New York Filming Locations: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

The third Bourne movie ‘Ultimatum‘ also finishes in New York (after stints mainly in London and Tangiers) but concludes the whole story in far more extravagant style than its predecessor. Bourne takes a cab from the airport over Queensboro Bridge (below) on 74 mins and arranges to meet Landy at Tudor City although its just a tactic to distract Vosen and co and break into his safe to get the incriminating Blackbriar information

   

Before you know it Bourne is a few blocks west at Port Authority Parking Lot (above right) where he steals a car from the rooftop which I think is the one seen below right.

 

He is then seen racing down the ramp between West 40th and West 41st Streets at 9th Avenue but without an aerial camera or high vantage point it was pretty difficult to do the screenshot below left justice.

 

The fast-paced chase ends up on South Street which is at the foot of the Manhattan side of Brooklyn Bridge and then its on to one of my favourite Bourne locations.

The training facility of SRD is at 415 East 71st Street which Landy gives to Bourne via coded message. However, this address will not lead you to the place seen in the movie on 68 mins as it was actually filmed outside 60 Lafayette Street with the now-defunct Family Court Building used as the secret Treadstone training place. Naturally fake street signs were used and this location really is a pivotal place in the scheme of things. To quote the main man “This is where it started for me. This is where it ends.”

   

It doesn’t quite end there though as Landy faxes the incriminating evidence on Vosen whilst Bourne encounters Dr Albert Hirsch (Albert Finney) on an upper level and is informed that he volunteered for the programme. Pursued by Vosen and his CIA team he flees to the rooftop which is actually much further uptown at the Hospital for Special Surgery on 535 East 70th Street. Bourne is first confronted on the roof by Paz and after an emotional exchange of words he runs to jump off the roof and as he does so Vosen appears and shoots at him as he plunges into the East River below. A spectacular end brings the Bourne story full circle in terms of him starting in the water in ‘Identity‘ and finishing in it in ‘Ultimatum‘…….until ‘The Bourne Legacy‘ decided to continue the story!! I have never failed to get a shiver down my spine as I see Nicky (Julia Stiles) watching the TV news report about the exposure of Operation Blackbriar in the films closing moments.

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New York Filming Locations: The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

“Get some rest Pam, you look tired” are the final words uttered over the phone by Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) on 100 minutes to Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) before Moby’s theme tune kicks in and he is seen walking away from the building where he had been spying on her from. Although the majority of ’The Bourne Supremacy‘ was shot in Berlin which I covered in this entry the second film in the saga ends in New York City. The building below is located on 202 East 48th Street at 3rd Avenue and it was raining quite badly when I went there on my final day in the city.

     

Paris Filming Locations: The Bourne Identity (2002)

The first of the Bourne trilogy was filmed mostly in Paris with a few scenes done in the Czech Republic which appeared in last years ‘Prague Pt II’ article. The action soon moves on to the French capital with Jason and Marie arriving from “Switzerland” in her red mini at night where they sleep in the car at Quai de la Tornelle (below) on 36 mins.

  

 

They arrive at Bourne’s apartment (below) on 38 mins which is 104 Avenue Kléber and not 104 Rue du Jardin as portrayed in the film. Trocadero is the nearest Metro station and this was my first port of call back in January. Its here that Bourne learns someone wants him out of the way and after an exciting fight which leaves Marie shocked they both exit his apartment on 47 mins. Featured below are the various screenshots and views which we see during those brief movie moments. The lower right photo is the view we see of Bourne from the inside of the apartment minus the metal door frame getting in the way.

 

 

The Treadstone safehouse (below) on 47 mins where Nicky gets her instructions following the altercation at Bourne’s place is 2 Place du Marché St Catherine.

 

Far easier to find (obviously!) was the Gare du Nord (below) which is Europe’s busiest railway station and my final destination as it was where I was to get the Eurostar back to Britain. Bourne leaves Marie outside pondering whether to stick with him or not while he goes inside the station to deposit his red bag (full of his many identities and national currencies) in one of the lockers. It appears on screen after 49 mins and also pops up again briefly in ‘The Bourne Ultimatum‘.

   

Unlike the 007 films the Bourne franchise doesn’t like to take place amid a places most famous landmarks but it does often feature them in the distant background. One such example of that is where the Eiffel Tower is seen in the screenshots and my comparison photos below which are of Wombosi the dictators mansion. It is seen on screen after 63 mins when he is assassinated by The Professor. The address is 11 Place des États Unis and is a short walk up the road from the aforementioned Bourne home.

 

 

Next up is Hotel Regina at 2 Place des Pyramides (below) on 64 mins which is where Bourne fills Marie in on his detailed plan for her to go inside and get information concerning his alter ego John Michael Kane. Marie enters the hotels grand lobby which I was surprised to notice was almost identical to that seen in the film even down to the tree in the corner.

