Red Cliff (2008) Poster

Red Cliff (2008)

  • Rate: 7.3/10 total 17,890 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Drama | History | War
  • Release Date: 10 July 2008 (China)
  • Runtime: Singapore:150 min (PG version) | China:146 min | South Korea:134 min | UK:148 min | Argentina:148 min
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Red Cliff (2008)


Red Cliff 2008tt0425637.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Red Cliff (2008)
  • Rate: 7.3/10 total 17,890 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Drama | History | War
  • Release Date: 10 July 2008 (China)
  • Runtime: Singapore:150 min (PG version) | China:146 min | South Korea:134 min | UK:148 min | Argentina:148 min
  • Filming Location: Beijing, China
  • Budget: CNY 553,632,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $54,000,000(Japan)(10 November 2008)
  • Director: John Woo
  • Stars: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Fengyi Zhang
  • Original Music By: Tarô Iwashiro   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Battle | China | Alliance | Chinese History | Chinese

Writing Credits By:

  • John Woo (screenplay) &
  • Khan Chan (screenplay) (as Chan Khan) &
  • Cheng Kuo (screenplay) (as Kuo Cheng) &
  • Heyu Sheng (screenplay) (as Sheng Heyu)
  • Guanzhong Luo (novel "Romance of the Three Kingdoms")

Known Trivia

  • Yun-Fat Chow dropped out of the film the day principal photography began. Tony Leung Chiu Wai replaced him.
  • The film makers received help from the Chinese Army who lent them approximately 1500 soldiers to play extras and build roads.
  • During post-production, a 23-year-old stuntman was killed when fire broke out after a small boat rammed into a larger warship, while filming miniatures.
  • John Woo’s first Chinese film since 1992.
  • This movie had been divided in two parts for the theatrical release in the Asian market. The American release will be the condensed version of these two parts. The reason given was that the Asian viewers are more familiar with the characters and their exploits while the western viewers might be confused with the numerous characters and their similar names (therefore keeping it simple for the US market).

Goofs: Continuity: A sleeping baby is shown with blood spattered on his face in one shot, and in the next shot his face is completely clean.

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

Story: 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.Written by rmlohner  


Synopsis: In Autumn of 208 AD, 100,000 peasants fled with their beloved leader Liu Bei from Cao Cao’s million man army. With the aid of heroes like Zhao Yun (the subject of the new "Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon" film) and Zhang Fei, they escape across the Great River (Chinese ‘Yangtze’) to take refuge with Sun Quan, the leader of the south.As Cao Cao prepares his huge navy to invade southern China and destroy them both, geniuses like Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu devise a grand strategy. They hope to destroy Cao Cao’s 10,000 ships with fire upon the river, but must first trick Cao Cao into chaining his ships together, and then change the direction of China’s famous and freezing North Wind.While these two struggle to put aside the rivalry between Liu Bei and Sun Quan’s forces, they must hatch their legendary schemes before Cao Cao is ready. This synopsis is based on the events of the 600 year old story – "Romance of Three Kingdoms" – the favorite novel of over 1 billion Chinese people and the most famous novel in Asia.

Director John Woo said in an interview with CCTV-6 that the film will use primarily the historical record Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms as a blueprint for the Battle of Red Cliffs, rather than the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. As such, traditionally vilified characters such as Cao Cao and Zhou Yu will be given a more historically accurate treatment in the film. On Its Theatrical Release when it the two parts were released as one film…..

Part 1>> In the summer of AD 208 during the Eastern Han Dynasty, the imperial army led by Chancellor (or Prime Minister) Cao Cao embarks on a campaign to eliminate the southern warlords Sun Quan and Liu Bei in the name of eliminating rebels, with the reluctant approval of the Emperor. Cao Cao’s mighty army swiftly conquers the southern province of Jingzhou and the Battle of Changban is ignited when Cao Cao’s cavalry unit starts attacking the civilians who are on an exodus led by Liu Bei. During the battle, Liu Bei’s followers, including his sworn brothers Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, give an excellent display of their legendary combat skills by managing to hold off the enemy while buying time for the civilians to retreat. The warrior Zhao Yun fights bravely to rescue his lord Liu Bei’s entrapped family but only succeeded in rescuing Liu’s infant son. Following the battle, Liu Bei’s chief advisor Zhuge Liang sets forth on a diplomatic mission to Eastern Wu to form an alliance between Liu Bei and Sun Quan to deal with Cao Cao’s invasion. Sun Quan was initially in the midst of a dilemma of whether to surrender or resist, but his decision to resist Cao Cao hardens after Zhuge Liang’s clever persuasion and a subsequent tiger hunt with his Grand Viceroy Zhou Yu and his sister Sun Shangxiang. Meanwhile, naval commanders Cai Mao and Zhang Yun from Jingzhou pledge allegiance to Cao Cao and were received warmly by Cao, who placed them in command of his navy. After the hasty formation of the alliance, the forces of Liu Bei and Sun Quan call for a meeting to formulate a plan to counter Cao Cao’s army, which is advancing slowly towards Red Cliff at godspeed from both land and water. The battle then begins with Sun Shangxiang leading a light cavalry unit to lure Cao Cao’s vanguard army into the Eight Trigrams Formation laid down by the allied forces. Cao Cao’s vanguard army is utterly defeated by the allies but Cao Cao shows no disappointment and proceeds to lead his main army to the riverbank directly opposite the allies’ main camp where they laid camp. While the allies throw a banquet to celebrate their victory, Zhuge Liang thinks of a plan to send Sun Shangxiang to infiltrate Cao Cao’s camp and serve as a spy for them. The duo maintain contact by sending messages via a pigeon. The film ends with Zhou Yu lighting his miniaturised battleships on a map based on the battle formation, signifying his plans for defeating Cao Cao’s navy.

