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Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Movies Release Roundup 15 April 2011

There are three films left to cover this week but I haven't seen one of them (The Sanctuary? Has anyone seen this? Anyone at all?) and the other two are no great shakes. Starting off with the better of the two...

It's funny, Limitless actually has a few things going for it and yet, while it's a perfectly OK film, it's both unremarkable and fairly forgettable. It starts off with a very good premise: a very well cast Bradley Cooper plays a down on his luck writer whose fortunes take a sudden turn for the better after he takes a mysterious translucent pill and becomes the smartest person in the world. It's a solid story and the film is pacey, fun and the tricky MTV-style editing actually works brilliantly here. Also, Robert Deniro shows up in a very "and Robert Deniro" kind of way. The problem is that it simply doesn't add up to very much and it will promptly exit your memory the minute you walk out of the cinema. More problematically, while a perfectly solid thriller is woven out of that premise, there is definitely a feeling that they could have done something more daring and more interesting with so great a central conceit.   (7/10)

Limitless suddenly looks like a masterpiece, though, when held up against the very underwhelming The Roommate. Regardless of whether you've seen Single White Female before - which this film obviously owes the most to - it still comes across as very rote, very predictable and something that you've seen far too many times before. The story is a simple one about a college freshman who finds herself with a roommate that is just a little bit too obsessed with her. It's not an abysmal film, to be fair, in that it's a perfectly adequate 90-minute-long distraction but it all just seems so phoned in. They couldn't even be bothered to present the roommate with some good old mystery. You don't ever wonder what her motives are because she is so obviously drawn as someone who is so obviously completely off her rocker. That this isn't even as good as the similar roommate-from-hell episode of Buffy - an episode that is sure to rank as one of that series' absolute worst hours - kind of says it all. (4/10)

Best film of the week: Um... well, it has to be Limitless doesn't it? Really not a great week.
Worst film of the week: The Roommate. Again, not awful, but pathetically lazy. 

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