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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
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
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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
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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
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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
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I'll be honest: Your Friendly Neighborhood CultureGeek bailed on Stranger Things in the second season. By the scuttlebut running around the internet, it's possible this decision was unwise. Still, that means it falls to the Guest Voices to tell us what's going down in Hawkins, Ind. David Tyler In Season 3 of Stranger Things, the people of Hawkins face the most terrifying horror yet. Not Demogorgons, Mind Flayers, or various supernatural inter-dimensional beasts (although there... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2019 at CultureGeek
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It's the 23rd movie in the Marvel Saga (though that's only if you don't go back to Howard the Duck, and what monster would do that?). It made $185 million in its loooooooong launch weekend, instantly vaulting to No. 5 on this year's box office and... No. 163 in all-time worldwide box office. Or something. But was it good? The CultureGeeks are here to help you out! At least those that saw the movie opening... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2019 at CultureGeek
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That's a famous line from a famous speech, and nobody really cares that it's trite and cliche and jingoistic because you just wanna salute President Lonestar and hug him at the same time. I love that movie. But it's too easy to remember Independence Day (and forget the sequel) or a rousing-yet-historically-questionable flick like The Patriot when mulling appropriate entertainment for the Fourth of July. For some reason, any war movie suddenly becomes a nominee... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2019 at CultureGeek
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I must sadly inform you that there is really no need for you to run back to the theater for your fifth viewing of Avengers: Endgame. Look, I love the movie as much as any of you - more, maybe, despite the flaws about which I have argued endlessly on social media. I wrote a media analysis of Fat Thor for my media research class - yes, it was on topic - and ran an... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2019 at CultureGeek
"A world without The Beatles would be infinitely worse." In the charming yet painfully bland Yesterday, Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, 28 Days Later, 127 Hours, etc.) teams up with Richard Curtis (Notting Hill, Love Actually, About Time etc.) to craft a promising what-if concept that falls short because of how uninspired the main formula is. Yesterday is a competent realization of a brilliant concept, but it could have been so much more. There are... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2019 at CultureGeek
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(Hark! There be spoilers for Avengers: Endgame here.)
 Outrage is the modern zeitgeist, so of course, people Had Opinions about Avengers: Endgame. Some feminists felt it was outrageous that the film had forced Brie Larson to play a sexualized version of Captain Marvel who wore — horrors — makeup. (Never mind that actress Brie Larson chose Carol Danvers’ look and we got a great “woman power” scene in the climactic battle.) But I’ve also seen... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2019 at CultureGeek
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I find myself utterly flummoxed by the enormous negative reaction and dismal critic rating for Dark Phoenix, which was not nearly as bad as its reviews. First, I want to declare my least popular opinion: I really don't care what happened in the comics. Don't get me wrong - I love comics, I used to have a pull list of my own before they became ludicrously expensive, I've read the Dark Phoenix saga in the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2019 at CultureGeek
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It has been five years since Godzilla swam off at the end of the 2014 Godzilla, and now the king has returned to reclaim his throne. Michael Dougherty, director for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, decided that for this sequel he would give the "G fans" what they said they all wished was in the first movie: More monster action and fan service galore. The plot centers on the world trying to cope with the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2019 at CultureGeek
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Summer is usually when the movies get big and dumb, and we all flock to them anyway. Is it that we have no taste in the summer, or we’re craving air conditioning and overpriced popcorn? Or maybe it’s that we tend to have more spare time and fewer commitments. At any rate, summer means movies, and usually not the art-house flicks. I don’t pretend to watch every movie - I leave that to my guest... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2019 at CultureGeek
I previously reviewed the just-completed seasons of Arrow and The Flash in tandem, as the two shared a lot of common themes this year.

 While the same is true of Supergirl and Legends, a lot more than I expected, I must acknowledge it’s like comparing a straight superhero story (Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle’s run on Supergirl, for example) to the Keith Giffen/J.M. Dematteis era of Justice League, where half the plot revolved around Booster... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2019 at CultureGeek
Legacy. Family of choice. Good intentions with bad results. Redemption. Sacrifice. DC Comics’ interconnected shows on The CW took an interesting path in the 2018-19 season, with the four series (see also Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl) seeming to pair up thematically in key ways this year. The Flash and Arrow shared similar concerns with the big topics listed above.

 Both series introduced some new characters and some new settings: Green Arrow meets a hitherto... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2019 at CultureGeek
Ever wonder what it's like to write a book in a shared universe, like Marvel or Star Wars? Novelist Sela Carsen shares her experience. Writing is a solitary endeavour, by necessity. If you’re talking, if you’re chatting, if you’re engaging with other people, you’re not getting words down on your manuscript. And if you want to put out a finished book, that’s what counts -- getting the words down. But there are instances where working... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2019 at CultureGeek
With the final Endgame trailer, the long-awaited announcement of the Disney+ launch and the hotly-debated Star Wars IX trailer, it's pretty much a Disney Friday. Yell all you want about the Mouse, the fact is that they're making entertainment that the vast majority of the U.S. (and much of the rest of the world) desperately wants to watch. Disney's stock jumped up 11.5 percent in one day after the announcement of the programming lineup and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2019 at CultureGeek
(Note: As they sometimes say on NPR, the following is by no means explicit but does acknowledge the existence of sex.) I had a great idea for this entry. I was going to talk about the way pop culture, from movies to TV shows to popular music to comic books and more, has a gender disparity in the way masturbation is portrayed depending on whether the person engaged in the act is male or female.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2019 at CultureGeek
Today's guest voice is author and comics nerd Jim D. Gillentine. He says the Magic Word. I lucked into an early screening of the new DC movie, Shazam! and I have to say... it is one of the best comic book movies I have ever seen. We're going to avoid spoilers, because that's the rules of this site and because I truly believe that you need to go see this film yourself to fully enjoy... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2019 at CultureGeek
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For those of you who have seen and loved Get Out, you know you are in store for lots of allegory and symbolism, satire, social commentary and metaphors. This movie showcases Peele’s ability to build tension and release it in a satisfying way, both with humor and horror. Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2019 at CultureGeek
Today's guest voice is none other than CultureGeek Jr., otherwise known as Ian Smith. Once upon a time in Columbus, Ohio, circa 2009: high school friends Tyler Joseph, Nick Thomas, and Chris Salhi decided to start a band with Tyler on vocals, piano, and ukulele, Nick on bass, and Chris on drums. They called this new group “Twenty One Pilots” as a reference to the play All My Sons by Arthur Miller, a story centering... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2019 at CultureGeek