RED CLIFF recounts the story of one
of the most famous battles in Chinese history about the Three Kingdoms. The
battle at Red Cliff took place in 280 A.D. during the Han Dynasty. This
is a project that Director John Woo wanted to do for years and it took five years of planning.
RED CLIFF out grossed TITANIC in Asia and made as much as THE DARK KNIGHT did in Asia. RED CLIFF is an engaging film about friendship and the cost of war.
first watched the two and half hour cut of the film, but the five hour uncut version is better. The international version expands the characters and planning that both sides go through. The
two and half hour version loses alot of the storyline involving the Southlands Princess as you see much more of her spy
work in Cao Cao's camp and her forming a friendship with a troop commander named Pitt. Every main character is expanded in the five hour version which was originally presented as two films.
The international version is a more rewarding experience and anyone who loved the first one should see the uncut version in
its five hour glory.
You have two sides to this war. On one side is the bond of friendship between warriors, and you have the ruthless
politician on the other end who doesn’t value friendship. First,
RED CLIFF paints the soldiers of Liu Bei and Zhou Yu as legends. Second, you
see what price the soldiers pay at the end. One of them remarks there are
no victors in war.
RED CLIFF is working on several levels. You have the princess who wants to do her duty for her country and she is a spy in
Prime Minister Cao Cao’s camp collecting Intel for Zhou Yu. Another character
is Xiao Qiao, the wife of Zhou Yu and one of the most beautiful women in China,
and she wishes for peace. She reads the Art Of War to understand her husband
and what he does. She is the one that Cao Cao desires and he dreams of
taking her as his own after he defeats the Southlands. Then, there is the friendship
that is formed between Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang (one of the most brilliant minds in Chinese history). They learn to respect each other. Zhuge Liang manipulates
the Southlands to fight with Liu Bei’s army against Cao Cao, but Zhou Yu knows it is a battle they must fight. That brings me to General Zhang Fei who looks like an Asian version of Brian
Blessed (who played Prince Vultan in the 1980s film, FLASH GORDON).
THE MAKING OF AN EPIC: RED CLIFF- a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of a movie that took one year to shoot. It wasn’t all smooth sailing as they had to face rain one time and dry
out the wet costumes because they had no replacements. This half-hour featurette
has interviews with crew, director, and the cast.
INTERVIEW WITH JOHN WOO: THE CARRIER’S
FLIGHT FROM CONCEPT TO CREATION- John Woo talks about this one sequence
MAKING RED CLIFF: TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS-
RED CLIFF went through many problems during filming like with the boats, the rain, a RC helicopter camera crashing, a baby
not behaving during filming of scenes, and other problems that plagued the making of the film.
HDNET: A LOOK AT RED CLIF is a brief four
minute promo fluff hyping RED CLIFF
FINAL ANALYSIS: As a two and half theatrical film, RED CLIFF soars with it’s battle scenes and the planning that
two sides go through still shows even though this is the five hour uncut version cut edited down to half the length. If you want the full version and can sit down for five hours, check out the International
Cut. The International Version soars way above the theatrical cut and shows the character epic that John Woo has
this DVD review is (c)4-10-2010 David Blackwell
and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to email@example.com