Thursday, January 31, 2019

Tomb Raider - Alicia Vikander (2018) - View from the Peak, Hong Kong

Okay, I'm off for a few weeks for Chinese New Year and will return with the Strangers posts at the end of the month. But before I go here is a quickie involving last year's reboot of Tomb Raider

Perhaps in a bit of a homage to the previous version of Lara Croft, some of the action from the reboot supposedly takes place in Hong Kong and we are given a typical Hong Kong harbour view in order to establish that that's where the action has moved to.


However, it turns out (after some of the scenery in the background didn't make sense to me, see bottom image) that the key Hong Kong-based scene - supposedly shot in Aberdeen Harbour when Croft goes to find the boat her father was on - wasn't filmed in Hong Kong at all but was actually shot on a well crafted studio set in South Africa.

I must admit it had me fooled for a few seconds because it blends real superimposed shots of the harbour with what appears to be computer generated buildings. So I have included a couple of examples below. The first image shows a superimposed view along the real Aberdeen Harbour in the top half of the screen, with the South African set in the bottom half. You can achieve a view like this if you stand on the breakwater at the western end of the harbour, but there are no flat concrete piers there. Still, it's very convincing.

Real Aberdeen top, fake Aberdeen bottom

The next shot shows where the CGI buildings appear. They look sort of Hong Kong style I suppose but anyone familiar with Aberdeen will know that there are no buildings like this at that location. They look okay on film but closer scrutiny reveals the slightly computer-generated quality to them.

Fake Aberdeen top, fake Aberdeen bottom

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Strangers - John Simm (2018) - Montane Mansion, Quarry Bay

My most popular post on the blog is from the scene in Transformers that was shot around the Oceanic Mansion cluster of buildings in Quarry Bay. In this story it is a building that houses a variety of (seemingly) South Asian refugees. It's where the guy who was following Porter lives and she goes there to meet him to find out what's going on. The building is massive and separated into several (five, I think) differently named sections. This section is the courtyard between Montane Mansions and the Yick Cheong Building (Transformers was largely shot in the neighbouring courtyard).

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Strangers - John Simm (2018) - Soundwill Plaza Midtown, Tang Lung Street

Jonah goes for a lunch with Xo's power hungry assistant, Rachel, and finds out why he recognises her. This looks as though it was filmed on one of the top floors of the Midtown building in Causeway Bay. There's a restaurant on the 30th floor called Penthouse with a balcony area that seems to fit the bill but, as always, corrections welcome.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Strangers - John Simm (2018) - Urban Oasis, Kowloon Bay

Porter is out for a run when she gets a call. The place where she takes the call is a new park near the Choi Hung Estate called Urban Oasis. Although Google maps classes this as Kowloon Bay, the location is actually part of what used to be a military base at the far north of the old Kai Tak airport site.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Strangers - John Simm (2018) - Rumsey Street Pedestrian Bridge, Sheung Wan

As David makes his way to Macau we see him walking towards the Macau ferry terminal via the pedestrian bridge that runs alongside the Rumsey Street carpark.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Flight to Hong Kong - Rory Calhoun (1956) - Percival Street, Causeway Bay

During a car chase, the pursuers car is blocked by a tram pulling out from what I believe to be the old tram depot in Causeway Bay - where the Times Square development now stands. That would make this the angled junction between Percival Street (on the left) and Russell St/Matheson St on the right.
Confirmation seems to come from the dome that can be just seen around the top left of the top image (directly above the car). This is the dome of the old Lee Theatre where Percival Street joins Leighton Road. The hill at the far end of Percival Street (past the dome) is Leighton Hill.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Flight to Hong Kong - Rory Calhoun (1956) - The Peak Tram, Central

Xmas must have addled my brain a little bit because I forget to put up a few of the remaining posts for Flight to Hong Kong. This is a scene when Dolores Donlon is being followed by a gangster and she hops on a tram at the lower tram terminus, and then rides it to barker Road before hopping off again and running away.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Strangers - John Simm (2018) - Trade & Industry Tower, Kai Tak

Back to the headquarters of Mr Xo, one of the Chief Executive candidates, for some ground level views of the entrance. In a nod to this area's former life - the building sits on where Kai Tak airport's north apron used to be - the road in front of the building is called Concorde Road. There's not much else here at the moment hence why (in the second image) you can see all the way down to the distant residential development called Grand Waterfront. Give it a few years and this place will be as densely developed as every other part of Kowloon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Strangers - John Simm (2018) - Queen's Road East, Wanchai

A brief shot of Queen's Road East opens episode 4. In this view we are looking east from what is probably the pedestrian bridge near the junction with Hennessy Road. The purple painted building in the background is the Po Wah Building on the corner of Anton Street.