Part 2>> Sun Shangxiang has infiltrated Cao Cao’s camp and she has been secretly noting details and sending them via a pigeon to Zhuge Liang. Meanwhile, Cao Cao’s army is seized with a plague of typhoid fever which kills a number of his troops. Cao Cao cunningly orders the corpses to be sent to the allies’ camp, hoping to pass the plague on to his enemies. The allied army’s morale is affected when some unsuspecting soldiers let the plague in, and eventually a disheartened Liu Bei leaves with his forces while Zhuge Liang stays behind to assist the Eastern Wu forces. Cao Cao hears that the alliance had collapsed and is overjoyed. At the same time, his naval commanders Cai Mao and Zhang Yun propose a new tactic of interlocking the battleships together with iron beams to minimize rocking when sailing on the river and reduce the chances of the troops falling seasick.The Eastern Wu forces look on as Liu Bei leaves the alliance. From front to back: Zhou Yu (Tony Leung), Sun Quan (Chang Chen), Lu Su (Hou Yong). Subsequently, Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang make plans on how to eliminate Cao Cao’s naval commanders Cai Mao and Zhang Yun, and produce 100,000 arrows respectively. They agreed that whoever fails to complete his mission will be punished by execution under military law. Zhuge Liang’s ingenious strategy of borrowing of arrows with straw boats brought in over 100,000 arrows from the enemy and aroused Cao Cao’s suspicions about the loyalty of Cai and Zhang towards him. On the other hand, Cao Cao sends Jiang Gan to persuade Zhou Yu to surrender, but Zhou Yu tricks Jiang Gan instead, into believing that Cai Mao and Zhang Yun are planning to assassinate their lord Cao Cao. Both Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu’s respective plans complement each other when Cao Cao is convinced, despite earlier having doubts about Jiang Gan’s report, that Cai and Zhang were indeed planning to assassinate him by deliberately ‘donating’ arrows to the enemy. Cai and Zhang are executed and Cao Cao realised his folly afterwards but it was too late.In the Eastern Wu camp, Sun Shangxiang returns from Cao Cao’s camp with a map of the enemy formation. Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang decide to attack Cao Cao’s navy with fire after knowing that there is a special climatic condition known only to Eastern Wu’s forces, that the South-East Wind (to their advantage) would blow sometime soon. As the Eastern Wu forces made preparations for the fire attack, Huang Gai proposes to Zhou Yu the Self-Torture Ruse to increase their chances of success, but Zhou Yu does not heed it. Before the battle, the forces of Eastern Wu have a final moment together, feasting on glutinous rice balls to celebrate the Winter Festival. Meanwhile, Zhou Yu’s wife Xiao Qiao heads towards Cao Cao’s camp alone secretly, in hope of persuading Cao Cao to give up his ambitious plans but she fails and decides to distract him instead to buy time for the Eastern Wu forces. The battle begins when the South-East Wind starts blowing in the middle of the night and the Eastern Wu forces launch their full-scale attack on Cao Cao’s navy. On the other hand, Liu Bei’s forces, which had apparently left the alliance, start attacking Cao Cao’s forts on land. By dawn, Cao Cao’s entire navy has been destroyed. The allied forces launch another offensive on Cao Cao’s ground army, stationed in his forts, and succeeded in breaking through using testudo formation despite suffering heavy casualties. Although Cao Cao is besieged in his main camp, he manages to holds Zhou Yu hostage after catching him off guard together with Cao Hong. Xiahou Jun appears as well holding Xiao Qiao hostage and causes the allied forces to hesitate. In the nick of time, Zhao Yun manages to reverse the situation by rescuing Xiao Qiao with a surprise attack and put Cao Cao at the mercy of the allied forces instead. Eventually, the allied forces decide to spare Cao Cao’s life and tell him never to return before leaving for home. In the final scenes, Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang are seen having a final conversation before Zhuge Liang walks away into the far distance with the newborn foal Mengmeng. [D-Man2010]


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Terence Chang known as producer
  • Zilong Guo known as co-producer (as Guo Zilong)
  • Sanping Han known as producer (as Han Sanping)
  • Xiaoei Han known as co-executive producer (as Han Xiaoei)
  • Bing He known as co-producer (as He Bing)
  • Xiaofeng Hu known as executive producer
  • Xiaofeng Hu known as line producer (as Hu Xiaofeng)
  • Chin-Wen Huang known as co-producer (as Chin-Wen Huang)
  • Tao Jiang known as chief producer
  • Yeh Jufeng known as administrative producer (as Yeh Ju Feng)
  • Wu Kebo known as co-producer (as Wu Kebo)
  • Woo-Taek Kim known as co-producer (as WooTaek Kim)
  • Sirena Liu known as co-producer (as Liu Yan)
  • Hongshi Lu known as co-executive producer (as Lu Hongshi)
  • Masato Matsuura known as co-producer
  • Rick Nathanson known as line producer
  • Mingyu Peng known as administrative producer (as Peng Mingyu)
  • Zhong-lun Ren known as co-producer (as Ren Zhonglun)
  • Dong-ming Shi known as associate producer (as Shi Dongming)
  • David Tang known as administrative producer
  • Zhan Teng known as co-producer (as Teng Zhan)
  • Lori Tilkin known as associate producer
  • Jianqiu Wang known as co-producer (as Wang Jianqiu)
  • Wang Wei known as administrative producer
  • Todd Weinger known as associate producer
  • Anne Woo known as administrative producer
  • John Woo known as chief producer
  • John Woo known as producer
  • Jianshai Xu known as associate producer (as Xu Jianshai)
  • Pengle Xu known as co-executive producer (as Xu Pengle)
  • Xiaoming Yan known as co-producer (as Yan Xiaoming)
  • Shoucheng Yang known as co-producer (as Yang Shoucheng)
  • Cheri Yeung known as administrative producer
  • Dong Yu known as associate producer (as Yu Dong)
  • Dong Yu known as co-producer (as Yu Dong)
  • Daxing Zhang known as administrative producer
  • Qiang Zhang known as co-producer (as Zhang Qiang)

FullCast & Crew:

  • Tony Leung Chiu Wai known as Zhou Yu (as Tony Leung)
  • Takeshi Kaneshiro known as Zhuge Liang
  • Fengyi Zhang known as Cao Cao
  • Chen Chang known as Sun Quan
  • Wei Zhao known as Sun Shangxiang
  • Jun Hu known as Zhao Yun
  • Shidô Nakamura known as Gan Xing (as Shidou Nakamura)
  • Chiling Lin known as Xiao Qiao (as Chi-Ling Lin)
  • Yong You known as Liu Bei
  • Yong Hou known as Lu Su
  • Tong Dawei known as Sun Shucai
  • Jia Song known as Li Ji
  • Ba Sen Zha Bu known as Guan Yu
  • Jinsheng Zang known as Zhang Fei
  • Shan Zhang known as Huang Gai
  • Hui Wang known as Cao Hong
  • Gang Xie known as Hua Tuo
  • Chao Guo known as Yue Jin
  • Yin He known as Lady Mi
  • Hua Ye known as Tian Tian
  • Yi Zhang known as Zhang Zhao
  • Qi Wu known as Gu Yong
  • Feng He known as Man Tun
  • Tong Jiang known as Li Tong
  • Jing Ma known as Wei Ben
  • Chang Hai Chen known as Qin Seng
  • Yu Gui Cui known as Xu Chu
  • Nicole Dionne known as Xiao Ciao (voice)
  • Xiang Rui Fu known as Baby Dou
  • Philip Hersh known as Emperor Han (voice)
  • Shi Xiao Hong known as Jiang Gan
  • Xiao Guang Hu known as Xia Hou Jan
  • Hongwei Jia known as Zhang You
  • Hong Li known as Lady Gan
  • Hong Chen Li known as Soldier
  • Jingwu Ma known as Old man
  • Ho Wu Li Ji Mong known as Guan Ping
  • Chun Sun
  • Xin Yu Sun known as Sheperd Boy
  • Ning Wang known as Emperor Han
  • Qingxiang Wang known as Kong Rong
  • Yu Zhang Wang known as Cheng Pu
  • Zao Lai Wang known as Chang Yu
  • Fong Nian Xu known as Zhang Liao
  • Zhen Yi known as Cai Mao
  • Cheng Shun Zhao known as Xui You



Supporting Department

Art Department:
  • Tien-Tsung Ma known as consultant




Production Companies:

