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Red Cliff International Version - Part I & II
Director's Cut ed.
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RED CLIFF is the epic historical drama based on a legendary 208 A.D. battle that heralded the end of the Han Dynasty. 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, fast-approaching army, the warlords band together to mount a heroic campaign - unrivaled in history - that changes the face of China forever.
The Making of Red Cliff: The Long Road
Storyboarding Red Cliff from Script to Screen with John Woo
HDNet: A Look at Red Cliff
A Conversation with John Woo: The Journey of Red Cliff
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The storyline is based on a telling of a historical event in Chinese history that is widely known in China but not so much outisde of Asia. Wu has enhanced the traditional storyline with his own additions. What is amazing is how fast this movie goes. Despite it being something like five hours long, one is spellbound with the acting, visuals and effects. The film is not slow or boring at all. I watched it again and finally ordered a copy of my own because this is such a wonderful film that I will definitely watch it over and over again through the years.
John Wu has out done himself with this truly great work of cinema. I only wish I had seen it on the big screen in the theater. The acting is terrific and even though there is not an English track and one has to "read" the movie, it is not too overwhelming to read since there are many extended visuals. I highly recommend this excellent film of the first order. It's great fun!
It is a excellent movie. I am so used to the presentation or style of American movie. Besides having a big scenery, John Woo has spent some times to describe the main characters. I love the explanation on the war strategies and calculation of the enemy's' mind. It is the back bone of this story. I deduct 1 star for the sex scene. Come'on John, you don't need the sex scene to make people to watch. There is no sex scene in "Lord of the Ring". Dah!
I will recommend my friends to watch this.
John Woo has made some entertaining films, like Face/Off, in the past, but this is his first true masterpiece. All of the actors, locations, individual fights and huge battles are fantastic. The scale of these battles are probably the largest ever filmed. I'm talking Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King on steroids.
The only very minor negatives would be that it was somewhat hard at times reading the subtitles for such a long period of time. I wouldn't have it any other way (I hate dubbing), but be prepared to miss what's happening on the screen while you're trying to keep up with the words. It gets a bit easier after the first half hour or so. Also, the martial arts scenes during the battles are very well done and keep things interesting, but they kind of take away from the realism (a single guy slaughtering dozens with ease).
The picture quality is right at the top of my growing Blu-ray collection, and the audio is earth shattering through my speaker system. I don't have the time to mess with them, but the special features run almost as long as the movie itself. Very impressive.
If you love any kind of historical epics like Braveheart or Kingdom of Heaven, Red Cliff is worth a look at minimum. Just be prepared to have your reading glasses on.
While it won't fully satisfy historical purists OR purist fans of the novel, Red Cliff stands as one of the few pieces of cinema that does its legendary setting proud.