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Shanghai [Blu-ray]
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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on 26 May 2017
Great Movie
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on 8 September 2012
WOW ,this movie was amazing great storyline ,brilliant acting and i love john cusack ,it intense from the start lovely love story ,I give it 10/10 fabulious.......I give it 5 stars
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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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 July 2015
This is a stylish intriguing film noir thriller set in 1941 Shanghai, complete with accompanying voiceover. The Axis powers are at their zenith. The USA has yet to enter the war, Nazi Germany controls most of Europe, Japan has invaded China and its army terrorises the city. Into this powder-keg maelstrom John Cusack’s American spy Paul Soames arrives determined to find out who was responsible for the recent murder of his colleague and friend. Through his investigations we are introduced to the city’s complex political situation where the indigenous resistance movement, the local triads and the Japanese invaders all vie for control. Soames’ developing relationship with Li Gong’s femme fatale Anna dominates the film’s narrative as he willingly descends into the murky mire of the city’s underbelly in search of the truth. The cinematography is stunning and you definitely feel that this depiction of a place and time is accurate. I understand that the movie has never been released in the USA, which is probably why I had never known of its existence prior to reading these reviews. On reflection, not a film to buy but certainly one to watch.
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on 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.The cinematography is just breathtaking,bringing 40's Shanghai to the screen must have been a huge undertaking which I thought was impressively done.
In an age of films with explosions and huge set pieces at every turn it is a delight to see the money spent in other facets of the film like the sets or scenery.A film which asks you to see through the convoluted relationships and lies to see the truth.
A very worthwhile effort I highly recommend and one I will watch again,although just out of curiosity my next viewing will be with the colour turned down to see if a B&W picture adds or diminishes this films atmosphere.
On the disc is a scene selection menu and a few trailers of other feature releases,there are also subtitles for the hearing impaired.Filmed mainly in English with a sprinkling of German,Japanese,Chinese and Mandarin all of which is neatly and concisely translated with subtitles.Around 70% of the film is in English so haters of subtitled films shouldn't find it a stretch to watch.
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on 10 July 2014
This is film making as it should be, strong cast, great script, well-paced directing. No great reliance on CGI or people running in front of explosions, just a great storyline well filmed. Can't understand why I missed this one at the cinema but glad I've seen it now.
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on 27 January 2013
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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on 2 January 2016
A sharp and entertaining historical thriller that concentrates on the Japanese invasion of China and the attack on the vital port of Shanghai. Cusack plays himself as usual, but when you're as effortlessly charismatic as he is then that's not in anyway detrimental. He is supported by a more than able cast and, with the exception of some dreadful CGI in the last few minutes, this is a beautiful atmospheric film

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on 1 August 2015
Was ok ,about japans imminent invasion of shangai , john cusack plays an american naval officer in disguise as a journalist ,who tries to find out who killed his friend, gong li a chinese resistance,
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on 20 August 2012
I was intrigued by this film which has never had a cinema release outside China despite the impressive cast and big budget. Why did Harvey Weinstein leave it on the shelf? What went wrong? It has appeared on DVD almost without trace with narey a professional critic's review to be found.

I love the whole notion of pre-war Shanghai. The glamour. The intrigue. The danger. The whole notion of the International Settlement and the various nationalities plotting and scheming over cocktails and cabaret.

The cast is great. It should be a great film. It just isn't. It somehow contrives to be tedious and I can't quite figure out why. The dialogue is plodding. The storyline uninspired. And a lot of the time you simply can't make out what a lot of the actors are saying.

It failed to grip me and by the end I was left bemused by a film that ends up significantly less than the sum of its parts.
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