Red Cliff (Theatrical Version) [Blu-ray]
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting epic. Saw it several times. If you like this genre you will enjoy the Red Cliff.Published 1 day ago by Shoki
I think that anyone who is a "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" fan will have very little to complain about this film. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Vespasiano
Very good story and cast. Even though it was long (compared to many movies) I never thought "wow, I'm bored".Published 16 days ago by R. Evans
For the most part, this is an excellent history-based film, very good cinematography, acting, choice of actors etc. Read morePublished 18 days ago by SnowDog3000
What can I say? Much longer and richer that the original. I am glad I made the purchase.Published 1 month ago by History Buff
A real piece of Japanese history with a little drama and mythology added. Great movie...Published 1 month ago by Guy Warinner
This review is attached to the Uncut/Int'l version -- parts I & II -- but also applies to the shorter "US theatrical release". Yes, they are two separate movies. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Todd, compulsive reader
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