Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dr. No

[Originally posted to FB 3-3-13]

Last night, 2 March 2013, I watched my first ever James Bond film . . .

Overall, I was surprisingly underwhelmed by the whole experience.  This is the man whom so many men of a certain era wanted to be like?  I guess he’s sauve and attractive and clever, but really he didn’t seem like all that great a fighter, even weak and kind of inept at moments.  I mean he just takes orders from M (which I know makes sense, he’s supposed to, but I thought he’d give more pushback or something), and he tends to be easily distracted, especially by women (again, to be expected, I suppose).  Perhaps it’s because of my exposure to trailers and clips of future Bond movies or the fact that I watched a couple episodes of Buffy just before the movie, but I was really expecting more from Bond--more power, more ferocity, more something.

Definitely not as much action as we have come to expect from movies today.  I’m going to have to get used to a slower pace and less-impactful action sequences.  

The nuclear energy/reactor storyline is so 1962 awesome.  It is so era appropriate - trying to come to terms with nuclear energy, its benefits and dangers, and having no real understanding of things like fallout and radiation. Oh, and those Geiger counters!  I didn’t completely understand why a British secret agent was trying to prevent a Chinese villain from disrupting an American space ship launch from a Jamaican location, but that didn’t really matter in the end.

My initial thoughts on Sean Connery as James Bond - all I kept thinking was: ‘it’s the Highlander as Don Draper’ - or maybe it’s the other way around? - it was distracting (and, yes, kinda hot), but I’m hoping I’ll get used to it in the next three films.

‘Hmmm. . . they said Dr. No was Chinese, but he doesn’t look very Chinese.’  And then you watch the “making of” documentary and learn that all the Asian characters are actually Caucasian actors with “make-up,” which I know was common back then, but still bothersome.

As to be expected, the women are really just there as helpless playthings for Bond.  There are moments when I think they might be powerful and assertive (esp. Honey - I mean she carries that awesome knife), but they always fall flat and let Bond tell them what to do.  But man, that Ursula Andress is hot.  And I love that women back then are all natural (at least when they're not wearing girdles and all that crazy underwear). 

I really want an excuse to carry around a vintage cigarette case.  I love how sleek and cool they look, but I don’t know what I would carry in it.  I also was in love with the prison/apartment they set Bond and Honey up in on Crab Cay - I really want my future house to have a midcentury modern flair.

It’s amazing how little the Kingston airport and downtown have changed in 45+ years.  The airport in 1962 seriously looks exactly as I remember it when I was there 5 years ago.

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