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Blu-ray Review - Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen

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Controversy tends to follow any discussion of Charlie Chan, but it's hard to deny the extensive media history the character has enjoyed, bringing his crime-solving ways to books, television, radio, and movies. It's easy to see why some would be offended, finding the Asian detective often played by white men in yellowface, struggling cartoonishly with the English language, but it's also interesting to watch the sleuth always emerge as the smartest person in the room, with little slipping past him. However, for 1981's "Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen," outrage is generally challenged by silliness, with director Clive Donner ("What's New Pussycat?") favoring slapstick for this mystery, playing up physical humor and witty exchanges to act as a rodeo clown while the production returns to a few bad habits. Sure, Peter Ustinov portraying Chan isn't the most sensitive casting, but he's solid in the role, while the rest of the picture is too busy slipping and sliding along to truly engage in hate. Read the rest at Blu-ray.com

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