Tag Archive: Breaking Bad


Terminator 2 Sarah Connor ReAction action figure Funko  Arrow Oliver Queen Funk ReAction

This weekend we revealed the latest in Funko’s more than 20 licensed films and TV series in its 2015 ReAction action figure line first discussed at borg.com here and here, and now we have images of the carded figures and sculpts for most of the new figures.  We also have links to allow readers to be among the first to pre-order them all from online collectibles store Entertainment Earth.  We’re still waiting for final images for Jaws, Gremlins, Fight Club, and CW’s The Flash, but we have pre-order information for all of those plus images and links to pre-order the new ReAction line for CW’s Arrow, The Fifth Element, Terminator 2, The Boondock Saints, Taxi Driver, and Breaking Bad.  We shared links for the first figures in the new Star Trek original series line last week here.

Click on the images below to see full-sized images of figures and cards and to pre-order each from Entertainment Earth.

Breaking Bad Heisenberg  Fifth Element Diva Funko ReAction

And after the break check out an exclusive new Predator figure.

Still yet to be revealed are figures from The Dark Crystal, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Big Lebowski, Scarface (although Al Pacino’s figure was previewed this weekend on the showroom floor at Toy Fair 2015), V for Vendetta, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial, The A-Team, The Munsters, Tomorrowland (also previewed at Toy Fair), and Aliens.

CW’s Arrow

Arrow Green Arrow ReAction 3 3/4-Inch Retro Action Figure Arrow Dark Archer ReAction 3 3/4-Inch Retro Action Figure Arrow Black Canary ReAction 3 3/4-Inch Retro Action Figure Arrow Deathstroke ReAction 3 3/4-Inch Retro Action Figure

Terminator 2

Terminator 2 Sarah Connor ReAction Action Figure Terminator 2 Terminator ReAction Action Figure Terminator 2 John Connor ReAction Action Figure Terminator 2 T-1000 ReAction 3 3/4-Inch Retro Action Figure

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Jaws movie poster A   Dark Crystal movie poster

Funko Toys CEO Brian Mariotti has been revealing some new toy lines coming from Funko in 2015 as part of his 12 Days of Christmas blog posts at the company’s website.  The biggest news is after four decades someone is finally making a series of action figures for Jaws.  So look for Brody, Hooper and Quint arriving just in time for the 40th anniversary of the film.

An equally big surprise is his news of two new Star Trek action figure toy lines, one for the original series and one for Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Mariotti did not mention whether designs for any of the figures had yet been developed, or their release dates.

Gremlins movie poster   Terminator 2 movie poster

Other series getting the 1970s retro-action figure treatment will be Terminator 2, The Dark Crystal, and Gremlins, along with modern shows Breaking Bad and Boondock Saints.  And Mariotti said he planned to release more TV shows and films slated for the ReAction line by Christmas.  We’re hoping those lines might include Planet of the Apes, The Last Starfighter, Die Hard, Alien Nation, Blade Runner, They Live, or Big Trouble in Little China.

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How I Married Your Mother finale

It always pays to be wary of grandiose statements and definitive pronouncements.  When I first watched Forrest Gump in the theater, one-third of the way through the movie it occurred to me I might be watching the greatest production of all time, and walking out of the theater I carried that thought with me.  But time changes things.  Now I see it as a fun film, but it’s not at the top of any of my “best of” lists.  Professor Schofield advised that you can’t really objectively analyze something, an art movement, a political figure, a fad–anything worth analyzing–unless several years had transpired and you could have the value of time and distance, contemplation and reflection, to look back with.

So it is with a bit of reservation that I am asserting that the series finale to How I Met Your Mother that aired Monday night should top any list of great finales.  The writers, producers, and actors simply got it just right.  Exactly right.  Airing the first episode of season one just before the finale aired really showcased how this ending was exactly what viewers deserved after nine seasons of sticking with the show.  Consider all the series finales that were promoted over the years, and despite the biggest of viewing audiences, you might find that most last hoorahs miss the mark, try too hard, or just do something that didn’t reflect the best of the series.

Trek TNG All Good Things

The granddaddy of all finales was the 1983 M*A*S*H extended episode “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen.”  Although some elements were right, like a bounty of typical and appropriate sad goodbyes, Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce, (one of the best characters of all time) after more than a decade of using laughter to beat the odds and help his unit survive the Korean War, cracks at the very end.  NBC’s comedy spy series Chuck made a similar mistake, wiping the memory of Chuck’s hard-earned love interest Sarah after we cheered him on all those years, requiring the story to basically start over from scratch in some far off place after the series wrapped.  Another less than satisfying but at least appropriate-to-the-series finale was the end of the monumental 20th year of the original Law & Order.  We basically got to see a fairly typical episode of the series, which certainly fit the seriousness of the show’s drama.  But we also got a goodbye scene and were left on a positive note with “Lieut’s” good news about her hard-fought illness.

