Dr. No

Dr No

Back in 1991, the Criterion Collection released the three earliest James Bond movies on laserdisc: Dr. No, From Russia with Love, and Goldfinger. Like any Criterion release, these laserdiscs were flush with special features, including an assembled commentary track for each film hosted by Bruce Eder. However, shortly after the release, EON Productions requested that the company recall all the unsold product. The discs were re-released without the special features, including those commentary tracks. Once MGM released their own DVDs of the Bond films, they had installed their own commentaries. There has been a lot of speculation as to why these commentaries were banned from the marketplace (including possible inflammatory language used, unsavory stories that might be considered offensive to parties involved and releasing sensitive production information). However, now thanks to the magic of the Internet, you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars and secure an old laserdisc player to listen to the commentaries. They can be found in various places for download. Rather than listening to the “approved” commentary from the Dr. No DVD release, here’s a look into the commentary that EON didn’t want you to hear.

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“You got your robotic exoskeleton on my human brain!” “You got your human brain in my robotic exoskeleton!” Like the peanut butter cups of yore, cyborgs have always had a little bit of that best-of-both-worlds quality. They think and feel like we humans do. Their emotions are genuine. Yet they also have the ability to act on those emotions with their crude and powerful robot strength, making it all the more necessary that a cyborg’s human parts are in tip-top psychological shape. It’s here where the root of the cyborg lies — the inclusion of machine parts, which are neither good nor bad and act without motive, strengthens our human characteristics beyond the realm of human potential. A courageous character, upon becoming a cyborg, becomes an unstoppable superhero; a lawful one becomes a pillar of robo-justice; an unpleasant one becomes our worst nightmare. And in honor of one of cinema’s most famous cyborgs, a certain robot cop who’s getting a gritty new remake this weekend, let’s take a look at how cinematic cyborgs first came to be.

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The James Bond Files

After wading through the MGM bankruptcy hiatus, pre-production, principal photography, marketing and release anticipation, the latest James Bond adventure is finally upon us. (If you live outside of the U.S., there’s actually a good chance that this wait ended a week or two ago, but we’ll let that go.) Skyfall hits theaters early in IMAX on November 8 and then in wide theatrical release on November 9. Now you have a chance to finally see the brand new, completely original Bond. Sort of. One of the great things about Bond movies is they have a certain level of familiarity. If made well, you can expect some common elements that make it feel like a quintessential Bond film. Sure, we all like originality, but you can trust almost any James Bond film to cover familiar territory. Here’s a James Bond history lesson and how it relates to the upcoming film.

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Bond 50 Blu-ray

James Bond has been outwitting bad guys and bedding the ladies onscreen for half a century, and even as the films’ tones, quality and lead actors fluctuated the character of Bond has remained an icon of cinema. Six actors have played him across twenty two films, and there are folks who champion each and every one of them. The key to calling a favorite seems to depend on which ones you saw first and at what age as well as your individual constitution for puns, crazy action sequences, talkative villains and films ending with lifeboats floating at sea. For the record, before digging into this set and watching all 22 films Daniel Craig was my favorite Bond and Casino Royale my favorite Bond movie. But also for the record? I quickly came to realize I had only seen a fraction of the Bond films. One of 2012’s biggest and most anticipated Blu-ray sets is Bond 50 which celebrates fifty years of Bond with special feature-filled Blu-rays for each film. Most have already seen HD releases, but the set includes Blu debuts of You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds are Forever, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies. The set breaks the 22 films into two halves, twelve from 1962-1981 and ten 1983-2012, each in their own sturdy book. Due to the sheer volume of material this Disc Spotlight will be broken into two halves […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the calm, both before and after the storm. It’s the thing that keeps you warm just before you slip into a night’s slumber. It’s the movie news, editorial links, audio-visual stimuli that you yearn for all day long. It’s the alpha and the omega of what’s happening in the world of entertainment news. It’s also quite playful. We begin tonight with a new shot of Bruce Willis in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, in which he plays Joe Colton, the original G.I. Joe. It’s hard to argue with the facts: that man knows how to look cool holding a gun, even if the gun in the hands of Adrianne Palicki (seen behind him) is far more badass.

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If I could finish that time machine taking up space in my guest room to travel back to visit college-aged Gwen I think the first thing I would tell her would be to take more notes in her Film Studies classes. Remarkably she would need them nearly five years later. All those hours spent in the dusty, haunted film book section of the library stacks devouring the almost forgotten tomes detailing women’s objectification in cinema, the battle between art and pornography, and the influence of 1960s era sexploitation films on modern day moviemaking would definitely not be for naught. I still have vivid memories of discovering there were in fact sexy movies being made before 1970, and they were considered treasured celluloid artifacts. In 1966 the previously used American rating standard known as the Hays Code was traded out in favor of the industry-wide rating system we now know. While the studios got used to this new form of self-governing rather than censoring, many controversial films passed through to receive national distribution. Audiences could now attend sexual charged films just as easily as they could a family-friendly picture. By the time the rating system really got its legs in the late 1960s to early 70s it was too late. The country had had a taste of something always featured off-screen, and they wanted more. In the coming weeks I’m going to explore each decade’s contribution to modern-day exploration of sex on screen. I chose to start in the middle, mostly […]

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. John Barry passed away yesterday. One of the best film composers of all time, he was hailed as a classically-rooted but diverse talent that won a few Oscars and composed his themes into the minds of movie fans everywhere. Today’s trailer is from one such movie, and it’s not hard to guess which one. It’s Bond, baby. James Bond. In his very first outing, no less. Think you know what it is? Check the trailer out for yourself:

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7 Days of 007: Bond on Blu-ray

Six James Bond movies, all six in High Definition — how could that go wrong? We begin our soon to be epic ‘7 Days of 007′ feature with a look at Bond on Blu-ray, a winning combination.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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