Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Visual Parallels: Breaking Bad + Pulp Fiction

By Sati. Wednesday, April 10, 2013 , ,
As I was rewatching Breaking Bad recently I noticed an astonishing amount of parallels to Pulp Fiction. I'm sure the creators and the writers of Breaking Bad saw Tarantino's classic and some of these are just too similar to be dismissed as a coincidence.

The moment when Walt spots Jesse's escaped hostage on the road is very reminiscent of the moment when Butch sees Marcellus. The scene where Walt chooses the weapon to kill someone looks exactly like the scene where Butch wonders what to use as he comes back to rescue Marcellus. In one scene Walt is forced to visit his home and there is a great chance someone is waiting there to kill him. Sounds familiar?

The sequence where Jesse tries heroine is so indistinguishably similar to Vincent Vega injecting himself with drugs that I was glad I named the screencaps when I was doing this post. We also have goofy shirts the main heroes are forced to wear after doing bloody job and them spraying the blood off themselves with garden hose. In addition Jesse's girlfriend looks a lot like Mia Wallace and even overdoses at one point. We also have diners, food that holds great significance, silly looking toy that will prove to be important, drugs, guns and a lot of danger in both of those.
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63 comments:

  1. (This is extremely embarrassing to say, but) I've seen neither though I have both waiting for me but I can definitely see it. I kinda feel like in Breaking Bad they flipped the scenes and changed the tones a bit – everything else is strikingly similar. Awesome post!

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    1. I'm certain you will love both! PF is one of the modern classics for a reason, it's truly brilliant and Breaking Bad is one of he best series I've seen.

      Thank you so much!

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  2. WOW! I never connected this. Wonderful.

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    1. Thank you, glad you liked it! Now I need to find the two for next one :)

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  3. I would have never even put those two together, but you seem to have perfectly! As usual!

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  4. Interesting! I like the fact how you've connected a TV-show with a movie.. I bet there are other similarities with various other series as well. I don't know if you have seen Hannibal yet but it's visually a very good looking show (the plot didn't really do it for me as much as the way they presented it).

    PS: It's always awesome to see Pulp Fiction again.. image form or otherwise.

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    1. Probably, but I noticed those accidentally while watching Breaking Bag again, it was so much work as there are many episodes there and tracking those parallels was much harder than in 2h movie :)

      I haven't had the time to see Hannibal yet, I probably will but I doubt if I keep watching, it doesn't seem like something that would interest me.

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  5. Vince Gilligan is such a genius that I wouldn't be surprised if everyone one of these shots were intentional. He takes inspiration from a lot of great films. He picks great music to accompany his scenes too. (Crystal Blue Persuasion)

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    1. I think he was inspired by PF indeed, I wonder what other films influenced him but whatever they were he sure knows how to make a good show.

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  6. Wow, some of those are really similar, particularly the spoon/injecting part. There has to have been some influence there. Awesome stuff as always with these, think they're great!

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    1. Yeah, that one was just striking! Thank you, glad you liked the post!

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  7. Another BRILLIANT visual parallels Sati! WOW, this is one of your best work yet, every single one of these is spot on! That dark-haired girl in Breaking Bad even has the same bangs cut like Thurman, wow!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, she looks like this all the time, but I think it was a big pat why she was hired, she is so similar to Mia.

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  8. I've been waiting for this post from the second you said it was next on the list.

    Amazing. Just amazing. You're a damn genius.

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  9. Nice post. I never realized how similar the two were before. Reading this makes me want to go on a Breaking Bad marathon.

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    1. Thank you! I recently marathoned it, what a great show!

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  10. That is another great piece though I had never seen Breaking Bad. Yet, I can see where some of the visual ideas come from.

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    1. Thank you! You should watch Breaking Bad, it's awesome!

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  11. I've never watching these two (always meant to watch PF), and these visual parallels are awesome. Great job!

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  12. I'm not familiar with Breaking Bad, but as usual you put off a great combination from two movies/shows. Great job!

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  13. I've never watched Breaking Bad, but this is terrific! Excellent work, as usual.

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    1. Thank you! You should check it out, one of the best TV series ever.

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  14. Great. good work on this one . thank you so much

    what is the next one ?

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    1. Thank you!

      I have no idea yet :)

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  15. This is so badass.

    I really dig the pool/hosing off connection. Very cool.

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    1. Thank you! That one actually gave me the idea for this post :)

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  16. Brilliant! I think this is your best yet! Had never thought about it before but you've made it very clear! No wonder I've enjoyed BB so much!

