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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars timeless performance from Rourke
Perhaps not the greatest film, but I always remember this one because of Rourke's performance as a cop doggedly struggling to do the right thing in the face of impossible odds - including his own arrogance and ignorance. Stanley White is almost impossible to like as a character but Rourke somehow instils beneath all the character's unpleasant attitudes and manner an...
Published on 10 Sep 2008 by richard

versus
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Special fried Rice or Hong Kong Duck ?
This is either a spicy flawed classic or an over boiled turkey. True it does have some great set pieces. The tasty shoot-out in the shanghai restaurant and the final bridge shoot-out scene is especially good well lit and designed. But between these tasty appetizers are some bloated main courses.

If any film illustrates why not to cast models in lead roles it's...
Published on 2 April 2007 by M. Locke


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars timeless performance from Rourke, 10 Sep 2008
This review is from: Year Of The Dragon [DVD] (DVD)
Perhaps not the greatest film, but I always remember this one because of Rourke's performance as a cop doggedly struggling to do the right thing in the face of impossible odds - including his own arrogance and ignorance. Stanley White is almost impossible to like as a character but Rourke somehow instils beneath all the character's unpleasant attitudes and manner an almost saintly purity of purpose and 'good'. It's a timeless performance of how the cynicism and corruption of the world and the brutality of his nature should make White hopelessly evil, yet somehow he rises above himself to be something better than the 'good' people around him. Harvey Keitel did something similar in Bad Lieutenant, but Rourke was there first.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forget it, kid! It's Chinatown!, 2 Jun 2004
This review is from: Year Of The Dragon [DVD] (DVD)
The title refers to the immortal line from the Roman Polanski 1974 film noir classic. Although that film ends in Chinatown, Year of the Dragon is Chinatown. The characters in it, Detective Stanley White and Joey Tai don't own Chinatown, instead, Chinatown owns them and eventually devours them.
The script is a relentless tour de force from Oliver Stone. Considering the excesses that comes with his scripts (Midnight Express and Scarface), this movie may seem like a mundane cop and robbers flick.
This was director Michael Cimino's first film since the debacle known as Heaven's Gate that nearly derailed United Artist in 1980. Having said that, it would be short of a miracle that he could actually direct again in Tinseltown. Nevertheless, this was a film-hungry director who seemed desperately in redeeming his soul.
Another lengthy note on the characters in this film. A great comparison could be made between this film and the equally under-rated William Friedkin's 80s magnum opus, "To Live and Die in LA". Both the protaganists are by and large, immoral, possessed unorthodox work ethnics and extremely obsessiion driven to nab their criminal counterparts even if it meant breaking the law itself. To add a further dimension, Mickey Rourke's character is a tad racist too, this is further accentuated by the fact that his surname, White, has a supremacist undertone.
The film, largely ignored in the mid 80s, is rather intense, to say the least. It remains one of the few movies that I have been waiting to be put up on DVD.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An overlooked minor classic, 17 Jan 2005
By 
Mr. Warren M. Fisher (East Grinstead, West Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Year Of The Dragon [DVD] (DVD)
A searing urban crime movie that ranks right up with the best of the genre. An incendiary script, evocative and explosive direction, and great performances all add up to an unfairly overlooked minor classic. Featuring a powerhouse performance from Mickey Rourke, back before he and director Cimino ('The Deer Hunter') squandered their singular talents, this is an unforgettable experience.
The film ranks as a five-star classic, but is marked as a four due to the total lack of extras on the disc.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First aid for a seemingly underappreciated film..?, 9 Jun 2002
First of all, it is a sorry state of affairs indeed that the availability of this film seems to be rather limited. So for all you Rourke-fans out there, know that there at least exists a region 2 DVD and a NTSC format video.
The already available Amazon synopsis easily conveys the main points of this film's plot. So, why sit at 2 a.m in the morning writing a five-star review for a film which also included its fair share of cliches and apparent storyline glitches ? Well, firstly, this is one of those marvellous Rourke-performances where he suddenly has you caught between caring deeply for the character and utterly despairing about his seemingly inborn desire for self destruction. Nobody does it better.
Secondly, this is a Michael Cimino-film technically reminiscent of that classic The Deer Hunter. The camera seems to have a life of its own, encompassing broad scenes rich with details. Throw Oliver Stone and Dino de Laurentiis into the mix, and the result can't be anything else but interesting.
A must for Rourke-fans. A sensible waste of two hours on a Sunday afternoon for most other film enthusiasts.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Only Lacks One Thing!, 29 April 2014
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This review is from: Year Of The Dragon [DVD] (DVD)
Enjoyed Michael Cimino's venture into Chinatown very much. A great deal of effort went into the making of this film, including a lot of Chinese dialogue (obviously requiring sub-titling) on the part of the leading Chinatown protagonists but this only adds to the film's verisimilitude so you have to stick with it.

