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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Bullets of Love
Bullets of Love
Tai Seng // Unrated // June 25, 2002
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Earl Cressey | posted July 23, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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Highly Recommended
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Bullets of Love is a rather radical departure from the two previous films that I've seen from director Andrew Lau, those being The Duel and Storm Riders. Both of those films were very much fantasy oriented "wire-fu" action flicks, while Bullets of Love is a contemporary action/thriller movie. Released originally in 2001, the film stars Leon Lai (Sam) and Asaka Seto (Ann/You).

To celebrate the arrest and conviction of Taiwanese gangster Wong Po, Inspector Sam Lam and Ann, a prosecutor and his fiancée, vacation in Paris, France. While there, Ann is assassinated by one of Wong Po's associates. Sam, shocked by her sudden death, leaves the force and retreats to seclusion. One day, he runs into You, a Japanese woman who looks remarkably similar to Ann. The two begin a relationship, but when Sam accidentally discovers that You was Ann's killer, he must choose between revenge and love.

While Bullets of Love slowed down midway through to allow Sam and You's romance to blossom, the film is bookended by some terrific action sequences. The storyline is fairly suspenseful, the ending came as a surprise, and the characters are well developed. I did have two problems, however, with the film. First, early in the movie, Sam jumps from a high bridge and suffers no injuries when he lands perfectly, and second, I had a hard time swallowing You's transformation from cold-blooded assassin to a sweet, warm, and friendly woman in love with Sam. Seto's performance did add a few nuances to the character that suggested she was struggling with who she was, but ultimately, it was just something that you kind of have to gloss over.

Video:
Bullets of Love is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen. The transfer is quite good, but for a film only a year old, I expected better. There are quite a few marks and specks throughout the film, as well as a few lines and scratches. There is also some noticeable edge enhancement in a few scenes. Colors are natural, flesh tones are accurate, and blacks are fairly deep.

Audio:
Bullets of Love is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 in Cantonese, DTS 5.1 in Cantonese, Dolby 2.0 Stereo in Mandarin, and Dolby 2.0 Stereo in Vietnamese. The 5.1 track offers some great uses of the surrounds for gunfights and ambient effects that evoke suspense. Though Asaka Seto's voice was dubbed for the character of Ann (to distinguish between You and Ann), it sounds natural. Optional English subtitles are included and are quite good, with only a few minor grammar problems.

Extras:
The main extra on the disc is an audio commentary by Frank Djeng, Tai Seng's man in charge of translations and subtitles. The commentary is quite informative and interesting, as Djeng points out the shooting locations in Hong Kong, cameos, backgrounds for the leads, and the stylistic approaches Lau employed for the film. Djeng also explains several of the film's nuances and connections between the film and life in Hong Kong. For example, Djeng mentions that the police portrayed in the film are fairly close to how they operate in real life.

Next up is a twenty-minute "Making Of" featurette, which features interviews with the leads and the director and behind the scenes footage. Seto, in particular, has quite a bit to share, as this was her first Hong Kong film and she had to do wirework and gunplay.

Also on the disc is a scrolling art gallery set to music, filmographies for Leon Lai and Andrew Lau, and trailers for this film, Kung Fu Master, Fist of Fury, Cop on a Mission, The Assassin, and The Duel.

Summary:
Tai Seng's release of Bullets of Love provides the film with a great audiovisual presentation, an informative commentary, and a terrific price: $19.95 MSRP, with many online vendors selling it for less than $15 shipped. Fans of the director, stars, or Hong Kong films should definitely give the film a look, especially at that price.

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