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4.3 out of 5 stars
Limitless [DVD]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Limitless is a film with some grand ideas - so grand that at times it struggles to encapsulate them. Much has been made of the film's stance on drugs but I actually think this is incidental to the story rather than at its core: Bradley Cooper's character takes addictive pills, therefore he will inevitably exhibit signs of drug addiction, that's it.

For me this film has two main themes:

Firstly - what the difference is between successful people and otherwise unsuccessful people. Might this be explained by some sort of conspiracy theory (one possibly involving a secret wonder drug?) It's a fanciful idea maybe, but it is a question worth exploring, one which many of those on the lower rungs will have pondered in some way at some time in their lives.

Secondly - and even more interestingly, the film highlights the fact that even without pills EVERYONE is (mainly because of the internet - though that is not a theme here) becoming omniscient which poses questions about what could this mean for the near future.

I think it's true to say that there are holes in the plot of "Limitless" and/or aspects which could have been better, but the grandness of the concept raises big questions that a film can't possibly answer. Some have criticised the film's weak ending - I think the ending is in fact ambiguous and not necessarily meant to be taken literally - similar in a way e.g. to the ending of The King of Comedy [DVD] [1982]

Overall Limitless's success comes down to the fact that its makers were able to convey such big ideas in a watchable way and, do so with such visual flare.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is well a directed and slickly edited film about addiction and dependency, decisions and consequences. A vivid and garish adventure into an unforgiving world. A dark humour pervades the film resulting in an enjoyable odyssey.

Bradley Cooper is impressive as Eddie Morra, a despondent failure. A chance encounter and a pill changes everything. He is presented with an opportunity to change his life and does so with alacrity. When the inevitable consequences of his drug dependency occur he needs to act quickly in order to survive. The film ends with an optimism not discernible in the previous 100 minutes.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I was taken in by the opening credits as an outline of a brain turns into a city. I am a big sucker for that microcosm/ macrocosm stuff.

Edward has writer's block. He has a book contract for some reason, yet hasn't written a word. His girlfriend, who was his meal ticket leaves him. Bummed out he decides to go live on a bunk bed at Dad's place in New Jersey, but then bumps into his ex-brother-in-law, who is a drug dealer. He offers Edward a pill that increases a person's use of their brain. They can recall everything they have seen or read and can correlate it to increase intelligence. The smarter a person is to begin with, the more data they have to work with. Edward is a smart guy to begin with, so he is able to start his book. The downside is that the pill wears off. Not only does one lose the abilities, but they get a little ADD, and throw up like a heroin addict. Too much of the pill causes a Mr. Hyde type of character including blackouts. Edward's supplier is murdered and Edward finds his stash of pills and a wad of cash.

Edward uses his ability to make money on Wall Street. He catches the attention of big time corporations as well as the Russian mafia. He quickly finds out people who take the smart pill eventually die from either taking too much or running out. Edward must try to balance his life.

I loved the concept. I loved how they did the drug effect with simple but effective camera tricks. Anyone who has come down off of cocaine, LSD, or heroin knows how Edward feels and he portrays a man coming off drugs very well.

I even liked the ending, although the last few minutes should have been stretched out.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2011
The concept behind the film, being of a pill which can allow the user to make use of the full power of the brain, and the fact Robert De Niro is cast, makes this a must watch film in itself.

But what of it? A cleverly written script flows along without ever confusing the viewer, and the explanations as to how the pill works is kept to a minimum, to allow the scenarios to take place and ensure the plot isn't interrupted by needless medical jargon.

There are a couple of plotholes which occur, but that aside, the film is a worthwhile watch with many twists and turns, some of which happen in such a short period of time and really grab your attention. Although Robert De Niros role is 'limited', his very presence is suited to the overall casting and premise of the film.

The only real downside is the editing. Films are usually edited to ensure they fit into the 90 minute timeframe, and although the scenes in the first 80 minutes seemed to gel and had you transfixed throughout, the latter part felt rushed to achieve its conclusion. If only the cinema goers attention span was limitless.

