CBS premiered ‘Limitless’ with a special appearance from Bradley Cooper, and although it’s a solid show, its message is concerning. Based on the film by the same name, ‘Limitless’ is about a man that discovers a drug named NZT, which unlocks pathways in his brain that basically give the formerly lazy lad some seriously productive superpowers. His previous life is transformed, and he’s now giving back to society, despite what’s basically become drug addiction.
After reading online reviews, I was shocked to discover that no one seems to share my sentiment. The show is a covert adderall advertisement. The protagonist pops a pill and conquers the world, and all side effects are second to its advantages. After all, when a drug is this good, shouldn’t you push through? Had his acquired superpower been gifted by anything other than a pill, I might not object. And although this didn’t irk me in the film, that’s likely because the movie ended with a pretty bow about the perils of drug use, rather than a procedural plot line in its favor. Also, if there’s no issue with performance enhancing drugs to obtain a desired result, why did we chastise Lance Armstrong? And if there were no side effects to narcotic-use, would we promote drugs? The show doesn’t work with a pill. He should have been zapped with a taser or something.
Good luck, CBS.
Con movies are only fun when the audience gets equally conned. And if they’re not along for the ride, they should at least be in on it. In American Hustle, neither of these principles hold true. The film follows Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), a charlatan couple whose FBI bust forces their participation in taking down elite dirtbags. Their corrupt background elicits a guessing game as to their true loyalty and agenda. Had the writing and directing been stronger, that guessing game would have been far more enjoyable. The only shining light in this film is Jennifer Lawrence, who far exceeds her counterparts. Though this is certainly not a competition, if it were me, I’d have given strongest player more than one inning. Furthermore, Amy Adams was an unfortunate miscast. She’s meant to straddle the line between good and bad, but her delicate demeanor and sweet-natured spirit make it nearly impossible to believe the bad. Lastly, if your characters lack even a modicum of likability, so does your plot. When all of your players are parasites, does the end game really matter?
RATING: 2/5 STARS (Jennifer Lawrence upped that).