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posted: 11/24/2013 5:30 AM

A barrel full o' 'Breaking Bad'

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  • Ah, remember those happier days when Walter White was a chemistry teacher who merely dabbled in meth production? You can relive all of "Breaking Bad" this holiday season with a barrel-shaped collection of Blu-rays.

      Ah, remember those happier days when Walter White was a chemistry teacher who merely dabbled in meth production? You can relive all of "Breaking Bad" this holiday season with a barrel-shaped collection of Blu-rays.
    Associated Press

  • Adam Driver ("Girls") and Greta Gerwig ("Greenberg") star in "Frances Ha," a delightful character study now streaming on Netflix.

      Adam Driver ("Girls") and Greta Gerwig ("Greenberg") star in "Frances Ha," a delightful character study now streaming on Netflix.

  • Look who's streaming on Netflix, just in time for the holidays!

      Look who's streaming on Netflix, just in time for the holidays!
    Associated Press

  • Video: "Frances Ha" trailer

  • Video: Breaking Bad gift set

 
 

Let us look all the way back to ... Sept. 29!

The binge-watching phenomenon known as "Breaking Bad" ended its six-year run on AMC with a final episode rightly embraced by most of its ardent fans. The saga of Walter White, chemistry teacher-turned-drug kingpin, had ended, as had the show's omnipresence in the media.

But Heisenberg comes roaring back next Tuesday, Nov. 26, when "Breaking Bad: The Complete Series" hits Blu-ray and DVD.

The definitive 16-disc collection comes packaged in a black barrel that will look great under a Christmas tree or buried six feet under the New Mexico desert. Buyers get every "Breaking Bad" episode, of course, as well as 55 hours of content spanning the show's five seasons. Among them is a new two-hour documentary about the final episode, "Felina," which includes a look at stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul reading the script together.

The barrel also includes a booklet with a letter from creator Vince Gilligan, a commemorative coin and the last piece of your Gus Fring Halloween costume, a Los Pollos Hermanos apron.

(Oh, and you know that joke we all made about Walter White waking up in bed with Cranston's "Malcolm in the Middle" co-star, Jane Kaczmarek? Yeah, that's in there too.)

Of course, if you've already bought the five previous "Breaking Bad" collections, the final season boxed set is available Tuesday as well -- but you know you can't pass up the barrel.

Netflix picks

If you've already watched every episode of "Breaking Bad" seven times on Netflix and are tired of skimming queues full of low-rent movies you've never heard of, let me recommend a 2013 gem that may surprise and delight you.

"Frances Ha" is the latest effort from writer/director Noah Baumbach, whose buzzworthy indie films include "The Squid and the Whale" and "Greenberg." (He also co-wrote two of Wes Anderson's films, "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox.") Baumbach's films often have a hint of misanthropy to them, but "Frances Ha" openly embraces its confounding, lovable namesake.

Greta Gerwig, who co-wrote the film, plays the title role of a struggling dancer in New York City who puts on a happy face amid a string of personal and professional disappointments. At first, you think you're seeing another entry in the genre I like to call The Portrait of the American Hipster, but "Frances Ha" is a more hopeful experience than something like, say, Lena Dunham's "Girls" -- though there are unmistakable parallels, like "Girls" co-star Adam Driver showing up in the first 10 minutes.

Gerwig's energy and Sam Levy's black-and-white photography shine brightest in this character study that breezes by in 86 minutes.

"Frances Ha" is also available on Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection.

Indies not for you?

Netflix also recently added some heavy-duty Hollywood flicks to its streaming lineup, but they may not show up as you browse the app on your phone or TV. So hit the "search" key to find:

• "Skyfall," the latest and arguably best entry in the James Bond franchise

• "Flight," a decidedly adult drama about addiction and redemption (and a scary plane crash) with Denzel Washington

• "Olympus Has Fallen," a supremely trashy, violent and entertaining "Die Hard" retread with Gerard Butler

• "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," which I'm sure you've already seen 30 times. But hey, one more trip down memory lane with Clark Griswold won't hurt, right?

Sean Stangland is a Daily Herald copy editor and tireless consumer of pop culture. He couldn't hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanStanglandDH.

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