MovieChat Forums > Red Cliff (2008) Discussion > Condensed western version good?

Condensed western version good?


Just saw that the condensed Western/European version will be released any day here in Sweden (the 148 min version). From what I know, the original vision was of two 2-hour movies, and it leaves a bad taste knowing that we will (or might?) get a watered-down version of the movie, since I'm often a completist when it comes to movies and different versions. Now my question to you is; is the shortened version good? According to some Wikipedia claims, the condensed version is great too, but I'd like to hear from the movie buffs here, thanks.

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I liked it, didn't care too much for that movie trailer voice at the start but it's brief.

"I shall go and tell the indestructible man that someone plans to murder him."

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Do you think the movie feels disjointed at all? Or is the integrity of the movie still intact?

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I enjoyed it. The battle scenes were excellently done, and the film was entertaining and quite epic in scope. It could have used some more character development, though, which I assume was present in the original version. It obviously would have worked better, though, as a four-hour film in two parts, rather than the greatly shortened version we got.
Still, I give the condensed version a 7/10, and it is definitely worth watching.

"We're going to take the ATM machine with us to Mexico."

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I only have the opinion of a mate to go on, who's seen the original longer two-movie version as well as the cut "Western" version, and he felt there was no comparison at all. For him, the cut version was a huge disappointment.



You might very well think that. I couldn't possibly comment.

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I hate to say this because it's generalizing but I feel the reason for the "abridged" version of the film is simply because the Western populations could barely last a two hour movie let alone a four hour movie. Take Watchmen for example, graphic novel to film, "Too long" and "so boring!" Which Watchmen was two hours and forty-three minutes. It doesn't seem like we care about character development over here, just "big booms" and "blood." That and simple humor such as Mall Cop. Granted, there are a select percentage that will be disappointed with the "abridged" version but luckily, we are ones that enjoy subtitles and buying original versons. =)



The world only promises so much...I'd rather see what demiurge has in store for us.

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Can't say I disagree with you, R_T.

The other reason, of course, is the same one that's held sway for maybe thirty years: if the movie is too long, the cinema can't fit as many sessions in a single day and can't sell as much popcorn. Money always wins out!

I'd still like to see the intended 4-hour cut of this flick, though.



You might very well think that. I couldn't possibly comment.

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I totally agree with the sessions and popcorn comment =P

You should definitely see the 4-hour original length movie, you wouldn't be disappointed. I was lucky enough to see it and I must say, besides the ending, the movie pleased me in most ways. Better than I expected it to be.


The world only promises so much...I'd rather see what demiurge has in store for us.

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Thanks, R_T.

I hope to be able to see it -- finding it on a screen somewhere over here (Australia) might be the hard thing, since we only got the edited-down version in this country, even for our recent International Film Festival.

I've written to the distributor asking if there might be any "art-house" showings of the full four hours planned, but haven't received any reply.

I guess I'm going to have to wait and see what comes out on DVD, but I don't much like having to buy a movie I may never watch again, just so I can see it once.

All this "Keep it in your collection forever" advertising bumpff is all very well, but a bit hollow when they don't actually give you a choice of what you "collect".

And that's my grump session concluded!



You might very well think that. I couldn't possibly comment.

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I couldn't agree more. Hopefully it will be viewable before purchase for you!


The world only promises so much...I'd rather see what demiurge has in store for us.

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Full length version (at least, here in Japan) is actually closer to 5 hours (291 minutes). Can't quite imagine what would be left after cutting it down to 2. A long pointless series of battle scenes? Ha ha ha!

