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Red Cliff - Part I & Part II (DVD) (Original International Version) (US Version) DVD Region 1

Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Actor) | Kaneshiro Takeshi (Actor) | Chang Chen (Actor) | Vicki Zhao (Actor)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.2 out of 10 (9)

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Product Title: Red Cliff - Part I & Part II (DVD) (Original International Version) (US Version) 赤壁 + 赤壁 2 - 決戰天下(DVD) (國際版) (美國版) 赤壁 + 赤壁 2 - 决战天下(DVD) (国际版) (美国版) Red Cliff - Part I & Part II (DVD) (Original International Version) (US Version) Red Cliff - Part I & Part II (DVD) (Original International Version) (US Version)
Artist Name(s): Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Actor) | Kaneshiro Takeshi (Actor) | Chang Chen (Actor) | Vicki Zhao (Actor) | Hu Jun (Actor) | Lin Chi Ling (Actor) | Zhang Feng Yi (Actor) | Corey Yuen (Actor) | You Yung (Actor) | Ba Sen (Actor) | Tong Da Wei (Actor) | Nakamura Shido (Actor) | Dion Lam (Actor) | Zang Jin Sheng (Actor) 梁 朝偉 (Actor) | 金城 武 (Actor) | 張震 (Actor) | 趙薇 (Actor) | 胡軍 (Actor) | 林志玲 (Actor) | 張豐毅 (Actor) | 元奎 (Actor) | 尤 勇智 (Actor) | 巴森 (Actor) | 佟 大為 (Actor) | 中村 獅童 (Actor) | 林迪安 (Actor) | 臧 金生 (Actor) 梁 朝伟 (Actor) | 金城 武 (Actor) | 张震 (Actor) | 赵薇 (Actor) | 胡军 (Actor) | 林志玲 (Actor) | 张丰毅 (Actor) | 元奎 (Actor) | 尤 勇智 (Actor) | 巴森 (Actor) | 佟 大为 (Actor) | 中村 狮童 (Actor) | 林迪安 (Actor) | 臧 金生 (Actor) 梁朝偉 (トニー・レオン) (Actor) | 金城武 (Actor) | 張震(チャン・チェン) (Actor) | 趙薇 (ヴィッキー・チャオ) (Actor) | 胡軍(フー・ジュン) (Actor) | 林志玲 (リン・チーリン) (Actor) | 張豊毅(チャン・フォンイー) (Actor) | 元奎(コリー・ユン) (Actor) | 尤勇 (ヨウ・ヨン) (Actor) | Ba Sen (Actor) | 佟大為 (トン・ダーウェイ) (Actor) | 中村 獅童 (Actor) | Dion Lam (Actor) | Zang Jin Sheng (Actor) 양조위 (Actor) | 금성무 (Actor) | 장첸 (Actor) | Vicki Zhao (Actor) | 후 준 (Actor) | Lin Chi Ling (Actor) | Zhang Feng Yi (Actor) | Corey Yuen (Actor) | You Yung (Actor) | Ba Sen (Actor) | Tong Da Wei (Actor) | Nakamura Shido (Actor) | Dion Lam (Actor) | Zang Jin Sheng (Actor)
Director: John Woo 吳宇森 吴宇森 呉宇森(ジョン・ウー) 오우삼
Release Date: 2010-03-23
UPC Code: 876964002684
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Country of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1
Color Information: Color
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 1 - USA, Canada, U.S. Territories What is it?
Rating: Unrated, Not Rated
Duration: 288 (mins)
Publisher: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Package Weight: 110 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1023159922

Product Information

* Features:
Disc 1
- The Making Of an Epic: Red Cliff
- Interview with John Woo
- The Carrier’s Flight from Concerpt to Creation
- Storyboards

