Christoph Waltz as Blofeld - Hit or miss?

145791020

Comments

  • DariusDarius UK
    edited November 2015 Posts: 354
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Blofeld shouldn't smile so much. Waltz is the Koskov of Blofelds even though he does some truly fiendish things.

    But how does he smile! It's a cold smile, not a buffonish smile. And unlike Koskov or indeed Gray's Blofeld there is nothing comedic about him. He's sometimes an amiable villain, sometimes ironic but never a clown. If anything Silva was more of a sinister clown.

    Sorry, Ludo, but after one viewing Walz's Blofeld completely lacks the requisite menace and intimidation factor. I actually thought Denbigh was the more compelling and unsettling villain. Dominic Greene too, while we're about it.

    I strongly disagree especially about Denbigh who comes off as a scheming sleazy eel but not nearly as menacing.

    I would go with this. Denbigh has absolutely no ounce (or I suppose it's gram these days) of menace whatsoever. He comes over as a sycophantic little squit, the likes of which are found slithering to their bosses the world over. I've encountered his type many times before and the easiest way to dispatch them is to buy a fly swatter. Either that or say "Boo!" very loudly and they go scuttling back to their mum's basement with their tail between their legs. Ralph Fiennes' M quite rightly ate Denbigh for breakfast.

    Someone on these boards asked the question: "Why didn't Denbigh realise that his gun was light of ammo?" The answer is simple: his kind wouldn't really know how to hold a gun, let alone how heavy a loaded one weighed. That much is evident from the way that sorry excuse for a man was hefting it.

    Anyone who says that he's more menacing or compelling than Oberhauser (especially after the Rome board meeting) really does need to see the movie again. Given the choice of who I'd rather be pitted against, it'd be Denbigh every time.

    Now where's that fly swatter?
  • Posts: 14,865
    Waltz is good with what he's given, but I just can't see him as a hit because of this foster brother thing. I didn't think that bringing back SPECTRE and Blofeld was a good idea in the first place, but this is just beyond ridiculous.

    There were terrible flaws in Bond films before, but I think this is absolutely the worst decision in the James Bond history. I really wish I wasn't feeling this way, but this is such a huge, huge disappointment for me. Bond's foster brother was jealous because his father loved James more than him, so he killed his father, created the worlds biggest crime syndicate, all the while trying to make Bond's life miserable. This sounds like a soap opera plot to me.

    Apparently, I'm in the minority here as no one else sees this as utterly ridiculous. Unfortunately, this can't be undone, so unless they ditch this story altogether (which is highly unlikely), my anticipation of the next Bond movie is at it's lowest point. Which is a shame, really, because I like Daniel Craig, CR was a fantastic movie, SF was excellent, even QoS is a fine film. I'm not saying everything in SPECTRE was bad, there are things in it that I like, but this casts a shadow on the entire film.

    Beforehand I was quite skeptical about this as well. The whole "foster brother thing".

    But after having seen the film, I think you put way way too much focus on the "brother" aspect, without the "foster".

    As I understood correctly, both Hannes Oberhauser and Franz Oberhauser were presumed dead after the skiing accident. James Bond always thought that. So there's nothing contrived about that. Moreover, "SPECTRE" did not even elaborate about the relationship between Bond and Oberhauser when they were kids.

    Secondly, for me, being a foster brother, is nothing more than a fact based on paperwork and official document. Even I had a foster father, just in case my parents would die when I was aged 16 or less (a kid). in Holland it's a perfectly normal construction.

    So for me this construction felt way less contrived than, let's say, filming scenes of Bond and Oberhauser at young age. A construction that was done in "Batman Begins".

    And like Vesper said in "Casino Royale": "So you were looked after by the grace of someone else's charity" (=Hannes Oberhauser).

    One last thing, I was afraid that there wouldn't be a clear and believable explanation for Oberhauser turning into Blofeld. But I forgot one important thing. Like Oberhauser said: "I am Ernst Stavro Blofeld. I took the names from my mother's family bloodline". A kind of behaviour that reminded me of Elektra King and how she flushed down her dad's heritage down the toilet out of revenge.

    To summarize everything: I think it was a wonderful idea to bring back Blofeld in this particular way. It worked. And now it's time for all those Bond-hating reviewers to actually READ Ian Fleming's Blofeld trilogy and indulge in the larger-than-life appearances of the man. "SPECTRE" rules. Ian Fleming would have loved this film.

    Changing name/identity is also a common trope in Ian Fleming's works: Le Chiffre, Hugo Drax, Julius No and... Ernst Stavro Blofeld all did it. Granted, Blofeld's name is his real name and the one he always came back to, but the point is there is a literary precedent.

