Monday, September 26, 2016

Push - Chris Evans (2009) - Lantau Link Visitors Centre, Tsing Yi

Kira makes her bid for escape in the toilet at the Lantau Link Visitors Centre. I've not actually been here yet, its location is very much biased towards people with cars (the only public bus service is an hourly green minibus - limited to 16 seats - caught from Maritime Square) but will make the effort at some point to see what is on show. Until then we will have to make do with some screen grabs from Push. I must admit to being most curious about whether or not these are the real toilets at the centre.

Ting Kau Bridge in the background

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Million Eyes of Sumuru - George Nader (1967) - Kennedy Road, Central

A quick one here that had me stumped for some time but after revisiting the film and paying a bit more attention to the surrounding frames of film I can confirm the location of the old mansion (it stands in for an Italian hospital in the film) was at 32 Kennedy Road on he site now occupied by a residential building called "Kenville".

Pay close attention to the building in the right hand side background because that is the rather modern (for 1966/7 anyway) looking side of St Joseph's College on the north side of Kennedy Road (#7).

The problem I had in identifying this location is that the road shows a distinct large curve (see third picture) around the front of the property. This curve has gone and the road it leads to can actually be seen in this post. It's the small driveway that leads around the back of Kennedy Apartments. All the other buildings along this strip of Kennedy Road date back to before the film was made which only left #32 as the potential and it was also confirmed to me in a brief shot (taken from that last scene I just linked to) as the guys are running down the steps to escape arrest at their hotel. I didn't include the shot here (because at the time it didn't seem important) but it shows a car waiting foir them at the bottom of the steps and lo-and-behold in the background is the same crumbly wall also seen in picture 3 above.

So there you go, another mystery solved and a brief glimpse at the old mansion that used to sit at #32 Kennedy Road.

Unfortunately I can't find anymore information about it, so if anyone can remember the place from pre-1973 (i.e. before Kenville was built) I would love to hear about it.

Push - Chris Evans (2009) - Ting Kau Bridge, Tsuen Wan

When Kira (Camilla Belle) is finally tracked down, she is bundled into a car by the sniffers and driven to the Lantau Link Visitors Centre. Both to and from this location the car can be seen driving over the nearby Ting Kau Bridge - identifiable by its yellow trim.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Push - Chris Evans (2009) - Aberdeen Harbour, Aberdeen

I've almost lost count of the number of films that feature Aberdeen and its harbour (I recently penned a two-part article for a local club magazine about the various international movies that have been filmed there) and Push also filmed some scenes there. It's the location of another 'gifted' person who has the ability to erase parts of peoples' memories. It's a location they return to later in the film as well.

The building in the background of the lower picture is the Municipal Services building on Ap Lei Chau.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Push - Chris Evans (2009) - Lau Fau Shan, Yuen Long

The next location was a bit tricky to nail until I did a search on one of the shops signs in the background. The scene is when Nick (Evans) first meets with Cassie (Dakota Fanning) and she tries to convince him of her sincerity. They pop out for some noodles, but actually the scene was shot all the way up in the most north westerly point of the New Territories in Lau Fau Shan. Regular readers may recognise the name from when I was doing all the Shatter posts last year. The area was once famous for its local oysters but these days the pollution in Shenzhen Bay makes tasting them a slightly risky activity. It also explains again why Yuen Long District Office was thanked in the end credits.

Anyway, I wouldn't have found this place if it wasn't for the white sign at the back of the middle picture. The Chinese says 牛記海味 (Ngau Gei Hoi Mei) which is the name for a Chinese marine products shop (Anglicised as Ngau Kee). A quick Google search using the Chinese name brings up quite a bit of info including the address in Lau Fau Shan village. One of the results was also a Youtube video about the place. If you forward to 2:50 you'll see exactly the same view as in the lower screen capture. So it's quite obvious that these scenes were filmed at night (initially giving me the impression that it was filmed indoors).

Monday, September 19, 2016

Push - Chris Evans (2009) - Blake Garden, Sheung Wan

Evan's goes to a nearby sports ground to partake in some illegal dice rolling so he can practice his dice controlling mind powers. It doesn't work. The sports ground isn't really nearby at all, it's Blake Garden all the way over in Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island.

