Commentary

May 3, 2013

Fly Over: ‘Breaking Bad’, and ‘Hounded’ The Iron Druid Chronicles

On Netflix:

breaking-bad-movie-poster

‘Breaking Bad’

Personally, I’m not the type to watch a television drama series unless it’s Korean drama, but since “Breaking Bad” was on the Netflix “top watched list,” I decided to give it a chance.
The show begins with Walter White (Bryan Cranston), an over-qualified high school chemistry teacher, working a second job at a local carwash to make ends meet. White is a character who seems to get bossed around quite frequently even by his wife.
On one particular day, White is told he has advanced lung cancer and may not have long to live. He holds the information to himself and goes about his day as usual. Typically, White doesn’t do anything while his carwash boss yells at him, but this time White makes a scene then quits his job.
Scared and uncertain how much time he may have left to live, White remembers his brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris), a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, asking if he’d like to go on a ride-along to a meth lab. Knowing that he has a daughter on the way and wanting to leave something for his family, White takes his offer.
During the ride-along, Hank ends up leaving White in the car while he and the other DEA agents enter a house to make an arrest. White spots Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), a former student of his, fleeing the scene. He makes contact with Pinkman and the two end up making a deal to become partners in making and distributing methamphetamine.
To cook the meth, the pair buys a trailer and White steals some supplies from the high school to use for cooking.
For their first batch they drive into a deserted area where they discover they have differences in the way they think and cook. White is more precise and into the chemistry aspect while Pinkman doesn’t care about the purity of the meth as much as he likes adding his signature “Chilli P” to the meth. White tells Pinkman that he is the cook and Pinkman is to act as the distributor.
Once the first batch is created, they end up selling the meth to a drug distributor named, Krazy-8, who attempts to kill White. White kills Krazy-8’s accomplice and is left with the choice to kill Krazy-8 now or take the risk of Krazy-8 killing him later.
White changes throughout the show, going from a timid, weak man to a man who doesn’t let anyone get in his way. White‘s meth also becomes known as the purest meth in town. While he had the intention of cooking meth for the purposes of leaving money for his family, White realizes there’s more to cooking meth than he expected.
Pinkman and White are faced with several obstacles throughout the show. Either they are hunted by drug dealers or others want their services to make meth. After making thousands of dollars, the pair wants to get out of the drug business but find it nearly impossible to do so.
I didn’t think I’d enjoy a show with violence, drugs and gangsters, but I found this show quite entertaining. I couldn’t put the remote down, and before I knew it I ran out of episodes to watch on Netflix.
I have to say that Cranston plays White very well. In fact, he’s won an Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a drama series three years in a row.
Paul is very convincing as Pinkman. He’s great at playing a paranoid meth head.
Overall I’d recommend this to anyone who loves action, romance and can handle some violence. One thing is for sure; “Breaking Bad” will keep you guessing and wondering what’s going to happen next.
The second part to season five will begin to air Aug. 11 on AMC.
This series is rated R for extensive drug use, violence and some sexual material

In book stores:

Hounded

‘Hounded’ The Iron Druid Chronicles

Atticus O’Sullivan is 21 and owns a small book store called “Third Eye Books and Herbs” near the Arizona State University campus in Tempe. He lives a fairly normal life with his Irish wolfhound Oberon.
He bikes to his store and has a garden. People make many assumptions about him, some, like him being Irish because of his flaming red hair, are true; however, some are not. He is not in an Irish rock band, like Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphy’s, as people think because of his intricate Celtic tattoos running down his right arm. But then there are some assumptions he just lets people think without correcting them, like his age. He says 21 and people assume he means years, not centuries.
Atticus is the last Druid left and he has been hunted by the Celtic Gods for almost his whole life. That is what inspired his move to the U.S. and particularly Arizona. The U.S. because it has no “gods” like the Romans or Greeks and Arizona because the harsh desert environment keeps away most of the gods that are looking for him.
“Hounded” is the first book of the Iron Druid Chronicles and is quite a read. Author Kevin Hearne took all the gods ever known and smashed them together in this amazing tale of one man’s will to continue living despite having so many gods mad at him.
Being a Druid in a city is hard since in order to use his power, like quick healing or improved reflexes, he has to be barefoot and touching the earth, not concrete or asphalt, but good old dirt. So when he is attacked on the street outside his store by minions of a Celtic god who has wanted him dead for more than 2,000 years, they think they have the advantage. But over the last 1,000 years Atticus has bound his aura to the one thing the Celtic Gods can’t defeat, iron. In the binding process he learned to make small iron pendants that hold different abilities. One stores energy so he can use his power without being in contact with the earth. Quickly the minions discover their error in judgment and after winning the fight, Atticus’ world gets more interesting.
With help from a coven of witches and his lawyers, a vampire and the head of the Tempe werewolf pack, Atticus must stop the crazy Celtic god who wants his life before he destroys half of Arizona. Atticus meets familiar gods along his journey like Jesus, Mary, Thor, Odin, Ganesha and others from all over the globe.
This book is full of humor, detective work, drama and epic battles with a little fantasy thrown in. Many of the places and things Atticus sees along his journey are real and can be visited. His favorite Irish pub is just down the street from ASU and anyone from the Tempe area can quickly find many of the other spots Atticus shows up at.
The series is currently on book five with a sixth planned to come out in 2014.




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