No amount of Botox or false eyelashes can rejuvenate helmer Ray Yeung's "Cut Sleeve Boys," which recycles way too many gay cliches. Setting a tired story in London's gay Chinese community doesn't change the fact that the lines have been heard before, while low budget HD simply draws attention to pic's lack of visual style.

No amount of Botox or false eyelashes can rejuvenate helmer Ray Yeung’s “Cut Sleeve Boys,” which recycles way too many gay cliches. Setting a tired story in London’s gay Chinese community doesn’t change the fact that the lines have been heard before, while low budget HD simply draws attention to pic’s lack of visual style. What’s left are attractive bodies, but auds looking for beefcake thrills have plenty of more satisfying options available.

Closet case Gavin (Mark Hampton) keels over while having sex in a toilet stall. At his funeral, swish friend Ash (Chowee Leow) and callous stud Mel (Steven Lim, even more superficial than Brian in “Queer as Folk”) exchange over-arched eyebrows. Ash dons drag to find the right guy, while Mel attempts to ditch buff but clingy country boy Todd (Gareth Rhys Davies). Leow’s few genuinely amusing moments aren’t exactly fresh but at least hint at a talent hidden here by poorly written dialogue coupled with poor direction. Over-lit scenes eliminate any depth, in keeping with overall tone.

Cut Sleeve Boys

U.K.

Production

A Rice Is Nice production. (International sales: Fortissimo Films, Amsterdam.) Produced by Chowee Leow, Ray Yeung. Directed, written by Ray Yeung.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Patrick Duval; editors, Anuree De Silva, Catherine Fletcher; music, Paul Turner; production designer, Malin Lindholm; costume designer, Maria Papandrea. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival, Jan. 31, 2006. (Also in Berlin Film Festival -- market.) Running time: 86 MIN.

With

Chowee Leow, Steven Lim, Gareth Rhys Davies, Neil Collie, John Ebb-On-Knee Campbell, Mark Hampton, Paul Cox.
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