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Dr. No
BLU-RAY disk
11.18.2008 By: Sturdy
Dr. No order
Director:
Terrence Young

Actors:
Sean Connery
Ursula Andress
Joseph Wiseman

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Bond is called in to investigate a mysterious island, suspected of harboring a dangerous weapon. When he gets to the island, he realizes that itís not all as it seems and finds himself face to face with a sociopathic scientist.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Some people have a taste for the older Bond movies and some people donít. I think I fall into the latter category because I didnít grow up with these films and Iíve had to go back and catch them all on DVD or Blu-ray. DR. NO is the ďone that started it allĒ so to speak and to me, its always felt like a pilot to a good TV show; the promise is there, but it doesnít feel very natural.

What still surprises me about the film is the lack of action. Itís something that the subsequent Bond movies have definitely fixed, but this one is really about Bond finding helpless women and taking on outlandish villains. Thatís boring stuff for us after twenty-something Bond films, but at the time, that was new and exciting. I respect that, but without some cool action sequences or witty dialogue, I canít say I enjoyed it.

Itís also funny to go back and watch this 47 years later. We all know Bond is a sexist womanizer, but itís strange to see women portrayed as nothing more than helpless sex objects in the earlier films. I think a little criticism should be heaped on the filmmakers for making everything way too easy for Bond in the earlier films. His opponents go out with one punch and things just happen to become available for him to make his escape. Again, itís all part of the Bond culture, but Iím pretty sure they had professional screenwriters in the 60ís too.

My biggest problem with DR. NO specifically is the fact we have a big setup for a bad ass villain and then we rush through the Bond vs. villain part. I would have liked to have the villain's ruthlessness established earlier and the end fight be more intense. As it was, it felt a little anti-climatic.
THE EXTRAS
Audio Commentary with Terrence Young and members of the cast and crew: This is a hodgepodge of interviews from various cast members and could have easily been broken into a featurette. Iím not the biggest fan of these types of commentaries, but this one wasnít horrible. We get a lot of different opinions and views and there are very few pauses.

007: License to Restore (11:56): When you ask why they havenít brought a film to Blu-ray or DVD, you need to watch this. It does a great job of explaining the intricate process involved with restoring movies. Itís amazing what they did with this, considering where they started.

The Guns of James Bond (5:06): This is a very old documentary with Connery talking about the guns of Bond. Itís fun for nostalgia sake, but not much else.

Premiere Bond: Opening Nights (13:09): You guessed it! This is archive footage of some opening premieres of the film. This is great for anyone that loves watching red carpet footage.

Inside DR. NO (42:10): This is about as extensive a documentary as youíll get about DR. NO. These Inside featurettes are a staple on the Bond releases and theyíre really worth the watch for the films you like. This one takes you from the early days of the Bond character through the evolution of him to the big screen. This is a very good documentary.

Terrance Young: Bond Vivant (17:57): This is one of those fluff pieces where everyone shows up to say how great a person is. Young is credited with starting the Bond movie franchise and molding him into what he turned into. Itís a decent featurette if youíre not familiar with Terrance Young.

DR. NO 1963 Featurette (8:40): This is another old featurette about how great of a choice Connery was for Bond. We get a few comparisons of Connery to the Bond in the novels and some archive footage. Itís a decent, short featurette.

There are some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Iím reviewing several Bond films at the same time and the reoccurring theme is; to each his own. If you have to have all the Bond films, then this Blu-ray is a fantastic addition since DR. NO was the first. However, I donít think it is one that you can watch over and over without getting bored.
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