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 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!
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
The James Bond series of films has been such a huge part of the last 50 years that it is hard to imagine the time before they existed. Dr No is the first of the films which introduced Sean Connery to the world as the suave yet ruthless secret agent. Look at other films from the same era, and you will see what a change this was, signalling a very new type of British thriller.
Connery here presents us with a Bond much closer to the Ian Fleming's creation than any of his later incarnations. A cold, ruthless machine most of the time, with an eye for danger, a talent for self preservation. He uses cutting one liners and a taste for beautiful ladies as a mask to hide his true self, but every now and then someone breaks through, and he can be a man of compassion. Connery imbues the character with a huge amount of charm and grace, qualities which have made Bond endure for such a long time.
In this first film Bond is sent to the Carribean to investigate some mysterious disappearances, and soon finds himself enmeshed in a plot from a new criminal organisation called SPECTRE to hold the world to ransom. It's thrilling stuff, as we watch him slowly tease at the threads of the mystery, leading up to the thrilling denouement as Bond, aided by the stunning Ursula Andress, confronts the mysterious Dr No in his secret lair.
This ultimate edition really is the best version of the film I have owned. The picture has been lovingly restored and cleaned up, and looks amazing. Really, I am not just saying that. It looks superb. The sound has been similarly treated and there is an option to listen to it in 5.1 DTS surround, which is truly exceptional.
As well as the superb presentation of the film, there is also a host of extras, original trailers, informative audio commentaries and the such. These are exhaustive and some of them quite interesting, especially the film detailing the restoration of the film. But these really a garnish for the main course, which is the film itself.
This is an excellent release, and does this classic film justice. This series of `Ultimate editions' really sets the standard for film releases. It really does not get any better.
Should historians in a future millennium wonder what came first in the evolution of the 007 films, the gadgets or the Bond Babes, then DR. NO will provide the answer.
This first James Bond film has a young and raw Sean Connery in the title role as the British superagent tasked with thwarting the evil Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman), who plots to destroy an early, American, manned rocket launch - the Mercury program for you children - from his overbuilt hideout on a Caribbean island.
For the record, James carries no gadgets to make life easier. There is, however, Bond Babe Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) fetchingly but barely contained in a bikini as she emerges from the surf. The various manifestations of the Commander will not see anything so stunning until Halle Berry jiggles onto the sand in DIE ANOTHER DAY (2002).
Wiseman as the villain inspires only yawns. A youthful Jack Lord from his pre-HAWAII FIVE-O days is unnecessary as the local CIA company man. All of Ursula is spectacular, but, since acting obviously wasn't a requirement, she doesn't have to do much more than wet down her scanty costumes as a warm-up for her 1965 "Playboy" pictorial.
Compared to any of the recent FX-laden Bond epics starring Pierce Brosnan, DR. NO is almost boring. But Sean Connery has been, and always will be, the pre-eminent 007. So, this film is more fairly compared to GOLDFINGER, perhaps the classic representative of the series, also starring the magnificent Scotsman. Thus, four stars instead of the three it deserves in a larger world view.
on 8 June 2010
Dr. No was the start of the mega-franchise that would become James Bond. While the film is good, I actually prefer the book. But for this review I will focus mostly on this Blu-Ray edition.
First I actually own this one on DVD (single disc version) and I did a side-by-side comparison and what a huge improvement the Blu-Ray edition was. The picture was crispy and full of life, while the DVD looked rather muddy. It is also nice to have it presented in the original ratio of 1.66:1 rather than having it in 1.78:1. While picture did have a bit of grain, it was very natural and given for a film like this. The sound of the dialogue was lacking, but that was more because of the source material, rather than the restoration. The music however was booming out of the speakers and being very alive.
While the commentary is a bit lacking, being made from interviews it makes up for it in the documentaries. All of the ones included on set are of top-notch quality, with great interviews. I don't mind these not having been changed, as they remain as great today. As there is not much to add I don't feel that they would have needed more new material.
All in all I highly recommend stepping up with this collection!
In one word - Fantastic!
You want more than one word? OK
This is the first Bond movie, the defining moment of the 007 franchise and a special moment in cinematic history! At a time when travel was open to only a few, 007 could take the cinema going public to exciting and exotic locations - to Jamaica where they too could feel the soft white sand between their toes. The women now had a sexy new hero who they could imagine was rescuing them instead of Honey. The men could imagine being the man himself, travelling far and wide, risking life and limb to save the world!
These are the things that make the Bond franchise so appealing to the public even today. It's escapist fun at its best.
Put it in the DVD player and drift off across a beautiful blue ocean to the strains of ...
"Underneath the mango tree me honey and me..."
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 25 November 2013
Dr No, the first and one of the very best James Bond movies was released in 1962, and was filmed in London and in Jamaica.
The film begins with the entrance of three blind Jamaican beggars, who shoot a British diplomatic official, before brutally murdering a young British secretary, operating the switchboard at British intelligence in Jamaica.
