<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - TV, movies, music and celebrity news]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/entertainment/entertainment-news http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:32:13 -0800 Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:32:13 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Hungering for a Great "Mockingjay"]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:37:12 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/SP1_D08_03267_Rc.jpg

Like its arrow-slinging protagonist Katniss Everdeen, "Catching Fire," last year's second chapter of "The Hunger Games" movie series, did more than just survive in a fierce, unforgiving field. The flick pulled off a Hollywood feat as rare a Hunger Games without a solo winner: The sequel far outshined the initial installment.

The first film based on the dystopian book trilogy about an annual competition pitting children from a dozen "districts" against one another in a televised fight to the death took aim at Reality TV, among other targets. But for all the action and drama, the 2012 box office hit largely missed the mark, falling flat and bloodless for considerable stretches.

"Catching Fire" lived up to its name as characters from the first film blazed to life, fueling a compelling story that ended with the oppressed nation of Panem on the verge of a revolution led by Katniss, a star for the ages. Now "Mockingjay — Part 1,” the first installment in the dual finale, arrives in theaters Friday, leaving us wondering which "Hunger Games" we're going to get.

The fate of "Mockingjay," on-screen and off, rests largely on the impressive shoulders of Katniss and her real-life alter ego, Jennifer Lawrence.

Like Katniss, Lawrence is eminently relatable in her civilian life (her eschewing of celebrity trappings and her Oscar night stumbles have endeared her to fans) and beloved for turning fierce when attacked (see Lawrence's strong rebuke to the those who posted hacked personal pictures of her and other stars). The actress is a symbol of Hollywood hope and celebrity sanity.

Katniss also is a powerful symbol to both the government forces that made her a star and the rebels who broke her out of the Hunger Games dome in "Catching Fire." But Katniss is far more than either side's Joan of Arc/martyr-in-waiting. As we saw from her flaming entrance in last year's chapter, she controls the fire.

The full flesh-and-blood realization of Katniss Everdeen is a tribute to the ability of Lawrence, at 24 a great, Oscar-winning actress who more than held her own against Robert DeNiro in "Silver Linings Playbook."  In "Mockingjay," she's again surrounded by top-notch "Hunger Game" players, including Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci and Philip Seymour Hoffman, who filmed most of his scenes for the “Mockingjay” movies before his death in February.

As we saw with the initial "Hunger Games" entry, fine acting alone can't carry a film. Splitting the final chapter into two parts might follow the largely money-driven trend of milking lucrative book-inspired movie franchises ("Twilight," "Harry Potter," "The Hobbit”). But the gimmick doesn’t necessarily bode well for quality as we wait to see whether "Mockingjay — Part 1" leaves us hungering for or just plain hungry.

 

Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multimedia NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.


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<![CDATA[Mike Nichols: Humanity on a Cinematic Scale]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:55:57 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP050607019325.jpg

Mike Nichols understood and celebrated the power of everyday human experiences. As a director he crafted stories about love, heartbreak, death, grief, anger, humor and hope, placing them in the context of modern-day life and examining them under a microscope via the stage and screens both big and small.

The Hollywood legend, who was honored with Emmy, Tony, Grammy and Golden Globe Awards as well as a Best Director Oscar for "The Graduate," died Wednesday. He was 83.

A performer who ultimately found his career niche behind the camera, Nichols spent more than five decades cajoling award-winning performances out of a diverse company of actors that includes Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Cher, Shirley MacLaine, Alan Arkin, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jeffrey Wright, Robin Williams, Al Pacino, Julia Roberts, Nathan Lane, Anne Bancroft, Sigourney Weaver, Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith, John Travolta, Kathy Bates and Larry Hagman.

Here, some of his most beloved screen outings:

"The Graduate" (1967)

Capturing the post-college malaise affecting his protagonist Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman), Nichols used held a mirror up to middle-class America as it wrestled with the growing youthquake of the 1960s. Braddock's affair with the wife of a family friend (Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson utters the oft quoted famous question from the film: "Would like to seduce me?") and then subsequent relationship with her daughter was underscored perfectly with music by Simon & Garfunkel.

"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966)

Real-life pair Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton play a married couple whose seemingly pleasant academic life unravels over the course of one volatile and argument-filled evening at home. At times funny and horrific, the film peels back the emotional layers until the characters face their deepest fears and regrets. "Woolf" was awarded five Academy Awards including the Best Director win for Nichols.

"Working Girl" (1988)

Melanie Griffith plays Tess McGill, the titular character of this movie that explores the role of women in the workplace, class and interoffice relationships against the backdrop of Wall Street greed and ambition in the 1980s. Sigourney Weaver is the boss trying to keep our heroine down while Harrison Ford plays the man enamored of both McGill's beauty and brains.

