While Toronto is often called “Hollywood North,” Hawaii—which hosts its fair share of film crews—has no similar handle. Hollywood West? Hollywood Hawaii? Nothing seems to work. But what definitely works for directors are the dramatic mountain and ocean settings found here. I made the drive out to the Kualoa Ranch, located on the windward coast of Oahu, about 45 minutes from Waikiki, and I’m glad I did. The windward coast is often compared to the Garden of Eden, and once I emerged from a long tunnel that runs beneath the Ko’olau Range, I could see it right away—the panorama of a windswept aquamarine sea, lush greenery, the jagged peaks of the Ko’olau paralleling the shoreline. The Kualoa has been the setting for a number of television shows and movies—everything from Magnum PI to Godzilla to Pearl Harbor, but fans of the show Lost (a group that includes me) will instantly recognize the ranch as “The Island.” Although I was disappointed to learn that I’d missed Sawyer and some of the other stars by just a day, I enjoyed spotting familiar locations from the show on both the Jungle Expedition and Movie Sites and Ranch tours. Also familiar were settings from the final scenes of Jurassic Park, and the road that Drew Barrymore repeatedly drives down in 50 First Dates where Adam Sandler performs an escalating series of hijinks to get her attention. Definitely worth the drive.
—Tim Johnson, CF’s contributing editor, who will happily (for us) be back in the office on Monday