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For Your Eyes Only - Bond 50 Box Set Blu-ray Review

by Casimir Harlow Nov 5, 2012


Movies review

11

  • Movie
  • Blu-ray
Movie: For Your Eyes Only

Title: For Your Eyes Only
Media: Blu-ray
Region:A
Country:USA
Certificate:PG
Running Time:128 minutes
Sound:English DTS-HD 5.1
English Dolby Surround
Spanish Dolby Digital mono
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:English
Spanish
Extras:Commentary with Director and members of the cast
Commentary with Co-screenwriter and crew members
Commentary with Roger Moore
Deleted Scenes and Expanded Angles
Bond In Greece
Bond in Cortina
Neptune's Journey
007 Mission Control interactive guide
Inside For Your Eyes Only
Animated Storyboards
Stills Gallery
Music video
Theatrical Trailers, TV and Radio Spots

Picture

For Your Eyes Only is included as part of the Bond 50 Box Set in much the same shape it was in on its earlier standalone release, presented in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen, courtesy of a Lowry-restored transfer in 1080p High Definition. Although perhaps not one of the absolute standout best efforts from Lowry, the thirty-year old movie still looks remarkably good, boasting strong detail, vibrant colour, mostly decent low-lighting sequences and almost no damage whatsoever.

Certainly DNR has been applied – the faces often look softer than you would have hoped for, and grain has been largely removed in the process too – but, for the most part, it still looks impressive, lacking that painful edge enhancement that plagued the earlier DVD releases and cleaning up fairly nicely. Skin textures are well represented; Moore’s age-lines becoming evident; clothing weaves and set details are also readily apparent. There are some wonderful little touches – like when Bond is pinned down in the snow by the sniper – where the fine detail truly does surprise.

The colour scheme is perhaps the most easily noticeable aspect of this upgrade; tones are rich and vivid and simply pop out of the screen, an irrepressibly bold offering that blasts you with bright blues and red parkas which play wonderfully off the crisp bright snow white slopes, glistening in the sun. Indeed the colours are so dominant that some viewers may not particularly appreciate this bolder approach towards the palette.

The underwater scenes are brilliantly represented, offering up better clarity than on many of Bond’s other underwater outings; whether during the exploration of the temple or the sunken spy-ship, and the final climb up the mountain also showcases an unprecedented amount of detail during the ascent.

There are a couple of more problematic sequences – the night-time casino scene appears to have always been plagued with a softer edge – but these are comparatively infrequent, especially when juxtaposed with the quality day-for-night execution of Locque or the strong rendition of the warehouse assault. Overall it’s a good presentation that, whilst nowhere near as impressive as some of the preceding titles, is certainly the best that the movie has ever looked.



Sound

Presented with a decent DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, For Your Eyes Only has also never sounded as impressive as this before. Again, it isn’t up there with the best of the Bond re-mixes but it does offer up a warmly all-encompassing track which showcases welcome increased surround activity and some decent bass support. Dialogue comes across clearly and coherently largely from the frontal array and, where appropriate, dominates the rest of the track. Effects are balanced across the surrounds, with some nice directional flourishes and echoing gunshots that carry far more punch thanks to that aforementioned enhanced bass element. From the air-ripping whip of helicopter blades to the subdued underwater whirr of submersibles, it all sounds authentic, delivering a sound package that will impress far more than disappoint. The score – whether you like it or hate it – gains prominence in several key set-pieces, wonderfully championing on the extended ski chase, whilst diminishing a couple of other sequences. It’s a shame because, when it’s more subdued, it works quite well, but the more aggressive moments only occasionally hit the right note. Indeed there have been several complaints about the score being just too damn loud, but I seldom found this a serious issue, it just felt more dominant in certain sequences. Far more impressive than any previous audio presentations, For Your Eyes Only’s active score – for the most part – does a stand-up job.



Extras

This new Bond 50 Box Set comes complete with all of the old Ultimate Edition DVD extras ported over (as well as some new material on a further disc in the set). Far from bad news, the old UE releases pretty-much offered up definitive background material for each title, and For Your Eyes Only, whilst not quite matching up to some of the best-endowed discs, was still well-treated.

Sporting no less than three Commentaries we also have a number of informative background Featurettes and Documentaries, as well as a hefty amount of promotional material. Fans of the film will no doubt know all about these offerings; newcomers couldn’t want for more.

Commentaries

Commentary by Sir Roger Moore – as always the highlight of the Commentaries and highlight of the extras, Moore’s once again on humbly self-depreciating form, entertaining us with his fond recollections and musings on this chapter.

Commentary by Director John Glen and Members of the Cast – has the director joined by Moore, Topol, Lynn-Holly Johnson and Julian Glover for a considerably more bitty offering that has cleared been recorded separately.

Commentary by Michael G. Wilson and Crew – leaves us with the most technical accompaniment, offering further insight behind the scenes of the production.

