All posts by Harris Dang

Film Review: Free Fire (UK, 2016) avoids Hollywood action tropes in the best way

The films by British director Ben Wheatley have all been incredibly distinct from another and are all very well-done. Whether going through the genre of crime, psychological horror, dark comedy, dystopian drama or historical surrealism, you can never accuse Wheatley of doing the same trick twice. But the crucial through-line through all his films is a streak of black humour.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Their Finest (UK, 2016) is a consistent delight from beginning to end

Lone Scherfig is a filmmaker who has always frustrated me, delivering a mixed bag of films amongst her career. Her Dutch films were great, but apart from An Education, her films were ultimately flops, especially the turgid One Day.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Colossal (Canada/Spain, 2017) is a miraculous achievement

Nacho Vigalondo has always been an exciting filmmaker for me. Ever since I saw his first feature film Timecrimes, I’ve always wanted to see more of this work. His handling of genre film and melding it with themes of humanity or topical themes has always fascinated and thrilled me.... Continue Reading

AF French Film Festival Review: Tran Anh Hung’s Eternity (France, 2016) is a tone poem brought to life

Though I am Vietnamese, because I was raised in Australia for all of my life, I never really experienced much of Vietnamese culture. However, there were some films that I had watched that had always stuck with me, and those were the works of Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung.... Continue Reading

AF French Film Festival Review: Being 17 (France, 2016) is a thoughtful coming-of-age story

If Being 17 is any indication, the 2017 Alliance Francaise French Film Festival is off to a great start. Coming-of-age films are a genre that I deeply appreciate. With no need of a strong reliance on plot, seeing the progression of a protagonist through young adulthood can be compelling on a cinematic level.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Eagle Huntress (G) (UK/MONG/USA, 2016) follows an inspiring subject

I have to admit, I don’t watch a lot of documentaries, but I’ve loved the ones I’ve seen. Some of them haven’t felt like documentaries at all, mainly because the stories behind them are a little too one-sided or hard to believe. Films like Super Size Me and Bowling for Columbine have been accused of being false, manipulative as well as misleading. I start off with this because the documentary, The Eagle Huntress, which is released in select cinemas this week, has been accused of being staged, scripted and even acted. But even factoring all of this, does that clench the final verdict that the documentary is a bad viewing experience? In this case, yes and no.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Kong: Skull Island (USA, 2017) proves that the simplest pleasures can be the most spectacular

Monster movies were my jam back when I was a kid. Just seeing two colossal creatures beating each other with whatever environment they are in at their disposal was such an incredible delight. With fantastic examples like the various Godzilla films, King Kong films, Mighty Peking Man, The Host (2006) and War of the Gargantuas, it just goes to show that sometimes, the simplest pleasures can be the best.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Fist Fight (USA, 2017) has solid storytelling, but otherwise falters

If there’s one thing everybody can say about this film, it is that the film is punchy. Studio comedies have been very underwhelming the past few years, especially from studios like Warner Brothers (the less said about Hot Pursuit, the better), regardless of the comedic talent involved.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Silence (MA15+) (USA/JAP/TWN, 2016) not one of Scorsese’s best, but an illuminating experience

If there’s one filmmaker who, in my opinion, hasn’t made a bad film, that filmmaker would be Martin Scorsese. Venturing from genre to genre with ease (who else can go from the family fantasy Hugo to the dark comedy The Wolf of Wall Street just like that?) and always applying professional care and passion within his projects, Scorsese is a filmmaker whose work I will definitely watch, no matter its subject matter.... Continue Reading