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.

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"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.

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"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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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"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.

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"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.

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“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. 

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“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. 

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“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

“Casting JonBenet” or ‘The Act of Casting’

Australian documentary filmmaker Kitty Green delivers an amazing insight into this tale that forms both an affirmation for the public’s enduring fascination but organically mutates into a more fascinating subject than the tragic death of a this youthful beauty queen; the way that people surrounding this tale project themselves into this scenario in every way possible. 

“Casting JonBenet” or ‘The Act of Casting’
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Now and when with “20th Century Women”

Writer/director Mike Mills has crafted a formally beautiful and rich story where the female characters progress but resist the urge to become predictable or less complex throughout our time with them

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Now and when with “20th Century Women”
Blake HowardComment

“Sleepless” (2016) an action film with the same side-effects as Valium

It’s an unfinished assembly of much better movies such as “Donnie Brasco” and “The Departed” and movies that also star Jamie Foxx like “Miami Vice.” The title “Sleepless” seems to have no reference to anything that happens in the movie. The best I can figure is that it’s a question; unfortunately for “Sleepless” it also provides an answer.

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 “Sleepless” (2016) an action film with the same side-effects as Valium
Blake HowardComment

“Split” (2016) and M. Knight Shayamalan’s theatre of claustrophobia

“Split” is further evidence of M. Night Shyamalans mastery fashioning maddening echo chambers for his characters

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“Split” (2016) and M. Knight Shayamalan’s theatre of claustrophobia
Blake HowardComment

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017): The Awesome Mix Strikes Back

Gunn and Co. want to take us back to those moments of adoration and joy that concluded our viewing of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) best and most original entry “Guardians of the Galaxy.” 

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“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017): The Awesome Mix Strikes Back
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“Ikiru,” (1952) Desperately seeking purpose in a bureaucratic life

 Nelson Henderson famously said “the true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” Kurosawa bathes us in the light of a man who gets to not only plant the seed, but look out on the sapling, with contentment.

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“Ikiru,” (1952) Desperately seeking purpose in a bureaucratic life
Blake HowardComment

“Midnight Special,” (2016) the perfect companion to “Logan” (2017)

About a month after seeing James Mangold’s wonderful and moving “Logan” I was scrolling through the Netflix queue and stumbled upon a film that shares the same ethos; to project fantastical superhuman abilities through a very human lens.

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“Midnight Special,” (2016) the perfect companion to “Logan” (2017)
Blake HowardComment

It’s a classic, Man. “Moonlight” (2016) Review

Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes perform the trinity of essential passages in Chiron’s life in “Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins’ Oscar Winning Best Picture for 2017.

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It’s a classic, Man. “Moonlight” (2016) Review
Blake HowardComment

The lingering haunting style of "Personal Shopper" (2016)

“Personal Shopper” is a film with the power to beguile and send you into a rage. Whenever a Cannes Film Festival audience boos a film, it's most definitely worth your time.

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The lingering haunting style of "Personal Shopper" (2016)