  • Beijing Film Studio (presented by)
  • China Film Group (presented by)
  • Lion Rock Productions (presented by)
  • Shanghai Film Group (co-presented by)
  • China Movie Channel (co-presented by)
  • Beijing Poly-bona Film Publishing Company (co-presented by)
  • Beijing Forbidden City Film Co. (co-presented by)
  • Chengdu Media Group (co-presented by)
  • Chengtian Entertainment (co-presented by)
  • Zoki Century International Culture Media Beijing Co. (co-presented by)
  • Beijing Guang Dian Film & Television Media Co. (co-presented by)
  • Beijing Jinyinma Movie & TV Culture Co. (co-presented by)
  • Emperor Multimedia Group (EMG) (co-presented by)
  • Avex Entertainment (co-presented by)
  • CMC Entertainment (co-presented by)
  • Showbox Entertainment (co-presented by)
  • Chengtian Entertainment Group (International) Holding Company
  • Three Kingdoms

Other Companies:

  • Avaco Creative Studio  music recorded at
  • Bunkamura Studio  music mixed at
  • Cine Finance  completion bond
  • Cinerent  camera and lighting equipment supplied by
  • Ding Run  location sound
  • Dolby Laboratories  sound post-production
  • Park Road Post  digital intermediate (as Park Road Post Production)
  • Sound City  music mixed at
  • Sound City  music recorded at
  • Soundfirm Beijing Co.  sound post-production (as Soundfirm Australia & China)
  • Soundfirm  sound post-production (as Soundfirm Australia & China)
  • T-Tone  music production
  • Technicolor (Beijing) Visual Technology  telecine
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space Concert Hall  score recorded at
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra  score performed by
  • Weta Digital  film recording
  • yU+Co.  title design


  • Icon Film Distribution (2009) (Australia) (theatrical)
  • Independent Films (2009) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Magnet Releasing (2009) (USA) (theatrical) (subtitled)
  • Magnolia Pictures (2009) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Viva International Pictures (2009) (Philippines) (theatrical)
  • Amero PT (2008) (Indonesia) (all media)
  • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2009) (Switzerland) (all media)
  • Avex Entertainment (2008) (Japan) (all media)
  • Bontonfilm (2008) (Czech Republic) (all media)
  • CMC Entertainment (2008) (Taiwan) (all media)
  • China Film Group (2008) (China) (all media)
  • Constantin Film (2008) (Germany) (all media)
  • Contender Entertainment Group (2008) (UK) (all media)
  • David Distribucion (2009) (Mexico) (all media)
  • E1 Entertainment (2009) (Canada) (all media)
  • Eagle Pictures (2008) (Italy) (all media)
  • Emerald (2010) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Europa Filmes (2010) (Brazil) (DVD)
  • Film1 (2010) (Netherlands) (TV) (limited)
  • Golden Village Entertainment (2008) (Singapore) (all media)
  • Jaguar Film International Distribution (2008) (Middle East)
  • Ledafilms (2009) (Mexico) (all media)
  • Magnolia Home Entertainment (2010) (USA) (DVD)
  • Magnolia Home Entertainment (2010) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Mediacorp Raintree Pictures (2008) (Singapore) (all media)
  • Mei Ah Entertainment (2008) (Hong Kong) (all media)
  • Metropolitan Filmexport (2008) (France) (all media)
  • Nordisk Film Theatrical Distribution (2009) (Finland) (DVD)
  • Nordisk Film Theatrical Distribution (2009) (Scandinavia) (all media)
  • Odeon (2008) (Greece) (all media)
  • Sahamongkol Film International (2008) (Thailand) (all media)
  • Scorpio East (2008) (Singapore) (all media)
  • Showbox Entertainment (2008) (South Korea) (all media)
  • Showbox/Mediaplex (2008) (South Korea) (all media)
  • Toho-Towa (2008) (Japan) (all media)
  • TriPictures (2010) (Spain) (all media)
  • Warner Home Video (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Warner Home Video (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Blu-ray)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Orphanage, The
  • 37.2 (special effects)
  • Anibrain
  • CafeFX
  • Crystal CG
  • Demolition Ltd. (special effects)
  • Digital Dimension
  • Eastar (Xing Xing) Digital (as Xing Xing Digital)
  • Frantic Films
  • Hatch Production (concept art and matte paintings)
  • Kerner Optical
  • Layersmith Digital, The (uncredited)
  • Mage (special make-up effects)
  • Make
  • Pixel Magic
  • ROTO Visual Studio (visual effects: rotoscoping)
  • RedFx
  • Tippett Studio

Visual Effects by:

