9 items from 2015
A version of this story first appeared in the Oct. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. Why is a movie made seven years ago finally getting to U.S. theaters now? The Weinstein Co. won't say why it has set an Oct. 2 release on about 100 screens for Mikael Hafstrom's Shanghai, starring John Cusack. That's a long road for a film that cost a bundle ($50 million) and boasts a lineup of Oscar nominees including Swedish helmer Hafstrom (Evil), writer Hossein Amini (The Wings of the Dove), producer Mike Medavoy (Black Swan)
- Tatiana Siegel
Perhaps the best that can be said for Mikael Hafstrom’s “Shanghai” is that in spite the five years it sat on the shelf before puttering into U.S. theaters this weekend, it’s far from the type of hide-the-children disaster that its release strategy would seem to suggest. The bad news: It’s nonetheless not that hard to imagine why the Weinstein Co. was in no particular hurry to get it out. Despite boasting a lush period setting and plenty of recognizable stars from five different major territories, this derivative, ploddingly plotted WWII-set thriller goes through all the motions of an old-school wartime spy pic with plenty of technical competence but zero panache, the filmic equivalent of a bar band working through one last Skynyrd cover just before last call. Released in most Asian markets back in 2010, the film seems highly unlikely to add much to its tally in belated Stateside release. »
- Andrew Barker
In a rather extreme example of belated distribution, Mikael Håfström's Shanghai finally arrives on North American shores. Finished and shown at festivals in 2010 already, people may wonder about the youthful appearances of its killer cast, which includes people like Chow Yun-fat, John Cusack, David Morse, Ken Watanabe, Franka Potente, Rinko Kikuchi, and Gong Li. Wowzers! That gives us quite a choice of people to base a quiz on, but with Gong Li in the list, the choosing process wasn't a long one. As Zhang Yimou's films made Chinese cinema world famous in the early nineties, Gong Li was the incredibly accomplished and glamorous star which rose out of that movement. Over the past two-and-a-half decades, she has been a great actress on occasion, a...
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The Weinstein Co. has moved the U.S. release of period thriller “Shanghai” back six weeks to Oct. 2 — more than five years after it played in China.
The film, TWC’s first Asian production, was set to be shot in Shanghai in 2008, but Chinese authorities revoked the permits for political reasons. The production then relocated to Bangkok, Thailand, and the U.K., and the finished film premiered in Beijing in June 2010.
“Shanghai” is directed by Mikael Hafstrom from Hossein Amini’s script and stars Cusack as a U.S. intelligence officer trying to find out who killed his friend, portrayed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, in the months before the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. He’s then drawn into a web of mystery, »
- Dave McNary
Many years ago, Mikael Håfström (1408, Escape Plan) made Shanghai, a ’40s-set mystery with a splashy international cast that included his 1408 star John Cusack along with Chow Yun-fat, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Franka Potente, Gong Li, David Morse and Ken Watanabe. The film saw release in many countries, but sat on the shelf in the Us after being purchased by — you guessed it — The […]
- Russ Fischer
In a world filled with secrets, solving a mystery can be murder. The Weinstein Co has debuted the official Us trailer for a film called Shanghai, which you may remember hearing about because we ran the first trailer for this in 2010. The film has been delayed for release here in the Us for 5 years, and TWC is just now putting it out quietly this month. John Cusack stars in Mikael Håfström's Shanghai (the film Håfström made before going on to do The Rite and Escape Plan) as an expat who goes to Shanghai when it's occupied during WWII and falls for a woman and uncovers gangland secrets. Also starring Chow Yun-Fat, David Morse, Ken Watanabe, Franka Potente & Jeffrey Dean Morgan. It doesn't look so good. Have fun. Here's the official Us trailer for Mikael Håfström's Shanghai, on YouTube (via The Playlist): A '40s period piece which »
- Alex Billington
Way back in 2012, Harvey Weinstein promised that the star-studded "Shanghai," which by that point had already opened in several overseas territories, but had been sitting on the U.S. shelf for years, would finally be released via Radius. That didn't happen. Fast-forward a few years and now the movie is being dumped in a couple of weeks in limited release, and a trailer has been put together. Mikael Håfström ("1408," "Escape Plan") directs the international ensemble of John Cusack, Chow Yun-fat, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Franka Potente, Gong Li, David Morse and Ken Watanabe, in the 1940s-set story that follows an American Naval Intelligence agent named Paul Soames who travels to Shanghai, posing as a pro-Nazi journalist, in order to investigate the death of his good friend Connor, only for things to be complicated by a love triangle. So, is this a long lost treasure? Probably not, but as a rainy Sunday. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Five years after it bowed in China, Shanghai, director Mikael Håfström’s neo-noir set during the Japanese occupation of China in World War II, will finally see theatrical release in the United States, The Weinstein Company has announced. Though it hit Chinese theaters in the summer of 2010, the film has never been released stateside; TWC is giving it a limited theatrical run starting August 21, 2015. The film follows American Naval intelligence agent Paul (John Cusack)… »
In case you missed "The Lazarus Effect" in theaters, the "Flatliners"-esque horror film is out on DVD and Blu-ray this week. With a budget of only $3.3 million and a worldwide gross of over $36 million, the film is another low-budget success for super-producer Jason Blum, whose wildly-profitable Blumhouse Productions kicked off a new wave of "microbudget" horror beginning with the blockbuster 2007 found footage film "Paranormal Activity." Not only that, but he made impressive inroads beyond "genre" filmmaking with last year's Oscar-winning "Whiplash" (which netted Blum his first Academy Award nomination) and the HBO telefilm "The Normal Heart," which won the Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie. As "The Lazarus Effect" hits stores and VOD services, I hopped on the phone with Blum for a brief chat about his impressive filmography, horror's bad rap with the critical community, why M. Night Shyamalan's "The Visit" may restore your faith in the once-beloved »
- Chris Eggertsen
9 items from 2015
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