"The Birdcage" (1996)

A broad comedy farce, this remake of the popular French musical "La Cage aux Folles" stars Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman and Diane Weist as two disparate couples — one, a gay nightclub owner and his longtime partner who is also his headlining drag act, the other a right-wing Senator who founded the Coalition of Moral Order and his buttoned-up wife — who must come together for the sake of their soon-to-be-married children.

"Silkwood" (1983)

Nichols' first foray into strict drama was awarded five Oscars. A true story about a whistle-blower at a plutonium processing plant was also Nichols' first on-screen collaboration with Meryl Streep. The two Hollywood heavyweights would go on to team up three more times: "Heartburn" (1986), "Postcards From the Edge" (1990), "Angels in America" (2003) and the in-development HBO adaptation of Terrance McNally's play "Master Class," about legendary opera diva Maria Callas.

"Angels in America" (2003)

Nichols fashioned Tony Kushner's award-winning play about the advent of HIV/AIDS in New York City in the 1980s into powerful six hour, two-part miniseries featuring Streep and an all-star cast that would go on to win 11 Emmys and five Golden Globe Awards.



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
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<![CDATA[NBC Brings the Holiday Viewing Cheer]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:47:13 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NUP_165234_1792.JPG

From classic Holiday moments such as "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," the lighting of the tree during "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" and watching the beloved "It's a Wonderful Life," to getting cozy in front of new seasonal specials including "Peter Pan Live!" and "Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas," NBC is the place to be for family fun and holiday cheer in 2014.

Through the dawn of 2015 the network will feature holiday programming featuring stars Allison Williams, Jim Parsons, Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, Jason Alexander, Dennis Haysbert, Trisha Yearwood, Michael Bublé, Sara Bareilles, Cyndi Lauper, Seth MacFarlane, Idina Menzel and Christopher Walken.

Walken stars as Captain Hook in one of the most highly-anticipated productions of the 2014 holiday season: "Peter Pan Live!" Williams tackles the titular role of the boy who never grew up in this live musical retelling of J.M. Barrie's children's tale.

Beginning with a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at "Peter Pan Live!" and ending with a cheer as we celebrate "New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly" live from Times Square, NBC has the holidays covered.

"The Making of Peter Pan Live!"

This hourlong special will go behind the scenes to give viewers an inside look at the incredible teamwork it takes to create the event “Peter Pan Live” (Thursday, Dec. 4, 8 p.m.). Watch Allison Williams learn to fly and Christopher Walken practice his sword fighting as he prepares to play the villainous Captain Hook. From casting to costume design, this is an all-access pass to whet viewers’ appetites for all things “Peter Pan Live!” Wednesday, Nov. 26 (8-9 p.m. ET)

"SNL Thanksgiving"

An hilarious compilation of the best Thanksgiving-themed clips from 40 years of the iconic late-night series “Saturday Night Live.” Wednesday, Nov. 26 (9-11 p.m. ET)

"Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade"

Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie of "Today" will host one of the biggest spectacles of the holiday season as more than 8,000 participants make their through the streets of New York City. Celebrities participating include Lucy Hale, Nick Jonas, Idina Menzel and Meghan Trainor. The parade will include high-stepping numbers from this season’s Tony Award-winning best musical "A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder," Sting’s "The Last Ship," "On the Town" and "Side Show," as well as a sneak peek at NBC’s "Peter Pan Live!" Thursday, Nov. 27 (9 a.m.-noon ET)

"The National Dog Show Presented by Purina"

Hosted by award-winning actor, author and Broadway star John O’Hurley ("Seinfeld," "Dancing with the Stars") and expert analyst David Frei, an AKC-licensed judge and host of USA Network’s "The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show," the 13th annual "National Dog Show" showcases the best of America's purebred canines. Thursday, Nov. 27 (noon-2 p.m. ET)

"Christmas in Rockefeller Center"

The arrival of the holidays wouldn’t be complete without a dazzling display of musical talent and the lighting of the famous Christmas tree. Hosted by "Today" show anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales, this year's star-studded lineup includes Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett, Cyndi Lauper, Seth MacFarlane and will feature Sara Bareilles, Idina Menzel, Pentatonix, LeAnn Rimes and Trisha Yearwood. Wednesday, Dec. 3 (8-9 p.m. ET)

"SNL Christmas"

The funniest Christmas-themed clips from 40 years of the iconic late-night series “Saturday Night Live.” Wednesday, Dec. 3 (9-11 p.m. ET)

"Peter Pan Live!"

