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Cocaine Cowboys Reloaded [Blu-ray] (Sous-titres français)

2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Billy Corben
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Mongrel Media
  • Release Date: April 8 2014
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,606 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Cocaine Cowboys Reloaded is the true story of how Miami became the drug, murder and cash capital of the US. With over an hour of previously unreleased material, including never-before-seen interviews, stories and archival news footage, this is the most comprehensive look at Miami's Cocaine Wars yet, exposing the biggest, most ruthless players in the business.

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Format: DVD
Recently I watched (and reviewed) How to Make Money Selling Drugs. In that case a deliberately provocative title was used merely as an attempt to attract a wider audience for what was in reality a polemical piece against the failed policy of prohibition.

By contrast, I strongly suspect this film would be far more useful to anyone genuinely seeking instruction in such matters. It documents what went on inside the Miami drug trade in exquisite and unflinching detail - at least during the "Miami Vice" era of the 1970's through to about the mid 80's. The fast pace of the film not only makes for great storytelling: it also means an incredible amount of information is packed into a relatively short time-frame. As a result, this is a work that easily withstands repeated viewing. Indeed, it virtually demands it.

Cocaine Cowboys has been criticized as being exploitative, and as lacking in real analysis of the wider social impacts. Surprisingly, such criticisms appear even in the product description here on Amazon. Personally, I don't think either criticism is fair. It is true that parents need to be aware that the R rating is there for a reason. Many extremely brutal still-shots in particular appear in this film. It does not skimp on the graphic reality of what happens when you shoot and kill people. But for the adult audience for which it is intended, the film is no more gruesome than it needs to be to honestly portray the events with which it is concerned. Nor more redolent with excess than to portray with equal honesty the milieu in which they occurred.

As for the lack of analysis, that's like criticizing a horse for not being a camel.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
good facts doc, funny at times not boring

the $$ that built Miami -- I am from Vancouver - same thing only 20 years later ?!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 163 reviews
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
A down-and-dirty Wild West story April 23 2007
By Jessica Lux - Published on
Format: DVD
Cocaine Cowboys is an aptly-titled 2-hour documentary about the cocaine economy which built modern day Miami. The documentary covers the flashiest crimes and personalities in the cocaine explosion of the 1980's. Director Billy Corben tells the story of the city built on cocaine via interviews with smugglers, hit men, and dealers. This isn't a socio-political look at the drug trade, rather, it is a down-and-dirty Wild West story, complete with a Godmother who could give Scarface a run for his money.

It does drag in parts, and could have been told in a more streamlined fashion. Even at 2-hours on length, the DVD has another two dozen deleted scenes, for anyone who wants more time with the men on the street. Anyone who enjoyed Scarface or Blow needs to pick this one up, as does any armchair economic historian.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
You'll Never Look At The Miami Skyline In the Same Way Again March 11 2008
By SORE EYES - Published on
Format: DVD
A Real Life Weeds - Season One,Weeds - Season Two,Weeds - Season Three

A documentary that details the inception of the cocaine drug trade in America from the early 1970's when Columbian dealers dropped a few "suprise" kilos in bags of marijuana which was easily smuggled in via boats to the Reagan Era which spent millions "controlling" the drug trade in South Florida. "Cocaine Cowboys" presents an interesting perspective on the economy of the 1970's and what kept Miami afloat. Director Billy Corben tells the story of a Miami skyline built not of bricks and steel, but bricks of cocaine via interviews with some interesting smugglers, assasins, dealers, Ford models, and newscasters.

According to the film, in the 1970's marijuana was easily smuggled into South Florida. People openly off-loaded bales of marijuana from sail boats on public docks without interference. According to dealers in the film, in the 1970's cocaine was only used by medical professionals who could afford the several hundred dollars a gram price tag. Eventually the Columbian cartels found smugglers willing to import the drug and used Cuban distributors which made the drug readily available for everyone. The drug was first used by low-lifes-Castro refugees set free after he opened his prisons-and worked it's way up the ladder to become a party drug for all echelons of society. While the rest of the country struggled with 18 percent rates of inflation and a crashing economy, the Federal Reserve in Miami had so many deposits they had to stay open 24 hours a day. At one point the film says that federal investigators estimate one bank should have taken in deposits of around 2 million a year but was actually taking in 12 million. And that was just one bank. Hundreds opened their doors to launder money for the Columbian cartels. With the cocaine economy came Mercedes dealerships, a run-up in housing costs, luxury jewelery dealers. The Mercedes dealership in South Beach had a three month waiting list while the rest of the country was struggling to save for a Honda Civic and the gas that went in it.

