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St. Louis, Mo.
Elizabeth Donald is the CultureGeek!
Interests: science fiction, fantasy, horror, comic books, movies, television, books
Recent Activity
Having met the man several times, I shudder to imagine Harlan Ellison's responses to my reviews. Rest assured, Ghost of Harlan, that I do sincerely love and respect the art of filmmaking as well as literature and the craft of writing, so I will nervously skate past your rant about reviewer dilettantes drooling on unworthy fare. If you met him, you know Harlan Ellison can rant about almost anything. This collection of his column, "Watching,"... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2020 at CultureGeek
I am officially very late to the party, if that party is the end of the world. I tripped over The Last Policeman because Amazon recommended it to me and I needed a break from the endless creative nonfiction I've been reading over the semester. Published in 2012, it is a science fiction mystery (not quite a noir) by Ben H. Winters, and it is the first in a trilogy, winning the 2012 Edgar Award.... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2020 at CultureGeek
So, full confession: We haven't gotten through the Oscars telecast yet. The show was blacked out for the St. Louis market on ABC's streaming app FOR REASONS and the antenna was misbehaving on ABC only, possibly in stark protest to the insanity of blocking out St. Louis during the Oscars. You really didn't want us cheering St. Louis Superman, did you? So now it's on streaming, but there simply haven't been enough consecutive hours where... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2020 at CultureGeek
According to author Jeff Strand: “Congratulations to the vile, appalling, morally bereft nominees for this year's Splatterpunk Awards!” There really isn’t anything we could add to that. Jeff nails it perfectly! For Immediate Release February 9, 2020 Best-selling authors and Splatterpunk Award founders Wrath James White and Brian Keene are proud to announce the nominees for the 2020 Splatterpunk Awards, honoring superior achievement for works published in 2019 in the sub-genres of Splatterpunk and Extreme... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2020 at CultureGeek
What halftime show? (Yes, I have Thoughts on that, but others are expressing it much more eloquently elsewhere on the net. Suffice to say I'm very much torn between appreciation of amazing performances with overtly political statements and cultural value, and wanting to smack the cameraman and director for the ridiculous male-gaze crotch shots. Those terrific women deserved better treatment for their work.) Instead, we go for the commercials here at CultureGeek, because we are... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2020 at CultureGeek
The Criterion Company that produces high-quality film collections decided to go old school for their Spine 1000. They decided, with Toho Studios, to make the ultimate Godzilla movie collection, starting with Gojira in 1954 and ending with Terror of Mecha-Godzilla from 1975. This 15-movie set that is contained on eight Blu-Ray disc is a dream collection for a Godzilla fan. I was lucky enough to have the coolest in-laws who got this set for me... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2020 at CultureGeek
Pardon my language, but fuck cancer. I’ve lost several family and friends to the disease, and now I’ve lost one of my heroes. Neil Peart, the drummer of the band Rush and considered one of the best drummers to have ever lived, has passed away due to brain cancer. Peart joined Rush to replace the original drummer, and bandmates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson called him ‘the new guy’ even decades later. Peart's skills on... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2020 at CultureGeek
List and commentary compiled by Jason R. Tippitt. Rest in peace, shining stars. Jan. 2: Darwin Bromley, 68, was founder of Mayfair Games, which produced the DC Heroes role-playing game, an RPG based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, and board games. Jan. 4: Louisa Moritz, 82, a Cuban-American actress who played Rose in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, starred in the comedy anthology Love, American Style, and was the first woman to formally accuse... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2020 at CultureGeek
We're ringing in the new year with some ruminations on the best and worst movies of 2019 from some of the CultureGeeks. We bet you'll have some opinions too. Share in the comments! Jason R. Tippitt After: This young-adult adaptation starring Josephine Langford (sister of 13 Reasons Why star Katherine Langford) was as confusing and overcrowded as anyone’s dating experiences of their first year of college, I suppose. A lot of Pretty, not a lot... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2019 at CultureGeek
Rewritten from many years ago: read the latest from CultureGeek managing editor Elizabeth Donald. The richest man in town. Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2019 at CultureGeek
Your friendly neighborhood CultureGeeks have been busy, folks. It just so happens that frequent contributor Rahul Menon is a film director. He's been writing and directing short films as he finishes his masters degree here in sunny Illinois. We're happy to report one of Rahul's shorts, Cowbot, won a best in category award at an international film festival just a few weeks ago. (Your humble blogger provided a voiceover, and thus begins the 15 minutes.)... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2019 at CultureGeek
Some twenty odd years ago, a boy in India was watching his first-ever Hollywood movie in a theatre, and that movie was Jurassic Park. He had no idea that the island of Isla Nublar wasn't real, he had no idea how these dinosaurs were made, he had no idea who Steven Spielberg was, he had no idea that few years down the line he was going to fall head over heels in love with the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2019 at CultureGeek
