So you know that new feature on Facebook, the memories they update every morning? Well it reminded me that today was a year ago today that Hong Kong held the World Premiere of Transformers: Age of Extinction (or Transformers 4). Oops, never posted about it…so I guess the one year anniversary is a good enough time as any, to remind the world of the directorial genius of Michael Bay (insert sarcastic pun here).
Despite the lacklustre film, the scenes filmed in Hong Kong are indeed spectacular and well worth the price of IMAX admission alone…but more memorable than the actual film was the world movie premiere taking place in Hong Kong itself. The excitement levels were about as high as when Mark Wahlberg’s previous incarnation Marky Mark used to strip down his pants to show the world his CK underwear. Oh yeah, we were that pumped.
The TST promenade was decked out with a loooong red carpet for the stars to traverse so that millions of money shot photos with the Hong Kong skyline could make their way to global media outlets around the world. While with my new job in media I managed to score invitations to the movie after party concert with Imagine Dragons and a press screening in IMAX the next day – I alas am not big-wig enough to score a golden ticket to the actual premiere with all cast in tow. Didn’t stop me and a girlfriend from checking it out before the Imagine Dragons concert though (standing alongside mainly teenage school girls)..and I’m so glad we did. Actually got to chat to Mark and one of his original “Entourage” Henry Nacho. We have new friends next time we come to visit Bahston. Quick, pahk the cah…i’m off!
After watching the stars parade into the cinema, it was time to head over to the top of Harbour City car park to watch Imagine Dragons play their first concert in Hong Kong. Albeit, this was free and invite only…I wondered why it was in/on a car park. Well that’s because even though it was invite only, there managed to be over five thousand fans who rocked up. Guess everyone likes a freebie! Once again with an amazing Hong Kong skyline as the backdrop, Imagine Dragons positively killed it with a set list that included: Tip Toe, Hear Me, It’s Time, Demons, On Top Of The World, Radioactive and the reason-we-are-all-here Transformers title track Battle Cry. Having seen them at Lollapalooza the year before, which was beset with sound issues, I must say this knocked my socks off. They really seemed to enjoy and revel in the fact they were playing in Hong Kong outside with large Transformers overshadowing them as much as the skyscrapers. You can really tell when a band is enjoying it as much as the fans and for that – i’m converted. ID for life!
Next day it was off to the press screening at IMAX, and as I enjoyed all the surrounding activity leading up to this moment and especially appreciate Intercontinental Film Distributors and iPR Ogilvy & Mather for passing an invite my way, I will only say nice things nor bore you with inconsequential plot matter (uhm, maybe because I have forgotten already)…but I can tell you Kelsey Grammer plays a good baddie, the action scenes are awesome and in particular the long Hong Kong battle set-piece is AH-mazing.
After I wiped away the tears of Hong Kong pride from my face it was off to the press conference, which was held at The Ritz Carlton on Friday 20 June, 2014. I even managed to squeeze in a question. After Michael Bay casually mentioned he didn’t want to film a 4th Transformers film and it was actually Mark Wahlberg’s idea I posed the following question to Mark myself:
Q: “Why did you approach Michael Bay about making another Transformers film..did you collect the toys when you were younger?”
A: “I actually don’t remember asking Michael (ha ha)…but I embrace the idea of playing an older guy..playing a father. For me the biggest reasons (being) I wanted to work with Michael Bay again..and I never made a movie that my kids are excited about or would want to see. I think it’s just introducing me to a whole new audience. I hosted the Kid’s Choice Awards as part of the promotion for Transformers and 2 days later I went to take the kids to school and all of a sudden everybody knew who I was.”
Bring more Hollywood movies to Hong Kong I say (and the movie premieres and concerts puhlease) – we are more than meets the eye! (had to be done..)