Prints > Posters

Let’s talk prints, again. But before we do that, let’s get one thing straight: I consider prints and posters to be two different terms. Posters are what you see in malls and movie theaters. Prints are what you see in galleries and in my room. So if I come off as a self-pretentious douche-bag (if I don’t appear so already) for saying one over the other, I have my reasons. With that out of the way, let’s talk about my recent print acquisitions.

After much deliberation, I finally pulled the trigger on Ken Taylor’s piece on Breaking Bad. And believe it or not, I lost some sleep over it–$220 is too much to shell for any unemployed college student. And no, I didn’t go running to “bank” mom. I ended up selling a few of my things, such as an N64 that was confined in the attic…and a copy of Pokemon Snap and Mario Kart that I’ll never get to play again–practically sold my childhood to some dude in Rhode Island. But let’s not forget what I bought in return:

It’s a beaut, ain’t it? I’ve been eyeing this print for awhile now, and considering that I missed both drops of the print a few weeks ago, I certainly wasn’t going to pass on it. This will be the final print of my Breaking Bad series, as I think 6 is enough–for now. And what a perfect print to end the collection with. Taylor did an absolute masterful job portraying the somber and serious tone of the show; with the ominous green colors and the decrepit faces of the cast of characters, this is Breaking Bad.

In spite of spending more than I ever imagined on a print, it’ll be a great investment in the long-run when we look back at how television was never the same after Breaking Bad.

Shortly after buying the Taylor print, I became a little trigger-happy and bought Mark Englert’s You Are My Lucky Star. Dammit, Max!

I’ll be honest, I bought this on a total whim after reading the hype for it on the ExpressoBeans forums. However, the print itself looks beautiful. The combination of the black border and night sky is majestic, yet simple. And yes, that’s Ridley Scott’s Alien. I haven’t decided what I’ll do with the print yet but I’m sure it deserves a spot on my wall.

Well that does it for my print acquisitions and for the sake of my wallet, I hope it’s the last one for awhile. The last time I was this invested in collecting was during my adolescent Yu-Gi-Oh days.

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Prints Prints Prints

A few weeks ago I mentioned my new addiction hobby of investing in artist prints. The collection is still in full swing but during that time I only owned 3 prints. Now? 11. All of which are centered around The Dark Knight Rises and Breaking Bad. Initially they were meant to be mounted on the stark walls of my new condo but now that I’m no longer moving in, it’s created a bit of a dilemma. The walls of my room are already laden with framed posters, most of which are lithographs contained in the dreary confines of standard frames. I could always take them down but it would still leave a few prints unmounted–I’ll probably need a bigger room…or a new home if this “hobby” carries on.  So for now  they’ll idly rest against my walls. In the mean time, here are my prints in all their glory–at least the ones I have so far, waiting on 4 more.

Fifty-One

Skylar is a bitch. No one lords over Walt Jr.’s iconic breakfast segments as if it’s an ordinary breaking of the fasts. Jesus…

In what was possibly one of the darkest episodes of the series, Skylar finally speaks up … and so does Walt Heisenberg. In the first few episodes, Skylar’s opinion and voice was nearly non-existent. She was appallingly judging Walt’s every move but was never brave enough to confront her veritably dangerous husband. Since Gus’ precursor as the coin-flipping Two-Faced, Skylar hasn’t been able to see Walt in the same light. From a cancer patient to a drug lord, Walt has become the antagonist of this grand finale … and his obstacle — one of many — is Skylar.

Skylar’s only hope for all this madness to end is for Walt’s cancer to make a triumphant comeback. Let’s be real, I think a lot of us want the cancer back. She’s trapped in a corner of a cage where all her decisions and actions are overtaken by Walt’s nefarious plans. The once formalized car wash duo is now practically devising each others pit of doom. The confrontation between Skylar and Walt was one that should make us hate Walt for what he’s defending, but in all reality, he’s being extremely rational and practical. As oppose to Skylar, who is poignantly bringing up excuses as to why the kids should not be with Walt. Her claim is strong — just not her argument. It’s not to say Walt’s reasoning is logical either. A drug infilled environment is not safe for any children. C’mon Walt!

At this point, Walt cares little about his family. They’re there to feed his ego and be used as a supplemental identity for being a meth cook. Skylar is the closest scapegoat to reality but Walt is living in his own fantasy that’s inhibited by his overbearing arrogance and ego. When Skylar sends away the kids to Hank and Marie’s as an escape from Walt’s formidable malignance, Walt goes all ‘Heisenberg’ on Skylar. He acts as if he’s never heard the word danger and that everything will be “smooth sailing” from here. Oh, Walt … how you are so soon-to-be wrong. I loved Skylar’s response to Walt’s danger line … I thought you were the danger.

This whole honey moon period has to end at some point. It’s Walt’s 51st birthday — a year prior to the season’s intro — so we know that within a year, all hell will break loose and Walt will be handling an M90. Although it’s unclear whether we’ll get to that point before the second-half — considering that it’s a bifurcated season. I’m not a huge fan of the current happy-go-lucky season. Everything’s been going too smoothly. I want some bombs and heavy firefight! Toy with my emotions, Gilligan!

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Mike, My Man!

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Tonight’s Breaking Bad was indicative of why we all love Mike. He’s always been the calm and collective character of the show, and regardless of what he does, we accept his actions as the most ideal contribution for the overall group. In other words, Mike is a badass and you should assertively nod your head at everything he does.

