29 March 2010

Red Cliffs International Version Parts 1 and 2

John Woo made his massive epic in two 2+ hour long parts, but apparently someone decided that Americans didn't wanna watch 5 hours of epic glory and in any case wouldn't be able to keep all the characters straight, so the film was condensed into a single 2 1/2 hour version for US release. Luckily, Netflix has the original version, so you don't have to settle for less.

I watched Part 1 the other night, and oh man. The fight scenes are so fucking sweet. The plot takes awhile to get going - aside from a few (pretty awesome) fight scenes, the first 45 minutes are basically alliance formations, etc. They're still kind of cool - lots of poetic reflections, nice music, some good sex scenes, and surprisingly well developed characters - but what you really want is the actual battle. The battle is SO tight. I haven't seen awesome fighting like that in, gosh, at least a month if not more. There's lots of spraying blood, which seems somewhat campy, but the tactics and maneuvers and general bad-assitude make it all worthwhile. I can't wait to see part 2.

Oh man, Part 2 was even better than Part 1. All the character development pays off, plus the military strategizing gets even more intricate and awesome. And the battle scenes continue to be totally sweet. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire two and a half hours. So quality.

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