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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: For Your Eyes Only

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#1 of 37 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted October 29 2008 - 04:22 PM

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Release Date: Available now (original release date October 21, 2008)
Studio: MGM Home Entertainment
Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-Ray case with cardstock slipcover
Year: 1981
Rating: PG
Running Time: 2h08m
MSRP: $34.98

MAIN FEATURE
Video1080p high definition 16x9 2.35:1
AudioDTS HD Master Audio: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: English 2.1, Spanish Mono, French 5.1
SubtitlesEnglish, Spanish

Note: Portions of this review include material from my review of the two-disc DVD included in the "James Bond Ultimate Collection, Volume 3." You can read the entirety of the review here.


The Feature: 3/5
James Bond (Roger Moore) must locate a sunken British spy ship and recover a device that can control the fleet's nuclear submarines.


Video Quality: 4/5
The film is correctly framed at 2.35:1, encoded in AVC and devoid of blemishes. Black levels are generally quite good - struggling a bit in some nighttime scenes, though that could easily be the limits of the film stock used at the time. Sharpness is variable in the second half of the movie - not as dramatically as it is on the DVD release - but wide shots tend to drop in detail while some shots simply lack the crispness found in ones immediately before or after. While noticeable, it is subtle enough - particularly with the increased resolution of HD - to keep it from being considered a major problem. Outside of those few minor issues, the transfer generally displays good contrast, color depth and clarity, with grain structure appearing nicely preserved with no obvious signs of noise reduction or artificial edge enhancement.


Audio Quality: 4/5
Presented in 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio, I noticed similar qualities with the mix as I did with the previous DVD release. Surround and front channels are used rather aggressively, which befits the cartoonish action, but dialogue can seem a touch low at times in comparison, more so in the first 20 minutes. Nonetheless, the high activity across the array makes for an enveloping and dynamic experience. The highly localized source music during Bond's entrance into the Cuban compound remains, though for whatever reason it is no longer so disorienting, connecting better with what is happening in the scene. Overall it's a very good, if not particularly subtle, track.

Also included is the original Dolby Surround track. Though not as detailed, dynamic or crisp as the lossless option it is not a bad way to go and in some cases may seem more natural given the film's vintage.


Special Features: 4/5

All the special features from the "Ultimate Edition" DVD release have been ported over and some have been upgraded to high definition video! Though the "007 Mission Control" random access piece is merely grabbing in and out points from the feature, deleted scenes, a documentary, and the theatrical trailer are now in high definition - a nice touch.

Audio Commentary with Sir Roger Moore: A few interesting stories spread over two hours make the commentary difficult to recommend, especially with the frequent moments of dead air and Moore's tendency toward mere description/reaction to scenes. There also doesn't seem to be much information offered that can't be learned on the other special features.

Audio Commentary Featuring John Glen and Actors: John Cork of the Ian Fleming Foundation returns, but this time to introduce the commentary track ported from the previous release (not sure of the point there). The commentary follows the same scripted format as the others, combining pre-recorded audio interviews with bits of movie history and trivia, which gives the listener plenty to take in.

Audio Commentary Featuring Michael G. Wilson and Crew: Cork introduces another ported commentary track, this time centering on the experiences and memories of the crew. Once again the scripted commentary and inclusion of pre-recorded interviews make for an overall more interesting and consistent experience.

Deleted Scenes and Expanded Angles: Deleted scenes include one from the hockey scene (2m05s), in which Bond dumps a load of snow on his opponents, and the other a shortened bit of dialogue between Bond and Melina (1m07s). The "Expanded Angle" segment makes use of the multi-angle feature, allowing the user to switch between the original cut and unused footage of the same scene. A third video track puts the two side-by-side for comparison. Mildly interesting but not likely one to revisit. All clips are in high definition with stereo audio.

Bond in Greece (5m56s): Producer Michael Wilson comments on behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot in Greece.

Bond in Cortina (4m19s): Wilson comments on behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot in Cortina, Spain.

Neptune's Journey (3m33s): Wilson comments on behind-the-scenes footage from the underwater shoots, which were directed by Al Giddings. Turns out the sub built for the film was the catalyst for the formation of the Ian Fleming Foundation.

Credits (1m15s): Production credits for the "MI6 Vault."

007 Mission Control: An interesting feature, giving random access to scenes around a particular character or theme, all in 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio and 1080p high definition 16x9 2.35:1 video. Better than skipping through the feature disc? It depends. For fans of the opening title sequence (with and without text), this is an easy way to access it. And obviously users aren't meant to watch all the clips, but only access their favorites; otherwise, why not just watch the feature disc? The one departure from simple clips from the film is the "Exotic Locations" item, which is a montage of film locales with narration by Maude Adams, presented in high definition with stereo audio.