  • Heather Abels known as matte painter: The Orphanage
  • Alp Altiner known as Visual FX Art Director: CAFE FX
  • Alexandra Altrocchi known as digital outsourcing producer: The Orphanage (as Alex Altrocchi Wolbach)
  • Jonathan Alvord known as visual effects editor: CafeFx
  • Adrienne Anderson known as digital production manager: Tippett Studio
  • Steve Arguello known as graphics lead
  • Dan Ashton known as film recording technician
  • Jim Aupperle known as lighting technical director
  • Cheryl Bainum known as executive producer: HATCH
  • Jeff Barnes known as production executive: CafeFX
  • Dana Basinger known as production support: The Orphanage
  • Jason Berg known as visual effects production assistant: The Orphanage
  • Dana Bonilla known as key set production assistant (kerner optical )
  • Nick Booth known as scanning and recording supervisor
  • Mike Bozulich known as lead compositor: cafefx
  • Hans Brekke known as character animator: Tippett Studio
  • Carol Brzezinski known as post production supervisor: The Orphanage
  • Andrew Byrne known as effects technical director
  • Diane Caliva known as post production supervisor: The Orphanage
  • Julie Cardinal known as VFX Producer: Digital Dimension
  • Christina Castellan known as visual effects production assistant: Cafe FX
  • Sébastien Chartier known as Compositor: Digital Dimension
  • Andy Chen known as visual effects supervisor
  • Ian Chriss known as visual effects best boy grip: Kerner Optical
  • James Galen Clark known as render wrangler
  • Tom Cloutier known as visual effects key grip: Kerner Optical
  • Webster Colcord known as previsualization: The Orphanage
  • Josh Cole known as compositing supervisor: Crystal CG, Beijing
  • Jason Crosby known as cg supervisor
  • Joe C. D'Amato known as resource technical assistant manager: The Orphanage
  • Rif Dagher known as research & development
  • Bruce Dahl known as previsualization: The Orphanage
  • Dominic Daigle known as lead digital artist: HATCH
  • Russell Darling known as computer graphics supervisor: Tippett Studio
  • Valerie Delahaye known as visual effects producer: Make Inc
  • Vincent DeLay known as character rigger: Cafe FX
  • Steve Dellerson known as visual effects
  • Stephen DeLuca known as compositing supervisor: The Orphanage
  • James Dornoff known as visual effects coordinator
  • Brian Dowrick known as animation director: Crystal CG, Beijing
  • Brennan Doyle known as visual effects supervisor
  • Stéphanie Dubé known as texture painter
  • Robert Durnin known as lead rendering technical director: CafeFX
  • Leif Einarsson known as layout artist
  • Nino Ellington known as production support: The Orphanage
  • Vicki L. Engel known as visual effects
  • Jean-François Ferland known as digital compositor
  • Deak Ferrand known as concept artist: HATCH
  • Deak Ferrand known as lead matte painter: HATCH
  • Anna Fields known as visual effects coordinator: The Orphanage
  • Mike Fischer known as digital artist
  • Richard Flores known as animator
  • Jordan Freda known as paint/roto artist: The Orphanage
  • Jordan Freda known as roto/paint artist: CafeFX
  • Haskell Friedman known as lighting technical director
  • Sébastien Gagné known as Compositor: Digital Dimension
  • Vicki Galloway-Weimer known as visual effects executive producer: Cafe FX (as Vicki Galloway Weimer)
  • Christian Garcia known as CG Supervisor: Digital Dimension
  • Jack Geist known as visual effects producer
  • Mohamed Ghouse known as digital compositor
  • Greg Gibson known as systems engineer
  • Phillip Giles known as digital artist
  • Greg Gilmore known as visual effects editor: The Orphanage
  • Benoit Girard known as Executive Producer: Digital Dimension
  • Daniel Gloates known as senior staff: The Orphanage
  • Jim Gorman known as digital compositor
  • Robin Scott Graham known as digital compositor: CafeFx
  • Jon Green known as matte painter: The Orphanage
  • Roopesh Gujar known as visual effects production manager: Anibrain
  • Chris Halstead known as digital compositor: Tippett Studio
  • Heather Han known as digital artist: The Orphanage
  • Craig Hayes known as visual effects supervisor: The Orphanage
  • Sharon Smith Holley known as visual effects editor
  • Amy Hollywood Wixson known as senior visual effects producer: The Orphanage
  • Kevin Hoppe known as matchmove supervisor
  • Steve Hutchins known as roto/paint artist: CafeFX
  • Michael Hutchinson known as production support: The Orphanage
  • Tristan Ikuta known as digital effects artist
  • Amanda Instone known as digital painter
  • Rusty Ippolito known as digital artist
  • Mark Jeschke known as matchmover: The Orphanage
  • Matthew Frederick Johnson known as visual effects production assistant
  • Simon P. Jones known as lighting technical director: CafeFX
  • Brandon Kachel known as matte painter: Cafe FX
  • Tim Kadowaki known as effects animator
  • Brad Kalinoski known as digital compositor: Hatch FX
  • Sushil Kalyanshetti known as visual effects artist
  • Apirak Kamjan known as matchmover: CafeFx
  • Bonnie Kanner known as visual effects executive producer: Pixel Magic
  • Dushyant Kashyap known as digital effects artist
  • Jin Yong Kim known as matchmove artist: The Orphanage
  • Ken Kokka known as visual effects plate producer: The Orphanage
  • Jaye Krebs known as digital compositor: CafeFX
  • Joshua LaCross known as lead compositor: The Orphanage
  • Ivan Landau known as visual effects editor
  • Woei Lee known as compositor: The Orphanage (as Woei Hsi Lee)
  • Patrick Lemay known as 3D Tracking: Digital Dimension
  • Michael Lester known as compositor: The Orphanage
  • Votch Levi known as crowd pipeline lead
  • Jimmy Lillard known as visual effects editor: The Orphanage
  • Neil Lim Sang known as animator: CafeFX
  • Quan Lin known as visual effects editor
  • David A. Link known as digital compositor: Tippett Studio
  • Seth Lippman known as cg supervisor
  • Steven Lloyd known as digital artist
  • Jean-Philippe Lucas known as digital compositor: RedFX
  • Tran Ma known as 3D matte painter: CafeFX
  • George Macri known as visual effects producer: Pixel Magic
  • Joseph Mandel known as production support: The Orphanage
  • Julian Mann known as CG supervisor
  • Stuart T. Maschwitz known as senior staff: The Orphanage
  • Ray McIntyre Jr. known as visual effects supervisor: Pixel Magic
  • Dan McNamara known as senior staff: The Orphanage
  • Landon Medeiros known as digital compositor: Digital Dimension
  • Ramesh G. Meena known as digital effects artist
  • Bhavik Mehta known as digital compositor
  • Ed Mendez known as compositing supervisor – cafefx
  • Michael Miller known as digital compositor
  • Jentzen Mooney known as crowd pipeline: CafeFX
  • Jean-Francois Morissette known as senior matchmover
  • Phillip Moses known as production operations: CafeFX
  • Raphael Mosley known as inferno artist
  • Brad Moylan known as lead compositor: Pixel Magic
  • Sean Murphy known as visual effects artist
  • Jesh Murthy known as visual effects supervisor: Anibrain
  • Jihyun Nam known as visual effects
  • Payankulath Nandakumar known as head compositor
  • Paul Newberry known as senior animator: Cafe Fx
  • Vissal Ong Nguon known as lead compositor: Digital Dimension
  • Luke O'Byrne known as head of production: The Orphanage
  • Miguel Ortega known as model/texture lead: CafeFX
  • Desi Ortiz known as visual effects managing editor: CafeFX
  • Stéphane Paradis known as Compositor: Digital Dimension
  • Stéphane Paradis known as visual effects coordinator: Digital Dimension
  • Stacey Pothoven known as visual effects coordinator
  • Alex Prichard known as associate visual effects supervisor: The Orphanage
  • Michael S. Pryor known as VP business development: Anibrain Digital
  • Steven Quinones-Colon known as senior technical director
  • Kevin Rafferty known as visual effects supervisor: CafeFX
  • Jonathan S. Ramos known as effects animator: Tippett Studio
  • Satish Ratakonda known as digital compositor: Tippett Studio
  • Aaron Rhodes known as colorist: The Orphanage
  • Chad Ridgeway known as roto/paint artist: CafeFX
  • David Ridlen known as digital effects artist
  • Tracey Roberts known as visual effects artist
  • Ruben Rodas known as paint/roto artist: CafeFX
  • Bernardo Rodriguez known as visual effects editor: CafeFX
  • Martin Rosenberg known as visual effects production supervisor: Kerner Optical
  • Thomas Rosseter known as digital compositor
  • Jonathan Rothbart known as senior staff: The Orphanage
  • Stephen Roucher known as film recording technician
  • Craig Rowe known as digital compositor
  • Salvador Ruiz known as previsualization: The Orphanage
  • Marc Sadeghi known as visual effects executive producer: The Orphanage
  • Krystal Sae Eua known as model/texture artist
  • Welbon Salaam known as visual effects coordinator: Tippett Studio
  • Marc-Andre Samson known as senior digital artist: HATCH
  • David Schnee known as digital compositor: Tippett Studio
  • Ruchira Sharma known as digital compositor
  • Dong Yeop Shin known as computer graphics supervisor
  • Richard Slechta known as lighting supervisor: CafeFX
  • Eddie Soria known as senior roto/paint artist
  • Joseph Spadaro known as character rigging supervisor
  • Scott Charles Stewart known as senior staff: The Orphanage
  • Kevin Struckman known as digital compositor
  • Frank Strzalkowski known as visual effects gaffer: Kerner Optical
  • Russ Sueyoshi known as digital compositor
  • Jacob Telleen known as render technical assitant: Tippett Studio
  • Jason Thielen known as character animator: CafeFX
  • Scot D. Thomson known as 3D Tracking: Digital Dimension
  • Clint Thorne known as modeler: The Orphanage
  • Brian Tolle known as previsualization: The Orphanage
  • Yimi Tong known as visual effects coordinator: The Orphanage
  • Allen Tracy known as visual effects editor: Frantic Films Los Angeles
  • Alexandre Tremblay known as digital compositor
  • Norie Varga known as digital artist
  • Kenneth Voss known as roto/paint artist
  • Kevin Wallace known as production manager: Kerner Optical
  • Ian Ward known as lighting lead
  • O.D. Welch known as production executive: CafeFX
  • Andrew C. Whitelaw known as digital artist: HATCH
  • Pete Williams known as digital imaging manager
  • Charlie Winter known as lighting technical director: CafeFX
  • Gordon T. Wittmann known as visual effects associate producer: The Orphanage
  • Tiffany Wu known as visual effects digital production manager: The Orphanage
  • Chris Qi Yao known as digital artist
  • David Zbriger known as post production data supervisor: The Orphanage
  • Will Anielewicz known as shader development: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Laurie Blavin known as senior recruiter: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Siksit Boonyodom known as roto/paint artist: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Owen Calouro known as roto/paint artist: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Jerry Castro known as editorial department supervisor: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Dan Cayer known as compositing supervisor: The Layersmith Digital (uncredited)
  • Rama Dunayevich known as public relations: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Mary Lou Finn known as production accountant: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • David Gladstein known as software programmer: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Jong Soo Goo known as roto/paint artist: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Timothy Gross known as systems engineer: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Gisela Hermeling known as vfx production manager (uncredited)
  • Doug Hogan known as roto artist: (uncredited )
  • Kevin Hong known as development: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Sunghwan Hong known as roto/paint artist: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Ryan Howell known as resource technical assistant: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Bhushan Humbe known as rotoscope artist (uncredited)
  • Brad Isdrab known as technical support: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Michelle Kater known as roto/paint artist: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Kwang Jib Kim known as visual effects production (uncredited)
  • David Lloyd known as information technology director: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Brandon McNaughton known as digital compositor (uncredited)
  • Chris Mills known as digital artist (uncredited)
  • Charles Schwartz known as matchmove artist: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Bee Jin Tan known as roto/paint artist: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Robert Tesdahl known as pipeline developer (uncredited)
  • Robert Tesdahl known as senior tools developer (uncredited)
  • Robert Tesdahl known as software development supervisor (uncredited)
  • Brian Tolle known as matchmove artist: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • David Townsend known as resource technical assistant: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Michael Tsai known as matchmove artist: The Orphanage (uncredited)
  • Pete Wheelan known as roto/paint artist: The Orphanage (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • South Korea 30 June 2008 (limited)
  • China 2 July 2008 (Beijing) (premiere)
  • China 3 July 2008 (Chengdu) (premiere)
  • Taiwan 8 July 2008 (Bitan) (premiere)
  • China 10 July 2008
  • Hong Kong 10 July 2008
  • South Korea 10 July 2008
  • Taiwan 10 July 2008
  • Thailand 10 July 2008
  • Singapore 11 July 2008
  • Indonesia 15 July 2008
  • Malaysia 17 July 2008
  • Japan 18 October 2008 (Tokyo International Film Festival)
  • Japan 1 November 2008
  • Latvia 30 January 2009
  • Denmark 20 February 2009
  • Estonia 20 March 2009
  • Belgium 25 March 2009
  • France 25 March 2009
  • Greece 2 April 2009
  • Lithuania 1 May 2009
  • Norway 22 May 2009
  • Ireland 12 June 2009
  • UK 12 June 2009
  • Czech Republic 18 June 2009
  • Poland 3 July 2009
  • Turkey 17 July 2009
  • Australia 23 July 2009
  • Finland 29 July 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Sweden 29 July 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Germany 1 August 2009 (Augsburg)
  • Netherlands 6 August 2009
  • Russia 20 August 2009
  • Kazakhstan 12 September 2009
  • Finland 20 September 2009 (Helsinki International Film Festival)
  • Portugal 24 September 2009
  • Brazil 25 September 2009 (Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival)
  • Egypt 7 October 2009
  • USA 9 October 2009 (Chicago International Film Festival)
  • Philippines 14 October 2009
  • New Zealand 15 October 2009
  • USA 16 October 2009 (Mill Valley Film Festival)
  • USA 22 October 2009 (Austin Film Festival)
  • Brazil 23 October 2009 (São Paulo International Film Festival)
  • Italy 23 October 2009
  • Israel 29 October 2009
  • Germany 1 November 2009 (Munich Asia Filmfest)
  • Germany 5 November 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • USA 18 November 2009 (New York City, New York)
  • USA 25 November 2009 (limited)
  • Canada 4 December 2009 (limited)
  • Kuwait 21 January 2010
  • USA 12 March 2010 (Milwaukee Film Festival Winter Edition)
  • Spain 18 March 2010
  • Brazil 10 May 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Hungary 5 August 2010 (TV premiere)
  • Argentina 1 November 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Iceland 26 August 2011

