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  • For Your Eyes Only (Region 2)

    Posted in: Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on July 21st, 2007

    Overall
    Film
    Video
    Audio
    Extras
    (out of 5)

    Synopsis

    Honestly, the only thing that I remembered from watching For Your Eyes Only was that Sheena Easton sang the title song (qualifying her as probably the most attractive Scotsperson out there) and that there was a sprawling chase scene involving Roger Moore on skis that was cool. But that’s it. And now that I’m wrapping up this long winding once over for all the James Bond Ultimate Edition DVDs and I get a chance to see everything again, it turns out that this film is a pretty good one.

    The film marks a couple of noteworthy occasions, the first being that M, notoriously played by Bernard Lee, had been replaced (Lee died of cancer during the production), and second was that Michael Wilson was taking his place further into being a producer next to father in law Albert Broccoli, and even co-wrote the story with longtime screenwriter Richard Maibaum (his eighth such effort). In this one, Bond investigates the murder of a man who was trying to obtain a message encryption device that was being sought by the Russians as well as the Brits. The man’s daughter (played by Carole Bouquet, Wasabi) attempts to find her own vengeance as well.

    Quite frankly, the story that drives the script is secondary, what’s notable about the film is that Moore’s interpretation of Bond is a bit darker than anything resembling the Bonds he put on for before. He kills in a bit of a cold blooded nature, he is a little bit more soft-spoken and reserved than in other films also. Hell, this film comes after Moonraker, where he was a cheeky comical parody, and he grounds himself dramatically and cinematically. The secondary storyline involving a cutesy late teens figure skater named Bibi Dahl (Lynn-Holly Johnson, Ice Castles) isn’t played for as much laughs either as opposed to other films.

    One other thing that separates For Your Eyes Only from other Bond films with or without Moore is that the action sequences quite frankly are pretty engrossing and suspenseful, and are some of the best in the franchise. The thing that keeps this film from being great is the thing that drives all movies, that storyline. The intent of Wilson and Maibaum appears to be more for character development, and that’s fine, It’s just that there was so much more that could have been done with this and wasn’t. It’s a shame, because untapped potential is the worst thing of all.

    Video

    Hey lookee here, 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen to moderately please the eyes and warm the cuckolds of your heart. The picture looks nice and sharp, and not necessarily reference quality, but it’ll do for a quarter century old film.

    Audio

    The DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks on For Your Eyes Only sound surprisingly good. The first half of the film is among some of the most active I’ve heard for an older pre-Dolby soundtrack, with quite a bit of panning and even some subwoofer activity during the pre-credit sequence. Quite frankly it’s one of the better soundtracks for any of the Bond films out there.

    Special Features

    There seems to be an overall deficit when it comes to extra material on this title, but that’s not judging from the first of this two-disc set. Not only does the Ultimate Edition hold over the two previous commentaries on the film, but a third one (with Moore) has been added. The two older Special Edition commentaries are broken down into cast and crew sections. The first is with Glen and various members of the cast, and the second is with producer Michael Wilson and other members of the crew, as they recall the production and Broccoli. The new commentary with Moore is introduced as a conversation and recollection about the people he worked with, and is very stream of consciousness. It’s got a lot of silence gaps in it, and it’s quite a bit topical, but it’s a nice addition to the Bond films that starred Moore.

    On Disc Two, the “Declassified: MI6 Vault” starts with a look at the film’s production in Greece (which is about six minutes long and narrated by Wilson), followed by a similar Wilson narrated four minute look at the production in Cortina. “Neptune’s Journey” is a three minute Wilson narrated piece surrounding the underwater footage in the film. Glen provides an introduction to the death of Locque, followed by separate multi-angle and expanded angle looks at the scene itself. There are two other deleted scenes here too. The “007 Mission Control” section includes the interactive guide (which has been, for my money, maybe the more useless of the supplements), then the “Mission Dossier” section has the Special Edition extras. The biggie is “Inside For Your Eyes Only”, a half hour look at the film with narration by Patrick Macnee. It covers the same ground as these other pieces have, and includes interviews with the surviving cast and crew. Plastic surgery or not, Lynn-Holly Johnson does not appear to have changed one bit, whereas the others have aged naturally. And yes, breakdowns and examinations of some of the stunt sequences in the film are also included. Following that look are two animated storyboard sequences of scenes from the film, and a music video with Easton. The “Ministry of Propaganda” section contains a trailer, three TV spots and two radio spots, and the “Image Database” section has (all together now), a gallery of stills from the film.

    Closing Thoughts

    And I always liked Live and Let Die as my best Moore film, but I was mistaken. This is the best Moore film, and one of the best ones in the franchise. For Your Eyes Only is in Volume 3 of the Bond films, next to Live and Let Die, From Russia With Love and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and the volume is a keeper. If you prefer to just pick up your own titles, the single disc version is out there, and the extras are kind of bland, so pick it up. Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, how I’d rank the franchise’s 21 films. Counting from the worst down, they are:

    The World is Not Enough

    Octopussy

    Moonraker

    A View to a Kill

    The Man With The Golden Gun

    Tomorrow Never Dies

    The Living Daylights

    Diamonds Are Forever

    The Spy Who Loved Me

    Dr. No

    GoldenEye

    From Russia With Love

    Live and Let Die

    Licence to Kill

    Thunderball

    For Your Eyes Only

    Casino Royale

    On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

    Goldfinger

    You Only Live Twice

    It’s been fun gang, hope we can do this all again when the Blu-ray versions of said titles hit these waters, sometime around when Bond 22 comes out I’m sure. Peace and a bottle of hair grease.

    Special Features List

    • Cast Commentary
    • Roger Moore Commentary
    • Crew Commentary
    • Deleted Scenes
    • Location Footage
    • Underwater Footage
    • Interactive Guide
    • Making of Featurette
    • Storyboard Presentation
    • Music Video
    • TV/Radio Spots
    • Trailers & Stills Gallery
    Posted In: 2-Disc, 2.35:1 Widescreen, Action, Disc Reviews, Dolby Digital 5.1 (English), DTS (English), DVD, MGM, Ultimate Edition

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