The classic Broadway musical about a boy who refuses to grow up, "Peter Pan Live!" stars Allison Williams as Peter and Oscar winner Christopher Walken as the villainous Captain Hook. Thursday, Dec. 4 (8-11 p.m. ET)

"How Murray Saved Christmas"

From four-time Emmy-winning writer and executive producer Mike Reiss ("The Simpsons"), "How Murray Saved Christmas" is based on Reiss’ best-selling children’s book of the same name and is written entirely in rhymed verse. The musical centers on cranky deli owner Murray Weiner (Jerry Stiller), who is forced to fill in for Santa (Kevin Michael Richardson) one Christmas and, with the help of Edison Elf (Sean Hayes), does a weirdly wonderful job. The special also stars the voice talents of Dennis Haysbert, Jason Alexander and John Ratzenberger. Friday, Dec. 5 (8-9 p.m. ET)

"It’s a Wonderful Life"

The NBC annual tradition continues as the iconic 1946 film once again returns to primetime. Directed by Frank Capra, "It’s a Wonderful Life" stars Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, who contemplates suicide before a guardian angel intervenes and allows him to see all that is right in his world. Saturday, Dec. 6 (8-11 p.m. ET) and Wednesday, Dec. 24 (8-11 p.m. ET)

"Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas"

Starring four-time Emmy Award winner Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") as Buddy, this original stop-motion hourlong animated special is based on the popular film "Elf" and the hit Broadway show "Elf: The Musical." Santa narrates the story of Buddy’s travels to New York City to meet the father he never knew he had. Along the way his unrelenting cheer transforms the lives of everyone he meets and opens his father’s eyes to the magic of Christmas. With nine new songs, the special features a voice cast including Mark Hamill, Ed Asner, Fred Armisen, Jay Leno, Matt Lauer and Gilbert Gottfried. Tuesday, Dec. 16 (8-9 p.m. ET)

"Michael Bublé’s Christmas in New York"

Grammy Award-winning singer Michael Bublé celebrates the season with his fourth annual special. Special guests join Bublé at the storied Radio City Music Hall in New York City for an hourlong celebration of his favorite holiday songs. Wednesday, Dec. 17 (8-9 p.m. ET)

"The Sing-Off"

A two-hour holiday special of the popular musical competition series showcases six new groups who compete for a prize of $50,000. Returning judges Jewel and Shawn Stockman will be joined by Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump, while Nick Lachey once again hosts. Wednesday, Dec. 17 (9-11 p.m. ET)

"One Direction: The TV Special"

From Universal Studios Orlando, this musical special offers TV viewers a rare inside look at the wildly popular band, and its members: Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. Tuesday, Dec. 23 (8-9 p.m. ET)

"WWE Tribute to the Troops"

A tribute to the men and women who serve our country, WWE brings together the best of sports entertainment and pop culture with superstars and divas celebrity appearances, as well as performances from music’s most popular acts. Saturday, Dec. 27 (8-9 p.m. ET)

"New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly"

“The Voice” host will celebrate the arrival of 2015 from Times Square with an array of musical guests. Wednesday, Dec. 31 (10-11 p.m. ET and 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET)



Photo Credit: Nino Munoz/NBC
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<![CDATA["The Voice"]]> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 12:21:22 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NUP_164085_0112.jpg

Photo Credit: Trae Patton/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Late at Night on NBC]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 05:39:14 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP24762024125.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Meyers: "Where Are They Now?"]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 06:15:59 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Meyers+Where+are+they+now.png Seth Meyers gives updates on where tonight’s “Late Night” are following the taping of the show. Kiera Knightley downed 74 Jammin’ Jalapeño wings in under 5 minutes at Buffalo Wild Wings and musical guests St. Lucia retired in St. Thomas. ]]> <![CDATA[Fallon: Jon Stewart Gave "The Roots" Their TV Debut on MTV]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 05:33:39 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/Fallon+Jon+Stewart.jpg Jon Stewart stopped by "The Tonight Show," and talked to Jimmy Fallon about working with Steve Higgins, "The Roots," and much of the "Tonight Show" staff in the '90s.

Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]]>
<![CDATA[Sexiest Man Alive Through the Years]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 06:18:36 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP158836934880.jpg People Magazine has named Chris Hemsworth the Sexiest Man Alive for 2014. Check out past winners here.

Photo Credit: John Shearer/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA["Tonight Show" Obama Expressions: "Sup Girl?"]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 05:19:47 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Obama+Xpressions.png Jimmy Fallon explains the meaning behind President Obama's lesser-known facial expressions like the “Photobama” and “Sup Girl?"]]> <![CDATA[Cecily Strong to Headline WH Correspondents' Dinner]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 06:40:03 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/455776192.jpg

“Saturday Night Live” cast member Cecily Strong will headline the annual White House Correspondent’s Association dinner on April 25, the group’s president announced in an email Wednesday.