The blue building at the back of the top photo is yet another Primary School with a long name (in this case the "King's College Old Boy's Association Primary School Number Two") and the older low rise buildings in the lower pictures actually fronting Tai Ping Shan Street. The small alleyways between the blocks have been seen on this blog before - they were a favoured location for the Yellowthread Street crew.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Push - Chris Evans (2009) - I-Feng Mansion, To Kwa Wan

The residents of I-Feng Mansion in To Kwa Wan must be rubbing their hands together in anticipation whenever an overseas film company announces it will be filming in Hong Kong. We've seen this building twice before on this blog courtesy of Contagion and then Transformers. In Push, this is the building where Chris Evans' character is in hiding from "the department".

Push - Chris Evans (2009) - Yuen Long Public Middle School Alumni Association Primary School, Yuen Long

Around the same time that the Batman: The Dark Knight crew were in town, another film production team was around filming a sort of science fiction movie starring (a pre-Captain America) Chris Evans (though after he played the Human Torch in the Fantastic 4 films).

There's a real mixture of locations seen here, some of them not really seen on international film productions before, one of which is a brief snippet during the explanatory introduction when an image of a local school is flashed up. You can't necessarily tell from the image but it's the Yuen Long Public Middle School Alumni Association Primary School. As you can see, it's keeping in the Hong Kong tradition of having an unnecessarily long English name.

It's irrelevant to the film really but I was intrigued to track it down. Finding it goes some way to explain why Yuen Long District Office gets a special thanks in the end credits.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Bruce Lee in G.O.D: Shibôteki yûgi - David Lee (2000) - View from The Peak

I shall finish off this brief trip into Brucey land with the last Hong Kong location from the film, it's a nice clear 2000 view from the Peak.

It looks better stitched together though courtesy of the trusty Autostitch program.

Bruce Lee in G.O.D: Shibôteki yûgi - David Lee (2000) - Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter, Causeway Bay

There's really not much to see of HK in this film but the film makers have tried to add a bit of "local  colour" by showing the odd snippet of a section of the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter. I have no idea of the significance of the scene other than the fact that it may have been the most convenient to film at the time. Anyway, it's a brief glimpse looking from the middle of the shelter (it's a sturdy shot indicating it was most likely filmed from the end of the breakwater rather than from a boat) towards the Island Eastern Corridor flyover. In fact, it's pretty much the same place where Jackie Chan filmed part of Rush Hour 2 not so long ago.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Bruce Lee in G.O.D: Shibôteki yûgi - David Lee (2000) - Former Regal Kai Tak Hotel, Kowloon City

For an airport based scene (Lee fans should know that he was photographed at Kai Tak airport on many occasions) the filmmakers did in fact return to Kai Tak but rather than film in the recently defunct terminal building, they used the old walkway that used to connect the terminal building multi-story car park to the Regal Kai Tak Hotel on the opposite side of Prince Edward Road East.

Sadly the walkway, as well as the terminal building, has now gone. The hotel is still around and has since been renamed the Regal Oriental Hotel. I'm not sure about the single lane ramps that connected the main road to the airport car park. Google Earth (with 3D turned on) still has a rendition of them but I haven't been there for a while so they could easily have been torn down by now. You can see them in the background of the last picture

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bruce Lee in G.O.D: Shibôteki yûgi - David Lee (2000) - 4740 Tai Po Road, Tai Po Kau

Lee's residence in the film is a rather grand looking place with a big garden and large front gate. There are lots of these types of houses around in Hong Kong if you have deep enough pockets (sadly, I don't). The one used in this film is actually way up in the hills in Tai Po Kau, along the very scenic Tai Po Road around where Tai Po and Shatin Districts meet.

Sadly, there's no Streetview access up to the house because it's a private road (shared by several rather ostentatious village houses) so I have no idea if there has been any redevelopment since 2000. Here is the front entrance. 

