I really like the James Bond franchise. This is part twelve of a bimonthly, 24-part series of me watching James Bond movies and providing a stream of consciousness style commentary for a given film. I will also rank the movies so stay tuned for that at the bottom of the piece. For Your Eyes Only sees EON production turn to the short stories for the first time. The movie features elements of “For Your Eyes Only” and “Riscio”, two stories in the For Your Eyes Only collection published in 1960. Coming off Moonraker this movie marks a slightly darker, more serious tone that stands apart from the Roger Moore trademark campy portrayal of Bond.
· LOOK AT THAT HEEL THAT BOND HAS IN THIS GUN BARREL. Adding at least 3 inches.
· Continuity established by visiting the late Teresa Bond
· Always like to see the Universal Exports logo in play.
· Priest with the blessing which always came across as weird, as if he is in on the plot
· This is some great helicopter stunt work by an old industrial plant. On the contrary, this is not good Blofeld work at all. The bad jokes are too bad and the entire laughing feels over the top
· For a guy who is always being screwed by 007, he hasn’t learned any lessons about killing him sooner rather than later.
· This music cue when Bond gets the upper hand is lackluster until it gets to the Bond theme — that is a good version of the Bond theme
· “I’ll buy you a delicatessen in stainless steel.” — such an inside shot and dig at Kevin McClory that I can’t really get into it.
· Sheena Easton — “For Your Eyes Only”
· It’s a nice song but I HATE that the artist is in the title credits. It’s really like a music video which is cool but so different from the other movies. Never liked it.
· Let me also say, this is a rare moment where I’ve heard another artist’s attempt at the title song that is better than what the movie selected. The artist Blondie has a much better version which you should check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2Y-hCydiXA
· Always worried when the title sequence highlights being underwater. And now on a boat: Thunderball flashbacks be damned
· So this hidden naval room is perpendicular to the rest of the boat? Or parallel? Or what?
· A.T.A.C.: Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator
· The sailor’s commitment to destroying the ATAC (and not uncuffing himself from the unit) is admirable.
· Bernard Lee as M is done. Now we have the Minister of Defense and a hideous lime green painted room
· John Glen directed this movie and let me tell you: there are always animals playing an outsized role in his movie
· Parrots are never not cool. Mimicking sounds with that precision? Brilliant.
· Some dramatic music after Melina’s parents are gunned down and an awkward zoom in on the eyes. This was originally supposed to be where the opening titles would start but they moved it earlier. Still kept the scene.
· Bond looks old in this scene. Moore has two more movies left.
· Cuban hitman resting in Madrid. Lots happening here but look at the Lotus. Looking like a million bucks.
· Wait was the girl who was necking with the guard part of a plan or just a random person? Awfully convenient.
· Bond hearing a twig break and following someone in tall grass is from the short story. As is the arrow in the back before the dive
· Always the gentleman: “excuse me” when taking the umbrella
· Melina just killing another random guy and not Bond is an interesting choice.
· Bond taking Melina by the hand is notable only because movies like The Force Awakens really pushes back against this trope
· “Burglar protected” and then an explosion. That got big laughs because this was the height of car thefts in the US (may not be factually true but it was a notable thing)
· Melina is cold when describing why she was there. Like the emotionless face.
· Not sure why at this point, but the scoring of this scene is enjoyable. Its probably because we are in the 80s.
· “Go backwards, forwards quickly!” = J turn!
· The score incorporates the Bond theme in a really awesome way.
· Bad trope of 80s movies is the speech to just off camera. Never fun.
· Describing someone that was killed via cross bow as the victim was “perforated” is a check plus
· MI6 call this “Operation Undertow.” Wait, did the Minister of Defense make an intentional pun?
· The surly attitude of the chief of staff and the Minister of Defense do line up with Q.
· I NEVER UNDERSTAND THE KILLER UMBRELLA! Like it has to rain for it to be activated so how would this practically work?
· IDENTIGRAPH! Imagine if they knew facial recognition technology for a stupid app would be funneled into global databases?
· HOW MUCH TIME ELAPSED IN THIS ROOM!? Q will lock up and everyone is gone. I’m going to say 4 hours
· Octagonal glasses is the only reason for this entire scene. Prove me wrong
· On the computer screen for Locke’s bio, the entry ends with “This machine thanks you for your attention. GOODBYE.” So darn kind!
· I wish I had water that got hot that quickly in my bathroom.
· Luigi always reminded me of Timothy Dalton when moving around with sunglasses.
· Also, you can see the entire film crew in Luigi’s sunglass reflection. Amateurs.
· General Veers from The Empire Strikes Back…I mean it’s Julian Glover
· Bibi is quite eager to please. Full stop.
· Oh Luigi with the access denied on the handshake.
· Melina always goes with the crossbow — reliable like Chewbacca.
· Melina has a look in her eye that is strong. The acting between her and Bond — not nearly as strong.
· Bond has some limits: getting it on with a super young person. Not sure how old Bibi Dahl is being played for but super young. Too young.
