Red Cliff (Film) Discussion Thread

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Re: Red Cliff (Film) Discussion Thread

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:16 am

biar wrote:I don't know why the new 3 kingdom movies and series (2008 remake) have to distort the novel so much, it's saddening.


GuoBia wrote:Probably the same reason the novel had to distort history so much. Luo Guanzhong, how saddening.


I would say it was likely much harder for John Woo than Luo Guanzhong. He had to balance his own vision of the interpretation, traditionalists who wanted to maintain the SGYY version, historian types (which many of us fall into this group), and then the western audience he knew would eventually get a hold of the movie. I'd say he did a very well job at balancing the presentation. For all the negatives and meaningless parts added, I'd say those parts that gave the history of Chibi a good background were well enough. No one is going to get everything they want when it comes to making a historical based film.

Just like SGYY, Red Cliff is history based fiction based fiction (I added the last part on purpose).
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Re: Red Cliff (Film) Discussion Thread

Unread postby Cao Chao » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:45 am

Honestly, Red Cliffs is just a bad movie and aside from the artistry that is the norm of John Woo's films, there's very little else. A combination of attempts to appease everyone means that you appease no one. Between poor casting choices, complete revisions of history and/or SGYY, and poor choices of scenes in some parts of the script (the scenes with Sun Shangxiang as a spy made me facepalm), you have something that no one is entirely happy with.
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Re: Red Cliff (Film) Discussion Thread

Unread postby Gray Riders » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:51 am

Cao Chao wrote:Honestly, Red Cliffs is just a bad movie and aside from the artistry that is the norm of John Woo's films, there's very little else. A combination of attempts to appease everyone means that you appease no one. Between poor casting choices, complete revisions of history and/or SGYY, and poor choices of scenes in some parts of the script (the scenes with Sun Shangxiang as a spy made me facepalm), you have something that no one is entirely happy with.

A lot of three kingdoms fan weren't happy, but part one has an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. "Just a bad movie" is very subjective and plenty of people were clearly happy enough with it.

Edit: For a more in-depth summary;
I thought it was pretty decent but not great. It was a good enough way to spend a weekend. I already knew it wouldn't be any more accurate to SGYY than SGYY was to SGZ, so that didn't bother me. My main complaints were Cao Cao's forces being too incompetent and the inappropriate silly moments.
(exception: borrowing the arrows was actually funny and gets a pass).
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Re: Red Cliff (Film) Discussion Thread

Unread postby Cao Chao » Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:00 am

Rotten Tomatoes aggregates Western critic scores and is catered primarily to a Western audience and doesn't address the fact that the movie tries to cater to multiple markets - Mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and the West. It was entertaining for sure, but as a film, it was disappointing and I'm sure that many non-Western audiences would agree.

I do note, also that I have to point out that it is unlikely that most Western audiences would have seen the 1993 TV Series, while the majority of Asian audiences would have. The comparison would have reflected badly given how the 1993 TV series follows SGYY, while the movie follows neither SGYY nor SGZ.
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Re: Red Cliff (Film) Discussion Thread

Unread postby Gray Riders » Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:04 am

Cao Chao wrote:Rotten Tomatoes aggregates Western critic scores and is catered primarily to a Western audience and doesn't address the fact that the movie tries to cater to multiple markets - Mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and the West. It was entertaining for sure, but as a film, it was disappointing and I'm sure that many non-Western audiences would agree.

Wikipedia reports it getting excellent reviews in Asia, actually. Sure, many people disliked or hated it but on a whole it was very well received.

I was a little dissapointed--I was hoping it could compare to Lord of the Rings films, another movie set that greatly deviates from the source but was very enjoyable on it's own (for me, at least. I know many others despise them), but it fell short.

