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The Limits Of Control Blu-ray Review


“The Limits Of Control” will test the limits of one’s patience. I’m sure someone else has made this comment before.

To describe the plot of “The Limits of Control” is challenging as it has very little story. All you really need to know is that the film revolves a nameless hitman who ventures to Spain on an assignment. He’s a meditative man of few words who sticks to a daily routine for the most part. While in Spain, he meets a variety of people and exchanges matchboxes housing codes before eventually reaching his target.

As a Jim Jarmusch fan, I had put off seeing “The Limits of Control” mostly because I had heard negative things (even from Jarmusch aficionados). When I saw that Arrow Video was releasing a new Blu-ray edition, however, I thought I’d finally check it out. As it turns out, I wasn’t missing much. The movie plays like a spy movie as done by Jarmusch. It’s plotless, it has zero thrills, and it’s full of mystery and cryptic lines. Much of the screentime is comprised of the nameless hitman just wandering about and drinking 2 coffees. Sure, it’s all visually appealing, but outside of that, it’s a very repetitious project in desperate need of something viewers can connect to.

One would at least think the cast would elevate the sleepy film, but alas no. Isaach de Bankolé is the star here and while it’s great to see the respected character actor in a starring vehicle, it’s a shame he doesn’t have more to work with. The same goes with the supporting cast comprised of the likes of Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, John Hurt, Gabriel Garcia Bernal, Paz de la Huerta among others.

“The Limits of Control” is strictly for Jarmusch enthusiasts and art film fans (and they might not even enjoy it). I can’t imagine it has much appeal outside of those groups.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? Christopher Doyle’s cinematography is the MVP of this movie and it looks divine in hi-def.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA and 2.0 PCM. How do they sound? Both tracks are quality although they certainly don’t have much to do.

* A booklet featuring credits, photos, and an essay by writer Geoff Andrew
* “The Limits of Control” theatrical trailer
* “Untitled Landscapes”- A featurette on shooting locations.
* “Behind Jim Jarmusch”- A 51 minute making of documentary on “The Limits Of Control” that shows the director at work.
* “The Rituals Of Control”- A thoughtful new video essay about Jim Jarmusch and “The Limits Of Control” by film critic Amy Simmons.
* “An American In Europe”- An engaging 34 minute interview with author Geoff Andrew about Jarmusch and his work. “The Limits Of Control” is, of course, touched upon as well.

December 9, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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