For Your Eyes Only: Ultimate Edition
For 1981's For Your Eyes Only, the Bond franchise tried to retool Roger Moore's leisure-suit image. Spending most of the 1970s as the go-to Bond (1971's Diamonds are Forever marked Sean Connery's last outing), his films descended into camp, with 1979's Moonraker considered the then-nadir of Bond films (it was later outdone by 1985's A View to a Kill) as a pop-culture nonsense riff on the popular films of the time. Thus, much like Daniel Craig's 2006 debut in Casino Royale, it was decided Bond needed to return to its roots. For many, Moore's performance in For Your Eyes Only is his best his turns at the character are defined by his talent for a near-Bretchian disconnect from the character. Alas, this return to the nuts and bolts of the character is of two minds, perhaps as a hangover from the '70s. On the one hand, this is a stripped-down Bond affair with little of the camp that dominated the franchise for so long. Bond is supposed to find a smuggler who not only killed the parents of Bond girl Melina Havlock (Carole Bouquet), but he also hopes to sell British secrets to Communist Russia. The suspects are Aristotle Kristavlos (Julian Glover) and Milos Columbo (Topol), and Melina doesn't care which, as her Greek blood deems revenge the only alternative. On the other hand, the score is by Bill Conti who seems stuck in the disco era while Moore never loses the pithy one-liners long enough to make the violence mean something. Directed by John Glen (who directed Bond franchises from this entry until 1989's License to Kill), Glen has the right idea about Bond's no-nonsense approach, and the action sequences would feel about right if some didn't revolve around some more absurd premises (Bond takes on three killer hockey players, and when he defeats them, he sends the downed foes into a hockey net, which then makes a goal sound for each). But even from the film's prologue acknowledgment of the franchise (referencing the under-loved On Her Majesty's Secret Service) the movie reveals it will only go so far to stripping Bond of his over-the-top wit, while it quickly does away with the series' perennial villain Blofeld. If nothing else, For Your Eyes Only gets points for trying.
Fox/MGM's DVD presents the film in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) with Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS audio. Restored by Lowry Digital, the transfer is miles above previous releases, while Disc One features the previous commentaries by John Glen and members of the cast, producer Michael G. Wilson and members of the crew, along with a new track by Roger Moore. Extras on Disc Two include two deleted scenes (3 min.) and one expanded angle sequence (2 min.) with introductions by director Glen. Features include "Bond in Greece" (6 min.), "Bond in Cortina" (4 min.), "Neptune's Journey" (4 min.) all narrated by Wilson "007 Mission Control," which offers highlights of the franchise's repeated trademarks, the more thorough "Inside For Your Eyes Only" (30 min.), animated storyboards for the snowmobile chase (1 min.) and the underwater sequences (2 min.), the music video for the titular song (3 min.), the trailer, three TV spots, two radio spots, and an extensive still gallery. Dual-DVD slimline keep-case. Available in MGM's "James Bond Collection: Volume 3."