Blake Howard

CRITIC

Blake Howard is a Sydney-based film critic

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Living Universe review: the great Dr Karl Kruszelinicki narrates ho-hum science project

Blake HowardReviews

In the educational documentary Living Universe, the narrator – beloved Australian scientist and radio personality Dr Karl Kruszelinicki – explains that the Kepler Telescope has beamed back images of Earth-sized ‘exoplanets’ in the so-called ‘Goldie Locks Zone’ region of the Milky Way. The Kepler mission confirms that almost every star has at least one planet, and that […]

Aliens on the football field! On the set of Australian sci-fi Occupation

Blake HowardFeatures

When was the last time you saw an Australian sci-fi movie involving a football game interrupted by invading aliens? Oh that’s right: never. With the spectacular Occupation now in cinemas, Blake Howard shares his experiences visiting the set of this ambitious production.  In the picturesque town of Murwillumbah, in the shadow of the aptly named Mt. […]

Why I became completely obsessed with Michael Mann’s 1995 crime opus Heat

Blake HowardFeatures

Film critic Blake Howard is obsessed with the crime drama Heat. So much so that he created a 170 hour podcast to pore over literally every minute of the running time. In this ‘confession of an obsession’, Howard reflects on what keeps drawing him back to Michael Mann’s 1995 classic. Michael’s Mann’s 1995 crime opus […]

1% review: Australian biker movie is Sons of Anarchy on steroids

Blake HowardReviews

Director Stephen McCallum’s deafening debut dives into the Australian biker underworld with a roar, grabbing that glamorised Sons of Anarchy image and bludgeoning it to death. The raw and disturbing Macbeth riff from writer and star Matt Nable has no sentimentality for the ‘brotherhood’ of the biker; instead power – sexual, physical and psychological – […]

Breath film review: a spiritual surfer movie that drips with authenticity

Blake HowardReviews

Simon Baker (from T.V’s The Mentalist and L.A. Confidential) charges into the director’s chair with dramatic intensity and confidence, adapting Tim Winton 70s coming of age novel Breath. Set in an isolated coastal town in Australia, two ‘grommets’ (novice surfers) Pikelet (Samson Coulter) and Loonie (Ben Spence) are drawn to the waves. As they embrace […]

Gurrumul film review: a transformative documentary about a brilliant musician

Blake HowardReviews

Geoffrey ‘Gurrumul’ Yunupingu passed away on July 25, 2017. Three days before his death he approved the final cut of this documentary about his life, the Yolngu people granting the filmmakers special permission for the use of his image and name (despite their tradition to retire the use of their people’s names in death). Seeing […]

Sweet Country review: a mesmerising Australian western

Blake HowardReviews

Director Warwick Thornton’s outback morality tale, Sweet Country, combines exquisite visuals of Australian landscapes with a script that dabbles as much in mythical justice as deeply specific ideas of what this country is made of. With superbly crafted performances, Sweet Country is an essential Australian Western. The story is based in the 1920s, deep in […]

Swinging Safari review: a madcap journey through 70s ‘Straya

Blake HowardReviews

In the opening scene of director Stephan Elliott’s madcap comedy Swinging Safari there’s a smorgasbord of Australian 70s beach iconography. Poorly assembled beach umbrellas partially shade bodies coated with liberal application of tanning oil, rather than sunscreen (Skin Cancer hadn’t been invented yet, you see). The menu consists of buckets of KFC and enough cask […]