To those that have enjoyed my reviews here at "You Had Me at 'Movie Blog'", I am moving on up to bigger and better things. You can find me at Filmcoma.com with the assistence of a couple friends. I will continue reviewing classic and recent films, as well as providing you with the most up-to-date and rediculous news and posting weekly podcasts of our top three favorite films in all categories. Hope to see you there, feel free to comment and subscribe-- stay classy nerds!
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Based on the novel "The Dark Fields" by Alan Glynn and directed by Neil Burger, Limitless tells the story of Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper), a dawdling writer who has yet to write a word of his "promising" novel. Upon crossing paths with an old friend and drug dealer, he is introduced to a pill that allows the user to use the eighty percent of their brain that usually remains dormant. Fascinated by this new drug's effects, Eddie returns for more only to discover that his dealer had been murdered. Startled, Morra searches the man's apartment in search of his stash and discovers that his friend's assassins looked over one compartment containing a large supply of the drug and drug money. Within a matter of days he had completed his book and publishers were lining up to assist him. In a matter of weeks he was advising the most financially gifted individual in America- Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro). Though life now seems flawless, there are both those who have previously known of this drug and those who have discovered this pill through the actions of Eddie, and they all are after it. This film is exceedingly original (which is rare these days) and effectively nerve-racking. From the moment the drug is induced, the viewers themselves seek more, gnawing their fingernails and edging the tips of their seats. Though containing a strong plot and high octane energy, the lead role could have been better cast. Sure, Bradley Cooper is strapping and has had a fairly diverse early career (Wedding Crashers, Midnight Meat Train), however, in a role where we have to believe in early scenes that he isn't talented or attractive (like most 90's Sandra Bullock films) he is strongly unconvincing- much like he doesn't convince us in later scenes that he has a "four digit" I.Q. Don't get me wrong, the film works regardless, with the always assuring performance of De Niro and stout direction of Neil Burger (The Illusionist). Additionally, the film serves as a very fine portrayal of addiction- how it affects the addict and those who love the addict-- I was impressed. Though the film would have benefitted from casting such a performer as Sam Rockwell for instance, Limitless is a non-stop anxious thrill-ride that won't let go until the credits roll, earning it a solid 3 out of 4 stars.
Monday, March 7, 2011
In his directorial debut, screenwriter George Nolfi brings to the screen The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon as David Norris- a politician who's life will soon be altered indefinitely. Moments before one of the most crucial speeches of his life, David encounters the love of his life- Elise (Emily Blunt). Unsatisfied with the brief moment shared before their separation, Norris pursues his soul mate. Upon reacquainting with his paramour, Norris' world is disorientated as he discovers that their is a bureau of men that oversee, and at times alter, everyday human life. This bureau's need to interfere with and re-aline David's life is due to his intrusion of the big plan. David's fate with Elise is not only against the plan of whom the bureau refers to as "the chairman" (which would of course be known as God to us; and no, the part is not played by Morgan Freeman), but it will allegedly lead to the failure of both David and Elise to accomplish their own individual dreams. David- alone in his knowledge of this authority- must take matters into his own hands to defy the "plan" and live his life with the woman of his dreams. Having written such screenplays as Ocean's Twelve and The Bourne Ultimatum (he must appreciate Damon), it is no surprise that The Adjustment Bureau is such a success, as it is the first opportunity for Nolfi to portray his own tale. Though to the naked eye the story seems original, anyone who has seen Alex Proyas' Dark City (1998) will find the Bureau a bit too familiar. However, the film has a convincing enough chemistry between Blunt and Damon and enough of a Nolfi accent to stand alone. The performances were exceptional across the board, from Damon and Blunt to Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker), John Slattery (Mad Men), and Terrance Stamp (Superman). Additionally, there were many philosophically astonishing takes on religion and higher powers. Though containing a partially borrowed plot, The Adjustment Bureau is original enough, and is accompanied by fine filmmaking and remarkable performances- scoring it 31/2 stars in my book.