The Limey - Soderbergh/Dobbs Commentary

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul_D, Sep 28, 2001.

  1. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    I've had this on my shelf for ages, since I saw it at the theater during its original release, and had never listened to the commentary. I gave it a listen this evening, and wow!, what a commentary. What baffled me is how self-righteous Lem Dobbs is. Most of the time its just him complaining about how the film differs from HIS script. How the production designer messed up the placement of a photograph. How theres too much cockney rhyming-slang. How Soderbergh got credit for directions he wrote. His displeasure (which was extreme) with Variety's reviewer. How he was angered by reviews that said it was under-written because he wrote in much more detail/dialogue than ended up in the finished version. The rest of the time is just Soderbergh responding and defending his decisions. Soderbergh even seems to get a little irritated at one point, when he proclaims... 'this is why the screen writer's guild go on strike: because of people like you' (all taken in good humour). Dobbs seems like a very bitter, very pretentious man.
    This isn't a clinical, sterile commentary... it reveals a lot about the production, and about the man giving the commentary track. A superb film, and a great, very revealing commentary. It you haven't seen it and like Soderbergh's other work, definitely get this DVD.
    The other 60s retrospective commentary track with the stars is also very, very good.
    (Edited for spelling errors and a final comment.)
    [Edited last by Paul Dalmaine on September 29, 2001 at 04:01 AM]
     
  2. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    I think it's actually interesting. Dobbs's frustration can be very easily understood-his name was drug through the mud publically for something that wasn't his fault. I'm sure a lot of writers feel the same way, but are not given a forum to vent their frustration.
    As such, it's not a bad film, but my intial impression, without listening to the commentary, it is a little bit more flash than anything meaty, but it's a good film, and I don't know if it would serve it's purpose to have lengthy explanations of characters and their motivations.
    [Edited last by Ike on September 28, 2001 at 04:49 PM]
     
  3. Arttu Salmi

    Arttu Salmi Extra

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    I've been listening to some very bad (boring) commentaries. I guess this is different, well I have to check it out.
    The Limey was one the best films of the year it came out.
     
  4. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    Hey - someone else has listened to this. Fantastic.
    I have listened to almost all of it and I was struck firstly by how it had been edited to resemble to film at times which was cool if a little disconcerting (they have flash-forwards of snippets at points where I guess they're not saying anything worthwhile).
    I got different idea from you Paul. Yeah, they were sort of having a go at each other but Dobbs also praises stuff that Sodeburgh has done and they obviously do get on. I got the impression they're both pretty 'big' guys and can accept the place each was coming from.
    The best commentaries seem to have a script and you may well find they had already worked out what they wanted to get down beforehand.
    It's certainly one of the most interesting commentaries due to the edge caused by them not seeing eye-to-eye on the movie. And yeah, I'd have to say that Dobbs is right to complain about the way it appears, that the writer is easy to blame for something the editing room. Equally, however, some films are made in the editing, despite the writer not having done that great a job.
    I like the movie and would certainly suggest that people have a listen to this commentary track.
     

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