Disc 2
- Making Red Cliff: Trials and Tribulations
- HDNet: A Look At Red Cliff

Director: John Woo

Red Cliff, the epic historical drama based on a legendary 208 A.D. battle that heralded the end of the Han Dynasty. A power hungry Prime Minister-turned-General Cao Cao seeks permission from the Han dynasty Emperor to organize a southward-bound mission designed to crush the two troublesome warlords who stand in his way, Liu Bei and Sun Quan. Vastly outnumbered by Cao Cao's brutal, fast-approaching army, the warlords band together to mount a heroic campaign - unrivaled in history - that changes the face of China forever.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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Professional Review of "Red Cliff - Part I & Part II (DVD) (Original International Version) (US Version)"

January 6, 2009

This professional review refers to Red Cliff (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)
I can say little of a positive nature about John Woo's career in Hollywood. It seems to me that after the success of Face Off, the director became the go to guy for outlandish thrillers. A succession of worthless B-movie scripts have been given the Woo kitchen sink treatment that could not prevent them from being rank awful. When he decided to return home to make this historical epic on review, it felt like an intervention had taken place and I was relieved that a fine artist may get the chance to create something of value again.

It hasn't been plain sailing though. Casting difficulties, rumours of all sorts of problems, and dead stuntmen have given the impression that Woo may be heading for a fall. And when it emerged that the film would be in two parts, and be over 4 hours in length, further doubts set in. Watching the first part now, it's easy to say that Red Cliff is the kind of project that Woo's mentor made in his pomp and that he would have been proud of completing. I feel that Chang Cheh would have coveted this epic historical tale of chivalry and that Woo has won over the circumstances that beset him.

Thematically, Red Cliff covers the strife that is part of nation building, like much recent Chinese cinema, but it is a basic tale of heroic brothers uniting against a venal foe. The first part comes in at a leisurely 145 minutes and deals with the forming of alliances against the conniving Prime Minister Cao Cao and the early skirmishes of his conflict with the heroic regional armies he tries to crush.

Woo gives us fantastic battles, his regulation slowmo and many, many shows of selfless honour. Applying himself to the story, he is even restrained enough to wait almost two hours before he uses a symbolic dove, and he even includes his first proper female character. A woman who doesn't loyally wait for her man or sacrifice herself for him, a woman who actually fights and pricks the male pomposity around her. Her existence here is such a revelation that I can forgive the inclusion of far more recognizable demure obedient women in the usual Woo mode.

Don't let me mislead you though, this is a film for men and about men. Masculinity is celebrated in its every noble act, and man on man love is shown to be the greatest love of all. This is the kind of love that expresses itself in back slapping and warm handshakes rather than man juice, mind you. After all, these are macho men who keep the world safe and built upon trustworthy love your brother harmony. Each of the leading men's valour is tested and they each win the right to be part of this virtuous brotherhood.

The male kinship is clearly a Woo concern from his earlier films, but what is rather novel is the technical and historical thinking which is shown in the battles. Corey Yuen's fight choreography doesn't rely on mystical leaps or outré weapons, and even if the wire work is occasionally more poetic than realistic, this is gritty stuff. The main battle of the film which involves trapping Cao Cao's cavalry in a series of tortoise formations, is full of practical and unpleasant horse and man hobbling. Quite unlike the recent operatic battles of wuxias, Woo and Yuen opt for some down and dirty scrapping. War in this film is all unsporting tricks and organised barbarity.

The earthy action is reflected in the acting and storyline. The cast include some caricatures but the main players give restrained and earnest performances, only coming to life in the fighting. Woo is very respectful to his material and clearly his heroes are ones that he venerates himself.

This all leaves the film as a huge improvement for Woo. It's not as graceful as other recent epics from China, although the use of CGI is as occasionally questionable as Zhang Yimou's has been. It's not as much fun as Ronny Yu's Fearless, but it is thoroughly involving and sumptuously produced. It builds a pretty high expectation for the conclusive part due next year.

I doubt that you'll be disappointed by Red Cliff as this is Woo back with brothers and heroic bloodshed on a colossal scale. This is after all what he, like his mentor before him, has always done best.

