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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Limitless [Blu-ray]

 

(Neil Burger, 2011)

 

   

    

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Many Rivers Productions

Video: Twentieth Century Fox

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (B and C untested)

Runtime: 1:45:33 (Unrated) /  1:44:46 (Theatrical)

Disc Size: 46,291,445,968 bytes

Feature Size: 31,304,914,944 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.69 Mbps

Chapters: 24

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard box

Release date: July 19th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2854 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2854 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), French, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary with director Neil Burger

A Man Without Limits (4:29 - in 1080P!)

• Taking it to the Limit: the Making of Limitless (11:38 - in 1080P)

Alternate Ending (5:14 in 1080P)

• Theatrical Trailer (2:10 in 1080P)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Aspiring author Eddie Morra suffers from chronic writer's block, but his life changes instantly when an old friend introduces... him to NZT, a new pharmaceutical that allows him to tap his full potential. With every synapse crackling, Eddie can recall everything he has ever read, seen or heard, learn any language in a day, comprehend complex equations and beguile anyone he meets. Soon Eddie takes Wall Street by storm, parlaying a small stake into millions. But, his accomplishments catch the attention of people willing to do anything to get their hands on his stash of NZT. With his life in jeopardy and the drug's brutal side effects taking their toll, Eddie attempts to hang on to his dwindling supply of NZT long enough to outwit his enemies.

***

An action-thriller about a writer who takes an experimental drug that allows him to use 100 percent of his mind. As one man evolves into the perfect version of himself, forces more corrupt than he can imagine mark him for assassination. Out-of-work writer Eddie Morra's (Cooper) rejection by girlfriend Lindy (Abbie Cornish) confirms his belief that he has zero future. That all vanishes the day an old friend introduces Eddie to NZT, a designer pharmaceutical that makes him laser focused and more confident than any man alive. Now on an NZT-fuelled odyssey, everything Eddie's read, heard or seen is instantly organised and available to him. As the former nobody rises to the top of the financial world, he draws the attention of business mogul Carl Van Loon (De Niro), who sees this enhanced version of Eddie as the tool to make billions. But brutal side effects jeopardise his meteoric ascent. With a dwindling stash and hit men who will eliminate him to get the NZT...

 

 

The Film:

If you think this sounds too ‘Twilight Zone’, then you’re in for a surprise, as ‘Limitless’, based on Alan Glynn’s 2001 novel ‘The Dark Fields’, feels no need for wanton moralising. Instead it bludgeons its victims one by one and leaves a trail of beautiful corpses in its wake. It’s scatty and fast paced, and director Neil Burger employs some Gaspar No-style, bad-trip CG effects to heighten the mood. But the main reason the film is so successful and distinctive is that its satire pulls no punches: corporate tycoons are corrupt, unfeeling bastards, but will they really get their comeuppance? And rampant self-medicating of untested drugs can prompt paranoid, murderous urges, but at the end of the day, is that really such a bad thing for society?

Excerpt from David Jenkins at TimeOut London located HERE

Mr. Burger, whose previous films include “The Illusionist,” an elegant and clever sleight-of-hand caper, unwinds Eddie’s story with a feverish, hyperactive clarity that mirrors the protagonist’s inner state. When NZT enters his bloodstream, the colors on the screen intensify, the focus tightens, and the image seems to warp, as if buckling under the sheer power of Eddie’s cognition.

He assimilates information by means of old-fashioned film editing — a fast shuffle of close-ups, usually resolving to a shot of Mr. Cooper’s Windex-blue eyes — and also through fancier tricks. As Eddie’s writer’s block breaks, letters float down from the ceiling of his apartment, recalling the cascading numbers of “A Beautiful Mind.

Excerpt from A.O. Scott at the NY Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Fox gives us another wonderful transfer on Blu-ray - for the film Limitless. This is dual-layered with a very high bitrate and is seamlessly branched to offer both the PG-13 rated Theatrical version and the minute-longer Unrated version on the same disc. There is a lot of inventive cinematography with obtuse angles, plenty of close-ups and quick cuts to cartoon-esque eye-candy visuals. Much of this is mirroring the drug-induced state of the protagonist. Colors are bright with some blue-bias, detail is strong and the contrast is pristine. It is not overly glossy. Skin tones are true and the image quality appears to be flawless supporting the, very visual, film exceptionally well.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Equally excellent is the audio track in the form of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2854 kbps. This is a dynamically paced film loaded with effects - most aggressive but some with subtleties. The lively parts are punchy with some notable separation in parts. There is a boisterous score by Paul Leonard-Morgan to augment the action. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked disc.

 

Extras :

Extras are fairly solid with a good commentary by director Neil Burger who discusses the many details of the production that only a person in his position would be most aware of - from specifics on the process of moving the adaptation to the screen from Alan Glynn's novel to Leslie Dixon's screenplay. Those keen on the film will definitely get something out of the educational commentary. There are some video featurettes - A Man Without Limits runs less than 5-minutes, Taking it to the Limit: the Making of Limitless is just over 10-minutes and there is an Alternate Ending for about 5-minutes. Like the included Theatrical Trailer they are all in 1080P.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I thought Limitless was very entertaining. It covers a few genres from action/thriller while touching upon science-fiction with the fantasy element. Cooper is great - it's a super concept and it comes off very well with Burger's expertise. All the pieces come together to produce an enjoyable film experience. I can't say where the missing 1-minuite is from the Unrated to the Theatrical is - but I can guess. I am much more enthusiastic about Limitless than many critics - and the Blu-ray does its job without flaw. This is a great disc to own - I've watched it twice now and expect to revisit in the future as well. Strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

July 11th, 2011

   

    


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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