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Red Cliff (2008)

“Chi bi”.

Action, Adventure, Drama |

Red Cliff or Chibi is a Chinese epic war film, based on the Battle of Red Cliffs (AD 208–209) and the events at the end of the Han dynasty and immediately prior to the Three Kingdoms period in imperial China. The film was directed by John Woo, and stars Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Fengyi, Chang Chen, Zhao Wei, Hu Jun, and Lin Chi-ling. It is Woo’s first major film since 2003’s Paycheck and his first Chinese-language feature since 1992’s Hard Boiled, also starring Leung.

Director John Woo said in an interview with David Stratton that the film is only 50% factual. Woo decided to alter the story using modern feelings and his own feelings for a more worldly acceptance. According to Woo, historical accuracy was less important than how the audience felt about the battle.

Part I

In the summer of 208 AD, towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty, the Chancellor, Cao Cao, leads the imperial army on a campaign to eliminate the southern warlords Sun Quan and Liu Bei, whom he denounces as “rebels”. Emperor Xian reluctantly approves the campaign.

Part II

Sun Shangxiang has infiltrated Cao Cao’s camp and is secretly noting its details and sending them via a pigeon to Zhuge Liang. Meanwhile, Cao Cao’s army is seized with a plague of typhoid fever that kills a number of his troops. Cao Cao orders the corpses to be sent on floating rafts to the allies’ camp, in the hope of spreading the plague to his enemies.

Abridged version

For the non-Asian releases, the film was shortened from 288 minutes to 148 minutes and was released in some countries under the title Battle of Red Cliff. An opening narration in American English provides the historical background, whereas in the Asian release, a more brief description of the context of the political situation appears in scrolling form ten minutes into the film.

Director: John Woo

Writers: John Woo (screenplay), Khan Chan (screenplay), Cheng Kuo (screenplay), Heyu Sheng (screenplay), Guanzhong Luo (novel)

Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang, Wei Zhao, Jun Hu, Shidô Nakamura


Tony Chiu-Wai LeungZhou Yu (as Tony Leung)
Takeshi KaneshiroZhuge Liang
Fengyi ZhangCao Cao
Chen ChangSun Quan
Wei ZhaoSun Shangxiang
Jun HuZhao Yun
Shidô NakamuraGan Xing (as Shidou Nakamura)
Chi-Ling LinXiao Qiao
Yong YouLiu Bei
Yong HouLu Su
Dawei TongSun Shucai
Jia SongLi Ji
Baasanjav MijidGuan Yu
Jinsheng ZangZhang Fei
Shan ZhangHuang Gai
Hui WangCao Hong
Gang XieHua Tuo
Chao GuoYue Jin
Yin HeLady Mi
Hua YeTian Tian
Yi ZhangZhang Zhao
Qi WuGu Yong
Feng HeMan Tun
Tong JiangLi Tong
Jing MaWei Ben
Chang Hai ChenQin Seng
Yu Gui CuiXu Chu
Nicole DionneXiao Ciao (voice)
Xiang Rui FuBaby Dou
Philip HershEmperor Han (voice)
Xiaoguang HuXia Hou Jan
Hongwei JiaZhang You
Hong LiLady Gan
Hong Chen LiSoldier
Jingwu MaOld man
Ho Wu Li Ji MongGuan Ping
Xiaohong ShiJiang Gan
Chun Sun
Xin Yu SunSheperd Boy
Ning WangEmperor Han
Qingxiang WangKong Rong
Yu Zhang WangCheng Pu
Zao Lai WangChang Yu
Fong Nian XuZhang Liao
Zhen YiCai Mao
Cheng Shun ZhaoXui You

Sources: imdb & wikipedia

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