Blake HowardComment

Revisionist History and "Churchill" (2017) Review

“Churchill” is to its subject what the “The Green Berets” was to the Vietnam War. “Berets” attempted to make a World War Two heroic propaganda in the wrong war. “Churchill” wants to humanise the man and instead devolves into a blatantly misleading revisionist history.

Blake HowardComment
Revisionist History and "Churchill" (2017) Review
Blake HowardComment

“Song to Song” (2017) Sydney Film Festival Review

“Song to Song” feels like the memory Malick intended, if he suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Blake HowardComment
“Song to Song” (2017) Sydney Film Festival Review
Blake HowardComment

Ultim-APE-um: “War for the Planet of the Apes” (2017) Review

Reeves and Bomback may be playing with actors in leotards, and the incredible CGI transformation; but the pleasure of the entire Apes series is that they’re about something. They’re ultimately about the frightening consequence of the human impulse to innovate and explore. They place a fragile humanity in a position that requires empathy and diplomacy, in the face of a threatening circumstance

Blake HowardComment
Ultim-APE-um: “War for the Planet of the Apes” (2017) Review
Blake HowardComment

Being the Boogeyman -  “John Wick: Chapter Two” (2017) Review

Wick is the role that Reeves was born for; despite its dependence on the original, “John Wick: Chapter Two” is top shelf revenge as stylish as the protagonist.

Blake HowardComment
Being the Boogeyman -  “John Wick: Chapter Two” (2017) Review
Blake HowardComment

The Thin Line Between Malick and Spielberg - "Dunkirk" (2017)

Christopher Nolan’s latest film “Dunkirk” is a technical wonder. The jaw-dropping IMAX 70mm cinematography from Hoyte Van Hoytema (who lensed “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” “Her” and “Interstellar”), precision editing from Nolan’s regular collaborator Lee Smith and deafening and terrifying sound editing from Richard King et al create a staggering and immersive experience.

Blake HowardComment
The Thin Line Between Malick and Spielberg - "Dunkirk" (2017)
Blake HowardComment

“Happy End” (2017) Sydney Film Festival Review

Haneke’s “Happy End” is darkly funny, impeccably made and the performers relish being conducted by a master; however it doesn’t have as clear a drive or fervent punch of his other string of incredible works...

Blake HowardComment
 “Happy End” (2017) Sydney Film Festival Review
Blake HowardComment

“Ordinary People” (2016) Sydney Film Festival Review

One hopes desperately that this confronting film is an exaggeration - not the ‘ordinary’ experience in Manilla. “Ordinary People,” is not a neo-realist film about working class life, set in a culture of poverty, making a case for redistribution of wealth. The grim reality portrayed is horrific, the moral undertones make it mean. 

Blake HowardComment
“Ordinary People” (2016) Sydney Film Festival Review
Blake HowardComment

“The Wall” (2017) Sydney Film Festival Review

“The Wall” is a war movie, make no bones about it. Despite the slick premise, the refreshingly sound logic, the ‘real-time’ experience of the characters and the blistering pace, it presents the conflicted ethics and morality of the American war in Afghanistan.

Blake HowardComment
“The Wall” (2017) Sydney Film Festival Review
Blake HowardComment

“The Other Side of Hope” (2017) Sydney Film Festival Review

Aki Kaurismäki’s “The Other Side of Hope” is the kind of film about asylum seekers that one imagines Rainer Werner Fassbinder would have made.

Blake HowardComment
“The Other Side of Hope” (2017) Sydney Film Festival Review
Blake HowardComment

"Transformers: The Last Knight" (2017) Review

“Transformers: The Last Knight” is a bad film – in fact, it’s one of the most ludicrous films ever made.

Blake HowardComment
"Transformers: The Last Knight" (2017) Review
Blake HowardComment

"Ingrid Goes West" (2017) Sydney Film Festival Review

“Ingrid Goes West” is filmmakers Smith and Spicer going ‘behind the filter’ on social media obsession and disarming you with humour. You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, but don't you dare look at your phone.

Blake HowardComment
"Ingrid Goes West" (2017) Sydney Film Festival Review
Blake HowardComment

"Manifesto" (2017) Sydney Film Festival Review

“Manifesto” may have been a vibrant, disorientating and fascinating art installation. As a film, it’s an agonising, mind numbing slog.