The film is very well scripted and directed in all its 'specifics' but somehow, as a whole, there seems to be something 'missing' and, overall, I felt it just didn't quite gel come the end. Can't really put my finger on it but aspects like the denouement with Stanley White and the Chinese reporter seemingly getting together at the end somehow didn't work for me since their relationship hadn't really struck me as being any great love affair - certainly not compared to the emphasis placed on White's marriage by the director (as well as several of the other players in the story) and especially when you consider White's wife, Connie, is horribly murdered by his Chinatown adversaries.

I also found myself 'at odds' with White's whole approach to the Chinatown problem. It's quite obvious that he wasn't 'tasked' by his superiors to go in there and stir everything up with a stick the way he does and yet it's a long time before he gets reeled in by his own people. Highly-decorated cop he may be but resolving a problem such as Chinatown is portrayed to be is hardly a job for a solo maverick with questionable people skills!

That said, I have nothing but praise for Mickey Rourke as Stanley White. Like Burt Reynolds in Deliverance, you feel that Rourke had all the makings of another Brando when you see him in some of his early roles and I thought he did a stellar job here with the Stanley White character. It's really thanks to Rourke that I liked Stanley White at all!

I thought John Lone was brilliant as White's chief opposition and here was another actor who put his heart and soul into the role he played. I'm sorry not to have seen Lone in other sizeable roles as he carried this off brilliantly, I thought. Perhaps someone can recommend another of his performances to me.

To sum up, I found Year of the Dragon to be a very good film - just not a great one (Cimino's Thunderbolt and Lightfoot is the one that does it for me). Whilst you're watching YOTD it's a very involving and atmospheric film but afterwards I found I was left feeling vaguely dissatisfied. Still, that won't stop me from watching it again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars dragon, 6 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Year Of The Dragon [DVD] (DVD)
michael cimminos first film since the dreadful heavens gate.this is an excellent crime thriller with the always brilliant mickey rourke
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Mickey...................... WHY??????????????, 16 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Year Of The Dragon [DVD] (DVD)
Yo Mickey............
Watching you I didn't have to change myself but then you went AWOL................ I couldn't follow that path.......... Where is James . Lee. Burke??
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yera of the Dragon, 28 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Year Of The Dragon [DVD] (DVD)
Received in excellent order and on time an excellent film to brighten up the day, so thank you very much for the good service
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5.0 out of 5 stars cimino and rourke are about to explode!, 26 May 2013
This review is from: Year Of The Dragon [DVD] (DVD)
cimino returns to top form with this explosive,gritty crime epic with a powerhouse performance form rourke!. Essentially the finest film from the mid 80s!!. the critics had a rant at this film upon release but what they missed was the last classic from cimino and mickey rourkes unmatched ability to explode on screen!! ,equal to the greats like de niro,pacino .Brutal controversial and explosive unlike the films of today, after this the doors were closed for this type of film. the music score, set pieces are outstanding,rourkes one dimensional cop maybe unlikable but its the essence of the film,a self destructive cop who has a passion for crusade and chaos. cimino explores chinatown like no other director,the audiance is thrown into the gritt of violence! ,the result is a undisputed masterpiece that hold equal to scarface, french connection,sepico. ,,,the film holds a blessing from stanley kubrick who praised this classic work of cimino!
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4.0 out of 5 stars good viewing quite an emotional film, 8 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Year Of The Dragon [DVD] (DVD)
very good the old ones are always the best.i recommnd to anyone who wants a bit of old film culture
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Year Of The Dragon [DVD]
Year Of The Dragon [DVD] by Michael Cimino (DVD - 2012)
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