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Red Cliff (Theatrical Version) (2009)

Tony Leung , Takeshi Kaneshiro , John Woo  |  R |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (592 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro
  • Directors: John Woo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 148 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (592 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0030A6I7Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,932 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Red Cliff (Theatrical Version)" on IMDb

Special Features

The Making of an Epic: Red Cliff
Interview with John Woo: The Carrier’s Flight from Concept to Creation
HDNet: A Look at Red Cliff
Storyboards

Editorial Reviews

Filmmaker John Woo brings RED CLIFF, the epic historical drama based on a legendary 208 A.D.
battle that heralded the end of the Han Dynasty, to life in this action-packed U.S. theatrical version.
A power-hungry Prime Minister-turned-General Cao Cao seeks permission from the Han Dynasty
Emperor to organize a southward-bound mission designed to crush the two troublesome warlords who stand in his way, Liu Bei and Sun Quan. Vastly outnumbered by Cao Cao's brutal, fastapproaching army, the warlords band together to
mount a heroic campaign - unrivaled in history - that changes the face of China forever.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
437 of 451 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the full version, a powerful, accomplished epic... 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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111 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Cliff directed by John Woo, the Chinese Iliad 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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111 of 127 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The full International version is better 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I like that legendary story being read since childhood age
I like that legendary story being read since childhood age. It is a very well made movie, simple and not to covering too much complicated history during the era.
Published 2 days ago by jay aw
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
Movie has an interesting but historical story line and great actors! Well worth the length of the movie and content!
Published 2 days ago by MGus
5.0 out of 5 stars Must watch
It was a good movie, I really enjoyed it
Published 4 days ago by finn Ebelechukwju
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie, great actor, and awesome strategies!
Published 7 days ago by Ai L.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Really enjoyed it.
Published 8 days ago by creativist
3.0 out of 5 stars It's probably a good story and drama for the Western audience
It's probably a good story and drama for the Western audience, but somewhat different from the original novel, I'd have given a 5 star, if I haven't read the novel.
Published 9 days ago by S. Dimas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent movie, watch both full/short version. I like the full version better.
Published 10 days ago by Sam
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good movie
Published 11 days ago by Joe
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
I have seen this movie three times. The action is terrific and the scenery is beautiful. I also love the music. I have already recommended this movie to others.
Published 11 days ago by Joseph J Lundy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie, on my favorites list!
Published 12 days ago by zenful
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Red Cliff.... international vs US theatrical.
I noticed that for the longer International version, the subtitles are in Spanish only whereas for the shorter US version, the subtitles are in Spanish and English. Is there a way I can get the longer 288-min version but with English subtitles?
Dec 28, 2009 by Digg Dugg |  See all 19 posts
Is this the 5 hour asian version?
Can anyone tell me if this version has an English soundtrack(dubbed of course) it is so beautiful,(only watched the first 45 mins but sadly I find it nearly impossible to enjoy the magnificence looking down for the subtittles) also if anyone knows does the English audio have full dolby or DTS HQ... Read More
Feb 9, 2011 by D.M. Archer |  See all 3 posts
uncut version?
Yes, this is the uncut version at a runtime of 288 minutes!
It is a region 1 disc, so it will play in US and Canadian machines.
Aug 22, 2010 by Steven |  See all 2 posts
red cliff international version blu ray
My package arrived sealed, but Part II would not play. I tried it on both my Sony PS3 and Panasonic BDT100. Has anyone experienced this problem?
Feb 13, 2011 by Charles Otutu |  See all 3 posts
What is the difference between the "Red Cliff's"?
it's not very easy to answer your question briefly. Basically, the movie was released in China in its full version. It was then edited into the shorter version for its worldwide theatrical release. To give you a better idea of some of the things that have been lost, you can read the following... Read More
Mar 17, 2010 by Joen |  See all 2 posts
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