# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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Love And Sword (1979, Yu Kan-Ping)

A nice break from the usual intrigue between clans and just like Patrick Tam's The Sword, Yu Kan-Ping's debut movie goes for human traits despite depicting swordplay heroes out of a fantasy realm. Not a great showcase for story all the way through (the melodrama being the main reason why), Yu is still on a mission to vary up encounters and scenes. The stylistic intent comes through via staging of action scenes and more of a gloomy depiction of the martial world. For a debut director, the eye is strong as is the theme of the emptiness in these heroes pursuing fame as they pursue each other. Said Patrick Tam movie is a sharper embodiment of it but there's an unusual amount of fodder for the mind still present in Love And Sword, Yu went on to helm comedies and dramas such as Can't Stop The War and Papa, Can You Hear Me Sing?

Love And The City (1994) Directed by: Jeff Lau

Jeff Lau has proven he can score with wacky comedy but turning his attention to romance equals complete disaster. Love And The City sees small time hoodlum Wu (Leon Lai) being let out of prison only to get entangled with the law again and meet the women of his dreams. Fate plays Jo Jo (Wu Chien-Lien) in his hands but also unluck in the form of a corrupt police force looking to pin a murder on Wu...

Lau asks cinematographer Arthur Wong to bathe certain sections in blue for some reason and doesn't make a convincing case of the true love present between his leads. Leon Lai and Wu Chien-Lien on top of it all doesn't even strike up minor chemistry while narrative choices such as rampant voice over, melodramatic high gear amplified by a constant weepie score and a subplot involving a pager call center becomes absurdities with Lau at the helm. The film does resemble a fantasy for all the wrong reasons with primarily Lau living his, thinking this is how you make passable drama. Ng Man-Tat in a dramatic act is a welcome choice but neither he or an automatically radiant Wu Chien-Lien can't outshine the inept material at hand.

Love Chaser (1993) Directed by: Woo Ga-Kan

Silly soap opera and Category III softcore porn tactics interspersed with Wayne The Sorcerer having wild sex in his sorcerer like, smokey bedroom. Yes, it's a gloriously cheap time for lovers of crap cinema but expecting little is the correct tuning for Love Chaser so there's plenty of unintentional fun to be had. Mrs. Leung (Siu Yam-Yam) has and is prostituting her daughters Shun Shun (Ruby Wong but not the PTU supporting actress) and Jo Jo (the luscious Amy Wong, often shot very well) and in this convoluted mess there is also movie star (but in Category III films) Yung (Foo Wai-Kei) in love with Shun Shun but also drawn to Jo Jo. The vicious mom does her best to favour only herself financially, something that proves to be tough in a slumping stock market and then there's Wayne The Sorcerer appearing every now and again. It's fairly fast movie crap with a capital C but it has a plethora of funny scenes including involuntary groping during the in the film movie shoot (a notion the director is the main cheerleader for), perverted glass-eyed customers with a penchant for wearing Mickey Mouse-ears during sex and a tedious triangle of love chasing that is often amusing in its poor ways. Also watch out for snot during the melodramatic finale, porno score galore and some supernatural shenanigans pretty much out of nowhere.

Love, Guns & Glass (1995) Directed by: Ivan Lai & Lai Gai Keung

Triad boss Siu (Simon Yam) gets out of prison only to find out that his wealth and power has been diminished. While a group of loyal followers is still around, Siu in the end decides to start a from scratch and does so by helping and eventually marrying the debt ridden Ching (Cecilia Yip). Escaping the triad world where he's left permanent scars proves to be difficult though...

Ivan Lai and Lai Gai Keung takes on the redemption theme, one certainly worth examining but in the end only goes slightly humane and affecting places. Initial fresh chemistry between the stars help keep the drama buoyant but Love, Guns & Glass more or less becomes traditional genre fodder for the majority of the time. The Lai's take their story to such over the top levels that the romance angle actually turns awfully bizarre at points. Basically, the filmmakers know how to pound but not how to stroke gently and emotions therefore runs so high that it kills off any such investment from the viewer.

What Love Guns & Glass therefore is, is watchable, violent action cinema and it for sure delivers the goods. The action, directed by Phillip Kwok, is very intense and well-staged with the gore landing on quite extreme levels. Elements of sadism also rears its head, which is no surprise considering Ivan Lai was coming off Category III nastiness such as Daughter Of Darkness. Roy Cheung, Farini Cheung, Chin Ho (sporting quite bad prosthetic scar makeup) and Mark Houghton also appear.

Love In The River (1998) Directed by: Barry Jue

Two stories, first about a widow (Emily Kwan) who's put to rest yet ANOTHER husband. A journalist (Mark Cheng) is curious and gets involved in a relationship with the woman. Enter paranoia and the eventual truth about her back story. Fairly ambitious cinematography and a sexy Emily Kwan performance works in its favour but the story also involving quirky humour and in the end a very inconclusive end makes it go nowhere.

Number 2 or Affair 2 involves a model (Marianne Choi) who manages via her friends to look after her boss' house. So the focus on a pajamas commercial goes to her enjoying the luxurious surroundings in a long shower scene that is then interrupted by a pointless romance with Patrick Tam's character who may hurt her BAD emotionally by the end. Hard to come to any conclusion when neither story does or is in any way interesting so we have no affairs to remember in Love In The River.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Love In Sampan (1992) Directed by: Dik On

Things doesn't bode well when the main credits of Love In Sampan are scored to a low-grade Love Boat-esque-theme and not so surprisingly, things quickly derail from here in this Cat III rated erotic drama.