“Her political humor is sly and edgy, and it comes with a Chicago accent,” WHCD President Christi Parsons said.

Strong, who joined "SNL" in 2012, will be the fourth woman to serve as guest-comedian in the event's 82-year history.

The 30-year-old comedian was a co-anchor of "SNL's" "Weekend Update" segment and is known for her character, “The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party."

She has a connection to the news world too. Her father, Bill Strong, was the former Associated Press bureau chief at the Illinois Statehouse.

This year's dinner was headlined by "The Soup" host and actor Joel McHale.



Photo Credit: FilmMagic]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Jonas Brothers' Texas Home Listed for $3.2M]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 07:13:37 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Jonas-Bros-House.jpg

You can live like the Jonas Brothers, if you have $3.2 million.

The JoBros are leaving Westlake, Texas and have listed their 7,360-square-foot home on Wisteria Way according to CultureMap Dallas.

Ebby Halliday's Lott Group has the listing according to the website. The home was originally priced at $3.4 million.

The Tuscan-inspired home is on the edge of the Vaquero golf course and features six bedrooms, six and a half baths, three living areas, two dining areas, a music room, a media room and a game room.

Kevin Jonas and his wife Danielle put their home in the posh Vaquero development on the market in 2012.

They were asking for $2.2 million for the three bedroom, 3 and a half bath home.



Photo Credit: Ebby Halliday/Shoot 2 Sell & Invision for Huawei
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<![CDATA[Holiday 2014: Eco-Friendly Gifts ]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 09:23:57 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Jetson_Bike.jpg Check out these green gifts for your eco-conscious loved one. Whether it's a repurposed wooden picture frame or jewelery, get them something they will love without hurting the environment.]]> <![CDATA[2014 Perfect Pop Culture Gifts]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 07:38:19 -0800 mug set, featuring song titles from Beyonce's latest album, “Flawless” and “I Woke Up Like This.” Price: $25.00]]> mug set, featuring song titles from Beyonce's latest album, “Flawless” and “I Woke Up Like This.” Price: $25.00]]> http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/BeyonceMugs.jpg This holiday season, give your friends and family gifts inspired by 2014 hottest movies, TV shows and artists.

Photo Credit: Etsy.com]]>
<![CDATA[Fallon: Word Sneak with Russell Brand]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 04:24:22 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Russell+Brand+2.jpg Jimmy Fallon's interview with Russell Brand gets a little crazy when they try to mix random words, like "grape nuts" and "bunghole," into a casual conversation.

Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]]>
<![CDATA[Hottest Tech Gadgets Under $50]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 07:03:46 -0800 Cuff offers a line of stylish accessories that have a small sensor that can send an SOS notification and your location to a small circle of people you trust if you find yourself in a tricky situation. Price: $49.]]> Cuff offers a line of stylish accessories that have a small sensor that can send an SOS notification and your location to a small circle of people you trust if you find yourself in a tricky situation. Price: $49.]]> http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/CuffLink.jpg This holiday season, give your friends and family some awesome technology gifts for under $50!

Photo Credit: Cuff]]>
<![CDATA[Holiday 2014: Best Gifts for Foodies]]> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:46:18 -0800 handrail BBQ to someone itching to host a city-style barbecue. ]]> handrail BBQ to someone itching to host a city-style barbecue. ]]> http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/balconybbq.png From a sriracha key chain to an on-the-go barware set, this gallery has the perfect gifts for all food lovers. ]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Old Video Games]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 04:20:18 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Meyers+Old+Video+Games.png Seth Meyers recently uncovered his old Jorbus videogame system, and has been buying up old vintage games like NYC Bathroom, Squawking, and Marriage Clash on Ebay to play on his device.]]> <![CDATA[Russell Brand Confronts Jimmy Fallon About His Impressions]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 03:46:48 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Russell+Brand+1.jpg Russell Brand stopped by “The Tonight Show” Tuesday, and confronted Jimmy Fallon about making fun of the way he talks, reminding the host that “This is anti-bullying week.”

Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]]>
<![CDATA[What to Give the Holiday Party Host]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 12:54:24 -0800 Infused olive oils are an easy do it yourself host gift idea. All you need is some good olive oil, rosemary sprigs, hot pepper flakes and a few empty bottles. ]]> Infused olive oils are an easy do it yourself host gift idea. All you need is some good olive oil, rosemary sprigs, hot pepper flakes and a few empty bottles. ]]> http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/1de89438a2c15ccc8a007347b3caaeac.jpg Whether you're staying over at a friend's house, attending a co-worker's party, or spending the holidays with your in-laws, a chic gift will show your appreciation for their hospitality. ]]> <![CDATA["The Voice" Top Ten Revealed: Sugar Jones, Jessie Pitts Cut]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 05:38:28 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/459204390.jpg

"The Voice" got its top 10 contestants as Team Pharrell's Sugar Jones and Team Blake's Jessie Pitts got the axe, closing out the first live eliminations round this season.

