London Filming Locations: Basic Instinct 2 (2006)

What’s going on here then?! Basic Instinct filming locations!! In fact these aren’t even from the 1992 thriller but the hilarious sequel which actually is funny but not in the conventional way as its the ludicrous plot which is seemingly treated so seriously by all those taking part. Its so daft that even ex-Leicester City striker is in it at the start. OK, he only played a few games for the Foxes and is far more for famous for plying his trade with other teams as well as his off-the-field problems but with a site called Tokyo Fox I have to jump on to these tenuous links to my club! His character is off his head on drugs as crime novelist Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) drives them through the Limehouse Link Tunnel in her car at high speed before inevitably crashing at Heron Quays into the water below. What’s more ridiculous is that despite no ramp the car flies off the bridge at a height way greater than it is!

Freemasons’ Hall on Great Queen Street in Covent Garden is on screen after 11 mins and is the court where Tramell is found to be suffering from risk addiction. Somehow I still haven’t passed by this place which is a shame as its design is quite interesting and has been used in many other films including the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Agent Cody Banks 2, Johnny English and the interior was used by director Paul Greengrass in ‘Green Zone‘ as the Republican Palace.

I have to say that I didn’t go out of my way to find any of these locations but did so when they were nearer far more interesting ones and before I knew it I had unwittingly accumulated a number of places featured in this not-so-anticpated follow-up. First up is the phallic shaped gherkin officially known as Swiss Re Tower (below) which is the office of Police Psychologist Dr Michael Glass (David Morrissey) where Tramell is waiting for him on 21 mins in anticipation of him becoming her therapist. The London landmark can be seen in glittering style again on 25, 44 and 55 mins.

 

 

After a wild sex session with his date fuelled by the image of Tramell’s face on her book besides their bed, Dr Glass gets a phone call from his ex-wife who is in a distressed state. He takes a taxi to 4 Princelet Street (below left) on 40 mins where her journalist partner Hugh Darcy has been found strangled to death. Furthermore, Darcy had been writing a negative story about Glass which leads him to think Tramell is trying to frame him for murder.

  

Tramell is followed by Dr Glass to Diamond Jack’s (above right) at 5 Walkers Court on the hour mark where he catches her in an orgy although she does see him peering through the glass roof. It appears again after 85 mins.

65 mins in is when Hakkasan (below left) at 8 Place is the bar where Glass has an altercation with his ex-wife shortly before she is found murdered. This place also appeared in the 2002 film ‘About a Boy‘.

 

The Magpie at 12 New Street (above right) close to Liverpool Street Station is not a gay bar although it did seem like it in the film where it was full of male-only police officers. It can be seen after 78 mins where Glass goes to talk to Detective Washburn and hand in some possible evidence found in Tramells fridge.

Dr Glass lives at Stone Buildings (below left) which is seen on 83 mins and is where Washburn catches up with Glass to fill him in on the forensic report.

London Film Museum – Batman Special

As I’ve mentioned on here in the past I have always been a Batman fan when it comes to the super-heroes and there were a fair few items of memorabillia relating to that franchise in the London Film Museum. The most noteworthy item may well be Christian Bale’s batsuit (lower left) from ‘Batman Begins’ but myself and Richard Richard were probably happier to have our pictures taken with a plastic Batman mannequin.

   

In addition to all that I also visited a couple of filming locations from the last couple of Batman films. Below left is Criterion at 224 Piccadilly which is visited by Bruce Wayne in ‘The Dark Knight’ and is actually a French restaurant owned by Marco Pierre White. The eye-lid entrance of CityPoint (below right) on Ropemaker Street was the shooting location in ‘Batman Begins’ where he arrived with a couple of playmates.

 

London Filming Locations: Harry Potter & The Philosophers Stone

Only a few days ago did I see ‘Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone’ for the first time. I’d never had an interest in this franchise whatsoever but having been to a couple of the London filming locations at the tail end of last year I was intrigued to see those places in the film itself. Of course I do usually only go to places seen in movies which I’ve seen but this was one exception due to its fame and the fact that they were basically right under my nose.

I was with my sister Lorna at Leadenhall Market one evening when we went to see the doorway of ‘The Leaky Cauldron’ which contains the entrance to ‘Diagon Alley’ where Hagrid takes Harry to buy his wizard school supplies. In reality its an optician’s shop (below left) at 42 Bulls Head Passage.

 

A few days after that I was waiting for Richard Richard at St Pancras when I popped over the road to King’s Cross Station. I found Platform 9 3/4 (above right) which was actually filmed under the arched wall between platforms 4 and 5. I didn’t know at that time that there is actually a photo opportunity close to the real platform 9 itself of the ‘platform 9 3/4’ sign with a trolley lodged halfway into the wall to create the effect of it going through the wall en-route to Hogwarts. I have to say that after I’d seen these two places in the films opening half hour I did lose a bit of interest and failed to follow what was really going on. For the record, the other London locations used were the Reptile House at London Zoo and Australia House’s Exhibition Hall with its marble columns and chandaliers was ‘Gringott’s Bank’.