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THE LIMEY ($30) is one very cool movie. Sure, weíve seen the main characterís revenge driven motives played out countless times before, yet THE LIMEY successfully combines solid performances with a genuine sense of style to elevate this film way above typical thrillers. Instead of telling the story in a completely linear fashion, moments in time overlap and THE LIMEY has a wonderful flashback device that utilizes footage from the film POOR COW to depict the central character at an earlier time in his life. THE LIMEY stars Terence Stamp as Wilson (which just happened to be the name of Stampís character in POOR COW), an ex-convict recently released from a nine-year stretch in a British prison. As the film open, Wilson arrives in Los Angeles to investigate his daughter Jennyís "accidental" death. Wilsonís investigation leads him to door of shady music promoter Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda), the man Jenny was involved with at the time of her death.

While Wilson definitely driven by his need for revenge against the parties responsible, he is also seeking closure from knowing all the facts about his daughterís death. However, to achieve both, Wilson moves slowly and methodically towards his goal, taking out everyone that stands between him and Valentine. Terence Stamp is absolutely amazing as Wilson, a man who outwardly betrays no evidence of emotion, yet behind his eyes, one would swear that they see a firestorm raging. Stampís cool and purposeful performance is the driving force behind THE LIMEY and the reason one will find it virtually impossible to take their eyes off the screen. Backing up Stamp and Fonda is a first rate supporting cast that features Lesley Ann Warren, Luis GuzmŠn, Barry Newman, Joe Dallesandro, Nicky Katt, Melissa George, Amelia Heinle and William Lucking.

Artisan Home Entertainment has done a truly excellent job with their DVD edition of THE LIMEY. The 16:9 enhanced wide screen presentation restores the filmís 1.85:1 theatrical framing and delivers a highly impressive image. Everything from the brightest outdoor shots to the darkest recesses of the filmís interiors appears crisp and wonderfully well defined, thanks the startling quality of this anamorphic enhanced transfer. The film element used for the transfer is pristine, with nary a blemish to be seen anywhere. Even film grain seems to be virtually absent from this presentation. Colors are vividly reproduced, however they never seem over-saturated, which is sometimes the case with newer movies. Additionally, flesh tones appear exceedingly lifelike. There are absolutely no problems with either chroma noise or bleeding of the warmer hues. Blacks are perfectly rendered throughout, plus the image boasts uniformly smooth contrast. Although it is a relatively short film, THE LIMEY has been authored as a dual layered DVD, which maximizes the bit rate and provides the best image quality possible, without obvious signs of digital compression artifacts. 

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack delivers a strong mix that provides an open forward soundstage and effectively utilized surround channels. Sound effects are well placed and pan smoothly around the sonic environment. However, the sound effects are never overdone, so the mix never distracts one from the story being told. As with the other channels, surround usage subtlety deploys ambient sounds to create a cohesive and realistic sound field. Dialogue reproduction is very good, with all of the actorís voices being reproduced quite naturally. The bass channel isnít overwhelming, but it gives the soundtrack a very solid foundation. An English Dolby Surround soundtrack is also encoded onto the DVD. 

The interactive menus are rather nicely designed, containing full motion video, animation and sound. Through the menus, one can access the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the DVDís nice array of supplemental material. Two audio commentaries are included on the DVD. First, there is detailed and interesting talk featuring director Steven Soderbergh and writer Lem Dobbs. The Second commentary includes Terrence Stamp, Peter Fonda, Lesley Ann Warren, Barry Newman, Joe Dallesandro, plus additional comments from Steven Soderbergh and Lem Dobbs. This track is edited together, but it is very good, plus the presentation is well thought out, with subtitle feature flashing the name of the person who is talking. Other supplements include a theatrical trailer, TV spots, production notes, cast biographies and an isolated music score that also features the songs on the filmís soundtrack. There is also a technical specification section of the DVD that I highly recommend checking out.

All in all, THE LIMEY is a very stylish and well-acted thriller. Artisan Home Entertainment has delivered a very impressive DVD that is worthy of this terrific film. Recommended.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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