The bottom three was comprised of Jones, Pitts, and Team Gwen's Ryan Sill, who in the end was saved by faithful viewers who tweeted #VoiceSaveRyan.

The elimination leaves Team Blake with just one artist left, the youngest contestant, Reagan James.

Before the cut was made, each singer took the stage one last time in a hopes to secure their spot.

Pitts, who took a chance the night before by singing an original arrangement, took on Sara Bareilles' "Gravity," in an emotional performance.

Jones brought back the energy with Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," but unfortunately her amped up number wasn't enough to save her. 

Sill, who made his way to the next round swooned the audience with Extreme's "More Than Words."

So far, Team Adam and Team Gwen are tied with three artists representing each while Team Pharrell has two artists left.


Kicking off the night was a performance by Team Gwen including Gwen Stefani herself singing the Blondie hit "The Tide Is High."

Team Blake along with their country singing coach Blake Shetlon took the stage singing Elton John's "Sad Songs (Say So Much)."

British singer Ella Henderson also performed her new song, "Ghosts."

"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c.



Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
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<![CDATA[Coolest Toys for Kids 2014]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 10:43:43 -0800 Zoomer costs $79.99 and is for ages 5 to 7 years.]]> Zoomer costs $79.99 and is for ages 5 to 7 years.]]> http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Toy+5.png Here are the hottest toys of the 2014 season.]]> <![CDATA[Gift Guide 2014: 15 Hot Holiday Toys]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 13:18:32 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Gift-Triptych_edited-1.jpg

Reptiles, princesses and interactive robots are among the most talked about toys this holiday season. Check out the items kids are likely dreaming about as they draw up their wish lists.

Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Doll

Disney’s hit 2013 movie “Frozen” has inspired perhaps the most popular toy of the season, the Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Doll. “Frozen” is the highest-grossing animated film of all time, so it’s no wonder that the Elsa doll has sold out at many online retailers. Raise Elsa’s arms and she’ll sing the hit song “Let It Go.” Touch her snowflake necklace and it will light up as Elsa says 15 phrases from the film. Elsa can even speak and sing in English and Spanish.

Transformers Age of Extinction Chomp and Stomp Grimlock Figure

Another massively popular film franchise gave rise to the Transformers Age of Extinction Chomp and Stomp Grimlock Figure. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is the highest grossing film of 2014 worldwide. Kids are sure to dig this toy version of the Dinobots leader, which is the largest Dinobot toy ever created. The part-robot, part-dinosaur can transform in an instant and features battle sounds, pop-out weapons and light-up eyes.

Zoomer Dino

But Grimlock isn’t the only prehistoric reptilian roaring into the holiday season. Zoomer Dino does more than transform — he spins, dances, roars, and even burps and farts. But don’t let his temperament fool you. Dino won the 2014 Toy of the Year Award in the Innovative Toy of the Year category and uses True Balance technology to explore his owner’s house on two feet.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Stretch N Shout

Speaking of reptiles, kids will love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Stretch N Shout dolls, which are available as turtles Raphael and Leonardo. Coming on the heels of this year’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” film, these flexible fighters let out battle cries and recreate sounds from the movie when their arms are stretched.

LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lair Attack

And that’s not the only Ninja Turtles toy worth checking out this holiday season. The LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lair Attack set features everything a fan of Leonardo, Raphael and the gang will need. Train and battle in all three stories of the Turtles’ lair with tons of weapons, gear, and of course, pizza.

My Little Pony Equestria Girls Collection

Another gang worth checking out this holiday season is the My Little Pony Equestria Girls Collection dolls. You can find Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy and the rest of the My Little Pony characters in this collection. They’ve all traveled through a magic mirror and have transformed into little girls. Collect them all and relive all the fun moments from the hit television series.

My Friend Cayla Doll

Another girl is tearing up the U.K. and is sure to be a hit over here in the United States too. The My Friend Cayla Doll is much more than a doll, she’s a friend that can chat about her favorite hobbies, tell stories, share recipes, play games and answer all sorts of fun questions. Simply download the free app for Android and iOS and connect Cayla to the Internet via Bluetooth. She uses speech-to-text technology to look up answers to all your kids’ questions.