· Bibi Dahl also going with an outfit Joan Rivers would bring back into style 20 years later.
· Generic blond henchman from East Germany — Bond formula upheld
· Never understood why killing Bond had to happen now by Kriegler. It would be obvious that this world class athlete didn’t finish. Also, people have to hear shots echoing out.
· Small touch but I like the doors closing to make us think Bond got away but them opening to reveal, nope, he is in trouble.
· Ski jumping: they say they are never that far off the ground. I say: HOLY MOLY!
· Gimmie this 80s, cruddy videogame, probably in some Sonic the Hedgehog mod music all day long
· Skiing through extras that suddenly fall is outstanding — like the ski work that the Bond movies do in general.
· Bond is checking off the winter Olympics event list one by one
· That was a very long chase on reflection but an incredibly satisfying one.
· This ice hockey scene is pretty much a buzzkill.
· Some accuse the Moore movies of having a tone consistency of a roller coaster. The ice hockey scene followed by the death of Luigi is a prime example of this
· Even if I know the outcome, Bond in a casino for a little bit is always satisfying
· Also, other folks at the table in future scenes should be celebrity cameos
· Columbo is my favorite ally of Bond’s. He barely rises above the high bar set by Kerim Bey in From Russia With Love
· You know for not having the internet or exchanging phone numbers, people can travel across countries and arrive at the exact same place
· Bond dismissing the driver is such a bold move but know thy self.
· This use of dune buggies is great.
· Locke running over the Countess is totally brutal. Like probably hurt in real life.
· Columbo is down 3 buttons on this shirt and it looks like the shirt only has 6 buttons
· We are 1:15 into this movie and the ATAC machine feels incredibly forgotten.
· Some people are bringing knifes or straight right hands to this gun fight
· Locke isn’t totally a henchman but he is a good intermediate villain role. Always up to something and with an escape plan
· Superspy Bond with a good cardio game on display. Not intimidated by a couple of stairs.
· Moore famously didn’t want his Bond to be so violent. They had two takes: one where the dove made the car fall and he other with Moore kicking the car. The kick was the best take in my opinion.
· So did Melina and her family discover Atlantis light?
· Also, why did she leave the tank down there? I didn’t get that.
· It can’t be overstated: Bond always had cool locations and technology and this two person submarine qualifies.
· Bond is all about saving this air mixture but he has time to get off these jokes. Oy.
· Yes, just say it out loud and burn through this oxygen 007
· So I don’t think it is too much to say that another human popping up behind you while underwater is the most frightening thing that could happen to most super hero adjacent people
· Bond was in a remarkably precarious situation there and sorta squirmed his way to safety which is a little anti-climactic but such is life.
· I cannot remember such a close quarters submarine quarrel. It’s a novel concept that could be worked again in a movie
· Did he need to clear off that desk just to set the ATAC on the desk…to then pick it up less than a minute later?
· Being dragged by a speedboat across coral is a very clever way to kill someone. This movie does a good job in that department — creativity using the landscape
· This movies does a good job of showing the depth of a boat in water — and teaching me that one cannot simply go under a boat with ease.
· That damn air tank that was needlessly left underwater.
· Not sure if you can tell but the bubbles for Melina are green screen. She is never underwater for these scenes — super clever shooting here.
· Very small detail but I LOVE (LOOOOOVE) the use of the Bond theme as Kristatos tells his crew to leave. It’s dark, brooding, and a bit sinister. They survived this and the theme isn’t triumphant. LOVE IT
· The useless bird is the break they need after declaring they wouldn’t get a break in finding Kristatos.
· Lots of odd religious references in this movie
· Bond scaling up this mountain is intense. Sure. But not nearly as intense as the fall.
· OK I just watched the fall and my legs shook in nervousness.
· Apparently, this shoestring pulley system is a real thing and that’s amazing.
· This is what I like in a movie — there are some real stakes and real risks on display. Also, no doubt Tom Cruise would actually do this scene today
· How did no one else heat this guy screaming during the fall? That bird being startled got Kristatos’ guy to wait and watch!
· Crossbow is very effective but that he isn’t dead is regrettable.
· Was irritated by the prisoner making noise and forgot Columbo was going to knock him out. So pleased he did.
· Needless violence against women satisfied at multiple points in this movie. Slapping Bibi was so extra. Of the time and awful.
· The dispatching of Kriegler from the East German all-stars is lacking.
· This entire ending feels very flat. Dull. Stiff and sudden.
· Thatcher reference here at the end and a comedic bit to remind you this IS a Roger Moore movie.
So there we go. Let be honest: this movie is a vehicle for phenomenal set pieces that go long and a plot that is forgettable. It seemed like the movie forgot about it as we were chasing down Locke. It is not my favorite Moore movie but I think it feels the The World is Not Enough space of movies that are better than remembered but not too memorable. Below are my updated rankings:
1) From Russia With Love
4) The Spy Who Loved Me
5) Live and Let Die
6) The Man with the Golden Gun
7) Dr. No
9) For Your Eyes Only
11) Diamonds Are Forever