In “Madrigal”, we take a step back from Walt and Jesse’s life, and follow the path of Mike Ehrmantraut. Because, why not? The show needs more of Mr. Ehrmantraut. In the episode, we find out that the DEA has uncovered the payroll accounts of those that helped Gus’ operations. There are a total of 12 people on the list, one of whom includes Mike. Mike is brought in for questioning and find out the that all of Mike’s $2 million is under her granddaughter’s name. Looks like there’s a soft side to Mike after all. When Hank and Steven Gomez reveal the once-thought cryptic payroll information, Mike’s face subtly fills up with distress and tension. This certainly is not the Mike we know.

Shortly after Mike’s encounter with the DEA, he knows that he no longer has the advantage over them. He receives a suspicious call from Mr. Chang, one of the 12 concerned payroll-ees on the list. We find out that it was a setup from Chris, also an endangered candidate on the list, who was hired by Lydia. This infuriates Mike, which in result commences the bodacious Mike we’ve all been thriving for.

Mike is out to kill. The next scene of Mike’s assassination attempt on Lydia is the emobidment of the show’s tense moments. Those moments where I have my hands clasped as its resting on my forehead and my eyes piercing as if I’m in a dire need of a excorism, depicts what a typical episode of Breaking Bad evokes. Back to the scene, as Mike is impersonating his best James Bond, blending in the dimness of Lydia’s home, with her child and sitter oblivious,it was hard to believe that Mike would actually gun down Lydia in these circumstances. It digressed from the intrepid side of Mike, to one that was threatening and grim. Considering that Mike also had a daughter of his own, you’d think that there’d be some common ground, but who are we kidding, this was Mike. A man that regardless of the conditions, gets the job done.

The episode highlighted and introduced several aspects of Mike that we were and weren’t familiar with. But more importantly, it introduced a side of Mike that we never saw. Desperate and scared. When he realizes that the DEA is a lot closer than he thought, he starts to panic and even commits to killing one of his own men. It was a powerful scene. Obviously Mike didn’t want to kill Chris, but proceeds as if it was protocol; even going as far as asking him if he’s ready. In those moments, you can see from Mike’s decrepit face that he’s becoming exhausted and weary of  his job. He wants to retire from this Batman-like role and live a typical life. We’re not sure how long Mike is going to hold up, but from his commitment to Walt’s “regime”, he’ll be around for awhile. And hey, Gilligan’s been flirting with the idea of a Mike spin-off. Sorry Mike, looks like your job ain’t over yet.

*How amazing were some of the shots? The confrontation of Chris and Mike while Mr. Chang was clearly executed. Very reminiscent of The Walking Dead.  Also, Mike’s scenes in Lydia’s home was brilliant. Played well with the darkness and Mike’s motive.

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RIP Walter White, Hello Heisenberg

I’m sure I have a better chance surviving my own suicide when it comes to watching another season of Breaking Bad. My emotions, they’re just too unstable to follow Walter White’s every footstep. At one point, I was in a cradling fetal position because I didn’t know what to do with myself. Vince Gilligan, why must you do this to us?!

I’m sure that most us are going through the dilemma of not knowing whether Walt is the good or bad guy. We’ve become so emotionally invested with these characters that it doesn’t seem right to be on the other side. In result, it’s difficult to root against Walt. Once the underdog that, for some preposterous reason, accepted veggie bacon, he’s evolved into this heinous villain that can apparently grow trendy facial hair at the age of 52 . But in all seriousness, viewers will have a difficult time accepting Heisenberg as the villain. But let’s be honest, a man who threatens the lives of a retirement home and also poisons a child are two defining deeds of a villain that rhymes with poker.

It’s exciting to have Breaking Bad back on air. It’s nerve racking and extremely stressful, but I love it. It’ll be interesting where we’ll end up by the the second-half of the season, but if I’ve survived by then, remind me to start growing that swaggin’ facial hair.

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Sundays Just Got Better

My Sundays for the past few months have been uneventful, to say the least. With the absence of the God of all television shows, Breaking Bad, and its disappointing failure that is The Killing, my weeks have felt exponentially longer.

Fortunately, it’s finally July, and it means that Breaking Bad’s final season is upon us. My emotions are ready for whatever nefarious plans Heisenberg is devising. If it’s anywhere near as dark as the previous season, which I’m sure it will be, Breaking Bad may top as my favorite source of entertainment of all time. If you aren’t watching this show, just throw away your television, as there is nothing better on TV anymore; RIP Friday Night Lights.

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Most recently, Sunday’s have gotten a lot better. True, Breaking Bad is premiering this week, but since 2 weeks ago, it’s gotten infinitely better. With the start of Aaron Sorkin’s new series The Newsroom, I’ve never felt this excited and attached to a series since, well, Breaking Bad. With Sorkin’s masterful screenwriting and meticulous attention to character relationships, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the past 3 episodes. The pilot in and of itself could have easily been a 90 minute movie that would’ve no doubt been one of my favorite films of the year. It’s safe to say that the pilot was one of best pilots for any series. The show does so many things well. It doesn’t tackle fictitious issues, but rather, it confronts actual affairs from 2 years ago. From the BP oil spill to the 2010 elections, the show is grounded in reality and presents it in a manner that informs the audience of how a newsroom truly operates. Again, do yourself a favor and start watching The Newsroom before, you know, the bandwagon comes around during the show’s 3rd or 4th season.

-mL