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'Hawaii Five-0' rolls out McGarrett's black Mercury

By Mike Gordon

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:31 p.m. HST, Feb 17, 2011



Think of it as a metaphor for a character who refuses to quit or maybe the ghost of the actor who first brought him to life. Either way, the spirit of Jack Lord will be making an appearance tomorrow on the new "Hawaii Five-0."

He'll arrive in the guise of a black 1974 Mercury Marquis that's still running after more than 200,000 miles. The sedan was Lord's ride when he starred as Steve McGarrett in the original series. After the show ended in 1980, he gave the car to his stunt double, John Nordlum.

If you watched the pilot of the new series, you saw the Mercury when the new McGarrett poked around his father's garage. It was the aging car's only screen time until the "Five-0" writers brought it back for an episode shot last month.

Nordlum was invited to watch. He gave the production crew a few tips about getting the monster's 460-cubic-inch V-8 to start. "It was a cute scene," he said. "It looks really good in the shot, but it doesn't run in the shot."

When the show borrowed the car last spring for the pilot, Nordlum was told it would be used more often.

"They had some shows in mind, but they wanted to get the series established first," he said. "It's beginning to materialize now, and I am very happy with that."

THE WORK OF New Zealand filmmaker Merata Mita, a University of Hawaii assistant professor best known for her political documentaries, will be celebrated Wednesday at the opening night of "Deep Waters: A Pacific Film Series."

Mita, who taught at Manoa's Academy for Creative Media and started its indigenous filmmaker program, died unexpectedly in May. She was 67.

Her documentaries were praised for their unflinching look at the way indigenous people were treated, said Marlene Booth, a friend and colleague at the academy. Her film "Bastion Point: Day 507" focused on Maoris being evicted from tribal land, and "Patu!" followed the violent clashes between anti-apartheid protesters and police during the 1981 tour of a South African rugby team.

"She really took quite seriously the role of mentor, both with students and with indigenous filmmakers in the community," Booth said. "She knew they had stories inside them."

"Deep Waters," a free series that honors Pacific filmmakers and the stories shared by indigenous peoples, will run 5 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday at the Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies.

IT DOESN'T HURT that Hawaii Kai's Joanna Sotomura has a degree in theater arts, but it's easy to act terrified when the star of your slasher film is a 6-foot-7 guy wearing a pig's head and coming at you with an ax.

"Madison County," a new horror movie, will mark Sotomura's feature-film debut in a genre that scares the bejabbers out of her.

"I have a hard time believing it is all not real," she said by telephone from Los Angeles.

The plot involves a group of college students who travel to a mountain town to learn more about its murderous past. The film, shot last September in Arkansas, does not have a release date, but it helped Sotomura land a guest-starring spot on the new CBS series "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior," she said.

The series premieres Wednesday, but Sotomura won't appear until the eighth episode. She plays the roommate of a missing person and appears with series regulars Janeane Garofalo and Beau Garrett.

"It's a small scene but it's a chunky scene," Sotomura said. "It's about three pages and it's nice. I definitely get a lot of face time."

It's great exposure, plus, no one's trying to cut her in half.

AND that's a wrap.

Mike Gordon is the Star-Advertiser's film and television writer. His "Outtakes" column appears Sundays. E-mail him at mgordon@staradvertiser.com.






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