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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
It's not the longest title for an English-language film, but it's sure a mouthful and a touch cutesy. That meant I was going to scroll on by, but after I caught the trailer, I decided to give it a shot. After all, it's about a writer. If you're a Downton Abbey fan, it's essentially a reunion, with four or five of the show's actors meeting in postwar England. I've never watched it, so that factor... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2018 at CultureGeek
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If you're looking for surprises, Christopher Robin won't provide it. But it is a sweet and endearing story with a moral you can see a mile away - and subtext you won't. You only need to see the trailers to know that Christopher Robin presumes that the titular boy of the A.A. Milne stories grew up to be an ordinary middle-management businessman who forgot how to play and be a child, passing along his seriousness... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2018 at CultureGeek
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It’s Emmy time, and the list leads with the usual contenders. Game of Thrones got 22 noms, but Netflix beat HBO with 112 noms vs. HBO’s 108. Nominees for best drama are The Handmaid’s Tale, Game of Thrones, This is Us, The Crown, The Americans, Stranger Things and Westworld. Nominees for best comedy are Atlanta, Barry, Black-ish, Curb Your Enthusiasm (still??), GLOW, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Silicon Valley and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The rest... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2018 at CultureGeek
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Happy 100th birthday to Captain America! Otherwise known as Superman, until the real Superman comes back to the movies, Cap currently carries the banner for truth, justice and the American way. How did we come up with this “birthday”? Someone zoomed in on Cap’s initial 4-F card for the Army and his birthdate is listed as July 4, 1918. Of course he was born on the Fourth of July. And since there’s not been as... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2018 at CultureGeek
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I’m struggling to maintain enthusiasm for the new IT, which is depressing since it’s my favorite book of all time. Look, the kids did all right, and while I thought it was goofy to put them in the 1980s, it had an okay Stranger Things vibe that I appreciated somewhat. And some of the changes were all right: I liked adding the painting to Stanley’s backstory and his struggles with the Torah; making Bev’s father’s... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2018 at CultureGeek
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Next season will be a crossover between Murder House and Coven, which were two seasons I actually managed to watch. Look, I stuck with it a long ways, but my taste for horror is of the creepy, chilling Twilight Zone variety, not “let’s count the ways we can rape” and eyeball-gouging with grapefruit spoons. Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2018 at CultureGeek
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Mother Nature was one cranky lady two weeks ago, when a micro-cell storm hit the Art Outside festival at Schlafly Bottleworks. More than 60 local artists sustained terrible losses, both to their artwork and to their infrastructure - festival tents and display cases are not cheap, folks. And speaking as a traveling artist myself, I am pretty sure my meager renter’s insurance doesn’t cover acts of God outside my home. I was not there, but... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2018 at CultureGeek
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Once again I am forced to recant my opposition to remakes and reboots. Some have gone horribly wrong (Roseanne) while others have failed to annoy us (Will & Grace, by all reports). But they’re bringing back Murphy Brown. Line up the secretaries! The trailer is hilarious, though sadly missing Charles Kimbrough as the stolid Jim Dial, leading to speculation whether the 81-year-old actor is up to a recurring appearance. Everyone else is on board, even... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2018 at CultureGeek
Watch as so many of your favorite characters fade away to dust... No, I am not reviewing Infinity War. Ha ha. Gotcha. It should be apparent to those of you who read this column regularly (all six of you) that I don't often review the giant blockbusters. The fact is, the incessant yammering and Monday-morning quarterbacking on Avengers and The Last Jedi and other giant tentpole pictures pretty much renders my opinion moot. Besides, I'm... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2018 at CultureGeek
Unless you were living under a rock this week, you know that Bill Cosby was convicted on three counts of sexual assault Thursday. Ever since this began, it seems my entire generation has struggled to reconcile our memory of the friendly, sweater-wearing Cliff Huxtable and the funnyman who voiced Fat Albert and sold pudding pops with the predator described in court. The impact seems to be twice as harsh for African-Americans who grew up watching... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2018 at CultureGeek
The Pulitzer Prizes are out - in case you’re wondering, your Friendly Neighborhood CultureGeek did not win one. Next year! However, there were some really amazing choices, and Poynter has a great summary analysis. Here are some of the highlights: The New York Times and New Yorker shared t he prize for public service for exposing Harvey Weinstein and kicking off the #metoo movement, changing the national conversation about sexual harassment and abuse. The Washington... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2018 at CultureGeek
Oh we got trouble, right here on the Frontier... Look, I am trying to remain optimistic about The Last Starfighter reboot, folks. But can it fly without Professor Harold Hill? The fact that this movie has never had a sequel defies Hollywood physics, since the Nick Castle sci-fi adventure attained cult status and was a seminal film for many of us nerds who grew up in the 1980s. It was Cretaceous-era CGI, it had snarky... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2018 at CultureGeek
In the category of “Hollywood has run out of ideas but we’re still there,” Zimbio did a roundup of prequels, sequels and remakes, some of which have already come out. Believe it or not, many/most of them are not head-shaking exercises in whyyyyyy? We all know there will be another round of MCU films, most notably the next Avengers movie (see Trailer Park) and I may be dragged kicking and screaming to another Pacific Rim... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2018 at CultureGeek
