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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5)

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

87






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13/Unrated
Feature running time: 105/106 minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, Robert DeNiro
Directed by: Neil Burger
Music by: Paul Leonard-Morgan
Written by: Leslie Dixon based on “Dark Fields” Alan Glynn
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 19, 2011







"What if a pill could make you rich and powerful?"



Film Synopsis:


When a burnt-out writer, discovers a top-secret pill that unlocks 100% of his brain’s capacity, he instantly acquires mind-bending talents that bring him big money, beautiful women and limitless success, but at a dangerous price.



My Take:


Eddie Morra (Cooper), is a burnt-out writer, drifting, looking for inspiration and hoping to find a way to earn the recent publishing advance he received. By happenstance he bumps into someone from his past who introduces him to a new “drug” that is capable of providing the clarity he needs. It is called NZT and is purportedly capable of unlocking 100% of the brain's capacity. Figuring that it certainly couldn’t make his life any worse Eddie takes the NZT. He instantly acquires mind-bending talents and mesmerizing clarity of thought that bring him big money, beautiful women and limitless success. But his dream life soon becomes a waking nightmare, as Eddie finds himself suffering from the drugs brutal side effects and entangled with a cunning Wall Street power broker (DeNiro) and a dangerous Russian loan shark who want everything Eddie has... and more.

Limitless turned out to be better than expected. I liked the concept although the depiction of a drug having the ability to solve life’s problems even temporarily leaves something to be desired. This is fiction of course so putting that aside I enjoyed the rags to riches at a cost plot and while not perfect from a continuity standpoint it is slickly executed, interesting, and contains enough suspense to be engaging. I have liked Bradley Cooper ever since first seeing him in Wedding Crashers. This role is tailor made for his talents and gives him the opportunity to shine. I would have liked more of Abbie Cornish (loved her in Sucker Punch) and felt that her character’s minimal involvement left a hole in the story. As a Robert DeNiro fan I am always happy to see him working but playing a suit wearing Wall Street power broker just didn’t quite seem to fit. This unrated extended cut adds approximate 1 minute (nothing worthy of note) to the theatrical release’s runtime. Both are included along with an alternate ending (again nothing worthy of note) which is always welcomed. There is much to like about Limitless. It has style, intrigue, and a little bit of a twist. Add to that a fairly decent plot and you have the makings of a thriller that is worth watching.



Parental Guide:


The rating is for thematic material involving a drug, violence, including disturbing images, sexuality and language.




AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


Audio: 86


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:





Video: 88


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Limitless comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 33 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3 Mbps.

This is an excellent video presentation that that boasts image quality that is indicative of a newer release film coming to Blu-ray. Resolution is generally strong as images have crisp definition and lucid clarity. Objects onscreen appear dimensionally strong with exquisite rendering that discloses subtle minutia captured by the camera’s lens during close ups. The level of sharpness fluctuated some however I never felt it adversely affected the quality of what I was seeing. The noticeably distinct visual style that separates the film from when Eddie is on/off the NZT can go from monochromatic with tamped down contrast to vividly warm with boldly applied white levels. When applicable the range of colors appears vibrant with delineated textures that pop in high definition. Fleshtones are on the warm/golden side but aren’t unnatural looking. Blacks are noise free with discernibly deep and variant shades that enhance the films dark sequences. There is a light veil of grain that imparts a filmic aesthetic that occasionally rises in prominence but isn’t an overt distraction.

The lossless soundtrack doesn’t consistently engage the entire surround platform however it has moments where it energizes the room and reproduces the source elements with aplomb. Dialogue has definitive presence with refined vocal character and excellent room penetration. Dynamic range is very good which lends subtle distinction to low level sounds and gravity to broader ones. A large portion of the film has little need for this as dialogue, atmospheric ambience and musical enhancement is conveyed with little fanfare. However there are several sequences that engage the entire system to briefly produce entertaining and room filling sound that is measurable. This soundtrack isn’t demonstration worthy but it readily delivers a satisfying listening experience that didn’t leave me disappointed.



Bonus Features:

  • Theatrical & Unrated versions

  • Audio commentary with director Neil Burger

  • (HD) A man without limits – 4 minute production featurette

  • (HD) Taking it to the limit: The making of Limitless – 11 minutes

  • (HD) Alternate ending

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc



Final Thoughts:


Limitless is an entertaining thriller that features a decent storyline, slick execution and a solid performance from charismatic lead Bradley Cooper. Fans can revel in this strong Blu-ray Disc offering from 20th Century Fox that features rewarding high definition video, excellent lossless surround sound and an above average assortment of bonus supplements that include both versions of the film, a director audio commentary and a pair of production featurettes. This is easily worth a rental on movie night. Enjoy!















Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen

Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Samsung BD-C7900 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule HD Universal Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator

Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 

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I was on the fence with this one .. as happens many times, your review helped push me over .. thanks, Ralph .. the usual great job we've all come to expect ..
 

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I liked this one. Definitely worth a rent!


On a side note, this is not the best movie for viewing right after re-calibrating your projector (like i did). The "visual style" at the beginnign left me thinking I really messed something up
Glad to see from Ralph's review this was the intent.
 

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Even though my wife talked me into a blind buy, I'm looking forward to this one based on the review. Thanks.
 

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Thought this was a great overall movie. DeNiro and Coopers performance was great as well.


This movie is definitely a no brainer. lol!
Gotta have it!


Cheers
 

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I watched this last night via iTunes and enjoyed it--and for me I pretty much agree with Ralph's review. I was glad I watched it and it is definitely worth a watch but I don't think it will find its way into my collection.
 

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I probably liked the story and execution a little more than you did, Ralph, but once again, your review is excellent. I'm amazed at how consistently excellent your reviews are, and your technical analysis of the presentation in this case is right on.


One thing I'm surprised you didn't mention is something I think is noteworthy. The opening title sequence, which looks like one incredible long and sped up tracking shot (but this is just a bit of editing magic) -- with a similar one in the story itself -- almost makes this film worth seeing for that alone. It had me hooked visually right away. The soundtrack accompanying it is fitting as well.


As an aside, I enjoyed this at the theater last spring, and I thought the Blu-ray looked and sounded even better at home on my calibrated PJ and 5.1 sound system. That is increasingly getting to be the case with most films I see in theaters and later have on disc.
 

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I enjoyed Limitless for what it was. I really thought that the films mood helped make it better somewhat. When he was off the pill the picture had that depressing and cold blue look to it and then when he was on the pill everything was brighter looking. This movie should definitely be seen on Blu-ray. I think the intentions of the director really shows up well here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will2007 /forum/post/20719878


I probably liked the story and execution a little more than you did, Ralph, but once again, your review is excellent. I'm amazed at how consistently excellent your reviews are, and your technical analysis of the presentation in this case is right on.


One thing I'm surprised you didn't mention is something I think is noteworthy. The opening title sequence, which looks like one incredible long and sped up tracking shot (but this is just a bit of editing magic) -- with a similar one in the story itself -- almost makes this film worth seeing for that alone. It had me hooked visually right away. The soundtrack accompanying it is fitting as well.


As an aside, I enjoyed this at the theater last spring, and I thought the Blu-ray looked and sounded even better at home on my calibrated PJ and 5.1 sound system. That is increasingly getting to be the case with most films I see in theaters and later have on disc.

Greetings,


Thank you Will.



I did notice that opening sequence..



Regards,
 

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The Blu-Ray took me by suprise! The way the film is made (in only 44 days) is terrific and the cinemaphotography is fantastic in its use of color. The Blu-Ray shows all this with great quality in dealing with the shifting looks in the film. Bradley Cooper has come a long way from "Alias" on TV and I think this is his best film work to date. The editing should be up for awards. Try it, you'll like it!
 

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I watched this last night and while the movie is well made, I couldn't enjoy the ending as it comes dangerous close to condoning drug use.
 

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I liked Limitless a lot and was simply blown away by its AVC video, which was nothing less than spectacular. The film is not to be taken seriously by any measure but is rousing entertainment. It is a paranoid thriller that works. Bradley Cooper is wonderful as a sometime genius who finds himself in over his head. Not surprisingly, Robert De Niro, as our hero's nemesis, a titan of finance, is also terrific. Limitless is a lot of fun, a solid 7 Stars out of 10.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat /forum/post/0


I liked Limitless a lot and was simply blown away by its AVC video, which was nothing less than spectacular. The film is not to be taken seriously by any measure but is rousing entertainment. It is a paranoid thriller that works. Bradley Cooper is wonderful as a sometime genius who finds himself in over his head. Not surprisingly, Robert De Niro, as our hero's nemesis, a titan of finance, is also terrific. Limitless is a lot of fun, a solid 7 Stars out of 10.

Good to hear.
 

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I had a great time watching this movie! It has mystery, suspense and action, which were all handled very well in this film. I loved the theatrical version's ending as well. It's nice to see this type of movie actually work for a change. Most times I am left confused and underwelmed.



Great review Ralph!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundnexx /forum/post/20727947


I had a great time watching this movie! It has mystery, suspense and action, which were all handled very well in this film. I loved the theatrical version's ending as well. It's nice to see this type of movie actually work for a change. Most times I am left confused and underwelmed.



Great review Ralph!

Greetings,


Glad to hear you enjoyed it!




Regards,
 

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Cool. This sounds like a good couples movie?
 
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