Jeffrey Cook

Jeffrey Cook

A graduate student From Montréal who is also a professional pseudo-scientist and teller of tall tales.

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    Latest Articles

    Latest Topics

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    Is there an 80's Renaissance happening?

    With the release of Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Ghostbusters (2016), Alien: Covenant (2017) and Blade Runner: 2049 (2017) to name a few examples, are we seeing a revival of 80’s nostalgia in film? Perhaps it is merely Hollywood cashing in on established titles?

    • I am from the 80s and this topic is scaring me. Movies today are waaaaay better. – Munjeera 4 weeks ago
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    • I often complain about how Hollywood are struggling to come up with original content, not forgetting that Child's Play and Beetlejuice (both 1988 films) will have new sequels released this year. It was a decade of great films, though, and I wouldn't be entirely opposed to an 80s Renaissance. – nikkileelucas 3 weeks ago
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    Is Digital Streaming Really the end of Cable Television?

    Analyze the growing trend of digital and internet streaming regarding all forms of Television Media. For example, In 2017 the NFL saw a drop in their television audience, is this due to the increase in digital streaming and the elephant in the room: Pirate streams?

    • Jeffrey Cook,While I think digital streaming certainly has a lot to do with the drop in TV watching, I wouldn't use the NFL or other sports outlets as an example. While pirate/digital streams may have contributed to the drop in viewership, I'd say that most people stopped watching sports in 2016-17 because of hyper-politicization, most aptly seen in Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand during the National Anthem, which inspired others to do so. Sports are meant to be fun, and when you start bringing politics into the mix, you get a lot of displeased and annoyed people who would prefer to tune out.With that said, I think that any number of other examples could help you explore this topic. For example, loads of streaming services have TV shows that now rival the best that cable has to offer. House of Cards, 13 Reasons Why, Orange is the New Black, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Black Mirror, Stranger Things, and Narcos are all Netflix originals that have been critically lauded as being as good if not better than most cable programs. Even HBO (presently) doesn't have that many popular shows streaming constantly, and if anything, they're on their way out. It used to be that they had three or four critically acclaimed shows going on at once, like The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, and Six Feet Under. Now, they have one very popular show, Game of Thrones, and a bunch of smaller, kind of popular shows like Girls, Divorce, Silicon Valley, Veep, and Westword (which could become a popular show).I haven't really paid attention to why this is, but given that the trend is there, you could certainly investigate why it is that this change has occurred and what people see in streaming that they don't in cable.Thanks for your time, August – August Merz 3 weeks ago
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    Cliffhangers in popular television series: Nefarious scheme or poignant plot device?

    Analyse whether the use of cliffhangers in popular television series and their seasons, such as Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, is a shallow attempt to maintain returning viewers or if it is an effective plot device.

    • Also, does the "shallow attempt" work? If it is considered as such, does this sort of basic viewer manipulation alienate viewers, or are they hooked regardless? – JimEis 1 year ago
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    • This sort of tactic is poignant to a degree and definitely expected from mega-popular series, and really any television show is going to leave at least some things unanswered by the end of the episode or season because that's basically how you keep viewers engaged. But I think after a certain point the manipulation becomes too obvious and it can be alienating for viewers because it takes them out of the moment and forces them to realize they're being toyed with in a sense. It would be interesting to see a piece about this that uses specific examples and the reactions from fans. – darapoizner 1 year ago
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    • Though cliffhangers are absolutely infuriating, they act like a drug that leads the viewer needing more and more of it. When everything is tied up in a nice bow, what is going to push the audience to impatiently await the start of the next season? I do view it as means of maintaining returning viewers, as well as acting as an effective plot device. Now, for clarification sake, it is an effective plot device when it is well thought out, drives the plot further, and serves a purpose in the show. Those cliffhangers that rely on pure sensationalism to "hook," the returning viewer, while leaving he or she with no real substance, is a shallow attempt to maintain returning viewers. Nice topic...I would like to see what is done with this. – danielle577 1 year ago
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    • It might benefit the topic, which is presently binary, to ask when is it effective and when is it manipulative, shallow, or unfair? – Tigey 10 months ago
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    • Very interesting idea. Cliffhangers are the ultimate catch 22. They might seem like a trope, but it is important to keep people interested. Plot is sometimes underestimated. – cbell 10 months ago
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    • In defense of GoT, there are too many story lines to not leave any one cliffhanger at the end of a season. Things just don't line up like that. As for the Walking Dead, as a consumer it did feel a bit cheap. In shows with only one real story line season ending cliff hangers don't inspire me to keep watching because everyone knows it'll all get resolved in the first bit of the next episode. Cliffhangers today need more depth, more layers to keep people interested, not just "oh, which one of these pre-determined people dies?" There's cliffhangers vs plot twists, and cliffhangers are the easier of the two. – Slaidey 9 months ago
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    Latest Comments

