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Cleopatra Jones & The Casino of Gold [Import]

 R (Restricted)   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the original! June 17 2002
By Jim
Format:VHS Tape
This sequel is that rare bird... one that is better than the original movie (CLEOPATRA JONES). Largely because of the exotic setting (Hong Kong and Macao are more fun than East L.A., after all), and certainly because of the villainess, Stella Stevens.
Cleopatra Jones tends to find herself up against Evil White Lesbian dope queens, and Stella Stevens is certainly nicer to look at than Shelly Winters (in the original). Her climatic fight scene ... with the foxy black Cleo is OVER THE TOP! The ladies must have been covered with bruises after shooting this (NO stand-ins apparent!).
As for Stella's "wild" outfits, they are conservative compared to the title heroine's!
A "must see" for Blaxploitation fans!
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's cool, baby! June 20 2002
Format:VHS Tape
"Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold" was my initiation into the "Blaxploitation" film genre. In this film, Tamara Dobson stars as a statuesque African-American secret agent woman. She teams up with an Asian woman named Mi Ling (played by Tanny) in order to rescue two undercover agents from the clutches of the Dragon Lady (Stella Stevens), a casino-owning drug pusher. Written by William Tennant, the film is directed by Chuck Bail.
"Cleo" is full of outrageous costumes, hip dialogue, action, and funky music composed by Dominic Frontiere (starting with the opening credits song, "Playing with Fire"). There is a fair amount of graphic violence. Cleo is a fun character; she's sort of like an African-American female James Bond (in fact, I found the tone and pacing of this film to be similar to that of the Bond flicks of this time period). The film makes good use of its Far East setting.
Dobson gets solid support from the rest of the cast, but I especially loved Norman Fell (an actor best known as TV's Mr. Roper from "Three's Company") as Cleo's grouchy but likeable boss. Fell and Dobson have a really enjoyable chemistry in their scenes together.
"Cleo" is a fascinating film that could, I imagine, inspire some lively analyses grounded in race, gender, economics, post-colonial politics, criminology, and other fields of inquiry. Or you could just enjoy it as a fun, slightly campy adventure flick with a kick-...heroine.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, Enjoyable Bubblegum Nonsense Action Sequel Jan. 1 2002
Format:VHS Tape
The sequel to "Cleopatra Jones" benefits from the authentic location of Hong Kong and its good production design. The story is almost the same as the original one, showing us Cleo fight against drug syndicate, of which mastermind, this time Stella Stevens, lives in a gorgeous casino.
You might remember Warner Brothers once produced "Enter the Dragon" featuring Bruce Lee, which became a worldwide hit, and probably this fact influenced the studio's judgment to shoot the film in Hong Kong. The film is full of shoot-outs and kung-hu fights, but unfortunately, not as good as Lee's deadly fighting style, but still it is mildly entertaining. The final action sequence, chain of good stunts using motorcycles running in a casino, with its riders shooting machineguns (!), is the showdown of the film, and though the film nearly gets so close to ludicurousness, still remains enjoyable as a whole. And check out Stella Steven's outrageous costume.
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