MiP 2 Personal Robot

The MiP 2 Personal Robot is another interactive pal that could become your child's best robotic friend. MiP has 7 built-in play modes, but the fun is endless when you download this lively robot’s app for iOS and Android. It’ll play maze games, dance to songs and interact with its environment at the push of a button — all on two wheels!

Little Live Pets Bird Cage’s Friendly Frank

In a similar vein, the Little Live Pets Bird Cage’s Friendly Frank will interact with your kids just like a real parrot pal. If they talk with Frank and press the button on his chest, he’ll repeat what they say. And if he’s really happy, he’ll chirp or sing a little song. He’s always ready to explore the world, whether he’s traveling on a finger or in his portable cage.

Razor Crazy Cart

And if adventure is what your kids are after, the Razor Crazy Cart is the answer. This go-kart doesn’t just go forward, it goes backwards, sideways, diagonally and any direction in-between, all at speeds up to 12 mph. If that isn’t enough, riders can go into Crazy Cart mode and spin in rapid, 360 degree turns. It may be the most extreme toy of the holiday season.

Hot Wheels Street Hawk Remote Control Flying Car

If the ground isn’t enough, then take to the sky with the Hot Wheels Street Hawk Remote Control Flying Car. Although this car is made to tear up the streets, it performs best when it’s flying at heights of over 200 feet. It uses dual propellers spinning at over 35,000 RPMS to achieve this feat. Friends can team up with their Street Hawks and see who dominates the land and air.

Nerf N-Strike Elite Demolisher 2-in-1 Blaster

Kids can also face off with the Nerf N-Strike Elite Demolisher 2-in-1 Blaster. This Nerf gun on steroids fires darts, missiles or both at distances up to 90 feet away. A 10-dart clip ensures that the Blaster’s owner never runs out of ammunition. Anyone with inferior firepower is headed for defeat on the battlefield.

Disney Jr. Doc McStuffins Get Better Talking Mobile Cart

Future physicians can come to the rescue with the Disney Jr. Doc McStuffins Get Better Talking Mobile Cart. This mobile clinic has motion-activated sirens that light up and play the “Doc Mobile” song when little doctors are on call. Boo-boos are history when this cart rolls by with its EKG, otoscope, thermometer, bandage sticker dispenser, CB radio, gurney and more.

VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch

Photographers-to-be should check out the VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch. This touch screen watch has a camera enhanced with photo effects, video recorder, voice recorder, learning games, and all the watch staples like a timer and alarm clock. It’s the most fun way to teach your kids time. It’s also splash proof and features 50 clock face designs.

LeapFrog LeapTV Educational Active Video Game System

The LeapFrog LeapTV Educational Active Video Game System is another great educational toy that combines fun and learning. This console teaches reading, math, science and problem solving, and gets kids moving while they learn. Over 100 educator-approved games use body motion, pointer play and classic control to create an interactive and fun experience.

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<![CDATA[Celebrities' Favorite Holiday Treats]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 12:18:36 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP2104428855971.jpg

While celebrities have the privilege of dining out or hiring a personal chef to cater their holiday party, many like to get in the spirit of the season by doing the cooking and baking themselves.

Here are some celeb-approved recipes for those looking for some sweet and savory inspirations to try this holiday season:

1) Gwyneth Paltrow’s Molton Chocolate Cake

Gwyneth Paltrow is known for her successful career as an Oscar-winning actress, but she also has a big passion for food. She wrote several cook books titled, “My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family and Togetherness,” “It's All Good: Delicious Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great,” and co-wrote “Spain... A Culinary Road Trip” with Mario Batali.

The 42-year-old also launched a website called "goop," where she posts delicious recipes, provides fashion and wellness tips and more. Paltrow’s recipe for the Molten Chocolate Cake includes just the right amount of chocolate and crème fraîche for a perfectly warm holiday treat.

2) Taylor Swift’s Chai Sugar Cookies With Cinnamon Eggnog Icing

When Taylor Swift shared a photo of her chai sugar cookies with cinnamon eggnog icing, she aptly called the creation “Christmas in September.”

The 24-year-old singer-songwriter shared the recipe with fans eager to try this delicious treat on her tumblr. “Why? Cause the bakers gonna bake bake bake bake bake bake.”

Swift said she made the cookies from scratch with a recipe she found on a baking blog, originally from a book called The Pastry Queen.

3) Al Roker’s Hot and Spicy Chili

What better way to warm up this winter than with Al Roker’s very own Hot and Spicy Chili? With about a two-hour preparation time, the "Today" show anchor says “a good chili recipe is a good versatile thing to have.” You can serve the chili in deep bowls, with cheese, scallions, sour cream, and cilantro, or you can top the chili on hot dogs or baked potatoes.

