Thursday, 30 June 2016

Rush Hour 2 - Jackie Chan (2001) - Tai Wo Street, Wanchai

One of the standout set pieces of this film is the fight on the scaffolding where Chan prematurely proclaims the robustness of Chinese bamboo. The building on which all the action takes place is called Wanchai House (built 1959) and stands on the corner of Tai Wo Street and Wanchai Road.

You can see the building - minus scaffolding - courtesy of Streetview.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Rush Hour 2 - Jackie Chan (2001) - Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Here's the famous Emperor Jewellers sign again that hangs over the southern end of Nathan Road near to the iSquare mall. Of course, back in 2001 it was the Hyatt Regency Hotel that was nearby but as mentioned many times previously on here it was demolished in 2006 and the iSquare replaced it.

We've seen this sign a few times on this blog before - not surprising given its prominence at a very busy part of Kowloon - but most recently we had a post from Noble House. Incidentally, the Chairman/founder of the Emperor empire, so to speak, is the infamous *cough cough cough* Albert Yeung (seriously though, great guy...) who has been involved with Jackie Chan in various business ventures over the years - including a housing development I used to live near in Taipo called JC Castle. It was in the news a few years ago when it was discovered that Robert Mugabe had bought a house there. So, it's not surprising to see the Emperor sign so prominently on display in a Chan film.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Rush Hour 2 - Jackie Chan (2001) - Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

The US consulate - where Zhang Ziyi places the first bomb - was actually the Tsim Sha Tsui Police station (or more correctly - the District Police HQ) on the corner of the junction of Austin Road and Nathan Road.

In the above shots, Austin Road is going from lower left to centre right and Nathan Road from centre left to bottom right. Although the building itself hasn't been altered for the film, the large hoarding that has been placed on the corner is (obviously) a fake one for the film, although the wall below it is a real wall. These days it is rather more obscured by tree growth.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Rush Hour 2 - Jackie Chan (2001) - Un Chau St, Sham Shui Po

I was recently lamenting the demolition of the Tung Tak Pawn shop in Wanchai and, sadly, it wasn't saved - the site is now empty of what was a great looking building. Back in 2001 when this film was made there was another worthy addition to HK's small but aesthetic portfolio of corner shophouses and another one could be found along Un Chau Street in Sham Shui Po on the corner of Pei Ho Street. There is a brief glimpse of it at the beginning of the film - just one of many scene setting shots.

It was a great little building but was sadly ripped down soon after (circa 2008) and replaced by...well, another high rise (called "Court Regence"). Although actually the lower section where the former shophouse stood is the entrance/lobby portion of the residential block behind, it seems to occupy a similar area. I think it's a shame they couldn't have kept the facade of the older building and incorporated the new building into it, like the way they have done with Wanchai Market. Oh well, it's too late now. Here's the modern Streetview below.

Incidentally, the excellent HKMan has a great Now/Then comparison over on his FLICKR page.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Rush Hour 2 - Jackie Chan (2001) - Aberdeen Harbour, Aberdeen

Another part of the opening titles gives us a quick look at Aberdeen Harbour.

However, can you spot something that's a little bit off? Those of you familiar with Aberdeen should be able to tell that the scene in the film is actually flipped! I can't see any reason for a deliberate flip - it's an inconsequential brief shot at the beginning of the film - so I guess this is one of the things that can happen during the editing process. Anyway, the lower picture shows the proper orientation. 

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Rush Hour 2 - Jackie Chan (2001) - Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter, Hong Kong

Causeway Bay Typhoon shelter actually pops up several times throughout the film. The first time is during the opening credits as an establishing shot (top picture), but also when Carter and Lee are dumped naked on the highway (second shot) - the road is the Island Eastern Corridor and you can see the shelter area at the back. In fact the same overhead road sign board can be seen in both pictures.

The final appearance of the typhoon shelter is when the action moves to the yacht. The pier at which the boat is berthed is actually the eastern edge of the shelter. There is a misleading sign on the left which states we are at North Point Pier, but it's lying (like a cheap watch).