Inside "For Your Eyes Only" (29m46s): Brief history of the film, featuring interviews with cast and crew and archival photos and film. Spends time on the filmmakers bringing Bond "back down to earth" after the outlandishness of "Moonraker" and the various stunt sequences. Nicely produced, entertaining, with interesting archival footage. In high definition with stereo audio.

Animated Storyboard Sequence - Snowmobile Chase (1m13s): Intercut with actual footage and set to the film score.

Animated Storyboard Sequence - Underwater (1m47s): Intercut with actual footage and set to the film score.

Sheena Easton Music Video (2m46): Music video of "For Your Eyes Only." 4:3 matted widescreen and in stereo.

Theatrical Trailer (2m06s): In high definition with stereo audio.

TV Broadcasts (11m44s): Three (rather long for) TV trailers.

Radio Communication (1m06s): Two promotional radio spots.

Image Database: Large image gallery with the requisite mix of promotional stills, on-set shots, and advertising materials.

"Quantum of Solace" Movie Cash: In promotion of the upcoming Bond film starring Daniel Craig, a cover sticker has a code to access an online coupon worth up to $10.50 toward the purchase of a ticket for the movie. The sticker left a fair amount of adhesive on the cardstock cover, though it was easily removed with duct tape.


Title Recap

The Feature: 3/5
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 4/5
Overall Score (not an average): 3.5/5

For new fans of "For Your Eyes Only," the Blu-Ray release is an obvious choice, having very good audio and video to go along with a decent number of extras, several of which are now in high definition. For previous owners of the DVDs, the decision to re-purchase the title on Blu-Ray will ultimately come down to how much they enjoy the film. I found the movie one of the weaker titles in the franchise, though the special features are plentiful and the upgrade to high definition for several of them makes for a nice bonus. Ultimately, "For Your Eyes Only" won't be for everyone but should please fans of the film.
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#2 of 37 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted October 30 2008 - 12:14 AM

Quote:
Ultimately, "Live and Let Die" won't be for everyone but should please fans of the film.

I think you meant to write "For Your Eyes Only" .

#3 of 37 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted October 30 2008 - 01:59 AM

Thanks. Fixed.
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#4 of 37 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted October 30 2008 - 02:30 AM

I spun the first 15 minutes of this not too long ago and was very impressed with what I saw. I'm a big Roger Moore Bond fan and could not be happier with the way this turned out, I can only hope the others are as good.
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#5 of 37 OFFLINE   Felix Martinez

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Posted October 30 2008 - 04:57 AM

Love this one as well. Nostalgia, I guess. I thought the Blu-ray looked fantastic. Audio was good, although I did also find the dialogue to be a bit low, compared to the music and FX tracks. And I love dynamic range, but this was a balancing issue IMHO.

Love the HD upgrade on the documentary as well.

No probs playing this disc on my Panny BD-30 with latest firmware (2.5 I think is the latest as of this writing...?), but I do understand some players may have probs with this title.

However, the title sequence without credits feature (basically, the restored music video) had audio out of sync...

#6 of 37 OFFLINE   Dave_P.

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Posted October 30 2008 - 05:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron-P
I spun the first 15 minutes of this not too long ago and was very impressed with what I saw. I'm a big Roger Moore Bond fan and could not be happier with the way this turned out, I can only hope the others are as good.

Yep, same here. Hell, I'm even looking forward to A View To A Kill.

#7 of 37 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted October 30 2008 - 06:32 AM

A View to a Kill, the worst of the Roger Moore Bond films no doubt. But like you, I still have to pick it up.
You have all the weapons you need...Now fight!


#8 of 37 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted October 30 2008 - 07:59 AM

Yes doubt. Posted Image
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#9 of 37 OFFLINE   PaulDA

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Posted October 30 2008 - 01:18 PM

Moonraker is worse than A View to a Kill (though it is a close call).
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#10 of 37 OFFLINE   PaulDA

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Posted October 30 2008 - 01:26 PM

double post
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#11 of 37 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted October 30 2008 - 01:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulDA
double post


I don't even really consider Moonraker a "bond" film, so purely from a camp factor I find it fun.

Doug
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#12 of 37 OFFLINE   Joseph J.D

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Posted October 30 2008 - 01:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulDA
Moonraker is worse than A View to a Kill (though it is a close call).

Well.....Moonraker at least had Richard Kiel as Jaws in it and Shirley Bassey doing the title track.....much more entertaining than Grace Jones IMHO.

