— by ROBERT DeFEIS —
John Woo, who is no stranger to making great action films, is the writer/director of this Chinese epic film.
Woo based this movie on the Battle of Red Cliffs and the events during the end of the Han Dynasty.
So, for me, with Woo directing a film about an immense battle, I knew it would be a really phenomenal movie (especially after I watched the two clips below).
Woo took an estimated budget of $80 million and made this film the most expensive Asian-financed film to date.
One of the only things holding this film back is the running time, which was 280 minutes originally, but trimmed down to a still barely manageable 148 minutes. The usual crowd that goes to films in the U.S. barely wants to sit there for the normal two hours, so if this film has one problem this would be it.
Some of the notable cuts from the film were the entire defection storyline, the background and motivations behind Zhuge Liang’s plan to steal 100,000 arrows including the threat to his life and the early parts of Sun Shangxiang’s infiltration.
I don’t mind a long war movie. “Troy” was 196 minutes, but it was also a film that flew by like it wasn’t long at all.
These two clips show what needs to be done to make a fantastic battle scene. In my opinion, it’s three things: great camera work, a well-done choreographed battle where nothing looks fake or forced, and special effects that will blow your socks off. All three of those are shown in these clips.
The first clip shows the special effects and the second showcases great camera work.
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.
This film looks like it can be a very riveting and with director John Woo at the helm, it won’t let down. This movie also stars Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Fengyi, Chang Chen, Hu Jun, Lin Chi-ling and Zhao Wei.
“Red Cliff” currently is in a limited number of theaters.
Follow It’s Just Movies on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ItsJustMovies.