Author: Harris Dang

Rotten Tomatoes-approved Film Critic. Also known as that handsome Asian guy you see in the cinema with a mask on.

Film Review: Belle is an absolute wonder from Mamoru Hosoda that has spectacular visuals enriched by a rich, full heart

January 21, 2022

Belle tells the story of Suzu, a jovial yet emotionally withdrawn high schooler who is distraught over the loss of her mother. She bears a seething hatred due to the lack of understanding as to why her mother performed such an act of self-sacrifice. Hating her position in her life, she retreats to a vast […]

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Film Review: The entertainingly perverse House of Gucci shows the comedy and drama behind the depravity of greed

January 5, 2022

House of Gucci is the second 2021 film from acclaimed filmmaker Ridley Scott. The first was the medieval drama The Last Duel, which was about a true story involving a woman who was fighting for her voice to be heard after being sexually abused in a tyrannically and patriarchal society. The second is about a […]

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Film Review: The Tragedy of Macbeth is a razor-sharp adaptation of the famous Scottish play

January 2, 2022

The Tragedy of Macbeth is the latest film from Joel Coen of the Coen Brothers; best known for their works that are singular in vision, unique in meshing genres and humorous in their own idiosyncrasies. For his latest film, he is working solo for what is the umpteenth adaptation of the titular Shakespearean play. Many […]

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Film Review: Licorice Pizza is joyously subversive look on nostalgia; led by a star-making performance by Alana Haim

December 27, 2021

Set in 1973 San Fernando Valley, California. Licorice Pizza tells the story of Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman), a TV show actor and high schooler who is smitten with the school photographer/volunteer Alana Kane (Alana Haim). The two are aware of the elephant in the room in terms of them being together; being the vast 10-year […]

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What is the cheat code?: The conundrum of the video game adaptation

December 14, 2021

The term “video game film adaptation” often makes people shudder. But what is it with film adaptations based on video games? Why is it that so many have earned such a horrible reputation? Is there a code that needs to be cracked? A formula to get right? What exactly can we do to achieve a […]

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Film Review: The French Dispatch is Wes Anderson at his self-effacing and extravagant best

December 9, 2021

The French Dispatch tells a series of stories through a framework of a newspaper publication known as The French Dispatch. The framework begins with the death of Arthur Howitzer Jr. (Bill Murray), the editor of said publication and we follow the stories of the final farewell issue; which consists of three major articles, a minor […]

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Film Review: Zola is an exhilarating crime-comedy about the nature of exploitation; told with striking style and sharp humour

November 18, 2021

Zola tells the story of the burgeoning relationship and eventual disintegration between Aziah “Zola” King (Taylour Paige), a confident yet downtrodden waitress and part-time stripper and Stefani Jezowski (Riley Keough), an unreserved and blundering stripper. They serendipitously meet one another in the restaurant where Zola works and the two become fast friends through many shared […]

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The Power of the Dog marks a triumphant return to cinema for acclaimed filmmaker Jane Campion: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 12, 2021

“He’s just a man, Peter. Only another man.” – Rose (Kirsten Dunst) Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons star as Phil and George Burbank; brothers who work as reputable cattle ranchers. George is a simple, upstanding and honest man while Phil is boastful, malevolent and manly. While Phil is happy with their routine of continuing the […]

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After Love rises above the sum of its parts to deliver an affecting drama: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 11, 2021

“We all break the rules we set for ourselves in the end.” – Genvieve (played by Nathalie Richard) Joanna Scanlan stars as Mary, a widow who is undergoing a period of grief after the sudden death of her sea captain husband Ahmed (Nasser Memarzia). Going through his belongings to attain some sort of closure, she […]

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Memoria is one of 2021’s best films thanks to its undeniably immersive nature that is cinematic morphine: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 11, 2021

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” – Anonymous According to writer/director Apitchatpong Weerasethakul’s latest film Memoria, the answer to the question above is a resounding yes. The acclaimed filmmaker is best known for works including Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His […]

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The Justice of Bunny King is a stellar directorial debut from Gaysorn Thavat; Essie Davis and Thomasin McKenzie shine: Sydney Film Festival Review