The view from the garden terrace is quite impressive. The view here is looking south east towards Ma On Shan in the background. The high rises are actually all on the opposite side of Tolo Harbour but the buildings scattered along the nearer hillside - including the funny shaped tower at the top right of the second picture - are all part of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

This view below looking north(ish) shows the nearby towers of Deerhill Bay on the opposite side of Tai Po Road.

Bruce Lee in G.O.D: Shibôteki yûgi - David Lee (2000) - Clearwater Bay Studios, Hang Hau

Once upon a time there was a discovery made in the Media Asia film vault (Media Asia had bought a large portion of Golden Harvest's film catalogue in the late 1990's) consisting of a rather significant (for Bruce Lee fans anyway) amount of footage shot by Bruce Lee for his unfinished project, Game of Death. The footage had never been seen before and Media Asia licensed it to a Japanese company called Artport and a Canadian film maker called John Little. Little went on to use the footage in his acclaimed Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey film. Artport used the footage by incorporating it into this film: Bruce Lee in G.O.D (Shibôteki yûgi).

In order to make the docu-drama, scenes revolving around Bruce Lee's life during the making of G.O.D were filmed in Hong Kong using mainly local actors (Bruce Lee played by David Lee) but little was done to deal with the modern setting so we have basically lots of scenes involving the Hong Kong of the year 2000 but have to imagine it's the 1972/73.

Although I never actually made it over to Golden Harvest studios (one of the big regrets I have about my earlier trips to HK) I have been told that it was still standing empty in 2000 so I have no idea why Artport decided to use a stand-in for the sake of this film. The stand-in is in fact Clearwater bay Studios over on Ying Yip Road in Tseung Kwan O.

As far as I know the studios are still very much in use and run by Sil-Metropole who use it for both filming and post-production services. The buildings with the red roofing are staff quarters. In the top picture you can also see neighbouring Hang Hau village and the nearby high rises of Fu Ning Garden.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Million Eyes of Sumuru - George Nader (1967) - Kennedy Road, Central

A quick trip back to Kennedy Road for this last Sumuru post (for the while, at least, while I try and get help identifying some other more obscure places).

After Nader and Avalon find a recently murdered girl in their Italian hotel room, they quickly scarper out the back entrance and into the hands of British Intelligence. The small alleyway they run down is actually a narrow link between Kennedy Road and MacDonnell Road and pops out onto Kennedy Road not far from the location of this earlier post.

The road on the left is a small road that runs up behind Kennedy Apartments at 34a Kennedy Road (and leads to South Garden Mansion) and the brick wall at the back is a retaining wall for the ground floor carpark/terrace of a development called Seaview Mansion. here is a modern view courtesy of Streetview.

The vegetation on the left is obscuring the wall of Kennedy Apartments but judging from other pictures I've seen the wall remains the same except for glass bricks being put in the wall openings. I also get the impression that the pathway has been widened. Looking at the modern picture you can still see the slanted stone steps on the left side of the path and the right hand side looking much more level. I think this portion of the steps, added where the concrete block with drainage holes is on film, was probably created when the neighbouring section was redeveloped into its current building, Kenville (built 1973). Actually, most of the buildings along this section of Kennedy Road seem to date from the 1960's with the exception of the relative "new boy" just mentioned.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Million Eyes of Sumuru - George Nader (1967) - Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter, Kowloon

When the police are about to launch their attack on Sumuru'a fortress island, they first assemble at a pier in the Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter. Once again the nearby Yau Ma Tei Police Station gives us a rough indication of where the pier stood. You can see the station in the top picture, it's the white building in the background. 

The position of the pier/waterfront where the actors are seems to tally with the north side of Man Cheong Street. A large portion of the Ferry Point Estate was already completed by 1966/1967, so I think I am probably correct in saying this most likely filmed on the north side of man Cheong Road in front of the Man Wai Building (completed in 1966). The low rise buildings along the road at the back (it's still Ferry Street by the way) have since been replaced by one of China Light & Power's substations and the Saigon Street Playground.

In the lower picture you can see the old tenements that used to line Ferry Street that have since been replaced by Prosperous Gardens, but the building at the back between Maria Rohm and Paul Chang's head (he played the Police Inspector) is the still-standing Wah Tak Building along Waterloo Road.