My ticket for a special screening of
Transformers: Age of Extinction
Last night, I attended a special screening of a Hollywood blockbuster that's hotly anticipated by Hong Kong filmgoers -- not least because part of it was filmed here in the Big Lychee. I'll leave it to many, more illustrious others to tender their more detailed reviews of Transformers: Age of Extinction (which will be released in cinemas in Hong Kong on June 26th, the US a day later and the UK and Ireland only on July 5th).
For my part, I'll just say that I found it dumb but entertaining -- or should it be entertaining but dumb? In any case, what I want to share more are five things I "learnt" about Hong Kong through viewing this Michael Bay movie:-
1) It takes only a few hours -- or is just minutes? -- to drive from Beijing to Hong Kong! And this in an ordinary car rather than a Transformer. (In real life though, Beijing is a whopping 1,226 miles or 1,973 kilometers from Hong Kong!)
2) Locations in Quarry Bay, To Kwa Wan, Sham Shui Po and Central are interchangeable -- I write this because the way they are presented in the film, they all seem to be so close to one another that people in, say, To Kwa Wan can come across those in Quarry Bay in a matter of minutes.
3) There's not only countryside immediately to the south of Quarry Bay (true) but the natural landscape there strongly resembles that of Wulong Karst National Park over near Chongqing (so not true)!
4) The real Hong Kong just does not look "Chinese" enough for filmmakers like Michael Bay. So scenes had to be shot in a fake Hong Kong that actually was located in Detroit, Michigan -- one in which moon gates, Chinese arches and restaurants with birds in cages can be found.
5) In Hong Kong, kungfu masters are so prevalent that the one other person you find yourself in an elevator with is likely to be one... (Note: while more than one person I know seems bothered by this stereotype, I personally find it pretty cool that Hollywood -- and by extension those who watch their films who are not from here -- thinks this! ;b)