Before that, you might have seen the last episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show on Nick at Nite or other classic rerun network if you weren’t old enough to catch it in its initial run.  The TV network that was the subject of the series fires everyone including Mary at the end, except Ted Knight’s character Ted Baxter.  The annoying guy that we loved for being annoying gets to stay.  A funny series with a funny end, as well as the requisite bittersweet goodbye scene.  A similarly funny sitcom, Psych, wrapped its eighth and final season last month, tying up all its remaining loose ends.  Psych took a different path, taking its angst-inducing character, Detective-then-Chief Lassiter, and with a redemption of sorts, switched up his role in the last two seasons to become a guy viewers could cheer on.

Newhart finale

Another comedy, Newhart, gave us a completely bizarre ending for an otherwise enjoyable comedy series.  Yet it was saved literally in the last two minutes by a brilliantly concocted stunt–bring back Bob’s wife from his original series, The Bob Newhart Show, the lovely Suzanne Pleshette, revealing the whole series was just a dream.  It’s a gimmick that didn’t work for a series like the original Dallas (recall Bobby Ewing died then came back to life with a “poof”), but for a comedy wrap-up, it couldn’t have been better timed.

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Line early

By Jason McClain (@JTorreyMcClain)

I’m not sure anyone likes to wait in lines.  When you wait in line at a restaurant it just means more time to get hungry and cranky.  When you wait in line to check-in at your hotel, it means more time holding your backpack or moving your luggage along beside you before you can deposit it on the floor of your room.  When you wait in line at the DMV, the post office or any government agency, you can really start to hate all government and think Ron Paul is amazing.  When you have only two minutes to make your movie and the line in front of you is full of teens not sure of what movie they want to watch, you might consider less strict rules on 48th trimester abortions.  I’m not going to say that waiting in line at Comic-Con is awesome, but I tend to get a lot less impatient in the realm of the Convention Center of San Diego during one weekend in July.

There are a couple of reasons why.  First, as a multiple attendee of Comic-Con, it has slowly dawned on me that there are thousands of people with the same interests as me that all crave the same scoops, information and presence of the creators.  Second, once I realized there are at least one hundred thousand people crowded onto sidewalks in a 30-block area, I thought that moving quickly in any direction is a lost cause.  Third, most everyone at Comic-Con is pretty damn cool, well “cool” in a wonderful nerdy way.

However, Hall H is a completely different breed of line.  It is Godzilla to the DMV’s Western Skink.  It is King Kong to your hotel’s Pygmy Marmoset.  It is the monster truck Bigfoot to your grocery store’s matchbox car.  Still, it’s Comic-Con, so even though it is the worst of the lines, it’s still pretty ok.

Line earlier

6,130 people can fit in Hall H.  (The next biggest space, Ballroom 20, can host 4,250 and the adventures in that line can be very similar.)  To give you an idea of what it is like to wait in line for a panel in Hall H, I’m going to construct a timeline from my memories and texts to describe and to possibly prepare you for years to come at Comic-Con.  Most times are approximate, though the first is spot on because it burned in my memory as the thought, “What the hell am I doing?” seared it in my mind.  Some events are fictional and others are exaggerated to improve your reading pleasure on the subject of lines.  I won’t tell you which ones.

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By Jason McClain (@JTorreyMcClain)

“But if the battle looks to be going sour they’ll break, and they’ll break bad.” – Jocelyn Bywater, p. 710 of A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin, Bantam Paperback.

I declare right up front that if you haven’t watched Season 4 of Breaking Bad, read A Game of Thrones or read A Clash of Kings, there will be SPOILERS ahead.  I warn you because part of the joy of these pieces of art is the unknown journey and a spoiler would change your perception.  However, it’s also because part of the journey consists of knowing that no character is truly safe.  I found that out as did viewers of the HBO Game of Thrones series when four-fifths of the way through the first book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, Eddard, the Stark patriarch and one of the narrators, gets his head separated from his body.  Needless to say, he doesn’t return in the second book.  If you know he dies and the others live, part of the experience is gone.  However, once a main character–not only a main character, but one of the narrators–perishes, you know that no one is safe.

Viewers of Breaking Bad saw that with the finale, as the main bad guy for the past two years, Gus Fring, died as well.  I’ve already spoken with at least six people on the magic of that final episode of the season as well as his death scene as everyone excitedly wants to talk about it.  As fanatic, or even casual viewers, that episode makes us giddy.

