MOVIES OF THE WEEK
“Limitless” (PG-13) — What if there was a mysterious drug that could unlock the full potential of your mind? Everybody knows that the right answer is to just say “no,” but that never occurred to anybody working on “Limitless,” a non habit-forming, underwhelming experience of a movie.
Bradley Cooper stars as Eddie, a struggling writer who comes across a clear pill that optimizes his personality, turning every gleaned fact and forgotten lecture into pure intellect and drive. With his unlimited potential, Eddie can improve his life in every way and demonstrate incredible powers of deduction, yet he still manages to make bad decisions with predictable consequences.
The story is adapted from a novel, and suffers the usual symptoms of a poorly adapted script — excessive narration, loose ends, under-utilized characters and more narration. The voice-over work and smash cuts manage to keep things moving and make “Limitless” a certified thriller.
“Take Me Home Tonight” (R) — Movies banking on nostalgia should also bring something new to the table, right? Otherwise, why not just watch a movie that was actually made in the beloved time period of your choosing? This is the existential crisis at the core of “Take Me Home Tonight,” a movie dead-set on reminding audiences that the 1980s happened.
Topher Grace (“That ’70s Show,” “Spiderman 3”) plays Matt, a 23-year-old MIT grad whose lack of direction has him working at a video store and living with his parents. Sounds like somebody is in need of a wild night of partying, chasing girls and self-discovery. There is some real charm and even a few good laughs, thanks to a supporting cast that includes the dopey hilarity of Chris Pratt from TV’s “Parks and Recreation.”
This might have been a funnier, more original and more noticeable movie if it shed the ’80s fixation. As it is, “Take Me Home Tonight” doesn’t compare to the enduring charm of its John Hughes inspiration, but that’s a tall order.
“Amelie” (R) [Blu-ray] — This 2001 French film follows the titular fanciful femme as she finds beauty in the modern world. Audrey Tautou, who you might recognize as the pretty face dominating the “Foreign Language” shelf at the video store, plays Amelie, an eccentric young woman who finds a stranger’s mementos in her Paris apartment and decides to return them to their owner. The heart of story is about interpersonal connection and finding love, but it’s all wrapped in pretty packaging and solid art direction, which makes a Blu-ray release seem worthwhile.
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