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CultureGeek
St. Louis, Mo.
Elizabeth Donald is the CultureGeek!
Interests: science fiction, fantasy, horror, comic books, movies, television, books
Recent Activity
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If you liked Prometheus, you will love Alien Covenant. I hated Prometheus, so I only halfway liked Covenant. Ridley Scott seems determined to pretend most of the original quadrilogy didn't happen, and while we might agree with him on a few aspects, the Alien Queen rocked and I will brook no argument. Scott has apparently decided the Alien Queen doesn't exist, and that's a problem for me. Meanwhile, Covenant is trying to say something about... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at CultureGeek
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Biggest geek news of the week so far is definitely the tragedy afflicting the Zack Snyder family and Joss Whedon taking over as director of Justice League. The fact that I really hated Snyder's take on superheroes in general and Superman in particular has no bearing on the terrible sadness he is fighting, after the suicide of his daughter. He said he knew he had to come clean about the reasons for this move, because... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at CultureGeek
Rest in peace Chris Cornell, lead singer for Soundgarden, whose death appears to be hitting many hard according to social media. Variety says it is being investigated as a suicide based on what was observed in the hotel room, but naturally it’s far too soon to say. The reaction from the music world has been one of mourning. • Fans of Neil Gaiman and the late Sir Terry Pratchett will be happy to hear that... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at CultureGeek
I’m going to assume that it was MY column last week that convinced NBC to un-cancel Timeless. (Hilariously, showrunner Eric Kripke and star Matt Lanter both announced the change as if they went back in time and changed NBC’s minds. Hee.) I clearly have a very powerful voice in Hollywood, see? Deadline says NBC has been playing hardball with all of its series that are produced outside the network, including Blindspot and Taken. Both were... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2017 at CultureGeek
Dangit. It never fails. A quirky little show pops up, it has problems but also some serious potential, and I like it. Naturally, it doesn’t survive the first season. Timeless fell victim to the Conspiracy Arc Syndrome that seems to bedevil most speculative fiction shows: really, guys, we can bop around from time period to time period and enjoy the hell out of the quasi-history our erstwhile, occasionally brainless heroes visit, and it doesn’t have... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2017 at CultureGeek
• The new Wonder Woman trailer has dropped. I liked the previous one better, but at least we’re seeing new motion on the movie with only a few weeks to go. This trailer was obviously geared at the super-action fans, heavy on the explosions and fisticuffs. As I’ve said before, I don’t even care if it sucks, as long as it makes money. Because if it doesn’t absolutely blow all the records out, if it’s... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2017 at CultureGeek
It's no secret I adore the Newsflesh series. There are a few books/series that come along in a lifetime that smack you upside the head, that you could read over and over and never get tired of them, and if you're a writer, you wish you'd written that book. I mean, c'mon. It's zombies and journalists, and the journalists aren't the bad guys. I choose to believe Ms. McGuire wrote these for me personally. It's... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2017 at CultureGeek
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Without further ado... here's the year's movies! In my humble opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary - I'm the only human I know who didn't like Love Actually, so don't throw anything at me. Best Films of the Year • Moana. Disney’s upswell continues with a terrific adventure through the Polynesian islands, a heroine worthy of Disney and more, and a hilarious character in Dwayne Johnson as the demigod Maui. See full review here.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2016 at CultureGeek
Adding Thomas; alas, Frid died in 2012. I think his obituary re-circulated this year; one of many risen to die again on the internet. :/
Toggle Commented Dec 31, 2016 on A year in memoriam at CultureGeek
Right on both counts; thanks!
