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  Directed by
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 100)
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
    English, English - Hearing Impaired
  • 4 Theatrical trailer
  • 2 Audio commentary
  • Featurette
  • Photo gallery
  • Animated menus
  • Music video - For Your Eyes Only by Sheena Easton
  • Booklet
  • 2 Storyboards

For Your Eyes Only

MGM/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 122 mins . M15+ . PAL


OK, time to wheel out the old Bond film review construction kit again...

James Bond: The one that looks like George Bush (the old craggy one).

Main love interest: The impossibly beautiful Melina Havelock. Bitch.

Ancillary love interest to get the bonk-factor up: Lizl, a Liverpudlian Countess.

Evil baddie hell bent on world domination: Kristatos, onatop of a cameo from Dr Evi... sorry, Blofeld.

Baddie's henchmen: The baddie count here would make the corpse-o-meter in most any Arnie film look defective. As well as various nefarious gun-toting types zooming about on motorcycles, skis and ice skates they come in cars, helicopters and even dune buggies. This time many of them were wearing suits, so we can comfort ourselves in the knowledge that at least they must have been a better class of baddie. Oh, there was also a submersible Michelin man, and Jaws (the shark kind this time, rather than the rather loveable metal-mouthed giant).

Theme: For Your Eyes Only by Sheena Easton.

Exotic locations: Spain, Northern Italy, Greece and Albania.

Modes of transportation: Helicopter, two Lotuses (Lotii?), Citroen 2CV (yellow, so it must be safe), cable car, horse-drawn sleigh, skis, Rolls Royce, yacht, flippers, submarine, mountain climbing equipment.

Car chases: One (YAY!)

Blatant product placement: Surprisingly, none. At a stretch you could say Philips and Seiko.

Plot summary: After a British ship sinks in international waters, 007 is called in to retrieve its rather important cargo - an ATAC, which is a fancy acronym for what is apparently a nuclear submarine control system (even if it looks suspiciously like something Dick Smith conjured up between helicopter jaunts). Naturally every baddie and his henchmen are also after the device - gee, now who will get their hands on it and cause/prevent world destruction?


Whilst once again showing up in lovely 2.35:1 widescreen, like its predecessor, Moonraker, the age of this film shows, almost as if it was shot in Measlevision® or something. It comes with that slightly flat colour look you tend to expect from films that are twenty or more years old, but it is also obvious that some effort has been made to smarten it up a bit.

Speckles aside this is still by far the best I've seen the film look, and if you happen to need a reminder of how bad it could have been you just need to pop into the 'Special Features' menu and check out any of the trailers.

Once again I found the layer change a tad annoying, occurring when Bond enters a confessional booth at around the 100-minute mark. Honestly, all this technology and they still can’t always make seamless layer changes - bad boffins, naughty boffins!


Mmmmmm, the rather yummy dessert that makes up for the brussels sprouts of the video transfer, albeit with the occasional crushed nut to gag on. Lovingly remastered into full Dolby Surround this is another great effort, save for the rare bits of distortion that I noticed popping up in some ultra-loud bits.

Sadly the soundtrack is a disappointment. The somewhat godlike John Barry was unavailable to score For Your Eyes Only, and obviously as some sort of perverse joke (or perhaps to ensure he got future work) he suggested that the producers rope in Bill Conti. Rather than the masterfully orchestrated, predominantly string-laden work known and adored from previous Bond films, Conti brings in his shrill, brass-laden touch of death, which really had a detrimental effect on my enjoyment of the film. This proves why we should all be thankful that latter day Bond film composer David Arnold decided at some point that he wants to be Barry when he grows up, and not Conti.

Oh yawn, another drab 'pop' theme, although one that is admittedly more memorable than the dirge from Moonraker - not that that would be a particularly hard ask. Fly by night pop Muppet Sheena Easton (who is attempting a comeback currently) squeaks the Conti penned ditty, a woman who has a special place in purgatory reserved for her after foisting the execrable 9 to 5 (Morning Train) single on us back in the early '80s.