As for 'For Your Eyes Only', it's one of my favourite Roger Moore Bond films and I'm glad to have this disc. Posted Image
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#13 of 37 OFFLINE   MattFini

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Posted October 30 2008 - 01:53 PM

This is my favorite of ALL the Bond films.

I was absolutely thrilled with the quality of this one. Very well done!!!
Universal, please release Streets of Fire on Blu-ray.

#14 of 37 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted October 30 2008 - 01:53 PM

I watched FYEO tonight and thought it looked terrific. This, too, is one of my favorite Moore Bonds (next to The Spy Who Loved Me). I'm really looking forward to watching the other five films, too, and cannot wait until the next set is released. Hopefully my favorite film -- Goldfinger -- will be in the next set.

BTW, A View To a Kill and Moonraker are equally bad. Posted Image Probably the two worst Bond films in the series.

#15 of 37 OFFLINE   Jason Adams

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Posted October 31 2008 - 02:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield
I watched FYEO tonight and thought it looked terrific. This, too, is one of my favorite Moore Bonds (next to The Spy Who Loved Me). I'm really looking forward to watching the other five films, too, and cannot wait until the next set is released. Hopefully my favorite film -- Goldfinger -- will be in the next set.

BTW, A View To a Kill and Moonraker are equally bad. Posted Image Probably the two worst Bond films in the series.

I cant in my conciousness call Moonraker worse then AVTAK, simply because of the first hour...the stunning pretitles, the suspenseful centrifuge scene, and the haunting death of Corinne. If the movie had kept on that track, it could have been one of the greatest Bond's ever.

#16 of 37 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 31 2008 - 02:54 AM

Since we have gone down this road....

People mock me for this, but Roger Moore is my favorite Bond.
The reason is simply because he was the very first Bond I grew
up with in the mid 70s.

Favorite Bond film is The Spy Who Loved Me, which I think
most will agree is one of the best Bond films EVER. My second favorite
Bond film? The Man With The Golden Gun just because of the
maze sequences and the little Tattoo guy. Of course, I get mocked for
that too. Posted Image

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#17 of 37 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted October 31 2008 - 04:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
People mock me for this, but Roger Moore is my favorite Bond. The reason is simply because he was the very first Bond I grew
up with in the mid 70s.

Well, Ron, I grew up with the Moore movies too, but my father and older brothers kept telling me about this Connery guy. Once I finally relented and saw Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, Thunderball, and so on, I had to admit Connery was the best. That doesn't take away from the fact that I think The Spy Who Loved Me (while essentially a remake of You Only Live Twice) is one of the three or four best films in the series. Moore made some great films, we shouldn't take away from that because we like another actor in the lead role.

I will also add that Craig is a terrific Bond, and if he stays with the role long enough and if the films live up to the standard of Casino Royale, his could be the best tenure in the series.

#18 of 37 OFFLINE   Timothy E

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Posted October 31 2008 - 04:46 AM

Like Ron, I started seeing the James Bond movies in the 1970s and Roger Moore was the only James Bond as far as I was concerned. The first movie I saw was Moonraker, and while it is admittedly not the best in the series, I still derive much enjoyment from it for what it is.

After I read the Fleming books, I finally saw the Connery Bond pictures and my opinion ever since is that Sean Connery is the best Bond, period.

I still love Roger Moore, and his Bond pictures are fun, but for me the best Bonds are with Connery. Roger Moore's tongue in cheek approach is much better suited to his role as the famous Simon Templar. Roger Moore is terrific as the Saint, and to this day I will still go out of my way to see a Roger Moore performance. His cameo as Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the Curse of the Pink Panther is priceless!

#19 of 37 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted October 31 2008 - 05:46 AM

Moore has been, and always be my favorite Bond. Like some here I grew up with him and there's a lot of memories tied to that. While I have seen all the Bond films I do not find Connery as the better Bond. And even though Craig is a fantastic Bond, I still enjoy Moore the most.

I really hope Octopussy isn't too far behind, that is another favorite of mine next to For Your Eyes Only.
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#20 of 37 OFFLINE   PaulDA

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Posted October 31 2008 - 06:23 AM

I grew up with Roger Moore as Bond (in the 70s as well)--but once I'd seen them all (thanks to ABC Sunday Night Movie), I'd become a Connery fan, first and foremost. However, my favourite Bond film does not feature my favourite Bond actor. On Her Majesty's Secret Service is my all-time favourite and I can only imagine how much better it would have been with Connery as Bond. Ah well. It's still pretty good without him.
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