Transfer and Sound
The AVC encoded transfer framed at 2.35:1 is a thing of some beauty. Incredibly detailed and sharp, and often in danger of showing up the digital effects, colour is given a dusty historical hue with a brownish tone. Contrast is superbly delivered with plenty of shadow detail apparent, and my only real criticism of the video quality is that the image does seem rather processed. As my system allows me to work around it, the flashing of a HD logo courtesy of Mei Ah every 15 to 30 minutes didn't annoy me as much as it will others, but on its own this will discourage many from buying the disc.

The audio offers three HD options with LPCM, TrueHD, and DTS HD MA tracks. All of them down mixed on my system, but in their lower tech variants I enjoyed the immense clarity and vitality of the Master Audio track with a tremendous sub-woofer channel and well engineered use of the space and dimension of all channels. In the midst of the battles or the palaces or boats, the sound creates excellent atmosphere, and with the rollicking score it's pretty difficult not to get caught up in the momentum and the swirl of it all. The included English subtitles are very good with few grammatical slip ups.

Discs and Special Features
This is a dual layer disc with the main film taking up a whopping 39.9GB of the 43.4GB capacity. Unfortunately the wealth of interviews and featurettes presented here are in fact without English options, so my run-down of them is merely a list of what they seem to be. You'll find greater detail in the side panel, but there are a lot of very short interviews, footage of premieres, press conferences and basic promotional stuff such as the trailer and a picture gallery featuring 50 images from the film and its production. The video pieces all are encoded in AVC/MPEG 4 and seem to be in stereo. As for what anyone was saying, well, there, I haven't the foggiest.

Summary
Lacking English subs on the extras but with and excellent transfer, this may be just the ticket for the impatient Woo fan. Remember that the intermittent logo is a real drawback if you can't re-work your screen area and may completely ruin the film for some. Do check it out if you like an Asian epic or look forward to Woo returning to form.

by John White - DVD Times

September 17, 2008

This professional review refers to Red Cliff (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
It's big, entertaining, and the only game in town. Red Cliff is your 2008 Chinese summer blockbuster of choice, whether you like it or not - after all, there really isn't much else in Chinese cinemas this summer. John Woo's adaptation of the classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms - which is available in novel, TV drama, video game, and unlicensed collectible variations - isn't as compelling as it is merely large. Woo slants the source material towards his pet themes, front-loads the production with big stars and big names, and assembles a spectacle that's respectable, involving, and absolutely worth a look. What the film doesn't provide is the compelling emotion that has punctuated many a Woo production, and the film's climax doesn't serve up the "wow" factor that one expects of a film of this scale. But any disappointment could be premature; Red Cliff is only the first of two films, and Woo could be saving the best for last. One would hope, anyway.

But first, the answer to the million dollar question: yes, this film does have pigeons. Woo's trademark white birds are present and accounted for, appearing in a couple of scenes, including one very pivotal shot near the end of the picture. The birds never seem gratuitous (unlike in some other Woo works) and will only prove distracting to snarky Woo-familiar audiences checking their watches to see when the birds finally appear. The birds don't really appear much; instead, audiences get a healthy helping of other popular Woo signifiers, namely brotherhood, honor, and that sweaty, blood-pumping bond between heterosexual men. The men in question are essayed by some very solid actors, starting with Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Takeshi Kaneshiro, but there are women too, including Vicki Zhao Wei and, in a much-ballyhooed role, Taiwanese model Lin Chi-Ling, who plays Xiao Qiao, the supposed "most beautiful woman in China". Judging by her competition in the film, she earns that title handily.

