Tuesday, February 1, 2022

5 Movies To Watch To Usher In The Year Of The Tiger 2022

The Year of the Tiger has arrived!!! So, HU (虎)-at will you going to be watching over the holidays?

A couple of days ago, Red Dot Diva started bingeing on Netflix's new CG-animated series He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe. The energetic and flashy 10-episode series developed by Rob David, re-imagines the franchise in a futuristic cyberpunk-scifi world. The basic premise of the beloved He-Man characters are still there, but what is best about this show are its intriguing departures, like the gender-bent Krass, who later became Ram Ma'am.

One of the best storylines is the exploration of how this version's Cringer became the hero he was meant to be. It is a major difference from the cartoon of the 80s, where the whiny shivering big cat can be so annoying at times. Cringer of the Netflix reboot always had courage in him, but was declawed and exiled from his tribe, due to his desire to protect his fellow cats.

As Cringer looks mostly like a green tiger with stripes, Red Dot Diva thought it was super auspicious to celebrate this year's zodiac animation - the Water Tiger.

The tiger is also a familiar motif in a number of movies throughout the years. So here are 5 movies that Red Dot Diva thinks would an entertaining way to herald the New Year!

(Note: The movies are in order of the year of their release. You may need to hunt down a DVD/ stream to watch some of these titles!


This retro movie starring Patrick Wayne as Sinbad, Margaret Whiting and Jane Seymour, was a follow-up to Columbia Pictures' hit-making The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. It takes Sinbad on another epic journey with his love, the Princess Farah, and his companions, in an effort to break a curse by an evil queen's desire for power.

Sinbad And The Eye Of The Tiger harks to an era in the 1960s-1970s when most of the memorable magic happening on screen were physical effects. The animation wizard Ray Harryhausen provided the visual effects and stop-motion sequences in this movie, including the final battle sequence between a sabre-tooth tiger (yeah yeah, it is actually called a Smilodon) and the Troglodyte.

The movie was released around the same time as the very first Star Wars movie, A New Hope. Obviously, Star Wars topped the box office that year. But, for the Star Wars fans, you might still want to catch Sinbad And The Eye Of The Tiger. The late Peter Mayhew (best known as the man behind Chewbecca) performed in an uncredited role in some of the live action scenes of the Minoton.


The Chinese idiom in the movie's title refers to talented people who remain hidden or are yet to be discovered. This soulful wuxia movie by Ang Lee is one of Red Dot Diva's top faves. She identifies with the film's female-centric core because its depiction of Jiao Long (Zhang Ziyi), a young woman trapped within the constraints of a patriarchal society. Her conflicting battles and desires are reflected by those around her - her sifu Bi Yan Hu Li (Chang Pei-Pei), the reknown Wudang swordsman Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat), "elder sister" Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh), and her lover Lo (Chang Chen), which then culminates to a bitter-sweet finale.

For those who are not familiar with Chinese, yes there is a tiger in there. It's the desert bandit Lo, whose name is Xiao Hu, or Little Tiger. Red Dot Diva drools over Chang Chen at his dashing, swoonsome best as the desert wind catches onto Lo's long hair, and making googley eyes at Zhang Ziyi.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon makes you sigh, feel enraged and wishful as well by the end. It is the kind of exquisite movie you'd want to enjoy with your partner, or by yourself with a glass of the best red wine. The movie is still available on Netflix SG. However, please, please, please forget about the cringe-worthy English-language sequel Sword Of Destiny.

DRAGON TIGER GATE - 龙虎门 (2006)

Dragon Tiger Gate is a HK action film based on the Wong Luk-Wong's long-running Oriental Heroes manhua. Two half-brothers, the older one Xiao Long (Donnie Yen) and the younger one Xiao Hu (Nicholas Tse). They join hands with another young martial arts student and nunchaku expert Hei Long (Shawn Yue) to fight against a mysterious villain named Shibumi, who leads a cult and drug-trafficking underground organisation.

There is the typical Chinese inn all-out rumble with Xiao Hu taking on all the mafia goonies, which is fun to watch. The fight sequences were choreographed by Donnie Yen, so they were pretty badass. Granted, this is not the best Donnie Yen (what is with that haircut?), or martial arts action movie out there. It feels cheesy and tries too hard to be like a Marvel movie, right down to the flipping animated pages in the opening credits (yes, really). But, if you need a movie to put on the TV while the rest of the family and visitors are busily stuffing their faces with New Year goodies, then Dragon Tiger Gate could be it. Plus, it is all about brotherhood and all those comfy superhero-tropes, but HK Chinese-style. So, why not?


When you have watched enough Japanese romance shows, you will know that it can be so saccharine sweet that you feel like eating a pack of Sour Patch Kids just to balance things off. Even when you know how such soap operas will go, it is so difficult to draw your eyes and heart away when it is told in the form of a charming, gorgeous, pastel-hued anime film by studio BONES (My Hero Academia, Godzilla Singular Point).

Josee, The Tiger And The Fish is a tale about a paraplegic girl, Josee and her part-time carer, Tsuneo. Tsuneo is also a marine biology student who dreams of living abroad. He is impossibly patient with the rather bossy Josee and her bad behaviour. As time passes by, the two begin to bond, and through their individual tragedies, they each have to come face to face about achieving their own dreams.

Let me know if you found the tiger in the movie, and what it has to do with the story.

You can watch Josee, The Tiger And The Fish on Netflix.


Tigertail is a very personal immigrant's story by Taiwanese-American director Alan Yang that is loosely based on this father's life. The title refers to Huwei (虎尾) township in Taiwan, where his father left for better opportunities in the US.

A young man named Pin-Jui grew up in a rural Taiwanese village. He met a young village girl Yuan and romance was blossoming. When the chance to move to US came, Pin-Jui left his mother and his first love to achieve his dreams of success. As he built a new life in America, he got married, started a business, and has a daughter, who is currently estranged from him.

The movie is quite a slow burn, but veteran actor Tzi Ma puts up a layered performance as the elderly Pin-Jui, who is filled with so much unspoken emotion and regret.

Tigertail is a heartfelt tale that juxtaposes one's past and present, finally bringing the experience to a cathartic ending - a story that many immigrants can identify with.

You can watch Tigertail on Netflix.

Red Dot Diva would love to hear what movies you are watching for the Year of the Tiger. Drop me a comment!

GONG XI FA CAI!!! May you have a Roar-some Year Of The Tiger!


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