    I also think people make too much of the foster brother aspect. I doubt Bond and Blofeld ever considered themselves brothers. They share a certain affection for one father figure. Actually, Blofeld seemed more to have a sense of entitlement than love for his biological father. Bond must have never noticed the jealousy.

    Talking of fathers, this is also a common trope in Fleming's novels: the "good," legitimate father figure (M, Oberhauser, Mathis), versus the depraved, monstrous, twisted father figure that is the villain (who is a direct descendant of Saturn, Cronos, Ouranos, Laius and even Satan).
  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your familyModerator
    Posts: 10,588
    jobo wrote: »
    After my second viewing yesterday I find it even more baffling how any one could not warm to this version of Blofeld and Waltz' performance!

    Strongly agree. His performance is outstanding.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    edited November 2015 Posts: 6,010
    Mansfield wrote: »
    You are on spot there @DarthDimi. From a thematic perspective, they signified all of the people Bond had a hand in killing. By taking into account that Vesper gave up her life for Bond's freedom and he delivered M to Silva. It would be well served to place doubt in his mind for rescuing Madeline. Maybe they should have added her picture at the end of the corridor.

    Now that we discuss it, perhaps my significant problem with it is that they were previously shown to have a connection. Seems to be just a case of overcooking the link.

    They had an opportunity to include Fields as well. I'd rather they have gone that angle than Silva, personally. (And I'll bet that had Mendes not directed SF, they wouldn't have tried to tie that film into Blofeld's backstory.)

    When I saw the trailer and young Oberhauser's face was burnt out, my initial thought was that young Bond tried to repress the memory of YO by burning the photo (as opposed to the SF fire causing it). Either way, it seems the "blotting out" is simply not to give away Waltz' face so early?

    I did like that Blofeld had the right photos in Bond and Swann's rooms in Morocco...kind of tied in nicely to the photos at MI6 at the end.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,640
    @dire399, please use the edit button and avoid double posts.
  • "SPECTRE" felt like a good dose of sex for me: I left the place with a big smile :-D
  • As for Waltz: He's underused and ends up giving the same performance he always give. I think he just wasn't given enough material despite being ideal for the part (if not a little too perfect). He's fine, but I want to see more more menace next time out (he's definitely coming back with or without Craig). I also loved his delivery of "Ernst Stavro Blofeld". Very Germanic.

    This sums it up for me. I think Christoph Waltz can do no wrong, and it's a shame he wasn't given more to work with. Obviously this would have required more foresight, but for Blofeld to be behind all of these plots, there hasn't been much to hint at it along the way. This serves to really only connect Blofeld to the villain plot of this film, which I found weak and far from original.
  • To be honest, I think my opinion of him may entirely depend on whether he returns in B25. If this is really all we get of CW as ESB, then I'll be disappointed. But this *could* just as easily be a brilliant setup for his return (with DC back also, of course).
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited November 2015 Posts: 23,883
    To be honest, I think my opinion of him may entirely depend on whether he returns in B25. If this is really all we get of CW as ESB, then I'll be disappointed. But this *could* just as easily be a brilliant setup for his return (with DC back also, of course).

    I agree. If this is it, then what a waste.

    If he's back for B25 (both Seydoux and him) then perhaps they can give more depth to both their characters.

    Quite frankly, I can't understand why Waltz (as a double Oscar winner) would have taken this role if what they gave us in SP is all there is for him. He probably could have realized from reading the part that it was somewhat thinly written. So I suspect there is more to this. I hope so anway.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,578
    Blofeld has returned to the films for the first time in decades AND he survived the events of SP's finale; of course he's going to return in the next movie! I don't see anything but that happening at this point, unless they decide to put Blofeld back into the shadows and focus on some standalone mission for 'Bond 25' for some unknown reason.
  • Posts: 14,865
    Waltz is not underused: Blofeld needs to stay in the shadows mostly, a presence that is difficult to perceive. He is, after all, a ghost. There was a risk of overusing him actually.

    Looking back at the previous three movies, it makes perfect sense than the shadowy organization that we had seen in CR and QOS (albeit with a different name) had a leader and was not merely run by a committee of villains. I suspect they wrote SP with a crypto-Blofeld in mind at first, then when they had the rights secured they decided to make him Blofeld.
  • I agree, @bondjames. I would hope and assume that EON signed CW to at least a two-picture deal. If not then, like you said, what a waste.
  • MansfieldMansfield Where the hell have you been?
    Posts: 1,263
    echo wrote: »
    I did like that Blofeld had the right photos in Bond and Swann's rooms in Morocco...kind of tied in nicely to the photos at MI6 at the end.
    That was a perfect touch.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,578
    I thought another perfect touch in the Morocco scenes was the addition of Vesper's interrogation tape. Didn't necessarily add or take away anything that was key from the story, but it was a wonderful little addition to the fans who have followed along and know who she was and what that tape probably entailed.
  • To be honest, I think my opinion of him may entirely depend on whether he returns in B25. If this is really all we get of CW as ESB, then I'll be disappointed. But this *could* just as easily be a brilliant setup for his return (with DC back also, of course).