Likewise, Red Cliff's competition at Chinese cinemas can't compare to Woo's massive production, as it provides the expected solid spectacle, complete with big battles and some well-integrated visual effects. The film starts at the Battle of Chang Ban in 208 A.D., with general Liu Bei (You Yong) leading a group of refugees in retreat from the encroaching armies of conniving Prime Minister Cao Cao (Zhang Fengyi). Thanks to some strategy from Liu Bei's fan-carrying strategist Zhuge Liang (Takeshi Kaneshiro) - not to mention an assist from warriors Zhao Yun (Hu Jun), Guan Yu (Ba Sen Zha Bu), and Zhang Fei (Zang Jingsheng) - Liu Bei and his people are able to get away. However, the conflict isn't over yet. Cao Cao's lust for power continues unabated, and one getaway won't be enough for Liu Bei and his people.

In order to combat Cao Cao, Zhuge Liang heads to the Kingdom of Wu to enlist their aid. However, Wu leader Sun Quan (Chang Chen) is torn on whether to act, as his cabinet is seemingly of two minds. Zhuge Liang instead attempts to sway Sun Quan's most trusted advisor, Zhou Yu (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai), currently presiding over the soldiers at the river port of Red Cliff. Zhou Yu is a smart strategist and an obviously very honorable man. When we're finally introduced to the character (Tony Leung does not appear until way into the film's two-hour plus running time), John Woo takes care to demonstrate his honor in broad, romantic strokes, defusing a potential conflict among his soldiers AND sharing his love for music all in a single scene. Zhuge Liang is immediately charmed (or perhaps smitten) and begins sending Zhou Yu charged, hopefully heterosexual looks. After an evening of jamming on their qins (Chinese stringed musical instruments), the men are already on the same page, and without even uttering a word of agreement. Can this pair of awesome, deadly handsome strategists overcome Cao Cao while also keeping their man-passion in check?

As expected, the men manage to keep their relationship chaste. The homoeroticism in Woo's films can border on giggle-inducing, but the director has always portrayed his manly affections effectively. John Woo is not a realistic film director; his films are romantic and even simplistic, going for emotional themes that are personal, rather than universal or political in significance (Bullet in the Head being the obvious exception). Woo eschews larger ideas for the personal in Red Cliff, subjugating sweeping historical context for a positive portrait of brotherhood - a move that almost amounts to a subversion of expectations. Modern variants of this genre usually involve a critical look at war, revelations of political corruption, plus the acknowledgment of a tragic human cost. Warlords is a perfect example of the type of war epic that would normally get made in today's cinema climate. It's got brotherhood, but political machinations and the lust for power and women usually send that righteousness careening off a cliff. In the end, war brings out the worst in us all.

Not so in Red Cliff. In this film, war is unfortunate, but also necessary and honorable, because it's where you become a man and fulfill your destiny. Even more, it's where men meet other men who became men because of war (Got that?). Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu begin a mutual admiration society thanks to their keen understanding of warfare, Zhou Yu goads Sun Quan into war by hinting that he should assert his manhood, and men from opposing sides smile and nod appreciatively at the effort and honor of their foes. In a scene also depicted in the recent Three Kingdoms, Zhou Yun rescues Liu Bei's infant son A Dou from the clutches of Cao Cao's men, and Cao Cao immediately admires the resourcefulness and strength of this hero on the other side. In Three Kingdoms, the scene was used to demonstrate the coolness of Andy Lau's character, but in Red Cliff it's another chance for John Woo to be John Woo. The director creates pronounced intimacy between men using emotionally charged gazes, revealing close-ups, and thoughtful use of camera and editing. There's Woo aplenty in Red Cliff, from the use of music to the slow-motion, freeze frames, dissolves, and other techniques, and he gets his emotions and themes across well.

It's the character work that makes Red Cliff fun, not to mention a welcome return to the John Woo style, which was muted to the point of nonexistence in his Hollywood work. The film largely does away with politics and historical significance, amps up the themes of honor and brotherhood, and gives its source material respectful, largely faithful treatment. There are still some debits, as some of the populist themes scream "approved by China". Also, the film relies too much on the audience's previous knowledge of the Three Kingdoms characters; uninitiated Western audiences may have some trouble following who's who, especially if they're not played by recognizable name actors. However, fans of Koei's Dynasty Warriors video games could find Red Cliff to be easily accessible, because the characters are as iconic in the film as they are in the games. Woo keeps his action very grounded, but these guys are most definitely heroes, possessing kickass battlefield presence and the ability to take on dozens of men simultaneously without breaking a sweat.

