HOME & GARDEN
February 22, 2014 |
When I met my husband, Brandon, online, we covered most of the essentials over email. I knew he lived in Murrieta, 53 miles from my Seal Beach home. I knew he was a widower. I also knew he had a freezer stocked with microwaveable pocket sandwiches -- meaning he didn't cook. Hardly the perfect catch, I mused. But I was still drawn to him. Then I got this: "There's something else you should know," he wrote. "I have a unique hobby. " I prepped myself for a collection of Civil War guns, a lifetime membership in the official Disney fan club, even a fascination with vampires.
February 19, 2014 |
Of the many unexpected moments in Phil Lord and Chris Miller's breakout hit "The Lego Movie," perhaps none is as surprising as the film's ending, which is daring even by the standards of this unconventional film. So daring, in fact, that even its filmmakers weren't sure they could get away with it. "We were terrified," said Miller. "We didn't know if you would care about the universe once you understood how the universe worked," alluding to how the movie turns itself inside-out at the end. PHOTOS: Images from 'The Lego Movie' In a season in which the typically tricky art of the movie ending has largely satisfied - witness the well-regarded twist in "American Hustle," the Quaalude-enabled piece de resistance of "The Wolf of Wall Street" and the return-to-Earth redemption of "Gravity" - the finale of "Lego" may top them all. Warner Bros., which financed and released "The Lego Movie," was also unsure about the finale and for a time pushed the filmmakers to consider a more conventional path.
February 7, 2014 |
Early in the development of "The Lego Movie," Jill Wilfert, the executive who oversees Lego's licensing efforts in Southern California, had a question for her bosses at company headquarters in Denmark: Can we have a character die? "It wasn't something we ever had to really think about before," Wilfert said. "But we had to think about it now. " Their conclusion was yes, and it became one of a number of freedoms the company allowed Warner Bros., producer Dan Lin and writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller in creating the most freewheeling and reference-packed picture to come out of film's branded-movie era. PHOTOS: Actors who've been turned down for famous roles "Lego"--which as of Thursday had garnered a rare 100% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and was expected to open upward of $50 million this weekend--is a rare Big Hollywood entertainment with a playful subversiveness, the world's first postmodern toy film.
January 31, 2014 |
If there was a winner among the piles of gifts given to children this Christmas, Barbie certainly wasn't it. The fashion doll - possibly the best-known player in Mattel Inc.'s stable of products - endured a 13% sales slide during the company's fourth quarter. "We just didn't sell enough Barbie dolls," Mattel Chief Executive Bryan G. Stockton said Friday in a conference call with analysts. Several other brands from the El Segundo toy maker also fared poorly. Fisher-Price, whose lineup focuses on infants and young children, also suffered a 13% revenue plunge.
January 10, 2014 |
GULF ISLANDS, Canada - "I'm not ashamed to say it," Colin Griffinson says, as he scans the island-dotted Strait of Georgia, "I have wooden boat disease!" And as he spins the very big wheel of his 1943 Pacific Yellowfin, one of a string of wooden boats the Dublin, Ireland-born captain and master carpenter has bought and restored over the years, he looks like a kid playing with his favorite toy. And so do we, eight passengers cruising British Columbia's Gulf Islands aboard this floating toy box stacked with mountain bikes, mopeds, kayaks, golf clubs, fishing rods, shotguns for skeet shooting and a water slide, with a hot tub on deck and a speed boat with wakeboards and water skis.
December 30, 2013 |
Another Los Angeles bookstore is closing its doors. Mrs. Nelson's Toy and Book Shop , a children's book store located in La Verne, has announced it will close in early 2014 -- most likely before January is out. A final sale began on Friday. "It's economic," owner Judy Nelson told The Times. "Retail shopping is changing. " Big-box stores, discounters and online sales provided too much competition, she said. None were a factor when Mrs. Nelson's Toy and Book Shop opened in La Verne in 1985.