The date of this edition is the Monday after the Thanksgiving weekend. For many years, this day was designated as “Cyber Monday”, the day where folks would head online to shop for their goods as part of the “holiday” shopping season. (The term “holiday” in this case referrers to all of the festive events taking place in December where gifts are normally exchanged as part of the said festivities!) This Monday after the day o’ thanks caused a big upstart to traffic on sites that sell goods online, since this was the day where folks would return back to their workspaces, and would take advantage of having access to a ‘net connection.

“Cyber Monday” became an offshoot to “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving where folks to rush over to the local retail outlets to take advantage of deals set by the retailers just to get them into the stores. These items up for sale usually consisted of electronics, toys, and related goods that is normally considered as a “gift”, or some item that are well in demand.

Physical stores tried to plan strategies to get people into the stores far from their competition would by opening on Thanksgiving evening. Then opening times moved to the afternoon hours. Then their sale deals would begin the Sunday before. Before long, the deals would begin into early November where people would no longer rush into the outlets on a 6:00 AM opening time in order to grab the goods!

Then the cyber outlets got into the game, posting deals and values through their shopping portals. Before long, online retailers such as Walmart, Target, and perhaps the biggest one of ‘em all, Amazon, offered many incentives for folks to shop online, from free shipping, second day delivery, free wrapping, and so on! These incentives made “Cyber Monday” the day that lost much of its luster, the same notion that “Black Friday” took over the recent seasons.

Of course, people have learned that bargains on nearly anything that can be purchased and considered as a gift would become available all year round, not necessarily connected to the holiday shopping season. In this case, that “holiday” would be for any holiday, not just for Christmas, etc. Thus, the practice of shopping year round would take to heart.

This method of shopping every day of the year for a specific time or event is nothing new. A person this writer knows of got this idea from a long forgotten article that appeared in one of those domestic lifestyle magazines that cater to a female demographic. (Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, etc.) The article stated that one can build a “gift box”, where one could purchase items throughout the year, and to place items inside of a box or container of some sort. These items would serve as “stand by” products where one can use as a last minute gift just in case a festive day comes around, usually at a last moment’s notice. (Birthday, anniversary, etc.) One would simply reach into the gift box, and have an item ready to give to the person for their birthday, et. al.

Things have changed drastically since that gift box idea came across the pages of those homestead magazines. However, the idea is the same. So as the shopping season is in full force, don’t become too surprised if that gift one is going to receive for the holidays was purchased months before–unless it’s a gift that holds minimal thought behind it, such as the ever lovin’ chess and sausage packs that tend to come around in the month of December. This writer even knew of one person who obtained a number of these gift packages after December 25th as a post-Christmas sale. This person then wrapped each package in plastic wrap and placed each item in a deep freezer and kept then for nearly a year. Then the person carefully thawed each package in early December to eventually give to the folks on their shopping list. This person did this for a number of years, and from what’s known, nobody ever suspected! Then again, did anyone really care?

COCO (Disney/Pixar) takes place in the village of Santa Cecilia, located somewhere in Mexico. Miguel (Voiced by Anthony Gonalez) is a twelve year old boy that lives with his family than runs a small shoe making business. Many years ago, Miguel’s great-great grandfather who was a musician on the guitar, abandon the family to set out to make his music. Since that time, the notion of music was forbidden within the family as set by his great-great grandmother who started the family business. Miguel’s idol is the legendary guitar player, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) who made a name of himself in performing ballads, making records, and appearing in musical melodramas in the 1940’s. Miguel desires to become a guitar balladeer as his idol once was. However, his family refuses the young lad to even touch a guitar, being self cursed by the notion of music, thanks to having the great-great grandfather leave the family in the name of making music! Now it’s the Día de los Muertos-Day of the Dead, the period that takes place in early November paying tribute to those that have since departed. During this time, Miguel visits Ernesto’s tomb in the village cemetery where his guitar is kept. As he enters the tomb to fetch the guitar, he is transferred to a spirit world, a mystical and rather urbanized Land of the Dead, where he has the chance to meet Ernesto. However, he encounters Hector (Gael Cargia Bernal) a bumbling one-time guitar player who might just be a long forgotten missing link in Miguel’s family.

