29/01/2011

BlogalongaBond: Dr. No (1962)

Along with some other mentalists with too much time on their hands, I have agreed to take part in The Incredible Suit's 22 month Bond challenge. Luckily this will cost me nothing as my father is a big Bond fan and has all the DVDs in one handy, sleek 007 briefcase. I'm not joking:

BADABING!

January's film is Dr. No and since I like to break things up because I'm too lazy to write a proper, coherent review, I'll be partaking in this crazy scheme like so:

The Intro


This is a bit weird, isn't it? Because it's the first film the intros we're used to have yet to be established but this intro complete with dancing ladies and three blind men is a slight indication of what will come. The use of some classic calypso is a nice touch even if it doesn't entirely mesh with the classic Bond theme. Speaking of which...

The Music

Unfortunately there is no sign of a glamorous DEVAH singing the theme song (soon my pretties) so we'll have to make do with Monty Norman's theme and John Barry's jazzy arrangement. Bond's introduction is met with the unmistakable "Dum di-di dum dum" and no matter how many times I hear it, it's still spine-tingly awesome. Elsewhere I particularly enjoyed the score syncing up with Bond beating the shit out of a spider. Way to hype up the action there, Barry.

The Baddie
You have to wait over an hour before you get a glimpse of the illustrious Dr. No and even though his metal hands and crazy scientist reputation make an intriguing antagonist, his name is Julius. JULIUS. No amount of mystery can make up for that.

The Girl
Fuck Halle Berry.

The Bond
Unsurprisingly, the producers had a bloody great nightmare casting an actor to portray Ian Fleming's iconic character. They went from Cary Grant to Patrick McGoohan to Richard Todd before eventually seeing the light and casting the 30 year old, incomparable sex machine that is Sean Connery. I've never read the books but if Fleming intended to have his creation be the kind of man who wears a suit on a Jamaican beach and has eyes trail him wherever he goes, he must have been ecstatic with the final product. Connery's Bond has such charm and instant gravitas that you needn't question his effect on mere mortals nor his oh-so-slightly rapey behaviour towards some ladies. Future Bonds, this is what you have to match up to. Good luck.

In Conclusion

I enjoyed Dr. No but it didn't feel like a Bond film. Much like the first instalment in a series of comic book adaptations this is all about establishing so future films can go crazy with exploding pens and invisible cars and shit, but I felt it was a bit slight and uninteresting. Still, watching The Connery saunter around like his shit don't stink is always an enjoyable experience. 

Next Month

From Russia With Love; I've never seen it and am hoping it matches up to Matt Munro's theme song which several friends have a tendency to sing in the shower.