Breaking Bad: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray Review

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  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1  (48kHz/24-bit), French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 374 Mins
  • Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: UltraViolet
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 4th, 2013
  • List Price: $65.99

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Discs and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.)

 

The Series

[Rating:4.5/5]

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Breaking Bad, now in its fifth season, continues on with Walter White (an excellent Bryan Cranston) as he dives deeper and deeper into the world of being a meth dealer…umm….king. After the events of Breaking Bad‘s fourth season, Jesse (Aaron Paul) is conflicted on where he stands with continuing on with ‘Heisenberg.’ As this unfolds, Skylar (Anne Gunn) finds herself becoming more detached from Walter, ultimately realizing that he will never stop until something terrible occurs.

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In all reality, Bad is unlike any series any other network can offer up. Some may say The Walking Dead or Falling Skies (both excellent series in their own rights) may challenge Bad; however, I disagree. Where these shows may falter and have an episode that is a bit weak, I challenge anyone to point out a ‘bad’ (pun intended) episode of Breaking Bad. The chemistry (pun intended) between nearly every actor involved, especially that of Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston, is nothing short of phenomenal. The two play off each other in a manner that is rarely seen. They exude the exact right amount of emotion when need be, know how to handle each and every sequence, and act in a manner that makes you want to fire up the next episode immediately once you see the credits rolling.

Speaking of flowing from episode to episode, I haven’t personally watched a series as addicting as Breaking Bad since the days of 24. Where the latter series succeeded (well, maybe outside the second half of the sixth season) in creating pure drama, Breaking Bad is different in its addiction. The drama feels real, and the situations hit home. The idea of a family resorting to selling meth for support after your death is a topic that can resonate with anyone. Once I go, will my family have the support they need to carry on without me? That’s the ordeal that Walter faces each and every episode. Nothing he does is for personal gain, more to support his family.

It’s ideas that are so based in reality, so based in family, that make Breaking Bad something truly special. Almost something that comes along every so often and, literally, leaves you speechless. If you haven’t seen this series, definitely blind buy the 1st Season and prepare to be drawn into the world of Walter White.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

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The series’ 1:78:1 framed, AVC/MPEG-4 encoded transfer is consistent. The series color palette literally varies from sequence to sequence. The brighter moments do showcase fine detail; however, some of the darker sequences (like that of the inside of Walt’s ‘lab’) lack any real punch. Facial close-ups do result in accurate flesh tones, which is a positive. Texture detail is solid as well, particularly that of clothing. In comparison to last summer’s HD broadcast, I will say that these Blu-ray transfers are slightly better than the broadcast counterparts. As far as TV on Blu-ray goes, Breaking Bad‘s transfers won’t ever be ranked at the top, but will be ranked as somewhere in between.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

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The Fifth Season of Breaking Bad arrives with the usual DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) mix and, like the previous seasons, the track is excellent. Dialogue is well reproduced with no instance of drop out. The series has a solid amount of atmosphere. From the more emotional filled moments, to the heightened action sequences, each scene is handled well. Gun shots zip by, yet never overwhelm. Car tires screech away, yet never dominate. LFE, especially that of the opening title sequence, is deep and immersive when called upon. All in all, this is a well mixed track from the folks at Sony.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:5/5]

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All included features are presented in High Definition:

Disc 1:

  • Audio Commentaries – Commentaries are available on each of the four episodes featured on this 1st Disc. “Live Free or Die” features Creator Vince Gilligan, Actors Bryan Cranston and RJ Mitte, Director Michael Slovis, and Transportation Captain Dennis Milliken. “Madrigal” features Vince Gilligan; Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, and Laura Fraser; Director Michelle MacLaren; and Construction Coordinator William Gilpin. “Hazard Pay,” features Vince Gilligan; Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, and Bob Odenkirk; and Producer Melissa Bernstein. Lastly, “Fifty-One.” features Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, and RJ Mitte; Director Rian Johnson; and Producer Sam Catlin.
  • Inside Breaking Bad – Each episode includes this supplement, which breaks down varying making processes of each episode via cast and crew commentary.
  • Extended Scene – One extended scene is featured, for episode “Madrigal” entitled “It Get’s Easier” (3:37.)
  • Deleted Scenes – One deleted scene is featured, for episode “Fifty-One” entitled “I’m Just Tired (1:03.)
  • Scene by Scene – This runs 12:38 and has a few directors of episodes in the series, share their favorite scenes. Featured are ohn Shiban, Michelle MacLaren, Rian Johnson, David Slade, Scott Winant, Michael Slovis, George Mastras, and Thomas Schnauz.
  • The Writers of Breaking Bad – This runs 8:53 and looks into the writing of the series, via team meetings and different writing processes.
  • Gag Reel – 3:17 worth of gags are shown.
  • Writers’ Room Timelapse – Running 8:38, Creator Vince Gilligan offers up a bit of commentary over a timelapse piece of the writers worked on episode 504.
  • Chris Hardwick’s All-Star Celebrity Bowling – An 11:00 look into a few of the series’ actors bowling at a charity event.
  • Gallery 1988 Art Show – This runs 3:35 and shows some of the different pieces of art inspired by the series.
  • UltraViolet – UltraViolet Digital Copies are included for these four episodes.

