Brave at El Capitan Theatre: A Favorite Hollywood Cinema Palace Shows the Disney/Pixar in Classic Style


The famed classic cinema El Capitan on Hollywood Boulevard once again lives up to its reputation as destination to see Disney/Pixar movies, with its presentation of Brave, showing through August 12,  featuring Disney Digital 3D and the immersive sound of Dolby Atmos and a special pre-movie live stage show starring favorite Disney/Pixar characters.

The historic El Capitan, with its lavish interior and grand auditorium, always add to the excitement of seeing a movie there, and El Cap fulfills its promise of a special movie experience with an exclusive musical salute to Hollywood’s 125th anniversary that gets the audience clapping and cheering, especially at the finale, when Brave’s dazzling flaming-red haired heroine, Merida, leads the cast in a lively Scottish jig.  Also before the main attraction, the audience is treated to the charming, La Luna, a wordless magical tale of three generations of star tenders, which is sure to delight Pixar short film aficionados.

The much anticipated Brave takes place in the Highlands of Scotland, where the independent and strong-willed princess Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) rejects the traditional political marriage that is expected of her and instead endeavors to create her own destiny.   It is also the story of a daughter’s love for her mother (voiced by Emma Thompson), though it takes an unexpected turn before Merida comes to understand the ways that her mother has always been there for her.

The 3D rendering is extraordinary in its presentation of nature, which is more prominent in Brave than in other Disney/Pixar films.  The Dolby sound at the El Capitan at times was almost too realistic and resonate, especially during the ferocious bear fight scenes.  Those violent episodes also may give pause to parents considering bringing younger children to the movie, though my four-year-old son was more afraid of the brief scenes with a wacky witch.  Three characters I wish we had seen more of were Merida’s mischievous triplet siblings, which got lots of laughs from young audience members.

Brave has gotten lots of press for starring a feisty royal maiden who does not find her happiness through a man and marriage, and while this is a refreshing change in the traditional princess plot, Merida’s path to self-awareness involves a twist that many might find shocking, though parents can be assured that, as in all Disney/Pixar stories, it all ends well.


Hot Stuff for a Cool Summer


Get Ready for Summer Family Fun with Great Gear, Cool Toys and Hot Fashions


School is out, the pool is open, and the beach is waiting.  Have the best play-cation ever with these summer essentials for fun in the sun.


First Class Lounger


Lean back and relax in style with the new Rock And Roll Lounge from Sportsstuff. Contoured for comfort, this ergonomically designed heavy-gauge PVC float is perfect for the pool, beach, lake or a calm river.  For loungers up to 200 pounds.   $109. and


Blow, Blow your Boat


Don’t go dizzy blowing up pool toys.  Let the Airhead Hi-Pressure Air Pump do the work to inflate — and even deflate — boats, rafts, tubes, balls, pool toys, airbeds and other inflatable items. The 120-volt pump features a pressure-release valve to prevent over inflating, a lock-on accordion-style hose, four universal valves to fit all popular valve types, a carry handle and a 10 ft. long power cord.    $49.99. and


Ready, Aim, Water!


Get wild and wet with the Aqua Zooka, a quick-siphoning water soaker that shoots a stream up to 60 feet.  The comfortable EVA handles keep the bazooka afloat in water and help you keep your grip, even with wet hands in the heat of battle.  12 to 32 inch barrel inches $8.99 to $14.99. and


Fish are Friends


Adorable Opa Cove Sea Squirts swim-assist vests and Coast Guard-certified life jackets keep kids swimming safe and in style.  The comfy vests are designed with a fun flexible fin on the back that can be used to pluck little swimmers out of the water if needed.  Styles include Clownfish, Great White Shark, Pink Dolphin, Blue Dolphin and Killa Whale.  $59.95 to $69.95.


Happy Home


This summer get the kids out of the house, and into their own Easy Playhouse, a portable, collapsible cardboard fort kit that kids can decorate themselves.  Easily assembled in minutes, the two-piece blank cardboard sides and roof become a canvas for creativity.  Kids can make it into a castle, a fortress, a clubhouse or anything they can imagine.  The 100-percent recycled cardboard is reversible, so it’s two playhouses in one.  $39.99.


Nice Ride


Tiny travelers can road trip to summer adventures comfy in the Safety 1st Rumi Air Harnessed Booster Car Seat.  This high-tech car seat features an adjustable headrest, side impact protection and an air truss design engineered to absorb and lessen external force or impact, so children have more support and protection in the event of a crash.  It also sports an integrated cup holder and snack tray so kids can have drinks and munchies handy during the ride.   Babies “R” Us and Toys “R” Us.  $179.99.


Make Tracks


Get kids outdoors to explore in Vasque Juxt cross-training shoes. These stylish trail runners are ready for adventure, with rubber treads for all-around traction, durable nubuck leather uppers, cushioned and molded footbeds for all-day comfort, wicking nylon lining to keep feet cool, and dry and quick-pull laces for easy on and off.  Kids sizes 10-13, Youth 1-6.  $60. REI retailers and at




Hot Summer Fashions for Her


What to Wear in and Out of the Water this Summer


Beach Mama


Look your best at the beach in Land’s End swimwear designed just for your body type. 

Chat live with their fitting experts who can guide you through their extensive catalog to find a style that’s guaranteed to suit you perfectly, like the slimming All-over Control Grecian Swimdress, with a sexy skirt that covers up just enough.  Sale priced at $65.


Wet Foot, Dry Foot


If you love long walks on the beach but hate wearing soggy shoes, slip on Mary Jane Water Shoes by Lands’ End.  They drain water quickly and dry fast, and the adjustable rip-and-grip strap and shock-absorbing anatomical midsole make them comfy enough for dry land too.  Sale priced $29.50.


Jersey for the Shore


Some women enjoy strutting around like they’re in the swimsuit competition of a beauty pageant, but for the rest of us who would rather not step out in nothing but a bathing suit, the light-weight hooded Cotton Jersey Roll Sleeve Cover-up by Lands’ End is perfect for a stroll on the boardwalk, sightseeing around town, or a quick stop at the store.  Features a full-zip front,  drawstring waist and handy front pockets.  Sale priced $20.50.


Stow Away


Pack all your beach gear in the True Navy Rectangle Tote by Lands’ End.  This spacious 100 percent washed cotton canvas bag is strong enough to haul it all, and a zippered pocket can securely stow smaller items.  $34.99.