holiday

Dec. 19, 2013 | 11:16 a.m.

Holiday gift guide: ‘The Hobbit,’ ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Sherlock’ and more

Stressing out about a last-minute gift idea for the Trekkie, Time Lord or Jedi Padawan in your life? Look no further — Hero Complex’s annual holiday gift guide has you covered. This year’s guide, introduced on Thanksgiving, includes a wide range of geek-friendly selections from the worlds of science-fiction, fantasy, horror and comics. Is your TV-loving pal a “Game of Thrones” fan? Perhaps a plush direwolf or a 3-D puzzle map of Westeros will satisfy the wannabe-Stark in your life. Are you shopping for someone as strong and fair as Lady Sif? Check out the “Thor”-inspired lightning bolt and hammer earrings. Is there a pint-sized Whovian in your household? The Dalek Mr. Potato Head might make for the perfect stocking stuffer. Other selections in the Hero Complex holiday gift guide include items from “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “Marvel’s […]
Nov. 28, 2013 | 11:01 a.m.

Disneyland’s holiday tweaks twinkle with seasonal magic

A woman sports Christmas-colored Mickey Mouse ears as she awaits "A Christmas Fantasy Parade" on Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
The scattered nature of Southern California’s expansive urban grid is never more noticeable than during the winter holidays. While lights festoon certain streets and artistically ambitious homeowners create over-the-top front-lawn tableaux, Los Angeles still lacks the central pedestrian thoroughfares that make Christmas so enchanting in cities like New York and Chicago, London and Paris. This means that, as with so many other things, we have to drive to Christmas. Or at least Anaheim. The new trend in open-plaza shopping may offer more local town-square seasonal activities — the Grove and the Americana have tree-lighting ceremonies and nightly “snow” fall, while Pershing Square and Nokia Plaza host skating rinks. But none of them beats the faux Main Street that started it all. At the resort the mouse built, Walt Disney’s nostalgic imagining of Americana has become more crazy festive with each […]
March 17, 2013 | 1:16 p.m.

St. Patrick’s Day good for a Google Doodle and a ‘Leprechaun’

Jennifer Aniston in "Leprechaun"
St. Patrick’s Day has arrived and brought with it a high-stepping Google Doodle. The Feast of St. Patrick means shamrocks and green T-shirts and parties. St. Patrick’s Day may be a celebration of the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, but in America by the 1800s it had become more a celebration of Irishness. In 2008, a survey run by the U.S. Census Bureau counted up more than 36 million Americans with Irish roots, as Forbes reported last year. That’s 12% of the populace. This very American holiday should mean more than green beer.  With St. Pat’s on a weekend, it’s a good time for all Americans with a trace of Irish  to celebrate their love of film.  Though St. Pat’s-themed films are few, there’s always “Leprechaun.” This 1993 horror film has the added bonus of featuring a pre-“Friends” Jennifer Aniston.  […]
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