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Friday, January 28, 2022

Lucky Stars (3-Film Collection) (Blu-ray Review)


The Film: Winners and Sinners
The Film: My Lucky Stars
The Film: Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars
The Video (Overall)
The Audio (Overall)
The Supplements


In this trilogy of light hearted action comedies from the early to mid 1980s, a group of former prisoners who fail at trying to keep out of trouble accidentally end up involved in a counterfeit ring, helping the police with gangs in Japan and bring down a crime syndicate in Thailand. Sammo Hung stars and directs alongside Jackie Chan and other Hong Kong celebrities in a series of films that is more slapstick comedy than action.

Lucky Stars 3-film Collection (Eureka)The three Lucky Stars comedy/action (emphasis on comedy) films from Sammo Hung featuring the star and director himself and many of the top Hong Kong film stars of the day including Jackie Chan and Richard Ng. Winners and Sinners (1983), My Lucky Stars (1985), and Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars (1985) were all relatively light hearted films and meant to play during the Chinese New Year.

The first film, Winners and Sinners, brings together the Lucky Stars crew, a collection of ex-cons who are unsuccessful at staying out of trouble and find themselves in the middle of a counterfeit money ring, with the Triads and police out to get them.

The second film in the trilogy, My Lucky Stars, sends the Lucky Stars crew to Japan to help the cops catch a dangerous gang. The film also stars sexy Japanese bodybuilder, actress and stuntwoman Michiko Nishiwaki.

Finally, rounding up the trilogy is Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars as the Lucky Stars help bring down a crime syndicate in the vacation paradise of Pattaya, Thailand, bringing their unique form of blunder, and high energy martial arts to the resort area.

Anyone looking for lots of action won’t really find it in these films as they are more slapstick comedy than anything else, but they are fun, energetic, and have more than enough martial arts by Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan to keep Westerners interested.

The Video

All three films in this release are presented in 1080p on Blu-ray from brand new restorations. Winners and Sinners is from a new 4K restoration, My Lucky Stars from a new 2K restoration and Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars taken from a new 4K restoration, plus the alternate extended Taiwanese version also fully restored in 4K. We get the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio for each film. These films are not big budget and sometimes the production can hinder the clarity of the picture, but putting that aside, these new restorations look beautiful, as the previous Sammo Hung/Jackie Chan, and Golden Harvest films released by Eureka have looked. These films all have crisp, vibrant, and clean looking transfers with lots of depth, a good amount of natural grain and nuanced shadow details. There is very little if any difference in quality between the 2K restoration of My Lucky Stars and the 4K restoration of the other films.

The Audio

Each film comes with the original Cantonese mono in LPCM 1.0. There are also alternate Cantonese tracks and English dubs in mono included: Alternate Cantonese Mono & English Mono for Winners and Sinners, Cantonese Mono (Home Video Mix), Alternate Cantonese Mono, and English Mono for My Lucky Stars, and Cantonese Mono (Home Video Mix), Alternate Cantonese Mono, and English Mono for Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars.

The Cantonese Mono mixes are all good for what they are, but they do show limitations, such as a bit of clipping and boxiness. The alternate mixes tend to sound even scratchier and thinner.

The Supplements

This is packed to the brim with extras, but the real treasures are the audio commentaries by Frank Djeng of the NY Asian Film Festival.

O-Card Slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling (First print run of 2000 copies will feature a Limited-Edition unique variant). Limited-Edition Collector’s Booklet featuring new writing by James Oliver (First Print Run of 2000 Copies Only).

Winners and Sinners

  • Commentary by Frank Djeng
  • Sammo Hung on Winners and Sinners (720p; 00:05:49)
  • Teapot Tango: Interview with Sammo Hung (720p; 00:13:30)
  • The Man Behind the Legend: Sammo Hung (720; 00:20:00)
  • Lucky Stars Live Performance (720p; 00:08:02)
  • Outtakes (1080p; 00:04:57; Japanese)
  • Alternate Japanese End Credits (1080p; 00:02:09)
  • Trailers & TV Spots:
    • Hong Kong Teaser
    • Hong Kong Trailer
    • English Trailer
    • Japanese TV Spot
    • Japanese Trailer

My Lucky Stars

  • My Lucky Stars: International Export Version
  • Interview with Michiko Nishiwaki (720p; 00:20:44)
  • Clown Prince: Interview with Sammo Hung (720p; 00:18:00)
  • Alternate Japanese End Credits (1080p; 00:02:16)
  • Music Video (1080p; 00:02:02)
  • Outtakes (1080p; 00:09:42; Japanese)
  • Trailers:
    • Hong Kong Trailer
    • English Trailer
    • Japanese Trailer

Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Stars

  • Commentary by Frank Djeng
  • Extended Taiwanese Version
  • A Life of Laughter: Interview with Richard Ng (720p; 00:21:02)
  • Gentleman Warrior: Interview with Richard Norton (720p; 00:32:48)
  • Outtakes (720p; 00:03:46; Japanese)
  • Trailers & TV Spots:
    • Hong Kong Trailer
    • English Trailer
    • Japanese TV Spot
    • Japanese Trailer

The Final Assessment

Another awesome collection of Hong Kong martial arts classics from Eureka Entertainment. It looks great and the three films are really fun.

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Lucky Stars 3-Film Collection is out 22 March 2021 in the UK on Blu-ray from Eureka Entertainment

  • Rating Certificate: UK:15
  • Studios & Distributors: Paragon Films Ltd. | Cine-Asia | Golden Harvest Company | Golden Way Films Ltd. | Eureka Entertainment
  • Director: Sammo Hung
  • Run Time: 312 Mins.
  • Original MSRP: £37.99
  • Street Date: 22 March 2021
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Primary Audio: Cantonese LPCM 1.0
  • Secondary Audio: English LPCM 1.0
  • Subtitles: English

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