Story Xiao Hong and Xiao Qing are identical twins who are alike in appearance but very different in personality. Xiao Hong is materialistic and only believes in money while Xiao Qing believes in true love. Xiao Qing has been working hard to save money for a home and is about to be married when her boyfriend Jiang Cheng lends all of Xiao Qing’s savings to his unreliable friend. Devastated by the experience, Xiao Qing leaves Jiang, maxes a purse full of credit cards and transforms herself dressing up hoping to catch a rich man.
Xiao Hong has been in love with her boss for 10 with no result and feels that she has ruined all hope of love by wasting her best years. She then decides to evaluate choose men according to the credit card limits and wealth. She soon meets Zhang Quan who is extremely rich and is attracted to him because of his money. Or so she thinks. The story continues with the twins finding their plans for love being derailed with un expected consequences.
Story Red Cliff is loosely based on several chapters from the Chinese classic “Three Kingdoms. Redcliff is set in 208 at the end of the Han Dynasty and the beginning of the three kingdoms period. The Han Dynasty Prime Minster Cao Cao has usurped the throne, turned the young emperor into a puppet and assumed full military power. Liu Bei, a righteous leader and future king of the western kingdom and Su Quan, the leader of the Southern Kingdom are all that stands between Cao Cao and supreme control of China.
Liu Bei flees to the south with his two sworn brothers and generals, a small army and a very large group of civilians. After loosing a battle with Cao Cao but managing to allow the escape of his civilians, Liu Bei sends his supreme military strategist Kong Ming south to seek an alliance with the southern leader Sun Quan against Cao Cao. Kong Ming is successful and Sun Quan agrees to Join Liu Bei and fight against Cao Cao. The allies set up camp on the Yangtze River and prepare to battle Cao Cao who is rapidly advancing south with an enormous army and navy that dwarfs the much smaller forces of the allies.
Kong Ming together with Zhou Yu, the strategist and military leader for Sun Quan, develop a strategy that will allow them to use superior tactics to overcome and defeat Cao Cao’s much larger forces. In the battles that follows, the soldiers and heroes of the allied forces fight against Cao Cao in a number of epic battles that will determine the fate of three kingdoms and the future of China.
DVD Editions Two different DVD versions of Red Cliff were released. The first was the Asian area version that was made of two parts (movies) with a total of 280 minutes. The second was the western release version with a total of 150 minutes. A number of scenes that were less critical (in the producer’s opinion) where cut out to reduce the two part version to one part. Examples of those scenes where the tiger hunting party with Sun Quan, Zhou Yu’s scheme to kill the two enemy admirals and Sun Shangxiang’s infiltration of the enemy camp and her budding friendship with an enemy soldier.
The full Asian release version is much better to watch but even with almost half the full movie cut out, the Western release is still an excellent movie. Some of the scenes that were cut out actually made the full version drag on so in some respects the Western release is better to watch.
Editor’s Review of Red Cliff – Score 8/10 Red Cliff is an outstanding movie with epic well choreographed battle scenes, excellent acting by a cast of stars and a fascinating historical perspective that does not stray too far from the truth into commercial fantasy. The main characters are played by Tony Leung and Taskeshi Kaneshiro and their onscreen rivalry and friendship is an excellent contribution to Red Cliff. Lin Chi-ling as Zhou Yu’s wife is gorgeous and natural with minimal make up. She is excellent as the demure peace loving and beautiful Chinese Helen of Troy who was responsible for the war and instrumental in helping defeat the besotted Cao Cao.
Unlike many western and Chinese movies that either glorify war or emphasise all conquering heroes, Red Cliff acknowledges the brutality and senseless of war which adds to the movie’s credibility. A key line by Zhou Yu at the end of Red Cliff when he was looking over the battlefield covered in bodies from both sides was “There is no victor here…”. A line that was fitting for the story behind the movie and China’s three kingdoms period.
Story Many people believe the desert in China’s north east hides the treasures of past dynasties that once flourished there. A criminal organization kill a famed archaeologist in a quest to find a map to these hidden treasures and spark a race for the treasure. Qiao Fei is the friend of the slain archaeologist and takes his daughter to the desert in a hunt for the treasure. They team up with Pork Chop and Hua Ding Bang who are also leading an expedition in search of the treasure.
Along the way they encounter guardians of the desert, a desert town full of cut throats and fellow treasure hunter, deadly traps and more. The hunt for treasure rapidly turns into a battle for survival with hidden secrets coming to light.
Editor’s Review of The Treasure Hunter – Score 5/10 The Treasure Hunter is a cheesy movie with ordinary action scenes, plain acting, a copied story and full of plot holes. Despite these failings it is enjoyable and entertaining if you can ignore these obvious faults and have nothing better to watch. Jay Chou is expressionless and wooden and Lin Chi-ling is beautiful as always but below form and contributes little to the movie. Eric Tsang is a welcome addition to the cast and adds an enjoyable element of slap stick humour to The Treasure Hunter.