MPAA: Rated R for sequences of epic warfare



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

Red Cliff (2008) Related Movie

Bellflower (2011) Movie Poster
Just Go with It (2011) Movie Poster
Soul Kitchen (2009) Movie Poster
10,000 BC (2008) Movie Poster
The Strangers (2008) Movie Poster

Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , , , .


  1. IncludingTheStars from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 3:40 pm

    This review is of the Chinese DVD Release of the 1st film only… Icannot understand how the previous poster could feel that way aboutthis gorgeous epic. Everything they said they hated were things Ithought were well done, and wonderful about the film. Of all the peopleI've shared this DVD with, they've all thought it was an amazing moviealso.

    Ever camera shot was gorgeous. The angles were unique, without wastedpunch-ins or b-roll. It's rare to find films so tastefully shot. Thecolor was stunning, and the interpretation of the classic tale wasunique and never disappointing.

    Meanwhile, With all the characters, the actors each held such apowerful presence. It's very tough to develop any character singularlywhile you have so many important characters with their own mythos andchronicles, but each actor really held up to their image and that ofthe character. Kaneshiro is a very unique version of Zhuge which caughtme off guard at first, but appreciated after his scene w/ the Zhou Yu.Zhou Yu was never a character I've cared for, but here, he's likableand strong. The best "fresh" interpretation though was that of Guan Yu.Instead of being "just another" honourable and strong warrior, he'srather a warrior-scholar, more intelligent, and more personality thanever before.

    My only true quarrel is that it ends prematurely (that is, until we seethe 2nd half in 2009). I just wish they could have done the whole sagainstead of this little piece.

    Thank you John Woo for one of the finest Three Kingdom movies ever! Ibelieve this is a great direction for your talents! You've woven theaction you're so famous for with a deep, heartfelt classic tale!Wonderful job!

  2. DICK STEEL from Singapore
    30 Mar 2012, 3:40 pm

    A friend of mine revealed to me that John Woo acknowledged parallelsbetween characters in his movies, and characters from the Three Kingdomera, and that General Zhao Yun was one of Woo's personal favourites.This admiration for General Zhao's qualities cannot be more obviouswhen it is he who opens the first battle proper, with a very familiarcharacter episode involving the rescue of the infant son (and futurelord) of his master Liu Bei, thereby sealing his reputation of valor,earning admiration even from enemy Cao Cao. Fans of Liu Bei's camp willundoubtedly cheer at the appearances of his sworn brothers General GuanYu (who is worshiped as a Deity until this very day, and remains one ofmy favourite characters besides Zhao Yun) and General Zhang Fei, whosegruffness translates to instant war-ready prowess. While Liu's army isclearly routed in a military loss, it explained the dilemma of Liu'sleadership. One which is based on sincerity, a quality which persuadedhis chief military strategist and genius all round Zhuge Liang (TakeshiKaneshiro) to join his cause, but one which lacked military strength innumbers, despite having some of the best generals of the time under hisleadership.

