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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, July 19, 2001

The Left Lane
Valley of the movies

"Windtalkers" director John Woo talked about his film at Kualoa.
An Internet movie trailer of John Woo's "Windtalkers" is heavy on Ka'a'awa Valley scenery.

Scheduled for November release, the "inspired by true events" film about Navajo soldiers who used their generally unknown language to transmit Allied secrets during World War II was partially filmed last year in the O'ahu valley straddling Kualoa Ranch.

Sandwiched between scenes of lead actor Nicolas Cage accepting a "Mission: Impossible"-type assignment to protect a Navajo code talker are sweeping battle scenes featuring the valley, which is more famous of late for serving as a major motion picture backdrop than for its daily horseback rides. At the start of filming, Woo said the valley would be subbing for Saipan landscapes.

Heavy on rapid gunfire, flame throwers, tanks, bodies flying and men behaving madly, there was lots to find appealing from the otherwise too-short teaser. Besides the fact that action auteur Woo directed the film and Cage looks to be in full action-hero mode throughout, it does seem like a whole lot of stuff blows up big time.

Check out the trailer at www.mgm.com/windtalkers/

— Derek Paiva, Advertiser staff writer

First-aid wristband

You no longer have to have a St. Bernard to pack along reviving measures. Instead of a barrel of brandy around the neck, there's a first aid kit you can wear around your wrist. The Lifeline First Aid wrist pocket contains 34 items for first aid. These include everything needed to treat minor injuries when you're out for day: bandages, gauze pads, antibiotic ointment, alcohol swabs, insect sting relief, Blistex and adhesive strips. Elastic straps on the red mini day-pack make for easy wearing on the wrist.

When the supplies are gone, it's also useful for holding credit cards, calling cards and keys when walking, jogging or cycling. The Lifeline First Aid Wristpocket sells for $6.69 at Safeway.

— Chris Oliver, Advertiser staff writer

Check it out

First it was pump-your-own gas, and then we started seeing more tap-your-own soda fountains. The next trend in consumer self-reliance may be scan-your-own-stuff checkout lines at stores.

About 900 KMart stores nationwide are in the process of installing new self-service checkout equipment, manufactured by the cash-register folks at NCR.

At the 300 stores where the machines are already in place, up to 40 percent of customers are opting for self-service, according to Kmart's corporate office. Cash, checks and credit are accepted at the units, and customers can see the prices as they scan.

KMart publicists tell us the Lihu'e store will be first in Hawai'i, with installation set for the end of the month. Other stores are to follow in October. However, that timetable came as a surprise to the Lihu'e store manager we contacted. He's checking it out now, though.

— Vicki Viotti, Advertiser staff writer