November 11, 2021

“You never even asked me if it was true!” – Tonyah (played by Thomasin McKenzie) Essie Davis stars as the titular role of Bunny King; a poverty-stricken mother of two who is struggling to fight the social system to get her kids back. During her battle, she crosses paths with her niece Tonyah, who is […]

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Film Review: Julia is a heartwarming documentary about trailblazer chef extraordinaire Julia Child

November 6, 2021

Julia is the latest film by documentary filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen. They are best known for their acclaimed works such as RBG and My Name is Pauli Murray; studies of renowned trailblazers who have contributed so much to the world and have shattered social norms in order to do so. The latest subject […]

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Film Review: The Medium is an excruciating, blood-curdling and emotionally thrilling horror flick

October 15, 2021

The Medium tells the story of a Thai documentary team who are travelling to the region of Isan to follow the life of the local medium Nim (Sawanee Utoomma). She claims that she was possessed by the spirit of Ba Yan, a deity that the people of Isan worship and a significant presence in Nim’s […]

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True Things is a diverting yet ultimately inconsistent look into the allure of physicalised love and self-discovery: TIFF 2021 Review

October 3, 2021

True Things is the sophomore effort from filmmaker Harry Wootliff, whose first film was Only You (not the film with Marisa Tomei); a romantic drama about the trials and tribulations of a couple who have to contend with adulthood, parenting and generational differences due to their distance in age. For her latest film, Wootliff is […]

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France is an amusingly quixotic journey from Bruno Dumont, led by a stellar Lea Seydoux: TIFF 2021 Review

October 3, 2021

France is the latest film from filmmaker enfant terrible Bruno Dumont; whose filmography is, for the lack of a better term, peculiar. His body of work shifts into many forms of storytelling in ways that they can never be encapsulated in restricted genre terms. From films exploring the idiosyncrasies of life with his debut film […]

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Burning is essential viewing for those concerned for our planet and highlights the inaction of the Australian government: TIFF 2021 Review

October 2, 2021

Burning is the latest documentary from filmmaker Eva Orner, an acclaimed documentarian who has covered subjects within Australia like the awful treatment of asylum seekers in Chasing Asylum as well as producing many well-received works like Taxi to the Dark Side. Now she explores the 2019-20 Australian bushfire season with her latest project. Burning is […]

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Film Review: V/H/S 94 gives the franchise a much-needed grisly reboot, with all the right snuff

September 29, 2021

The V/H/S franchise has returned. The franchise revolves around the subgenre of found-footage and is led by the renowned horror genre website Bloody Disgusting. So far, we have had three anthologies headed by numerous acclaimed directors including Gareth Evans, Timo Tjahjanto, Ti West, David Bruckner, Adam Wingard and many more. The critical reception of the […]

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Mad Women's Ball

The Mad Women’s Ball is a satisfying hybrid tale of psychological drama and friendship: TIFF 2021

September 22, 2021

Set in 19th century France, The Mad Women’s Ball follows Eugenie (Lou de Laage), a young, wealthy lady of the manor who feels institutionalized within family and gender expectations. Her father expects her to be married off to a husband while she wants to travel, go on adventures and learn new things like her brother […]

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You are not my mother

You Are Not My Mother is an extremely effective horror flick that blends filial drama and powerful frights: TIFF 2021 Review

September 22, 2021

You Are Not My Mother tells the story of Char (Hazel Doupe), a struggling teenager who is living a self-sheltered life, drifting through school with good grades despite the bullies, all while having to take care of her mother Angela (Carolyn Bracken) and grandmother (Ingrid Craige). Her relationship with her mother is distant, after a […]

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Murina is an assured feature-length directorial debut from Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic: TIFF 2021 Review

September 20, 2021

Murina follows Julija (Gracija Filipovic), a 16-year old girl living with her parents on an island that many would consider to be a heavenly paradise. With an endless summer maintained by daily chores of fishing in beautiful vistas, it sounds like the perfect place to live. But underneath the façade lies something that is anything […]

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Film Review: Pig is one of the best films of 2021 thanks to its gripping emotional honesty and a fantastic Nicolas Cage

