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Shanghai [Blu-ray]

John Cusack , Chow Yun-Fat , Mikael Håfström    Suitable for 15 years and over   Blu-ray
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: £9.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: John Cusack, Chow Yun-Fat, Ken Watanabe, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Hugh Bonneville
  • Directors: Mikael Håfström
  • Format: Import, Blu-ray, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Entertainment in Video
  • DVD Release Date: 23 July 2012
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,718 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

John Cusack stars in this noir-like tale of espionage and double-dealing set in 1940s Shanghai. Paul Soames (Cusack) is a US Naval Intelligence agent who travels to Shanghai to investigate the death of his friend, Connor (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Posing as a journalist with pro-Nazi sentiments, he uses his charm and know-how to infiltrate the upper echelons of German society in the city, and also to get close to Germany's new ally, Japan. But Paul finds himself in over his head when he becomes involved with local triad leader Anthony Lan-Ting (Chow Yun-Fat) and his beautiful wife, Anna (Gong Li).

Product Description

United Kingdom released, Blu-Ray/Region B DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Dolby DTS-HD Master Audio ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (2.35:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: From director Mikael Hafstrom (1408) comes the epic espionage thriller Shanghai staring John Cusack (1408) and international superstars Gong Li (Miami Vice, Memoirs of a Geisha) and Ken Watanabe (Letters from Iwo Jima, The Last Samurai.) Nothing is what it seems in this Casablanca-style international thriller set in the ancient Chinese city a week before the attack on Pearl Harbor. U.S. secret agent Paul Soames (Cusack) has just arrived to investigate the murder of his best friend, only to become quickly immersed in a web of conspiracy and lies that beset the city. Shadowed by a Japanese intelligence officer, Tanaka (Watanabe), Soames' investigation quickly centers on a charismatic local gangster, Anthony Lanting - and Lanting's beautiful wife, Anna (Li). Before long, Soames and Anna are involved in an affair that will put everything they have at stake. As national loyalties are traded fast-and-loose for those of the heart, Soames and Anna must race to solve the mystery and make it out of occupied China before the city's collapse. ...Shanghai ( 2010 ) ( Die Hai fengyun ) (Blu-Ray)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Heart Is Never Neutral" 24 July 2012
Shanghai is a wonderfully crafted thriller that kept me hooked to the very end.Although the twists were not really that surprising it still manages to hold your attention.One of the films many strengths is the international cast who all give stellar performances,from the major stars right through to the bit part roles.Even Chow Yun Fat gives a credible performance and if you compare it to his other feature set in this period (Hong Kong 1941) you will notice a marked improvement.
The film itself is set in the two months prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbour by the Japanese Imperial fleet and some two years after the rape of Nanking.Although Shanghai is yet to be invaded by the Japanese it is nonetheless a hotbed of spies from Britain,France,Germany and Japan to mention a few.
One of these spies is called Soames (Cusack) and who is in Shanghai at the behest of U.S Naval Intelligence in the guise of a reporter with Nazi sympathies but whose real mission is to find the killer of his longest and best friend Conner (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who was working as a spy in Shanghai.
Soames uses the connections and friends he has made with the Axis powers to get close to their top diplomats and dignitaries to aid him in his investigation.
What ensues is a tale of friendship,love,trust,betrayal,truth and lies,which is of course the staple diet of any spy.The main protagonist moves through Shanghai's nightclubs and side streets trying to cut through a web of lies to solve his friends murder.No-one is who or what they appear to be and with murder and violence an omnipresent threat the streets of Shanghai have never been so ambiguously dangerous.Maybe it's just me but the whole feel to the film is very noirish which obviously suits the period.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good start, flat ending. 27 Jan 2013
By Harry
The first 20 minutes are very impressive. The sets, the 'noir', the women, it all has that slick sexy feel of a really good thriller. They develop an excellent plot line that has great potential and it feels like you are building up to a satisfying denouement, which .... never happens. The film completely loses its way with 20 minutes to go. The main plot line is wasted and sort of drops out of sight, the main characters deteriorate into comic book simplicity. Ah well, I enjoyed the first hour or so.

Less shoot-outs and more plot and it could have been excellent.

The film has subtitles available.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent wartime espionage thriller 9 Jun 2014
This is a sneakily satisfying war-time thriller which blends the atmosphere of a 1930’s hard-boiled detective novel with the steamy international intrigue of an old-fashioned Bond film.
The cast are excellent; John Cusak, Chow Yun Fat and Ken Watanabe radiating mutual antagonism and admiration while competing for the attention of the film’s femme fatale. (it’s great to see David Morse getting an interesting role as Cusak’s ambivalent spymaster, too; we’re not entirely sure whose side he’s on. Apart from his own).

Shanghai also boasts an intelligent, plausible plot – an investigation into the death of an American spy in 1941, in one of China’s last remaining international cities, split into Japanese, American and French sectors. There’s a missing girl, a link to the Chinese resistance, a casino scene, a Shanghai gangster, the menacing Japanese military intelligence officer and all manner of plot twists as Cusak’s character slowly uncovers the secret which was important enough to kill his old friend.
The script and dialogue are played just right; not quite into cliché, but firmly in film noir. The main characters are developed well enough that they transcend the notional good-guy bad-guy stereotypes and the relationships between them shift and change throughout the movie … until, as things unravel at the end, it really isn’t clear who will be pulling a trigger, or who might save the day.

The major plot device isn’t entirely surprising, but even that doesn’t dampen the overall quality of the performances and story which more than stands up to scrutiny. A thoroughly enjoyable, slick spy story, set in an unusual situation which made it all the more interesting.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where did it all go wrong? 7 Jan 2013
This isn't the worst film you will see, but it's certainly isn't the best. On paper it should have been a winner, but in reality it doesn't quite succeed.

The sets and costumes are great and although it was filmed outside of Shanghai, the film certainly catches the atmosphere of the place. Especially the interior shots.

But as other reviewers have pointed out there's just something not quite right with this movie. John Cusack is certainly miscast. He doesn't have the charisma for this film. Although he's supposed to be a ladies man the way he looks at the women struck me as creepy. When he first tries his charms on Gong Li at a party, I swear to God you can see the look of fear in her eyes!

Yun-Fat Chow also was not very convincing as the Shanghai gangster. He just appeared to be too much of a nice guy.

Gong Li appeared much more convincing as the femme fatale.

Ken Watanabe is solid as usual,but the Japanese are just cut out baddies throughout the movie. The final scene with him is simply not credible. The parting lines ofJohn Cusack lacked any conviction and he seems to realise that this film is a bit of a failure. One gets the feeling that he just wanted to say give me a pay cheque and get me out of here.

I would spend 3 pounds on this movie, which I have, but not a penny more.
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