Entertainment

Between Santa, family and friends, my 10-year-old landed four new video games Christmas Day. When incorporating Wipe Out, Just Dance 3, etc. into the storage containers with all the other video games, it occurred to me that there are about 10 Wii, Xbox and Nintendo DS games that my gamer plays and another 45 plus that he doesn’t.

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As this year comes to a close, it’s clear the global economy isn’t the only thing in crisis. True to the nature of the business, moviemakers are trying to put a positive spin on what looks like a marked lack of interest in going to the movies. I’ve noticed it, too; just a couple of weeks ago in “New Year’s Eve,” there were no more than 20 seats filled. Halfway into it, though, I understood why.

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I wonder what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would think of what has become of his Victorian sleuth. There is barely a resemblance between those great books and the Sherlock Holmes portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. in this second movie from director Guy Ritchie based on the character of literary fame.

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New Year’s Eve celebrations began popping up around the United States around 1900. Our country observes the Gregorian calendar, which means December 31 is the end of the calendar year. Whether you go out and have a good time or stay home and watch the happenings on television, below is a list of “what to do” on New Year’s Eve, but don’t forget on Jan. 1, 2012 to watch the Rose Bowl Parade, grub down on some cabbage, black-eyed peas, cornbread and some ham then allow yourself time to make your New Year’s resolutions.

 

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For older gamers who “believe” and are still expecting to “receive,” the choices of video games released this fall is as long as Santa’s gift list. From shooter games to strategy, dancing to fighting, consider some of the games for varying platforms rated “E10+” for those 10 and older, “T” for teen and “M” for mature, typically 18 and older.

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Trans-Siberian Orchestra returns to Ford Arena on Saturday, March 3, 2012 and tickets are on sale now at the Ford Park box office, livenation.com, Ticketmaster outlets or charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000. Ticket prices are Prices are $55.50, $45.50 and $35.50. Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and their brand of “Rock Theater,” are preparing to light up the road for a three month Spring Tour, traveling to over 60 markets across the United States.

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Since mid October, video games for all platforms have been launching faster than a yellow angry bird (aka “missile bird”) can cut through wooden blocks to destroy egg-stealing pigs. Word is even Santa and his elves are having difficulty keeping up with the barrage of releases this holiday season.

To assist Santas everywhere, we’ve organized new releases by gaming platform, rating and price. If you’ve got a gamer on your Christmas list, take note on the latest and greatest.

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Need that one more perfect gift to finish out your holiday shopping? The Lutcher Theater in Orange has just what you have been looking for this season. On Thursday, Dec. 29, you and your guests can see and hear the world famous Mannheim Steamroller at either the 4 or 7:30 p.m. performance. America’s favorite Christmas music artists, with their spectacular and beloved holiday show, will take the Lutcher stage and own the evening with their electrifying presentations.

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Oh, where to begin? Using the same formula as he did in “Valentine’s Day,” director Garry Marshall tries to recreate the same zeitgeist with another holiday. Let’s hope he skips the rest of them and moves on to another theme because I can tell you now there is no way I’m paying money to see “Labor Day.”

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It’s too premature to pick Oscar winners, with most of the major contenders just now reaching theaters. But the list is beginning to take shape and already there are frontrunners in the major categories. Two words: “The Artist.” But I’ll get to that later.

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