It did have one of my favorite cinematic moments ever, though.
Pit's death. Call me heartless but he was so annoying I broke into laughter when he got shot and made jokes with my brother about how Sun Quan was probably the one that shot him after he was shown carrying around a bow later.
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Re: Red Cliff (Film) Discussion Thread

Unread postby Cao Chao » Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:43 am

As we have seen, good reviews =/= the masses liking it.
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Re: Red Cliff (Film) Discussion Thread

Unread postby biar » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:52 pm

Red Cliff and New 3 kingdom use pretty faced and famous actors to attract more viewers like Tony Leung and Takeshi Keneshiro to cater to the mainstream audiences infact they're clearly horrible actors compared to the ones in the original series.
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Re: Red Cliff (Film) Discussion Thread

Unread postby Lady Wu » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:08 pm

Honestly, I can only count two good actors in the old series: Bao Guo'an and Tang Guoqiang. No one else had any memorable acting.

The fact that you don't like the script or what the actors are made to do doesn't mean the actors themselves are bad.

PS: I personally prefer to evaluate a derivative work for what it is, instead of comparing it to the original. Like, if I want to watch something that's like the old series... I would just go and watch the old series. What's the point of watching something that's clearly not the same as the old series and then getting upset because it's not what you expected?

I probably talked about my feelings about this movie before, but anyway... I enjoyed Part 1, despite there being things I severely disliked (the sex scene, Cao Cao's motivation for conquering the south, the drawn out zither scene). I liked how Zhou Yu for once is not the stupidly petty commander as in the novel, and how the sense of "we must unite if we want to survive" theme is played out. Part 2, though I felt was a bit of a let-down. Several promising themes in Part 1 (SSX/Liu Bei, in particular---in Part 1 they interacted enough for you to expect something to develop in Part 2; there was some sense of a Zhou/Zhuge rivalry but that was not fleshed out) were dropped, and the whole Pit/Piggy thing was interesting, but jarring in the grand scheme of things. The ending was a joke---in no context would Wu/Shu just let their mortal enemy leave like that, and the whole rainbow and ponies ending scene was really not fitting for a war movie like this one.
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Re: Red Cliff (Film) Discussion Thread

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:09 am

Lady Wu wrote:The fact that you don't like the script or what the actors are made to do doesn't mean the actors themselves are bad.


Too true. I've seen great actors get stuck in lame roles and "terrible" actors put on some great performances. Nicolas Cage is one of my primary examples; compare him in Raising Arizona or Leaving Las Vegas to his, um, er, "acting" in Face/Off, which lo and behold was directed by John Woo. I'm surprised so few doves appeared in this film, and we should count our blessings that guns hadn't been invented yet!

*imagines Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang facing off against each other with a crossbow in either hand* :roll:
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Re: Red Cliff (Film) Discussion Thread

Unread postby Zhuanyong » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:01 pm

Lady Wu wrote:I liked how Zhou Yu for once is not the stupidly petty commander as in the novel, and how the sense of "we must unite if we want to survive" theme is played out. Part 2, though I felt was a bit of a let-down. Several promising themes in Part 1 (SSX/Liu Bei, in particular---in Part 1 they interacted enough for you to expect something to develop in Part 2; there was some sense of a Zhou/Zhuge rivalry but that was not fleshed out) were dropped, and the whole Pit/Piggy thing was interesting, but jarring in the grand scheme of things. The ending was a joke---in no context would Wu/Shu just let their mortal enemy leave like that, and the whole rainbow and ponies ending scene was really not fitting for a war movie like this one.


Indeed. Zhou Yu was actually portrayed to be as brilliant as Zhuge Liang (of course, minus the ability to birth horses and determine the weather formations but I digress..)

I agree with the way they removed the Zhou Yu/Zhuge Liang rivalry of wits and replaced it with Pit/Piggy and the impossible relationship. Then the ending battle and 'go back to where you came from' was ridiculous. They could've at least had Cao Cao fleeing and then Guan Yu let him go in response to the misplaced event where he allowed Guan Yu to return to Liu Bei during the Changban battle. The end reminded me of the Skittles 'taste the rainbow' commercial.

Nicolas Cage is one of my primary examples; compare him in Raising Arizona or Leaving Las Vegas to his, um, er, "acting" in Face/Off, which lo and behold was directed by John Woo.


I loved Raising Arizona as a child. The hilarity.
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