John Woo directs this epic based on the battle of the Red Cliffs during the war of the three kingdoms. By epic, I mean serious epic. The Asian version is split into 2 two and half hour movie, with an odd “to be continued” mark. I hear the US release is condensed into a single 3 hour movie. I wonder what they’ll cut out.
It’s good though, but very Chinese. Which means it’s slow and meditating at some parts which might annoy a more Western audience. It also makes use a of a little too much slo-mo fight sequence. Otherwise, it’s very well filmed and pretty well-acted.
I’ll have to see the second part before I decide if this movie is great or not. So far it’s one of the better epic war movies to come out of Asian cinema. Especially at a time when they haven’t made a decent war movie for quite some time.
Now I looked up the inevitable Wikipedia page and found that “Red Cliff” translates to Chi Bi… so it’s a movie about the battle of Chi Bi! And they even put in Sun Shang Xiang. But no Xiahou Dun, what’s up with that?
Most generals/officers remain as nameless chars in the background , until they’re call upon to play their role in the story .
It’s a deliberate move to cut down the number of chars, so that the story is easier to follow for those unfamiliar(westerners).
Damn, I hate those ignorant Westerners! With a whopping five hours you’d think they’d find a few character moments for pretty much everyone. I hope they had at least the decency to put an eyepatch on one of those Wei generals in the background.
Anyway, I want a good Blu-ray release, preferably with both the American and the Chinese cuts!