S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
H D - S E N S E I
A view on Hi-def discs by Gary W. Tooze
Red Cliff aka Chi Bi [Blu-ray]
(John Woo, 2008)
Red Cliff, Part I/Red Cliff, Part II also available in this package from Magnolia:
Review by Gary Tooze
Studio: Mei Ah
Feature Runtime: 2:25:21.041
Disc Size: 46,615,517,714 bytes
Feature Size: 42,890,151,936 bytes
Average Bitrate: 39.34 Mbps
One dual-layered Blu-ray
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: September 10th, 2008
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
•Press Conference footage
• Trailers in HD!
Product Description: In 208 A.D., in the final days of the Han Dynasty, shrewd Prime Minister Cao Cao (Zhang Feng Yi) convinced the fickle Emperor Han the only way to unite all of China was to declare war on the kingdoms of Xu in the west and East Wu in the south. Thus began a military campaign of unprecedented scale, led by the Prime Minister, himself. Left with no other hope for survival, the kingdoms of Xu and East Wu formed an unlikely alliance. Numerous battles of strength and wit ensued, both on land and on water, eventually culminating in the battle of Red Cliff. During the battle, two thousand ships were burned, and the course of Chinese history was changed forever...
Legendary director John Woo (A Better Tomorrow, The Killer) returns to Asia after fifteen years in Hollywood with Red Cliff, his adaptation of the Chinese classic, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Woo's epic is much more faithful and grand than the recent Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon, but the director still puts his own personal stamp on the material, concentrating on his human heroes, their personal relationships, and above all the brotherhood they forge in the heat of battle. The first of two films chronicling the legendary battle, Red Cliff is without doubt the Chinese film event of the year.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The visuals are almost as impressive as the immense cast and grandiose production expense. The Blu-ray is dual-layered with the feature taking up more than 42 Gig of disc space. Detail is at the higher tier for the Blu-ray format but the film's wave after wave of epic cinematography bally-hoos are impossible to ignore. I'm unsure if its these incredible scope shots or the transfer itself that leaves one genuinely impressed - bordering on breathless. Typical of Woo, and sometimes Asian war epics in general, dynamic extremes are pursued and achieved. It has an air of artificialiality (and production haste) but one has to give credit for the eventual product. A lavish, beautiful image whose only flaw may be in the digital background grain/noise issues that I can only expect were intentional rendered - relating the film experience with accuracy. Colors are strong but fairly flat and true - definitely escalating above any SD-DVD. Contrast seems peaked in darker scenes approaching, but never delving directly in, saturation. Really, one would consider this quite a flawless appearance. The Blu-ray presentation can be exhausting with its captivating images that tend to overwhelm at every turn. This is a disc you might use to demo your system to friends.
NOTE: Although I wasn't aware of them, there are, supposedly, some Mei-Ah watermarks that briefly appear in a few scenes - in earlier release editions. If they were on my 3-month old copy - I did not notice them.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio & Music:
January 11th, 2008
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze