Dr. No... Bond OO7 - Blu-ray Review - See Bond in his first movie ever and like you've never seen it before! - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-08-08, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Dr. No... Bond OO7 - Blu-ray Review - See Bond in his first movie ever and like you've never seen it before!

James Bond
Good evening, sir.

M
It happens to be 3 a.m. When do you sleep, 007?

James Bond
Never on the firm's time, sir.






Actors: Sean Connery, Ursula Andress
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: Unknown (DTS-HD High Res Audio)
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Region: Region 1
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Number of discs: 1
Rating: PG
Studio: Fox/MGM
DVD Release Date: October 21, 2008
Run Time: 110 minutes




Dr. No will always have a special place in the Bond franchise. It was the first Bond movie and it delivered the goods.

To some it may seem a bit dated by today's action movie standards, but when you watch this again, keep in mind when Dr. No came out there was nothing like this ever before. EVER.

It doesn't have the gadgets everyone has come to associate Bond with, but it is truer to the Fleming novels than most Bonds. James was truly a spy in this one, and a detective as well.

Being a huge Bond fan myself I happen to know a lot of Bond trivia and tidbits. For instance it was stated that in The Man with the Golden Gun we get to see Bond's apartment for the first time, not true. We see it in Dr. No first. Bond is also given his Walther PPK and the inference is he is a relatively new double 0 operative, possibly his first big assignment. M threatens to send him back to 'standard intelligence' duties if he doesn't stop using the Beretta and start following orders and protocol.



Lois Maxwell was actually considered for the part of Sylvia Trench, but she couldn't see herself wearing Bond's pajama top. She did get the role so many of use know her as though... Miss Moneypenny.

Even the now classic Bond introduction of "My name is Bond, James Bond." started with Dr. No. One interesting thing to note though is the Genesis of this introduction was more of a smarmy mockery of how Sylvia Trench introduced herself to Bond. He was mimicking her and in a way teasing and perhaps making fun of her introduction but in a flirty sort of way. It worked and stuck and is now movie icon history and probably one of the best known introductions ever.






Speaking of Lois Maxwell... I don't think there has ever been the same type of chemistry between Bond and Moneypenny as there was in the Connery Bonds.


Craig's Bond has many of the same traits as these early Connery offerings. Bond is charming but is rough around the edges. He is not a true blue blood aristocrat. Rather he is a man that has become accustom to living on an expense account and he likes it. Along the way he manages to pad his lifestyle with gambling winnings, and his confident demeanor is often irresistible to the ladies he meets. Bond is often cocky and arrogant, but he is also the best at his job and he knows it. He risks his life for his job and and country, and as such not only is confident and cocky, but somewhat feels he deserves the best of everything.


Dr. No is also interesting in the sense that when you watch it, they don't quite have the now famous Bond opening down pat. That's understandable since this was the first outing. There is no pre-title teaser sequence, and the credits only hint at the creative stylizings we will soon be treated to and come to expect. Still, for a first outing it really is a solid foundation to build things on.

I just went through a Bond marathon around six months ago. Periodically I get in a 'mood' for a movie franchise, theme, or actor and I end up watching everything related back to back.

Thunderball is in my opinion the ultimate and definitive Bond movie, and Dr. No never really rated high on my list. I kind of watched it and felt bored at times but I think a lot of that has to do with modern movie making that almost seems to cater to an attention deficient generation. Dr. No isn't slow, it is deliberate and works on developing the characters. The action builds scene by scene, but I will admit re-watching it yet again on Bluray it is still dated in both look and feel. But it does look fantastic on Bluray. Colors are deep and vibrant, and the cars look spectacular with showroom quality paint jobs that come through on the film.

There is just something different in the way they shot films back in the '60s as compared to now. The cinematography is outstanding, but it is a different style than we see now. Maybe it was the music, perhaps the editing... who knows. Still it is very well done.

As I mentioned earlier, Dr. No had many firsts. It was the beginning of the modern movie teaser trailor... it was the God Father of just about every modern action flick to come, and it set the pace and style that every movie wanted to emulate. Also, it was the first true franchise.



Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman knew they were doing a franchise set of films. The original pick for Bond was Cary Grant, and he would have done it but said he was only interested in doing one. David Niven was also an early contender, but was passed over and eventually did the Bond spoof Casino Royal (Every agent will now be called James Bond... it will confuse the enemy!) Broccoli and Saltzman knew though what they wanted, and they wanted a new Bond flick out every year if possible... Bond truly was the first franchise ever conceived.

