Movie Review – Tigertail (Hǔwěi, 虎尾)

TL;DR – A methodical and sad film at times while still holding onto that one bit of hope    

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Tigertail (Hǔwěi, 虎尾). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Of the many types of films I watch, it has been quite a while since I sat down and watched a small contemplative film that slowly unfolds over its run time. Well, that changed today with our film Tigertail, a film that feels autobiographical even though I have no idea if it is or not because its focus of characters is that good.

So to set the scene, we open in on a young child running through the rice fields of central Taiwan, he mostly alone but he finds a moment of happiness when he runs into a local girl. However, as we jump to the present we discover that the years have not been entirely kind to Grover (Tzi Ma) as he is driving home from the airport by his daughter Angela (Christine Ko) after attending his mother’s funeral back in Taiwan. There is an instant distance between the two, with each side wanting to help but not knowing how to proceed.

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Movie Review – The 9th Precinct (局分九第)

TL;DR – An interesting look at the barrier between life and death but takes some short cuts to get there    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

The 9th Precinct (局分九第). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Generally, the time we get films about what goes bump in the night it is around Halloween and not Christmas. So, it was a nice change of pace to get a film that explores the darker side of the world and what happens after death. With this in mind, today we explore a film that looks at that bridge between the living and the dead and what happens when you start playing with that fixed barrier.

So to set the scene, Chen Chia-Hao (Roy Chiu) works as a police officer for the Houli Police Agency. However, he has always led a special life because he can see the undead. This has led to him only rising to the rank of traffic cop even though he shows exemplary skill. One day while on patrol he finds a killer but during the arrest, his partner is shot and killed. He would have been killed too but a ghost stepped in and saved him. He refuses to change his report about a ghost and is fired but on his way out he is grabbed by the mysterious Mr Chang (Chia-Chia Peng) and given an offer to continue working for the police as a member of the secretive 9th Precinct, the ghost crimes bureau.

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Exploring the Past – The Great Buddha+ (Dà fó pǔ lā sī, 大佛普拉斯) (2017)

TL;DR – This is a film of dissonant halves, both funny, yet confronting, sad but also hopeful, engaging but also infuriating

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene but it does not offer any answers

The Great Buddha+. Image Credit: MandarinVision

Review

Today I get to review a film thanks to the Brisbane International Film Festival that I would not have normally been able to see. I have been trying to increase the films that I have seen from Asia, and while this has included films from Hong Kong and China, today is my first dive into Taiwanese filmmaking with Huang Hsin-yao’s odd The Great Budda+. This is an interesting film but also a frustrating one at times, so to properly review it we will first give a general overview before we enter into spoiler territory as we dissect its ending, and what an ending it is.

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