    Which of course Cao Cao admires and probably is envious about, givenhis superior strength in numbers came from surrendering armies, whoseloyalty remains questionable, and of course with individual generalswho can't surpass the abilities of those from Liu. Playing the kinglike a puppet and having him issue a decree for permission to pursueLiu Bei who has fled southwards, he sets his sights also on warlord SunQuan, for a more personal reason akin to the story of Helen of Troy.Zhuge Liang, knowing their current weakness, seeks an alliance betweenthe armies of Liu and Sun Quan, and this forms most of the first half,where he had to play envoy to cajole and persuade, especially inconvincing Sun Quan's most trusted adviser Zhou Yu (Tony Leung) thatwar is inevitable and they should form a win-win partnership.

    And here's where great minds think alike, and watching both Zhou Yu andZhuge Liang do a friendly pit against each other is nothing short ofamazing, where so little says so much. It helps of course that bothTony Leung and Takeshi Kaneshiro have been paired up as leading men onscreen before, in Wong Kar-wai's Chungking Express and in Andrew Lauand Alan Mak's Confession of Pain too, lending some much establishedand credible chemistry as men who share admiration in each other'sability, especially when Zhou Yu seemed to have a fairer balancebetween fighting skill and intellect. With one side having highlydisciplined soldiers with good morale, and the other having renownedgenerals to be leaders, it doesn't take a genius to realize theadvantages gained in fending off a common enemy together.

    The fight sequences were pure spectacle, with old school wire workcombined with technological wizardry to showcase some large scalebattle sequences at a macro level, or to highlight the immense navalnumbers that Cao Cao brings to battle. Formations and strategies takecenterstage in a first major confrontation on land, where one gets tosee John Woo's interpretation of Zhuge Liang's "ba-gua" (8 stratagems)strategy, made more entertaining through the continuation of what wehave already seen in each general's fighting ability, each given aunique style befitting the characters in folklore, such as Guan Yu andhis Guan Dao (Green Dragon Crescent Blade) and Zhao Yun (Hu Jun) andhis spear. There's the usual bellowing cape and slow motion in Woo'ssignature style, but these were kept to a minimum, as are the pigeons(though they do make an appearance, but serving some purpose).

    Perhaps it is the success of the fight sequences that had left somelamenting for more, but bear in mind this is just but the first half ofthe movie, setting things up. The major war sequences of course areleft in the second movie which we will get to see come early next year.Like The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions, expect the next movie to goon an all out assault. I felt that already is a fair balance of dramaand action here, especially when this installment has to cover a broadbase given numerous characters, which should provide fans (of ThreeKingdoms) something to cheer about. Chang Chen provides his Sun Quanwith enough self-doubt, and in a small story arc has to seek his innerconfidence ala King Leonidas in 300, while model Lin Chiling's muchtouted debut movie appearance, was limited to just a few scenes oflovey-dovey moments, which unfortunately for audiences in Singapore,her sex scene with Tony Leung got edited out in order for distributorsto get a PG rating to put more bums on seats.

    I had wondered how Tony Leung would have faired as Zhuge Liang insteadof Kaneshiro, but felt that the musical chairs casting somehow became ablessing in disguise. Kaneshiro's good looks might have made some doubthis ability to play the smartest man alive during the era, but he didan excellent job in bringing out the humility and self-deprecation ofthe man whose never flashy nor overconfident of his abilities, and onewho swears his talents to his lord Liu Bei. Tony Leung on the otherhand brought about a fine balance of brains and brawn to the Zhou Yucharacter, whom I suspect in Woo's version, would be credited with muchsuccess for his part in Red Cliff, rather than the accolades all goingto Zhuge Liang. After you see the reliable Tony Leung in this role,you'll know for sure that Chow Yun-Fatt could probably never hadbrought the kind of gravitas Leung brought to the role.

    Red Cliff is hands down highly recommended

  3. travellervn from Singapore
    30 Mar 2012, 3:40 pm

    In my own opinion, this movie is full of "half and half". It's claimedto be based on history (not the fiction "Romance of Three Kingdoms")however characters are hilarious, not serious as great politiciansshould be. It's supposed to be a movies with battlefields andstrategies however parts with personal lifestyles are more than that.So, it's neither an entertainment movie (have so many killings andbloods) nor a serious movie about war (have so many jokes).

    Characters of this movie are like from a TV series. Generals showed nospecial skill in fighting but can manage to kill all of enemy'ssoldier. Zhao Yun stood carelessly in the middle of a battle topersuade Liu Bei's wife to leave. All the weapons are put on Guan Yu'sblade so that he can easily put them out. By a trivial shake, Guan Yu'scan escape from all of enemy soldier's blade pointing to him. Zhang Feicrushed into the enemy with no weapon in hand. Zhou Yu used his ownbody to take an arrow for someone, and let the arrow stick at hisheart's side. Wei's generals chasing a girl into a bunch of dustswithout any doubts.

    Nonetheless, officers are not better. After running away from Cao Cao,Shu's officers gave trivial analysis for the situation. All officers inWu behaved like children during the discussion with ZhuGe Liang: noisy,messy, and no serious arguments. Wu's army was described as highlydisciplined, but the general, Zhou Yu, could stop the training halfwayto talk to a farmer and his servant. Zhou Yu was described as having asharp ear but could not hear the tiger coming from behind. Again, ZhouYu later gave a trivial lesion about the rope when other characters,big heroes, were listening seriously. Sun Guan could kill a tigerwithout any specific skill and training.

    In other word, the director might want too much and go to nowhere. Hemight want a movie closed to history but his characters are not. Hemight want human-like heroes but his characters show no specific skillin both fighting and thinking to be real heroes/leaders.

  4. bbbgut from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 3:40 pm

    I am one of the billion fans of the Three Kingdom novels, story as wellas hundreds episode long TV shows made about it before. And I wasreally excited to see a 60 million dollar movie being made on thebattle of Chi Bi. But it's not the classic it could've been.

    Don't let your previous John Woo experiences like Face Off or MI2 foolyou. This movie is deeply in the Asian style of making. Things to lookfor are slower pace, beautiful scenery/Mis-en-scene, cool Asian music,a lot of metaphors, lots of fighting (everybody loves them!), awfulextras…

    First off, the pace is so so slow. I am a patient viewer and know whendirectors have to go slow to make an impact with the story, but I findsome problems with pacing with this movie especially with war scenes.For example are the scenes with the shields reflecting sunlight. We gotthe point! The shields are a clever move, but you don't have tobasically repeat 2 shots (soldiers turning their shield, the horses gowild) twenty times.

    Cinematography is pretty good in this movie. I said pretty good becausewhile it looks good, it is bad compared to the likes of Fearless orHero, while it has a lot more to work with than those movies. Computergraphics are not the best but enough for a pass. The flying pigeonscene is a great idea.

    The musical score in this movie is interesting. I feel it's a littleWestern influenced because of the symphony/violin sounds besides theheavy drums and flute. Other than that the music is great. However theycould probably utilized the use of musical themes more.