Overall a stylish, entertaining, intellectual thriller, where dialogue and plot take centre stage rather than car chases and explosions, but a directors cut, where the film can flow for its duration would be ideal.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2013
From the trailers I had seen, this didn't really look to be a great film, but after watching it I was rather impressed. Finally in a main role that has some bite, Cooper plays his role flawlessly.

The underlying theme is clever, making the viewer ask themselves some moral questions - what would you do given the chance?

Shot in a thoughtful and impactful way throughout, the director uses a miriad of colours and subtle effects to bring you into the different, clearer world in which our protagonist finds himself.

The ending was good, not the obvious choice, which makes the film better. De Niro's role wasn't quite fleshed out enough to have the impact intended, but overall a very enjoyable film, kudos.
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on 18 December 2014
I have to admit that the inspiration I just wrote was the last thing I would expect to happen when I purchased this limitless (starring Bradley cooper) dvd at my walmart job for just five dollars back around September 2014. After all, my husband and I enjoyed watching limitless together when we saw it in movie theaters in 2011 and were both drawn to the idea of the possibilities that could be unleashed if a person can increase their intelligence/genius by just taking a pill. I was mainly looking to explore that possibility again when I purchased this limitless dvd,but something just clicked in me in the scene when he accomplishes the feat of writing his novel. There have also been a series of positive incidences that have also gave me a reminder on how seeking out wisdom and striving for the greatness of genius have been discussed; a natalie portman articIe online where she acknowledged the importance of intellectual growth (I intend to update this review later with one of the articles because I’m aware she is widely known for both her brains and beauty), coming across a book at my job where a woman realized that her beauty can only carry her so far and that her greater focus must be on wisdom, a local news article discussing benedict cumberbatch’s role in the imitation game, and a yahoo news connection on chris hemsworth starring in an upcoming movie based on someone known for their genius). However, I wish to avoid saying more on it and to just at least acknowledge that this movie limitless and the actor’s (Bradley cooper)portrayal inspired me to pursue a side writing career ( a new years resolution). Bradley cooper stars as the character of eddie morra, whose life turns 180 degree turn for the better when he is given a pill that expands his potential. Morra ends up attacting the wealth and love that he craves. However, he meets gets his life turned upside down by another powerful and wealth man named Carl Van loon (Robert DeNiro) who would like to exploit his abilities at morra’s expense. The following dvd extras are attributed to limitless; immortals, the warriors way, season of the witch, x-men first class.
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on 8 December 2013
I find it easy to like Bradley Cooper; he's a laid-back, easily entertaining guy who seems both smart and quite self-effacing.

This is actually not a bad film, but it is glossy, shallow and inconsistent, carried along largely by BC's easy charm. The basic idea has been done many times before, rarely very well in film.

It tries to be clever, but just look at the details. In maths; for the money he was trying to acquire for some never really specified reason. At his rate of investment performance, he'd have been a trillionaire in three weeks- he didn't need anyone else. In his genius period, he forgets to repay the money lending thug while he could, which is just preposterous.

On the good side, the effects surrounding his disturbing progress though the city are nicely disconcerting. However, the film has a beginning and an end, yet no middle; there's no significant period where he's on top of the situation, and either planning the future, or not; this bit's there, just, but it's all too brief. Even "Jumper" did that bit better, for all its faults. He seems to benefit more and suffer less side effects from the drug than others. Would he have got a significant dose of the drug when he desperately needed it ? Hardly. The inconsistencies in the ensuing fight scene are just laughable.

After this, it recovers a bit, and the way the introduction of the flashback scene is done is a nice touch that scores some more on the credit side.

The ending is a bit more satisfying than some of that which precedes it deserves. Seeing the alternative ending, they picked the better one for the movie.

Overall ? Well, I'd give 6 1/2 to 7/10, but there's too much poor in this to give it four stars, so three is all it can have. Missed opportunities again; all the ingredients were there for this to have been a good deal better.
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on 24 March 2013
Honestly? I don't know if I have felt so deeply conflicted about a film in recent times.

