Thursday, April 19, 2012

Location, Location, Location

My father worked in the film and television industry while I was growing up. I dabbled in it as well, banking enough money from the occasional extra gig throughout middle school to pay for my first year of college (my big claim to fame is appearing over the shoulder of John Cusack in the cult classic Say Anything). My dad only worked in and around the Los Angeles area, which doubled for just about any location throughout the world. He took particular delight in pointing out the alley in "New York" which is actually right off Grand, or street in "Japan" which is right in Downtown L.A.

Living in the Los Angeles area can be like living on a movie set. Little House on the Prairie filmed in the hills of the town I grew up in, and the spooky house from Poltergeist was a mile away from my non-famous house. The TV show Dexter regularly filmed in the last city we lived in, and our old local Home Depot shopping center was used for filming of some sort every other month. One of the best "gifts" my dad ever gave me was a drive by of the famous steps where Laurel and Hardy pushed a piano up and watched it fall back down ad nauseam (seen here in color). I was about 10 and being in a bad neighborhood, I wasn't allowed to get out of the car. But it was magical to my star-struck eyes.

This is not Hong Kong!
When I watch any movie, half my mind is occupied with trying to figure out where it was filmed. A few months after we moved here, the movie Bridesmaids finally came to Macau. I went to see it by myself and found I could barely pay attention to the film because I was so thrilled to see what was in the background... the town where I ran track and cross-country as a young girl. Later Michael and I went to see Johnny English Reborn with Rowan Atkinson here in Macau. The opening scenes give you the location as Hong Kong... but the real location was literally one block away from the movie theater we were sitting in! The audience went a little wild at the discrepancy.

The movie Contagion came out in the States while we lived here, and I was anxiously awaiting its release in Macau. Of course, once my friends in the U.S. told me the film depicts a lethal virus spreading all over the world which starts in Macau, I realized it would never show here in the theater. Too negative. So we rented it on iTunes and laughed at every scene they showed depicting "Macau"... all quite obviously filmed in Hong Kong.

My favorite building in Hong Kong is the Bank of China Tower, which I'm certain you'll recognize from any movie that ever featured Hong Kong. And we just saw a movie tonight where it is sliced in half by an alien ship, coming to rest in Victoria Harbour just feet away from the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, site of the 1997 handover ceremony when Great Britain gave Hong Kong back to China.

The movie was Battleship, which I've been mocking for awhile... a movie based on a board game that looks like it's trying to be Transformers? Puh-leeze! But a local friend here saw it a couple days ago and based on his recommendation we went to see it. Pleasant surprises throughout, and the Hong Kong footage was a bonus. Just checked IMDb and see that it doesn't even come out in the States until May 18th. So that's pretty sweet and almost-sorta-kinda makes up for seeing most other films weeks and months after they come out in the States. But you know what I'm really looking forward to? The Avengers, which comes out next week on April 26th here in Macau, and features scenes filmed in Los Angeles among other places. We've already got our tickets. And once again a quick check to IMDb shows it doesn't open in the States until May 4th! Sorry to my friend Lori, who will have to wait an extra week to see her Captain Hottie. Unless she can catch an early screening of it... always a possibility in film capital L.A.!

P.S. I blame my husband for forcing me to like all these recent films based on comic books. He dragged me to them until I was the one dragging him. I suppose being mom to only boys contributes!

1 comment:

  1. If you watch HK movies, it will be the same but even more so as the locale is almost always in HK.

    My cousin in Rowland Heights lives near this non-descript mall that you would find in any suburb. I was pleasantly surprised to recognize it as the parking lot where Marty McFly and Doc first travel 88 mph!


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