Sunday, 4 April 2010

Woo Woo Woo

John Woo's RED CLIFF

Forget the condensed International version, this is the real deal. John Woo's Incredible portrayal of an almighty battle, taken from the Three Kingdoms period set in 220 - 280 AD.

The sheer scale and eye melting lavishness of this Epic piece of Chinese cinema is so very, very Impressive !.

This then is the magnificent Chinese Blu-ray DVD, available as an All Region release and most definitely the preferred option to go for. The International version is available in both the United States and the UK in a condensed version, playing at both cinemas and now available on DVD. John Woo's Full and Fabulous vision of a legendary tale of courage, honour and strategy on the battle ground is most definitely best appreciated, and fully envisioned as it should be, in its un-condensed circa four hour version. Red Cliff is attainable via the Chinese International retailers in a two DVD release format. The preferred version to go for is the highly recommended Blu-ray discs. Both Parts One and Two are available to purchase.

With a cast list of highly accomplished stars from Asia, John Woo has returned to his home heritage roots and delivered a slice of Cinema that he built his reputation upon. Having tasted the Hollywood gloss, and had ridiculous amounts of money thrown at him to film Westernised Action flicks, bordering on the pretty darned good at best, Woo returns home to hit the Excellent highs of his golden era of film making at last.

The talent of John Woo is undoubted, but unrestrained by the money mongering producers outside of his home country, here John Woo is unshackled and free to serve a platter of pure unadulterated Action cinema at its very finest.

Red Cliff is without question a stunning piece of world cinema at its finest. The depth of characterisation is wondrous and brings back fond memories of the deliriously entertaining The Water Margin series from the Seventies. Comradely, heroism and brotherhood all intertwined for the common purpose of good overcoming evil. This is what Director John Woo excels at, along with his expansive vision for Action set pieces. Here he has a canvas so vast that even the great epics delivered by the mighty Shaw Brothers are excelled for sheer dynamic depth and expansiveness. Red Cliff is without question a modern day, old school styled instant cinematic Classic.

This is just Part One !!! ... looking so very much forward to nestling back in a comfortable armchair, lights out and sound turned up for the heavens to hear, to further the experience with Red Cliff Part Two, also in stunning Blu-ray. Picking up on where Part One finished, after an Epic encounter upon land, showcasing an astonishing battle of tactical tenacity. The re-enactment of battle formation scenes and intricate traps, with loss of limbs and life aplenty on display is just staggering.
Just enough time then to draw breath at the conclusion of Part One, to prepare for the onslaught of the tyrannical despot Cao Cao, Prime Minister of the Han Dynasty, and his army of eight hundred thousand men arriving by sea upon a mighty fleet of ships, at the port of Red Cliff. It has been quite a while since the phrase To Be Continued has been so anxiously anticipated on the back of an Epic first part as this. Fabulous stuff.

Highly Recommended.

RED CLIFF (2008/2009)

Director John Woo
Featuring: Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang, Jun Hu, Shido Nakamura, Chiling Lin, Yong You, Dawei Tong, Yong Hou, Jia Song, Ba Sen Zha Bu, Jinsheng Zang, Shan Zhang, Hui Wang, Gang Xie, Chao Guo, and a cast of thousands of Extras


  1. I love a review that has that much (Ric) Flair in the title! Sounds great sir...

  2. I actually was going to go with an integrated Ric Flair theme but felt the movie deserves all its own credit.
    That's to to say of course that the best analogy between Flair & Red Cliff is that they both have Total Nonstop Action :) .

  3. I fully agree- this movie kicks ass! I got the two-disc version for rental and was not disappointed. I can only imagine how much good stuff got cut to take a 4 and 1/2 hour film down to less than 3. Blasphemy, I say!

  4. Hi Tim, I just posted up my thoughts & sheer enjoyment of Red Cliff II and boy oh boy does this spectacular impress & entertain on the grandest scale.
    Blu-ray FULL Four & a half hour undoctored version is a MUST. A truly magnificent movie & so very pleased for John Woo. Returning home & reigniting his passion for pure film making. Now if he can reunite with Chow Yun Fat & give us one more Heroic Bloodshed Action flick with double guns a blazing I will be delirious.
    I find it incredible that Chow Yun Fat pulled out of the Tony Leung role for Red Cliff right at the last minute. Bad decision by Chow, but Tony Leung seems perfect in the role so hard to now imagine him not heading this flick up.
    I really enjoyed the performance of Takeshi Kaneshiro. I'll definitely check out his role in K-20: The Legend Of The Mask now. I recall first seeing him I believe in the 2002 made Returner, a very slick Sci-Fi Actioner where he was an empowered hero from the future.

  5. I was "told" the movie, THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON by a friend of my mom's in 1954. The telling stayed with me in part by sheer force of enthusiasm and kept me from actually watching it for almost SIXTY years. This review and comments make me feel like a kid again: frothing with enthusiasm! Hope however to see it within sixty DAYS ...

  6. Hey Pylgrym, thanks so much for stopping by & for your kind comment. I hope very much that you do get to see the movie soon :)