Category Archives: Props and Collectibles

Dr. No: a DVD review

Dr. No was reviewed using a DVD player equipped with a Dolby Pro-Logic Surround Sound system. Bonus DVD Features: Digital VideoDiscs (DVD) offer creators the chance to include bonus features impossible to implement on videocassette. These features include multiple spoken soundtracks, production notes and movie trailers. It seems natural that a Bond title would be full of hidden gadgets like these!

All of MGM`s 007 titles to date were released with both wide screen and reduced “pan and scan” formats. Differences between them are like comparing James Bond 007 to Dean Martin as Matt Helm. One has a lot more treasures inside than the other does for the spy fan. Wide screen, of course, presents all the panoramic views and action on the sides of the frame, which the director originally intended to be seen. Pan and scan is a byproduct of watching films formatted to fit onto squared television screens.

Dr. No has been digitally remastered through THX. In a way, this seems odd. The movie was originally recorded in mono audio output so this DVD unfortunately is constricted to mono as well. There is no “audio surround” to the new release but to justify the re-master, however, all you need is to look at the ultra-crisp video quality. There is no grainy texture to the new print whatsoever! For the truest comparison, watch a scene from the movie then watch the added trailer, which has not been retouched. Not bad digital work on your screen for a 37-year old film!

“No” features three language tracks; French, Spanish and (thank goodness!) English. The foreign language tracks are handled better in Dr. No than in Moonraker, for example. All background speech has been translated (as far as I can tell!)! Subtitles toggle on and off with ease also. No spelling errors this time! (More than may be said for DVDs from another manufacturer.)

My favorite bonus of a Bond DVD is always the theatrical trailers section. The first Bond I remember in the theatre was “A View To A Kill” so I have seen numerous trailers in the DVD releases for the first time. The “Dr. No” trailer is most interesting with the voiceover performed by Connery himself, who outlines the plot and giving this trailer a “debriefing” feel. (I would contend that the other best was Pierce Brosnan`s teaser for GoldenEye.)

Once again, however, DVD “Direct Access to Bond Gadgets” leaves a sour taste. It does an admirable job demonstrating DVD format but grows tiresome quickly. The best use I can think of for this section is for quick settlement of trivia disputes, but even then…“No” also provides a montage entitled “007`s Greatest Moments”. As could be expected, some of the greatest escapes from all the Bonds are showcased splendidly here. MGM did a top-notch job with this section, even letting less knowledgeable fans see subtitles, identifying all the clips for trivia buffs.

The “Film Trivia” section includes items of interest about the origins of James Bond’s name and where “007” may have been derived from. If you can’t afford the DVD release, let me tell you that this corker says that Fleming saw the “007 bus line” outside a window from his home in Jamaica! The limited trivia section is still an interesting disc bonus. In summary, Dr. No is a very strong showing from MGM. The mono-only audio is disappointing but does not reflect on an otherwise superb effort. A very worthy addition to your DVD collection, 007!

Buy Daniel Craig’s Tuxedo — Wear It!

A fundraising gala for Britain’s National Film and Television School on June 17 features Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale tuxedo–it’s fitted (!)–and a proof of the first Harry Potter novel signed by author JK Rowling and more.

Celebrities expected to attend the auction include Hugh “Almost Bond Before He Blew It” Grant, Stephen “Should Be A Darn Funny Villain” Fry, Rowan “Did You See Me In NSNA?” Atkinson and more.

The question is, what would you most likely do with Craig’s tux?

1) Wear it!

2) Closet it!

3) Be buried in it!

Collectibles for Little

A pal is looking to sell a collection of hundreds of James Bond memorabilia items for just a few hundred dollars in total! An item separate from the pack is a selection of 8 celluloid clippings from THE SPY WHO LOVED ME through FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. A projectionist had to manually splice the clippings together and these splice remainders represent 1/24th of a second of real Bond film. These are truly one of a kind as no two projectionists splice in the same spot. I guarantee you don’t have these so write in soon.

Write Craig Chenery for more at Craigchenery@cox.net.

Bond Bazaar

Got together with some pals to place about 20 Bond lots on eBay for my 3rd annual Bond Bay Blast. Besides putting movie quotes and some gags with each item, we posted some good stuff…

..Items starting at $0.99 US.

..TOMORROW NEVER DIES Cell Phone Prop

..Sellers’ banned edition with Ian Fleming correspondence

..All 11 variant British Book Clubs, all 6 Sniper Cover Gardner Novels

..Piracy novels, 24 different Bond movie chips, Avakum Zakhov, ultra-rare martini bottles and shaker, DeVoe’s Into The Volcano, etc., etc.

Visit http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/spyevents to see all the listings on one page. And do please buy some stuff soon so we can afford some brand new Quantum of Solace collectibles!

“Doubleshot” Helps Benefit Charity

A James Bond adventure trip is being auctioned at The Bridge Youth and Family Service event titled “We Believe in Magic.”

The fund- raiser set for 6 p.m. to midnight March 11 at the Chaumburg Regency Woodfield, 1800 Golf Road, Chicago IL. Raymond Benson, a Buffalo Grove author of the latest set of James Bond novels is married to The Bridge`s Development Director Randi Frank. While researching his latest book, due out in June, called “Doubleshot,” the couple did research on location in the south of Spain.

Now the Bridge is re-creating that trip to raise funds for an auction. Tickets to the event, which feature three magicians, are $125. Tickets for the auction are $100. Proceeds from the event help the counseling center`s operations. The not-for-profit center helps youths and their families. The trip includes a six-night stay with breakfast for two at the Hotel Puente Romano, a five-star Grand Luxe hotel in Marbella, Spain. Located in the Mediterranean, the resort hotel offers a beach club with jet skis, water-skiing, and wind surfing; a tennis club and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

There are also more than 30 golf courses. The winners will also have the chance to visit the Spanish locations of the next 007 novel, being published by Putnam. To order tickets to the magical dinner dance, call Frank at The Bridge at (847) 359-7490.