on 31 October 2008
I have had to make do with watching the "old-style" Bond movies (pre Casino Royale) on ITV and ITV2 for quite a few years now. And after all these years it slowly became apparent that this is what the Bond films seemed to have been relegated to - the "nothing else is on TV so I might as well" genre. Indeed, when Casino Royale came out it just seem to compound this feeling of the old films being nearly B-grade in terms of picture quality and farcical in action sequences.
However, this Blu Ray release of Dr. No seems to have breathed new life into the actual quality of the film. It was fantastic. It felt like Bond belonged on the big screen again. The range, saturation and vividity of the colours really stood out as did how clean and sharp the image was. Video bitrate was consistently between 30-35Mbps. Motion was also smooth which always helps iron out the creases in dated action sequences. A look at the 10 min special feature of how they created a 4K restoration of the film demonstrates well the care they put into improving the quality of this film.
One of the guys who worked on the restoration puts it well "the film now [nearly] looks like it was set in the sixties rather than made in it"
Having only rented it from Lovefilm for now, if the other Bond Blu rays appear this good, it might soon be time to finally permanently add Mr. Bond to the home film collection. Highly recommended!
on 12 January 2009
That is how much improved the picture is on BLU RAY...You would think it was filmed yesterday...It is that good...
I'm sure if you are on here then you are a fan of the films so i won't spend to much time on the movie itself..
It is the first Bond film..No one knew what was to come so things that are established in future movies are in part missing here if you now what i mean but i think it is a better film for it..
To me the best Bond films are the ones that either stick closley to the original novel(this,FRWL,OHMSS) or indeed try to keep the character as close to how Fleming intended..Connery in his first 4 films did this..Lazenby,Dalton and Craig also keep true to how the character was written..
Connery nails Bond from the very first attempt and in part this is down to the director Terence Young for the stly and pace of the film...Connery's Bond is indeed a killer..he has that air about hi,..that danger element that sadly disappers as each film rolls on..
So the BLU RAY...well what can i say..Wonderful...The casino scene at the start i almost felt like i was sitting at the table with them...the smoke almost fills my room when Bond has a cigarette..you can tell that Sean had his nails done as they are clean as a button...
This is really what it must have been like watching it when it was first released back in 1962..
Roll on the next batch of films on blu ray....
on 12 March 2009
Easy, let's not get too carried away! If you already own the Ultimate Edition DVD of Dr No & have watched it upscaled to 1080p, then IMHO you'll not notice much improvement in this Blu-ray disc (BD) version.
Indeed, the often quoted, "The film now looks like it was set in the '60s rather than made in it...", is actually taken from a promo documentary for the remastered 007 Ultimate Edition DVD series (2006); the 007 BDs are sourced from the same restored master tapes.
Compared to the Ultimate Edition DVD, the Dr No BD has slightly richer colours; a bit more detail in faces, clothing material etc; & slightly more depth of field. Also, those with surround sound will be disappointed that the majority of the soundtrack still emanates from the centre speaker. And it's a shame that the car chases & fight scenes are still sped up.
However, if your existing version is the DVD prior to the Ultimate Edition - then you WILL notice a big difference.
If you do want to see/hear a marked improvement from DVD to BD, may I suggest that you checkout the Matrix, Blade Runner or even Casino Royale?
on 2 March 2009
I am not old enough to have seen Dr No at the pictures when it was released way back in 1962, but this blu-ray transfer makes me realise what it must have felt like to see it when first released.
The Blu-ray picture is very impressive, sharpe and vivid. The colours are great and there is little of the noise which has blighted earlier releases.
Personally I first saw Dr No when broadcast on ITV and then on VHS. Both of these were 4:3 and left me feeling less than impressed. Then came the DVD release but again this wasn't up to scratch. But the Blu-ray release has at long last proved satisfying, very satisfying!
on 13 February 2009
I haven't seen a bad word anywhere on the Net or elsewhere regarding the quality of this release, praise has been universal and justly deserved. The image is spectacular; clean, detailed, with vibrant colours, it has even managed to keep a lot of the "warmth" that is sometimes lost during restorations of this type. I know the film quite well, and was shocked when I noticed for the first time ever the blood on Bond's knuckles after he fights with the driver sent to collect him from the airport. You find yourself noticing other little details as you watch, it all adds to a truely cinematic experience.
