Sunday, 17 October 2021

Hard Boiled - Chow Yun Fat (1992) - Lung King Street, Wanchai

The waterfront location where Little Ko is outed as a mole and is dealt with by Tony is no longer a waterfront. The area in front of the street where Ko (Stephen Tung Wai) falls into water has since been reclaimed so that the Central-Wanchai Bypass could be constructed - this is the same project that saw the end of the old Star Ferry Pier, Queen's Pier and the reclamation of another 200 metres of Victoria Harbour. We've seen this area previously on the blog, in a scene from Man of Tai Chi back in 2013.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Hard Boiled - Chow Yun Fat (1992) - World Trade Centre, Causeway Bay

The Police Chief (Philip Chan) goes to meet his undercover operative (Tony Leung) on a rooftop overlooking Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter. The roof top is the World Trade Centre, we know this becaue as Tony leaves the meeting, the camera follows him to the right and you can just see the curved front of the (recently demolished) Excelsior Hotel at the side of the screen (see last image).

Friday, 15 October 2021

Hard Boiled - Chow Yun Fat (1992) - Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter

Tequila meets with Little Ko on the breakwater in Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter in order to pay Ko his informant money. This is actually the central breakwater that forms the main wall of the shelter - it's not connected to land at either end so the actors (and crew) would have need to take a quick boat road to reach it.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Hard Boiled - Chow Yun Fat (1992) - Yau Yat Chuen Garden City Club, Yau Yat Chuen

The scene where Tequila pastes newspapers all over Johnny Wong's car was filmed outside the Yau Yat Chuen Garden City Club on Cassia Road. The venue is a private members club (there's loads of these in Hong Kong) and the gang have been having a meeting inside before leaving via the main entrance.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Hard Boiled - Chow Yun Fat (1992) - Clearwater Bay Marina

This is the marina where Tony keeps his boat and the scene of carnage later on in the film when his old gang try to kill him for his duplicity. It's private property so unless you are a member of the Clearwater Bay Country Club, or own a boat berthed here there's no chance of getting in.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Hard Boiled - Chow Yun Fat (1992) - Connaught Road, Central

As Tony (Tong Leung) makes his way to the library to carry out a hit, we see him driving along Connaught Road in his little red coupe. Various parts of the sequence show him passing between the Rumsey Street carpark and Wing On centre (top image), then by the Hang Seng HQ and its pedestrian bridges followed by a little further along approaching the Central walkways, and then passing the Admiralty Centre and Far East Finance Centre. He then appears to get a bit lost, or more likely given the state of Hong Kong roads, he took a wrong lane somewhere and had to take a huge detour to get back to the library because the bottom image shows him driving in the oppoisite direction - back towards Central - along the Fenwick Pier Street flyover.

Monday, 11 October 2021

Hard Boiled - Chow Yun Fat (1992) - China Hong Kong City Tower 3, Tsim Sha Tsui

The location of the office where Tequila and his fellow policeman are based is revealed in a shot through his girlfriend's (Teresa Mo) office window. The view shows us the Ferry Point Estate in the distance, and in the foreground is the Fire Services Department Kowloon South Divisional HQ on Canton Road. This view is only possible from Tower 3 of the China Hong Kong City Mall on Canton Road.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Hard Boiled - Chow Yun Fat (1992) - Stanley Military Cemetery, Stanley

The cemetery where Ah Lung (Bowie Lam) gets buried after being killed during the tea house shootout is actually the Military Cemtery at the Stanley peninsula.

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Hard Boiled - Chow Yun Fat (1992) - Wan Loi Tea House, Mongkok

Actually, I'm not sure if this place had an 'official' English name, but the Chinese is 雲來大茶樓. This is the traditional style teahouse (with overhead poles for hanging your pet bird cage) where the shootout takes place at the beginning of the film.

There's a locations feature uploaded onto Youtube (from an old Dragon Dynasty release) which places the restaurant where the Langham Office Tower is today, but this is incorrect (one of several fudges on that short feature). The restaurant was in Mongkok but was located one block to the south, at the junction of Shanghai Street and Soy Street. The Sun Ming Building now stands on the site.

Sun Ming was completed in 1993, and wikipedia notes that the location was chosen because it was about to be demolished. They should have just let John Woo shoot for an extra few days and I am sure most of the demolition work would have already been completed. I would have loved to visit it when it was open because Hong Kong really doesn't have any teahouses like this anymore. Sadly, even on my first trip in 1995, I was already two years late.

If you want to know how to get there, Sean Tierney has put together a rather amusing little video for his (sadly on hiatus) "Silver Spleen" Youtube channel. Link here: https://youtu.be/kSExMu0MDg4

Friday, 8 October 2021

Hard Boiled - Chow Yun Fat (1992) - Fenwick Street, Wanchai

Another venue sign before I get onto the real locations and this time it's the "Dragon Club". I'm not familiar with this place, but behind it is a familiar neon awning belonging to the An An Club which has cropped up a few times in the past (such as in Felicity and Golgo 13: Assignment Kowloon). This means we are looking southbound along Fenwick Street and if you look at the Felicity images on the link above you can see that in 1978 the venue was called the "Winner Bar".

