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Bkos
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:43 pm    Post subject: Limitless Reply with quote #34384

What do you guys think? Is Limitless an OOTB? If not, what is it?


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RobbRoss
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Joined: 04 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #35749

Good question. It does have many OOTB elements, however...

1) Blake says the character in an OOTB is, "a put-upon Cinderella who is so under the thumb of those around him..." Cooper is not like that. His life is at a low-point when the movie begins, but that's more of a recent development and his own doing than inherent personality issues like Jim Carrey's timidness in The Mask, a true OOTB according to Blake. The character in an OOTB is supposed to be someone like us, a nice guy we want to see get a cosmic break. Cooper just needs to get a job.

2) At the end, Cooper keeps the magic whereas OOTB is about learning that the magic is not needed.

I'm thinking it's Superhero. The Setup is like the origin story so from there on he's an extraordinary person dealing with the ordinary people around him. It has Blake's elements of him dealing with those who are jealous of him and tempering the fantasy with a dose of reality.


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William
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #36005

RobbRoss wrote:
Good question. It does have many OOTB elements, however...

1) Blake says the character in an OOTB is, "a put-upon Cinderella who is so under the thumb of those around him..." Cooper is not like that. His life is at a low-point when the movie begins, but that's more of a recent development and his own doing than inherent personality issues like Jim Carrey's timidness in The Mask, a true OOTB according to Blake. The character in an OOTB is supposed to be someone like us, a nice guy we want to see get a cosmic break. Cooper just needs to get a job.

2) At the end, Cooper keeps the magic whereas OOTB is about learning that the magic is not needed.

I'm thinking it's Superhero. The Setup is like the origin story so from there on he's an extraordinary person dealing with the ordinary people around him. It has Blake's elements of him dealing with those who are jealous of him and tempering the fantasy with a dose of reality.


I just saw this last night for the first time.

Actually, Cooper does not keep the magic... He tells DeNiro flat out that he's off the pills.

My issue with declaring this an out of the bottle is... "what is the lesson?"

At the beginning of the film he was considering suicide, then in Act II climax he's there on the ledge again and says life is about choices... And he decides to look for another pill instead of jumping...

I dunno... you can declare this a clumsily written OOTB or you can call it a Fantasy Superhero... I honestly don't think either is a clean fit.

If it's a Superhero, what's his curse? Has he even got one? DeNiro does not become a Nemesis until Act III.

And let's face it, Cooper did'nt help ANYONE with his "Powers".. other than himself. When his girlfriend was being hunted down by that dude with the knife he didn't even save her... He was laid up on the floor drooling... He just told her to take a pill and save herself. lol

Not particularly heroic.

There were a lot of plausibility issues with that film.

I am having trouble understanding why someone with a "four digit IQ" needs the following :

a. a lab and a chemist to make pills for him
b. six or so months to figure out that he will eventually run out of pills.. it does not take a math genius to take inventory

If I suddenly had a four digit IQ I would have two goals :

a. make money
b. use money to keep the IQ maxed out

He did go after the money right away, but he sat on his ass forever before trying to make more pills.

And if he's SO SMART why does he need that chemist and six months to make pills?

Why can't he just apply his genius intelligence to make the pills himself?

And let's look at his girlfriend.. She tells him to get off the pills and stays away from him. Then in Act III she's there at the table with him again all glad to see him.

It would have been better writing if she didn't want anything to do with him as long as he was a genius.. THAT would have been a cool curse...

As long as he is a genius his life is in danger and no girl wants to be part of that... THAT would have worked as a curse..

But here we have her sitting with him happy as can be, even though his pills put her life at risk...

She's not very bright, looks like she could use one of those pills. lol

The only other genre that might fit is Society Fool...

Honestly, this film has a lot of problems with it.. problematic screenplays aren't always a clean fit for any genre...



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Bkos
Leopard


Joined: 07 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #36043

I liked it but also had a problem with what I saw as a huge hole: if he would have just paid the loan shark once he got some money, he would have avoided most of his problems! Surely, he would be smart enough to figure that out!


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William
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #36061

Bkos wrote:
I liked it but also had a problem with what I saw as a huge hole: if he would have just paid the loan shark once he got some money, he would have avoided most of his problems! Surely, he would be smart enough to figure that out!


YUP!!

I was actually SHOCKED to find he was earning all this money and hadn't bothered. They made it very clear he had over two million dollars.

If he's a genius doens't it make sense to pay off your 100 K loan when you have two mil on hand? lol

Especially when the creditor will break your legs? lol

Seriously.. that film was full of holes like this.

In their defense though...

How on earth do you write for someone with a four digit IQ? lol

Seriously, I have no idea where to begin to figure our what choices someone like that would make.

It makes the writing a serious challenge...

But there are holes all over the place and they weren't explained.

I found that particularly unsatisfying. I expected better of DeNiro. Sad



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nicknem
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Joined: 02 Oct 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #50347

So any final deliberation?

OOTB or Superhero?

I'm writing an OOTB, and I was going to watch this one as inspiration but you guy make me hesitate now lol


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RobbRoss
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #50350

Some of my original response is unsatisfactory so now I'll go with the more recent advice given to others and breakdown the STC traits in the movie.

OOTB

1) A "wish." We know it's not literal and can come from a character other than the protag, so check. Regardless that Cooper is responsible for his lowly status at the beginning (IIRC), he has a "clearly seen need to be delivered from the ordinary." Check.

2) A "spell." Check.

3) A "lesson...life is good as is." Pretty sure no check. While at the end Cooper says to DeNiro that he's off the drug, I recall a scene afterward that tells us differently. Haven't been able to find the shooting script or movie to doublecheck. What's clearer to me is that he gets back his girlfriend because of his drug-fueled success, which is the opposite of "life is good as is" because it means he should win her back in ways available to him before the magic strikes, like self-improvement.


Superhero

1) A "power." Check. Nowhere does it say the power must be used for good all the time.

2) "Nemesis." DeNiro is the "self-made version," a success by hard work. The loan shark can also be viewed this way as he ends up with the power and wants to use it for bad.

3) A "curse." The drug is addictive and draws danger. If Cooper is really off the drug at the very end, I wouldn't say he "surmounts" the curse because it leaves him somewhat ruthless as a politician. If he's still on the drug, he definitely "succumbs." As with other Superhero tales, the genre doesn't say that the hero must be all-good and pure at the end.


ROP

1) A "life problem." Addiction Passage. Check.

2) The "wrong way." Instead of legitimate ways to improve his life, he uses the drug. Or once he's on the drug, the wrong way is the continued pursuit of it.

3) "Acceptance." At the end does Cooper acknowledge that he must change? Once again, the precise ending is a big factor. Even if he's off the drug, in that last scene with DeNiro the way Cooper subtly threatens him does not feel like a ROP character who has changed.


MITH? Despite Cooper being responsible for bringing the danger into his house, the antag is not a Monster.

DWAP? By taking the drug of his own free will, Cooper is not an "innocent hero." There is also no "sudden event" as the battle with the loan shark is a development. And that battle is not the A Story.

No other STC genre seems close.

I'm still leaning to Superhero (and seeing how it fits doesn't negate the issues in the story). I also wouldn't debate it if one says Limitless doesn't fit well anywhere.


What feels certain is that, regardless of the traits and while Limitless was a moderate success, it's better to study the classic OOTB scripts/movies. Or explain what's similar in your idea to this movie. Also consider the Logline forum to test the idea.


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