Thursday, 26 March 2009

Dr. No

Credits

We start this one with the familiar gun barrel sequence but the traditional  theme doesn't happen quite yet. Once Bond opens fire and the blood pours down the screen we are into the classic theme as we know it.

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In fact this is the theme tune for the film. We have no Shirly Bassey belting out an iconic hit, just the almost Samba strains of the classic Bond Theme. This changes to a Jamaican disco beat and we get dancing (clothed) silhouettes. Finally mutating into the “Three blind Mice” song that leads to the murder of Strangways.

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Basic but it is all there. A great start to my lunatic quest.

Girls

Bond really is a misogynistic so and so in this one. He loves ‘em and leaves ‘em. In fact one girl he “loves” knowing full well she is on the other side. Then he get her arrested!

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Of course the show is stolen by Ursula Andress as Honey Rider. I was surprised by how late in the film she arrives. We are actually two thirds in before she emerges from the sea in “that” bikini.

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Gadgets

None!

OK so there are some, but none of Bonds. We have a cyanide cigarette and a Dragon Tank but that's it. nada. The closest bond comes to Q-Branch is when M makes him swap his girly berretta for the manly Walther PPK. Next time somebody crows about how radical Casino or Quantum are for their lack of gadgets, just point them at Dr No

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Chases

Just the one really, quite a nice short chase with Bond pursued by a hearse. Its not particularly effective with heavy use of back screen projection for closups of Connery. The final destruction of the hearse is nice though with a good take on the “plunging over a cliff” meme.

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Total Bondage

First off I want to say that the remastered DVD i watched is amazing. It could have been filmed yesterday. Bond is a real bastard in this film. He bosses Quarrel like a true slave driver and women really are a plaything to him. He kills without remorse but somehow even with this in mind he still remains likeable.

Cast your mind to M. If Bond is a bastard then what must M be like as he seems to be the only male to quell Bond. He manages to portray real power simply by sitting in a char and smoking a pipe. Something that the brilliant Judy Dench still cannot do.

Once they reach Dr No’s base it strikes me how well designed it is. The use of copper in the colours really adds a different feel to the otherwise sterile effects of steel. The only gripes i would have is how the scenes set at the base are over so quickly. The epic final fight is far from epic, the night scenes are obviously filtered day shoots and the film ends rather suddenly.

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Overall a great outing and a reminder that for many there is a very good reason that Connery is and always will be Bond, James Bond.

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