Friday, June 24, 2016

Rush Hour 2 - Jackie Chan (2001) - Big Buddha Statue, Lantau

The Big Buddha only featured as one of those travelogue style opening shots, just to make sure we all know that we are in HK (in case the Peak shots didn't convince you).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Rush Hour 2 - Jackie Chan (2001) - The Peak, Hong Kong

I know, I should have done Rush Hour first, but I don't seem to be able to find my copy so I shall start at the second installment. Plus, this one (I almost called it "number 2" which might be a bit unfair because I actually enjoyed it a lot) has a lot more HK-based locations than its predecessor. The opening shot is almost an updated of the one we just saw in Day of the Panther with a helicoptered shot starting somewhere on the southside of the Peak moving up to the top so we get a nice view of the viewing tower and beyond.

Up the hill... the top...
...and beyond.

The only thing missing (that is noticeable for me anyway) is the 2 IFC tower which should be on the left of the lower picture but it seems construction had either not started yet, or not reached a height where it can be seen over the other buildings (most likely the former reason).

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Day of the Panther - Eddie Stazak (1988) - King Yin Lei, Wanchai

My quick foray into Day of the Panther ends with a bit of a surprise - for me at least. Jason Blade (Stazak) is inducted into his secret kung fu society at a temple. The interior is what can only be best described as low-budget, and the building used to portray the temple was none other than King Yin Lei up on Stubbs Road.

The angle is a bit odd because we are looking from the west, so I can only assume the camera was placed further along Stubbs Road where it bends sharply northwards around the hillside. Anyway, this view will soon be gone as the developer responsible for trying to demolish the place several years ago (he's called Cheung Chung-kiu and was just in the news again today) was given the adjacent land in compensation and he's building a massive development right there between the camera position and King Yin Lei.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Day of the Panther - Eddie Stazak (1988) - Central Harbourfront, Hong Kong

This is the clip that confirms that Trenchard-Smith cheated a bit on the HK footage. The film was made in 1988, but the following screencaps show us this footage was made several years previously.

We have the usual suspects to look at including the Furama Hotel, City Hall, the Mandarin Oriental, Jardine (then Connaught) House. But look closely and you can see some stuff that really shouldn't have been there in 1988. The most obvious is the old HSBC Building (see second pic above the "Exe" of "Executive Producers". This building was demolished in 1984 and replaced by the current Foster designed iconic (but ugly) structure. But actually, there is a building that was demolished even earlier, it's the Hong Kong Club - you can just see it on the far left of the second picture. This place was demolished in 1981. Sadly, my knowledge can't place it any earlier than that, but feel free to comment if you can see a building in there that was knocked down even earlier.

So, I wonder if this was footage that Trenchard-Smith still had from his earlier forays into filming in Hong Kong? It certainly wasn't filmed for the purpose of this movie.

Day of the Panther - Eddie Stazak (1988) - Mount Austin Road, The Peak

Day of the Panther was an attempt to launch the career of Aussie kickmeister, Eddie Stazak, but fell into trouble almost immediately calling for the original director to be replaced by Brian Trenchard-Smith (of Kung Fu Killers and The Man from Hong Kong fame - both featured on here courtesy of AP). To be fair, I should state that none of this film was actually made in HK, however, there are a couple of shots during the opening sequence that feature a couple of locations so I figured it was worthy of inclusion.

Here is the first location - what appears to be a sweeping helicopter shot of the Peak area including Mount Austin Road.

The building on the hillside in the top picture is called the "Haystack" (Gwulo has an entry for it here) and is currently used as the residence for the Japanese Consul. Mount Austin Road can be seen on the right hand side with Mount Austin Mansions to the right of it (since redeveloped).

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Aberdeen, Hong Kong

Not the film finale (it looks as though that may have been filmed in Croatia), but at the end of the car chase the events unfold out at Aberdeen. The scene starts with a view of the ABBA House development (don't ask me about the name, I have no idea) and the camera was obviously placed in the waterfront park on the opposite side of the ride - the clue is the concrete pavilion that you can see the top of. The pavilion and garden are still there.

I've only included a few screen grabs here but the scene is a good few minutes long and was filmed almost entirely in this section of the Aberdeen waterfront. The estate you can see in the lower picture is actually the Ap Lei Chau estate on the opposite side of the harbour.

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Stubbs Road, Wanchai

At the end of the film there is a small snippet filmed along a road that seems to be very typical of the roads that wrap themselves around the mid-levels from Wanchai to Central. And so it was as it turned out to be filmed around the lower section of Stubbs Road above Wanchai.

There's been much growth in this area in the last 20 years in both buildings and trees although it is the latter preventing the view over to Jardine's Lookout that can be seen in the top grab - as you can see in the Streetview grab below - although you should just be able to make out the pink facade of (what I believe is) Celeste Court poking up into view in both the second screen grab and Streetview below.

A few metres beyond this road bend is the entrance to a rather interesting looking development called Hanaevilla. As you can see from the Streetview that follows this hasn't changed at all other than the aforementioned block getting a blue makeover. It's an interesting building (built circa 1959) with some nicely curved balconies.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Causeway Road, Causeway Bay

Okay, not strictly all Causeway Road, but at least both ends of it as the motorbike chase unfolds. After starting just around the corner in Cannon Street the next scene is from the bike's point of view as it chases after the car at the corner where Gloucester Road and Causeway Road merge. Actually, the bike is on Yee Wo Street in the first shot as it joins the aforementioned corner.