It's never stated, but it sounds like the cocaine economy kept the whole country afloat for a while. The situation continued for about ten years until so much cocaine was being imported that the price dropped, violence skyrocketed, and the government finally decided to start busting people-not coincidentally at a time when the economy had recovered. Most of the people interviewed for this film were or are in jail. But many people in legitimate businesses that benefited from the free flowing cash from the cartels, used their new found wealth to build the Miami skyline. A doctor who is interviewed for the film said that at one point he was driving to work and counted more than 30 skyscrapers going up in the Miami skyline-all from the profits of drug money.

Some of this documentary will be familar. There have been enough films and sitcoms about cocaine in Miami that most of us know the tales. However, the positive economic impacts of cocaine were totally unknown to me. It's amazing and somewhat shocking. The vintage news footage and interviews make this documentary really interesting and keep the essential message from becoming a boring classroom lecture from the Federal Reserve chairman. All in all, a unique perspective and a pretty good yarn told by interesting raconteurs.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Cocaine Exploration April 1 2007
By M. Varigos - Published on
Format: DVD
This movie is well crafted and edited in such a way that you feel like you have been transported back to the mid 70's. The soundtrack, the backdrops and the editing style strictly reflect the raw nature of the gripping documentary. My only drawback on this 2 hour epic is the dramatic change an hour into it from the American point of view to the Cuban/Columbian point of view. A little too hasty and tended to drag in parts. Other than that a must have for lovers of Scarface and Miami Vice. A lot of interesting facts, so many so that it's hard to believe that the two main narrators in this doco are still alive.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Miami 1980: The Real Deal May 5 2012
By Link Hogthrob - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I lived in Freeport, Bahamas from 1980-1983. All television and radio was out of Miami and West Palm Beach, and Miami was only 30 minutes away on a 747. I often attempt to describe what it was like there to friends: the Haitian boat people, the Liberty City riots, the Mariel boat lift and the Colombian drug trade. But my anecdotes fall short of the mark. Prior to seeing "Cocaine Cowboys", the best I could do was tell them "watch 'Scarface'...with the exception of the final scene over-the-top hokey shootout, it was dead on." "Cocaine Cowboys" captures the true picture of the era there.
Daily you would wake up, turn on the radio and get the body count: 3 men found in the trunk of a burning car; or a headless corpse found floating in a canal; or 4 men killed in a parking lot shootout, 2 civilians wounded in the crossfire. This was followed by an ad for Lanson's, a high end men's clothier, advertising a bullet proof men's dinner jacket, "What the best dressed Miamian is wearing." Driving down the Dixie Hwy. in Miami, you see a bus stop bench with an ad on the back: "Protectar usted y su familia" punctuated with images of an automatic pistol and a machine gun and an address on Flagler St. where you can pick yours up.
The movie speaks for itself just like "Scarface". I have no doubt the individual narratives are accurate and non-hyperbolic. The movie does credit the cocaine "business" with cash infusion into the area and the resulting uplift of the overall economy. However, it omits the psychological impact on ordinary citizens, who saw little of the cocaine bucks: fear of getting caught in a crossfire and the depression of living in a combat zone.
Also omitted from the storyline were some of the Colombian weapons innovations: the Colombians came up with armor piercing bullets and laser sighting long before the cops had them. Then the feds showed up en mass and the tide turned.
I gave the movie a "5" even though it was a documentary and had no plot, no real acting. But if you wanted to know how it really went down then and there...this is your movie!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great Movie! May 21 2007
By B. Roac - Published on
Format: DVD
This movie was just what I expected it to be, GREAT! I love watching movies about the cocaine era. The narrator of the movie is good and the people telling the stories are ex drug trafficers. I would definetly recommend this movie to anyone who likes true stories about drugs. My husband is Colombian and he loved this movie! LOL I wonder why! Great movie! Buy it!

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