Destination: Kauai

The Critics: ‘A Perfect Getaway’

The Critics: ‘A Perfect Getaway’ Publicity still via IGN
Publicity still via IGN

Remember that movie about beautiful people murdering each other on an isolated Hawaiian hiking trail? It’s landed in theaters, and the reviews are piling up.

The Globe and Mail’s Stephen Cole sets the scene: “Newlyweds Cliff and Cydney are excited to be in Hawaii. He’s a screenwriter without a credit. She’s a rich girl without a clue. And they’re looking for a honeymoon adventure to fuel an interesting marriage. To that end, they’re going to backpack around one of Hawaii’s most rugged islands, climbing slippery cliffs and scooting, doused in insect repellent, through heavy jungle.”

Of course, it isn’t long before things go pear-shaped, when another hiking couple turns up dead. Cue a murderous shell game with the remaining three couples—throughout which, according to Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News, director David Twohy “uses the beautifully shot waterfalls and vistas of Hawaii to distract from some glaring plot holes.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Kirk Honeycutt offers Twohy a backhanded compliment, lauding a “genuinely unexpected twist” in an “otherwise gimmicky, formulaic suspense thriller”—and, disappointingly, notes that the movie was mostly shot in Puerto Rico, not Kauai.

The New Sand: May Contain Plastic

The New Sand: May Contain Plastic Photo by Mason Bryant via Flickr (Creative Commons).
Photo by Mason Bryant via Flickr (Creative Commons).

The May 2009 issue of Hana Hou!—Hawaiian Airlines’ in-flight mag—includes an article called The Voyage of the Junk. The story is about a journey from California to Honolulu via the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The ship itself was a trash heap, made out of plastic garbage and leftover bits of a Cessna. The goal of the journey was to raise awareness of the impact that all the plastic crap we create, buy and use is having on the oceans.

There’s a particularly sad and telling passage in the story. Upon arrival in Honolulu, one of the sailors decided to find out how long it would take to pull a piece of plastic out of the water. He hopped overboard, and: “Less than a minute later he was out, holding up an ‘ABC Stores’ bag. ‘Thirty seconds,’ he said, with both triumph and distaste.”

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May Day Is Lei Day in Hawaii

May Day Is Lei Day in Hawaii Photo by Nerd's Eye View via Flickr (Creative Commons

May 1, 1928, was the first Lei Day, the holiday that celebrates the Hawaiian tradition of making and wearing leis. Island festivities include lei-making contests and Prom King and Queen-like coronations. After the contests are over, the leis are taken to the tombs of the ali’i—the Hawaiian royalty—and left there as offerings. I’m more than a little delighted to be arriving in Kaua’i just in time for the island’s Lei Day festivities. There’s a rather nice video montage of some older and new Lei Day photos here:

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