The problem is that director On has set out to do drama and while the themes of love and the unfair despair that comes with it is well-meaning on paper, On isn't armed with paper, budget or acting, resulting in an effort that reeks. Love In Sampan did of course come out during the heyday of Cat III exploitation filmmaking and many efforts certainly were close to the low quality of this one. Most of the time, others resorted to being uniquely Hong Kong though, which did at least produce some form of charm and fun. Love In Sampan intended to be respectable however. A respectable choice, not a respectable final result.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Love In The Time Of Twilight (1995) Directed by: Tsui Hark

Yan Yan (Charlie Yeung) and Kong (Nicky Wu) develop a rivalry during a matchmaking festival and obviously have zero chance of ever falling in love. However, Kong falls victim to a scam, planned by a gang of robbers, and ends up murdered. Cut to 2 weeks later and as a ghost, he turns to Yan Yan for help in stopping his untimely demise, in the past...

The reunion of Charlie Yeung and Nicky Wu from Tsui Hark's visually gorgeous but flawed The Lovers is an unexpected treat of a movie. The expected romance take on a better meaning by the end compared to the former film in which Charlie and Nicky starred but it's the sheer insanity on display that will win certain viewers over, depending on how receptive you are of all this.

Tsui throws buckets of weirdness at us including fairly extensive but rough use of CG (and this is set in 1920s Shanghai just so you know), situation comedy, situation comedy involving lots of projectile vomit, Eric Kot being annoying like only Eric Kot can, frankly creepy after life-esque imagery, time travel and an insanely funny or maybe serious comment on the development of technology during this era. It all adds up to a wild time and only a movie that can come from the imaginative mind of Tsui Hark. Also starring Lau Shun and William Ho.

Love Is Love (1990) Directed by: Tommy Leung

A few months before All For The Winner seriously broke Stephen Chow as a comedy star, he managed to squeeze in this rather unknown and underrated drama-comedy. Co-starring with Sandra Ng, they are a couple to be who flees the demanding grip of her father (a superb Shing Fui-On). Moving into a small cubicle apartment in the city and trying to get employment, she ends up as a hostess (who doesn't have sex with her clients) and he manages to rise through the ranks at a jewelry company. Getting close to the daughter (Suki Kwan) to the boss and eventually being well off financially, the better the world for the village couple, the further they drift apart...

Much is basic in terms of beats and script-wise in Tommy Leung's frame so he has to hinge a lot on his performers to make familiarity stand out. Thankfully Chow and Ng are likeable leads, well versed in the crazier comedic detours that do take place (but never break mood inappropriately) and showing sincerity when there's emotions involved. Thankfully it's never about gross melodrama but a realistic treatment about how the lovers are drawn apart (a white lie about them being brother and sister starts it off). A bit overlong but Love Is Love is an experiment in human moods for broad comedic performers that works very well. Little Pauline Kwan as the sister of Sandra's is excellent as well.

Love Is Over (1993) Directed by: Fung Kung-Ming

If you ever wanted to see the movie where Charlie Cho probably clinches the dozen mark in sex scenes, Love Is Over is your obvious choice. Placing the Category III rating in the actual title card, nothing refined plot-wise is going on here other than the big boss (Cho) of possibly an insurance office teaching his new recruits (Lee Chung-Ling & Chui Bo-Lun) the less than subtle arts of going to bed with as many women as possible that is not your respective loved ones (Yes, Charlie cheats on Pauline Chan even!). A good amount of comedic energy (without being inspired comedy) helps Love Is Over immensely and its stance to please its characters so may times. Charlie Cho is having the time of his life, Lee Chung-Ling (often eating a banana) is adoreable and Stuart Ong turns up in drag and gives Charlie a lesson he's not forgetting anytime soon.

Love Massacre (1981) Directed by: Patrick Tam

Patrick Tam's second movie after debuting with the excellent swordplay drama The Sword (1980), Love Massacre details a quartet of characters and how breakup can lead to bloody consequences. Louie (Charlie Chin) breaks up with Joy (Tina Lau who was apparently the assistant director on the film as well) and in her distraught mood, she attempts suicide. Friend Ivy (Brigitte Lin) steps in as mother and angel during this time, trying to support and nurse Joy back to health. She even calls Joy's brother Chiu Ching (Chang Kuo-Chu - Lust For Love Of A Chinese Courtesan) but progress in Joy seems distant. Meanwhile Ivy falls Chiu Ching and shortly afterwards Joy dies in a car accident. Chiu Ching seems to change and even doctors wanted to call in Joy and Chiu Ching for fear of both their mental state. On cue, Chiu Ching snaps and his obsession with Ivy inreases...

Initially feeling very arty, static and slow, it's a tool used by Tam to increase tension bit by bit and he's rewarded as well as rewarding audiences. Shots are distant, static but very deliberately composed (there's often vertical lines present in the environments, symbolism or not... it looks striking) and strong colours break up the otherwise dominating white to striking effect (especially when red is introduced). A trippy soundtrack and the escalation to scary stalker thriller largely works (even though the stalker part feels like a tired horror convention) but via Brigitte Lin's character Tam infuses Love Massacre with depth. Her reasoning and angelic characteristics will live long after the viewing has stopped and I've not even mention how she absolutely absorbs the frame with her beauty. BUT... not at the expense of the movie. Patrick Tam isn't that stupid. Blink and you'll miss her, Ann Hui appears in a small cameo. Largely filmed in San Francisco.

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