This latest release from Pixar (its second this calendar year and its 19th in total) is extremely charming, amusing, and as the basic plot suggests, very family oriented. There is plenty to take part of as seen within this feature from its concept design by Nat McLaughlin and Daniel Arriaga, to an original ballad entitled “Remember Me” (composed by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez) that plays out as another basic theme that this feature mentions–to be remembered! Adrian Molina and Matthew Aldrich’s screenplay from a story by Lee Unkrich, Jason Katz, Adrian Molina, & Matthew Aldrich will charm the kids as well as the adults. This all ages element makes animated films as this one very appealing to all that view it, no matter what stage of life one is in. Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina directs this film with the same aspects as to all of the Pixar animated titles with limited (if any) pop culture references used. Unlike other animated films of late, this form of absence gives animated movies as this one more enrichment without putting out for cheap laughs!

Most of the voice cast that is featured is of hispanic decent with the exception of John Ratzenberger. He has been cast as a voice artist in every feature film created by Pixar since Toy Story was first released in 1995. This same cast that also includes (among others) Cheech Martin and Edward James Olmos, also provides the same voices for its Spanish language versions that play in nations that, well, speak Spanish!

This title is ideal to be released around the Thanksgiving holiday as the notion to this film is based upon family and the values it holds–or should hold anyway! It falls within similar realms as to Pixar’s 2015 Thanksgiving release, The Good Dinosaur. (See review-Vol. 20, No. 48).

How is this film different that Pixar’s previous release Cars 3?
(See review-Vol. 22, No. 25). Cars 3 has better merchandise license appeal! As to COCO? Let the folks at The Walt Disney Company figure that one out, unless they have enough to deal with through their Marvel comic book super-heroes and Star Wars universes!

This feature is rated “PG” for thematic elements. Available in both 2-D and 3-D versions. Now playing in multiplexes nationwide.
The Angel City Chorale will present A NEW Home for the Holidays, a festive concert event that spotlights the season with some classic harmonious tuneful chorale arrangements, as well as some new musical works including a world premier.

Among the musical numbers that are timeless for the season including new creative renditions of recognized carols as Bring A Torch, O Holy Night, among many others, as well as time honored arrangements as classical composers as Joseph Haydn to contemporary favorites from Norwegian songwriter Ola Gjello and Grammy Award-winning melodist Eric Whitacre, a new work will be presented: “Hanukkah Lullaby”, an original piece composed by ACC Founder and Artistic Director Sue Fink and ACC choir member and songwriter Denny Wynbrandt. Fink will once again lead the chorale as she has done since its founding. 2018 will commemorate this group’s Silver Anniversary of providing a musical blend of classical, jazz, folk, gospel, urban, rhythm & blues, and all points in between, to audiences around the nation and across the globe.

And with ACC tradition, there will be sing-a-long sessions presented where the theater audience can “join” the 160+ singers accommodated with a full piece orchestra to use their vocal talents as part of the festivities. It’s the ideal concert for all ages to gather to observe and glorify a timeless season of joy, piece, and the celebration of the human spirit.

As far as this year’s concert theme, A NEW Home for the Holidays. This year’s event, ACC’s 24th Annual holiday concert, will take place at a new location, the Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Blvd. (between South Vermont Avenue and Normandie Avenue), in the Koreatown district of Los Angeles, a place that is larger in capacity and offers more parking space!

A NEW Home for the Holidays will take place for two days only, Saturday, December 2nd, and Sunday, December 3rd at 7:00 PM both evenings.

For more information on this event including ticketing details, call (310) 943-9231, or via online at

Visit ACC through their social media outlets via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and SoundCloud

(Note: This notice also appeared in Vol. 23-No. 47-Eds.)
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!


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