This sets the scene for a violent battle between British Secret Service and the mysterious forces who have committed these horrible murders.
Enter British agent James Bond, played by the irrepressible Sean Connery, who won immediate fame in this role, setting the stage for forthcoming Bond performances, who must go to pre-independence Jamaica to find out who is behind this all and stop them!
A rollicking adventure of action and intrigue follows, with Bond foiling the minions of the crime syndicate SPECTRE, which include a leggy Chinese siren, who invites Bond up to her apartment in Jamaica's Blue Mountains, while planning various lethal traps, and the perfidious Professor Dent, who learns that trying to kill 007, can be fatal to your health!
The character Professor Dent, a seemingly mild academic, who is in reality a cold-blooded killer, is certainly not hard to fathom, given the plethora in the next 40 years of left-wing academics, who glorify terrorism and genocide!
The climax of the movie comes with the entrance of the absolutely gorgeous Honey Ryder, played by the exquisite bikini clad Swiss actress, Ursula Andress. Who can deny that Ursula was one of the 20th centuries sexiest actresses, after watching her waltz around the deserted Caribbean beach setting , in a skimpy bikini , showing off her perfect golden body , with a face of the sweetest innocence!
Bond, together with Honey, and the ill-fated Jamaican colleague Quarrel, must battle SPECTRE's private army, including a diesel run, fire spitting metallic dragon, before being captured and being brought into the underwater compound of Dr NO (Joseph Wiseman), who suavely explains to Bond his plans for world domination. Bond must foil Dr NO's plans of international sabotage, and rescue Honey in a way only 007 can do.
Set in location in London and Jamaica.
Hard to believe now, but on its first release the film that started it all was sold as much on the scenery as anything else. In the days before foreign package holidays really took off, the glamorous locations gave the low-budget film an exotic look that helps hide some of its limitations.
Terence Young, Cubby Broccoli and co-writer Richard Maibaum had all previously worked together on the Alan Ladd starrer The Red Beret - indeed, many of the Bond regulars had worked on Broccoli's fairly undistinguished British pictures - and at times the initial uncertainty of tone is noticeable, with the film occasionally threatening to turn into a predictable British `quota quickie' at times. Young's direction of some of the early scenes is, it must be said, rather ham-handed - indeed, turn down the colour and you could be watching an early episode of The Saint. You can even see the arc lights reflected on the paintwork of the getaway car at (something that would become one of the series less recognised trademarks in the Connery years!).
Its attitude to the black characters is also rather less than enlightened - not just Bond treating Quarrel like a houseboy ("Fetch me my slippers, Quarrel.") but also the way John Kitzmiller is required to turn into Stepinfetchit in the `dragon' scene. Considering British films' strong record on tackling racial issues in the 50s and 60s up to the sixties, this may possibly be attributable to the fact that the Bond films, while British, were always produced by an American and a Canadian: certainly Hollywood was somewhat lagging behind British cinema on the race relations front at the time. But if you can ignore that, there's much to enjoy: Connery introducing himself with the immortal "Bond, James Bond" for the first time and Joseph Wiseman's superb villain's equally memorable entrance ("One million dollars, Mr Bond."); Ursula Andress emerging from the sea; the spooky Sisters Rose and Lily; and some good action scenes.
The film also has a darker tone than any its successors until Casino Royale. Bond is quite cold blooded in a way he never was again during Broccoli Sr and Saltzman's watch, be it sleeping with a girl while he waits for the police to arrest her or waiting for Dent to empty his gun before killing him ("That's a Smith and Wesson and you've had your six."). Similarly, Honey is not above the use of a Black Widow spider on those who have wronged her ("It took him a whole week to die," she tells Bond matter-of-factly).
Sadly, while pitched as the `Ultimate Edition,' the transfer on the repackaged two-disc DVD edition is still problematic. The picture quality is certainly improved over the original single-disc issue, but rather than the original British 1.66:1 ratio, it's presented in the cropped 1.85:1. There aren't many new features - featurettes on restoring the films, the premiere and a 1964 archive featurette `The Guns of James Bond.' Most of the features from the original release have been carried over (with the exception of a double-bill trailer which can be found on the From Russia With Love Ultimate Edition), though accessing the film is more laborious than it needs to be as you work your way through logos, promos, dull but unskippable `set' menus that take you to another menu that take you to a sub-menu that take you to another logo and not one but two copyright warnings before you can get anywhere near the film or a special feature (a feature on all the Ultimate Editions, as are the poorly designed, slow and far too small stills galleries). By the time you've gone through all that, you'll feel like Jack Lemmon in The Apartment. So, not quite the ultimate presentation...
Much better is the Blu-ray release, which offers all the same extras and a superb transfer - which you still have to work through a lot of menus and warnings to get through - though only the Region A-locked US release offers the original mono English soundtrack.