12 Filming Location Trips For 2012

Whilst 2011 was indeed pretty awesome for the movie locations I covered the last 12 months weren’t exactly bad either with some great shots taken along the way in the likes of  Edinburgh, Paris, London, Melbourne, Sydney, Hong Kong and New York. Click on the links below to see more.

1. Trainspotting (Click here)

2. About A Boy (Click here)

3.  Quadrophenia (Click here)

4.  Amélie (Click here)

5.  The Bourne Identity/Supremacy/Ultimatum (Click herehere and here)

6.  Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (Click here)

7.  Mission Impossible II (Click here)

8.  The Matrix (Click here)

9.  Infernal Affairs (Click here)

10.  Spider-Man (Click here and here)

11. Ghostbusters (Click here)

12. Batman/The Dark Knight (Click here and here)

Other 2012 locations for the films listed below can be found here

Live And Let Die; The Man With The Golden Gun; Bridget Jones’s Diary; Snatch; The Italian Job; Basic Instinct 2; Superman; Coming To America; Black Swan; When Harry Met Sally; Sliver; I Am Legend; Sex And The City; Breakfast At Tiffany’s; Lara Croft Tomb Raider – The Cradle Of Life; Four Weddings & A Funeral; Notting Hill; Love Actually; The Ramen Girl; Ju-on: The Grudge 2; Muriel’s Wedding; Mad Max; On The Beach; Queen Of The Damned; Romper Stomper; Salaam Namaste and Adventures of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert.

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London Filming Locations: Rom-Com Special

When it comes to romantic comedies the combination of writer Richard Curtis and actor Hugh Grant have come up with a fair few crackers with London often at the heart of them albeit a more rounded and well polished version of the capital. As I’m missing a few pivotal locations from each movie I thought it a good idea to cobble together the likes of ‘Four Weddings And A Funeral‘ (1994), ‘Notting Hill‘ (1999) and ‘Love Actually‘ (2003) together into one super rom-com special.

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Somerset House (above left) is a short distance from Temple tube station and appears as scenery footage on 4 mins in ‘Love Actually‘ but for me it was more famously used in two Pierce Brosnan-era Bond films; ‘Goldeneye‘ (1995) and ‘Tomorrow Never Dies‘ (1997). The Ritz (above right) at 150 Piccadilly is where some memorable press interview scenes were filmed in ‘Notting Hill.‘ Japanese restaurant Nobu (below left) at 19 Old Park Lane was used in the same film and was where Julia Roberts confronted a couple of guys who she was being slagged off by. Hugh Grant’s flat in ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral‘ is 22 Highbury Terrace (below right) across from the park of Highbury Fields. Andie MacDowell turned up there in the rain at the climax of the film.

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It’s now a boring office but in ‘Love Actually‘, 26-27 Great Sutton Street (above left) was the nude gallery of Christmas art by Mark (Andrew Lincoln) as seen on 35 mins. The fourth and final wedding in ‘Four Weddings…‘ took place at the Church of St Bartholomew the Great (above right) close to Smithfield Market by Barbican tube station. Two ‘Notting Hill‘ locations below with the blue shop pictured below left the more interesting one as it was here that normal guy Hugh Grant worked in the ‘Travel Book Company’ where he met the very famous Anna Scott played by Julia Roberts. Its now, perhaps aptyly, named Notting Hill and is on 142 Portobello Road. The actual Travel Bookshop on which it was based is at 13 Blenheim Crescent and the picture which I’m outside below right was taken in 2002 at Universal Studios in Hollywood where much of the movie was actually made.

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Further along Portobello Road at number 201 is Saints Tattoo Parlour (below left) which could be seen in the opening montage of the same film as a drunk guy exits the shop wondering why on earth he got a tattoo saying “I Love Ken.” The Salvation Army building (below right) a couple of doors along at number 205 is where the ‘Notting Hill’ four seasons sequence ends in Spring.

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56 mins into ‘Love Actually‘ Mark (Andrew Lincoln) emerges from the back entrance of Oxo Tower Wharf building (above left) on Barge House Street after Juliet (Keira Knightley) discovers his real feelings for her having seen his wedding video of close ups of her beautiful face. Dido’s ‘Here With Me’ provides the soundtrack as he leaves feeling gutted and continues on through the courtyard (above right) and on to the banks of the Thames River. Close to Bayswater Underground station is Whitley’s (below left); the department store seen at the start of the film on 4 minutes when there are still 5 weeks to Christmas. The Millennium Bridge (below right) is briefly seen about 18 mins in.

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Yokohama: The Ramen Girl Filming Locations

The majority of this 2008 film starring the late Brittany Murphy was made in the studios but there was a short part filmed in the city of Yokohama which is actually Japan’s second largest city and just a short train ride south of Tokyo.

“There’s a ramen museum in Yokohama?! You’re kidding me!” are Abby’s (Brittany Murphy) words on 52 mins when her Japanese love interest Toshi asks her whether she’s been there. It’s full name is the Shin Yokohama Raumen Museum and it appears around the hour mark as we first see the exterior of the place (below left) and then we get the overview (below right) of the Showa 33 (1958?) re-production inside the place which claims to be the first food amusement park to be created anywhere in the world. The address is 2-14-21 Shinyokohama and has a 300 yen admission fee.

 

Abby and Toshi eat at Komurasaki (below left) ramen restaurant (which is where I have eaten every time I’ve visited the place) and soon exit that place where they cross the floor and duck into the Ryusyanhai (below right) ramen shop.

 

They’re then out on the harbour front (below) with the beautiful Yokohama skyline in the background as they kiss. The large ferris wheel of Cosmo World as well as the sail-shaped   building can clearly be seen in the background as they walk along the area at Yamashita Park. Sadly I couldn’t get screenshots of the whole scene so had to settle for some grainy shots from the official trailer (and a behind-the-scenes shot from the web) which are edited together and merge very quickly into the next “highlight”.