It doesn't look like the place has changed too much other than the appearance of the Rosedale Hotel, as you can see from the Streetview.

The next shot is, surprisingly (because these things rarely follow real geography), at the far end of Causeway Road at the corner with Hing Fat Street on the other side of Victoria Park with Park Towers (a residential development) in view on the corner.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Cannon Street, Causeway Bay

Part of the motorbike chase that occurs towards the end of the film was shot along Cannon Street.

These top two pictures show the part of the street near to the junction with Gloucester Road (see the bus in the top picture driving along Gloucester Rd). There is then another shot as the motorbike turns on to Jaffe Road (see below). As you can see from the following Streetview, not much has changed here at all, although the more observant may be able to see Hennessy Centre at the back. This has since been replaced by Hysan Place.

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Lockhart Road, Wanchai

Another night time neon shot along Lockhart Road in Wanchai. The key to the identification this time is the New York Cinema on the right hand side. It used to be in the Causeway Bay Plaza 2 but closed in 2006 and has since been replaced by a restaurant.

Here is the current Streetview. The plaza looks the same but much of the neon has been removed.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Lugard Road, The Peak

I wonder if the owners of #25 Lugard Road are aware of how many times their property has been featured on various movies and TV shows? The fact is that the property's location and visibility from various points around the Peak make it an easy shot to capture.

In Night Watch, it is the house of the millionaire art collector who has got himself involved with the naughty North Koreans. There are a couple of shots of the place, but both taken from the same angle - probably the Umbrella Seat area on Mt Austin Road. You can see the West Kowloon reclamation going in the the distance.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Lockhart Road, Wanchai

The first of several night time neon shots that can be seen on the film. This one was taken along Lockhart Road just west of the junction with Marsh Road.

Some of this neon is still visible on Streetview (though I can't guarantee it is still there now without heading down there myself). The closest sign with red writing and green surround looks to be for a company called the Kong Hing Ma Chuk (KHMC) Company located on the ground floor of the Henfa Commercial Building at 348 - 350 Lockhart Road. The pink and purple neon on the right is advertising the Sunny Paradise Sauna at 341 Lockhart Road. Actually, the curved neon sign overhanging the road is also part of the sauna's advertising. Anyway, here is the current Streetview.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong

No, it's not really the CIA Headquarters in Hong Kong - I'm fairly certain all those dudes are probably all based at the US Consulate - but in this film the old Swire House can be seen occupying the space now taken up by the rather architecturally bland Chater House.

Noble House (Mini series) - Pierce Brosnan (1988) - Old Peak Road, Central

I guess this is a fairly insignificant location in the general scheme of things, but it provides a good example of how much HK has changed for those people who haven't been here for a while. The scene is when Four Finger Wu and his son are driving around when they come across a landslip preventing them from proceeding. The small road is Old Peak Road and at the time you can see how open the view was.

Here's what the same view looks like today. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Tung Sing Road, Aberdeen

When Mike Graham (Brosnan) follows the bald North Korean (Lim Kay-siu) he arrives at Tung Sing Street in Aberdeen and watches a murder take place in a nearby building after climbing some scaffolding. The exact location is the junction of Tung Sing Rd and Sai On Street. How do we know? It's because we can see the now defunct Golden Harbour Theatre in the background.

Looking south down Tung Sing Street

Looking north at the junction 

Golden Harbour Theatre on the left hand side

The cinema closed down (in 1996) not long after this was filmed and has since been turned into a restaurant, but the building is still around and hasn't changed much. Neither has the building opposite where the murder takes place. The lower picture (above) shows the view through the first floor window. The white writing has since gone but the signboard/surround it is on can still be seen on Streetview.

View up Tung Sing Rd, old cinema on the left

Signboard (green surround) on first floor

Noble House (Mini series) - Pierce Brosnan (1988) - Starling Inlet, Sha Tau Kok

This location had me stumped several years ago when I first did the Noble House series, however, these days I am a bit more familiar with the out of the way places and have discovered it to be the bridge crossing right next to the stores at the entrance to Luk Keng village. The angle is difficult to reproduce because of the tree coverage along the edge of the road, but if you look at this picture you can see the crossing from the vantage point of the nearby temple.

Given the location, I would expect these scenes to have been filmed at the same time as this one.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Casino Lisboa, Macau

A brief scene set inside the Casino Lisboa/Hotel Lisboa in Macau starts with a view of its rather colourful neon lit entrance. I must admit that despite the tackiness of it all, I actually quite like the quirky design of the place and it's infinitely more stylish than the new Grand Lisboa that sits across the road and was built in the shape of a giant golden lily flower.

The Streetview grab below shows us that the lights outside have since been changed but the place is still going strong - not surprising given the amount of dodgy activities that happen inside, and I'm not talking about the gambling.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - The Regent Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui

Back to the former Regent Hotel for Brosnan just a few years after filming here for the Noble House series. The hotel had yet to be taken over by Intercontinental so we can still see the old name on the outside wall. There was quite a bit of filming done here including some shots of the interior when the two agents first arrive, posing as a married couple, to later in the film when an abduction takes place.