When real stakes exist, I posit that a show is better for it.  If we know that the two main characters of a romantic comedy will end up by the last act no matter if one likes pizza and the other likes sushi, it’s not near as interesting.  If the only time a TV show takes a chance is during sweeps or a “very special” episode, then we know all of the other car chases, break-ups, boat chases, misunderstandings or motorcycle chases will end up ok.

However, to have real stakes, you have to care about the person.  To care about the person, they have to be real.

For example, I just saw the movie Moneyball last week.  It’s ok.  My favorite part is the footage of Jeremy Brown at the end because I cared about him.  The dialogue leading up to real footage of his time in the minors made him a real person (that and the fact that he is a real person with a cool story detailed in the book.)  I felt an emotional connection to that moment.  Brown diving back into first touched my heart more than any other moment in the movie.

On the other hand, the portrayals of Art Howe and Grady Fuson (probably very similar to the portrayals in the book, but it’s been a bit since I’ve read it, so I can’t say with an absolute certainty) made me shut off my mind.  Let me sum up the characters:

“I’m an old man, I’m set in my ways and I refuse to change. Harumph.”

That’s all the audience is given about these two real life people.  So, when they meet the wrong end of the pink slip, you’re expected to cheer.  Yea!  Stubbornness defeated!  Bad guys lose!  Yea!

It doesn’t have to be that way.

For example, in Breaking Bad, by my count, the main protagonist Walter White has killed eight people directly and put many more in danger.  He cooks meth for a living.  He lies to his family.  He’s arrogant.  He treats Jesse Pinkman, his best friend in the world and his substitute son in his life in the underworld, worse than you’d treat an enemy.  He has poisoned Jesse’s girlfriend’s son.  He has watched as Jesse’s ex-girlfriend died through suffocating on her own vomit.  As I write all of this, I can’t imagine too many former high school teachers that would be worse human beings.

Yet, everyone I talk to about the series cares about him and, dare I say, roots for him to survive.  Why?  Because we know him beyond a simple archetype like “man in a black hat” or “drug dealer” or “bureaucrat” or “stubborn old man.”  We know that he has survived cancer for now.  We know how much he loves his son and his daughter.  We know how he wants to provide for his family.  We know that he lets his pride get in the way of accepting charity.  We know he wants to live.

He didn’t get to murderer in one step.  It took a while.  He struggled with the first step.  Jesse and Walt flipped a coin to determine who would kill the first person that stood in their way of survival.  That he needed to keep breaking bad for his own self-preservation made sense the further and further he plunged down the road to becoming a drug lord.

For another example, take Game of Thrones or Clash of Kings.  At the heart of the story is the Stark family, the sons Robb, Jon, Bran and Rickon, the daughters Anya and Sansa, father Eddard, mother Catelyn and ward Theon.  As different narrators with different perspectives, we follow them as they separate across the Seven Kingdoms.  We see through their eyes how they perceive those around them, their friends and their foes.  For example, we see Catelyn refuse to acknowledge Jon, the bastard son of Eddard through some unknown woman.  We see Catelyn take Tyrion Lannister prisoner to answer for the partial paralysis of her son Bran, though Tyrion was innocent.  Later, we see Catelyn release one of the most notorious prisoners and her son’s best bargaining chip in a war so that she can try to get her daughters back.

In other words, she makes a whole lot of decisions that make the readers think she is a heartless, impulsive idiot.  But, we understand her idiocy.  Catelyn wasn’t supposed to marry Eddard, but rather his older brother who died in a war to usurp the Targaryen king, so as a woman in this time, she’s never really felt safe in her role as his wife.  All she has is her kids and as they are flung to the corners of the kingdom, she is alone and scared.  How do you react when your world is turned upside down?  I don’t know, but Catelyn makes decisions that are very probable.

Conversely, in A Storm of Swords we get narration from another Lannister (Jamie joins his brother Tyrion) and we see more of the viewpoints from the faction opposing the Starks.  We are familiar with their exploits and as we learn more about their father (Lord Tywin) we see how the Lannister “monsters” in the form of Jamie, Cersei and Tyrion came to be.  They also care about their family.  They also care about honor.  They also care about love.  They want to live.

We all do.  But, when someone opposes us, we don’t look at it from their viewpoint, but rather the view that they are blocking our happiness.  Their motivations are the same.  The pursuit of life, liberty, love and happiness are the daily stakes in our lives. We all want the same thing.  Great characters want the same thing.  The pleasure is seeing when an artist knows that and makes the “bad guys” every bit as sympathetic as anyone else.  That’s when a story captivates us.  That’s when we leave the movie theater, when we put down a book or stand up from the couch and smile in happy amazement.  I look for those moments in every piece of art and in the books of A Song of Ice and Fire and Breaking Bad I’ve found them.