/Film will be recapping and discussing each episode of the third season of Breaking Bad. For this installment, /Film discourses with Natasha Vargas-Cooper, a sharp-witted, caps-friendly writer at The Awl and author of the new book Mad Men Unbuttoned, due this July from HarperStudio. A spoiler warning applies after the jump for the recap and for the comments section. Meth heads welcome. For previous recaps, click here.

Hunter Stephenson: Before we discuss the hell-tinted game-changer that was “Mas,” tell me where Walter White resides in your obsession with masculine anti-heroes in current TV and film. What does Breaking  Bad tell us about the state of the modern man?

Natasha Vargas-Cooper: Walter White, thanks to magnificent Bryan Cranston, has quickly ascended into the highest echelon of beloved Manly Men Who Do Bad Things. He is Sopranos status for me. I think what White has—what you see echoed in characters like Don Draper, Tony Soprano, Jim McNulty—is fragmented existence. In their professional lives these men are the masters of their craft and at home they are considered failures.

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/Film will be recapping episodes for the third season of Breaking Bad, starting with last Sunday’s premiere. A spoiler warning applies after the jump for every recap and the comments section. Meth heads welcome. For previous write-ups on the second and third season of Breaking Bad, click here.

Sunday’s premiere, entitled “No Mas,” was a subdued affair save for multiple homicides and a nightmarish undercurrent that ran throughout. Series creator, Vince Gilligan, didn’t feel the need for a time jump, so we find Walter White worse for wear in the aftermath of season two’s finale. Now sporting a much thicker goatee, it’s the first time in the series that he looks less like a cancer patient than a hardboiled criminal off The Wire. “No Mas” also marks the second ep directed by star Bryan Cranston and he immediately introduces us to a pair of nameless, relentless, and nearly identical thugs, shown above.

With no exposition, in minutes the duo comes to represent the unbelievable, escalating real life wrath of drug cartels in Mexico and these cartels’ common belief in the skull-headed deity of Santa Muerte. If you’re unfamiliar with the chaos happening in the country, check out this recent editorial by journalist Charles Bowden. Something tells us the third season of Breaking Bad will thoroughly address the gruesome “life is cheap” realities of Mexico’s drug trade, after foreshadowing them with the classic tortoise scene last year.

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VOTD: Ambiguous Endings Resolved

Lost in Translation

We love movies with ambiguous endings, but sometimes you just want to see a definite conclusion. The guys at CollegeHumor have decided to resolve some of the biggest movie and television endings in history, including: The Wrestler, Lost in Translation, No Country For Old Men, The Graduate and The Sopranos. Watch the video after the jump.

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Cool Stuff: The Sopranos Complete Series DVD Set

I was passing through Best Buy over the weekend when I came across the huge new box set — The Sopranos – The Complete Series. I somehow missed the press release for this so I thought I’d cover it in Cool Stuff.

Weighing in at 10 pounds, The Sopranos: The Complete Series includes a 56-page hand-assembled album enclosed in a sleek black linen box featuring all 86 episodes re-mastered on 28 discs as well as two bonus discs and two CD soundtracks, spread over three discs. The album also includes 16-pages of editorial detailing the entire award-winning series. The set is loaded with over 3½ hours of never-before-seen bonus material including: Supper with The Sopranos, two sit-down dinners with cast and crew full of insider trivia like what was the one condition Stevie Van Zandt made in order to play Silvio and what did Edie Falco as Carmella forget to wear during the final diner scene; as well as a separate, exclusive two-part interview of creator David Chase by actor Alec Baldwin (a huge fan who tried to get Chase to cast him in an episode) where Chase shares his personal views including his first impression of James Gandolfini during his audition and who was his inspiration for Lidia in the show. Other extras include:

  • Paley Center for Media Seminar – discussion with David Chase and Terence Winter, featuring characters who were “whacked” including Vincent Pastore, Steve Buscemi, Drea de Matteo, David Proval and Annabella Sciorra
  • Extra Gravy – spoofs and parodies of The Sopranos
  • Lost Scenes from all six seasons
  • Original audio commentaries from cast and crew
  • 2 CD soundtracks on three discs featuring a genre-bending collection of music including the show’s theme “Woke Up This Morning (Chosen One Mix)” by A3
  • 16-page detailed Episode Guide

The set has a suggested retail price of $399.99, but Amazon has it on sale for $254.99.

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In this weeks issue of Entertainment Weekly, Office star Rainn Wilson (The Rocker) did a photoshoot as Xena: Warrior Princess, MacGyver, Pauile Walnuts from The Sopranos and Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Check out the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly for the full photos. has a video from the Xena photoshoot.

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The Sopranos: The Movie in the Works?


Do you remember where you were and who you were with last June when The Sopranos went out with a (non) bang? Might one of the all time quizzical endings lead to a new beginning (perhaps an even greater one?), as rumors are coming in today that a theatrical movie is in the works. One Nick D’Urso, manager of the Satin Dolls strip club in North Jersey, which served as the infamous Bada Bing strip club in the show, says he received a call, possibly from HBO, telling him not to do any renovations to the club in lieu of an upcoming Sopranos movie.

“I got an inside tip that they’re going to do a movie, so I don’t want to make any major changes,” D’Urso said Wednesday. “I’m not going to reveal my sources, but we got a call from somebody (working) on the script.”

HBO apparently had no comment regarding D’Urso’s claim. Supporting the possibility of a movie is arguably the show’s most well known fan, Soprano Sue, who had this to say…

“As soon as the finale ended, I got a call from somebody on the crew who said, ‘We’re going to make a movie,'” she said, adding, “You can tell just by looking at the series finale.”

Gotta love her. I understand why naysayers don’t want a continuance to the series. The ending was pretty, well, beautiful and right, and remains so. It made grown men cry to the sounds of Journey in front of their gals. Television shows like AMC’s Breaking Bad (which is excellent) and Showtime’s Weeds (which is pretty good, if bi-polar) have respectably taken up the lonely realism of David Chase’s legendary, landmark series, and an epic movie runs the risk of being The Godfather 3, but I’ll take that risk. In hectic times, we need these hectic characters and awesome relationships to return.

Discuss: Would Big T on the big screen betray the finale? Can David Chase reinvent the movie like he did with TV?

via Gawker