Here's another bits and pieces laden 'Special Edition' that actually feels like one. Specially prepared animated menus are back, with simple and logical navigation. My only bugbear here being that after viewing items in the gallery you get flung back to the first one being highlighted, rather than it using just a little bit of intuition and highlighting the next un-viewed one. This is, of course, only a minor quibble.

Whoa - not one, not two - not even three, but four trailers are here for our viewing pleasure! Not that "pleasure" is exactly the right word as they are all remarkably similar, and all in shocking condition. There are also two radio ads - certainly nobody can accuse those who stuck this disc together of a lack of thoroughness.

Your gallery for this mission consists of eight text snippets, which once again allow you to proceed through them in utter silence, mind you that may be a blessing if you consider...

...the background music in the first of the two 'animated storyboards'. This is a slightly odd trip, basically hovering a camera over the various static storyboards that made up a snowmobile sequence which ended up being filmed using motorcycles instead. The aforementioned music is some of the cheesiest you are EVER likely to hear, perhaps fans of porn films may disagree (or indeed get into it) but for these ears it gets a hearty "AGHHHHHH!!!" rating.

The other storyboard makes amends sonically, using one of the myriad versions of the Bond theme as its accompaniment. This one delves into the underwater scenes, shot in much the same fashion as the snowmobile one.

Easily the best extra here is the 28-minute long feature Inside For Your Eyes Only. Full of fascinating insights into the film, cast, crew and many of the locations used in the film, this is the kind of stuff that makes me realise why I bought a DVD player in the first place.

There are two commentaries in store for the truly anally retentive fans out there. However rather than being traditional commentaries that bear relevance to what is happening on screen at the time, these are both rather looser affairs. Cobbled together from interviews with the director, cast members, crew and producers they offer a lot of fascinating titbits, but neither can really be described as true commentaries.

Rounding out the package, once again we get a gorgeous little 8-page collector's booklet tucked snugly into the DVD case, a nice touch on top of the obvious effort put into sourcing the disc extras.


One of the things I absolutely love about Bond films is that you can curl up in front of the screen, disengage your brain and go "wow!" at all the amazing stunts, chortle the odd "heehee!" at the corny lines and shout "YAY!" when the baddies get blown up. And that's normally pretty much all there is to them.

For some reason with For Your Eyes Only the decision was made to try to toughen Mr Bond up a bit - almost as if they wanted to add a third dimension to his character (sacrilege!)

What results is a 007 instalment altogether far more convoluted than I have become accustomed to, you couldn’t even be certain as to who the main baddie was until well into the film. Of course there are plenty of brilliantly over the top stunts to "ooh!" and "aaah!" over, and the welcome return of the car chase (an utterly superb one I might add), but what's the deal with trying to complicate the plot so much? Especially when you boil it down to its basic premise and realise that it's totally paper-thin. Hmmm, perhaps I just answered my own question?

So this time we see a more rounded characterisation from Roger Moore, from visiting the grave of his wife of five minutes or so from On Her Majesty's Secret Service to displaying more nastiness than we are accustomed to by kicking a baddie-occupied Mercedes over the edge of a cliff. We also get another European-accented bad guy, underplayed nicely by Julian Glover (who was once considered a potential future Bond). In a welcome change James' lurve object has more to do with herself than slinking about curvaceously or draping herself helplessly over our hero, with Carole Bouquet's character fuelled by revenge and actually saving Bond on more than one occasion. Girl power, yeah!

In all this is a Bond film, that should be enough for you to make up your own mind as to whether you wish to rev up the Aston Martin and zoom out and buy it or not. Whilst certainly not my favourite, it is apparently highly regarded by many 'true aficionados' so it may just be a case of what does this chick know...

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      And I quote...
    "...or alternatively the Bond who fell to earth - and quite a few times at that."
    - Amy Flower
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-535
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Speakers:
          Home Built
    • Surrounds:
          No Name
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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