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  Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars Witness The Fitness
Year: 1985
Director: Sammo Hung
Stars: Sammo Hung, Richard Ng, Eric Tsang, Kiu Wai Miu, Stanley Siu-Fan Fung, Sibelle Hu, John Sham, Rosamund Kwan, Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Chung Fat, Yasuaki Kurata, Richard Norton, Andy Lau, Wu Ma, Melvin Wong, Kara Hui, Michelle Yeoh
Genre: Comedy, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: It's time for a holiday, so the five Hong Kong friends led by Fastbuck (Sammo Hung) decide to head off for the beach at Pattaya in Thailand with their girlfriends. Unfortunately for him, his cop romantic partner Barbara (Sibelle Hu) breaks the news to him as they walk along the sand that she is no longer interested in him - in fact, she never was, she was just being nice because he was nice to her. He takes this hard, and sabotages his pals' attempt to sneak up on the girls by tunnelling under them, but as it turns out a case is looming for them to investigate when the contact they have been asked to connect with is brutally gunned down by paragliders. Now it's a matter of protecting a witness who knows too much - and protecting themselves!

Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars was the third in the Lucky Stars series, and a guaranteed hit in its native Hong Kong when there were so many local celebrities involved, not that this would travel too well when most Westerners would recognise Jackie Chan, maybe Sammo Hung, and at a push a young Michelle Yeoh as a judo instructor, but that would be about it. Also, the quality was generally thought to be falling away somewhat where it mattered: in the laughs department, as this franchise was first and foremost a comedy one, and while there were the action sequences the audience demanded, the shtick of the main stars where when they were not caught up in a plot they were trying to, shall we say, get close to attractive women, was wearing thin.

Not least when these antics involved some pretty dodgy attitudes that, while the men were resolutely the butt of the jokes, did look a bit off in retrospect. It would not be so bad if they had been one or two scenes, but with a subplot seeing regular Richard Ng learning voodoo to mind-control women with a doll to stick pins in during the first half, and the five men sharing an apartment with the witness (Rosamund Kwan) to ostensibly protect her, but actually to see her naked, and inventing convoluted schemes to do so (they had to make do with her in a wet, see-through nightie), then you wondered if she wasn't better off with the bad guys. Among the villains was Australian martial arts man Richard Norton, who tussled with Chan (and his stunt double, seeing as how Jackie had injured himself making Police Story concurrently with this).

Norton and Hung's climactic battle would be the main motive for kung fu fans to check this out, though there was a sequence earlier on where Chan, old mate Yuen Biao and newcomer Andy Lau battled a gang in a warehouse that was highly impressive for the speed and ferocity of its combat; however, again Chan was doubled thanks to his injury, and he really was not in this very much, akin to the other Lucky Stars entries he appeared in. He was there to boost the box office for he was the biggest Asian star around, even bigger than Sammo, and apparently this caused some tension between them that would stew making this, the duo falling out at some point thereafter. A great pity, for the films they made together exhibited excellent chemistry as befitted how far back both went in terms of their relationship. So if the humour was, at best, a bunch of men old enough to know better but acting like juveniles, it was the action that would be the draw, and if you could forgive Sammo beating up a group of ladyboy assassins (including a crotch punch to show their physical gender) then it had its moments. Music by Anders Nelsson.

[Eureka release Winners and Sinners, My Lucky Stars and Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars in a 3-disc Blu-ray set with these special features:

O-Card Slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling (First print run of 2000 copies will feature a Limited-Edition unique variant) | All three films presented in 1080p on Blu-ray from brand new restorations | Winners and Sinners - new 4K restoration! | My Lucky Stars - new 2K restoration! | Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars - new 4K restoration, plus the alternate extended Taiwanese version also fully restored in 4K! | Cantonese audio tracks (original mono presentations) | Optional English dubbed audio tracks for all films | Newly translated English subtitles | Brand new feature length audio commentaries on all three films by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival) | Winners and Sinners - Archival interview with director and star Sammo Hung (6 mins) | Winners and Sinners - Archival interview with director and star Sammo Hung (13 mins) | Winners and Sinners - Sammo Hung retrospective featuring interviews with friends of the legendary director, actor, and action choreographer (20 mins) | My Lucky Stars - Archival interview with Michiko Nishiwaki (20 mins) | My Lucky Stars - Archival interview with Sammo Hung (18 mins) | Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars - Archival interview with Richard Norton (33 mins) | Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars - Archival interview with Richard Ng (21 mins) | Behind-the-scenes featurettes on all three films originally produced for their Japanese releases | Outtakes, NG ("No Good!") shots for all three films | Trailers for all three films | Limited-Edition Collector's Booklet featuring new writing by James Oliver (First Print Run of 2000 Copies Only).]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Sammo Hung  (1952 - )

Hong Kong born actor, producer and director and one of the best known figures in Hong Kong cinema. Hung's large frame belies a formidable martial arts ability, and he's best known for his collaborations with Jackie Chan during the 1980s and more recently for his US TV show Martial Law.

Hung's acting career began at the age of 12 but it was Enter the Dragon that gave him his first high profile role. He starred in a continuous stream of kung fu movies throughout the seventies, and made his directing debut in 1977 with Iron-Fisted Monk. A series of now-classic martial arts comedies followed, all directed by and starring Sammo - Warriors Two, Encounters of the Spooky Kind, Prodigal Son, My Lucky Stars, Pedicab Driver. But his best loved pictures are those in which he appeared alongside Jackie Chan, including Project A, Wheels on Meals, Dragons Forever and My Lucky Stars.

 
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