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D.K. Latta

Pop Culture Blogger

When not trying to earn a real living, D.K. Latta occasionally writes SF and fantasy stories, and has written pop culture opinions on everything from comic books to radio drama. But long ago he adopted as his primary hobby Canadian film & television with his website: The Great Canadian Guide to the Movies (& TV) -- making him either nobly patriotic or just plain nuts.
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Have You Seen These 10 Good Canadian-Made Movies?

Canadian suffers from a Goldilocks and the Three Bears syndrome: "Serious" Papa Bear films that win accolades but tank at the multiplexes, or lowest common denominator Baby Bear horror films and comedies. This often squeezes out the Mama Bear films -- those that don't require a degree in Film Appreciation 101, yet neither do they demand you check your frontal lobe at the door.
03/16/2014 03:41 EDT
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The Trouble With Awards for 'Canadian' Movies

Although The Mortal Instruments didn't exactly grip me, if you loved the movie -- great. But The Mortal Instruments has already won a prize -- by selling more tickets than any other Canadian-produced movie in 2013. If there is to be a Golden Reel Award, shouldn't it celebrate movies that are actually trying to build and develop a domestic Canadian industry?
03/12/2014 01:08 EDT

Where Are the Black Actors in Canadian Film and TV?

Canada is, literally, one of the most multiracial/multicultural nations in the world. And yet you probably wouldn't get that impression watching a lot of Canadian movies and TV series. When it comes to Canadian film and TV, things have come a long way -- but it can also feel like two steps forward, one step back.
02/25/2014 05:09 EST

There's Nothing Good About a "So Bad It's Good" Movie

I have a fondness for fantasy/SF and I've long been an observer of and advocate for Canadian film and TV. And I see deliberately "bad" films as corrosive to both. It doesn't build anything. It's just a bunch of bad movies for which even your supposed fans have little respect.
02/18/2014 12:12 EST

Is French the Answer for English-Canadian TV?

Bravo TV (Canada) has started airing a new cop drama called 19-2. It's an English-Canadian series -- based on a pre-existing French-Canadian series. English-Canadian film and TV producers have long looked to their more successful French-Canada brethren with something akin to pop-culture envy. But I've wondered if the reality is a wee bit more ambiguous than some cultural observers claim.
02/03/2014 12:53 EST

When Can We Expect a Canadian Fantasy That Admits it's Canadian?

Sometimes identifying "Canadian" productions gets down to what you want to believe. I know people who will identify a co-production as "American" if they like it, and dismiss it as "Canadian" if they don't. Who knows what the future holds for Canadian genre TV? Maybe on the horizon is a Canadian genre series that isn't just grudgingly set in Canada, but unapologetically so.
01/23/2014 05:10 EST

The Rise of Canadian Fantasy/Sci-Fi TV

Since fantasy/science fiction and Canadian film/TV are two things I think about way too much, pull up a big chair for two to cozy up in, and let's look at where this combo has been, where it's at -- and where it could go, should go, or is going.
01/19/2014 08:07 EST
New Line Cinema

I'm Still Waiting for the Great Canadian Christmas Movie

Despite the plethora of Canadian-made Christmas movies sprinkling the Yuletide floor like pine needles, the "Great Canadian Christmas" movie still seems to be that one item Santa never gets around to delivering. And I mean that on two fronts -- both a great "Christmas" movie, and a Christmas movie that is unapologetically "Canadian."
12/13/2013 11:52 EST

My Solution For the CBC, Post-Hockey Night In Canada

What's the solution to the CBC dilemma? Maybe what needs to be done is that the CBC, which has mutated over time into a multi-platform mega corporation, should be divided into semi-autonomous parts. By breaking the CBC into smaller, tighter organizations (but still associated with the whole) it might actually eliminate a lot of bureaucracy.
12/02/2013 12:35 EST

Why TV Shows Do "Crossover" Episodes

A "crossover" is when characters from one series/property appear in an unrelated series/property. In comic books, the "shared universe" idea is so intrinsic, characters regularly guest star in each other's magazines. There are different reasons for doing a TV crossover. The first is just for the fun of it.
11/28/2013 05:21 EST

Canadian TV Needs an Archive -- Like, Now, Damnit!

English-Canadian television has been around since the 1950s -- and almost none of it is available. It doesn't get re-run late night. You won't find many old series on the DVD shelf. Instead it's mothb...
11/25/2013 12:32 EST
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John Diefenbaker: Kennedy's Canadian Nemesis

Former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker's biggest sin against history was that he didn't like John Kennedy and Kennedy didn't like him. And since Kennedy has been all but canonized in Western culture, that is the unpardonable crime. Kennedy wanted Canada to nuke up. Diefenbaker didn't.
11/21/2013 05:32 EST

The Problem With Ranking the "Best" Canadian TV Shows

Recently Huffington Post presented the results of a reader's choice of the "best Canadian" TV series ever. You can't build an industry, or develop an audience, around celebrating things that are "so bad it's almost good" -- despite what a multitude of B-grade filmmakers tell themselves.
11/18/2013 01:26 EST

What Were the Makers of <i>Cracked</i> Thinking?

Often modern Canadian TV series will tackle issues (if at all) with a certain bourgeois indignity, as though trying to seem mad but not really sure about what, or why. Some series I've seen will work themselves up over seeming non-issues, or like the writers don't really know much about their topics.
11/11/2013 05:18 EST

Naming The Great Moments in Canadian T.V.

Recently, there's been some of that recurring soul-searching that occurs in Canadian entertainment. Globe and Mail columnist John Doyle got people talking after penning a piece decrying the mediocrity of Canadian T.V.
10/28/2013 12:25 EDT

Will a Canadian TV Series Ever Be One of the Greats?

A few weeks ago, American commentator Mike Gallay at Huffingpost listed the five greatest series in TV history as Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Wire, The Sopranos, and Twin Peaks. So, um, the greatest shows ever are largely about men, mainly crime dramas, and mostly aired in the last decade?
10/14/2013 10:53 EDT

Who Says Americans Won't Watch Foreign TV Shows?

It's a nice theory to embrace for those outside of the U.S. as it reinforces a vision of Americans as insular and frightened of the world when other nations' TV schedules are often a little more pluralistic. It also means that when non-American productions fail in the U.S. market it can be blamed on American xenophobia, as opposed to any weakness in the production itself.
10/08/2013 05:53 EDT

CTV's Crime-Drama <em>Played</em> is Worth Betting On

There was a time when you could declare a Canadian TV season if two series were airing around the same time. And a "hit" season if people had actually heard of one of them. And then along comes Played -- CTV's crime-drama about undercover cops that premieres Thursday, Oct. 3rd. Here's the best part: it's actually quite good.
10/02/2013 05:34 EDT