    I considered that. A stronger follow up to Spectre could change my opinion about Spectre, if Spectre is merely a set up to something better.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Waltz is not underused: Blofeld needs to stay in the shadows mostly, a presence that is difficult to perceive. He is, after all, a ghost. There was a risk of overusing him actually.

    Looking back at the previous three movies, it makes perfect sense than the shadowy organization that we had seen in CR and QOS (albeit with a different name) had a leader and was not merely run by a committee of villains. I suspect they wrote SP with a crypto-Blofeld in mind at first, then when they had the rights secured they decided to make him Blofeld.

    Absolutely.

    I really don't know what else people expected. I thought he was so bloody good and every time I watch it I'm itching to see him on screen. His screen time is perfectly balanced.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    edited November 2015 Posts: 40,578
    Some don't understand his introduction - mainly how he interacts with some of the underlings - but I thought it added the perfectly creepy feel his character needed: the first words he utters, the way we don't see his face for a few minutes, how he has the man place the mic closer to him, the way he whispers to let it be known what he wants, etc. Amazing.
  • Posts: 1,680
    In the spoiler review thread there is a common complaint that Oberhauser was responsible for all of the events of the 3 previous films. & he was trying to punish him. This is not the case, I think Bond didnt come to Oberhausers attention until QOS & obviously the PTS of SP. Even Oberhauser says he got involved & interfered in his world.

    Oberhauser was running a terrorist network intent on control, CR & QOS it wasnt until Bond killed Sciarra that Oberhauser decided it was time to deal with him finally.
  • Ludovico wrote: »
    Waltz is not underused: Blofeld needs to stay in the shadows mostly, a presence that is difficult to perceive. He is, after all, a ghost. There was a risk of overusing him actually.

    Looking back at the previous three movies, it makes perfect sense than the shadowy organization that we had seen in CR and QOS (albeit with a different name) had a leader and was not merely run by a committee of villains. I suspect they wrote SP with a crypto-Blofeld in mind at first, then when they had the rights secured they decided to make him Blofeld.

    His up-front presence certainly didn't hurt OHMSS one bit. Then again, Telly's take was vastly superior.

  • Was very, very disappointed by Waltz (although I'd say probably 60% of the blame lies with the writing). So it was certainly a "miss" for me.

    I'd rank him in my bottom 5(ish) of BOnd villains.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,578
    @Tuck91, why would he have pictures of Le Chiffre and Vesper and discuss Vesper's demise if he was unaware of Bond's presence until QoS?
  • Posts: 14,865
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Waltz is not underused: Blofeld needs to stay in the shadows mostly, a presence that is difficult to perceive. He is, after all, a ghost. There was a risk of overusing him actually.

    Looking back at the previous three movies, it makes perfect sense than the shadowy organization that we had seen in CR and QOS (albeit with a different name) had a leader and was not merely run by a committee of villains. I suspect they wrote SP with a crypto-Blofeld in mind at first, then when they had the rights secured they decided to make him Blofeld.

    His up-front presence certainly didn't hurt OHMSS one bit. Then again, Telly's take was vastly superior.

    Blofeld was not upfront in OHMSS: he appears quite a while into the film (halfway?). He is referred to a long time before showing up. Same thing in the novel. It is early to tell which one I prefer over Savalas or Waltz, but Waltz is certainly a hit for me.
  • AntiLocqueBrakesAntiLocqueBrakes The edge
    Posts: 538
    "SPECTRE" felt like a good dose of sex for me: I left the place with a big smile :-D

    Can't kill YOUR dreams.

  • Ludovico wrote: »
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Waltz is not underused: Blofeld needs to stay in the shadows mostly, a presence that is difficult to perceive. He is, after all, a ghost. There was a risk of overusing him actually.

    Looking back at the previous three movies, it makes perfect sense than the shadowy organization that we had seen in CR and QOS (albeit with a different name) had a leader and was not merely run by a committee of villains. I suspect they wrote SP with a crypto-Blofeld in mind at first, then when they had the rights secured they decided to make him Blofeld.

    His up-front presence certainly didn't hurt OHMSS one bit. Then again, Telly's take was vastly superior.