The action is largely confined to the beginning and the end of the film, but it's entertaining, well-done stuff. The Battle of Chang Ban offers more chaotic thrills, as Zhao Yun goes chasing after Liu Bei's son, and there's a healthy helping of slow-motion action, grounded fight choreography, and manly charisma from Hu Jun. When the Battle of Red Cliff rolls around, however, it's strategy city, as the film concentrates on Zhuge Liang's plan: an ingenious defensive formation that basically owns Cao Cao's vastly huge force. The battle is a little off-putting - after all, it's a smaller force dominating a bigger force via cold-blooded strategy, with the "good guys" standing on a pedestal somewhere watching the bloodshed approvingly. Still, this is a meticulous and fascinating depiction of war, and much more interesting than the smudge slow-motion chaos of Three Kingdoms. A part of the source material's appeal lies in the involved strategy perpetrated by the legendary characters, and Red Cliff delivers that very satisfyingly.

There's also some action featuring the film's biggest star. For some odd reason, Zhou Yu still finds the need to run into battle, if only to give audiences a chance to check out Tony Leung mixing it up. Leung is charismatic and very handsome as Zhou Yu, and never overplays his character's charm or intelligence. He's nicely complemented by an earnest, well-cast Takeshi Kaneshiro, though the actor is a bit more self-conscious in his role than Leung is. Tony Leung doesn't dub his own Mandarin - a negative since we all know what he sounds like. He and Kaneshiro's performances are quite solid, however, and John Woo curiously does not get overwrought with his characters or their emotions. The most emotional performance may be from Lin Chi-Ling, who's required to look like she's misting over at any given moment. Woo wrings a decent performance from the model, and Zhang Fengyi is all smug confidence as would-be tyrant Cao Cao. The supporting actors are fine, with Hu Jun making a less showy, but more physically powerful Zhao Yun (a.k.a. Zhao Zilong) than Andy Lau did in Three Kingdoms. For Japanese cinema fans, actor Shido Nakamura shows up and overacts with his nostrils and eyebrows.

Red Cliff takes its time, serving up only two battles in its two-plus hours, but delivers plenty of welcome if not occasionally cheesy characterization. The film does drag a bit midway, plus it seems to end two or three times, and the lack of heavy emotion makes the film feel less compelling than Woo's famously hyper-emotional works. However, that may be a product of Red Cliff's "To Be Continued" status, as the film is only the first of two parts. The film ends after only the initial skirmish in the Battle of Red Cliff, with the famous fire attack slated for the second film, which is scheduled for release in January 2009. Presumably Red Cliff Part 2 will be the payoff to Red Cliff's developing plotlines and characters, and will hopefully propel John Woo's Asian film return to a much higher level. As it is, Red Cliff is an enjoyable first taste of what will hopefully be the best five-hour movie out of China this year. Our fingers are crossed, Mr. Woo. See you in six months.

by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com

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Customer Review of "Red Cliff - Part I & Part II (DVD) (Original International Version) (US Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.2 out of 10 (9)

Hon
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January 20, 2014

This customer review refers to Red Cliff (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Three Kingdom buffs need not apply Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
I loved it. The scale. The imagination. The characters. All beautifully created. Just beware of artistic licensing. It certainly does not keep with the original novel. Many liberties were taken, and I'm not entirely convinced it helped the flow of the movie. Unless of course, it was an attempt to express an alternate view of events. A "what if?" scenario perhaps? This may upset die hard fans. But if you can pass on that, then this movie is thoroughly enjoyable.
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Rhoda
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September 26, 2009

