Monday, 25 October 2021
There's been a fair amount of change around here such as a traffic circle being plonked at this location and the ICC being constructed on the right side of the third image but otherwise it is still recognisable. The building behind Simon Yam in the second image is the control centre for the Western Harbour tunnel.
Sunday, 24 October 2021
The English title of this film is just an abbreviation of the initial sounds of the Chinese title 殺破狼 (saat po long or sha po lang depending on your Chinese preference of Cantonese or Mandarin) and it basically means to "destroy a wolf" albeit somewhat more poetically stated in the original Chinese.
The film's plot concerns the efforts of a policeman, Chung (Simon Yam), to bring down his arch nemesis, a triad leader called Wong Po (Sammo Hung) and the illegal methods he employs to achieve this. Along comes Inspector Ma (Donnie Yen) to inject a bit of integrity back into his crew before realising that Wong Po is basically untouchable and he soon falls into the plan to bring Wong down by any means necessary.
The film kicks off (and ends) at Lower Cheung Sha Wan beach on Lantau Island. We've visited here before, although it was many years ago.
Saturday, 23 October 2021
Friday, 22 October 2021
Thursday, 21 October 2021
This is one of Bruce Lee's childhood movies (he was 14 when it was made) loosely based on Dickens' Great Expectations. Lee plays the childhood version of the main characters, whose father has been framed and wrongly convicted of a crime but escapes and then helps his son study to become a doctor. Apart from a rather anonymous hilltop where the young Frank (Bruce Lee) runs into his (unbeknownst to him) biological father - an impossible place to find even for me - there are two scenes filmed on location at the old Tai Po KCR station at Tai Po Kau. The first scene is when Frank (Bruce) departs to go to study medicine. The second scene is when Frank returns after his studies and has morphed into the rather drastically much older, Cheung Wood-yau (father of Chor Yuen in case you didn't know).
Yes, prior to electrification in 1983, there used to be two Tai Po KCR stations. One of them, Tai Po Market station, was decommissioned in 1983 and subsequently became the Hong Kong Railway Museum*. The other was originally called Tai Po station and was located next to the ferry pier at Tai Po Kau. This station was also decommisoned in 1983, but was also subsequently demolished and redeveloped into a KCR staff quarters called Trackside Villas.
The name of this latter station appears to have caused some confusion when it operated, and so the name of the station was later changed to Tai Po Kau to reflect the fact that it wasn't really in Tai Po town. The station was really located here because it was a dropping off point for the nearby ferry pier that provided ferry services all over Tolo Harbour - once a very convenient way for outlying villagers to access the market at Tai Po.
Anyway, in 1955, as you can see from the screen caps below, the station was still called just "Tai Po".
Wednesday, 20 October 2021
The brief scene shows a bustling street that really could be anywhere on Hong Kong Island but the clue to this scene is the right hand side of the frame (top image) which shows part of a concrete structure. The structure is the old Sai Ying Pun market, identifiable by the horizontal grooves that have been added to the buiding's exterior.
Here's how the same bit of Third Street looks today. The version of the market partially seen in Soldier of Fortune was replaced by the current version at some unknown point (please comment if you know when it happened).
Tuesday, 19 October 2021
Monday, 18 October 2021
Well, after several hours of combing aerial images, I was able to nail down the location of the factory to Tsuen Wan and can confirm that the site used was on Fui Yiu Kok Street and is now occupied by a huge high rise residential block called "Chelsea Court". If you go to the wiki page for that development, it also mentions that it was constructed on the site of an old bottling factory. Bingo!
The odd shape of the site though (a sort of shallow dog leg) meant that the new development forms a similar shape to the old factory, with a kink in the middle, which makes it easier to imagine where the factory in comparison to the current developement. If you use Google Chrome you can click here for a current view. Interestingly, the circular roundabout in the new development seems to more or less coincide with the one seen in the film below (although the new one is much larger).
Sunday, 17 October 2021
Saturday, 16 October 2021
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
Thursday, 14 October 2021
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Monday, 11 October 2021
Sunday, 10 October 2021
Saturday, 9 October 2021
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