4) Lauren Conrad’s Rice Krispies Treat S’mores

Lauren Conrad combined her favorite childhood foods, rice krispies and s’mores, to create the “ultimate s’mores hybrid.” With the help of her favorite baker, Lauren Lowstan, the two made a dessert with melted marshmallows and chocolate that you can try at home this holiday season.

5) John Legend’s Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookie

Having trouble choosing between peanut butter cookies, oatmeal cookies, and chocolate chip cookies… why not have it all in one? Singer John Legend baking his favorite peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies with his wife, model Chrissy Teigan, will surely inspire you to whip up a batch to wow coworkers at your holiday potluck.

6) Michelle Obama’s Shortbread Cookies

Every four years, Family Circle magazine holds a presidential bake-off for future first ladies. In 2008, Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain both submitted their recipes, and while McCain’s Oatmeal-Butterscotch Cookies took home the title, the first-lady’s Shortbread Cookies are still a delicious treat. The cookies have just the right amount of orange and lemon flavor, with chopped nuts and dried fruit.


7) Kris Jenner’s Chicken Soup

Kris Jenner stopped by the "Today" show to share her favorite comfort food dishes, which are included in her cookbook, “In the Kitchen With Kris: A Kollection of Kardashian-Jenner family Favorites.” The mother-of-six shows how she makes her hearty chicken soup and also gives recipes right from her book, including a Kim Kardashian inspired macaroni and cheese, pumpkin bread, and berry cobbler, found on Today.com.

8) Giada De Laurentiis’ Pumpkin Ginger Chocolate Muffins

Chef, writer, and television personality, Giada De Laurentiis, stopped by "Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda," and shared her recipe for pumpkin ginger chocolate muffins, swapping sugar for coconut sugar as a healthier option. She also included her recipe for roasted acorn squash and Gorgonzola pizza.

9) Neil Patrick Harris’ Ooey Gooey Bars

Upcoming Oscar host Neil Patrick Harris’ trademarked Ooey Gooey Bars are filled with smooth cream cheese, crunchy pecans, and white cake, perfect for a sweet holiday treat.

10) Miranda Lambert’s Peanut Butter Pie

Country superstar Miranda Lambert knows the way to her man’s heart with a decadent holiday pie. The country singer shares her recipe for her husband, Blake Shelton’s, favorite peanut butter pie.

 

11) Meryl Streep’s Heart Cookies

Meryl Streep may have learned a thing or two while successfully portraying culinary legend Julia Child on the big screen in “Julie & Julia.” Her heart cookies do not require any fancy ingredients, and you could replace the heart-shape cutters with holiday-cookie cutters for a festive touch.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[WATCH: First "Peanuts" Movie Trailer Unleashed]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 04:32:38 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/snoopy+Peanuts+movie.JPG

The first full-length trailer for the new "Peanuts" movie has been leaked. Good grief, Charlie Brown!

Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the whole Peanuts gang are headed to theaters in 2015 in a new 3D big screen adventure and the first official trailer has been released.

The highly-anitcipated first look was scheduled to be unleashed on Thanksgiving Day, but according to a news release from 20th Century Fox studios, Snoopy leaked the trailer early.

The two minute clip gives us our first good look at Charles Schulz's Peanuts gang rendered in 3D CGI. Snoopy and Woodstock get up to their old tricks and we even see the Fly Ace – Snoopy's famous alter ego.

Details about the plot of the movie are still under wraps.

"Peanuts" is produced by Paul Feig (director of "Bridesmaids") and will arrive in theaters on November 16, 2015.


 



Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox
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<![CDATA[WATCH: "All About That Baste" Parody Video]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 04:37:02 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Baste.jpg

Some families prepare for Thanksgiving by planning out meals. Others make music video parodies based on pop songs.

The Holderness family of Raleigh, N.C., created a turkey day music video called “All About That Baste,” a parody of the number one Billboard single “All About That Bass" by singer Meghan Trainor.

The video features the family of four -- dad Penn, wife Kim, six-year-old daughter Lola, and 4-year-old son Penn Charles -- singing about the father's inability to perform tasks other than basting the turkey for the holiday.

Penn sings about setting “all the wrong forks in all the wrong places” and being “all about that baste, more butter.”

Although the patriarch sings about being banned from other Thanksgiving tasks, he wrote in a recent blog post that he isn’t whining about his basting duty.

“I am not complaining,” Penn Holderness wrote. "Kim does a phenomenal job every year. I’m lucky to be in the same zip code as her on Thanksgiving.”

The family has created many parodies, including one of Will Smith’s “Miami” entitled “Christmas Jammies,” and others you can see at their Youtube channel.  


