Limitless appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The transfer consistently seemed satisfying.
Sharpness was usually very good. A few wide shots looked a smidgen soft, but not to any serious degree. The vast majority of the film appeared well-defined and concise. No problems with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement remained absent. In terms of print issues, no concerns materialized.
Like most modern action/sci-fi movies, Limitless went with a stylized palette. It essentially broke down along these lines: Schlub Eddie gave us a chilly blue/green tint, while Super-Intelligent Eddie brought out a glossy yellow tone. Within those constraints, the hues were appropriate and well-rendered. Blacks seemed dark and tight, while shadows showed nice delineation and didn’t appear too dense. Overall, this was a positive presentation.
I also felt pleased with the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Limitless. The soundfield generally favored the forward spectrum, as a lot of the movie opted for general ambience. However, the scenes that wanted to depict Eddie’s state of mind made good use of the different channels. These delivered a trippy feel that threw a fair amount of info at us. The music showed good stereo presence, and effects integrated neatly. Again, these worked best when we went inside Eddie’s head, and they often formed a broad and encompassing environment.
Audio quality seemed fine. Dialogue consistently came across as clear and natural, with no concerns related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects were clear and convincing, while music was full and rich. Overall, this was a solid track.
A mix of extras round out the set. Note that the Blu-ray includes both the film’s Theatrical Version (1:44:46) and Unrated Extended Cut (1:45:33). I have no clue how the two differ; I only watched the longer edition, though given the minor time differences, I doubt I’d have noticed changes even if I viewed them both.
We can watch the flick with an audio commentary from director Neil Burger. He delivers a running, screen-specific look at the source novel and its adaptation, the film’s development, sets, locations and shooting in New York City, cast, characters and performances, cinematography and visual design, effects, stunts, music and some other elements.
While Burger delivers a good amount of useful information, the commentary comes with problems along the way. Burger often tends to simply narrate the movie, and he also praises everything he can find to praise. Those trends don’t harpoon the track, as we still get a reasonable level of interesting details, but they do make it drag more often than I’d like.
Two featurettes follow. A Man Without Limits goes for four minutes, 29 seconds and offers notes from Burger, producer Scott Kroopf, writer/producer Leslie Dixon, costume designer, Jenny Gering, and actors Bradley Cooper and Abbie Cornish. They discuss Cooper’s character and portrayal. This is a short piece but it’s reasonably informative as it digs into various choices.
Taking It to the Limit: The Making of Limitless lasts 11 minutes, 38 seconds and provides remarks from Cooper, Burger, Cornish, Dixon, Kroopf, director of photography Jo Willems, location manager Staci Hagenbaugh, fight coordinator Ben Bray, stunt coordinator Jeffrey Lee Gibson, “A” camera/Steadicam operator David Thompson, “A” camera 1st assistant Glenn Kaplan, on-set visual effects supervisor Christopher Scollard, production designer Patrizia Von Brandenstein, and actor Johnny Whitworth. “Limit” examines the project’s roots and development, how Burger came onto the film and his approach to the material, locations, action sequences, and visual design. Some of the info repeats from the commentary – and the piece takes a pretty glossy vibe – but it does deliver a reasonable amount of useful material in a brief period of time.
An Alternate Ending fills five minutes, 14 seconds. Much of it replicates footage from the final film but it gives the movie a more ambiguous conclusion. I actually prefer it to the real ending.
The disc starts with ads for Immortals, Season of the Witch, and X-Men: First Class. The disc also provides a trailer for Limitless.
A second disc provides a digital copy of Limitless. With this, you can place the movie on a computer or portable viewing gadget. And that’s all I have to say about that!
How can a movie called Limitless seem so consistently limited? The film comes with a cool plot notion but doesn’t develop it beyond some stale story beats. This results in a project with occasional thrills but not enough to make it a winner. The Blu-ray delivers very good picture and audio along with a decent set of supplements. The movie offers intermittent entertainment but ends up as a disappointment.