Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Romance of the Three Kingdoms - Red Cliff (John Woo)

Interlude: Red Cliff (John Woo film)

For those of you that are interested in my Romance of the Three Kingdoms posts, the Battle of Red Cliff, has been fleshed out in reel life by John Woo. Part 1 of 2 is now showing in cinemas right now, so if you find my posts interesting, you should definitely check the movie out.

Red Cliff, is a Chinese epic film based on the Battle of Red Cliff
and events during the Three Kingdoms period in Ancient China. The film is expected to be released in two versions: within Asia, Red Cliff is to be released in two parts totaling over four hours in length, with the first part premiering in July 2008 and the second in January 2009.

The film is directed by
John Woo and stars Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Fengyi, Chang Chen, Hu Jun, Lin Chi-ling and Zhao Wei. With an estimated budget of US$80 million, Red Cliff is the most expensive Asian-financed film to date.

This film is based largely on the 'Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms', which is more historically correct. Hence, both Cao Cao and Zhou Yu are given fairer treatment in the movie than in the fictionalised account in the novel 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms'.

The Antagonist: Prime Minister of Han, Cao Cao
The regal looking Cao Cao, Prime Minister of the Han Empire. A magnificent general, leading over 240,000 men to subdue the Southern Rebels. How could he lose? In the movie, Cao Cao was potrayed as desiring to possess the beautiful Xiao Qiao. Bah humbug! A great leader drooling over a mere woman?

The Most Beautiful Woman in China: Xiao Qiao
Is Xiao Qiao a ravishing beauty, enough to move your heart and set your mind ablaze with desire?

The Protagonists: Charismatic Liu Bei and Brave Sun Quan

Liu Bei, famous for his charisma, together with sworn brothers Guan Yu and Zhang Fei understands that this is their last stand. Should the Alliance fall here, all would be lost.

Sun Quan, bold beyond belief, daring to challenge the might of the Han Prime Minister. Only 50,000 brave marines stand against the might of 240,000 Cao Cao's valiant warriors.

Orchestrator of the Symphony of Stratagems: Maestro Zhou Yu

Given great prominence in the movie is non other than Maestro Zhou Yu. Not surprising since he was the mastermind behind the 連環計 Symphony of Stratagems at Red Cliff.

Sleeping Dragon: Master Strategist, Zhuge Liang

Zhuge Liang looks dashing here in his Taoist robes. The movie hints at the rivalry between the two master strategists, at latter date, as they serve rival warlords.

So, what more can you ask for? Go watch it and post your comments here on how you feel about the movie!



Hey, I want Tony Leong to be Zhuge Liang... although chou yu suits him as well, but it'll be better if Tong Leong is Zhuge Liang... sigh... If I'm not mistaken, the movie will be on tomorrow or today midnight. It's a definite to watch.



You're right. Kaneshiro seems too young to potray the wise and serious Zhuge Liang.

Oh well, let's watch it and then judge whether the casting is right.

Let me know what you think of it after watching. :)



woa..i cant wait to watch this movie.


Let me know what you think of it. I'm only going to see it at a later date.


Takeshi's Zhu Ge Liang was quite good as well actually....really a great movie and i cant wait for the 2nd part


That's surprising. Thought he looked a bit young. Well, I'll know soon enough...

Thanks for the input.


I have not seen the movie but the thorn in the flesh for me is that Zhuge Liang, a Chinese 'Hero' of sorts is played by a Jap. It takes away some historical authencity from the movie. Also considering the modern history of China,it's pretty ironic. It's like watching Hang Tuah being played by a Chinese actor(that Hang Tuah could have been a Chinaman is another story ok). Chow Yun Fatt would have made a great Zhuge Liang.

Well, since there's nothing we can do about it, I guess I'll just enjoy the movie and see how well Kaneshiro plays Zhuge Liang.



Dear Paladin,

I guess there are commercial reasons to consider, when getting Kaneshiro on board.

1. He's a handsome actor that'll draw in the opposite sex; and

2. Having a Japanese actor will help draw in a larger crowd in Japan, which is a pretty huge market.

I would rather withhold judgment on how he potrays the character, though I think language might be a problem for a Japanese actor to potray, of all people, the esteemed Zhuge Liang.



Takeshi Kaneshiro is of Japanese and Taiwanese ancestry and he was raised in Taipei. He is very fluent in Mandarin, so I doubt language is a barrier. In fact, although he has a 'japanese' face, he mostly plays chinese characters in his movie roles.


Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for that piece of information. I never realized that. Well, now I just HAVE to go watch the movie then.



Watched the movie & I think it's quite good. But the whole movie is actually a built up to the final battle a Red Cliff. So it's less action packed.

Only 2 major battles in it. Looking forward to seeing the 2nd movie.


Dear Acura,

Thanks for dropping by and your comments. Yeah, guess it's kind of anticlimatic to see the movie stop when the major battle is about to begin.

Hmm...perhaps it would be better to watch both Part I & II in January 2008, then.

I'm sure they'll screen part I for a limited time again in conjunction with Part II.


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I like a lot this kind of movie , I have watched many movies as this , so red cliff is my favorite movie.

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