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Red Cliff (Chinese赤壁pinyinChìbì), also known as The Battle of Red Cliff, is a Chinese epic film based on the Battle of Red Cliffs and events during the end of the Han Dynasty and immediately prior to the period of the Three Kingdoms in ancient China. The film was directed byJohn Woo, and stars Tony Leung Chiu-WaiTakeshi KaneshiroZhang FengyiChang ChenHu JunLin Chi-ling and Zhao Wei.

Within Asia, Red Cliff was released in two parts, totaling over four hours in length. The first part was released in July 2008 and the second in January 2009.[1] Outside of Asia, a single 2½ hour film was released in 2009.[1] With an estimated budget of US$80 million, Red Cliff is the most expensive Asian-financed film to date.[2] The first part of the film grossed US$124 million in Asia[3] and broke the box office record previously held by Titanic in mainland China.[4]


Part 2 Plot:
Sun Shangxiang
 has infiltrated Cao Cao's camp and she has been secretly noting details and sending them via a pigeon to Zhuge Liang. Meanwhile, Cao Cao's army is seized with a plague of typhoid fever which kills a number of his troops. Cao Cao cunningly orders the corpses to be sent to the allies' camp, hoping to pass the plague on to his enemies. The allied army's morale is affected when some unsuspecting soldiers let the plague in, and eventually a disheartened Liu Bei leaves with his forces while Zhuge Liang stays behind to assist the Eastern Wu forces. Cao Cao hears that the alliance had collapsed and is overjoyed. At the same time, his naval commanders Cai Mao and Zhang Yunpropose a new tactic of interlocking the battleships together with iron beams to minimize rocking when sailing on the river and reduce the chances of the troops falling seasick.

Subsequently, Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang make plans on how to eliminate Cao Cao's naval commanders Cai Mao and Zhang Yun, and produce 100,000 arrows respectively. They agreed that whoever fails to complete his mission will be punished by execution under military law. Zhuge Liang's ingenious strategy of borrowing of arrows with straw boats brought in over 100,000 arrows from the enemy and aroused Cao Cao's suspicions about the loyalty of Cai and Zhang towards him. On the other hand, Cao Cao sends Jiang Gan to persuade Zhou Yu to surrender, but Zhou Yu tricks Jiang Gan instead, into believing that Cai Mao and Zhang Yun are planning to assassinate their lord Cao Cao. Both Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu's respective plans complement each other when Cao Cao is convinced, despite earlier having doubts about Jiang Gan's report, that Cai and Zhang were indeed planning to assassinate him by deliberately 'donating' arrows to the enemy. Cai and Zhang are executed and Cao Cao realised his folly afterwards but it was too late.

In the Eastern Wu camp, Sun Shangxiang returns from Cao Cao's camp with a map of the enemy formation. Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang decide to attack Cao Cao's navy with fire after knowing that there is a special climatic condition known only to Eastern Wu's forces, that the South-East Wind (to their advantage) would blow sometime soon. As the Eastern Wu forces made preparations for the fire attack, Huang Gaiproposes to Zhou Yu the Self-Torture Ruse to increase their chances of success, but Zhou Yu does not heed it. Before the battle, the forces of Eastern Wu have a final moment together, feasting on glutinous rice balls to celebrate the Winter Festival. Meanwhile, Zhou Yu's wife Xiao Qiao heads towards Cao Cao's camp alone secretly, in hope of persuading Cao Cao to give up his ambitious plans but she fails and decides to distract him instead to buy time for the Eastern Wu forces.

The battle begins when the South-East Wind starts blowing in the middle of the night and the Eastern Wu forces launch their full-scale attack on Cao Cao's navy. On the other hand, Liu Bei's forces, which had apparently left the alliance, start attacking Cao Cao's forts on land. By dawn, Cao Cao's entire navy has been destroyed. The allied forces launch another offensive on Cao Cao's ground army, stationed in his forts, and succeeded in breaking through using testudo formation despite suffering heavy casualties. Although Cao Cao is besieged in his main camp, he manages to hold Zhou Yuhostage after catching him off guard together with Cao HongXiahou Jun appears as well holding Xiao Qiao hostage and causes the allied forces to hesitate. In the nick of time, Zhao Yun manages to reverse the situation by rescuing Xiao Qiao with a surprise attack and put Cao Cao at the mercy of the allied forces instead. Eventually, the allied forces decide to spare Cao Cao's life and tell him never to return before leaving for home. In the final scenes, Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang are seen having a final conversation before Zhuge Liang walks away into the far distance with the newborn foalMengmeng. 
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review by . March 02, 2009
posted in ASIANatomy
Hong Kong release dvd
After I've shared my thoughts on John Woo's first film adaptation "Red Cliff", you can just tell that I found it a little too underwhelming and full of insignificant scenes. It was good, but not incredibly good. The final installment to Woo's rendition of "The Romance of Three Kingdoms" needed to be better, bigger and more compelling. These two films have an enormous budget--said to be the most expensive undertaking in Chinese filmmaking to date. Well, "RED CLIFF 2" …
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