This week, a 2010 mystery-drama from the Weinstein Company will finally see a limited American release after having spent five years waiting on the studio shelves. Director Mikael Hafstrom (1408, The Rite) and producer Harvey Weinstein were set to begin principle photography on the film Shanghai in 2008 when the Chinese government suddenly pulled their permits, forcing the production to relocate to Thailand and England to complete filming. The film is a period piece, set in Japanese-occupied Shanghai in the 1940s just months before the attack on Pearl Harbor occurs, and follows an American who returns to probe the mysterious death of his friend. As the mystery begins to unfold, however, and as he falls into a personal romantic relationship, the truth behind his friend’s death begins to reveal a much larger conspiracy at work. Starring in the lead role is actor John Cusack (2012, Hot Tub Time Machine), who has worked with director Hafstrom on the suspense-thriller 1408 in 2007. Also in the supporting cast are actors Li Gong (Miami Vice, Hannibal Rising), Yun-Fat Chow (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Curse of the Golden Flower), and David Morse (The Green Mile, The Hurt Locker). We’re not entirely sure why Weinstein decided to hold the US release back for so long, but this isn’t the first film the company has withheld from the public for a number of years before releasing it. Whatever the case, the Weinstein Company is usually pretty good about investing in worthwhile features, and the trailer reads more like an action-thriller than a romantic drama. Either way it should be a great watch. Enjoy!
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Sean William Scott take on a role in an action movie. It’s been even longer since we saw Jackie Chan in a role that was entertaining to watch; Rush Hour 3 (2007) was OK but it was the same old goofy comedy that can only be expected with Chris Tucker on the screen, and the horrific re-make of The Karate Kid (1984) with Chan as the master instructor can hardly be considered entertainment. But now Chan and Scott are returning to the big screen in an upcoming action flick called Skiptrace from director Sam Fell. The idea for a story about a Chinese policeman having to team up with a witty, think-with-your-mouth American to save his niece came from Chan, but unfortunately bares an all too familiar resemblance to the Rush Hour movies. I know you’re getting old Jackie, but that doesn’t mean you have to start down the re-make road! We’ll see how this one turns out. Scott has done a decent job with action movies in the past, mostly providing comic-relief to the serious bad-ass roles of his co-stars like Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson and Yun-Fat Chow, but his style of comedy fit in so perfectly with the feel of the 1990s, it may be hard for audiences to accept him as the funny guy in a modern flick. Like I said, we’ll see what happens.