Chi bi   2008   China Red Cliff
Red Cliff Image Cover
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Director:John Woo
Studio:Avex Entertainment
Writer:Khan Chan, Cheng Kuo
IMDb Rating:7.3 (14,252 votes)
Awards:11 wins & 5 nominations
Genre:Action, Adventure, Drama, History, War
Duration:150 min
John Woo  ...  (Director)
Khan Chan, Cheng Kuo  ...  (Writer)
Tony Leung Chiu Wai  ...  Zhou Yu (as Tony Leung)
Takeshi Kaneshiro  ...  Zhuge Liang
Fengyi Zhang  ...  Cao Cao
Chen Chang  ...  Sun Quan
Wei Zhao  ...  Sun Shangxiang
Jun Hu  ...  Zhao Yun
Shidô Nakamura  ...  Gan Xing (as Shidou Nakamura)
Chiling Lin  ...  Xiao Qiao (as Chi-Ling Lin)
Yong You  ...  Liu Bei
Yong Hou  ...  Lu Su
Dawei Tong  ...  Sun Shucai
Jia Song  ...  Li Ji
Ba Sen Zha Bu  ...  Guan Yu
Jinsheng Zang  ...  Zhang Fei
Shan Zhang  ...  Huang Gai
Yue Lü  ...  Cinematographer
Li Zhang  ...  Cinematographer
Comments: A five hour holiday marathon. Period pieces, costume dramas, and films about fighting (physically or with weapons other than the heart) are a few of my least favorite film genres so I don't know how it happened but I loved every minute of this monster. If I had watched the condensed version I wouldn't have liked it. There are two 30 minute fight scenes, and since the cut version is aimed at Western audiences I doubt they would have suffered any loss, which would have then made them be half the movie and I would have been bored silly.

I love the Art of War, men of honor, tea ceremony languid pace of it which allows for fleshing out the characters and slowly developing the gravity of the situation. Sure, it's a little over-the-top at times, it's John Woo, but it's really easy to get into the film's depiction of historically important events and forgive a few personal excesses. The film is remarkably understated for the most part. All the performances are good. All the actors bring you into their world and make you care for them and their concerns. I even rooted for these guys when they went ONE against ONE THOUSAND ... something so silly I've never understood the prevalence nor appeal of it in film.

This film ignited an interest in Chinese historical epics I never thought I would develop. It prompted me to watch The Emperor and the Assassin, and that one is awesome. I've got a couple more in my queue. I think the key is picking the ones that are made for a Chinese rather than a Western audience. The long version of Red Cliff seems to be one of those films. It's slower and more poetic, which is what I like. If it's what you like and you've been keeping this one at bay for fear it's just another big, dumb Chinese historical videogame, give it a shot—and be sure to give it the long shot.


Summary: In the early third century, the land of Wu is invaded by the warlord Cao Cao and his million soldiers. The ruler of Wu, Sun Quan, calls on the rival warlord Liu Bei for help, but their two armies are still badly outnumbered. However, the Wu strategist Zhou Yu sees that Cao Cao's army is unused to battling on the sea, which may just give them a chance if they can exploit this weakness properly.

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