Breaking Bad: The Complete Season Four Blu-ray Review
AMC really has out-done themselves with the breath-taking and the most intense of the Breaking Bad season so far by pushing the boundaries of what politically correct situations we find on cable TV. From the beginning of season 4, we see game-changers moments and characters starting to become something very uncanny from when we first met them.
It delivers in any way possible for any drama/thriller lover, and it even explores shady new areas TV shows never have come across before. For anyone who isn’t following this show yet, I can’t stress it enough but to just watch it right away ‘cause it keeps getting better and juicer. Every episode is explosive as it is terrifying. It always works with the climax and always makes you gasp not matter how well prepared you think you are. This season relentlessly unravels like an elaborate game of chess.
Chemistry teacher Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) dark transformation to full-blown criminal reaches lethal new heights as his battle of wits with vicious drug kingpin Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito, TV’s “Once Upon a Time”) continues. Bryan Cranston, winner of three Best Actor Emmys® for his role as Walt, stars alongside Aaron Paul, Emmy® winner (Best Supporting Actor) for his portrayal of Walt’s colleague, Jesse, in this critically acclaimed dramatic series.
This time, we see how deep this whole story with the cartel goes and how far goes to protect his family and himself. Both those options start becoming very complicated since Gus is well aware of Walt’s situation with the DEA and how closer and closer he gets to find who’s behind the cartel. Every situation Walt comes across is always a duality but we always seem to cheer his way, no matter the choices he ends up making. We see a new confident side to Jesse and Walter pushing his boundaries to protect himself and do what he thinks is right.
Breaking Bad: The Complete Season 4 finally arrives on Blu-ray to please eager collectors. It comes with the usual chunky plastic package format series usually adopt and encloses all the 13 episodes throughout three discs, with one plastic divider encasing one of the discs. Each episode is presented in 1080p/AVC (1.78:1) and mixed in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (subtitles available in English, French and Spanish). The casing also includes a small leaflet marking down a small episode description and on which disc you will find it on. Although the special features are marked in very small character on the bottom page and are very hard to read and with such an extensive list for their extras, feels like that should’ve been emphasized a bit more.
The video quality is astonishing. Clear and sharp as glass, you will find almost no grain and shows a lot of depth in textures and blacks. So, Sony really went all out investing so much on image quality and gives what true fans rightly deserve.
The audio comes out quite well. The transfer is neat at most times, although unbalanced if you don’t have a proper sound system. Dialogues are often tuned too low and when a background noise suddenly becomes prominent it tunes out way too loud. Not a real issue, it’s just hard to predict those moments and have your system at a just level all the time without having to play with your remote repeatedly. Besides that, it’s still as clean as one would hope for HD TV.
This set actually packs up good with extras and bonus material for fans to gawk at. There are some episodes-in goodies in each disc, and those are always fun to have. You will find deleted scenes for each episode spread out throughout the discs. Not something you absolutely have to watch, but I can never help myself but to do otherwise. It’s a neat extra.
All episodes have commentary with different producers, actors and make-up artists, including the notorious Greg Nicotero (recently famous for his work on the make-up for The Walking Dead). But what’s cooler than commentary are the 13 video podcasts found on disc 3, each devoted to an episode. Editors, writers, actors and crew alternates to sit down and discuss the episode’s outcomes or just inside gags for what varies for around 10 to 13 minutes. That’s actually a lot of fun seeing those people out of their element discussing their own perspective on the episode.
A lot more special features are on disc 3, such as The Making Of, Gag Reel, Inside Breaking Bad (which involves a series of 11 featurettes). So if you want to indulge everything Breaking Bad from how they make props, sets or prosthetics or just looking on how a stunt scene was made, this will be your cup of tea. The coolest featurette I personally think is Inside The Explosive Finale, which is how they filmed one of the last and very strong scene on the final episode. Just breathtaking and fun. In other words, you can’t get bored; it’s packed with extra-goodies. Some of the others bonus features such as Better Call Saul Commercials are forgettable.
The menus I found to be a bit laggy when trying to select an option/episode. It just sometimes takes a few seconds to gain consciousness. The layout is a bit tricky since no matter what disc you put in, it will display everything, even the episodes/feature on a different disc. So when selecting content that isn’t on the disc, a message appears asking to insert whichever disc that specific content is on. The good part is that if this happens, when you do insert the correct disc, it will automatically load what you previously selected on the previous disc.
You can’t find a more gorgeous presentation on high definition and whilst being so satisfied with its content. Breaking Bad: The Complete Season 4 is a must have and an absolutely amazing show to won. With AMC delivering such strong and mind-blowing programming, Breaking Bad easily surpasses all expectations and will not leave you unsatisfied for one second. This set is everything a fan would want out of its favorite show and one new comers should really think about catching up to it.
Blu-ray Release Date: June 5, 2012
Run Time: 610 minutes
10 – The Show
10 – The Video
8.5 – The Audio
9 – The Extras