Blake HowardComment

Ophelia (2019) - Review

Claire McCarthy's reveals Ophelia is an attempt to revise and reclaim a canonical and severely undercooked eponymous character from William Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Blake HowardComment
Ophelia (2019) - Review
Blake HowardComment

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 CAPSULE REVIEW - UNTOUCHABLE (2019)

In case you ever needed reminding of what a fucking deplorable, pig Hollywood mogul turned #MeToo pariah Harvey Weinstein is, then look no further than Untouchable.

Blake HowardComment
SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 CAPSULE REVIEW - UNTOUCHABLE (2019)
Blake HowardComment

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 - THE DEAD DON’T DIE (2019)

The repeated use of the word “ghouls” spoken by Adam Driver is worth the price of admission alone in Jim Jarmusch’s delightfully bent tale of the zombie apocalypse. The Dead Don’t Die is a satire that intends to approach our impending doom with an air of disbelief; like the unimaginably strange coincidence that The Simpsons predicted the Trump Presidency.

Blake HowardComment
SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 - THE DEAD DON’T DIE (2019)

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 REVIEW - NEVER LOOK AWAY (2018)

Never Look Away is a return to form for von Donnersmarck, a film that poses serious questions about human existence, morality and artistic expression. Don’t be turned off by its three hour length -it’s an incredible journey that spans a tragic truth of modern history and one that we should never look away from.

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 REVIEW - NEVER LOOK AWAY  (2018)

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 REVIEW - The Souvenir (2019)

A starkly honest reflection of a privileged film student, lured and derailed by a toxic relationship, is both a coming-of-age story of countless women and an agonising memoir of one of contemporary British cinema’s exemplary writer-directors.

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 REVIEW - The Souvenir (2019)
Blake HowardComment

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 REVIEW - Suburban Wildlife (2019)

Imogen McCluskey’s feature debut, Suburban Wildlife, is an enveloping account of millennial despondency. The moment that you realise you’re watching something with key generational insight is as Priscilla Doueihy’s Alice delivers a despondent thought about travelling the world to be enriched. Alice says, to paraphrase, how could I possibly go anywhere my parents haven’t been.

Blake HowardComment
SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 REVIEW - Suburban Wildlife (2019)
Blake HowardComment

Deadwood: The Movie (2019) Review

We’ve had our chance to view the resurrection and synthesis of Milch’s genius, and once again Al’s words are left ringing in our ears. Last time it was don’t go, this time it’s rest easy.

Blake HowardComment
Deadwood: The Movie (2019) Review
Blake HowardComment

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 REVIEW - Palm Beach (2019)

A group of old friends and former bandmates reunite to celebrate Frank’s (Bryan Brown) 60th Birthday, hosted gleefully by the warm Charlotte (Greta Scacchi as a cipher for Rachel Ward), in the visually stunning and isolated postcard town Palm Beach. There’s nothing quite like bringing the extended family together, plying them with booze and waiting for the fireworks.

Blake HowardComment
SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 REVIEW - Palm Beach (2019)

GOOD OMENS (2019) - Series Review

The signs were all positive, but is the long-awaited adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s beloved fantasy/horror/comedy Good Omens any… well, good? 

GOOD OMENS (2019) - Series Review

Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) - Review

Pokémon Detective Pikachu has Ryan Reynolds making one of the cutest characters ever conceived say the word “dame” and also “I feel it in my jellies”; that’s enough.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) - Review
Blake HowardComment

“Arctic” (2018) Review

Arctic is a survivalist drama where the ferocity of the experience glacially mounts in the eyes of the phenomenally well-crafted performance of leading and lonely Mads Mikkelsen. 

Blake HowardComment
“Arctic” (2018) Review
Blake HowardComment

The Old Man and the Gun (2018) Review

One luxuriates into the sensory experience of The Old Man and the Gun. From an all-star cast around Redford like Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits and Casey Affleck; to cinematographer Joe Anderson creating a vision for this throwback that would make cinematographer Gordon (The ‘Prince of Darkness’) Willis proud. 

Blake HowardComment
The Old Man and the Gun (2018) Review
Blake HowardComment

Free Solo (2018) Review

Free Solo creates two conflicting feelings that make for one hell of an unmissable movie; awe and terror. Free Solo should come with a rating reserved for the most frightening and disturbing films. It’s an unadulterated fly on the wall view of one of the most staggering and unbelievable feats of agility, focus and precision ever attempted. 

