MGM has really given Dr. No ray treatment.
Again, some of the featurettes didn't seem to do this franchise justice.In Dr. No, James Bond makes his film debut as this character is brought to life by Sean Connery. In this adventure, he finds himself battling the diabolical Dr. No. This man is a brilliant scientist who, for one reason or another, is hell bent on bringing down the U.S. space programme. Amidst all of this are amazing action scenes, suave, slick comments and an interesting look at the way the world was back in 1962.
As I have stated in other reviews, if a person has seen one James Bond movie they have essentially seen them all. We know what is and isn't going to happen with this character. There are very few surprises but that doesn't mean that seeing Connery as Bond in Dr. No isn't a whole lot of fun.
Director Terence Young does the lion-share of the commentary duties here while members of the cast and crew also come on intermittently. Sadly, due to the amount of content on this DVD, I really didn't have the time to go through this commentary like I had wanted to. Again, I don't know if legitimate Bond fans are going to think that what is talked about here is that amazing, I just found that the stories, the anecdotes, and Terence Young's comfortable style to be very enjoyable.
James Bond Featurettes
007: Licence to Restore
Personally, I love restoration featurettes. I feel this way because I can watch a movie if it looks like it was shot on toilet paper or if it was shot with the most amazing, technologically advanced cameras. None of this matters to me because the most important aspect is the story. However, the really cool part was seeing the old and new images side by side. When one considers that this movie is 46 years old, the fact that they have this movie not only on DVD, but looking as good as it does on Blu-ray really says something about the intricacies of this process. Film buffs and anybody interested with the technical aspects of the DVD process will want to check this out.
007 Interactive Guide
Inside Dr. No and Dr. No 1963 Featurette
In this featurette we are taken inside the making of this film. The cast and crew talk about what it was like bringing this movie to the big screen. They discuss the inner workings of the script, how hard it was to pull off certain action sequences, and what it was like to make a film that was the maiden voyage for the franchise. It was an expensive gamble and one that obviously paid off in spades. (This film was made for $1 million in 1962 and it grossed $60 million worldwide!!!) I found this featurette to be extremely well put together.
I put the Dr. No 1963 Featurette in with this review because it was shot when this movie was being made. While it covers different aspects of the production it isn't nearly as in-depth as the Inside Dr. No piece. The featurette from 1963 plays more like an EPK for the film.
Terence Young Featurette
1.66:1 - AVC @ 29 MBPS. This movie looked really sharp on Blu-ray. There is so much action happening on the screen at all times, and this release really goes out of its way to handle it well. I found that the colors were well composed throughout my screening of this DVD, and there was never a moment where this film from 1962 seemed to have a hint of grain. Even though this is a big budget movie and there was a decent amount of restoration for this film (as the restoration featurette shows us), Terence Young and Director of Photography Ted Moore have managed to make the Technicolor look of this film as good as it can be on this disc.
English - DTS HD 5.1 - Master Lossless Audio. English and Spanish mono. French 5.1 Dolby Surround. Subtitled in English and Spanish. The audio on this film is very nicely put together. It would have been nice to have had speakers surrounding me because that would have really engulfed me in the experience of this film. Again, the soundtrack is layered in waves that seem to build and build throughout each notable scene. On top of that, I liked how even the smallest things like a gun shot or a gadget sounded as if they were right next to me.
Sean Connery, brandishing a gun, is presented on this front cover with a Bond babe and the beach behind them. The back cover features some shots from this film (one of which contains Jack Lord!), a brief description of what this movie is about, a Special Features listing, a credits list and technical specs.
Man oh man, was I excited to see that Jack Lord was in this movie. I personally loved him on Hawaii Five-0 and I always wondered why he wasn't a bigger movie star?Perhaps his acting style was more suited to television? Whatever the case, it's just cool to see him in the movie completely holding his own with Sean Connery. While he isn't the star of the movie, he brings a strength to his role that makes Dr. No all the more memorable.
In addition to this, it is very easy to look at Sean Connery now and not remember that he was a big action star at one point. As all good actors do, over the course of his career he seems to have taken the ability to be a strong, tough, sensitive type with a propensity for quick action, and merge that into being a strong, tough, sensitive type who uses words as his actions.
Dr. No is the maiden voyage in this franchise and it really gets showcased with a Blu-ray bang!