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"Limitless" - {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre:
Drama
Release Date:
7/21/11
Special Features:

Featurettes, alternate ending, commentary Rating: PG-13

Review:

In the 1970's "Limitless" would have been a B-movie directed by David Cronenberg (before the mainstream discovered him) but with science fiction themed thrillers being big "Limitless" gets the deluxe "A" treatment in ALL aspects from visuals, acting technique and the script. "Limitless" doesn't lean heavily on a "message" but it's there along with the consequences for the characters in the film for their action. ***

Synopsis and spoilers below: ***

When slacker writer Eddie Mora (Bradley Cooper) runs into his ex-brother-in-law Vern (Johnny Whitworth)Vern opens a whole new world with the "experimental" drug NZT-48 that, incredibly, gives Eddie more insight, awareness of his surrounding, ambition, creativity and brilliance than he could ever imagine having. He can take on the stock market, deliver that brilliant first novel that he had his doubts about and make a fortune. The only problem is that others want the drug as well and will kill to get it as it isn't exactly legal nor is it in clinical trials for a variety of reaons as Eddie discovers. He also attracts the attention of Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro)a wealthy businessman who could be a threat to Eddie as well. ***

Director Neil Burger (The Illusionist (Widescreen Edition)) does a terrific job of envisioning Eddie's world both with without the enhancement of the drug NZT-48 creating a thoughtful thriller that avoids being preachy. ---

Image & Sound:

"Limitless" looks extremely good in Blu-ray with lighting, textures and colors for Eddie's different stages of mind nicely reproduced--it's a strong representation of what it looked like in theaters. Audio sounds extremely good as well with a nice immersive 5.1 lossless mix.

Special Features:

The Blu-ray includes an unrated version of the film that literally includes just a couple of extended scenes of graphic violence (and an injection). The film isn't hurt by the slightly longer scenes (clearly cut to gain the PG-13 rating). We also get some very nice extras as well including an audio commentary with Director Neil Burger--Burger tends to describe what we're already SEEING (or about to see)rather than discuss his approach to the material and he clearly could have benefited from a moderator or cast member discussing the making of the film; "A Man Without Limits" focuses on bringing the character of Eddie to life and making him a convincing, sympathetic main character; "Taking It To the Limit" which gives us a bit of surprising info--the screenwriter OPTIONED the story herself--Leslie Dixon writes about what she saw in the original story that appealed to her and how she visualized telling the story. We also get (in under 15 minutes) a brief discussion of location shooting, stunts and other related information. The alternate ending isn't quite as strong as the one we see in the film (it's a variation on it just not as tight). We also get the theatrical trailer. ---

Final Words:

"Limitless" is a well made entertaining popcorn thriller that has more substance than the average summer movie and that's to director Neil Burger's and writer Leslie Dixon's credit (as well as the actors). Burger who also wrote and directed the stylish "The Illusionist" does a great job with the material here. *** Highly recommended.

 

 
 
 
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