Actually, the area where Lee (played by Chan) used the polystyrene box to board the boat is still around but is currently covered in construction works for the Wanchai bypass reclamation. The wooden piles seen on film can still be seen on Google Earth, but it's unclear how much of the area will stay the same once the reclamation is complete. If you look closely at the lower picture, you can see the underside of the Eastern Island Corridor highway in the top right.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Rush Hour 2 - Jackie Chan (2001) - Big Buddha Statue, Lantau

The Big Buddha only featured as one of those travelogue style opening shots, just to make sure we all know that we are in HK (in case the Peak shots didn't convince you).

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Rush Hour 2 - Jackie Chan (2001) - The Peak, Hong Kong

I know, I should have done Rush Hour first, but I don't seem to be able to find my copy so I shall start at the second installment. Plus, this one (I almost called it "number 2" which might be a bit unfair because I actually enjoyed it a lot) has a lot more HK-based locations than its predecessor. The opening shot is almost an updated of the one we just saw in Day of the Panther with a helicoptered shot starting somewhere on the southside of the Peak moving up to the top so we get a nice view of the viewing tower and beyond.

Up the hill... the top...
...and beyond.

The only thing missing (that is noticeable for me anyway) is the 2 IFC tower which should be on the left of the lower picture but it seems construction had either not started yet, or not reached a height where it can be seen over the other buildings (most likely the former reason).

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Day of the Panther - Eddie Stazak (1988) - King Yin Lei, Wanchai

My quick foray into Day of the Panther ends with a bit of a surprise - for me at least. Jason Blade (Stazak) is inducted into his secret kung fu society at a temple. The interior is what can only be best described as low-budget, and the building used to portray the temple was none other than King Yin Lei up on Stubbs Road.

The angle is a bit odd because we are looking from the west, so I can only assume the camera was placed further along Stubbs Road where it bends sharply northwards around the hillside. Anyway, this view will soon be gone as the developer responsible for trying to demolish the place several years ago (he's called Cheung Chung-kiu and was just in the news again today) was given the adjacent land in compensation and he's building a massive development right there between the camera position and King Yin Lei.

Day of the Panther - Eddie Stazak (1988) - Central Harbourfront, Hong Kong

This is the clip that confirms that Trenchard-Smith cheated a bit on the HK footage. The film was made in 1988, but the following screencaps show us this footage was made several years previously.

We have the usual suspects to look at including the Furama Hotel, City Hall, the Mandarin Oriental, Jardine (then Connaught) House. But look closely and you can see some stuff that really shouldn't have been there in 1988. The most obvious is the old HSBC Building (see second pic above the "Exe" of "Executive Producers". This building was demolished in 1984 and replaced by the current Foster designed iconic (but ugly) structure. But actually, there is a building that was demolished even earlier, it's the Hong Kong Club - you can just see it on the far left of the second picture. This place was demolished in 1981. Sadly, my knowledge can't place it any earlier than that, but feel free to comment if you can see a building in there that was knocked down even earlier.

So, I wonder if this was footage that Trenchard-Smith still had from his earlier forays into filming in Hong Kong? It certainly wasn't filmed for the purpose of this movie.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Day of the Panther - Eddie Stazak (1988) - Mount Austin Road, The Peak

Day of the Panther was an attempt to launch the career of Aussie kickmeister, Eddie Stazak, but fell into trouble almost immediately calling for the original director to be replaced by Brian Trenchard-Smith (of Kung Fu Killers and The Man from Hong Kong fame - both featured on here courtesy of AP). To be fair, I should state that none of this film was actually made in HK, however, there are a couple of shots during the opening sequence that feature a couple of locations so I figured it was worthy of inclusion.

Here is the first location - what appears to be a sweeping helicopter shot of the Peak area including Mount Austin Road.

The building on the hillside in the top picture is called the "Haystack" (Gwulo has an entry for it here) and is currently used as the residence for the Japanese Consul. Mount Austin Road can be seen on the right hand side with Mount Austin Mansions to the right of it (since redeveloped).