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  17. Brilliant post! I need to watch Breaking Bad one of these days. I started it and found it quite interesting, but I have too many other T.V. addictions. Plus reading this Game of Thrones series is very time consuming. Not to mention Storm of Swords is becoming emotionally draining. Damn you, George R.R. Martin!

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    1. Thank you! It's great, season 5 is a bit weaker but up until that point it's amazing.

      Are you at certain wedding?:P

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    2. Yup. I'm at the wedding. Damn George R.R. Martin! I saw it coming, but still ... :-(

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    3. I didn't even see it coming, the clues were there but he possibility was so horrifying it didn't even occur to me :/

      What happens to the bodies afterwards is so gruesome.

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    4. Are you talking about the Edmure Tully/Frey wedding?

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    5. Yep. I really feel for people who didn't read the books. They will be blindsided.

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  18. Great work!Didn't realise there were so many similarities. Though there's actually a more blatant Jesse parallel for the 'choosing a weapon' scene in your fourth set that I came across here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3vpFGbudpw#t=51s

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  19. Ahhh how did I miss this?!? AWESOME work here, Sati! Didn't realize there were so many connections between the two. Now you've made me want to rewatch Pulp Fiction again. :)

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    1. Thank you! PF rewatch is always a good idea :)

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  20. And now I need to watch Pulp Fiction again. Remember when you mentioned you were going to do this visual parallel and got so damn excited! Excellent work!!

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  21. This is right on. Gilligan has talked about the influence of Pulp Fiction on Breaking Bad in Slate's AV club.

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    1. Thank you! He did? That explains a lot :)

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  22. A couple of more come to mind; Walt pulling away in his crappy cars to music after 2 triumphs 1) dynamite meeting with Tuco and 2) After hearing news of nursing home bomb which mirrors Butch after killing Vincent and retrieving watch.

    The Bonnie Situation where she is imagined coming home to the guys dragging Marvin's corpse - shot from behind and Skyler's initial confrontation with Jesse - as he's dragging Emilio's corpse to the house from the RV in his driveway.

    I'm sure there are more - Gail and Jimmy's pursuit of good coffee for instance.

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    1. Wow, I don't remember these! Another rewatch is necessary! :) Those are great, thank you!

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    2. Also Mike coming in to clean up Jesse's apartment reminded me of The Wolf. And Big Kahuna Burger totally reminds me of Los Pollos Hermanos.

      However when Jesse gets high on heroin, I was reminded more of Trainspotting when McGregor ODs. But Jane def has the whole Mia thing going on.

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  23. I have never seen Breaking Bad Before, but your post makes me interest in checking it out. Great job

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    1. Thanks! You should give it a shot.

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  24. Wow those are pretty cool connections. Now I haven't seen a lot of Breaking Bad but I've seen enough to appreciate your comparisons. Good stuff Sati!!!!

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    1. Thank you! The show is really worth seeing!

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  25. In addition to the visual parallels, have you thought about how there might be thematic comparisons or contrasts as well? There was something going on in Pulp Fiction with the juxtaposition of food with murder and death. The scene where Jules kills the college student and his friends is made more disturbing, in part, by the initial nonchalant and deceptive way that he takes a bite of his Kahuna burger and recites from Ezekiel. Sharing of food is often associated with friendship or spiritual communion and Jules "asks" permission before taking a bite, but then slowly switches to a rehearsed pre-murder spiel. In Breaking Bad, Walt adopts the preference of his first murder victim--to cut off the crust from his sandwiches, but is this a sign of remorse? a sign of Walt's humanity in keeping a part of his victim alive? Jules does not appear to regret his actions, yet, obtusely claims that being spared death from a barrage of gunfire from one of his victim's is somehow a sign from God.

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  26. There's one scene on season 3 final where this parallel is really striking : when Mike kills Gus's rivals. Mike's method, the music, Tarantino's spirit is everywhere but above all in one detail : THE SHOE! I mean, there's plenty of things in the room to create a diversion, but Mike decides to take the time to unlace the woman's shoe! ;)

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    1. Oh I loved that scene. Very funny and you're right, very Tarantino like!

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  27. Jesse's house is from his aunt Ginny
    Just like Jimmys in pf.

    When mike shows up to clean up Jane's od....its similar to Winston wolf coming to save the day.

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  28. very good job, i don't agree just with the conclusion: how can you consider a genius a man who steals material from a dozen of sources? I've seen Pulp Fiction a million times, but I'm not a genius, why should be Gilligan? Your excellent work gives so much material to mine, destroy Breaking Bad as the most unoriginal series of all times!

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