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There will be a separate review pending for BLACK PANTHER, which I don’t seem to be able to discuss without all-caps, once I see it for a second time. For now, the shorthand is: a) amazing movie, even if you don’t follow the MCU; b) while having seen Avengers: Age of Ultron would be helpful, it is not vitally necessary to understand the plot; and c) it might be the most feminist movie of the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2018 at CultureGeek
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In what blogger Audrey II (great name) called the Red Wedding of corporate moves, Barnes & Noble appears to have committed slow-moving suicide, and I don’t think she’s exaggerating. Bloodless business news squibs buried under a mountain of awful in this news cycle reported that B&N launched a round of layoffs that would save $40 million from the company. Exact numbers weren’t available, but its SEC filing reported the cuts as “a new labor model…... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2018 at CultureGeek
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Winchester is better than its reviews, but only half of what it could have been. I made a bet going in that we’d be hit with 20 jump scares, and there were only 15. The fact that I could keep count might tell you something. I picked up on the Big Plot Twist about half an hour early, and I hate when I can see it coming. While Jason Clarke is a decent actor, there... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2018 at CultureGeek
In the category of Hollywood is Still Run By Idiots, we have the brilliant plan by Paramount to release Annihilation domestically and sell the international release rights to… Netflix. The Atlantic notes that Arrival, a similar science fiction thriller, grossed $203 million and got eight Oscar nominations including best picture. And yet, Annihilation, based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer, is being treated to zero fanfare at all, with no theatrical rollout outside of the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2018 at CultureGeek
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At first I thought this was going to be the easiest Superb Owl column I’d ever write, because the consensus in the room this year was nearly unanimous: NFL players dancing to ‘80s pop is totally awesome. For those new to the show: I pay only the barest attention to sports, and the Superb Owl is basically an excuse to eat a lot of food with friends, laugh at the commercials and dance around with... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2018 at CultureGeek
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The closest most women got to the Grammys Sunday night was when Hillary Clinton read from Fire and Fury during a comic skit. Click here to see what has the political side foaming at the mouth. The Grammys are my annual reminder that I’m too old to be cool. I look at the list of people who are nominated, and I’m lucky to recognize one out of ten. Fortunately I have a coolness-to-old-person translator in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2018 at CultureGeek
Confession: I hate Heathers. Its popularity baffles me. Even pre-Columbine, I couldn’t find any humor in a psychotic teenager who kills his classmates and fakes suicides. Or the hilarity of heartbroken, grieving parents, using sexuality as blackmail, bullying and fatshaming, suicide contagion and other delightfully raucous fun. With bonus terrorism and mass murder! Now we have a remake-as-series, which flips it so the vicious bitchery ruling the school belongs to people whom the 80s Heathers... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2018 at CultureGeek
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I could keep listing the latest people revealed to be sexist, harassing assholes in the arts - or at least accused of such - or I could just keep repeating, “Tom Hanks is still a nice guy.” So, apparently, is Robert Redford, as he spoke at Sundance Film Festival this week and said “the role for men right now is to listen.” Sundance is hitting the controversies hard this year, including Monsters and Men, a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2018 at CultureGeek
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Grab the popcorn, folks: the next step in the Sexual Harassment Merry-Go-Round is the sale of the artist formerly known as the Weinstein Company. Okay, it’s still called Weinstein Co., but it is selling itself and the bulk of its film and television assets to avoid bankruptcy, according to Variety. Possible bidders include Killer Content with the backing of a collection of investors gearing to steer Weinstein profits to nonprofits helping women. In general, the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2017 at CultureGeek
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No, I’m not getting into The Last Jedi. Nope, not at all. Why should I, when everyone else has done so already? And better than I could. So I’m not going to talk about it. Yet. Cartoon by Joe Heller • It’s Golden Globes time! The 75th Golden Globe Awards have an interesting lineup, including movies that haven’t come out yet. Drama nominees include Call Me By Your Name, Dunkirk, The Post, The Shape of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2017 at CultureGeek
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Like many of you, I was leery of Justice League. After the dull, morose betrayal of Superman in Man of Steel and its nonsensical and annoying continuance in Batman v. Superman, I was not at all eager to watch Zack Synder take a third shot at my favorite superhero, even if he was dead. This was compounded by terrible reviews, the horrifying picture of Amazons in leather bikinis, reports of annoying upskirt shots of Wonder... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2017 at CultureGeek
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I sometimes wonder how the obit writers choose what to put in the headline when an actor or other artist dies. Sure, you could say that Robert Guillaume was the star of Benson or Soap, and those things are true. Most of his obituaries led with that, though he's said he was initially hesitant to take the role of a black servant to a white family. Or they led with with his turn as the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2017 at CultureGeek