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Year of the Dragon (Sous-titres franais)

4.0 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joey Chin, Mickey Rourke, Raymond J. Barry, Caroline Kava, John Lone
  • Directors: Michael Cimino
  • Writers: Michael Cimino, Oliver Stone
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Polish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Ages 18 and over
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Home Video
  • Release Date: May 31 2005
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0007VZ99E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,341 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Year of the Dragon (DVD)

Redemption for director Michael Cimino and burgeoning stardom for actor Mickey Rourke were on the agenda when Year of the Dragon was released in 1985, and even if those things didn't quite come to pass, the result was nevertheless an entertaining, at times even compelling film. Cimino, seven years removed from his Oscar triumph The Deer Hunter and five years past the debacle that was (and still is) Heaven's Gate, made a move back into the mainstream with this violent tale about New York's Chinatown, where gangs and heroin-dealing Chinese "triads" hold sway--at least until police captain Stanley White comes on the scene, fiercely determined to put the bad guys out of business. As portrayed by Rourke, White is arrogant, boorish, and bullheaded, a thoughtless jerk who puts anyone who cares about him in mortal danger, all of which we're supposed to forgive because he served in Vietnam and is so righteously intent on doing his job. Problem is, White is almost completely unlikable, rendering his relationships with his long-suffering wife (Caroline Kava) and his TV reporter girlfriend (a wooden Ariane) implausible in the extreme. Add to that a script (by Cimino and Oliver Stone) filled with stilted, macho dialogue and a level of facile racism and sexism that would be unacceptable by new millennium standards, and you've got a tough sell. Still, Cimino knows how to direct the action sequences, and he's able to sustain a good level of tension as the story builds toward its inevitable confrontation between White and young crime lord Joey Tai (John Lone, channeling Al Pacino in The Godfather: Part II). And the aftermath? Cimino made only four movies in the ensuing twenty years, none of them exactly blockbusters, while Rourke sank into a self-inflicted oblivion from which he has yet to recover. Not exactly the hoped-for outcome, but neither of them should be ashamed to have Year of the Dragon on his resume. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

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Format: VHS Tape
This film got a bad reputation when left-leaning Chinese-American groups tried to brand it as racist, causing many film critics to play it safe and pan it rather than brave the ire of those groups. In truth, the only notable flaw in the film is the acting talents of Arianne; despite this, I found her tolerable as her interaction with Rourke was truly electric. As to the demagogues, I must say that they arrived a little late to the party: Cimino's Deer Hunter portrayed Asians in a much more demeaning light than anything here. Besides that, have any of those protesters seen the kinds of movies put out en masse from Hong Kong? They are much more glitzy violent than anything portrayed here (for example check out John Wu's "The Killer" or Hard-Boiled").
Mickey Rourke is awesome as usual, he defined cool in the 1980s just as Errol Flynn did for the 1930s. And just like Errol Flynn, he later descended into mediocrity, making poor personal decisions and then taking poor roles and minor roles which made a mockery of his previously fine work. But neither Flynn nor Rourke were as bad as OJ Simpson or Enron executives. You don't have to love what they became to enjoy what they previously achieved.
In many ways Cimino fulfilled a potential avenue which Roman Polanski never explored in his 1974 neo-noir masterpiece, Chinatown. That film spent all of one scene in its namesake locale. Year of the Dragon takes us right into the heart of New York City's Chinatown, for better and for worse. Its a fairly conventional narrative, but you can almost smell the pastries cooking and wet garbage seething on those Manhattan streets. One of my three favorite Rourke films, along with Angel Heart and Francesco.
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Format: VHS Tape
Mickey Rourke is NYPD Detective Stanley White, an angry white cop and marine Vietnam vet whose life seems to revolve around making a nightmare of everybody else's. Sent to Chinatown with the idea to stay out of trouble, White immediately butts heads with community figures he's convinced run the local mob. Not just a strictly law-and-order, White is on a mission against the larger evil of organized crime. Convinced that local Chinese mobsters are just tentacles of larger criminal syndicates called Triads (White educates his superiors that it was the Chinese, not the Italians who conceived "organized crime"), White pursues respected members of the City's Chinese community. Unfortunately, the situation is larger than White realizes - as Joey Tai (John Lone), an up-and-coming figure among the community, prepares to wrest control of the Triads from its aging leaders. Poised to flood America with narcotics from the golden triangle of southeast Asia, Tai soon realizes that White is more than an annoyance, and must be eliminated. Meanwhile, White proves less able to crack the Triads than his own career - alienating superiors who are convinced that he's harassing Tai. As Tai and White fight a war that soon becomes personal, the Triad readies itself to enter a new age in organized crime.
This is yet the only Cimino flick I've ever seen, though it seems to confirm what I've heard about his inability to focus. You wander through the twisting alleys of the script and wonder just what it's all about. It's about drugs, and Chinese and white cops who prove willfully blind to the encroaching triads. But that doesn't begin to explain Stan White or his seemingly bottomless reservoir of piety. Why does he care so much? "How can anybody care too much?" he asks back.
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Format: VHS Tape
This story, of a gruff, dysfunctional, but brilliant detective out to bring down the Triads is a fast paced & very entertaining action film, meant to capitialize on the Chinatown shoot-outs at The Golden Dragon restaurants, that had captured the attention of the news media back in the late 1970's.
That said, the characters, especially Mickey Rourke's lead, are somewhat pedestrian & conventional. (Do ALL brilliant book & movie detectives have to have screwed up personal lives?!)
Besides that, I wondered about why a POLISH-American cop would be so personally obsessed about taking out the CHINESE mafia?
I'm NOT into political correctness. (Though I'm Chinese by descent, I wasn't so gung-ho about all of the protesting from the Asian activists about this movie back in the '80's. After all, there are more important things to worry about than an action flick!)
But I am into BELIEVABLE films. One reviewer who liked this movie said that director Cimino "kept it real." If it was "real", the lead (both in the book & in the movie) would have been someone with a very personal stake in bringing down the Triads. That would have justified his obsession AT THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY. (It's one thing to have him see it as just a job at the beginning, then have him obsessed AFTER they attack his friends & family. But this guy is so gung-ho RIGHT AT THE START!)
Politically correct or not....he should have been a Chinese, and not a Polish cop. (That goes for the book, as well as the movie!)
That said, the leading lady, a Chinese-American reporter, is the opposite....she's just too politically correct (in her mouthings about rights & such, not in her depiction) to be believable. (She might be a good actress, but I found her character annoying. It wasn't her fault.
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