Monday, October 30, 2017

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Kill a Dragon - Jack Palance (1967) - Aberdeen Dockyard, Aberdeen

If you want to see what the old Aberdeen Dockyard looked like then Gwulo is a good place to start. It looks as though it survived until the early 70's - so not long after this film was made - before falling victim to the usual rounds of reclamation. The Aberdeen Centre now sits on the same site. The dockyard had two dry docks and you can see them both (albeit partially) in the screen grabs.

Kill a Dragon - Jack Palance (1967) - Queen's Road West, Sai Ying Pun

The sequence when Aldo Ray and Jack Palance are sitting in the back of the truck and chatting was filmed along Queen's Road West just at the part before it meets Centre Street. In fact, the whole sequence also involves the truck turning down Centre Street before we hit and edit point and see the truck go past from an external angle.

Look carefully and you may spot some similar shop frontages that were also seen in The Last Grenade (and identified by Thomas at the time).

 Queen's Road West
Turning into Centre Street
Centre Street

And the final picture showing us looking up Centre Street.

Kill a Dragon - Jack Palance (1967) - Magazine Island, Aberdeen

It's been a few years since I last looked at Kill a Dragon, but I find it useful to go back over stuff every once in a while to pick up the things I missed or forgot about first time round. In this film I just noticed there is a scene at the very start of the film whereby a couple of the bad guys are spying on a junk floating into the west entrance to Aberdeen Harbour. You can see Magazine Island in the background (and Lamma in the far distance) as well as some of the reclamation work that was being done for the construction of the power station that opened the following year in 1968.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Foxbat - Henry Silva (1977) - Hollywood Road, Central

Another location identified by Thomas. Again, this was part of the bus chase scene which took in a fair chunk of HK Island. This particular shot was filmed along Hollywood Road at the junction with Elgin Street. I can't remember the sequence in my mind, but if this shot occurred after the one where the bus drives down Aberdeen Street then it would be in keeping with the real geography.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Ghost in the Shell - Scarlett Johansson (2017) - Yee Wo Street Circular Walkway Set

In the second location that isn't a location we go to the finale where Major discovers her past and takes on the HANKA spider tank. In this scene the set is based on the very unique and instantly recognisable circular walkway that straddles Yee Wo Street in Causeway Bay.

The film makers created a replica of the walkway in the studio and then proceeded to blow it to kingdom come. The main set looks like a full size replica, so people watching the film might be fooled into thinking the movie was actually shot here, but sadly no. The road is a fairly major thoroughfare for cars, buses and trams and I don't think it would've been possible the close the place down for hours at a time - even during the night - without cause *ahem* "Major" disruption.


So, for now this is my last Ghost in the Shell post, but many of the locations are easy to get to so I may venture out with a my camera at some point and try to get some replica angles.

Ghost in the Shell - Scarlett Johansson (2017) - Hong Kong Island Backdrop

I'm going to finish up on Ghost in the Shell with posts that are locations but not locations. There are several occasions where the film makers used a set with HK elements within it, but were actually filmed elsewhere (I think in the case of Ghost in the Shell, the studio sets were done in New Zealand). The first is the culmination of the chase scene involving the re-programmed sanitary worker. as in the anime movie, the chase ends up on a waterlogged area with a cityscape in the background, however, look carefully and you can see several elements from the Central waterfront.

Recognisable buildings in this pastiche include CITIC Tower, the AIA central, CCB Tower, what looks like it might be the Hong Kong Club, HSBC HQ, and to the right of the actor in the lower picture is what looks like the new Central Govt Offices (with some bits added).

Ghost in the Shell - Scarlett Johansson (2017) - Tsuen Wan Chinese Permanent Cemetery, Tsuen Wan

The go-to cemetery in HK for all your film-based funeral needs. We've seen it a bunch of times already on this blog covering a decent spread of around 40 years (so far on this blog, the earliest use was in Golgo 13 filmed in 1977). Here is the latest use as the Major goes back to find what happened to her original body.

Ghost in the Shell - Scarlett Johansson (2017) - Quarry Bay Street, Quarry Bay

Just a quick glimpse of Oceanic Mansion/Montane Mansion in Quarry Bay. You may recall that Michael Bay filmed Transformers: Age of Extinction here back in 2014 and was attacked by one of the shop owners demanding compensation.

Trivia: that Transformers post is currently my #1 most popular on this blog. I have no idea why.

It looks like the Ghost in the Shell film makers also used one of the podiums at the back for a brief shot looking up to the sky, a very similar aspect to the one shot at Mei King Mansions earlier but without the futuristic plane flying overhead. This shot was taken from Quarry Bay Street looking east near to the start of the Mount Parker Green Trail.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Ghost in the Shell - Scarlett Johansson (2017) - Lai Tak Estate, Tai Hang

The building where Major goes to find her past is the one of the circular buildings of the Lai Tak Estate in Tai Hang. The scene starts off with Major standing on the playground at the back of the estate (with a souped-up green screen projection for the background) and then we get some interior shots of one of the buildings.

The playground at the back of the estate

Ghost in the Shell - Scarlett Johansson (2017) - Mei King Mansion, To Kwa Wan

Following the shootout scene when the sanitation workers are manipulated into attacking Dr Ouelet (Juliet Binoche), the surviving attacker boots up his camouflage jacket and parkours his way across various obstacles to escape. It's a scene that is an almost direct copy of one from the anime film version. A couple of the brief snippets from this scene were filmed over in To Kwa Wan at a building called Mei King Mansion and the road in front called Mei Kwong Street.


The last picture shows us looking back down towards Mei King mansion from Mei Kwong Street, with major running along the roof of Mei King Mansion.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Ghost in the Shell - Scarlett Johansson (2017) - View over Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

Although you can't really see the park in this shot, this is the view looking north across Kowloon Park area. The most obvious landmark is the B.P. International House - the hotel that sits on Austin Road along the north perimeter of the park. You can still see the Scout Association symbol on the building.

In the foreground (in front of the holographic face) is the green pyramid-shaped pinnacle on the top of a building along Canton Road called The Toy House at #100 canton Road, and to its left is the Gateway Tower 1. The tall building behind the face is the development called Victoria Towers.

Ghost in the Shell - Scarlett Johansson (2017) - Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

Here's one that is instantly recognisable despite all the CGI makeup. It's the altered, but still very identifiable, Cultural Centre on the Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront. The old KCR clocktower has been replaced by a helipad I'm sure there are a few Govt officials who would welcome that to happen...

Most of the background buildings have had only minor alterations.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Ghost in the Shell - Scarlett Johansson (2017) - Tong Shui Road Pier, North Point

The pier where Major is picked up by the HANKA seciruty guards is located in North Point at the end of Tong Shui Road. The low rise building at the back is about the only thing recognisable here (other than the road) and is the Tong Shui Road Pumping Station located in Tong Shui Road Garden.

Ghost in the Shell - Scarlett Johansson (2017) - The Centre, Central

The exterior of the HANKA HQ was the Lippo Centre, but the foyer scene was filmed at The Centre - the same place where Batman : The Dark Knight Rises was filmed a few years ago.