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2013-06-22: Transfered all of my 2011 "My Year in Music" posts from Facebook.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Superficial Bond Reviews --- #01: Dr. No

* Dr. No opens with that iconic title sequence, and everything seems fine for a while. Then the Underneath the Mango Tree song pops in and ruins the whole experience.
Clearly, it's an attempt to cash in on Harry Belafonte's Day-O (The Banana Boat Song), which is much better. Also, it has nothing to do with the feel of the James Bond experience whatsover - it belongs more in some shitty Elvis movie, where the King muses, glassy-eyed, over some cheap chick he banged "undaneath di mangoe treah".

* Sean Connery is awesome, and handsome enough to warrant a solid, lasting man-crush. The "Bond, James Bond" line doesn't get tired, not when it's delivered like that.

* Bond doesn't even have a car in this movie. He just gets rides everywhere. Also, he doesn't have any gadgets. He does get a new gun, but it looks like a girlie gun, and it doesn't help that he's told "it's good. No, it really is!" or something to that effect: It's still a lame, un-manly gun.

* Thankfully, Connery gets the chance to show Bond's coolness/coldness with the lame-ass gun. "You've had your six." POP! POP! Awesome. If you don't know what I'm talking about, shame on you.

* It doesn't take long before we're presented with some old-school shades of racism. Bond's hired black helper is, of course, a drunken, superstitious simpleton who panics and gets burned alive by a fire-spewing truck doing 3 mph. Oh, well.

* At least Honey Ryder is surprisingly complex. Initial expectations about that other -ism, male chauvinism, is confused by the fact that Ryder is self-sufficient and possesses a lot of knowledge and inner strength. Yeah, she does eventually get captured and needs to be rescued by Prince Bond, but hey - you can't get everything at once.

I haz complexitay

* Bond also gets captured - just because he can't fight worth shit. In Dr. No, all it takes to beat Bond is possessing a pair of fists.
Thankfully, the writer is as dumb as Bond is crap at fighting, because our hero is being held captive in a room that is 40% air duct. The entrance to this duct is guarded by a grate that's rigged to fall apart by itself if you touch it.

* Dr. No himself is also a pretty crappy villain. He's a half-breed, which makes him evil; and has amputated hands, which makes him a freak, and thus even more evil. He fights even worse than Bond, allowing our hero to prevail after an epic, 23-second fight. You should've invested in a henchman, dude.
Thank God Dr. No's hands are operated by the same type of hydraulics that makes the flamethrower car move forward.

* Dr. No's sinister plan is lame enough for me to have forgotten about it already, and that's a shame. The movie is OK, but there's no real sense of danger or urgency. Or real fun. Or epicness (?). Or drama. Or depth of character.
I'd call Dr. No a fair attempt at something that might be cool some day.
At least, they got the casting right.

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