Disc 2:

  •  Audio Commentaries – Like the 1st Disc, each of the included four episodes feature commentary. “Dead Freight” features Creator Vince Gilligan, Actor Bryan Cranston, Director of Photography Michael Slovis, Director George Mastras, and Location Manager Christian Diaz De Bedoya. “Buyout” features Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, and Bob Odenkirk; Producer Melissa Bernstein; Writer Gennifer Hutchison; Director Colin Bucksey; and Special Effects Supervisor Werner Hahnlein. “Say My Name” features Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Jonathan Banks; Writer/Director Thomas Schnauz; and Editor Skip MacDonald. Lastly, “Gliding Over All” features Vince Gilligan, Actress Laura Fraser, Producer/Director Michelle MacLaren, Writer Moira Walley-Beckett, Costume Designer Jennifer L. Bryan, Editor Kelley Dixon, and Construction Coordinator William Gilpin.
  • Inside Breaking Bad – Each episode includes this supplement, which breaks down varying making processes of each episode via cast and crew commentary.
  • Deleted Scenes – 2 deleted scenes are featured. Episode “Dead Freight” has “Jesse James” (2:04), while Episode “Buyout” has “Babe Ruth” (2:13.)
  • Extended Scenes – 2 extended scenes are featured. Episode “Buyout” has “We’ll Be Careful” (0:54), while Episode “Say My Name” has “I’m Gonna Kill That Guy.”
  • Exclusive Scene – This scene, entitled “Chicks N’ Guns” runs 8:12 and was created exclusive for home video.
  • Nothing Stops This Train – Running 15:38, this goes into depth on the train sequence.
  • The Cleaner -This runs 8:16 and offers a look into the character of Mike, portrayed by Jonathan Banks.
  • Prison Stunt Rehearsal – This briefly (1:29) looks into the final episode’s prison moment.
  • Audition Footage – For Jesse Piemons (3:22) and Laura Fraser (4:09.)
  • UltraViolet – UltraViolet Digital Copies are included for these four episodes.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

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Somehow, this Fifth Season of Breaking Bad is even better than the Fourth Season. Intelligent, gripping, yet never dull – AMC’s Breaking Bad is one of the finest TV series of all time. Equally fine is Sony’s Blu-ray effort with a mostly solid V/A presentation, and a boatload of features. Highly Recommended!

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Breaking Bad: The Complete Fifth Season on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

 

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Falling_1

[amazon-product]B008CCBP0M[/amazon-product]

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Purchase Breaking Bad: The Complete Fifth Season on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

 

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:5/5]

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Brendan is a home theater enthusiast of nearly 10 years now, having stepped into the interest when his brother purchased a (then state of the art) Sony WEGA HDTV in 2001. He's always been at the forefront of technology having purchased his first Blu-ray and HD DVD players from Samsung and Toshiba immediately upon availability. Since then, his interest has increased ten fold as has his collection (roughly 600 titles). He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2007 with a degree in Literature and Criticism and has written for a few different sites, each which have helped him hone his writing skills and interests. His favorite film of all time would be Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List simply for the raw power and emotion that film brings out in the viewer. Brendan's Reference System: Sony KDL55NX720 55" LED 3D HDTV Panasonic BD-310 3D Blu-ray Toshiba HD-A30 HD DVD (yep, still have this one)! Onkyo 605 6.1 Receiver Bose surrounds Elemental Design A5-350 10" Sub Monster Cable wiring

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