Roger Moore was actually in line to own the double 0 moniker, but he was committed to the TV series The Saint, much like Brosnan lost out to Timothy Dalton because he was committed to Remington Steel. I can't help but think though that without Connery, an original Moore Bond may have killed the franchise before it had a chance to mature.

Unlike Connery, Moore is more campy and less believable when it comes to physical combat. Those two elements and a '60s love of camp would have made a farce out of Bond right from the beginning and people may not have been willing to 'keep coming back'.

Luck struck though and Moore wasn't available and Connery was. He was raw but yet charming, however Flemming did not originally like him as the pick. Once he saw the finished film he quickly changed his mind.

SPECTRE- This secret organization was not in any of Flemming's books. It was totally created just for the movies. The main reason is simple... this way they could approach sensitive political topics without pointing a finger at a specific country or government. This change would come back to haunt the franchise when Kevin McClory sued the studio over it. McClory is the one that came up with SPECTRE and was key in the storyline adaptation and development of Thunderball. This would escalate into a power play that almost ended the franchise, and is a big factor in Dalton only doing two Bond movies. Bond almost died at that time, but... We'll talk about that when we get to the Golden Eye review!


We were also introduced to the 'Bond Girls', although I doubt they refered to them as that back then. What Broccoli and Saltzman, as well as the directed Terence Young did know was that in order for this franchise to succeed it had to be flamboyant and exotic, and that's how they chose their leading ladies as well as their locations. They also decided to keep the pace fast so any plot holes would be over looked because of the fast roller coaster ride..



It seems like Bond was made for Bluray, or I should say High Definition. The original prints were shot on the best film stock, and they were also well preserved. Most transfers and cuts were done from a copy of the original negative, and not the original. When Sony and MGM did the Ultimate Bond set a few years ago, many people complained about the double dipping but in this case it was worth it. This is when they brought in Lowery to do the 4K transfers. The Ultimate Edition may be SDVD, but it is probably SDVD at its best. 4K is probably the best and most meticulous transfer process ever done to a movie. It goes beyond 1080p and even exceeds the original film stock in many cases.

Below is an example of the difference between the Special Edition Bond set and the Ultimate Edition set. The Bluray movies really didn't have any extra processing over the 4K Ultimate Editions, but... Bluray could finally deliver the transfer images in a format that wasn't compressed like the 480p mpeg SDVDs were. As good as the Ultimate Editions are and can clearly be seen to be superior to the older non 4K transfer Special Edition DVDs... the Bluray editions blow them away.

Dr. No was filmed 46 years ago, and when I reviewed it on Bluray I was stunned and shocked at how crisp and clear everything was. Like they say in the special features, it almost looks like a film set in the '60s but not one shot in the '60s.

The sound is also very impressive. It is very clean and clear. There isn't much bass until the end but when it happens and hits... stand by! In that sense it really is dramatic and lends to the climax of the film.



When I was a youngster I didn't like Dr. No, but I will admit because it didn't have the gadgets and I didn't understand character development back then. Now when I watch it I can appreciate what this movie was and did for the entire action industry. Dr. No was not just the first Bond flick, it was the grand daddy of all action flicks to come.

One of the last thing I will mention is the case. I bought Thunderball and Die Another Day from Walmart. I picked up the remaining four at Best Buy. The Best Buy releases are in metal collector tins and I must say these are very nice cases. I personally like all my franchise movies to be in the same style and look on my shelves, and I was disappointed to see that the regular BD versions were like the original SDVDs in the sense they had the actor's image on the spine and the metal tins are a totally different look. Now I have an inconsistent set of movies spines on my shelf. I know that is trivial, but I do like my sets to look uniform.

Also some of the metal tins have a two disc setup even though there is only one Bluray disc. This is a bit strange. I talked to my brother and it's not even consistent between movies, he has some cases that have the two disc case whereas I have the same movie and it's only a single disc case.

If they were smart, they would have done all the cases in a two disc case, that way people that owned the SDVD versions would be able to put that disc in the same case...

All in all, I own Bond on Laser Disc, SDVD, and now Bluray and I can say that Bond was born to be seen on High Def and since Bluray won the format war and that's how it is served up... it's worth any double or triple dip anyone may have done for other movies.

As I said for my Thunderball review... Bond... watch it again for the first time!



The plot of Dr. No... well... A few people said they didn't want to hear any spoilers, even though this is a 46 year old movie, some people may not have seen it yet. I try to build an interest around the premise of the character without getting into the story too deep.

The basic premise of Dr. No is not just that this is our introduction to Bond, but he is investigating a series of missile incidents the USA has had and they suspect foul play. Certain events lead Bond to Jamaica, where he meets Dr. No and finds out about SPECTRE and what the organization has planned.