Blake HowardComment
Free Solo (2018) Review
AnotherfilmnerdComment

“Medias Res” (2017) Review

Some filmmakers let budget dictate the story. Others, like no-budget filmmakers Mike Delaney and director Edwin Fernando Gonzalez, just barrel ahead regardless.The results speak for themselves in this smart, slick-looking neo-noir.

AnotherfilmnerdComment
“Medias Res” (2017) Review
AnotherfilmnerdComment

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS (2018) REVIEW

There are two kinds of kids’ films; ones made solely with children in mind and ones that adults can get into just as quickly. But which has director Eli Roth delivered?

AnotherfilmnerdComment
THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS (2018) REVIEW
Blake HowardComment

"Burning" (2018) Review

Director Chang-dong Lee's “Burning”; a scintillating masterwork of class warfare, contemporary existential pressures and an agonising pursuit for truth in the haze of manipulated perception; contains a single staggering scene. It’s a scene that feels like it's been waiting for his entire creative life to emerge and one that continues to reverberate in my mind since that viewing several months ago.

Blake HowardComment
"Burning" (2018) Review
Blake HowardComment

"Pulse" (2017) Review

Pulse is an independent low-fi body swap, science fiction movie that sees disabled teen Oliver/Olly (Daniel Monks) with gender identity issues given an opportunity to have physical and gender rebirth. This stunningly photographed debut feature from cinematographer turned director Stevie Cruz-Martin and writer/star Monks’ pair real drama with a fantastical projection for this 'on-demand' age.

Blake HowardComment
"Pulse" (2017) Review
Blake HowardComment

Graffiti Elsewhere: "Widows," "Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindlewald," and more

Each month, for those Graffiti readers unsure of where else they can find my reviews, I'll be collecting them into a single post. This is so that you can catch up without having to scroll through a series of  #OneHeatMinute notifications and videos of me imploring you to RUN. #noexcuses

Blake HowardComment
Graffiti Elsewhere: "Widows," "Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindlewald," and more
Blake HowardComment

“Boy Erased” (2018) Review

“Boy Erased” features great performances and tells an essential story; which makes it all the more conflicting that it leaves you pretty vacant.

Blake HowardComment
“Boy Erased” (2018) Review
Blake HowardComment

"The Girl in the Spider’s Web" (2018) Review

“The Girl in the Spider’s Web” does for Lisbeth Salander what “Jason Bourne” did for the Bourne franchise; and that's not a compliment. This toothless, time-turner deviates drastically from the gut wrenching and disturbing investigative thrill ride of previous adaptations like David Fincher's 2011 adaptation or the Niels Arden Oplev’s 2009 Swedish original. What remains is a re-origin story with the purpose to expand the audience and to curb Salandar into a Scandi-Noir's female hacker super-heroine.

Blake HowardComment
"The Girl in the Spider’s Web" (2018) Review
Blake HowardComment

"Hotel Mumbai" (2018) Review

When I saw Maras' short film “The Palace,” I called it "one of the most emotionally effective and powerful short films that I’ve ever seen." In retrospect, it's a little entree for Maras' potential.

Blake HowardComment
"Hotel Mumbai" (2018) Review
Blake HowardComment

"The Merger" (2018) Review

It's too often that you hear about films that are before their time, or too late. Just as Australia's current coalition government nominated Scott Morrison as their poster-boy leader; a man who has a boat-shaped sculpture in his office that proclaims "I stopped these"; a movie embracing humanity and community like “The Merger” is right on time.  

Blake HowardComment
"The Merger" (2018) Review
Blake HowardComment

"Watch the Sunset" (2017) Review

"Watch the Sunset" is an anxiety-inducing single take film that uses its form to amplify the dramatic stakes. Making an independent film is already a somewhat mad exercise and yet co-directors Tristan Barr, and Michael Gosden double-down on madness by making a film that requires such pinpoint execution.

Blake HowardComment
"Watch the Sunset" (2017) Review
Blake HowardComment

"The Breaker Upperers" (2018) Review

"The Breaker Upperers" is a film that I had a chance to see twice in one day. After the first viewing, with a second helping on offer, I did not hesitate, not for a second.

Blake HowardComment
"The Breaker Upperers" (2018) Review