The plus points; it's a very pretty (in blu-ray), well scripted, well directed, well acted film. I loved some of the nuances - the russian gangster was great, as was the notion of blackouts/ "skipping". I was ambivalent to De Nero's role, except when he gave the speech about "earning a place at the able without shortcuts", which I really liked. There are a couple of plot holes (how did the lawyer know the drugs were in the jacket), but I can forgive those.

The twists were not massive, but when they came I enjoyed them. The comedown scenes could have done with being a little more visceral, but I appreciate the audience this is aimed at.

So why am I conflicted? Really, it is the final act, and in the particular the ending. Ultimately, this is a tale about performance enhancing drugs. Would you want a drugs cheat to win the olympics? Why would we (the audience) want a drugs cheat to be President? The girlfriend says a number of times "this is not you", hinting at a Jekyll and Hyde aspect of the story - would any of us want Mr Hyde in the Oval Office? Now you can argue that we want someone from our elite in power - someone who can connect the dots and make things happen. But lets not forget that the principle character gets away with murdering an innocent (the girl in the hotel). And so because he is a drugs cheat and because he is a murderer who gets away with it, I don't want him to succeed. I want him to crash and burn.

But he doesn't.

And that is my problem with the story. De Nero's character hints at the fatal flaw within the movie - the principle character has not earned his place either at the negotiating table, or his book contract, or in the Senate. It may be harsh, but 3/5.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 September 2012
Based on the book, The Dark Fields, Bradley Cooper (The A-Team) stars as Eddie Morra, a washed up writer at the end of his rope. But that's all about to change, as he finds out about NZT, a designer drug that can make him more focused & give him a boost to his state of mind. Indeed As he uses the drug he becomes more intelligent & it impacts on his life & work. After taking a loan from a shady Russian loan shark, he closes a massive deal on the stock market, which in turn he is headhunted by business mogul Carl Van Loon (Robert De Nero-Goodfellas) and life is good. However with sucess comes notoriety, as he finds himself being followed by an unkown man, all the while his stock of the drug dwindles, but, he starts suffering bad side effects, can he keep it togher & retain control of his life?!

Overall Limitless is a good film, the story is interesting & different, with a few pacey moments of action to break things up. Bradley Cooper is excellent as the lead, his ability to go from drop out, to king of the hill, to drug withdrawl addict & back and fourth to king again is masterfull to watch him in full flow. Robert De Nero oozes that man of the world feel that makes his character work so well, backed up with a commanding performance at times to easily rival & exceed Mr Cooper. Whoelse of note include, Abbie Cornish (Somersault) as the trophy girfriend, Anna Friel (Land Of The Lost) as a friend & Andrew Howard (Revolver) as the convincing baddie.

In conclusion, as i havent read the book i cannot account for a film/book comparison. So let me just finish by saying that i found Limitless to be a highly watchable thriller with good performances from the cast. Reccomended.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 February 2012
This is a very stylish, high concept thriller/drama. The concept of a drug being able to tap into unused parts of your brain is an interesting one and poses many questions. Do you have to have a certain degree of intelligence in the first place? If taking this drug opens recesses of your mind you wouldnt normally use, does that mean works of art etc are invalid? How do you know its not just your awareness increasing rather than a source of intelligence? These are all questions raised by the original concept however the film follows the line of drug addicted, high flying city workers needing their regular fix to keep them buzzing!

At first the film takes steps in a more intelligent thought provoking direction. However, whilst still engaging the tale ulitmately becomes a drug abuse story and the consequences of these actions. Bradley Cooper was excellent and really managed the change from down and out to suave city slicker brilliantly well. In fact he is the saving grace of the film. Without him the story would have floundered and struggled to find its feet. Robert De Niro continues his decline into obscurity. Although not a bad performance it was certainly non-descript and didnt have the threat a character like his so badly needed.

Limitless is an enjoyable light weight thriller which chooses a slightly more simple and conventional route than it could have done and adheres to some basic thriller staples. Its a well paced, generally well acted and stylish movie which will get you thinking, but more along the lines of what could have been!
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