Overall I rate the story as , character development as , originality and cinematography would have to be plus stars.

The picture quality is absolutely stunning and anyone would be hard pressed to believe this was shot 46 years ago!

The sound is just as good as the image on the screen and as I mentioned at the end the bass really comes through.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

"If all else fails, spin the cat."- Grzboken
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-09-08, 06:04 AM
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Re: Dr. No... Bond on Bluray... See Bond in his first movie ever and like you've never seen it befor

wbassett,

Good review. Just a few notes...

I would say the films were designed for Technicolor in the classic studio
style of cinematography which is why they looked so good on blu ray which
enhances this type of camerawork. Ted Moore's lighting design is integral
to this look. They no longer shoot films in this style so they have that
sixties "Glorious Technicolor" look which I really like with rich saturated fleshtones
and vibrant primaries. Navy blue skies and so forth. I especially got a kick out of Ted Moore's credit in "From Russia with Love" which is over a close up a woman's jiggling bottom. Very droll.
They weren't shot on the best film stock, just the standard 35mm Kodak Eastmancolor negative of the time. But, the negatives were stored in good conditions in England (temperature controlled) so they didn't fade too much which is another reason the 4K transfers are top notch. And they were A & B rolled for first generation opticals (fades, dissolves) which avoided the grainy dupe stock of the time utilized
by non-Technicolor features. England always had better quality control regarding the materials than the US where studios like UA were pretty sloppy regarding processing and storage. Fortunately, these were UK productions that United Artists (now Warner/MGM) had exclusive distribution rights too but they weren't technically US features.
"Dr. No" and "From Russia with Love" are unique in that they are the only
Bond movies where Connery had his own hair. He wore a toupee for the rest
of them. The cleaner sound in the 5.1 remixes makes the dubbing of the female
leads more obvious however. In many scenes, only Connery's voice was the live
location recording and everyone else is dubbed. If you listen carefully you'll hear
the subtle difference since dubbed lines have a difference recording level and
clarity.
I agree with most of what you said above except I don't like Craig at all in
this role. He's got the brutal side of Connery but not the suave side which
Terrance Young created for the actor based on his own personality.
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-09-08, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dr. No... Bond on Bluray... See Bond in his first movie ever and like you've never seen it befor

Criag is 'okay' but my personal opinion is he's not 'the best Bond ever' like the studio likes to say. You know what though? Watch the special features and they said every single actor to play Bond was 'the best Bond'. Naturally, what else are they going to say?

What I don't like about the new films is they departed from the character and story too much. Bond is a flamboyant super agent and when his charm can't get him out of a sticky situation, he switches to his physical training and abilities... and when that doesn't work he always has a gadget to use at just the right moment. (Queue Bond music! )

All that is missing, No Q, no Moneypenny... Casino was basically a really good action flick with a bit of a cat and mouse feel, but it wasn't Bond.

I was hoping Quantum would have Q and Moneypenny and at least some cool gadget (nothing too over the top like in some of the Moore films though) but what I hear is none of it is there. Instead they go for non-stop action. Even the trailer reminded me of the Bourne franchise- "Find Bond!" "Cancel all Bond's passports." "Bring Bond in now!" Just replace Bond with Bourne and it sounds like they lifted a few elements from another popular franchise.

The other thing I really dislike is how Hollywood thinks it has to 'reboot' everything now.

Casino Royal... how many ways can I pick that one apart! Well first there is Judi Dench as M. Her character was clearly brought in on Goldeneye. Bernard Lee passed away so they needed a replacement. I like Dame Judi Dench a lot so I don't blame her at all, but she was clearly introduced as the 'new kid on the block' in Goldeneye and Bond was already a well seasoned Double 0 at that point. Suddenly they decided to just rewrite all that and have Dench's M as the seasoned veteran head of MI6 and Bond as the green newbie agent. It didn't work for me and I felt they treated us viewers like we were stupid and incapable of remembering anything from the past movies.

Plus we already saw Bond on his first mission, or at least one of his very first missions in Dr. No. As I mentioned in the review, he is formally issued his Walther PPK for the very first time. They may have been better off if they went with an idea that they were actually toying with, and that is that Bond isn't a person per say, but rather an iconic image. When one 'Bond' retires or is actually killed, the next agent at the top of his game then becomes 'Bond'. They seriously were contemplating this story line. The concept was everyone knows about Bond so as a spy he would actually be very ineffective, but as an 'image', and one that never dies, never loses... anytime the bad guys hear that 'Bond' is on the case they panic and slip up at some point. I am very happy they decided not to go that route, but they did change the very essence of the whole Bond franchise.