Declassified: MI6 Vault

Deleted and Expanded Angles allows us access to two Deleted Scenes – Hockey: 007-style and Joining Forces, which don’t really offer us anything wildly memorable; a hint of extra Charles Dance and a distinctly flat moment where Moore’s Bond has to once again contend with Carole Bouquet’s limited line delivery – as well as an interesting Expanded Angle feature that shows us an alternate look at the pivotal Locque death sequence where Bond kicks his car off the cliff. This is definitely worth a look.

Bond in Greece – offers a 6-minute home video-diary style approach to the production in Greece, with Moore playing backgammon with Broccoli on a clifftop (they were always gambling together, as can be seen from the extras on the other Moore titles) as the production crew do some location scouting work.

Bond in Cortina – spends 4 minutes on the snowy mountaintops looking at the amount of fake snow that they had to ship in to enhance the scenes.

Neptune’s Journey – takes us underwater with the two-man submersible and spends three-and-a-half minutes looking at this remarkable machine.

007 Mission Control houses the usual selection of scene-access options: 007, Women, Allies, Villains, Mission Combat Manual, Q Branch and Exotic Locations.

Mission Dossier

Inside For Your Eyes Only – is another half-hour documentary narrated by Patrick Macnee which packs in a fair amount of behind the scenes material, cast and crew snippets and b-roll production footage into its runtime.

Animated Storyboard Sequences – we get two variant scenes here, the Snowmobile Chase and the Underwater ATAC retrieval, both providing interesting alternate looks at the scenes as originally envisaged.

Sheena Easton Music Video – is actually a little misleading, as it is just the title sequence playing without the credits (and therefore with the girls less covered-up).

Ministry of Propaganda

Theatrical Archive, TV Broadcasts andRadio Communication do exactly what you would expect, offering up a selection of promotional trailers and radio adverts.

Image Databaserounds off the disc with an expansive gallery.



Verdict

“Who was this man he was going to do this to? What had he ever done to Bond?”

The last thing audiences expected after the excesses of Moonraker was a follow-up like the gritty back-to-basics For Your Eyes Only, one of the few Bond outings that stayed relatively true to Fleming’s original source work, and arguably the first and only reboot of the franchise which didn’t involve a new actor. Capably presenting a darker take on the commonly more lightweight Roger Moore Bond, the end result was a refreshingly down-to-earth Cold War thriller with action-adventure highlights, tense and intense stunts and solid, revenge-inspired undertones. More hit than miss in its somewhat misguided approach to blending classic Moore comedy with the intended grittier Bond direction, it’s just a shame that the filmmakers didn’t fully embrace the tonal shift, either here, or in Moore’s subsequent outings. Still, it remains one of those rare Roger Moore Bond movies that appeals to even those who didn’t like Roger Moore as Bond.

As part of the Bond 50 set, For Your Eyes Only comes with good video and audio presentations that, whilst not standout in the collection, still mark a considerable step up from DVD and probably showcase the film better than it has ever looked before. Fans will also be pleased that all of the old Ultimate Edition DVD extras have been ported over here.

Bond has been served well by a phenomenal box-set, timed to coincide with the arrival of Skyfall and the 50th Anniversary of the franchise. For Your Eyes Only forms part of the set along with the other twenty-two films in the series, the majority of which look and sound terrific, and contain a wealth of extra material as well as a separate and new disc full of extra features further examining our favourite super-spy. It comes with the highest recommendation.


The Rundown

Movie

8

Picture Quality

7

Sound Quality

8

Extras

8

Overall

8

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    1. The News Bot

      The News Bot News Supplying Robot Staff Member

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      “The fantasy you freed in me”

      Even for those who – like me – enjoyed Moonraker, there was no denying it left the franchise with nowhere to go: after sending Bond into outer space the only thing they could really do is bring him back down to earth. Having long-since jettisoned the comparatively mundane exploits told in the books, Bond had become too big to handle. The outlandish plots to take over or destroy the world (or both); the cool-but-preposterous gadgets; he had evolved into a larger-than-life super-spy. But it was time for a change. Despite plans to re-cast, Roger Moore would return, but the rest was effectively a reboot: a new director, a script which – for once – followed the original stories fairly closely, and no gadgets. It was back-to-basics. The result was a chapter that even non-Roger Moore fans regarded as good; a gritty and more serious approach which worked...


      Read the full review...
    2. the_dude2

      the_dude2 Active Member

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      I really enjoyed reading that, great review again Kas, thanks.

      I agree with what you said too, good Bond movie, but that pre-credit sequence always grated.
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    3. the_dude2

      the_dude2 Active Member

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      Sorry, i meant Cas.
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    4. Casimir Harlow

      Casimir Harlow Blu-ray Reviewer

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      You're welcome, glad you enjoyed it! :thumbsup:

      They definitely didn't want to fully commit to that darker tone which is a shame because the Blofeld situation did need some resolution. I almost wish they'd do a Daniel Craig remake of OHMSS and it's follow-up (which, in book terms, was You Only Live Twice) but, alas, I think that this was Blofeld's lacklustre swansong.

      "I'll buy you a delicatessen... in stainless steel!"

      BTW don't worry about the name, Starbucks have a whole lot more fun than just spelling it with a 'K'.

