Meeting John Woo is one of those things I can now knock off of my personal checklist, and I’m pleased to report he was delightful and very warm and personable.
I’m also pleased to report that “Red Cliff,” his latest film, is a giant epic slice of John Woo battle sequences, duplicity among men, and slow-motion that is perfectly utilized. In other words, this is a real John Woo film, not that weak sauce Hollywood kept trying to get him to make.
It’s disconcerting that the version we’re seeing here in the United States is literally half of the movie he meant for it to be. Released in China as two movies totally five hours, “Red Cliff” has been turned into one two-and-a-half-hour movie for release here. I almost don’t think I can offer a review of the film until I’ve seen the two-part version, because while I enjoyed what I saw, it’s blatantly obvious that it is a heavily trimmed version of something.
In the brief time we had together, I asked Woo about returning to China to make movies and bringing these big Hollywood techniques to an industry that’s used to doing things in a very different way. I don’t appear on camera in this brief interview, so you’ll just hear Woo discussing the film, but I swear… I was in the room, basking in the glow of the dude who made “Hard Boiled”:
Thanks to Magnet Releasing for putting me together with Mr. Woo, and to John Woo for his time.
“Red Cliff” is now playing in limited release and can also be seen on VOD on certain systems.
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