Blake HowardComment
"Manifesto" (2017) Sydney Film Festival Review
Blake HowardComment

The problematic representation in “Australia Day” (2017)

“Australia Day” is stuck in an interconnecting formula that propagates stereotypes, and wedges gaps between racial tribes that no closing montage can correct.

Blake HowardComment
The problematic representation in “Australia Day” (2017)
Blake HowardComment

Sydney Film Festival 2017 Diary Days 1-3

Welcome to my weird and wonderful experiences of the Sydney Film Festival 2017. 

Blake HowardComment
Sydney Film Festival 2017 Diary Days 1-3
Blake HowardComment

Inside the memory aquarium of “Una” (2016)

Director Benedict Andrews and writer David Harrower (who adapted the film from his own play “Blackbird”) create an all round uncomfortable viewing experience  with “Una.” Wrestling with the subject of statutory rape and the ambivalent agency of a girl on the edge of womanhood.

Blake HowardComment
Inside the memory aquarium of “Una” (2016)
Blake HowardComment

Punk Rock Doc - “We Don’t Need A Map” (2017) 

The first stanza of “We Don’t Need A Map” is a furious, energetic, punk rock f*ck you, that kicks the audiences arse with a collision of styles and content.

Blake HowardComment
Punk Rock Doc - “We Don’t Need A Map” (2017) 
Blake HowardComment

"Whitney: 'Can I Be Me'" Audio Review

Whitney Houston. A once in a generation voice. A movie star. A household name. A Diva whose brightness was extinguished by drug addiction at the all too early age of 48. It's almost shocking to consider that despite Houston's rise to a stratospheric level of fame in the 80s and early 90s that by the time of her death, she'd retreated into a level of obscurity. Nick Broomfield and co-director  Rudi Dolezal attempt to resurrect her. 

Blake HowardComment
"Whitney: 'Can I Be Me'" Audio Review
Blake HowardComment

"Barbecue" (2017) and life as we know it

While Australia blissfully throws shrimps on the 'Barbeeee' and assumes that we're the world's greatest snag turners; Matthew Salleh's "Barbecue" takes us around the world to reinforce the elemental practice of cooking meat over fire for your tribe.

Blake HowardComment
"Barbecue" (2017) and life as we know it
Blake HowardComment

“LA LA LAND” (2016) Dance away your modern malaise

“La La Land” takes a city of broken dreams and gives us characters that are willing to take chances in spite of tasting that bitter pill of reality.

Blake HowardComment
“LA LA LAND” (2016) Dance away your modern malaise
Blake HowardComment

“ALIEN: COVENANT” (2017) and nurturing a vicious nature [SPOILERS]

Prometheus” travelled the universe to confront our newly discovered creators with “why” and we glimpsed a creature that resembled the beast that haunted our expansion and colonisation of the universe. “Covenant” looks at the evolution of the beast and asks if it is just an evolutionary step beyond what the universal architects developed; or something else entirely. 

Blake HowardComment
“ALIEN: COVENANT” (2017) and nurturing a vicious nature [SPOILERS]
Blake HowardComment

“Wonder Woman” (2017); ‘She’s your queen to beeeee’

“Wonder Woman” gracefully ascends into the arena and defiantly delivers a stylish, funny adventure made with heart. After the genre shaking “Logan” and the genre redefining “Wonder Woman,” there’s only one thing left to be said: your move Marvel. 

Blake HowardComment
“Wonder Woman” (2017); ‘She’s your queen to beeeee’

The shameful waste of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is a movie sequel that exploits the loyalty of its fans; mindlessly splatters hundreds of millions of dollars of budget across the screen; and finally was the victim of diva controversy that robbed the Australian film industry of promotion and reward for its investment

The shameful waste of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”

triple j Application Reviews: "La La Land," "The Get Down" and "The Phantom Menace."

A short thank you Marc Fennell for creating the vacancy that I applied for.

triple j Application Reviews: "La La Land," "The Get Down" and "The Phantom Menace."

"LION” (2016) and the raw edge of human experience

“Lion” is unadulterated cinema, reaching out to the audience to embrace and be embraced.  

"LION” (2016) and the raw edge of human experience