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on 29 April 2014
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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on 7 October 2010
Year of the Dragon [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

YEAR OF THE DRAGON STARS MICKEY ROURKE AS A DOGGED AND SLIGHTLY UNHINGED COP STANLEY WHITE, WHOM IS GIVEN NEW YORK'S CHINATOWN TO OVERSEE, AND LOWER THE CRIME LEVELS(PARTICULARLY AMONGST THE STREET GANGS), THERE, WHITE FINDS A NEW TRIAD LEADER JOEY TAI--JOHN LONE(ORDERING KILLINGS TO MOVE HIMSELF UP FASTER, AMONGST HIS CRIMINAL FRATERNITY).

WHITE--HIS UNORTHODOX METHODS(ILLEGAL WIRETAPS, BEATING UP SUSPECTS), HARRASSING JOEY TAI--SOON BRING HIM TO THE NOTICE OF HIS SUPERIORS--HIS CHILDHOOD FRIEND PLAYED BY RAYMOND J.BARRY, AND AN EQUALLY TRAUMATIC HOMELIFE, WITH HIS WIFE PORTRAYED BY CAROLINE KAVA.

WHITE, WITH HIS QUITE CLEAR RACIST STREAK, AND HIS PRIDE IN HIS POLISH(OR POLACK)BACKGROUND, IS A MAN OF CONTRADICTIONS AND UNBRIDLED CONTEMPT FOR HIS ENEMIES--STARTING WITH JOEY TAI, AND THROUGH MOST OF THE CHINESE COMMUNITY AND POLICE DEPARTMENT.

CIMINO'S YOFTD, WAS A CONTROVERISAL MOVIE IN ITS TIME--ITS DEPICTION OF WHITE'S ALMOST RELIGIOUS HATRED OF EVERYTHING CHINESE(DATING BACK TO THE VIETNAM WAR--WHITE SEEMS CONFUSED BY THE DIFFRENT NATIONALTIES) ALMOST UNSETTLES THE MOVIE.
ALTHOUGH CIMINO, OLIVER STONE(WHOM WROTE THE SCRIPT) AND ROURKE BRING THREE DIMENSIONS TO WHITE AND THE CHINESE COMMUNITY, THERE IS STILL A NAGGING DOUBT TO IT'S RACISM IS REAL-RATHER THAN A DEVICE TO BE USED TO DRIVE THE WHITE CHARACTER FURTHER.
THE MOVIE THRIVES ON ITS SHOCKS, THERE IS SOME STARTLING VIOLENCE, AND GENUINE HORRIFYING INCIDENTS--WHITE IS THE PRO-ACTIVE COP, WHO MAKES "CHINATOWN BOIL OVER..."--WHITE'S DESCRIPTION, WHICH LEAD TO REVENGE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE LEGALITY.
CIMINO WHOM HAD DIRECTED HEAVEN'S GATE SOME 5 YEARS BEFORE WAS KEPT ON A TIGHT LEASH BY MOVIE PRODUCER DINO DELAURNTIIS(SORRY ABOUT MISSPELLING..)---THE MOVIE COSTS AROUND $22 MILLION, AND WAS SHOT ON A SET (NOT IN NEW YORK AS IT APPEARS...).
SUPERBLY LIT BY THE UK's ALEX THOMPSON(EXCALIBUR), THE MOVIE IS A FRENETIC, SUPERBLY EDITED COP THRILLER, WITH A LEAD WHO IS CHARMING AND ABUSIVE, IT IS COMPELLING VIEWING.
NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED THOUGH.
ROURKE IS SUPERB THROUGHOUT--PLAYING A CHARACTER MUCH OLDER THAN HIMSELF(HE WAS ABOUT 28 AT THE TIME, PLAYING MID FORTIES).
CAROLINE KAVA SUPERB AS HIS HARD PRESSED WIFE, AND RAYMOND J.BARRY OFFER SUPERB SUPPORT, FINALLY TO MENTION TO JOHN LONE--JOEY TAI---WHITE'S NEMESIS, HE IS EXCELLENT, SADLY HIS CAREER IN THE WEST NEVER TOOK OFF AS IT SHOULD, HE WAS A MAJOR STAR BRIEFLY(AFTER "THE LAST EMPEROR"). HIS WRY WIT AND DELIBERATE MIS-UNDERSTANDING OF WHITES INTENTIONS ARE EXCELLENTLY DONE.
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on 31 January 2018
Fine Blu Ray quality BUT there are a number of fairly lengthy scenes spoken in Chinese, and you can only get subtitles in Spanish, Portuguese and French, NOT in English. I had to watch my regular DVD of this movie to see what was missed.
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on 26 January 2017
i saw this film back in 1985 at cinema thought it was a great film then now have seen on blu ray far superior quality to that on dvd
Plus in original wldescreen format as it is intended be viewed. mickey rourkes greatest performance and most realistic film about chinatown. I would recommend this film to anybody.
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on 14 November 2008
While this movie was made over 23 years ago, it not only holds up over time, it gets better with age. I am delighted it is now out on DVD.

Mickey Rourke turns in a great performance as Stanley White. Not the Mickey Rourke of today who has had so much plastic surgery (and 4 years as a professional boxing) we can't recognise him anymore. Shame. He is brash, crass, electric in this Cimino movie - redemption after the disaster Heavens Gate.
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on 19 November 2015
Fantastic movie easily Micky Rourkes best film hese amazing. The story and action is also great really enjoyed watching this one many thanks.
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on 6 February 2014
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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on 7 October 2015
The film is great but the quality of the DVD was very poor....a copy of a copy. I suppose that is why it was so cheap. No subtitles either.
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on 28 September 2013
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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on 29 May 2015
Very happy
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