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Aberdeen, Hong Kong

Not the film finale (it looks as though that may have been filmed in Croatia), but at the end of the car chase the events unfold out at Aberdeen. The scene starts with a view of the ABBA House development (don't ask me about the name, I have no idea) and the camera was obviously placed in the waterfront park on the opposite side of the ride - the clue is the concrete pavilion that you can see the top of. The pavilion and garden are still there.

I've only included a few screen grabs here but the scene is a good few minutes long and was filmed almost entirely in this section of the Aberdeen waterfront. The estate you can see in the lower picture is actually the Ap Lei Chau estate on the opposite side of the harbour.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Stubbs Road, Wanchai

At the end of the film there is a small snippet filmed along a road that seems to be very typical of the roads that wrap themselves around the mid-levels from Wanchai to Central. And so it was as it turned out to be filmed around the lower section of Stubbs Road above Wanchai.

There's been much growth in this area in the last 20 years in both buildings and trees although it is the latter preventing the view over to Jardine's Lookout that can be seen in the top grab - as you can see in the Streetview grab below - although you should just be able to make out the pink facade of (what I believe is) Celeste Court poking up into view in both the second screen grab and Streetview below.

A few metres beyond this road bend is the entrance to a rather interesting looking development called Hanaevilla. As you can see from the Streetview that follows this hasn't changed at all other than the aforementioned block getting a blue makeover. It's an interesting building (built circa 1959) with some nicely curved balconies.

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Causeway Road, Causeway Bay

Okay, not strictly all Causeway Road, but at least both ends of it as the motorbike chase unfolds. After starting just around the corner in Cannon Street the next scene is from the bike's point of view as it chases after the car at the corner where Gloucester Road and Causeway Road merge. Actually, the bike is on Yee Wo Street in the first shot as it joins the aforementioned corner.

It doesn't look like the place has changed too much other than the appearance of the Rosedale Hotel, as you can see from the Streetview.

The next shot is, surprisingly (because these things rarely follow real geography), at the far end of Causeway Road at the corner with Hing Fat Street on the other side of Victoria Park with Park Towers (a residential development) in view on the corner.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Cannon Street, Causeway Bay

Part of the motorbike chase that occurs towards the end of the film was shot along Cannon Street.

These top two pictures show the part of the street near to the junction with Gloucester Road (see the bus in the top picture driving along Gloucester Rd). There is then another shot as the motorbike turns on to Jaffe Road (see below). As you can see from the following Streetview, not much has changed here at all, although the more observant may be able to see Hennessy Centre at the back. This has since been replaced by Hysan Place.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Lockhart Road, Wanchai

Another night time neon shot along Lockhart Road in Wanchai. The key to the identification this time is the New York Cinema on the right hand side. It used to be in the Causeway Bay Plaza 2 but closed in 2006 and has since been replaced by a restaurant.

Here is the current Streetview. The plaza looks the same but much of the neon has been removed.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Lugard Road, The Peak

I wonder if the owners of #25 Lugard Road are aware of how many times their property has been featured on various movies and TV shows? The fact is that the property's location and visibility from various points around the Peak make it an easy shot to capture.

In Night Watch, it is the house of the millionaire art collector who has got himself involved with the naughty North Koreans. There are a couple of shots of the place, but both taken from the same angle - probably the Umbrella Seat area on Mt Austin Road. You can see the West Kowloon reclamation going in the the distance.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Detonator II: Night Watch - Pierce Brosnan (1995) - Lockhart Road, Wanchai

The first of several night time neon shots that can be seen on the film. This one was taken along Lockhart Road just west of the junction with Marsh Road.

Some of this neon is still visible on Streetview (though I can't guarantee it is still there now without heading down there myself). The closest sign with red writing and green surround looks to be for a company called the Kong Hing Ma Chuk (KHMC) Company located on the ground floor of the Henfa Commercial Building at 348 - 350 Lockhart Road. The pink and purple neon on the right is advertising the Sunny Paradise Sauna at 341 Lockhart Road. Actually, the curved neon sign overhanging the road is also part of the sauna's advertising. Anyway, here is the current Streetview.