entertainment

Ken Watanabe to make 7th major international movie appearance in 'Shanghai'

19 Comments

Ken Watanabe, 51, will make his 7th major international movie appearance in "Shanghai," a pre-World War II drama shot in China. Watanabe stars alongside John Cusack, 44, Gong Li, 45, Yun-Fat Chow, 55, and Rinko Kikuchi, 30, in the movie which is to be released in Japan on Aug 20.

Directed by Mikael Hafstrom and based on a script by Hossein Amini, the movie was filmed in Shanghai and tells the tale of an American who returns to a corrupt, Japanese-occupied Shanghai four months before Pearl Harbor and discovers his friend has been killed. While searching for his killer he meets a mysterious girl and accidentally uncovers a larger secret involving his own government.

"It was exciting to be able to shoot a movie alongside stars like Cusack and others of his caliber," said Watanabe. "I'm also pleased to have been able to put my dark side front and center for this role. I think I'm showing the world a side of myself they've never seen before."

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It is a good movie, Wananabe delivered his job as he announced in the PR event. The budget of "Shanghai" is about $50 million.

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" Cusack and others of his caliber " Comparing Cusack to Ken Watanabe ??? Hmmmmmm, Ken watanabe is more talented than Cusack. Sorry, he's ok actor. Maybe a notch better than Ben Afleck.

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Not enough Gong Li cleavage if you ask me.

Really, is there ever enough?

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I believe the article is mistaken; it was not filmed in Shanghai. Several other articles online claim the Chinese government revoked the filming license a week before filming started and thus the producers had to cancel plans to film there and instead filmed the entire film in Bangkok. They built a Chinese-looking set there.

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Will be released on Aug 20? I watched Blu-ray version of this movie last Sept.

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Great actor! Cool looking guy!

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"Shanghai" is an international film because it has stars from different countries? That makes "Star Wars," all three "Rush Hours"and almost all Charlie Chaplin movies 'international,' doesn't it?

Being interested in noirish films like this, I'll probably see it. Looking forward to it, actually.

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Ohh I love Ken-san, too! :)

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space_monkey at 07:05 AM JST - 23rd February Boring movie that made the Japanese look too nice

Yes it was boring but I thought it made the Chinese look too clean

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I love love love Ken Watanabe. He is too cool. I'll have to see this.

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More more more. Big fan of Ken Watanabe.

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Boring movie that made the Japanese look too nice.

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stevecpfc, thanks for your question. "shanghai" was released in the moment of more regional crises in Eastern Asia. My view is to combine four angles - China, Japan, America and Asia. Hovenachama, thanks for your brief of "Shanghai", it may be a thrilling and romantic epic movie by your info and wiki search. I will watch it.

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Shanghai is a mesmerizing film that successfully recreates the 1940's feel of Shanghai. Ken Watanabe plays out his sinister vibe along with a human grace perfectly. Instead of a movie of politics and war, it's more about human relations and the different side to people. How people are used and mislead at times like this, and matters of the heart play an important role in the decisions the characters make. This World War II epic romance has a chaser of intrigue and the film is quite engaging with no unnecessary scenes. It is straight forward and easily understandable, but it keeps your mind working to uncover the mysteries Paul Soames is trying to solve. Production value and cinematography are top-notch and it really does take you back in time to the glamour and grit of pre-occupied Shanghai. A must see movie.

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asianTourist; To me you are a foreigner. Is only one view acceptable to you? If so why?

Moderator: Back on topic please. The subject is the film "Shanghai."

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Saw it. Nothing to write home about. Not enough Gong Li cleavage if you ask me.

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tokyotom, your comment is correct, but I meant international versions which casting crews speak English. But Subtitles or dub can be re-edited for overseas markets. We talk about viewpoints of surface and underneath stories related WW II because each side usually produces movies on different angles. "Shanghai" movie can be a new angle, But I have not watched it until it is released. But entertainment movies produced by Hollywood usually focus on entertainment and some political cultures.

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but most of WW II era movies are funded by foreigners

i don't think so, there are many movies that are made by local territories that "westerners" don't see, japan has made many, china many, germany many, etc etc etc

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It may be an interesting movie, but most of WW II era movies are funded by foreigners with their own views about involved participants. We don't know the true stories by our own consumption. But this movie "Shanghai" may exploit the name of "Shanghai" to commercialize both entertainment and international trade benefits. Japan has invested a lot in Shanghai with more than 8000 firms operating there as well as in other cities of China. But Chinese, Asian and Japanese people can enjoy the movie from their own perspectives.

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