Saw this on Ain’t It Cool News. I have been a longtime fan of John Woo, but I don’t want to get too excited about his new film “Red Cliff” because he has let me down so much in the past decade (those of you that have been longtime readers will remember my “Dear John Letter.”) Also this new movie is a period piece before there were guns… John Woo, no guns? Not to mention all the set-backs this production has had including on-set deaths! Let’s just say I am cautiously excited about “Red Cliff.”

Check out the trailer for yourself:

And also this long-ass compilation of footage without subtitles:


5 thoughts on “

  1. This is what cinematography is at its most spectacular! Captivating imagery. Exciting visions. Beautifully photographed. I hope the story is good too.

  2. This movie is a dream come true for me-Tony Leung, and I ❤ medaieval battle scenes, as long as they aren’t too long. There was no sound on your clip for me. Maybe it’s my connection. The only thing that isn’t working for me is the top knots. I know it’s historically accurate, but it’s…not sexy. I noticed they didn’t include the top knots in the closeups. Still, Tony Leung can pull off just about anything-he had greaser hair in Lust, Caution and still managed to be attractive, so there’s hope.Well of course Hard Boiled is amazing. I’ve seen it several times. My favorites are the bird cage teahouse scene, and especially CYF sliding down the bannister shooting his pistols like Bette Davis in Deception only much better, yeah yeah yeah. I love the ending where Tony Leung is just on his boat sailing off, too. But is it fair to hold JW to such a standard forever? The producer of HB (Terence Chen?) said JW used to make comedies that weren’t funny. I’ve never seen any of them, but he changed over, then-got into his true calling as a filmmaker. You are right about the low budget making for creativity in HK film. But he nearly killed CYF several times, and here it’s all about insurance and lawsuits and safety making big films, yeah? JW’s an old man, Michael. Give an old man a break. I can’t believe he’s done an epic at this point in his life. Laurence Olivier was once asked what the most important quality for an actor to have was. He said “Good health”. It must be exhausting for JW to make an epic. Please see my latest post for comparison review of This Is England/The Motel. BUT…like everything else, I’m still working on it. :]

  3. so here it is: Sunday, July 06, 2008This Is England/The Motel: Films on the emotional life of boysLast night, I  watched This Is England. I’m not keen on coming of age stories, for my own reasons, but I will see them if the subject matter interests me. I would like to offer reviews and a contrast between this film and another, The Motel, dealing with the emotional life of boys.This Is England is set in early 80’s Thatcher-era England. It’s about a 12 year old English boy, Brien, whose father has recently been killed in the Falklands war. He lives in a small town on the northeast coast of Britain and is befriended by a group of much older Skinheads.  The premise bugged me in the beginning, that 18 and 19 year old people would want to party with a 12 year old. Also, it didn’t ring true that the top psycho Skinhead, at 32, would want to take the grade school Brien under his wing. Sure enough, as great a job as the actors did, it didn’t play out.When the concept of Brien hooking up with an 18 year old girl 2 heads taller than him was introduced, they lost me. The two have a makeout scene that made me physically sick, because it’s child abuse. The kid looks about 9 and the girl is made up in Boy George, 80’s drag that would scare your average child.I don’t even have to tell you anything about the plot because it’s predictable, coming of age storyline stuff. There are terrific character studies and wonderful moments between characters, but This Is England does not hang together.A much better film is one from director Michael Kang: The Motel, about a fatherless boy the same age as Brien, named Ernest, who is growing up at the Sin Inn his mother runs. When an alpha male, Casanova-like guest arrives, the kind of man Ernest might think he wants to be, Ernest becomes an apt pupil for whatever he can possibly learn from this beautiful wreck of a guy.Ernest has lots of worries, not the least of which is the sexual maturation going on in his chubby-baby body, and he knows, as animals do in nature, that now there is something he wants to do with his crush – pretty 15 year old neighbor, Irene. The skillfully told story reeks of one thing: Truth. Nothing hurts like the truth and nothing is as funny as the truth. The film compels you to identify with the character of Ernest, a genuine little guy, whose hormones are calling to him louder than his mom calling him to dinner. This film definetely hangs together. It’s tight enough to bounce a quarter off of. From the nuanced acting to the plot progression, to the realness of the characters, this is top drawer stuff, reminiscent of Stand By Me, but better. I believe that with a film, drama as well as comedy, timing is everything. It makes or breaks the film, and the timing of everything and everyone in The Motel is spot on. All the main characters are Asian.Michael Kang is my Xanga Friend: http://www.xanga.com/Mike2Cents

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