    I don't particularly like the casting choices for Guan Yu and Liu Bei.Liu Bei is a royal family member filled with kindness, and I thoughtthe actor has little elegance (or anything royal-like) in his look, andlook is important for a character with less chance to be portrayed. Youcan understand my point when comparing him with the actor playing SunQuan. Guan Yu is basically a saint-like warrior in the story. His lookalone has a lot of characteristics (a large man with a graceful look,spreads fear on the battlefield but is a symbol of safety for hispeople…) that I think the actor's appearance is not deep enough toportray.

    The highlights of this movie are the interaction between Zhuge Liangand Zhou Yu. Their first encounter is an awesome sequence. Not manywords are said but Zhuge Liang fully understand Zhou Yu's characterthrough his acting toward the farmers and his soldiers. This scene isAsian filmography at its best. It shows soldiers preparing for war yetsomehow the slow pace works, not many words are spoken but great musicfills in the space, and the character of Zhou Yu's is fully brought outto the audience. The scene of the 2 characters playing music is alsogreat, but I feel the repeated shots of the person's face through thecandles get boring.

    On a similar note, I like these two actors. Kaneshiro Takeshi did somevery good face acting to portray well the wittiness that his look wouldnormally lack, as it is a significant feature of Zhuge Liang'scharacteristics. He also does well in comedic moments. Definitely uppeda level from House of Flying Daggers. Leung Chiu Wai is a veteran andhe plays Zhou Yu very well, he can be calm or determined, clever or asskicking. Also they have good synergy and that's important since theyare the two main characters.

    "Forced" scenes: – The sex scene- man sexing up his wife before goingto a deadly battle…300 anyone? And it's way too long for a sex scenethat's not that raunchy. – Tiger hunting scene: too long, some blurryshots and bad editing make it obvious that the tiger is from DiscoveryChannel. This is a typical lame Asian move when they force ametaphorical scene.

    I'm a little annoyed with the final fight sequence. Here's a littleinfo so you can be on my page: Cao Cao has 700,000 soldiers, and thegood guys got more than 30,000 heads… There are 2000 cavalierstrapped in your formation, CRUSH THEM. I don't like how they focus toomuch on the cinematic effect (badass battle at the end of the movie)and make it unrealistic as well as too long. Letting ALL your bestgenerals going SOLO against the enemy may make a heroic scene, but onlyidiots would do it in real life. And if it takes that long to kill2000, how will you do against the 680,000 that's left? However I giveprops to John Wu for a courageous and excellent interpretation of theBa Qua formation (for your information, nobody really knows how to doit so he's quite brave to try)

    If you're looking for amazing fighting or choreography, go to SevenSwords. I like their decision to make the moves in Chi Bi not too fancybecause this is war and it comes down to kill or die. Also this is veryearly in Chinese history (2nd, 3rd century) and realistically martialarts styles are not highly developed yet. There is not a lot of comedybut it is well timed and to the right level as well as effectiveness.

    I also find the battle helmets ugly.

    Overall I feel like this movie could be 2 hours and more effective thanthe 2h30min mark it is right now. But it is awesome to finally see astory like the Three Kingdom being put into a production worth itsscale. Also the storytelling is great and full of excellent metaphors,the characters got depths and smarts. Of course the brutality of war isbrought out well. I believe the second part will be a feast.

  5. lyx-1 from Hong Kong
    30 Mar 2012, 3:40 pm

    ***Warning…may contain spoilers, but movie is pretty "spoilt" as itis…*****

    I really wanted to like and support this movie. Three Kingdoms is oneof the most fascinating historic period with lots of compelling talesof political intrigue, plot twists, larger than life characters,fantastical, famous battles, mind-boggling tactics and the novel,Romance of the Three Kingdoms, fleshed out the historical structurefurther with fascinating myths, legendary details, etc….it is verydifficult to go "wrong" with this material, and yet John Woo has chosento chuck most of it away and dumb it all down for us.

    The battle scenes were visually stimulating enough, and are the bestparts of the movie, so savour them! What is interesting is to see themagnificence of the formations and tactics described in the books allmeticulously CGIed for us.

    Overall, this is a big budget production, and it does show in thelavish sets, costumes, impressive battle mobilization, etc. This iswhere I awarded the movie 6/10.

    Forget the acting, the characters, the cringe-worthy dialogue, playingfootsie with history (Liu Bei was actually rather cunning and he wovegrass shoe soles while he lived under Cao Cao to hide his intelligenceand ambition, he isn't the clueless good guy as portrayed), the insipidand totally pointless, pathetically contrived sex, the incrediblyasinine jokes and lame puns ("fan" and "staying cool") stretched tounbelievable limits, the WTF? anecdotes (the stolen ox, the musicimprovization, and "Meng Meng", the baby horse).

    Unbelievable!! The middle is a waste of time – there is so much more toadd and to say, yet only extreme cinematic silliness and facilecharacter portraits prevail. The contemporary equivalent of the threerulers are say, Mao, Chiang Kai-shek and Sun Yat Sen and their capabledeputies, not to mention the brilliant women like the Soong sisters,can anyone imagine Zhou En- Lai spending his spare time during a periodof war against the Japanese or Nationalists teaching children's songsto kids in school or writing calligraphy that insults his opponents???

    The original texts are so rich with tactical details, ruthless, complexand brilliant characters and unpredictable plot twists, it would havemade a far more interesting film the likes of LOTR. I wish PeterJackson directed this gem, not John Woo. It's as if someone dumbed downand diluted the LOTR trilogy, into ….Narnia.

    If you're looking for a more authentically "Chinese" film about theglory and horrors of war, brotherhood (not just between the 3characters but the heart-wrenching element of civil warring, Chinesevs. Chinese, etc.), treachery, betrayal, love, honour, watch"Warlords". One of the best films ever…epic, complex, realistic,emotionally engaging and unforgettable. Red Cliff comes across as anepic farce in comparison to Warlords.

  6. PiranianRose from USA
    30 Mar 2012, 3:40 pm

    Admittedly, I had my doubts about Red Cliff. John Woo in the chair tomake a historical war drama? That hasn't happened since… oh wait,it's never happened before. Then again, if Ang Lee could make a greatmovie about gay cowboys, I'm willing to see what John Woo can dooutside his usual territory. That, and the film's steady high profilepublicity over the past several years, made Red Cliff a must-see forme.

    For Red Cliff, the biggest divergence from Woo's prime time classicssuch as The Killer is the subdued emotions. Most of Woo's classics wererather in-your-face in terms of melodrama, but not so in Red Cliff.While I loved his melodramas, I believe Red Cliff reveals a matured Woowith improved craftsmanship. Make no mistake: he has incorporated hissignature themes of male bonding, loyalty, and sacrifice in RedCliff–but in a much more subtle and understated manner.

    Unquestionable, some viewers have loved Woo for his badass actionsequences. But for me, I've always been a fan because of his memorablecharacters. To this point, I was pleased with Red Cliff's strongcharacters. The film has focused on making the central figuresappealing by either embellishing them with an edgy factor or givingthem some depth, and this is successful for the most part.

    For me, the low point of the movie was the weak acting from Zhao Weiand Takeshi Kaneshiro — not just compared to Tony Leung, but on anyscale. Kaneshiro is an odd choice to play the historically glorifiedZhuge Liang, while Zhao Wei's character seemed totally inconsequential.

    The film also features some annoying cartoonish music, which seemed tobe oddly misplaced in intense combat scenes.

    Other than those few shortcomings, Red Cliff is a solid film that isboth a mega blockbuster and quality film-making.

