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Cherry Pop

'Revenge of the Green Dragons'
(Ray Liotta, Justin Chon, Harry Jr. Shum, Kevin Wu, Jin Auyeung, et al / DVD / R / 2015 / LGF)

Overview: Two best friends rise through the ranks of New York's Chinese underworld in the 1980s.

DVD Verdict: I actually first read the story of the Green Dragons over 20 years ago, and have just recently heard of the movie adaptation. After watching this, I think this is another case of "the facts are more interesting than fiction". The original events were violent and raw. It ended with a sense of retribution. What the director did with the movie version was to partially "Hong Kong"ize the story. This really doesn't work unless you go all in and purposely try to suspend the audience's disbelief, sorry.

I don't mean to say Hong Kong action movies are bad, but they only fit in a style that shouldn't be done for non-fiction, even with a gangster movie. All the brooding, the slow moving gun mechanics, the improvised romance, etc. works great when the action is so gratuitous, you can shut your brain off and enjoy the flick for what it is. In Dragons, all the personalities, including the lead, just mesh into a stylized melodramatic comic character of their real counterparts. It's not the actor's fault, since their portrayals are closely reminiscent of Hong Kong action movies.

Again, I just think they should have gotten a more appropriate director and stay truer to the original events. For example, in the brilliant 'Casino,' I can believe it happened in real life as shown on the screen. Not so much here in 'Revenge Of The Green Dragons.' This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Deleted Scenes
Audio Commentary with Director Andrew Lau and Co-Writer/Director Andrew Loo
"The Not So American Dream: The Cast" Featurette
"Stitches in Time: Costume Deisgn" Featurette
"A Claustrophobic World: Production Design" Featurette

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