This customer review refers to Red Cliff (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
VERY GOOD BUT... Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
A FILM THAT DESERVE A LOT OF NOMINATION. IT REALLY GOOD MOVIE. YOU DON'T GET TO SEE MOVIES LIKE THIS ANYMORE. BUT YOU NEED TO BE VERY ATTENTIVE IF YOU WATCH THIS AND YOU ARE NOT CHINESE BECAUSE THE SUB TITLES FLASHED REALLY FAST. SOMETIMES YOU DON'T TO FINISH READING IT AND .... WUUSH... NEW SUBS.
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Eric Tong
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July 19, 2009

This customer review refers to Red Cliff (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
It was worth watching (spoiler) Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10
As a fan of the story, I've read the original novel as well as watched the TV series made years ago. Initially, I thought this movie was not going to be as good and as detail as the TV series was. But after watching it, I thought it was not as bad as I thought. One of the things I've noticed different was that a lot of the things happened in this movie were quite different or changed comparing to the TV series. Some of the stories in this movies I believe it was purely made up. I'm sorry but I just had a hard time believing that Sun Quan's sister was a spy or Zhuge Liang helped giving birth to a pony. But I also realize that the novel was not 100% historically accurate either. Here are some examples: Zhou Yu got all the credit in winning this battle in the movie while Zhuge Liang did little to contribute the outcome. But in the novel, the role was flipped. Cao Cao was also let go by Zhou Yu in the movie but not Guan Yu? I'm not sure who to believe anymore as far as what really happened. I guess it's irrelevant whether the movie was made historically accurate or not. But I couldn't help but to think how much of it was real and how much was fantasized. I think if you've never read the novel or seen the TV episodes, you might think it's pretty good. But as a die hard fan, I thought the movie was just okay. I couldn't helped but to constantly compare this movie and the TV series in my mind.

I don't have a lot to complain with the cast. Although I thought Tony Leung was just so out of place in it. I thought the guy who played Gan Ning was pretty good. He has that unusual tough facial expression on his face, it was great. Takeshi was not bad either but he wasn't given a lot of important scenes.

Overall the movie was great. It's a little long and boring in some parts. But realize that it's fairly difficult to compress all of the historic information given from the book into a 2 hour movie.
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cuddley bear
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March 30, 2009

This customer review refers to Red Cliff (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
lots of fighting Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10
It's nice to know a little about the Chinese history during this period of the three kingdom. There are too much fighting to my liking and they could have made Vicky a bit prettier too. Takeshi Kaneshiro somehow doesn't fit the bill as Zhu Ge Liang but Zhang Fengyi is indeed an excellent actor.
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jasmine
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March 27, 2009

This customer review refers to Red Cliff (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
Not such a cliff hanger Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10
I've watched Pt 1 + 2 and felt that Chow Yun Fatt would have carried the movie much better than Tony Leung. Personally, Tony should abstain from period pieces cause he just hasn't got the 'face' for it. Do not misunderstood, I do enjoy his work but period pieces are just not his forte although he does seem to enjoy taking his kit off again. Is that love scene really necessary.? Maybe John Woo is thinking 'sex sells'. Poor Takeshi, playing second fiddle again (his last was House of Flying Daggers) , though he did put in a fair performance.

The men's lacquered hair styles (particularly Tony and Takeshi) really had me in stitches. Tony's mandarin dialogue lack 'life' and felt monotanous (wondered if it's his own voice or was it dubbed?). In fact a few of them were like that with the exception of the actor who portrayed Cao Cao.

Big sets, lovely outdoor scenes and plenty of cgi (land and sea battle scenes), Woo's faves = explosions - were everywhere. He may be trying too hard to show the severity and war casualties of the battles . Overall, the script is actually ok but something seems to be missing or maybe too much (cgi). I had to watch this because of all the hype and did enjoy it for the moment but don't think will be watching it again too soon as it's not that unforgettable. For the western audience, this is something new. However, fans who enjoy period pieces with lavish costumes/sets/ big epics should check out Shaw Brothers old movies by legendary Director Li Han Hsiang (now deceased). You'll find your own comparison.
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