 

   

Jardin des Tuilerres is across the road from Hotel Regina (below) and appears on 66 mins when Marie knocks on the phone box (a fake set piece by the way) and surprises Bourne and tells him that she ignored his detailed planning and had just got Kane’s phone records from the reception desk. Subtle humour and a kind of swipe at the usual elaborate ways of acquiring such information in films.

 

 

La Defense Grand Arche (below) pops up on screen after 69 mins for a brief second as Bourne follows the lead given to him by Marie. The place he’s going to is called ‘Alliance Securite Maritime’ and was nearly missed by me altogether as for some reason I didn’t have it in my notes or on my iPad google map page. Luckily I saw this scene on my PSP copy of the movie which I was using for the match-ups and took the metro out to the western side of Paris to see this gigantic hollow cube.

  

Bourne sets up a meeting with Treadstone Chief Alex Conklin on Pont Neuf (below) after 95 mins but as ever he’s on top of things and notices all the extra people dotted around the area keeping an eye on things and promptly flees the area. Rain had been hanging in the air all day whilst I was in Paris and on the whole I got quite lucky but the weather was awful while I was in the vicinity of Pont Neuf and the Samaritaine building seen in the background below.

     

The Treadstone operation is closed down at Rue de Jarante (below) on 108 mins when Conklin meets his maker. The aforementioned Treadstone safe house is actually behind this street.

 

   

Bourne crosses the Pont des Arts (above) walking away from Treadstone and mysteriously disappears on 109 mins. Of course he reappears a few minutes later as he tracks Marie down in the ‘Little Venice’ area of Mykonos in Greece where she is running a motorcycle rental shop. The excellent ‘Extreme Ways’ by Moby then kicks in and the end credits roll. Should I have put a spoiler alert on here?!!

You can see my Berlin ‘Bourne Supremacy’ locations here.

Berlin Filming Locations: The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

The second film in the Bourne trilogy begins in Goa (India) where Bourne (Matt Damon) and Marie (Franka Potente) are lying low. After that its mostly Berlin all the way albeit in a variety of guises as the German capital fills in for Naples, Munich, Amsterdam and Moscow.

Berlin makes its first appearance in ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ by way of the Kantstrasse/Hardenbergstrasse junction next to Zoologischer Garten Station which is where a deal is struck to expose the mole within the CIA but Russian agent Kirill sabotages it as he tries to frame Jason Bourne.

 

Kirill reports to Yuri (his control) at Motel Avus at 51 Halenseestrasse which is over the road from the ICC at Messedamm and the parking area beneath that doubles up as ‘Moscow’ Airport where they meet each other.

 

Nearby, at the northern entrance to the Berlin Exhibition Grounds at Messedamm 22 is the ‘Naples’ custom office where Bourne is held on his return to Europe

 

Next up is ‘Amsterdam’ but of course its Berlin and Walter-Benjamin-Platz in particular where Nicky (Julia Stiles) is found by Ward Abbott.

 

Bourne arrives in the German capital at Berlin Oestbahnhof and walks past a souvenir shop inside the station and then puts his bag in the exact same locker pictured below. He also takes out another bag he’d been keeping in there.

   

Its in this station that he phones a few hotels in the name of tracking down US agent Pamela Landy (Joan Allen). Before he tails her he crosses the Oberbaumbruecke which featured prominantly in ‘Run Lola Run’ featuring his co-star Franka Potente as can be seen in ‘Berlin Pt II’.

  

The Westin Grand is the luxury hotel where Landy is staying. Bourne finds out in a clever way at reception that she is staying in room 235. He then watches her leave from his position on the 4th floor and then takes the stairs down and goes through the hotels revolving doors where he gets in a taxi and follows her to the CIA hub where he makes a phonecall to her whilst watching from a nearby rooftop.

      

Alexanderplatz plays host to the next round of events in the movie. Bourne arranges to meet Nicky under the Weltzeituhr (world clock) on Alexanderstrasse amid a student demonstration.

     

The next location is over in West Berlin at Hotel Brecker (at Kurfurstendamm 288) where Bourne has flashbacks of his disastrous first mission to kill Russian politician Neski in room 645. I knew the hotel didn’t exist but wanted to find the building but, after a long walk, all I found was a pile of rubble as the place had been demolished.

Friedrichstrasse station provides some of the films most exciting scenes (in a movie jam-packed with action) when the police chase Bourne up some steps, over the bridge and on to the platform. Unlike most other films the train doors don’t magically close as soon as he gets on but he does use efficient German timing to his advantage in order to make his escape. He jumps across the track seen below narrowly avoiding an oncoming train and then he hops on over the bridge onto a slow riverboat, hooks himself back on to the brdige and hauls himself up and gets back on the train he’d originally intended to take. Classic!