    Jeffrey Cook

    I find with many trailers now you can tell which scenes will be the finale and it sort of spoils everything – comedy trailers are even worse, giving all the best jokes to you already in the trailer, or in the advertising for the movie they pound a particular joke over and over into your head so by the time you actually watch the scene you can recite the entire bit.

    Time to Trim Trailers? The Death of Surprise in Modern Hollywood
    Jeffrey Cook

    Thoroughly enjoyable Read. Perhaps have a section of examples from other “radical” movies of the time that helped changed the shape of american cinema?

    Easy Rider: An Artful American Souvenir
    Jeffrey Cook

    Personally I think the advancement in internet speeds brought on the decline of cable television. A look at the demographics concerning the audience of news programs on Television is a reflection of this in my opinion – the majority being of an older age.

    Online VS On TV: Is Cable Becoming Obsolete?
    Jeffrey Cook

    Nice Article, perhaps you could cover Bloodbourne a little more? I found that to be the most difficult of the “souls” games, mostly because of the importance of dodging in the face of no shield\block actions. Perhaps aswell you can give your opinion on how to make things more “difficult” for veteran players other than doing SL1 runs, no magic runs and such.

    Dark Souls: A Game of Two Genres
    Jeffrey Cook

    In the late 1990’s and early millennium during the peak of the Pokemon craze I was one of those children who lapped up the merchandise – particularly the trading cards. I was friends with a religious family from down the street and we would frequent the local comic book store every friday to buy a pack of cards. Even then when I was of that young age I pondered on the idea that Pokemon contained a subtle form of animal cruelty, akin to cock fighting or dog fights. I asked the father of this religious family about a similar brand of trading cards, Magic: The Gathering, and he was adamant about not letting his children buy that brand since it advocated “black magic.”

    This always stuck with me. Animal cruelty seemed to be a non issue for him, an otherwise good hearted and sensible man, but then he had a peculiar stance on this notion of black magic. It was a lesson to my younger self that everyone has their own set of peculiar beliefs.

    Pokémon and the Animals in Captivity Debate
    Jeffrey Cook

    Remakes and remasters, like anything, are perfectly fine in moderation. Think of what the highest selling video games are of late – Call of Duty and its innumerable iterations, Grand Theft Auto V, and the yearly release of the FIFA franchise. Think also of Nintendo, who have relied on their established franchises since the 1990s – Mario, Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong.

    Is there an issue with this? I cannot help but see a similar trend in hollywood, where the majority of films being released are either remakes, sequels, or adapted screenplays from video games or comic books. Is the well of originality slowly going dry? Or is this what consumers really want? Is this also a reflection of the unbalanced power that brand names possess?

    An Abundance of Remasters: Originality in the Gaming Industry
    Jeffrey Cook

    Another of Cormac McCarthy’s novels “Blood Meridian” is a peculiar piece of literature as it reads very much like a post-apocalyptic tale – yet it is set in the year 1850 in the deep south of America. It chronicles the protagonist’s journey with a group of scalpers who move through the border of Mexico massacring Native Americans and Mexicans alike. Quite a memorable read if you are into the dystopian themes discussed in this article, made even more intriguing due to its setting in a historical time period.

    7 Classic Books For Those New to Dystopia