     

The big ship seen above right is seen and Toshi even refers to it when he says he wanted to run away from his kid mates and sneak onto it and escape Japan.

 

You can read my review of ‘The Ramen Girl‘ here.

New York Filming Locations: Sliver (1993)

In 1993, one year on from ‘Basic Instinct‘, Sharon Stone appeared in another sexual thriller called ‘Sliver‘ where she played Carly Norris; a book editor living in New York City. Having moved into the complex (below) at 211 Madison Avenue at East 36th Street (given as 113 East 38th Street in the film) she learns that some of the previous female tenants were murdered and police suspect that there is a serial killer in the building. After becoming romantically involved with building owner Zeke (William Baldwin) she discovers that he had the building secretly wired with hidden cameras and had been watching the lives of each tenant including Carly. She decides to move out and find alternative accommodation upon suspecting Zeke might be the serial killer.

 

In Central Park at the Resevoir bridge (below) on West 94th Street is where Carly goes jogging with a mysterious hooded man hot on her trail but when he passes her and turns round its revealed that its just Jack Lansford (Tom Berenger). He’s a fellow resident of the same building and along with Zeke, was also romantically pursuing Carly and has a part to play in how this film, based on the Ira Levin novel of the same name, concludes.

 

New York Filming Locations: When Harry Met Sally (1989)

When it comes to certain scenes stealing a movie there’s not too many which are more famous than the fake orgasm scene around the 43 minute mark in 1989′s ‘When Harry Met Sally‘. Following a discussion between the two on the topic of Harry’s one night stands and his boast that none of these ladies had faked an orgasm, Sally sceptically proves his theory wrong by faking a climax amid the intimacy of the room. That’s not the best moment though as that erm comes moments later when one lady (actually the director, Rob Reiner’s mother) says “I’ll have what she’s having” which is delivered with perfect comic timing.

   

This sandwich shop is Katz’s Deli (above) on 205 East Houston Street and the table where they sat even has a sign saying ‘You are sitting where Harry met Sally’ not that I knew that at the time! We went in the place which operates a take-a-ticket billing system but it was so so busy inside that I really couldn’t be bothered with it all and so decided against it.

Long before all that, is Washington Square Park (below) in Greenwich Village where Harry Burns  (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) arrive after she gives him a lift to New York after they graduated from the University of Chicago. What then follows is a load of scenes which show them failing to find love whilst occasionally meeting other by chance. As their friendship grows they are faced with the question of whether or not men and women can be friends without sex getting in the way.

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TF Film Review: Skyfall (2012)

All good things come to those who wait is a very apt phrase given its been four years since ‘Quantum Of Solace‘ not to mention the extra 5 week wait for us movie fans in Japan. There has been a lot of hype surrounding the release of ‘Skyfall‘ which heightened by the fact that its also 50 years since the first Bond film, ‘Dr No‘ was released. That shouldn’t affect one’s judgement of this third film to star Daniel Craig in the secret agent role. However, I have to say that this isn’t just a great Bond film but it is indeed a fantastic film in itself.

First things first though, and one disappointment at the outset is that there is still no traditional gun barrel opener. The pre-titles Turkish scenes in Istanbul and Adana were thrilling and left me short of breath as the opening titles kicked in. Adele’s lovely theme tune is, unlike the last couple (which I do actually like), one where you can actually sing the title of the film.

I was pretty much spoiler free going into this film (albeit not quite to the extent of that of ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘ back in the Summer) other than knowing that it had something to do with M’s past coming back to haunt her. Judi Dench’s character comes out from the background of past films to basically co-star alongside Daniel Craig. Together in this I think were both absolutely brilliant with the latter wrestling with both his emotions and his physical and psychological attributes which have served him so well.

Unlike ‘Quantum of Solace‘ the plot of ‘Skyfall‘ is actually understandable and very topical of modern times with its storyline but there are also a few other bits to keep us fans really happy such as the introduction (re-inroduction?) of Q, the backstory on Moneypenny, some of Bond’s family history and the return of the Aston Martin DB5 car (from 1964′s ‘Goldfinger’) which doesn’t make too much sense but it’s a nice nod to the past.

As ever there was a good range of locations taking in the aforementioned Turkey as well as China, England, Scotland and even Japan with Hashima in Nagasaki a.k.a. Gunkanjima (Battleship island) kind of being used as the ‘Dead City’ island retreat of antagonist Silva (Javier Bardem) although in the film it’s off the coast of Macau. The long shots are real but sadly this was all filmed on set at Pinewood Studios. Nevertheless, I’d still love to visit this island one day.

I really did love seeing the scenery from back home of London and the Scottish Highlands or maybe I’m just a misty-eyed Brit living abroad! It was also nice to see BBC News’ Huw Edwards as well as CNN’s Wolf Blitzer perform their cameo news anchor duties within the film.

The name Skyfall refers to Bonds family estate and childhood home in Scotland (filmed in reality in Surrey) where he retreats to with M leaving a trail behind so that Silva can find them and thus turn the tables as they had always been one step behind him up until then. Along with the innkeeper they then basically defend from within with limited resources akin to that of ‘The A-Team‘ or even ‘Home Alone‘! The ending took me by surprise and I was so thankful that I didn’t know what was going to happen beforehand. It is a long film but its 142 minute entirety thankfully passed me by with relative ease.

I’m now just relieved that I can finally read other reviews, listen to a backlog of 007 related podcasts and look into adding to my already substantial list of Bond movie locations visited. Bring on the next installment.

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Tokyo Fox Rating 9/10