     

After this, Bourne takes the train to Moscow. The ‘Moscow’ disco, where Yuri finds Kirill and informs his that Bourne is still alive, is of course in Berlin. It’s the aptly named Cafe Moskau on Karl Marx Allee 34 although we don’t see the front of it in the movie. Instead, the Kino International complex across the road is seen from under the cafe.

 

The ‘Moscow’ street where Bourne arrives by taxi in search of Neski’s daughter is actually Scharrenstrasse near Spittelmarkt U-Bahn station. On foot he turns into Friedrichsgracht, walks under a bridge and is shot by Kirill next to this river which was frozen over when I was there. Kirill is temporarily arrested before a car chase ensues.

   

As well as actual Moscow this car chase was also filmed in Berlin with perhaps the most notable part being the final crash at the Potsdamer Platz exit of Tiergarten Tunnel.

You can see my Bourne Identity Bourne Ultimatum location photos here & here.

Prague Filming Locations: The Bourne Identity & Amadeus

Most of the main Prague locations will be mentioned in ‘Prague Pt III’ and ‘Prague Pt IV’. This entry will include the rest and we start with Kampa Park across the river from the Old Town which featured in the opening 11 minutes of The Bourne Identity and is where Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) duffs up a couple of Zurich policemen (as Prague was used as a substitute for the Swiss city) after they wake him up from his sleep on a bench by the Certovka stream near Charles Bridge. He then runs away through the park passing the tree which I am lurking behind in a menacing way below! The screenshot is below my picture.

   

Nearby were a trio of sculptures which were just crying out for this type of photo (above left) to be done!

It seems that Prague is rarely ever used to portray itself as it fills in for Vienna in the 1984 film Amadeus. I’ve not seen it but it features in a lovely book I got from my parents for Christmas. Maltese Square was supposedly the setting of a lively market scene but when I was there it was far from lively. Almost empty in fact! St. Giles’ Church at Husova 8 was where Mozart and Constanze got married in the film. Hopefully that will mean something to someone!

 

 

TF Film Review: Green Zone (2010)

It seems that its impossible to talk about Green Zone without mentioning the Bourne franchise (which I absolutely loved) so now that I have got that reference out of the way we can move on. This movie came out a couple of months ago in Britain but as usual the Japan release was delayed which I went to see at a nearby cinema on its opening day last Friday. The film is directed by Paul Greengrass (with his trademark use of hand-held cameras) and he teams up with Matt Damon yet again to provide a typically breakneck action film which is tense and exciting. There is also, in my opinion, a quite preachy polical message regarding the weapons of mass destruction which Damon‘s character Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller is searching for in Iraq in order to justify the US invasion. When his search comes up empty handed each time he begins to have his suspicions about some of his own side.
Beforehand I had fairly low expectations for Green Zone as war films don’t always do it for me and I thought that I would be hoping to see Bourne taking aim at real life in Iraq. Of course, the lead character in this film is not exactly too different in appearance as after all they do have the same face and the same voicebox! Overall, though I really liked this film and was able to separate it from the aforementioned franchise which certainly helps one enjoy it.

TF Film Review: Invictus (2010)

Nelson Mandela was one of those names I grew up hearing quite often without actually knowing too much about him. Difficult to believe now but when I was a child I only knew the name from Nelson Mandela Park in Leicester or Nelson Mandela House in the BBC comedy series ‘Only Fools & Horses’. It wasn’t until he was released from prison that I really found out the important facts. The 1995 Rugby World Cup soon followed which the South Africans won on home soil spurred on by their then-new inspirational leader and that is what the new Clint Eastwood directed film ‘Invictus’ is about. The film is released in Japan on February 5th but I managed to see it the other week thanks to the wonders of the internet.
I am a fan of Matt Damon (who plays the Springbok Captain Francois Pienaar) and Morgan Freeman (as Mandela) is a legendary actor and while their South African accents seem OK to me (lets be honest, I am not the best person to judge what is a good accent) I don’t think they’re as good as Leonardo DiCaprio’s in ‘Blood Diamond’.
The political side of the movie is very interesting and while I can’t really fault the main actors it is the usual scenario for re-creating sporting action which bothers me. The final was played in Johannesburg but in the film it is clearly played in Cape Town and at the start of the game the kick off is one of the tamest kicks which seemingly only travels a few metres which is technically an infringement. Also, the film does not at any time mention the fact that the All-Blacks squad were sick with food poisoning. No doubt there are a few other innaccuracies which I didn’t notice from just one viewing of the movie. What I did see while watching the end credits (I wanted to see if there were actually any professionals used for the teams) was that my country was shown as England Rose’s rather than just England which is just the kind of Americanisation thing that annoys us Brits.
 
Overall, it is a film about the South African nation coming together (although the events in the film are portrayed as solving the country’s problems) and if you just treat it like the Hollywood production which it is and forget (or don’t know) about the Rugby side of it then its enjoyable. After all, its not a Rugby film but one of Mandela’s first presidential term after the fall of apartheid.