Toggle Commented Dec 31, 2016 on A year in memoriam at CultureGeek
We've all joked not-so-lightly that when they run the Oscars obit reel this year, we will need a separate telecast. And those that claimed TIME's Person of the Year should be the Grim Reaper aren't that far off. Maybe it wasn't more than usual. But it surely felt that way. From David Bowie to Debbie Reynolds, my count stood at 150, not including those lost in the Brazilian plane crash, and there's still a number... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2016 at CultureGeek
It's often been said that when M. Night Shayamalan dies, his tombstone will read, "Good, but not as good as The Sixth Sense." I was thinking of that when I saw the new Ghostbusters, a delightfully fun film that suffers only because it isn't quite as good as the first one. Honestly, I approached this with trepidation mixed with dread, because while Kristin Wiig and Melissa McCarthy are well-known for their comic exploits, I saw... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2016 at CultureGeek
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Two Disneyfied thumbs way, way up for Moana, the latest in what some are calling Disney's Second Renaissance.* I don't know if I'd go quite that far, but I'd definitely rank it among my favorites of the last several years. It's a refreshing adventure of a young woman striving for her identity - wait, have we heard this one before? Yes, we've had the "I don't fit in, I want more than this, who am... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2016 at CultureGeek
It really doesn't matter how many times you've seen it. There's nothing like Jaws. (Spoilers. But c'mon, you haven't seen it yet?) The Wildey Theater in Edwardsville, Ill. has an awesome tradition: $2 Tuesdays. Classic movies of all kinds - Raiders of the Lost Ark or Narnia, Marnie or Enter the Dragon, Casablanca or Animal House. This week it was Bruce the Shark chomping on 1970s haircuts and that's one bad hat, Harry. Most of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2016 at CultureGeek
From what little I saw, Oscars host Chris Rock didn't just address the elephant in the room; he rode that (white) elephant all around the stage. And if that was a little uncomfortable for the blindingly white, tuxedoed and gowned millionaires in the room, so be it. However, I did not watch or live-tweet the Oscars, primarily because my antenna had other plans. I think CultureGeek HQ needs a new antenna. I'll catch the salient... Continue reading
Posted Feb 29, 2016 at CultureGeek
Dear SVU: There’s a fine line between “homage” and “ripoff.” You skated right up to that line last week. Look, we get that you wanted to do something with Clinton Correctional, and Yates is the creepiest critter we’ve seen in years on this show. And I was right with you on the poster on the wall - that was an “homage.” Having an officer stick his hand through the poster and rip it away to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2016 at CultureGeek
Sad news for Agent Carter fans, though probably good news for Hayley Atwell: the marvelous British star has been cast in a new show. Usually that would mean a knife to the heart of, quite frankly, the best superhero show on television right now. Granted, that's an opinion with an asterisk after it, as I am not watching Arrow, so fans of that one can throw all the rotten tomatoes they like. But Agent Carter... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2016 at CultureGeek
This will be the shortest review I’ve ever written: Yuck. Okay, not quite that short. Look, I loved the first season of Heroes. It was amazing, transcendent television, worthy of binging any weekend. The second season fell off a cliff, and the third season never got back on its feet. It was sad, but I did not mourn when they put it out of our misery. So I was tentatively excited for its rebirth, even... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2016 at CultureGeek
I’m strangely fond of this convoluted, dour, intense and ultimately repetitive show. It began as a spin on The Manchurian Candidate, with a POW war hero who is only suspected of being a double agent by one highly unreliable operative: Carrie Mathison, played brilliantly by Claire Danes as a barely-functioning bipolar woman with questionable taste in men. Season Four has just wrapped up, at least for me. Season One was brilliant, taut and kept me... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2016 at CultureGeek
While the fans of the Mean Kitties mourn and fans of the Fire Horses celebrate, it's time for the real competition: The Ads. Overall, this year was a yawner. None of them stuck out as truly hysterical, powerful or even effective. At least we lacked the theme of several years running, "weak men and the women who harangue them." Or last year's quasi-depressing "heartfelt" ads that made us all run for the bar. This year,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2016 at CultureGeek
I don't really know how to write coherently about The Affair. I watch far too much television, and most of it ends up being background noise while I'm working on the laptop in the evening. But this is a show that haunts me, and no matter how many different ways I come at it, its true depths elude me. In terms of plot, it is no different than any other family-drama soap opera. The story... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2016 at CultureGeek
As editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) reads the story that the Boston Globe reporters have prepared on institutional cover-ups of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, he circles a word in red. Michael Keaton as Spotlight editor Walter Robinson asks why. "Adjective," Baron replies. That's a newspaper. I found Spotlight to be the most realistic film I have ever seen on our business, narrowly edging out the previous contender, All the President's Men. If... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2015 at CultureGeek
There was a moment in this week's episode of Madam Secretary that made me think there is a complex and subtle layer of feminism in this show that I honestly thought was missing. Madam Secretary often gives me fits. It's somewhere in the grey half-light between the relentless optimism of The West Wing and the relentless nihilism of House of Cards. It's not nearly as good as either show, of course. But it doesn't shy... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2015 at CultureGeek
I have rarely seen such ill-tempered and impatient reviews as those I've read of the latest James Bond film from the Big Critics. Granted, I don't often agree with them. Granted, Bond isn't for everyone. But unlike most film series, Bond is one that thrives on certain expectations, and Spectre meets them all with plenty of room to spare. In attempting to explain it to my son, I told him that it's like there is... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2015 at CultureGeek
There is only one reason to watch Blindspot, and it isn’t Sullivan Stapleton. Look, I’m sure he’s a very nice guy and he’s certainly pleasing to the eye. But is it just me, or is he the dullest “hero” on television right now? Stapleton plays Kurt Weller, who is called after a bomb scare in Times Square reveals a naked woman with tattoos all over her body, including his name on her back. We are... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2015 at CultureGeek