The sound is also very impressive, and quite a step up from the DVD Ultimate Edition. It has the weight of a modern soundtrack, and the explosion of Dr.No's base has real impact for the first time outside of the cinema, it seems that on Blu-Ray there is very definitely information channeled to the LF speaker. There is subtle use of the surrounds, with good effects steering, although admirably none of this is too over the top for those who may have preferred a presentation in the original mono.
I believe the extras are identical to the Ultimate Edition DVD, which is fine as they are very exhaustive. A lot of the docs have been bumped to HD as well which is nice. I only have one note of concern, and that is with the length of time it takes to load the disk (at least, with my Sony player), it always looks like it's going to fail and spit it out, you just have to have patience, it does get there in the end (although I've read elsewhere that some early players have genuine problems).
Well; for those James Bond fans who were so upset with my Review for `Casino Royale' (even though I must remind them that the purpose of Reviews is not for pleasing those pea-brained idiots who are too stupid to realise it) - compare this rating for the one I gave for that title, which caused such offence to many.
I hadn't seen this Bond movie for years - but what a difference!! This is WAY more exciting than that `crap', so long since I'd seen this I'd forgotten just how much...
Loved the scenes with Anthony Dawson in particular - one of my favourite actors, and one who was grossly underrated. See him in classics such as: `Dial `M' For Murder' and `The Queen Of Spades'. (see my Reviews for those titles too) I also loved the scenes featuring the woman photographer who tries to get shots of Bond. There are also tense and exciting scenes when James is climbing through the tunnel waterways - not forgetting of course the scene featuring the Spider! All this type of thing is far better for me than some forty-five minutes or so of constant and repetitive `action' sequences that have no real meaning at all in order to keep the interest of those who have no more attention span than that of the average Guinea Pig...
When you compare something like these old classics with the modern James Bond movies, it's probably time to give up the series I think... Craig is great as a `Bond', but the stories and scripts are just lousy...
Dr. No is directed by Terence Young and co-adapted to screenplay by Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood & Berkely Mather from the novel of the same name written by Ian Fleming. It stars Sean Connery, Joseph Wiseman, Ursula Andress, Jack Lord & John Kitzmiller. Music is by Monty Norman and cinematography by Ted Moore.
And so it all began here, what was until Harry Potter arrived on the scene, the most successful film franchise in history. James Bond, a name that would become synonymous with suave spies, deranged villains, beautiful women, exotic locations, gadgets, cars and sex. Ian Fleming's James Bond novels were big come the end of 1961, yet producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman met some resistance from studios. It was never plain sailing, even after release the film garnered mixed reviews, but word of mouth and condemnation by the Vatican and the Kremlin propelled it to being one of the surprise hits of 62/63. At the box office it made £60 million Worldwide, this after being made on a budget of only £1 million.
Plot basically sees Connery's Bond flying out to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of agent Strangways (Timothy Moxon). Once there he finds a case of murder is to be investigated and evidence points to the mysterious Dr. No (Wiseman), who resides on Crab Quay island, a place feared by the superstitious locals. Bond must keep his wits about him as he gets closer to the truth, for there are many obstacles in his way and not everyone can be trusted. Cue the suave and athletic Mr. Bond getting involved with lovely ladies, dicing with death, making friends, making enemies and just generally being an all round awesome anti-hero.
SPECTRE: Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion.
There are a number of changes from the book and some censor appeasement was required to get the film a certificate enabling youngsters to see the film with an adult. What Dr. No rounds out as is a jolly good spy/action movie yarn. Some of the hints are there for what would make Bond such a profitable and well loved franchise, but there's no sign of the gadgetry, tricks and japes that would fill out so many of the titles that followed Dr. No. Here Bond is just armed with his Walter PPK 7.65MM pistol, Sunbeam Alpine car and his bravado and nouse.
Some future stalwart characters are given modest introductions (M, Felix Leiter, Monneypenney) and Ursula Andress sets the marker for all future Bond girls to follow. Ted Moore's capturing of the Jamaica location is sumptuous, something that really comes to the fore on the remastered DVD edition of the film. Connery is supremely cool and fearless, the theme tune and gun barrel opening are already in place, and Terence Young, who directs three of the first four Bond movies, keeps it zippy and suspenseful when story gathers up a flame throwing tank, car chases, fights and a quite brilliant tarantula sequence.
Quite a debut, uneven at times as it begins to find its feet, but even if it wasn't the first James Bond movie it would hold up as an entertaining bit of secret agent shenanigans. 7.5/10