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<![CDATA[Allison Williams Teaches Fallon to Fly like Peter Pan]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 03:37:45 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/459138576.jpg After talking to Allison Williams about starring in NBC's “Peter Pan Live,” Fallon learns to fly and flip like the title character by “thinking happy thoughts.” ]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Steve Harvey's Family Ski Trip]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 04:29:06 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Meyers+Steve+Harvey.jpg Steve Harvey stopped by "Late Night” and chatted with Seth Meyers about taking his family on a ski trip to Aspen and why he couldn’t spot his son’s friend on the snowy mountain.

Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]]>
<![CDATA[Fallon: Three-Word Stories with Benedict Cumberbatch]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 02:50:05 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Benedict+Cumberbatch.jpg Jimmy Fallon and Benedict Cumberbatch take turns telling stories three words at a time to get each other to guess a mystery word in a new “Tonight Show” game, Three Word Stories.

Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]]>
<![CDATA[Allison Williams Reveals Christopher Walken's Strange Deli Order]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 04:38:39 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Allison+Williams.jpg Jimmy Fallon talks to Allison Williams about starring as the title character in NBC's “Peter Pan Live” and the actress reveals Christopher Walken's strange deli order.

Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]]>
<![CDATA["The Voice" Contestants Perform for a Top 10 Spot]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 09:57:53 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/459145482.jpg

The top 12 contestants on "The Voice" hit the stage to prove their vocal prowess, some with original arrangements to impress the crowd.

R&B singer Sugar Jones started the night off with a modern spin on Al Green’s “Take Me to the River,” and received a standing ovation from her coach, Pharrell.

Fellow coach Gwen Stefani described her performance as “incredible.”

DaNica Shirey, also a member of Team Pharrell, took a risk by choosing to sing her own version of “Creep,” by Radiohead. Her dynamic, alternative performance left coach Gwen to call her “a freak of nature,” explaining that “it’s incredible that that comes out of you.”

Team Blake’s Jesse Pitts turned “Don’t You Worry Child,” by Swedish House Mafia, into a soft ballad that started with her playing piano and ended with her standing, belting at the microphone. It was something she noted she's never done before.

Pitts' former coach, Gwen, said she didn’t even know that the singer played the piano and was not only surprised but very impressed.

In another change of pace, blues singer Taylor John Williams took on the love song “If,” by Bread.

All judges touted his style switch as a success, leaving coach Pharrell to simply describe it as “dope.”

Reagan James, the competition’s youngest singer at age 16, put a reggae twist on the Lenny Kravitz favorite “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over.”

"It’s always cool to see someone come up here with their own vibe,” said Pharrell. “You definitely made that song your own.”

Throughout the show, host Carson Daly drew attention to the fact that coach Blake Shelton’s mom texts her thoughts to her son while he's sitting in the judge's chair, sparking a Twitter hashtag, #textsfromblakesheltonsmom.

Tweets poured in poking fun at Shelton's rapport with fellow coach Adam, and some made remarks suggesting what the coach was drinking throughout the night.

One performance that didn't go as smoothly was Luke Wade singing Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.”

In an early lyric mishap, Wade, a member of Team Pharrell, continued through his routine but was visibly upset by his mistake.

Adam Levine said, “you recovered it as well as he possibility could have. Good on you, man.”

Gwen Stefani tried to console the disappointed singer by saying it’s happened to her thousands of times.

Team Adam's resident pop rocker Matt McAndrew took on Hozier's "Take Me To Church," in a powerful performance that brought the singer to his knees.

Blake Shelton said he was frustrated by the audience's cheers for McAndrew, saying they were so loud he could barely hear the performance.

Gwen called the performance "a good mixture of everything that's perfect for you."

Saved from elimination last week, Team Adam's Chris Jamison took the stage with "Jealous" by recent heartthrob Nick Jonas.

Singing the song in its original version, Jamison added some high notes, resulting in screams from the audience.

"That is 100 percent your best performance," said Pharrell.  "It was like effortless."

Ending the night was Team Gwen's Anita Antoinette, who sang "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley, letting her reflect on her Jaimaican roots.

The song was also performed by former competition winner, Tessanne Chinn.

Sitting amongst the audience, Atoinette delivered a heartfelt performance that her coach Gwen Stefani called authentic and beautiful. 

"I just feel blessed to be a part of it," she said.

Also taking the stage to fight for the Top 10 was Ryan Still singing Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World,” Craig Wayne Boyd singing "You Look So Good in Love," by George Strait and Damien singing “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” by The Hollies.

Viewers can vote by calling, texting and downloading the iTunes song of their favorite artist.

"The Voice" airs every Monday and Tuesday at 8/7c.  



Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
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