Christoph Waltz to Return as Blofeld in Bond 25

The as-yet-untitled Bond 25 will see a familiar face joining Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Lea Seydoux, and Naomie Harris. Actor Christopher Waltz, who played the villainous Blofeld in Spectre, will return to play him in the upcoming sequel, according to The Daily Mail.

Blofeld, previously portrayed by Donald Pleasance, Telly Savalas, and Charles Gray in the main franchise, is the ultimate baddy of the Bond franchise, having appeared in a large number of installments, pulling the strings in the background of the evil Spectre.

The film is being directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga of True Detective fame and will feature many more returning faces, but I was shocked and pleased to learn that Waltz was one of them.

Spectre was not beloved by Bond fans in the same way Casino Royale and Skyfall were. I think the updates made to Blofeld in this new iteration of Bond didn’t really go over well, even though I’ve always found Waltz to be one of the most incredible performers working today, and I rather like his take on the villain. I like the idea of an antithesis to James Bond, and Blofeld is just that. Spectre did a lot of work tying the Daniel Craig saga together, and I think it would be odd to completely ignore it for the final installment of Craig’s run as the spy.

So what do you think? Should they ignore Blofeld or include him in Bond 25? Let me know/Drop a comment below!

 

-Kyle A. Goethe

Moonlight (2016)

Director: Barry Jenkins

Cast: Mahershala Ali, Duan Sanderson, Trevante Rhodes, Andre Holland, Janelle Monae, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harris

Screenplay: Barry Jenkins

111 mins. Rated R for sexuality, drug use, brief violence, and language throughout.

  • Academy Award Winner: Best Motion Picture of the Year
  • Academy Award Winner: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Mahershala Ali)
  • Academy Award Winner: Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Naomie Harris)
  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Achievement in Directing
  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Achievement in Cinematography
  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Acheivement in Film Editing
  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Achievment in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

 

Don’t get upset. Moonlight won Best Picture and La La Land did not. Don’t be angry. I foresaw the win (but not the controversy) but needed to see the film before making my own judgment call. I needed to see for myself what the hubbub was all about. I’ve now seen Moonlight several times, and it’s one of the best and most important films you will ever see.

Moonlight’s storytelling technique is a little complex, so I’ll explain. Moonlight is in three pieces, each showcasing a different period in the life of Chiron. In each of the three key pieces, Chiron is played by a different actor of course. There is Little (Alex Hibbert), Chiron (Ashton Sanders, Straight Outta Compton, The Retrieval) and Black (Trevante Rhodes, The Night is Young, Open Windows). The narrative explores Chiron’s upbringing, his relationship with drug dealer Juan (Mahershala Ali, TV’s House of Cards, Free State of Jones) and his mother Paula (Naomie Harris, Skyfall, Collateral Beauty), and the themes of sexuality and identity that run through Chiron’s blood. It is an elegant and powerful tale.

The strength of Moonlight comes from the incredible ensemble both in front and behind the camera. The performances from Ali and Harris first spring to mind, but all three actors playing Chiron are just incredible.

Director Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy) put together a great team from a technical standpoint, bathing each stage of Chiron’s life in a different color tone. The film is gorgeously shot and expertly edited into a tight runtime that leaves little out of place. In fact, each piece of the story has its own musical cues and moments to play with. It almost feels like you could watch any one part of the story as a short film and be quite satisfied, but in the grander scheme, Chiron’s life comes into full view.

Moonlight is damn impressive, and very deserving of the Best Picture Oscar it took back from La La Land. I love both films, but I think Moonlight is exactly what it sets out to be and narrowly edges out La La Land. This is impressive filmmaking at its core, and I highly recommend you see it immediately.

 

5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2014)

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Director: Tom Harper

Cast: Phoebe Fox, Jeremy Irvine, Helen McCrory, Adrian Rawlins, Leanne Best, Ned Dennehy

Screenplay: Jon Croker

98 mins. Rated PG-13 for some disturbing and frightening imagery and for thematic elements.

 

Ah, the January movie dump bin…how tragic.

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Decades after the events of the first film, Eve Parkins (Phoebe Fox, One Day, War Book) and Jean Hogg (Helen McCrory, TV’s Penny Dreadful, Skyfall) have taken their schoolchildren to the Eel Marsh House in Crythin Gifford as a place of refuge. Eve doesn’t fully understand, though, that a dark force still resides in the house and wants the children for herself. Now, Eve and her new friend Harry (Jeremy Irvine, War Horse, Beyond the Reach) must discover the horrifying truth about the Woman in Black (Leanne Best, TV’s Ripper Street, Salting the Battlefield).

Helen McCrory is kind of a bish in this movie. Yeah, I said it. Bish.

There are two classic types of characters in horror films. The first is the character that you want to live. The second is the character that you want to die. Then, there are the characters of The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death, the type of character that you just want to be interested in, but you still don’t. Not a single character is performed in such a way that I cared about any of them.

Don’t even get me started on the look of this film. It certainly has less elegance to it than The Woman in Black, very poorly shot and very blurry during some of the sequences that should’ve been more exciting. The film was also very poorly lit. I couldn’t see a damn thing.

The question we need to be asking ourselves when seeing a sequel is: how are we progressing the story or taking the series in a new direction? With this bland sequel, we don’t have an answer. This film is unneeded and essentially rehashes the progression of the first film. We don’t move forward. We, in fact, move backward. I’m not even sure how that is possible, but it happened.

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The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death goes nowhere when it makes a smart move that explore new territory by moving the story forward years. It could have built on the story presented of the first film, and then it didn’t.

 

1/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

 

Philomena (2013)

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Director: Stephen Frears

Cast: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan

Screenplay: Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope

98 mins. Rated PG-13 for some strong language, thematic elements and sexual references.

 

At this point, I’ve seen each of the ten Best Picture nominees from this past year’s Academy Awards, and I will admit this: the surprise win of the year is Philomena, a delightful little film about a woman on a search to find the son she gave up decades previous and the writer looking for a story who joins her. It is a simple premise with an extraordinary path waiting to develop. Judi Dench (Skyfall, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) is Philomena Lee, and easily deserves the nomination she received for her performance. Her character is equal parts comedic genius and devastating regret. I recall the connection I had with this woman just watching her struggle with maintaining a positive outlook on her often dismal journey.

Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge, Despicable Me 2) is Martin Sixsmith, a disgraced writer who takes on Philomena’s life as a possible return to success. Their relationship is what makes this film so magical. The way Philomena views life and the discussions between her and Martin, I could listen to them discuss TV Guide. In fact, there is a sequence in which Philomena explains the plot of a romance novel to Martin, and I couldn’t stop giggling.

This is a film with the ability to be both the feel-good movie of the last year and the film to make you reflect on the regrets that you have made. It is thought-provoking, it is beautifully crafted by director Stephen Frears, and it is watchable.

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Philomena may be one of the most perfect unwatched movies of recent memory. Now why haven’t you watched it?

 

4.5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

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