‘For Your Eyes Only’ Blu-ray Review
Roger Moore returns as James Bond in ‘For Your Eyes Only’ with one of Moore’s better performances as the British agent. ‘For Your Eyes Only’ works so well due to it being a straight laced spy film. Moore’s Bond character (while good) was always lacking in a few areas due to him coming off as not a threat to his adversaries. The tables are turned here in this film as we get a different Roger Moore who comes off as much tougher Bond than he has been in the past. This was the attitude that was always missing from Roger Moore’s Bond.
This was a box office success with a worldwide gross of $195 million dollars. ‘For Your Eyes Only’ is one of the more serious James Bond films next to ‘Casino Royale’ as the focus is on character and less on the gadgetry. This approach brings the James Bond character down to reality.
The opening sequence breaks the Bond mold and actually digs into the past of the franchise which has never done before. This film actually makes reference to ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ with the death of James Bond’s wife as he visits her grave site and then tries to take control of a helicopter which is being remote controlled by Blofeld trying to kill 007. This has to be one of best openings to a Bond film that will leave your jaw dropped to the floor.
The story revolves around the Cold War and the possibility of intelligence information getting into the wrong hands due to a spy ship crashing off the coast of Albania in the Mediterranean. The British government goes into panic as one of the secret devices in this ship is a communication device, called the ATAC. This device provides communication for all submarines in the Western hemisphere. James Bond is sent in to locate the wreckage and find the ATAC device before it’s found by the Russians.
While James Bond is in route to find the wreckage, one of his contacts is exploring underwater ruins of ancient Greece. Then the unthinkable happens when his contact and wife are killed aboard their ship as their daughter Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet) watches in horror. Melina sets out on avenging her parent’s death. Melina is not just a beautiful Bond girl that depends on her looks to get the job done; she is also well trained in archery. Melina uses her trusty crossbow to gain revenge for her parent’s death. James Bond and Melina eventually meet as we are taken to exotic locations in Greece (Korfu) and the Alps in Austria. This is one area that the Bond films never skimp on and the more exotic, the better has always been the motto.
The main villains, Aristotle Kristatos (Julian Glover) and Milos Columbo (Topol) are evil as they come, and there is evidence which proves that one of them is the Russian’s “Contact” but both accuses the other. As Melina and James Bond try to recover the ATAC, they also run into yet another problem. There is a young ice-skater, Bibi (Lynn-Holly Johnson) that has a major crush on 007. She will try everything to make him fall for her, but when things don’t go her way, there is a surprise waiting for Bond.
Both Roger Moore and Carole Bouquet worked together very well. There has been more than one miscasting with Bond girls over the years, but Bouquet takes the role as her own. Bouquet shows emotion with the death of her parents as revenge is on her mind, but also we also see her showcase her beauty. While Bouquet plays a great Bond girl, then we have Lynn-Holly Johnson as a spoiled brat that had no place in the film. It is decisions like these that sometimes can hamper a good film, but all the great acting outweighs this one little hiccup.
The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The last Bond sets on DVD used the Lowry Digital restoration which really did a nice job at bringing those films to full restoration on the DVD format in terms of video and audio. Now in 2008, Lowry Digital does the unthinkable on a BD-50. The Colors aren’t as vibrant as one would hope, but they are much better than the previous DVD release. Color reproduction is good as it doesn’t over-saturate the hues. Fleshtones actually look really good this time around on Blu-ray compared to DVD. Details are excellent and the image looks very clean for an older film. There are some small hints of film grain throughout which isn’t distracting at all. This film has a very film-like presentation on Blu-ray, which is rather impressive.
The audio is presented in DTS-HD MA lossless mix. This is one soundtrack that really takes advantage of the soundfield and adds punch to your setup. I was surprised to hear rear sound effects come through so clear. Action scenes benefit the most here with some very discrete movements of the effects from rear speaker to speaker. Dialogue also comes through clean, yet I had to adjust the volume a few times due to it being on the lower side.
Special features are offered in both high and standard definition. MGM did a great job of bringing over all features from the previous releases on to the Blu-ray version of ‘For Your Eyes Only’.
- Audio Commentary with director John Glen and members of the cast
- Audio Commentary with producer Michael G. Wilson and assorted crew members
- Audio Commentary with Sir Roger Moore
- Inside For Your Eyes Only Featurette
- Bond In Greece Featurette
- Bond In Cortina Featurette
- Neptune’s Journey Featurette
- Animated Storyboard Sequences
- Deleted Scenes and Expanded Angles
- Music Video
- Theatrical Trailers, TV Spots, Radio Spots
- Image Database
‘For Your Eyes Only’ is one of the better Roger Moore as James Bond films due to the story bringing making him a more down to earth spy. The beginning of the film is still one of the cooler Bond openings in the franchises history. I highly recommend ‘For Your Eyes Only’ on Blu-ray as it trumps the previous Ultimate Edition DVD.
|List Price: $34.95, Sale Price: $23.95 – Order For Your Eyes Only (James Bond) [Blu-ray]|