Monthly Archives: February 2013

License to Watch – Dr No (1962)

Dr No PosterI was one of the primary instigators of the whole License to Watch project, having not really seen any of the older Bond movies. Really, I’ve only seen in full the films from Timothy Dalton onwards. I admit to have no small amount of trepidation going into Dr No, but I was pleasantly surprised. I expected this to be a much more dry, noir cold war type spy film, with none of the goofy Bond trappings that I expect from the later films.

Sean Connery does indeed make an excellent Bond, really encapsulating those qualities when you think of the character, suave, charming, rough around the edges. A rogue. Cool, calm and collected. You can see how his early portrayal here really informed the character going forward.

The 60s setting is great, having that really stylized look and feel that you can only recognize with 50 years of hindsight. The fashion, the hair, everything really sets this apart from the other films I’ve seen and I found it really colorful, something I wasn’t expecting.

I was involved with the story too. I figured there would be some espionage plot twists but I was really engaged, moving forward with the story waiting to see where it was going next, and I was pleasantly surprised to see it end up with a secret underground island lair, henchmen, escapes through air ducts (that inexplicably contain electrified grates (but only some), rushing water AND heated panels) and atomic power used for nefarious purposes by an evil doctor, in a poorly thought out plan for… something. I never imagined that was all there from the very first film. I figured it only emerged with the later, sillier Roger Moore films.

Ursula Andres - Yowsa!And of course you can’t go past the first Bond girl of them all, Honey Ryder played by Ursula Andress. In that bikini, wow. If I’d seen this as a kid, she definitely would have been my first celebrity crush.

I really really enjoyed this flick. I have read this is one of the better early Bond films, but if the next few are even halfway as enjoyable as this, I figure I’m in for a great time.

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Books (#52Blogs)

This is all very stream of conscious stuff, so please don’t judge me too harshly. 🙂

Right from when I could read I always had a book in my hand or my bag. I used to love going to bed at night, not just because I love my bed and everything it stands for, but it meant that I could read to my hearts content.

Mum tried for a while to get me to go to sleep at lights out, but she gave up eventually and figured at least I was doing something productive. It still didn’t stop me reading under the covers with a torch just for the hell of it.

Like most kids I used to order heaps of books from the school book club and I practically lived in the library. Soon though the goods on offer weren’t enough and I started to get Mum to order me more mature books from the mail order catalogs. That’s where Mum and I realized we had a shared interest in books about serial killers and true crime. I was reading books by Robert Ressler and John Douglas when I was 10.

This isn’t to say that I’m special or anything. I’m not really that bright, and I’m certainly no academic. But if I have an interest in a subject, I will read voraciously everything I can find. The invention of the Internet and Wikipedia has been a godsend for me.

Sadly as I’ve grown older, my reading habits have gotten rather stale. It’s not very often these days I sit down and just read. I guess i just got caught up reading text books for school and other things for work, that reading something just for the sheer hell of it fell by the wayside.

Last year I was heavily invested in the Hunger Games trilogy, and it was a real joy to be reading a book at two in the morning and STILL not want to put it down. I’m trying to get back into that habit, even if its just 10 minutes at the end of the day in bed. Typically though, I usually use that time to catch up on Twitter or Facebook. I really have to be more disciplined and put down the iDevices.

I guess my early love of books is also the genesis for my love of bookbinding. I was captivated by the game Myst when it came out, because even though it was on a computer and graphical, it was all about how magical books were. How they could (literally) transport you to new and fantastic places and adventures. When the expanded D’ni universe developed, I gravitated towards the Guild of Bookmakers.

Bookbinding is quite an involved process (to do it right) involving quite a few specialized tools, not to mention the scarcity of said tools and materials these days, which is the main reason why I’ve never actually gotten around to attempting it myself. I figure one day I will get my act together and try it for real.

After that, EVERYONE is getting journals and photo albums for Christmas, Birthdays, Bar Mitzvahs, Christenings and Funerals.

Special (#52Blogs)

This week has been pretty special for me. Not because I had a birthday or some meaningful anniversary. It was special because I have friends who I love, and who wanted to hang out with me.

For someone whose brain is usually screaming at them that everyone hates them and that they should just crawl into a hole and disappear, yeah that’s a pretty special feeling.