All posts by Harris Dang

OzAsia Film Review: Pop Aye (Singapore/Thailand, 2016) is an amiable, bittersweet and surprisingly surreal piece of work

Although I am a fan of all film genres, I have an affinity for the human-fantasy friendship trope. Whether it’s between a human and a horse (War Horse), a human and a robot (The Iron Giant), a human and a mutant super-pig (Okja) or a human and a Totoro (My Neighbour Totoro), a strong bond is a strong bond, no matter how bizarre the circumstances are.... Continue Reading

Film Review: IT (USA, 2017) is exactly as scary and as fun as you hoped it would be

In the early part of a person’s life, there is always that one scary story, whether it takes the form of a book, a campfire tale or a film, that will inherently scar a person for life when experienced. In my case (and that of many others), that story is Stephen King‘s IT. Continue reading Film Review: IT (USA, 2017) is exactly as scary and as fun as you hoped it would be

Film Review: Girls Trip (USA, 2017) is a hilarious time thanks to an energetically raunchy script

Director Malcolm D. Lee is a filmmaker whose work has been quite the mixed bag. While he has strong pieces of work like the action/comedy cult hit Undercover Brother, The Best Man films and the criminally underseen coming-of-age Roll Bounce, he also has terrible pieces of work (which is one way to put it) like Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (one of many examples that made me almost hate Martin Lawrence) and Scary Movie 5 of all things (a perfect example of kicking a corpse and setting it on fire).... Continue Reading

Netflix Review: Death Note (USA, 2017) has good intentions, but fails in the process

Whitewashing! Americanized! Lack of ethnicity! Yeah, I’m gonna talk about that in great detail, just to make that clear. Anyway, a lot of negative buzz has been going around this project due the things mentioned above and it definitely is a valid argument since the source material is distinctly Japanese. So to retroactively set the story in another location would potentially leave a lot of things lost in translation, so to speak.... Continue Reading

Film Review: A Ghost Story (USA, 2017)

David Lowery is a filmmaker whose work I have enjoyed due to thenrestrained approach to his direction, his way of humanizing his characters and his sincere, honest approach to storytelling. Whether it be a small-scale story like Ain’t Them Bodies Saints or a commercial film like the recent Pete’s Dragon, his directorial and screenwriting touch is always apparent.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Netflix’s To the Bone (USA, 2017) will create controversy, but succeeds with strong cast and direction

Films containing subject matter of death or disease, particularly the ones that aim for a teenage audience, tend to be sappy (like My Sister’s Keeper), melodramatic and even deeply misguided, if done wrong. I tend to cringe whenever I hear about another film tacking such subject, but in the case of Netflix’s To the Bone (out Friday), I was quite intrigued.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: The Beguiled (USA, 2017) is a worthy remake with an excellent cast and crew

Apart from Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette, I haven’t seen much of director Sofia Coppola‘s work. Known for her filmmaking approach to humanize her subjects with unorthodox methods like gentle pathos, looking through different character points-of-views outside the norm and the use of anachronisms, Coppola has achieved a reputation of being a director that is both rebellious and restrained.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Okja (USA/Korea, 2017) delivers an exhilarating, heartfelt ride from a master filmmaker

Okja is a film involving a giant mutated pig. What more do you want? But seriously, in order to understand the hype of the film, you have to know the filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Kung Fu Yoga (China/India, 2017) is a disappointment for Jackie Chan fans

Before I get into this review, let’s get this out of the way. Ever since I first saw one of his films on SBS, I’ve been a huge fan of Jackie Chan, due to his incredible dexterity, creative fight choreography, amazing stuntwork and his likable aw-shucks persona.... Continue Reading

Sydney Film Festival Review: Happy End (France, 2017) plays like a greatest hits album for Haneke

Michael Haneke is a bit of a misanthrope, isn’t he? Granted, I haven’t seen all of his films, but the few that I have seen seem to have a very critical view on society and human nature. And compared to mainstream fare, he makes films with plenty of space for the audience to contemplate and ponder what is happening on-screen with little to no spoon-feeding whatsoever.... Continue Reading