September 16, 2021

Pig tells the story of Rob (a wonderfully subtle Nicolas Cage), a former renowned chef turned truffle hunter who resides in a cabin deep in the forest who makes a living by hunting for truffles with the help of his valuable foraging pig. He sells the truffles to young supplier and friend Amir (a stellar […]

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Saloum

Saloum blends action, comedy, horror and drama into a satisfying thrill-ride: TIFF 2021 Review

September 16, 2021

Saloum tells the story of three mercenaries Chaka (Yann Gael), Rafa (Roger Sallah) and Minuit (Mentor Ba) who are tasked to extract a Mexican drug dealer Felix (Renaud Farah) and his cargo of gold and drugs away from the chaos of the government overthrow of Guinea-Bissau and transfer to Dakar, Senegal. But when their means […]

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The Rescue is an emotionally rousing & suspenseful documentary about the Tham Luang cave rescue: TIFF 2021 Review

September 16, 2021

“There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” This is a quote from the 1999 sci-fi hit The Matrix by the Wachowskis. Why is this being quoted, you ask? This quote was stuck in this critic’s mind as he was watching the latest project from documentary filmmakers by Jimmy Chin and […]

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Zalava is an engaging mix of genre thrills, social commentary and potent drama: TIFF 2021 Review

September 16, 2021

Set in 1978, the film tells the story of a mountain village of Zalava in Kurdistan that is supposedly plagued by an ancient curse. The villagers are so drawn into the story of the curse that they have been driven into the ways that veer into levels of superstition, involving the use of metals as […]

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Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash is a bewildering but worthwhile genre-mashup: TIFF 2021 Review

September 15, 2021

Set in ‘80s West Java, Indonesia, Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash tells the story of Ajo Kawir (Marthino Lio), a tenacious street brawler who is famous for his fearless attitude. Through his many manly acts of destruction and machismo lies a condition that fuels it all – his sexual impotence. Even with numerous […]

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Jacob's Wife

Film Review: Jakob’s Wife is a fun splatter horror comedy about a disintegrating marriage that could use some vamping up

August 19, 2021

Jakob’s Wife tells the story of small-town couple Jakob and Anne Fedder (horror veterans Larry Fessenden and Barbara Crampton); a local minister and his dutiful wife who have been married close to 30 years. Anne feels that after all the tasks of being a housewife – including the cleaning, cooking, gardening, housekeeping and more cleaning […]

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Film Review: Kandisha is an enjoyable horror effort featuring a supernatural female force that kills men gruesomely

July 27, 2021

Kandisha tells the story of three young teenage women Amelie, Bintou and Morjana (Mathilde Lamusse, Suzy Bemba and Samarcande Saadi); three childhood friends who are enjoying their summer break in the dilapidated streets of Paris. Chilling out with their peers, branding walls with splatterings [sic] of graffiti; it is all about living in the moment […]

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Lapsis

Film Review: Lapsis is an engagingly topical, darkly funny and breathlessly creative piece of sci-fi cinema

June 3, 2021

Lapsis tells the story of Ray Tincelli (Dean Imperial), a lowly baggage handler in Queens who is down on his luck financially; struggling to support himself and his ailing brother Jamie (Babe Howard), who is suffering from a strange fatiguing illness called omnia, which is connected to the death of his mother who died from […]

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Film Review: Cruella is exhilarating to witness & delectably good fun

May 27, 2021

Cruella tells the story of the titular villain (played by Emma Stone) back in her early days before she became the monstrous, despicable fashion icon/dog-killer we know today. Known formerly as Estella, we briefly follow her childhood in 1964 as she revels in her rebellious streak as she punches her way through school both physically […]

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Film Review: Ema is an alluring, invigorating and breathtakingly hallucinogenic drama from Pablo Larrain

May 13, 2021

Ema tells the story of the titular lead (Mariana Di Girolamo), a young insatiable dancer who is on a quest to bring her family back together. She is currently estranged from her husband Gaston (a brilliant Gael Garcia Bernal), the director of the dance company she performs. The couple had encountered problems with their marriage […]

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