Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Red Cliff (2008)

Not missing much if you missed this one
I love China, having lived there for three years.  I also enjoy Chinese historical epics.  Not many countries have a history as long and rich as the Middle Kingdom does.  That history usually translates well to film.  But this particular epic falls flat.  John Woo is great, but this film has too many characters, too much melodrama, and not enough substance.  The filmmaking is high quality, the costumes and sets and are gorgeous, and the cast is great, but the story is not interesting.  And at the heart of every film, there should be a good story.  I watched the first half telling myself I'd finish it the next night, but realized I didn't care how it ended so I never finished it.  Maybe I've just seen more than my share of this type of film which were much better that this.  Side note: this film was brought to the US by Magnolia/ Magnet, one of my favorite film distributors.  They bring great indy and foreign films to the big and small screen. 

Red Cliff left me hanging with only 2 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: John Woo
Writer: John Woo, Khan Chan, Cheng Kuo, Heyu Sheng
Starring: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Fengyi Zhang
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Metacritic: 73 out of 100

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