Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Red Cliff

I had another post I was going to run today - me bitching about something - but I bumped it, because last night I went to a screening of the new John Woo movie RED CLIFF. The film is 5 hours in the rest of the world, and shown in 2 parts, but in the USA we get a 2.5 hour version with subtitles, but an English language voice over at the beginning telling us some of the stuff we missed when they cut it.

There are some quick flashbacks in the film that I suspect may be CROUCHING TIGER - HIDDEN DRAGON style 30 minute side stories in the full length version. I think they work well in the short version - you get enough to fill in the rest.

I really liked it - Giant epic period battles and a legend-type story like CROUCHING-HIDDEN. I know there is an audience for CROUCHING-HIDDEN and HERO and other period martial arts flicks, but while I was watching I was wondering how you get the LORD OF THE RINGS crowd to buy a ticket, because I think they might like this, too. It's an epic, has great scenes of people doing amazing heroic things, and has no shortage of action. In the press notes Woo says the US version focuses on the action - and he ain't kidding. This film is one cool fight scene after another... but it still has time for love... and betrayal... and revenge.

I loved the many clever things in the story: a guy who wins battles because he knows about weather, a princess who dresses like a man to go undercover behind enemy lines (one of the gals from SO CLOSE), lots of plots twists and, of course, stuff that blows up. Opens in November in the USA.

Now, here's the pisser: this was a press screening, full of critics and media folks. They handed out 32 pages of notes, including bios on most of the cast, the 2 cinematographers, the handful of producers, the stunt co-ordinator, the composer, the costume designer... everybody! Except the screenwriters. The three screenwriters who get credits on the film, and are even on the credits page in the notes, get no bio at all. No mention in those 32 pages, except in the credit page. What's up with that? No wonder critics give the director all of the credit - the press people aren't giving the writers a bio page!

I think I'm going to use RED CLIFF in my next article for Script Magazine, and I'm going to use IMDB to find out more about the writers - and focus on them. Do what probably no one else at that screening will do - write about the folks who write the movies. Be interesting to see if any of the reviews even mention the writers.

Classes On CD - Recession Sale!
Blue Books are back!
- Sweet 17 Bonus - a Joe Eszterhas book!

- Bill

Yesterday's Dinner: Pizza at some place in Beverly Hills.
Bicycle: Haven't really been on the bike in 6 weeks! So, yesterday I had a nice bike ride in the smokey hot hell of LA. My legs screamed, but I rode through that. Now, I just need to keep riding and lose all of that Vegas buffet weight I put on.

No comments:

eXTReMe Tracker