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Review: ‘El Camino’

Pinkman seeks to tie up loose ends.

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© Netflix

Vince Gilligan’s epilogue to one of the greatest shows of all time brings the story of Jesse Pinkman to a close.

9/10

Trailer for El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie from Netflix

It’s been over four years since the hit series Breaking Bad left television, and it would be accurate to say that very few shows have filled the gap for thrilling and tension-filled television.

Series creator, writer and producer, Vince Gilligan, teamed up with Peter Gould to produce the spin-off show Better Call Saul with Bob Odenkirk reprising his role, detailing the beginnings of the criminal lawyer leading up to his fateful encounter with Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.

While that show certainly kept fans content, the question remained: What happened to Jesse Pinkman? Freed from captivity by White in the series finale, Pinkman sped off in an El Camino with tears streaming down his face from joy, but what came after? This movie answers that question.

We pick up exactly where the series ended with Pinkman speeding away from Uncle Jack’s compound. From here, he seeks to gather enough money to buy his way out of New Mexico and towards a new life.

What really helps this movie along is Aaron Paul’s performance. By this point in the Gilligan universe, he is a broken, tortured man, and Paul is able to channel the character flawlessly even after the five year gap.

Returning characters include Badger (Matthew Lee Jones) and Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) who get a chance to bid their close friend farewell before cutting ties with him completely, and while the roles are short and minimal, both Jones and Baker bring the goofy, emotional support back from the main series to help ground Pinkman.

Vince Gilligan returns as writer/director for the film and it’s very apparent that he has grown as a creative force. His signature dark and gritty visual style helps to reinforce the desperation that Pinkman faces.

The score is provided by none other than Dave Porter, the man who provided the score to the main Breaking Bad series. While his iconic theme from the main series isn’t present, his minimalistic score does provide a reflective backdrop to the visuals.

The story itself may not provide a lot of action or guns-a-blazing moments, but it never sets out to do that. This is a world where Heisenberg’s reign has come to an end and this is the slow crawl to a halt for these characters. There is a tense shootout towards the end of the film that provides a classic Breaking Bad fake-out, but don’t expect the film to be a wall-to-wall action movie.

Despite the positives that this movie provides, both as a movie and an epilogue to the series, it is completely unnecessary. It doesn’t add much to the character of Jesse or anyone in the Breaking Bad world, and really only serves as a buffer to the true end of the story. That itself isn’t a bad thing, but one could leave Jesse’s story as is at the end of the finale.

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie does well to close out the story of Pinkman, even if it wasn’t exactly needed. It gives fans a chance to live in that story and universe one more time with a character who has helped redefine dramatic television. ■

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Entertainment

MGM holds preliminary talks to sell properties

The studio will be the next one looking to get rid of their assets.

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© Metro Goldwyn Mayer

The studio has sought potentially interested companies in purchasing their assets which contain one of the biggest franchises in film history.

The film studio MGM (Metro Goldwyn Mayer) has sat down with interested buyers for their film assets which includes the James Bond catalog.

The two biggest interested parties are Apple and Netflix. The outcome of either one would lead to an interesting future for franchises like Bond where any subsequent instalments in the franchise could lead to streaming-only content.

Apple’s new streaming service launched with very little hype, at least in comparison to its recent competitor in Disney+, but adding something like James Bond to it could draw some subscribers, especially if any future movies, or series, are kept exclusively to Apple TV+.

Should either of these companies move ahead with the acquisition, it will also lend to a shift to the ‘big six’ of media companies, which include; Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Comcast, AT&T and Apple.

Aside from Bond, one of the other large properties coming with an MGM acquisition includes The Handmaid’s Tale which has been a popular show on Hulu for the past couple of years.

No finalized buys have been singled out. ■

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‘Captain Marvel 2’ officially in development

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Carol Danvers’ sequel has officially been greenlit at Marvel Studios and is aiming for a 2022 release.

Debuting twice in a small window of March – May 2019, Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) thundered into the MCU and became an icon for young women everywhere. Now, in a world post-Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios is moving ahead with a sequel for 2022.

Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, however, are not expected to return. Marvel is still looking to keep the female eye for the director’s chair but no frontrunners have been announced. Boden and Fleck will remain with Marvel Studios in some capacity, and are rumoured to be discussing an upcoming Disney+ property.

The film is expected to take place after the events of Avengers: Endgame despite the mild cliffhanger teased in the first film which hinted at a long-running war between Carol and Ronan The Accuser.

The sequel will be written by WandaVision scribe Magen McDonnell.

Captain Marvel 2 will come to theatres in 2022. ■

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‘Clone Wars’ trailer drops ahead of final season

The anticipation builds for a finale.

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Marketing material via Lucasfilm.

Get ready to fly back to a time in that galaxy far, far away you haven’t visited in six years.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is returning for one more highly-anticipated seventh season and a trailer released on Wednesday has this galaxy buzzing with excitement.

It will of course release on Disney+, the streaming home of all Star Wars. Though in the past six months alone we got our first Star Wars live action TV series with The Mandalorian, the final film of the 40-year Skywalker Saga and a new video game with Fallen Order, fans are hungry for more.

There will be 12 episodes to bring an end to the iconic series with weekly releases starting on Feb. 21, a Friday.

Showrunner Dave Filoni returns to direct the new Clone Wars episodes, continuing the storylines introduced in the original series and exploring the events leading up to Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

Featured heavily in the trailer are fan favourite characters from the series and Star Wars universe as a whole. Anakin Skywalker, Ashoka Tano, Captain Rex, Darth Maul, Yoda and others are back for what appears to be a wild ride to the end.

The series ran for six seasons between 2008 and 2014 but it was cancelled when Disney purchased Star Wars from George Lucas, ending the much-beloved show without giving Filoni and his team a chance to properly bring it to a conclusion.

But now the director who was behind Star Wars: Rebels and played a big part in The Mandalorian is back to give The Clone Wars what it has always needed: a proper finish. ■

Reporting by Eli Ridder;
Editing by Nicholas Seles.
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