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(aka 'No Limit is No Control')

Directed by Jim Jarmusch
USA / Spain / Japan 2009


"Limits" is a game of sorts, challenging the viewer to seek meaning where there may not be any. Are we supposed to make anything of the fact that every one of The Lone Manīs contacts wears glasses but he doesnīt? I donīt know, and I donīt care. Once "Limits" is out on DVD viewers will have the chance to freeze frame the slips of paper The Lone Man gulps down. Perhaps they will crack the code, but I donīt see how that would be any fun.

The fun here is in the experience of simply watching and listening, each of equal importance. "The Limits of Control" has one of the most evocative ambient soundtracks I have ever heard. In almost every scene, we are made privy to the bustle of the surrounding neighborhood. Even when The Lone Man lies in bed staring at the ceiling, we hear cars and voices from outside. Even in a simple shot where The Lone Man watches The Mexican (Gael Garcia Bernal) walk to his truck, the soundtrack is filled with barking dogs and chirping birds. The only silent moments are when The Lone Man does his meditation exercises..

Excerpt from Christopher Long at DVDTown located HERE


Theatrical Release: May 1st, 2009

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DVD Review: Universal - Region 1 + 4 - NTSC

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Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC
Runtime 1:55:48 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.92 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English, Spanish, Hebrew, French, Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1) 
Subtitles English SDH (non removable for non-English dialogue), French, Spanish, None

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Behind Jim Jarmusch (Parts 1 + 2) - 51:26 4:3
• Untitled Landscapes (4:14)

DVD Release Date: November 17th, 2009

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Chapters: 20



"Everything changes... except the color of the glass you see it through."

"The universe has no center and no edges."
"The reflection is more real than the thing being reflected."
"You don't understand Spanish, do you?"

This is such a cool film if paced a far too deliberately for mainstream expectations. Jarmusch's wonderful minimalist tendencies are in full swing. The complaint will be 'style over substance' - but I think wimpy complaint is missing the mark. I liked this quite a lot. Christopher Doyle's cinematography and the exceedingly curious visuals are the perfect adjunct to the uncompromised narrative.

Universal has given us a great DVD transfer. Anamorphic and progressive on a dual-layered disc. Detail is strong, pastel blues are heavily represented and there is even the hint of texturizing grain. While I have no complaints with this SD rendering - I'd still love to see this film in the glory of 1080P resolution one day.  

Audio doesn't give the 5.1 track an abundance of work but the film has some resounding music that has a crisp sound with an occasional kick. There are subtitles but the English ones (for all non-English dialogue) are non-removable where the option of French or Spanish appears - if chosen - when English is spoken. The disc is coded for region 1 + 4 in the NTSC standard.

Supplements consist of a 50-minute piece entitled Behind Jim Jarmusch divided into 2 parts. It is an extended 'making of...' with behind the scenes clips from production - simply following Jarmusch around. There is also Untitled Landscapes with outdoor sequences of desert contrasting the city for just over 4-minutes.

Fans of the director will embrace this cool offering filled with homage to noir. But those less exposed to his work may find it ponderous. I loved Doyle's camera work and the film drips with style - but there is something further beneath the surface - that only you can, personally, interpret. To those who would venture to reading this review - I encourage you to indulge.

Gary W. Tooze


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Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC

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