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Apple.com has released the first English language trailer for John Woo’s historical epic “Red Cliff”. Released nearly a year ago in Chinese cinema as a 4-hour, two-parter ala the “Kill Bill” films, Woo’s expensive foray into period costume action will be getting a limited released in the States as a 2 1/2 hour movie. Your average Asian movie fan will bitch and moan about this, as they are wont to do, but let’s face it, if you wanted to see the bloated four-hour version (and yes, let me assure you, a lot of it is pretty bloated), you would have gotten the import DVD that has been out for a year now.
Legendary action cinema master John Woo and international superstar Tony Leung reunite for the first time since the 1992 classic HARD BOILED with this epic historical drama set based on a legendary 208 A.D. battle that heralded the end of the Han Dynasty. RED CLIFF opens with power hungry Prime Minister-turned-General Cao Cao (Zhang Fengyi) seeking permission from the Han dynasty Emperor to organize a southward-bound mission designed to crush two troublesome warlords that stand in his way, Liu Bei (You Yong) and Sun Quan (Chang Chen). As the expedition gets under way, Cao Cao’s troops rain destruction on Liu Bei’s army, forcing the latter to retreat. Liu Bei’s military strategist Zhuge Liang (Takeshi Kaneshiro) knows that their only hope for survival is to form an alliance with rival warlord Sun Quan, and reaches out to Sun Quan’s trusted advisor, war hero Zhou Yu (Tony Leung). Vastly outnumbered by Cao Cao’s fast approaching, brutal army, the rebel warlords band together to mount a heroic campaign unrivalled in history that changes the face of China forever. A massive hit in Asia and the most expensive Asian film production of all time, RED CLIFF is a breathtaking war epic that marks the triumphant return of John Woo.
Starring Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Fengyi, Chang Chen, and directed by John Woo.
Climb the cliff in limited release November 20, 2009.