1.29.2011

Bond. James Bond.

DR. NO (1962)
The extraordinarily inventive Dr. No title page.
It's official. Despite the fact that MGM is apparently full of pussies with empty pockets, James Bond WILL return. Bond 23 has been on hold for a while now, but now they're saying he'll come back in true blonde form in November 2012. All of 22 months from now. I'll let that sink in. 22 months...22 current Bond movies...great Scott!!! The Incredible Suit put two and two together and came up with the BlogalongaBond, which is something that should not be attempted to say five times fast. In short, you have to do something related to the Bond film of the month every month until Bond 23 is finally released. Be still, my beating heart. And so, I have recklessly thrown myself into the Bond foray, albeit at the very tail end of January, starting this year off with the classic...Dr. No

The official definition runs like this: In the film that launched the James Bond saga, 007 (Sean Connery) battles the mysterious Dr. No, a scientific genius bent on destroying the U.S. space program. Bond travels to Jamaica where he encounters the beautiful Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) and confronts the megalomaniac in his evil island lair. Great! I wasn't aware James Bond movies actually had a legitimate plot, so I'm glad we've got that out of the way. 

The film starts off with the epic first-time-ever Bond walk, turn and...shoot the audience! And then...a bunch of multicolored sillouhettes dancing to Congo music lead by a very literal interpretation of Three Blind Mice? Alright, doesn't really jive, but I'll run with it. After all, what's more amusing then three blind black guys ambling through the--Oh my god, they just killed Kenny shot a posh man! Aaand we're on. Probably one of the few Bond movies to start without 007 leaping into action at the very last second and killing everyone in sight. 

In fact, the first time we see Bond, he's beating some hot lady out of all of her money due one "lucky hand" after another. And the second he says his name, it's like everyone knows this iconic moment will go down in cinematic history. The Bond theme goes on, he's got that suave smirk planted on his lips, and says, simply: "Bond, James Bond." On with the show.

Setting the standards of Bond Girl Glory. 
James Bond: One of the great things about Sean Connery as Bond in Dr. No is that he's...quite a legitimate spy. I know, he doesn't have Q in this movie, and for that we all cry tears of sadness, however, in place of his wacky gadgets, he actually uses his brain. Imagine! He has all these nifty little tricks, like sticking a piece of his hair horizontal over the center of a door, so he'll know if it's been open. Small little things that remind us that he's in this business for reason, rather than just being an ape with a bunch of toys that make that BOOM sound. The few gadgets he does have, he forms an actually attachment to rather than throwing them around and breaking them for the fun of it. He has a pretty lengthy conversation in the beginning with M. in which he does his best to keep his Beretta close to him, despite his bosses command to lose the pussy gun.

Characters: Lois Maxwell took on the role of Miss Moneypenny for 14 of the Bond films, which has to be some sort of record. I think it's safe to say she brought Miss Moneypenny up from nothing and defined her into the iconic figure she is today, batting her eyelashes and swooning in Bond's presence. However, unlike some of the later Moneypenny's, Lois Maxwell has the endearing quality of being able to keep her shit together. She enjoys swooning over Bond, sure, but she's not going to melt in a puddle on the floor right away, she is also able to match his quips in a witty enough manner that he seems to quite enjoy playing these games just as much as she does. Which gives her characters slightly more dignity than most of the other actresses give her (I'm looking at you, embarrassing virtual reality scene in Die Another Day).

Let's face it. Felix Leiter is kind of a ponce. We have a different Leiter almost every movie, none of them seem to last very long. David Hedison made it into both Live And Let Die (1973) and Licence To Kill (1989), and now Jeffery Wright has finally sunken his hooks into the recent films. But as for Dr. No, all Leiter really does is strut around in his tan suit and act a little too sickeningly suave. C'mon, Leiter. Come out of the closet time.

Bond girls: Hot woman Bond got to play cards with and subsequently sleep with. Check. White woman/woman of Asian decent who was also a henchwoman. Relatively hot, even though she looked a little confused about where her home country might be. Then, there's Honey Ryder herself. She's blonde, she's stupid, she has a couple gems of "local knowledge" which are supposed to make her useful to the plot. But really, she's just there to...well. Sing and pick shells wearing nothing but a bikini.

Sean Connery and Ursula Andress on the set.
Villains: We had a couple weak henchmen to start off with. First there was "the man from the car service" who I actually kind of appreciated in that "he's not really a henchman, he's just some terrified dude Bond gets to beat up" type of way. Plus, he has a cyanide cigarette, which was kind of awesome. Then we had Dr. Dent, who didn't really do anything but continually fuck up. The only good thing about him, really, was the fact that he got to sweat in an interrogation room and as he told Dr. No what a loser he was. But Dr. No...for the few minutes he is in the movie, is actually rather badass. Played by the stoney Joseph Wiseman, who is merciless, calculating, and...handless? Yes, he has insane machine hands that can crush just about anything. Now we're talking.

Most badass moment: The slightly fucktarded dragon tank? I'm really not sure. Holy fuck. I take it back. The "decontamination" of Honey Ryder, which is just an excuse to get both her and Bond to strip and shower. Yes. It is good.

Most ridiculous moment: Bond can kill enemies with a single shot, but it takes him at least four smacks of his shoe to kill a spider. Only tied with the fact that, while in Dr. No's custody, James Bond takes measures to warn Honey Ryder about the fact that the room would probably be bugged for sound, but doesn't think that the tea could be...you know. Drugged. Way to go.

Quotes: The humorous one-liners aren't really what Dr. No is about. After all, this is the first James Bond movie, and he hasn't quite made enough of a name for himself to actually be campy yet. Bond takes himself rather seriously as he cooly collects evidence and dispatches the villains. Nonetheless, there were still a few snippy Bond remarks here and there, and here are a couple of my favorites:

Miss Moneypenny: "You've never taken me to dinner looking like this. You've never taken me to dinner."
Bond: "I would, you know. Only M. would have me court-martialed for...illegal use of government property."
Miss Moneypenny: "Flattery will get you nowhere--but don't stop trying."

Bond: "I hope he cooks better than he fights."
Puss Feller: "Well, no one died from my cooking...yet."

Miss Taro: "I'll just go put some clothes on."
Bond: "Oh, don't go through any trouble on my account."

Bond: "That's a Smith & Wesson, and you've had your six."

Honey Ryder: "Are you looking for shells too?"
Bond: "No, I'm just looking."

5 comments:

  1. Great rundown. Dr. No still ranks as one of my favorite and most memorable Bond films. I always anticipate the spike TV Bond marathon during thanksgiving time each year, just so I can re-watch Bond in his classic form. Connery was the best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
  2. Thanks! Dr. No is really very badass, and very unique in the scheme of the Bond series. And I don't think I've ever met anyone who's disagreed that Connery kicks some serious ass as Bond. The Thanksgiving Spike TV Bond marathon is definitely one of my favorite times of year, which is why my world was thrown upside down when Spike wasn't hosting the Bond marathon this last Thanksgiving. WTF. Luckily, some other channel picked it up. Bond is impossible to kill off, period.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Vaporfi is the highest quality electronic cigarettes provider.

    ReplyDelete

Every time you leave a comment, Chuck Norris sneezes and creates a new solar system.