If you look back at Ebert's reviews of the various Bond movies, he seems to have an almost love-hate relationship with them. In one review, he'll complain about the predictability of the formula, while in another, he'll praise the recurring formula as a special charm of the Bond films -- in one review, he claimed they were like movements in a symphony savored by fans.
For example, I looked up some Siskel & Ebert reviews on YouTube recently. In one aired in 1983, they reviewed "Octopussy." Siskel enjoyed it, praising the stuntwork, action, as well as Moore and Maud Adams. Ebert complained the movie was the same old formula and he missed Connery.
Later that same year during a special Bond retrospective (after the release of "Never Say Never Again"), Siskel essentially condemned Moore, while Ebert said he enjoyed Moore's style. Two contradictory view in the span of less than a year.
I think you have to take these things in context and with a grain -- no, big spoonfull -- of salt.
Boy I couldn't agree with you more robdread! That's why I strongly disagree with Ebert's review of "For Your Eyes Only". He states how everything in that movie is a retread of previous Bond movies, but in most other reviews he gives good reviews for precisely that reason! Very contradictory on his part.
Now I admit that I have a bias towards FYEO as I am of Greek decent, and I enjoyed the movie partly because some of it was filmed in Greece. But setting that reason aside for sake of the review, FYEO still gets 3 stars out of 4 from me simply because it was the most serious Bond film since OHMSS, and it was far and away Moore's most serious Bond film. End of story! Just for that reason, even if all other aspects of the Bond formula are the same as before, just the mere fact that this film was such a departure from the clownish "Moonraker" warrants a solid rating if for no other reason. Only then did I add an extra half star to my review of this film since it was filmed in Greece. But irregardless of where it was filmed, it merited a good review for shaking things up, something Ebert seemed to have completely missed when he watched it.