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I have bought and seen the double DVD. Can't quite imagine what would be left after cutting it down to a 'western' version of 1 dvd. I liked the full version very much, but maybe because I have something with asian films. The western version is indeed a long and inconsistent series of battle scenes. (Sorry Sanjuro-15 San, for repeating your words)

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just watched the original version (subbed) and was blown away.
As the movie has no lenghts at all but is perfectly balanced, I can not see it cut down without loosing vital parts of its substance (and its beauty, when it comes to that). Its nearly half the movie missing!!!
Have no intentions in seing the condensed version, for I am fine with subtitles. Could be ok (never close to the original though), could be, like it happened with Thorntons "All the Pretty Horses" and many others, that the movie's very soul landed on the cutting room floor.

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I enjoyed the western release, it was a little draggy at parts and there was no real character development though, I'd love to see the Eastern editions but for what it was it\'ll do until I can afford to import again.

Signa...? No, we use Chip and PIN now.

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It was released in Dubai this week, and I went to see it (the 148 min version). The film is over-the-top and campy, but not in a bad way. I loved every second of it, and yes, it felt a bit too short, and there was no room for character development. If they made it one film, I wish they have kept 180-190 minutes. I can't wait for the DVD release of the full version. This film was stunning!

Oh and the English dubbing was distracting at the beginning. I am sure it would have felt a lot more authentic with the original dialogue.

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I can completely understand why the film was cut. 4 hours 36 mins (my version) is just too long. I rented it on dvd and had to take a break at the half way point (my version is a single movie of 4:36 length). This is just too long for a single movie and many of the character development scenes could have been abridged without losing too much. If a western director was behind this, they would have cut the movie excessively also.

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[deleted]

have to agree - Woo conceived this as a two part movie (it was theatrically released that way in S'pore too ), and it should be viewed that way.

personally, I like the extended character development scenes which counterbalance the battle-scenes. Which actually are great at many times, but get repetitive after a while... YMMV

Still - the 4 172 Hour version is highly recommended, if not quite up there with some of the masterworks, both of Woo and asian historical movies.

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Would it ruin the Two part version, by watching the condensed version first?

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I disagree.

I'll never understand this sort of entitlement thinking. Who are you to say 4 hours is too long for a movie? So what if you had to take a break? I don't understand what any of that has to do with anything, it's all nothing but your personal subjective opinion.

'You're version' is actually two entire movies. That might be the problem, chief. You should be complaining about the bootleggers who burned it onto the DVD for you instead of the producers/directors of the film. It's two 2 and a half hour movies burned onto a single DVD. Of course you had to take a break, it's two movies ffs.

I saw the western version was on Netflix. Didn't bother. They also tricked me into thinking this *beep* was circa 2015. Netflix is really getting *beep* ridiculous these days presenting 10-year old movies and tv-series as brand new 'Netflix Originals'. If you're reading this, Netflix, choke on a dick you lieing sack of *beep*

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I've seen both the Western version and the two original Asian productions, and I think the quality is slightly superior in the Western cut. There was a lot of useless material (the tiger hunt, Zhao Wei's friendship with the "soccer" player) in the nearly 5 hour Asian versions that needed to be trimmed and were cut in the Western version. Yes, we miss more characterization scenes, but those weren't very good to begin with anyway. The film is really all about the spectacle and all that was left in.

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OMG, sorry but it always bugs me to see character development scenes called "useless". They are to not useless. The shorter version was OK, I liked it, but you could feel the lack of character development. The longer one is much better as you get to understand who the various people are and why they are there(honestly in the short version I could not even recognise some of them).

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They weren't useless but they were excessive and more than necessary.

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Don't worry matey, the original version is *beep* Many changes to the original Chinese source material and many wrong actors to play their respective roles.

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I just saw the Western cut. It was edited inexpertly - little things like not waiting quite long enough after a character finished his sentence before switching to the next scene. And as others say, there is 0 character development, except for the two leads. Maybe Cao Cao, too; I'd need to think about that.

What I wouldn't agree with is that the battles seem pointless. The entire movie seems to lead up to Chi Bi pretty nicely, with that battle serving as its centerpiece. I enjoyed myself in a summer blockbuster sort of way, and I'd certainly take Red Cliff over Transformers.

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