An year ago when I landed here, I had three musicals on my bucket list, whose music has resonated and connected with me in some form. They are three of the most incredible musicals that have come out in the last few years, have pretty much hogged all the major awards, and have been fan and critic favourites. Having already seen Hamilton and Come From Away, I was eagerly waiting to check-off the third one... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2019 at CultureGeek
We asked our panel of Smart People the quintessential question from Scream: What's your favorite scary movie? No one answered with that movie's choice: "Showgirls. Absolutely terrifying." Elizabeth Donald: Oculus (2014) I could have gone with so many choices here, because scary movies are my jam. I generally don't go for the torture porn or slashers - Saw just makes me angry and while I'm a sucker for Halloween, I like the stalking creepiness far... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2019 at CultureGeek
An extended meditative and emotionally satisfying epilogue, quite worthy of the Breaking Bad brand, El Camino feels more like lost pages from the original story. This Netflix "event" movie reunites fans with Jesse Pinkman (Emmy winner Aaron Paul). In the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity, Jesse must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future. With El Camino, Vince Gilligan knows what he's doing, and it doesn't... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2019 at CultureGeek
This weekend, the CultureGeek Roundtable pinned on the squirting flowers and went to see Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix and directed by Todd Phillips. Here's what our panel had to say. Rahul Menon When you hand him the Oscar, can you introduce him as Joker? Joker is what you get when you have a mediocre, overbearing director standing on the shoulders of one of the greatest actors of our time. I've heard the audience and few... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2019 at CultureGeek
Warning: There may be spoilers for book and movie(s) ahead.) It's hard to objectively review IT: Chapter Two, considering that it is drawn from my favorite novel of all time. So buckle in, folks, this is going to be long. I've always maintained that Stephen King's novels are best examined as a surface bugadeboo with something entirely other underneath. The Shining is his treatise on alcoholism and domestic violence, with a haunted hotel on the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2019 at CultureGeek
Aristotle says that a tragic destiny is precipitated by the hero’s tragic fault, his 'error or frailty' (hamartia), but Aristotle also calls this turn of events a change of “fortune." Aristotle fits with Lawrence of Arabia perfectly. In the epic film that won Best Picture in 1962, T.E. Lawrence steps into the role of the classical hero who strives to do "the right thing" for the Arab people by uniting them together. At least as... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2019 at CultureGeek
For a movie I waited six years to see, Othello wasn't bad. I've already told the tale of how a Netflix DVD of Othello ended up hanging around my house for six years. This week, I finally watched the bloody thing, which allows us to return it and begin using the DVD mail service again, just in time for a semester in which two of the three members of my household will be studying film.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2019 at CultureGeek
Tonight my husband and I will watch a DVD that cost us $543. Then we will return it, but we won't get the money back. This is probably the dumbest thing we have collectively done in the nine years that we have been a couple. I can't say it was the dumbest thing we've done in our lives, because there were some truly questionable personal choices back in the nineties that don't bear close examination.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2019 at CultureGeek
Respectfully, I called it. When Netflix canceled the sweet, innocent coming-of-age series Everything Sucks!, I looked at the known projects actress Sydney Sweeney was attached to at the time (Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, HBO’s Sharp Objects, and a little movie set in 1969 Hollywood from Quentin Tarantino) and said Netflix would regret letting her get away. Netflix famously doesn’t release its viewership numbers. But if you listen closely you can probably hear the sobbing from... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2019 at CultureGeek
"In this town, it can all change, like that." Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is Quentin Tarantino's love letter to a bygone era of movie stardom. It's indulgent, but also complex and fascinating, and offers an utterly unique experience for those willing to embrace its meandering charms. It looks at two men who embody the dichotomy of Hollywood, and tells a fractured fairytale about the city of dreams with a blend of fact and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2019 at CultureGeek
I grew up a Nancy Drew fan. I graduated from the Berenstein Bears to Nancy's mysterious exploits at age seven, because my mom pulled down her box of canvas-bound editions and gave them to me. I was hooked, even if they used weird words I had to go look up like "titian" and Nancy was always getting captured and needed her boyfriend or father to save her. Hey, it was the fifties. So when I... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2019 at CultureGeek
There is almost nothing new about The Lion King. But you should still go see it. One of the big attractions from this sort-of-live-action remake (we'll get to that in a minute) was the inspired casting. Donald Glover and Beyonce inherit the claws of our leading lions with grace, and in both acting and singing, they roar with the best of them. It was only fitting that James Earl Jones was the returning cast member,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2019 at CultureGeek
When I found out a fourth installment of the Toy Story franchise was confirmed by Pixar, I was actually somewhat disappointed. Growing up watching the Toy Story movies, or growing up with any franchise for that matter, automatically makes it a little more special. I LOVED how they chose to end Toy Story 3, with Woody and Andy physically saying goodbye to each other. It was perfect, it was emotional, it was impactful, and it... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2019 at CultureGeek