For Your Eyes Only

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Christopher Bligh

Plot: What’s it about?

At the end of the 1970’s space has been conquered by both a director named George Lucas and a secret agent named James Bond. As the eighties rolled around the corner, a film intended to follow up The Spy Who Loved Me was brought back into the picture to be the next rollicking adventure of Agent 007. It brought Bond back to earth and brought the same sense of danger, a kind of venture that was so secret it could only be For Your Eyes Only.

In foreign waters, an English ship sinks to the bottom. In it carried a most impressive tracking source known as ATAC and it’s up to James Bond (Roger Moore) to track it down. At the same time, a young woman named Malina (Carole Bouquet) is on a ship with her folks sunning it up until a plane mysteriously opens fire killing her family. Now Malina, equipped with a crossbow, is determined to find out who’s behind her family’s murder. It seems that her and Bond cross paths and realize that the murderer of her parents is strongly linked to the tracking source and together they go through sea and snow to get what they want for revenge and for England.

Proving to be another Bond that’s not afraid to go out into the snow, Roger Moore continues his solid run as the secret agent with an occasional pun and with a smoothness unlike no other. It’s a twisty affair that is reminiscent of the early 007 films that didn’t rely too heavily on gadgets but relied on a simple spy story with lots of locales, intrigue and the occasional mix up every now and then.

It’s also refreshing that at this point the makers of Bond didn’t rely on another meglomaniac villain and chose wisely for a more straightforward approach mastered by director (and editor of many Bond films) John Glen, who incidentally directed all of the 007 films in the 1980’s for both Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton. Who better to know a Bond film than someone on the inside?

It’s entirely an enjoyable and exciting affair, even with the Rocky-esque score of Bill Conti, who would go on to conduct the orchestra on Oscar night a multitude of times. At times, it does date the film a bit and gives this entry a bit of a Stephen Cannell feel but luckily that doesn’t diminish the quality of this entry as it is hightly entertaining and another satisfactory chapter in the Roger Moore book of Bond. For Your Eyes Only is certainly worth seeing.

Video: How does it look?

For Your Eyes Only is continuing the present day Bond tradition of being filmed in Panavision and it’s nicely represented here in the anamorphic 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The transfer is top notch and the clarity of the print is consta but the print does have it share of little print flaws, particularly in the winter scenes where there is an occasional white speck. A few bits of debris are present but when it moves out of the wintry climate and into more international waters, the debris lessens and the transfer does get better. Despite a slight dusting, the overall quality is top notch without too many haloes or age marks.

Audio: How does it sound?

The sound of Bond is in the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround which is solid with the score and the effects but does suffer a bit from some muteness evident in many films from the early eighties being that the sound systems didn’t get out of the seventies until a few years later. Nevertheless, the surround effects are decent and the score comes out all channels nicely but the dialogue sometimes suffers in a few scenes and the majority of it comes from the middle channels but minorly through the others. For Your Eyes Only presents a decent affair audibly but not great. This disc also has a French Stereo Surround track along with English and French subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Here we go again with another Special Edition of 007. In this instance we’re given another solid entry “Inside For Your Eyes Only” covering the documented aspects surrounding the making of this film coming from all players both cast and crew. It is shorter than most of the other documentaries and in this case less is more.

Next we have two audio commentaries. The first is with cast and crew mostly dominated by John Glen and the second is with more crew and executive producer Michael G. Wilson. Both take the documented combined audio interview/sound bite approach and get across some information that was not covered on the documentary and makes for a nice listen. Although the audience was treated to two solid affairs previous to this not relying on the combined approach but more the live-while-the-film-is-going-on approach where spontaneity is present and the comments are fresher and the memories are livelier. Either way, both of these are informative, entertaining and worth a listen each.

Next there is a music video of For Your Eyes Only by Sheena Easton that is basically the opening sequence without the credits but a worthy entry from the early video days.

There is also Animated Storyboard Sequences that combines two seperate scenes (Snowmobile Chase and Retrieving the ATAC) in sync with the storyboard drawings. It’s an interesting feature that does it all in one shot instead of dividing into angle shots.

Finally there is a For Your Eyes Only photo gallery, along with 2 Radio Spots, a Tomorrow Never Dies Playstation trailer and four theatrical trailers that play non stop without individual seperation.

For Your Eyes Only is a worthy entry in both the 007 book and the Roger Moore book and it’s overall results on DVD are good and equally worthy as well.

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