An interesting note about Craig's Bond. My grandson is also a huge Bond fan and when I was watching Casino he came in the room and asked 'What are you watching Papa?' I told him James Bond. His eyes widened and he was watching the opening foot chase scene and then got confused and said 'Papa where is James Bond?' With Brosnan, Connery, and even Moore he instantly knew they were Bond, but this Bond isn't iconic. I must say that I doubt Cubby Brocoli or Harry Saltzman would have allowed this to have happened. Sadly they are both gone now.

Barbara Brocoli now heads up the franchise, which is both good and bad. I don't like the departure from everything that made Bond who we have come to expect as Bond into nothing more than another action flick with outstanding cinematography, but I do like one thing she has stated before. That is that she no longer wants to see a seven movie run like the Moore years. With Connery it was a little different because they were pumping out the Bond flicks every year. By the time Moore took the reigns it started to become a couple of years between movies. Seeing that these actors are in their forties when they assume the role, they quickly start to show their age when movies are two, sometimes three years apart. Moore became cartoonish and total camp and at the end of his era his Bond's were some of the worse ones made.

McClory won a lawsuit over SPECTER and Thunderball and was allowed to do a remake, which was Never Say Never. Interestingly Never Say Never came out the same year, and very close to the same time that a studio sanctioned Roger Moore Bond movie was released, and Never Say Never more than held its own with box office sales against the now aging Moore.

So Barbara decided that they should change reigns after three movies, four tops, and then bring in a new Bond. That part I do like because it keeps the character young and fresh, but if they decide to 'reboot' the franchise every time they get a new actor, then they might as well kill the franchise now.

Some of the other actors that were being considered for Bond when Craig was picked was Clive Owen, Gerard Butler, and my personal favorite Adrian Paul of the Highlander TV series fame. Owen was too expensive, and we all know EON productions is a bit stingy with their money, especially when changing actors as Bond. That's why they like to take either relatively unknowns or actors that were TV actors in the past... because they know they can get them for a song.

Paul lost out for one of the oddest reasons, which I will get to in a moment.

Adrian Paul was a lot like Brosnan in the sense landing the role of Bond is a dream of his. As the TV series Highlander started running its course, they did several episodes where Paul played an 'agent' or spy in the famous Highlander flash back sequences. In the out takes he even does the famous "Bond... James Bond" line. Adrian Paul physically looks like a cross between Connery and Brosnan, and even some of his portfolio shots he looks like a very young Connery, younger even than when Sean first assumed the role.

Oddly this is what doomed him from getting the part. Paul was young, out of work- so he could have been gotten very cheap, and he probably secretly would have paid them to do the role! He also has a huge fan base from his Highlander fans, and those fans are not just pimply faced pre-puberty boys that fantasied about being the Highlander... Paul has an enormous female fan base. So what was it about him that doomed him? His looks. Barbara Brocoli said that she did not want anyone that looked anything like Connery, Moore, or Brosnan. Why? Who knows.

Even Roger Moore's son was trying to get the role.

So we will have to wait until the third movie to see if they are going to finally bring in the full Bond formula or if they are going to just continue making good action flicks that honestly, you could replace the name Bond with any name and it wouldn't really change the story line.

Bond needs to get back to its roots and from everything I have heard, Quantum has great action just like Casino, but still missed the mark as far as what made this franchise so popular in the first place.

I have free tickets to see Quantum of Solace so I will be checking it out the weekend it opens here. I probably will not be doing a review of it though because of the often risqué nature of Bond's character. I'm sure I will like it from the perspective of production quality and being a fast action movie, but I had hoped that now they 'rebooted' and established this new Bond that they would go back to the formula and bring Q and the other franchise characters back.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

"If all else fails, spin the cat."- Grzboken
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-10-08, 03:46 AM
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Re: Dr. No... Bond on Bluray... See Bond in his first movie ever and like you've never seen it befor

wbassett,

Thanks for the supplimental info. You've certainly done your research. I
agree that the current franchise are just action films with a character named
"James Bond" but they have nothing to do with the Ian Fleming novels or
worldview.
The Connery Bond films were all about 'style' but that style was linked
with the sixties and most of the participants who created it are gone or no
longer part of the series. I guess what makes it ludicrous now is that Great Britain
is no longer a world power, just part of a semi-socialist European union. A form of
one world government. So having a super agent save the planet seems implausible compared to the past when they were an independent nation and still had enough
clout to change world events.
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