Raymond J. Barry

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Born On The Fourth Of July Review


OK
Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July is not an adaptation of the memoir by Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, though that's what the credits indicate. It's an indulgent style showcase for Stone, who, with his longtime cinematographer Robert Richardson, employs every act of film trickery imaginable that doesn't involve CGI effects.

Tom Cruise, in a role that was a brave departure for him in 1989, plays Kovic in his adult years. Kovic grows up as a child of the American dream in 1950s Long Island. He's a God-fearing, baseball-hitting, patriotic lad who lives in an environment full of parades and malt shops. As a high school senior, young Ron doesn't think twice about signing up for the Marines, believing that he's doing the right thing for his country.

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Year Of The Dragon Review


Very Good
Once upon a time, Mickey Rourke was a major Hollywood player, and Year of the Dragon finds him in one of his most respectable leading roles, the last film he made before 9 1/2 Weeks got everyone a little scared about Rourke's future. Here's Rourke, as well, in a prototypical role: As a hard boiled cop that will do anything it takes to bring down the new leader of New York's Chinese mafia. Rourke is like a rabid dog, and his torn-apart, hangdog performance surpasses the rest of the film, which plays like a rehash of Scarface.
Raymond J. Barry

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