Red Cliff (2008)
May 8, 2021 7:36 AM - Subscribe

The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

Red Cliff was John Woo's first major film since his last stint in Hollywood (Paycheck), and his first Chinese-language film since Hardboiled. It is loosely based on the Battle of the Red Cliffs, which takes place at the end of the Han Dynasty and twelve years prior to the beginning of the Three Kingdoms period.

John Woo Unbound: The Red Cliff Interviews: Originally, all those characters in history, they were pretty much like gods, or legends. Always serious. People admired them and no one would want to make a joke of them, because people would find it so offensive. But I wanted to make the film more international, and that’s why I made the characters more human, instead of super heroes. I wanted the modern audience to be able to relate to them. And also, I increased the female role, which didn’t exist in the book. The movie is all about team work, and I thought the women should have their contributions. I also wanted to show that the classic Chinese women were known for their beauty, but they were also had very strong personalities. Just like women nowadays. They are very brave, and smart, and can take on all sorts of challenges.
posted by toastyk (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is currently one of the free movies on YouTube, and is also available on Hulu (basic).
posted by toastyk at 7:38 AM on May 8, 2021

since his last stint in Hollywood (Paycheck)

If anyone is wondering whether this is referring to a film or critiquing it, the answer is yes.
posted by biffa at 12:39 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

This is such a good film. The international version is fine but cutting it down into one overlong film doesn't really do the film justice.

Go for the original two full length films if you can.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:28 PM on May 9, 2021

I finished the American version, and it was mostly fun. I'll try to find the international versions eventually.

Interesting parts: a typhoid epidemic being weaponized. Hello masks in ancient Chinese setting! Communication & bonding via zither playing was fun. The princess warrior/spy was great, and I wish we got to see more of her.

I feel like the battle scenes were somehow both too long and also too abrupt. Also, what happens to the emperor in the first scene then, after Cao Cao loses? Too much intense staring - I mean, I love looking at Tony Leung and Takeshi Kaneshiro, but come on.

I do like how this movie is all about the power of friendship and unity.
posted by toastyk at 12:20 PM on May 10, 2021

« Older Wakefield: Episode 2...   |  Saturday Night Live: Elon Musk... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments