Monday, March 28, 2011
Movie Review # 28 Chi Bi a.k.a Red Cliff USA (2008)
Director: John Woo http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000247/
John Woo http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000247/
Khan Chan http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1502082/
Cheng Kuo http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1171056/
Heyu Sheng http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2370726/
Guanzhong Luo (Romance of the Three Kingdoms Novel) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0526824/
Tony Leung http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0504897/
Takeshi Kaneshiro http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0437580/
Rotten Tomatoes: 89 % Critics 77% Audience http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/red_cliff/
IMDb: 7.3/10 Stars http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0425637/
Netflix: 4 Stars
Chi Bi or as it is known in the United States and most of the world as Red Cliff is John Woo's masterpiece. This movie and its scope with hundreds of thousands of extras is a movie you have to see to believe. Which puts it up their with Lord of the Ring and Saving Private Ryan on the complexity of shots and making sure all the extras did their part. It was simply a magical sight to behold.
Which is all the more surprising as John Woo is the Michael Bay of China. With movies like Face/Off and Mission Impossible II as his benchmarks for gratuitous violence and little story. But it was through those films that he fine tuned his directing and made possibly one of the greatest Chinese histrorical war epics ever put on film and I say that with the purest of intentions and honesty.
So what made this movie great? Well it all starts with the source material written by Guanzhong Luo and his Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel. Just like yesterdays movie this one was based on a portion of this magnificent book. While neither of them where mirror copies each one did focus on the war of the Three Kingdoms and certain aspects of the great war.
With this one centrally focused on Cao Cao invading Red Cliff all for the love of a woman who did not love or remember him. The story might sound simple but you would not be more wrong. As this film has layers upon layers. As if a beautiful rose is just coming to bloom and as each petal opens it becomes more and more gorgeous. That is how this film made me feel the more I watched the more I fell in love. The more I grew to know the characters and enjoy them and ultimately cry for some of them.
I can not give enough praise to John Woo for this movie. As movie moments like this do not happen often maybe once or twice a year and that is being generous. I would say every few years and this is the reason I still watch movies. If nothing else to be transported to another world and to fall in love with what I see.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars