Red Cliff (English Subtitled) 2008 R CC

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(677) IMDb 7.4/10
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English Subtitles. Legendary Hong Kong action specialist John Woo and international superstar Tony Leung reunite for their first feature film together since 1992's Hard Boiled with this historical drama set during the decisive 208 A.D. battle that heralded the end of the Han Dynasty. Adapted in part from the beloved Chinese tome Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Red Cliff opens in the year 208 A.D., just as Prime Minister-turned-General Cao Cao (Zhang Fengyi) seeks permission from Han dynasty Emperor Xian (Wang Ning) to organize a southward-bound mission designed to silence troublesome warlords Liu Bei (You Yong) and Sun Quan (Chang Chen).

Starring:
Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro
Runtime:
2 hours 28 minutes

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Red Cliff (English Subtitled)

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Red Cliff (Theatrical Version) [Blu-ray]

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama, Adventure, International, Action
Director John Woo
Starring Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro
Supporting actors Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang, Wei Zhao, Jun Hu, Shidô Nakamura, Chiling Lin, Yong You, Yong Hou, Dawei Tong, Jia Song, Ba Sen Zha Bu, Jinsheng Zang, Shan Zhang, Hui Wang, Gang Xie, Chao Guo, Yin He, Hua Ye
Studio Magnolia
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Great movie with good action.
DC Reviewer 2011
Excellent story telling in a historical setting with fully developed characters.
Mantis
One of the best war movies I have ever seen.
Joe Almeida

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

446 of 463 people found the following review helpful By Anthony J. Thorne on February 14, 2010
Format: DVD
This 'international version' of John Woo's RED CLIFF is the preferred edition over the previously released (and shorter) US theatrical version. Woo worked hard to shoot this epic adaption of a famous Chinese historical novel, and the final version of the movie was so long (closer to 5 hours than 4) that in Asian markets the film was released in two parts, each playing in cinemas at opposite ends of a near 12 month period. In the US, the UK and Australia, Woo tentatively gave approval for a cut-down version to play in cinemas, with both parts condensed by 50% down to a single movie. Australian critic David Stratton (a frequent reviewer for VARIETY) gave the condensed version a good, not great review, but then noted that he felt the full, uncut edition of RED CLIFF was one of the great cinema epics. And so it is.

Woo's career seemed to take a gradual downturn in the US after the peak of FACE/OFF, and it would be hard for fans of the director's earlier HARD-BOILED or BULLET IN THE HEAD (both great films) to share the same sense of enthusiasm for works like MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 or the aptly titled PAYCHECK. Woo reportedly wasn't that happy with things either, so when he announced he would return to Asia to shoot the biggest historical epic in Chinese film history, it was welcome news. (RED CLIFF is based on the same story that was adapted for THREE KINGDOMS, filmed not too long ago with Andy Lau and the lithe, hypnotically sexy Maggie Q). Woo regular Chow Yun Fat was in RED CLIFF, then out. Another Woo regular, Tony Leung, was in, then out, then back in (long story). Once the casting issues were resolved, Woo took his good time to shoot the movie that had apparently tantalized him for decades.
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114 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Catherine L. Chen on December 6, 2009
Throughout the centuries, every Chinese schoolboy is familiar with the stories from Luo Guanzhong's Romance of The Three kingdoms. And those who cannot read listen intently to the tales of battles and wily stratagems recounted by storytellers in the market place or on stage performed by traveling troops of regional operas. The moment, Cao Cao, the villain, with a white painted face steps on stage, he is booed. However, when Liu Bei of Shu, the hero, and his sworn brothers, Zhang Fei and Guan Yu, and Zhuge Liang, and appear, cheers are heard. Often, after a particular favorite incident is recited, the storyteller says, "that's enough now; come back tomorrow." And then, the young and the old linger a little longer in case the storyteller has changed his mind.

In his Asian blockbuster movie that is presently in the theaters of southern California, Red Cliff, the modern storyteller, John Woo, recounts the same historical tale, the battle of the Red Cliff in 208 CE, taken place toward the end of a long and illustrious dynasty, the Han Dynasty, but with a new twist and perspective from that of the traditional ones. He is the grand master of storytellers with the help of cinematography, great actors, and visceral depiction of action that has dance- like qualities.

Red Cliff begins with Cao Cao, the prime minister of the last emperor of Han dynasty, a brilliant ruler, strategist, and warrior having asserted his rule over northern China. Cao Cao is confident that his military campaign of 800,000 men can subjugate the two kingdoms of Wu and Shu in the south. These two kingdoms jointly have a military force of 50,000 men. It is another story of mythical proportion like that of David and Goliath.
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119 of 136 people found the following review helpful By Stephen M. Kopian on January 23, 2010
Format: DVD
I've seen John Woo's Red Cliff a couple of times now in both the full "international" version, which is really the way the film was made and the shorter International version which was shown in theaters and on pay per view here in the US. This version essentially removes over two hours of material from the story. (If I figured it correctly this version cuts the first half of the full version to an hour and the second half to about 80 minutes)

To me the full version is the way to go and not this theatrical release. The problem with this short version is that it removes a great deal of character development, numerous subplots (which makes several shots at the end of the film not mean anything-why is that soldier mourning a dead enemy? Its something thats been removed), the real ends of some characters and plots, and amazingly a great deal of the action sequences (the most obvious cuts are in the opening and closing battle sequences which are very cut down). In this case less is less.

Yes, the film moves faster (but I think more confusingly) and yes its removed many of the philosophical and strategic talks that some people found dull, but at the same time it makes the film little more than a series of connected battle scenes.The full version has a scope of action and character rarely equaled in film. This short version is pomp and circumstance with little behind it. I also find it confusing, which is strange since I had seen the full version twice prior to seeing this cut version.

To me the way to go is to see the full version. yes its five hours long but its on DVD where you can stop and pause. This version is considerably less than that full version, containing many of the visual highs but little of the emotional peaks.
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