    Blofeld was not upfront in OHMSS: he appears quite a while into the film (halfway?). He is referred to a long time before showing up. Same thing in the novel. It is early to tell which one I prefer over Savalas or Waltz, but Waltz is certainly a hit for me.

    I would wager Telly occupied a far higher percentage of OHMSS' running time than Waltz did SP's.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,020
    "SPECTRE" felt like a good dose of sex for me: I left the place with a big smile :-D

    For me it was an 148 minute orgasm :))

    And I have fallen madly in love with this movie.

    I even had to dethrone GoldenEye in my ranking, something I would never have thought possible!
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Waltz is not underused: Blofeld needs to stay in the shadows mostly, a presence that is difficult to perceive. He is, after all, a ghost. There was a risk of overusing him actually.

    Looking back at the previous three movies, it makes perfect sense than the shadowy organization that we had seen in CR and QOS (albeit with a different name) had a leader and was not merely run by a committee of villains. I suspect they wrote SP with a crypto-Blofeld in mind at first, then when they had the rights secured they decided to make him Blofeld.

    His up-front presence certainly didn't hurt OHMSS one bit. Then again, Telly's take was vastly superior.

    Blofeld was not upfront in OHMSS: he appears quite a while into the film (halfway?). He is referred to a long time before showing up. Same thing in the novel. It is early to tell which one I prefer over Savalas or Waltz, but Waltz is certainly a hit for me.

    I would wager Telly occupied a far higher percentage of OHMSS' running time than Waltz did SP's.

    Savalas benefitted from being in a seminal film. Objectively he's not really that close to Fleming's Blofeld. Waltz is.
  • Posts: 1,310
    Waltz is wasted in the role. I found it quite puzzling as to how/why the film sidelined an actor of his caliber for most of it.

    Despite Blofeld's lame back story and the baffling retconning of the previous three films, Waltz gives a good performance, but thanks to the script it is certainly an uphill attempt on his behalf.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,020
    Not only is Waltz simply brilliant in every scene and with every word he speaks, but he is even brilliant when he is in the shadows not speaking!
  • edited November 2015 Posts: 14,865
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Waltz is not underused: Blofeld needs to stay in the shadows mostly, a presence that is difficult to perceive. He is, after all, a ghost. There was a risk of overusing him actually.

    Looking back at the previous three movies, it makes perfect sense than the shadowy organization that we had seen in CR and QOS (albeit with a different name) had a leader and was not merely run by a committee of villains. I suspect they wrote SP with a crypto-Blofeld in mind at first, then when they had the rights secured they decided to make him Blofeld.

    His up-front presence certainly didn't hurt OHMSS one bit. Then again, Telly's take was vastly superior.

    Blofeld was not upfront in OHMSS: he appears quite a while into the film (halfway?). He is referred to a long time before showing up. Same thing in the novel. It is early to tell which one I prefer over Savalas or Waltz, but Waltz is certainly a hit for me.

    I would wager Telly occupied a far higher percentage of OHMSS' running time than Waltz did SP's.

    That may be so but he is still unseen for the first half or so of the movie. Besides, that is beside the point: Dr No is only seen a few minutes before the end of the movie titled after him and it does serve him.
    RC7 wrote: »
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Waltz is not underused: Blofeld needs to stay in the shadows mostly, a presence that is difficult to perceive. He is, after all, a ghost. There was a risk of overusing him actually.

    Looking back at the previous three movies, it makes perfect sense than the shadowy organization that we had seen in CR and QOS (albeit with a different name) had a leader and was not merely run by a committee of villains. I suspect they wrote SP with a crypto-Blofeld in mind at first, then when they had the rights secured they decided to make him Blofeld.

    His up-front presence certainly didn't hurt OHMSS one bit. Then again, Telly's take was vastly superior.

    Blofeld was not upfront in OHMSS: he appears quite a while into the film (halfway?). He is referred to a long time before showing up. Same thing in the novel. It is early to tell which one I prefer over Savalas or Waltz, but Waltz is certainly a hit for me.

    I would wager Telly occupied a far higher percentage of OHMSS' running time than Waltz did SP's.

    Savalas benefitted from being in a seminal film. Objectively he's not really that close to Fleming's Blofeld. Waltz is.

    Indeed. Savalas does have something of Blofeld's look in the novel TB, but his attitude is different in many aspects: he is more active, for one, he also seems to have a certain attraction towards women. Waltz's Blofeld is far more cerebral and may be asexual... Just like the novel's Blofeld. He is certainly a puritan: I need to watch the movie, but do we see him smoke or drink at all?
  • Posts: 1,548
    Just hope he returns
Sign In or Register to comment.