Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Commentary - Limitless w/ Bradley Cooper Special Appearance

"We'd all love to be great, we'd all like to do something special and make an impact on the world. Here's a story about a guy who actually finds some fantastical way to make it happen. But it's all played very real, it's not magic, it's a pill and it actually make him become the best version of himself, he's not a superhero, but he has this sense of perfectibility" - Limitless Director, Neil Burger interview on Trailer Addict.

Upper level PFS members were invited to an industry preview screening of the new thriller Limitless. The majority of the audience was made up of the GPFO peeps, behind the scenes talent who actually worked on the film, and me!

Bradley Cooper has really nailed his performance in this feature. His mesmerizingly intent blue eyes and general intensity are put to good use. I hope he'll receive accolades and recognition.  He really is the key to the movie's success.  Even if you don't like stuff based on high concept ideas, very close to science fiction, you should still enjoy Bradley's performance of a guy who goes from having minuscule potential, hidden under fear, dishevelment and lack of motivation, to someone who is clear, alive, wonderfully articulate, funny, clever, sexy and driven.

The film is based on a book called The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn and adapted into a screenplay by Leslie Dixon.  I haven't yet read the book, but I do love exploring topics that deal with taking our incredible human potential to new levels. This smart drug that Bradley's character, Eddie Morra, gets a hold of is not like Flowers for Algernon, increasing IQ. It's also more than just thinking faster. It's more like, all that negative junk in our heads, all the stuff that makes us say, I can't do that, I'm not capable, just gets eliminated.

For a little while he's just riding high, learning languages, playing the piano, every little thing he ever saw or read or heard or skimmed comes back to him in clear definition, almost like when you defrag a computer. He uses this information to talk his way into and out of all kinds of situations.  Unfortunately, once he takes it to the next level of turning a couple of thousand dollars into a couple of million dollars in a crazy short amount of time, he captures the attention of a powerful captain of industry, Carl Van Loon, played by the always intimidatingly nice, Robert De Niro. Things are also further complicated by the bugs not yet worked out of the drug, and his encounters with other people also using NZT.

For the most part, I think it's a very engrossing and interesting flick. Although I do have three little problems with the film.

1) his love interest played by Abbie Cornish. Not only is this relationship a weak part of the movie, but Cornish's performance is boring and she's got a very forgettable type countenance.

2) unless I missed something, there's a murder that takes place, it's sort of an off shoot of the main plot, but still important enough to resolve, yet we never learn the outcome.

3) I don't want to give too much away, but the drinking of the blood, is how someone else I was talking to put it, "Jumping the Shark" just a bit.


Like every other woman in the room, I was highly anticipating Bradley Cooper's arrival. I was even able to move down closer to where Sharon Pinkenson was conducting the Q & A.  I had my arm up a little bit because I was holding my digital voice recorder.  When Sharon asked if anyone had a question, for some reason no one raised their hands, then Bradley actually turns to me and says, do you have a questions or are you just taping this?  I stupidly mumbled. "No, I'm just taping this".  Why!  I'm supposed to be trying to do this journalism thing.  If you have a chance to ask the star of a movie a question, especially when you know you'll be writing about said movie, you're just supposed to jump in an take your shot!!!

I totally froze and wish to God, moments before I had swallowed a clear, little NZT smart pill!   I did have a question forming.  I'm a big fan of movies and shows that deal with regular people becoming aware of having enhanced abilities.  It's why I loved all 8 seasons of Charmed, am a big X-men fan, named my e-mail address LRL4400, because of the show The 4400, and now I'm super into No Ordinary Family.  So I wanted to know from Bradley if he's a fan of this genre and if so, did that element draw him to the script?

Who knows since he's a Philly native, maybe he'll read this review and write a comment.

In terms of the rest of the Q & A, it didn't have much energy, not worth transcribing.  Not because of Bradley; who does a dead on impression of De Niro.  But I think it was because there were so few regular movie going types in the audience. 

One person did ask if he champions making films in Philadelphia. Cooper responded that if it was his choice he'd make all his movies in Philly.

[Shots of Philadelphia doubles for New York, filming took place at The Palomar Hotel, Del Frisco's, The Happy Rooster and Rittenhouse Square to name a few.]

His answer is great! But I think he'd have to admit, 120 degrees or not, shooting The Hangover 2 in Bangkok, has got to be a little more exciting than making movies in his own backyard.

Limitless opens in theaters March 18th

Post Update: 9/3/12: I did much better with my next Bradley Cooper Interaction, but there was still some drama surrounding the interview - See "THE WORDS" post

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