It seems like John Woo’s epic “Red Cliff” has been out forever now, but maybe that’s because I’ve been covering it since its inception and it just feels that way. The film has scored big in Asia markets, and now Magnolia, via it’s Magnet genre label, has snapped up the U.S. distribution rights for the movie. According to THR, the plan is to release the film as a 2 1/2 theatrical feature, and then as the full two-part (four hours) on VOD and DVD.
As I noted in my review of “Red Cliff” (read it here), I think a 2 1/2 hour cut would not really alter the film’s plot to any significant degree. In fact, a lot of the four-hour original cut is padded with unnecessary plot machinations that while important to the overall “feel” of the movie’s tactical battles, is not necessarily necessary to an overall understanding of the movie.
In any case, “Red Cliff” has already become the highest earning Chinese film since its release, and I don’t doubt that Woo’s name will carry a lot of weight when the film lands in the U.S. Hopefully they won’t change the title to something silly like, “The Legend of Red Cliff” or “The Legendary Legend of the Legend One”, etc.
Below: “So, er, should we come back at a later time?”