      Cheers, Cas
    5. richardb70

      richardb70 Active Member

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      Great review, Cas.

      This was the first Bond I saw on the big screen so it'll always be special for me. Love the Sheena Easton song, and I actually don't mind the disco score :eek:

      The "delicatessen in stainless steel" line is so bizarre I've never forgotten it!

      Cheers,
      Richard
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    6. RedDevil85

      RedDevil85 Active Member

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      What like Kaz? :cool:

      Great review as always.
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    7. Casimir Harlow

      Casimir Harlow Blu-ray Reviewer

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      Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! :thumbsup:

      I don't mind the disco score for the most part, but it does go a bit overboard in a couple of scenes. I still love the ski-sequence-music, that's just perfect, no matter how disco it is!

      Yeah apparently that delicatessen line was something Broccoli heard as being a common Mafia bribe, and thus suggested for the screenplay. Odd, to say the least.

      Thanks, Cas
    8. Casimir Harlow

      Casimir Harlow Blu-ray Reviewer

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      Cheers mate, glad you enjoyed reading it! :smashin:

      Yes, in fact Kaz is probably the most understandable, I've also had Caf, Cad, Gaf, Gaz, Cass, Cam... and all from the same Starbucks (but not the same server!). I should just make up an easier name for them to deal with. Do you think Bond would be too obvious? ;)

      Thanks, Cas
    9. Garrett

      Garrett Moderator

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      Spoilers included but no doubt if you read Cas review of the film not much new here to hide.

      Well Cas again it seems were in a similar mind to this film and again great review.

      Pre title sequence was very nice Bond looking in on his departed and a nice set action sequence in the helicopter but nearly ruined by Blofeld's dialogue and laughing and the bribe he offers Bond is totally ridiculous. I actually thought the voice was a guy who does a lot of voice acting for films and TV series and has that Italian accent rather than a Telly Savalas.

      This is my favourite Roger Moore film after The Spy Who Loved Me and is a basic reverse plot of From Russia With Love even the device has a similar look and that film is My favourite Connery Bond film. Apart from that the the film plays out different although Walter Gotell was in both albeit different roles.
      Your right Cas Topol is a scene stealer and I like to know how the hell can you eat pistachio nuts with the shell on then spit it out must have the same dentist as Jaws. We should have known Julian Glover was the villain as he nearly always is but does it with finess although never comes out with any classic one liners.

      I did not think Carole Bouquet was a classic Bond girl either and never left any great lasting memory on me not the way Maud Adams or Barbara Bach did and they were the first time I saw them were in Bond films. And thought the late Mrs Pierce Brosnan, Cassandra Harris was the looker of the film but then again I always seem to fancy the one that gets bumped off.


      I also did not like the music and a few times seemed at odds with what was happening and not a patch on Marvin Hamlish deparcher from John Barry, although a lot better than a lot of modern films with shouty rock singing.

      I like Bond in more down to Earth story and this certainly was and there even a touch of Bond vulnerability in it when he's being chased on skies even more so that Gorge Lazenby in the same situation.

      Sadly Bernard Lee was not in the film who died the same year as the films relies, we now see Geoffrey Keen taking over giving Bond his mission.

      I thought the sound stage was quite good bullets whistling over my head in the car and helicopters coming from behind really made me feel like I was there.

      As I said in my last review I like nice clothes but don't know who dressed him I did not like his suit and noticed the back of his tie was lower than the front of it which is a definite no no for the dapper Mr Bond.

      And as I do have a short attention span and and was surprised when I looked up at the clock and saw 90 minutes had whizzed past and apart from the few niggles/nit picking Id give the film a 8.5 a nice way to finish of the first book of the 50th anniversary box set.

      Oh by the way less we forget Blofelt was played by John Hollis (picture Below) who very often played villains in other stuff and remember him in a couple of Roger's, The Saint. I'm sure in one episode played an assassin that never misses and shows is skill at darts (I wonder if they got Daredevils Bullseye scene from that episode).
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      Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
    10. Casimir Harlow

      Casimir Harlow Blu-ray Reviewer

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      Cheers mate, it's defo one of Moore's best.

      Never really thought about the Russia with Love - in reverse - plot connections but can see them now.

      Are you gonna finish off the remaining Moore films or have you had enough Bond for now?!

      Thanks for the great comments,

      Cas
    11. Garrett

      Garrett Moderator

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      Hi Cas

      No Im ploding on with the box set although I tend to work my Saturday nights viewing round a rotation.
      Generaly Bond one week, a film the next and two parts of a series (Fringe season 3 at the moment) although I may have to abondaon the rotation as my mate said he was going to loan me the second series of Game of Thones.

      During the week I work my way though some old series I just finished ITC's The Baron and will be doing a thread on it when I have time to write a review.
  • Production

    Type Blu-ray
    Region
    Country UK
    Certificate PG
    Number of Discs 1
    Running Time 124 Minutes
    Release Date 20121024

    Picture

    Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

    Sound

    Sound Options English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
    Extras Commentaries
    Documentary
    Featurettes
    Deleted Scenes
    Storyboards
    Trailers
    Music Video
    Gallery
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