  7. freemantle_uk from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 3:40 pm

    After 15 years in Hollywood and making only on decent film (Face/Off)John Woo returns to his Asian roots. Here he get the creativeindependence he deserves and creates the most successful (and mostexpensive) ever Chinese films.

    The year was 208AD, the Prime Minister Cao Cao (Fengyi Zhang) has takencontrol of Northern China and made the Emperor a puppet ruler. But thesouth is defiance. Lord Liu Bei (Yong You) tries to fight and hasexcellent general, but is hopelessly outnumbered by Cao Cao forces. Hesets out to make an alliance with two other Southern Lords, the youngSun Quan (Chen Chang) and military expert Zhou Yu (Tony Leung). Liu Beiuses his chief adviser Kongming (Takeshi Kaneshiro) to negotiate withLords. Even with this new alliance, Cao Cao still outnumbers the 3Kingdoms with a force of 800,000 troops. Zhou Yu and Kongming sets outthe win the coming battle with strategy, expert military tactics,trickery, the weather and spies. Here the two forces set out for thecoming battle.

    John Woo is an action director and the martial arts and the battles arewell handle, if OTT (but that's what John Woo does). He has flair andthe fights are bloody. He has fun with the CGI, from the battles tofollowing arrows and doves when they are in flight. He gets to combineboth Asian and Hollywood style of film-making. The music as wellcombine both Asian and Western styles. The film itself feels like theChinese Lord of the Rings.

    Tony Leung is the strongest link in the film, he is an expert martialartist and a good actor, being in House of Flying Daggers, the InfernalAffiars Trilogy and Lust Caution just to name a few. He offers anothergood performances. Other actors also offer good performances and theywas no one who dragged the film down.

    In China and Hong Kong Red Cliff was split into two films and alreadyout on DVD in Hong Kong. The Western version combines the films, andits also the dumbed down version. The English was just weird in contextwith the rest of film. The film also does change in tone from itbeginning. Lets hope that the DVD release in the West will be of bothfilms or an extended edition.

  8. rogerdarlington from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 3:40 pm

    The Battle of Red Cliffs holds a special place in Chinese history andmythology. It was a decisive conflict which occurred at the end of theHan Dynasty, immediately prior to the period of the Three Kingdoms, andit was fought in the winter of 208/209 between the allied forces of thesouthern warlords Liu Bei and Sun Quan and the numerically superiorforces of the northern warlord Cao Cao.

    The 2008 film, titled simply "Red Cliff", was deliberately timed forrelease in China in the lead up to the 2008 Summer Olympics and was agreat success with Chinese audiences. One year later, the movie has alimited release in the West where the selling point is not so much thehistory (which is largely unknown outside China) as the director (HongKong's John Woo who is known for such Hollywood work as "Broken Arrow","Face/Off" and "Mission: Impossible 2").

    It has to be said that the Mandarin dialogue is leaden and much of theacting somewhat exaggerated, but a huge cast and considerable specialeffects – allied with the director's trademark style – makes the movievisually stunning with clever tactical manoeuvres, multiple battlescenes and considerable blood.

    If it all seems a little confused to Western audiences, this isprobably because we are seeing it in a rather different version to theoriginal. In Asia, "Red Cliff" was released in two parts, totallingover four hours in length, whereas outside of Asia, the release is asingle film of 'only' two and a half hours. For me, it's not up therewith "Hero" or "House of Flying Daggers" but it is well-worth seeingand a pictorial treat.

  9. helmutty from Singapore
    30 Mar 2012, 3:40 pm

    To be honest, I don't really know about the Romance of the threekingdom so I will start my review about the movie with no reference tothe Chinese history. I have watched Daniel Lee's Three Kingdoms:Resurrection of the Dragon and it is just average. I have only seen onemovie based on the Romance of the three kingdom. John Woo makes hiscomeback as a director after so many years. I think it is worth thewait for his highly anticipated movie.

    The story: In Singapore, the movie is split into two parts. The secondpart will be shown next year. This movie is an introduction to theRomance of the three kingdom. The first war starts when the moviestarts to hype up those craving to see some good war battles. After thefirst war, you will get introduction of the characters slowly. Afterthe slightly slow pace, you are treated to another war. The acting isgood with the humour. I think model Lin Chiling should be given somecredit as she marks the first acting debut in a Chinese blockbuster.

    Overall: It has both the talk and the action. I must say that it is oneof the recently interesting war movies with extended war battle unlikethe other recent war movies. It should be good to watch it in cinema.This movie is good for those who want to know about the Chinese historyor those who want to see the Chinese history in action.

  10. j@son chin ( from Malaysia
    30 Mar 2012, 3:40 pm

    Its been years since I last watched a great Chinese movie. Growing upin Malaysia, watching many Chinese movies, the one I most fond of wasWong Kar Wai, Tsui Hark, Stanley Tong, Jackie Chan and of course themasterful John Woo. In his movies, the elements he combined made hismovie very unique and distinctive from any other Chinese films i'vewatched. His use of kinetic shots and slow motion gave a fresh look, ifnot, reinvented the action genre while Hollywood was still producingplain and boring action movies.

    After nearly 18 years, John returns to Chinese cinema, with a bigpresent install for all of us. And that is Red Cliff. Beautifully shot,big on scale, action-plenty, great performances and a smart adaptationof the historical epic, The Three kingdom makes this movie one of thebest Chinese epics in decades.(with the exception of Hero) True to hisstyle. After his last three films, i began to think whether John'slosing his edge already or is it because the Hollywood system that wasin the way. In this case, I choose to think the Hollywood system wasthe cause of it. Red Cliff shows he still have the similar trademark heuse in his films. The only difference is that this movie is huge inscale.

    The themes he use; brotherhood, humble and honor are one of the drivingformulas which made his classic movies a hit with audience is stillvery visible here. Visuals are breathtaking as this is one of thegreatest visual effect shots I ever seen in an Asian movie. For anAsian like me I'm very proud of that. The cinematic shots were stunningand beautiful. One which John's interpretation is still very sharp. Theproduction behind this movie are mind blowing-ly HUGE. With the amountof extras and props used, makes any filmmaker-wannabe to ask "how didhe do that?" I couldn't even imagine all the headache he has gonethrough for this movie.

    Now, in terms of story telling, plot and character development, theelements which i mention up there surprisingly fits together. Thepacing for each scene has a mind of its own. For action it goes intooverdrive. Cleverly building in the battle and action, the scenes wereoutstanding. It almost has a classic hong kong action feel to it whereevery action seems to be very unpredictable. The dramatic scenes andcharacter development fits like a shoe, as the acting boost up all thecharacter's emotions. Whether its seriousness, ego, humor, sad ordepressed all the characters has it. So, to my surprise I still can'tget over the fact that John can still balance both action and dramatogether like he always did in his films. Two thumbs up for that. Theplot came in quite well in timing. With no hesitation except for thesmall intro, it goes straight into the battle scenes first before anydramatic scenes take place. Slowly it builds up, from the inroductionof characters each revealing themselves in detail, to the forming ofstrategies to stop the invasion and ends in with an amazing climaticbattle scene.

    All in all, Red Cliff is one of the best movies in 2008 that I've seen.I'm gonna review Part II later. So to end this review. I gave it A MUSTHAVE for people.

    8.8 out of 10 ratings.

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