NEIL BURGER-DIRECTED THRILLER OPENS FRIDAY
Neil Burger's Limitless, which opens tomorrow, has a New York City chase scene that has reminded at least two viewers of Brian De Palma. Filmmaker Magazine's Scott Macaulay, who interviewed Burger for the magazine, states that "Limitless explores these ideas in a thriller that boasts a smooth performance by [Bradley] Cooper, a great De Palma-esque New York City chase scene, Robert De Niro in a supporting role, and at least one Park Chan-Wook-style bloodbath." Macauley adds that Limitless also has "something of the unsettling vibe of a Seconds or Manchurian Candidate as Cooper’s brainpower reveals not only his own inner strengths but conspiratorial patterns in the larger world."
Variety's Robert Koehler says that the film, written by Leslie Dixon (adapting the Alan Glynn novel The Dark Fields), mixes "Tony Scott's dazzle and Martin Scorsese's Gotham darkness, with just a few stumbles along the way." One of those stumbles, in the view of Koehler, is the above mentioned NYC chase scene. "The film's tone is momentarily thrown off by a poorly staged chase through Central Park," writes Koehler, "with Lindy trying to elude the so-called Man in Tan Coat (Tomas Arana), in a sequence that plays like a bad Brian De Palma spoof." Koehler says that De Niro seems "re-energized" in his role as a financial tycoon.
BURGER'S "FRACTAL ZOOM"
In the interview with Macauley, Burger discusses some of his visual ideas for Limitless:
...we were trying to do it in a way that was fresh, with things we hadn’t seen before. The Matrix’s bullet time, that frozen moment, would have been fantastic for this movie. But it’s so overused — it’s in the most basic Channel 9 news bumpers. Speed ramping or time-lapse, racing through the city at high speed — I love all that, but I can’t go there either. It’s just been used too much. So, instead of rushing through the city, I came up with this idea of a fractal zoom. It’s like you are rushing through the city streets but not at high speed — you are at an infinite zoom, moving relentlessly at real time but faster than everyone around you. Nobody could figure out how to do it until, after shooting, we brought on this company called Look Effects. This great guy Dan Schrecker was able to figure out how to execute this idea that I had. Some people were like, “Well, that’s not related to the flipping numbers [a visual idea Burger discussed previously in the interview], which isn’t related to the burned-in thing,” and I was like, “They’re all related, because there’s a physical nature to all of them.” I didn’t want [these effects] to feel digital. I wanted them to feel physical, that in his mind they are really happening.