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Special Edition

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY ($35) is certainly one of the best Roger Moore outings in the Bond series because Moore gets to play the darker aspects of the character, while keeping the usual tongue-in-cheek moments to the barest minimum. After seeing all of the Bond films, I think that Moore really hits his 007 peak with this movie. Another reason I like FOR YOUR EYES ONLY is because the film takes a simpler approach to a James Bond adventure that works in the series favor. Personally, I'd given up hope of seeing an old style Bond movie after the dreadful excesses of MOONRAKER.

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY is basically an espionage thriller, without the typical megalomaniac bent on world domination. In this film, Bond has to track done a sunken British ship and retrieve a high tech nuclear submarine controls system before it falls into enemy hands. Along the way Bond encounters Greek smugglers and a helps the latest Bond Girl avenge the deaths of her parents, who were trying to find the missing control system for the British government. Carole Bouquet is exquisitely beautiful as the Bond Girl in question, while Lynn-Holly Johnson makes Roger Moore look just a bit too old to be playing 007.

While, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY plays on a simpler scale than several of the previous Bond adventures, the movie still has first-rate action. There is a terrific skiing sequence, in which Bond if forced onto a bobsled run by thugs on motorcycles. Additionally, the film includes a nail-biting climb up the side of mountain and a somewhat ironic car chase. The cast of FOR YOUR EYES ONLY features Topol, Julian Glover, Jill Bennett, Michael Gothard, John Wyman, Jack Hedley, Lois Maxwell and Desmond Llewelyn. Cassandra Harris, the late wife of future 007, Pierce Brosnan, also has a role in the film.

For this release of FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, MGM Home Entertainment has created another great Special Edition DVD. The movie is presented in a new 16:9 enhanced, wide screen transfer that restores the film's 2.35:1 theatrical framing. FOR YOUR EYES ONLY really looks phenomenal on DVD. The transfer is sharp, detailed and crystal clear. Even the element used for the transfer looks superb. There are hardly any blemishes on it and the element displays minimal film grain. Color reproduction is very strong, with vibrant hues and appealing flesh tones. Neither chroma noise nor bleeding effected color reproduction in any way. Blacks are picture perfect and the image boasts excellent contrast and very good shadow detail. First rate authoring and the use of dual layer technology disguise all traces of digital compression artifacts.

The soundtrack has been given a great 5.1 channel remix for this release, which proves that the original sound recordings for this 1981 film were first rate. All of the discrete channels are well utilized, including the rears, which produce active split surround effects, in addition to ambient fill. The forward soundstage has an open sound with very good channel separation. Dialogue is cleanly reproduced and always remains completely intelligible. A French language soundtrack has also been encoded onto the DVD, along with English and French subtitles.

Like all of the other Special Edition James Bond DVDs, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY has really cool interactive menus that feature animation, sound and full motion video. The menu system provides the user with the requisite scene selection and set up features. Additionally, all of the DVDís supplements can be accessed through the interactive menus. FOR YOUR EYES ONLY includes two audio commentaries, one with director John Glen and cast members, while the other features writer/producer Michael G. Wilson and the production team. Both commentaries have been edited together from interviews with the participants and are not the running commentaries one usually finds. Both tracks are worthwhile listening for fans, but I still prefer a traditional audio commentary.

Inside For Your Eyes Only is a newly produced thirty-minute documentary that looks at the making of the film. Hosted by Patrick Macnee, the documentary features interviews with a number of cast and crewmembers. Also included are four theatrical trailers, a still gallery, two "animated" storyboard sequences and the Sheena Easton music video for the title song. Sheena Easton is the only performer to ever appear on camera as part of a Bond movie title sequence, which may explain why the music video is the Maurice Binder title sequence sans credits.

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY is a solid James Bond adventure, plus great looking and great sounding Special Edition DVD that fans will want to own. Recommended.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 1999 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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