Blake HowardComment

“Horror Movie: A Low Budget Nightmare” (2017) Review

There’s a kind of rare documentary about a film that enhances and arguably eclipses its subject. “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse,” a behind the scenes look at the madness that forged the masterful “Apocalypse Now” was the primary example; until now.

Blake HowardComment
 “Horror Movie: A Low Budget Nightmare” (2017) Review
Blake HowardComment

"Kingsman: The Golden Circle" & "mother!" Reviewed

Let’s find out if the second fitting of the Kingsman’s self-aware spy garb still makes the cut; and discuss the harrowing, controversial and ambitious thriller from Darren Aronofsky starring Jennifer Lawrence.

Blake HowardComment
"Kingsman: The Golden Circle" & "mother!" Reviewed
Blake HowardComment

"Blade Runner 2049" Review

There’s not going to be a more stunningly composed film this year than “Blade Runner 2049”. Director Denis Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger Deakins have crafted a remarkable, immersive, sensory experience that embraces you wholly. For the cast Ryan Gosling, Sylvia Hoeks, Harrison Ford and Jared Leto, each scene comes with mood altering atmosphere. The world of “Blade Runner 2049” doesn’t feel like a creation rather that it exists and Villeneuve and Deakins have created a viewing portal into a prospective future. 

Blake HowardComment
"Blade Runner 2049" Review
Blake HowardComment

“I Am Not Your Negro” (2016) Review

Raul Peck’s Oscar nominated documentary is a manifestation of the profound intellect of author and activist James Arthur Baldwin. “I Am Not Your Negro,” is possibly one of the most revelatory, insightful and prescient visual documents on civil rights and race that has ever been committed to screen. 

Blake HowardComment
“I Am Not Your Negro” (2016) Review
Blake HowardComment

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” (2017) Review

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” has one overwhelming positive going for it, and that’s the chemistry of the leads Reynolds and Jackson.

Blake HowardComment
“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” (2017) Review
Blake HowardComment

“The Trip to Spain” (2017) Review

The delight of “The Trip to Spain” is getting back with these two gents who seem to relish a relaxing holiday, badgering one another about their different stages of an extended mid-life existential crisis. 

Blake HowardComment
“The Trip to Spain” (2017) Review
Blake HowardComment

“Baby Driver” (2017) Review

“Baby Driver” is not like any heist movie that you’ve ever seen before. Writer/director Edgar Wright’s meticulousness and mastery takes a keen eye on first viewing to get a hint at the level of fastidious planning that went into every aspect of the film. 

Blake HowardComment
“Baby Driver” (2017) Review
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