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Hard Boiled - Chow Yun Fat (1992) - Portland Street, Mongkok

The beginning of the film also has a montage of various neon shop signs so I thought it might be interesting to feature a few here. The first one is this collection of signs that baffled me until I squinted and saw the sign for the old Rex Theatre in the background of image two. This places us on Portland Street not far from the location of the teahouse shootout scene. The cinema closed in 1996 and I believe the space is currently occupied by the MPM Mall.

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Hard Boiled - Chow Yun Fat (1992) - The Jazz Club, D'Aguilar Street

Back to local movies for a while and one of my favourites in the form of Hard Boiled starring Chow Yun Fat, Tong Leung Chiu-wai and directed by John Woo. This was Woo's final HK movie before trying his luck in the US and I get the impression that he just wanted to blow the place up before he left.

I was lucky enough to catch this at my local arthouse cinema (the Hyde Park Picture House) in the UK when I was a final year student in Leeds in 1994.

The opening scenes (and later ones where John Woo appears in front of the camera playing an ex-cop-barman-mentor to Chow's character, Tequila) take place in a venue called "The Jazz Club". This was a real club located in the California Entertainment Building at 34-36 D'Aguilar Street. Sadly, not only has the club long gone but so has the building that housed it. The California Entertainment Building was demolished circa 2011 and has since been replaced by a larger version called California Tower. The new building has the address of 32 D'Aguilar Street but it also occupies the old site of 34 -36 as well.

For those that are interested and have Facebook (I don't), there is a group for the Jazz Club at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/thejazzclubhongkong/

Monday, 4 October 2021

Ghost in the Shell - Kansu Street Alleyway - Now and Then

Unfortunately, when I arrived at this alleyway I didn't find Scarlett Johansson but instead some old guy who decided, just at that moment, to take a piss in the nearby gutter...he's obviously not a fan of my blog. I then had to wait around, like some weirdo voyeur, for him to finish his business before I could take the photo. He must have prostate problems because it took so long I thought I might just get arrested for loitering. The things I do in pursuit of this noble art form...

Anyway, this alleyway sits between Woosung Street and Temple Street and looks directly up at Temple Street and the rear of the Alhambra Building. Unfortunately, as you can see, by the time of my visit the rather striking lights of the mahjong parlour that made it into the film were in the process of being removed or renovated.

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Yakuza Ladies Revisited - Shima Iwashita (1991) - Aberdeen Harbour

The brother (the successor) goes missing after spending the night with a call girl and turns up floating in Aberdeen Harbour. There is a brief night time (or perhaps filtered) shot of the harbour before the camera pans and zooms in on a spot by the breakwater before cutting to a close up of his dead body. As the camera pans left, it's obvious the shot was taken from the breakwater at the west entrance to the harbour. It's a very specific shot, so I wonder if this was actually shot for the film rather than licensed or stock footage.

Saturday, 2 October 2021

Yakuza Ladies Revisited - Shima Iwashita (1991) - View from the Peak

Just in case we were in doubt as to where the plane was making its landing, the next shot is the tried-and-tested establishing shot of a view from the Peak, with the characters for Hong Kong at the bottom.

Friday, 1 October 2021

Yakuza Ladies Revisited - Shima Iwashita (1991) - Kai Tak Airport, Kowloon

Here's another film to add to the list of Japanese movies that feature Hong Kong, albeit briefly and probably (though it could have been shot for the film) using stock footage (similar to The Street Fighter and Sister Street Fighter). In the original film, Yakuza Ladies (that I haven't seen), a Yakuza boss's wife, Kanae (Shima Iwashita), runs the "Fujinami" gang whilst her husband is in prison. In this film, her husband has already died of a heartattack, allowing his brother to succeed him. But on a trip to Hong Kong to visit his daughter, the brother dies in suspicious circumstances and a succession battle breaks out between Kanae's son and son-in-law as well as a gang war between the clan and its main competitor. It's all very complicated but we do get a brief glimpse of Hong Kong in the small segment at the beginning of the film as the brother makes the trip.

The opening shot of the HK segment is this one of a China Airlines Cargo 747 landing at Kai Tak.
 

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Waterloo Road by Yau Ma Tei Wholesale Fruit Market - Now and Then

I went for a wander last week and used the pedestrian bridge at the western end of Waterloo Road where it originates at the former waterfront (now Ferry Street). I was reminded that Tsui Hark shot an establishing shot for Knock Off here in 1997 so I took the opportunity to try and get a comparison.


It's been a little over twenty years since that film was made but there has still been a bit of change with the construction of a couple of new high rises (the taller one centre screen of my 2021 image is called "Waterloo Tower"). The building on the left is called the Wah Tak Building and has been given a new lick of paint, but other than that, the view remains fairly similar.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Police Story - Jackie Chan (1985) - Wing On Plaza, Mody Road

Included for completeness as Andi has done an amazing job at going in and taking comparison shots of some of the key scenes in the film's finale. So here is his link.

Incidentally, the pedestran bridge where Ka Kui and May wait for the gangsters to show up is still there and hasn't changed (other than different colour paint), so you can also go up there to repeat the angle that the camera captures of the plaza entrance (top image). This location of course is just a hundred metres or so from these earlier scenes shot in East TST.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Police Story - Jackie Chan (1985) - Sai Sha Road, Sai Kung

The remote rural road where Ka Kui drives his kidnapped boss to before letting him off, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, was the section of Sai Sha Road not far from Chat Sing Temple. Sadly there is an immense amount of development going on here at the moment and the whole place looks more like a building site rather than the rural idyll seen on the film. The view is looking south.