-like surrounds of Santa Fe, New Mexico with sandy colored buildings and roads, mixed in with the famous greenery that was a major element of Breaking Bad. The crystal clear blue skies also look wonderful here. The interiors of Todd's apartment reveal quite a bit of the primary colors with his surprising and unique tastes, where Badger and Skinny Pete's home has a more amber and decayed look with a warm glow. As the film progresses, the image looks a bit clearer and cooler, which is a stylistic move on Gilligan's part to show the transformation of Jesse. 

The detail is sharp and vivid throughout as well with some natural-looking closeups of dirt, wounds, scars, beads of sweat, wrinkles, and individual hairs on the actor's faces. Skinny Pete's acne scars and moles look great here. Wide hosts never go soft either. Black levels are deep and inky with the skin tones coming across as natural. 

There is a great filmic element to this as well. There's not a ton of film grain, but there is quite a bit of depth to this film that differentiates itself from the TV production. This looks like a feature film made for the big screen. One can only imagine if Sony allowed for a Dolby Vision 4K transfer for this disc, but as it stands here, this video presentation is top-notch.

Audio Review

4 Stars out of 5

Unfortunately for fans, Sony does not issue out a Dolby Atmos track for this film, but instead the standard lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix which sounds wonderful. Netflix did offer the Dolby Atmos track through its streaming service for those who were Atmos capable, but it's nowhere to be found on this physical disc. The sound effects are robust and loud with gunshots, explosions, and vehicle engines packing powerful punches. These elements bring a hefty low end of bass that has a smooth rumble to it.

Other quieter moments are fantastic with the natural reverb and ambiance specific to each scene. The surround speakers pick up other people talking and yelling in crowded places nicely as well. The score and song list are remarkable just as they were in the tv show and always adds a sense of suspense and thrills to each scene. The dialogue is clean and easy to follow, and free of any audio problems to speak of. 

Special Features

4.5 Stars out of 5

There are about 97 minutes of bonus features included on this release from commentary tracks, to interviews and behind the scenes. All of these extras are worth the time and effort. 

  • Audio Commentary - Vince Gilligan and Aaron Paul deliver a superb commentary track on the film as they discuss coming back to the character, the story, and shooting on location. Gilligan reveals a ton of anecdotes and reasons behind the character decisions as Aaron offers up some information on his performance, working with the cast again, and the character himself. It's a great listen. 
  • Super Audio Commentary - This commentary track is insane and a bit too much as a total of 46 different people chime in on the track from the cast and crew. Jonathan Banks starts out the commentary track and as the film goes on, more and more people join in and offer some insight and stories from the production. It's a lot to handle, but good for fans of the film and tv series. 
  • Making El Camino (HD, 29 Mins.) - A great set of interviews with the cast and crew as they focus on making the film secretly in New Mexico, coming back to the characters, and more with some behind the scenes footage spliced in. 
  • Scene Studies (HD, 23 Mins.) - Vince Gilligan walks through three important sequences made in the film from its inception to the storyboards and more. 
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 17 Mins.) - There are seven scenes included here, all of which are worth the watch to see what was left out. 
  • Gag Reel (HD, 7 Mins.) - A montage of flubbed lines, missed cues, laughter, and dancing on set. 
  • Snow Globe: A Breaking Bad Short (HD, 3 Mins.) - Todd and Lydia have a conversation and Todd's interest in Snow Globes is focused on.
  •  Skinny Pete in The Box Teaser (HD, 3 Mins.) - A surprising little teaser that fans will enjoy. 
  • On The Radio Teaser (HD, 1 Min.) - A few songs in the movie are presented in a commercial.
  • Rocker Salvage Commercial (HD, 2 Mins.) - The commercial for the fictional company in the movie. 
  • Vamonos Pest Commercial (HD, 2 Mins.) - Yet another faux promo for the company made famous in the series.
  • Enchanted Music Video (HD, 4 Mins.) - The song by Chloe x Halle is presented here.
  • Visual Effects Galleries (HD, 3 Mins.) - Some demo reels by the visual effects company of the movie. 
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD, 3 Mins.) - Trailer for the film.

Final Thoughts

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is the perfect sequel and sendoff for the iconic Breaking Bad TV series, bringing back almost every character and telling new stories in the present and reveal secrets and elements of the past with a heavy focus on Jesse Pinkman. The 1080p transfer is great and the DTS-HD 5.1 audio track is wonderful with a treasure trove of bonus features that are a ton of fun and informative - not to mention a sweet-looking SteelBook case. Highly Recommended!

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    Blu-ray + DVD
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p AVC/MPEG-4
    Length:122
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    2.39:1
    Audio Formats:
    English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
    French: DTS-HD MA 5.1
    English Descriptive Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English SDH
    Special Features:

    • Audio Commentary with Vince Gilligan and Aaron Paul
    • Deleted and Extended Scenes
    • Gag Reel
    • Scene Studies with Vince Gilligan
    • Super Commentary!: An ensemble audio commentary featuring 46 members of the cast and crew
    • Making El Camino: A behind-the-scenes documentary featuring never-before-seen interviews with the cast and crew
    • Snow Globe: A Breaking Bad Short
    • Skinny Pete in the Box Teaser
    • On the Radio Teaser
    • Rocker Salvage Commercial
    • Vamonos Pest Commercial
    • “Enchanted” by Chloe x Halle
    • Visual Effects Design Galleries
    Movie Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
    Release Date: October 13th, 2020