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Year of the Dragon (Mickey Rourke)

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Year of the Dragon (Mickey Rourke)

Old 06-02-05, 05:26 PM
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Year of the Dragon (Mickey Rourke)

Warner finally releases a good dvd version of this controversial movie. Caught this one a looong time ago and was surprised to see that the new dvd featuring the remastered film along with Michael Cimino commentary.

Won't dwell on the dvd itself as my A/V components may not be comparable to most people here, but I really enjoyed watching Year of the Dragon once again after so many years.

Cimino, coming off from the disastrous Heaven's Gate, directs this gritty drama-thriller about a stubborn cop who decides to go against the biggest Chinese triad in New York's Chinatown. Mickey Rourke, before he got puffy and somewhat "deformed", magnificently plays the police officer Stanley White assigned to bring Chinese youth gangs into justice, but ends up turning the whole city upside down with his aggressive and uncompromosing tactics...even at the risk of almost losing everything in his life. The head of the most powerful triad is played by John Lone (Last Emperor) who exudes charm and ,at the same time, sly brutality in his quest to make his organization the most feared criminal syndicate. Cimino spares nothing by beautifully shooting the film in New York, Vancouver & Bangkok. Everything seems realistic, especially the bloody shootouts and the consequences thereafter.

I realize the controversy surrounding the film when it was released. It was blasted as racist by a lot of people, and was touted as demeaning the Chinese-Americans. It did not get a lot of good reviews either, as most of the characters in the movie had no redeeming value. The protagonist cop is arrogant in his behaviour and also displays his somewhat racist nature by making fun of his Chinese counterparts and belittles some Chinese traditions even if they have existed for a long time.

I myself am Asian, and I found Year of the Dragon incredibly perceptive and engrossing. Sure, there are parts of the film where it kinda drags due to the romantic side between White and an Asian reporter. But the violence portrayed is unnerving and graphic, and it shows the power struggle between the Chinese triads and the Italian mob for control of the drug traffic. It also shows the underbelly of Chinatown, where everything may be colorful on the surface, but underneath is swarm of corruption and greed.

This movie may be one of the more "un-PC" films I've seen in my life, yet it shows the ugly marks from both sides. Personally, I find Year of the Dragon one of the most underrated films from the 80s.
Old 06-02-05, 05:44 PM
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Just never let another motherless fuck come between us.

Also, I liked the performance by Wang. I half expected Jack Burton to show up.

btw, I'm asian, too and didn't have any problems with the film's portrayal of Asians.
Old 06-02-05, 06:44 PM
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Great, underrated flick. Perfect role for Rourke.
Old 06-02-05, 06:50 PM
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I agree its a great film. Sure, its Un-PC but people who live in that kind of a world tend to be that way. I watched that movie over and over again when I had a copy on VHS. I look forward to picking it up on DVD.

Year of the Dragon, Barfly, Angel Heart, and now Sin City. All great performances by an underrated actor.
Old 06-02-05, 09:31 PM
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Saw this one when it was in theaters back in college and it's been a favorite of mine ever since.
Old 06-03-05, 01:45 AM
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Definitely an underrated film - probably suffered in its critical appraisals because of Heaven's Gate.
Old 06-03-05, 10:08 PM
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Need to see this, and I just today found out it starred Mickey Rourke, whom I have admired since Angel Heart and always thought an underrated actor.

In an Entertainment Weekly dating about a year ago, Quentin Tarantino said that the shootout at the end is one of the best in screen history, but that's according to him.
Old 06-03-05, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. DVD
Need to see this, and I just today found out it starred Mickey Rourke, whom I have admired since Angel Heart and always thought an underrated actor.

In an Entertainment Weekly dating about a year ago, Quentin Tarantino said that the shootout at the end is one of the best in screen history, but that's according to him.
Spoiler:
The final shootout was between Mickey Rourke and John Lone running TOWARDS each other with guns blazing.
Old 06-04-05, 12:01 AM
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Just a great movie.

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