Strangers - John Simm (2018) - Fa Yuen Street, Mongkok

I shall end the episode 3 posts of this series with a nice view up Fa Yuen Street in Mongkok which most people will be familiar with from its famous (but low quality) street market. Obviously this is the view that can be seen from the Mongkok Road walkway so for a bit of a Brucey bonus, I have also put an image of that in at the bottom ( as seen from the FEHD building).

Mongkok Road walkway

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Strangers - John Simm (2018) - Trade & Industry Tower, Kai Tak

Despite the earlier unfurled banner on the Harbour Building (in Central/Sheung Wan) supposedly aimed at Xo's office, and then the establishing shot that zoomed over Causeway Bay, the real location used for the fictional HQ is the Trade and Industry Tower on the old Kai Tak site.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Strangers - John Simm (2018) - View Over Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

The first establishing shot we have for the Xo HQ building is this one looking across the large gap that is Victoria Park/CWB Typhoon Shelter towards the buildings over on the Tin Hau side. Wiki tells me all of that was still in Eastern District until just a few years ago, now all part of Wanchai District. I honestly had no idea it was changed.

Anyway, the building in the foreground (lower picture) is the Yee On Building located at the very far end of Jaffe Road. The AIA building on the corner of Oil Street and Electric Road (for those that don't know, this is the area where the North Point power station used to be - hence all the power-related road names). The most likely location from where this shot was obtained is the roof of Causeway Bay Plaza, however, suggestions welcome as always.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Strangers - John Simm (2018) - Lockhart Road, Wanchai

The bar that the gents decide to go and get a drink in is a real bar called Bar 109, located at 109 Lockhart Road. It's on the ground floor of one of the sole remaining shophouse buildings along this road.

Strangers - John Simm (2018) - Jaffe Road, Wanchai

After a hard day's sleuthing, David and Jonah are heading home along Jaffe Road before stopping at the junction with Luard Road and deciding to go and share a beer and do some male bonding.

Strangers - John Simm (2018) - Harbour Building, Central

The building that Lau and her girlfriend unfurl their banner from is the Harbour Building in Central. They enter from the Pier Road side and walk past the octagonal fountain by the main doors before heading up to the roof, dropping the banner over the top and then enjoying some fake fireworks courtesy of the special effects department.

The banner is supposedly aimed towards Mr Xo's headquarters but as we shall see in a couple of later posts, the actual HQ building was no where near here.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Strangers - John Simm (2018) - Mid-Levels Escalator, Central

One of the buildings Sally Porter passes as she is being followed is the Man Hing Commercial Building along Queen's Road Central, right next to the old Central market (top image). She then heads up onto the mid-levels escalator before getting off at the Gage Street exit (lower image). She's eventually grabbed a few metres down the road opposite the Park N Shop.

Strangers - John Simm (2018) - Tsing Fung Street, Tin Hau

Jonah pressures David to lean on his old police contacts to find out who the driver of the truck was. So they meet with Felix at the side of a road near to Tin Hau MTR. The road is Tsing Fung Street where the Tsing Fung Street flyover passes over head before joining with King's Road.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Strangers - John Simm (2018) - Mang Kung Wo Road, Sai Kung

The chief executive candidate, Mr Xo (Kenneth Tsang), has a female English assistant called Rachel (played by Raquel Cassidy). She also happens to be the ex-wife of our intrepid investigative journo (played by Anthony Hayes). As you would expect of a powerful person's right-hand woman, Rachel lives in what looks like a very plush house with large outdoor deck containing a pool and gazebo. It took me a while but I managed to track it down to a large private house in Sai Kung district literally at the end of the road.

I wonder whose house it is? The only way to reach this place is via a track that looks like it was put down by the Water Supplies Dept. The only sign at the start of the road simply states "Kei Pik Shan Village Supply Tank".