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EDDIE THE EAGLE might be the feel-good movie of 2016…

Posted on May 2nd, 2016
EDDIE THE EAGLE might be the feel-good movie of 2016…

by Coop Cooper

Based on a true story, Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton) was a sickly, awkward and unathletic British child who develops a tenacious fascination with the Olympics. After being discouraged by everyone – especially his blue collar father – at every turn, Eddie keeps formulating different plans to achieve his dream. He settles on downhill skiing as his best chance, but after years of training, he is kicked off the British Olympic team. He figures his next best chance is to try his hand at ski jumping, except Great Britain hasn’t had an Olympic ski jumper in competition since the 1920’s…

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MIDNIGHT SPECIAL doesn’t shine a light on anything new…

Posted on April 25th, 2016
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL doesn’t shine a light on anything new…

by Coop Cooper

On the run from a religious cult and the authorities, Roy (Michael Shannon) and his son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) travel across the country in an attempt to reach a set of coordinates. Accompanying them is Roy’s childhood friend, Lucas (Joel Edgerton), an ex state trooper determined to protect Roy and Alton at all costs. The cause of their flight is Alton’s strange and dangerous powers which randomly manifest themselves in alarming ways, most commonly when Alton is exposed to sunlight. Roy has resigned himself to the fact that Alton is not meant for this Earth and the coordinates Alton conjured should return him to where he belongs. Unfortunately, Alton also picks up radio waves, including classified ones the government isn’t happy about him exposing. The cult also wants him back to further their misguided ideology and send henchmen to return him to the fold…

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THE JUNGLE BOOK captures some of that old Disney magic…

Posted on April 25th, 2016
THE JUNGLE BOOK captures some of that old Disney magic…

by Coop Cooper

One of my first memories as a child is going to Disney World and seeing a special screening for children of the animated 1967 version of “The Jungle Book” at the hotel where we were staying. It was my first introduction to Rudyard Kipling’s classic story and I recalled loving every minute of it. Now Disney has released a live-action (mostly CGI to be accurate) update of “The Jungle Book” directed by John Favreau and I’m thrilled to report not only does this adaptation pay homage to Kipling’s story, but it also utilizes the songs and the adventurous tone of the classic Disney cartoon…

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Law “HB 1523″ has ruined a good thing (i.e. film) for Mississippi…

Posted on April 11th, 2016
Law “HB 1523″ has ruined a good thing (i.e. film) for Mississippi…

by Coop Cooper

During its creation, I knew very little about Mississippi’s new law titled HB 1523. I didn’t have a strong opinion over the new laws cropping up in Southern states aimed at protecting Christians from an ‘allegedly’ belligerent homosexual community threatening lawsuits for not being allowed access to certain restrooms or demanding services that might go against someone’s personal/religious beliefs. When the film industry began boycotting North Carolina because of their newly passed law, that got my attention. When the Georgia governor vetoed a similar bill due to threats the profitable film industry would pull up stakes and leave the state, I felt there was a lesson learned from North Carolina’s folly… It’s foolish to jeopardize a state’s economy by passing a controversial law in an attempt to solve a nebulous moral problem…

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THE INTERNET RUINED MY LIFE (Syfy) could have been educational TV instead of exploitive…

Posted on April 11th, 2016
THE INTERNET RUINED MY LIFE (Syfy) could have been educational TV instead of exploitive…

by Coop Cooper

We have all heard horror stories about people whose lives were negatively impacted or outright destroyed by the internet. A new show on the SyFy Channel aims to put a spotlight on those who gained unwanted infamy through social media, how it impacted their lives and how they were able to solve the problem or at least move on from it. While these cautionary tales could definitely serve as a warning to even the most cautious social media user, it doesn’t shy away from the graphic realities of these situations, nor does it separate what can be proven and what is hearsay, or if some of the subjects were truly ‘victims’ at all…

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BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE was destined to disappoint…

Posted on March 30th, 2016
BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE was destined to disappoint…

by Coop Cooper

In an attempt to replicate Marvel’s success, D.C. Comics has united their properties in order to pave the way for a “Justice League” movie. Though it has been tried many times and has failed, it looks like it is finally on track to happen and “Batman v Superman” has arrived to set it all up. Unfortunately, it seems as if it was destined to be a disappointment.

While Clark ‘Superman’ Kent (Henry Cavill) was fighting General Zod and the Kryptonians in “Man of Steel”, Bruce ‘Batman’ Wayne (Ben Affleck) was on the ground in Metropolis witnessing the destruction of the city and of his branch office, resulting in the death of his employees. Horrified by the incident and warned by a prophetic vision delivered by another superhero, Wayne develops a deep distrust of Superman and starts searching for the Man of Steel’s weakness…

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10 CLOVERFIELD LANE finally explains why that ugly monster was eating New York…

Posted on March 21st, 2016
10 CLOVERFIELD LANE finally explains why that ugly monster was eating New York…

by Coop Cooper

Before he singlehandedly took over the “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” franchises, producer J. J. Abrams created a bizarre and intriguing air of mystery around his 2008 project “Cloverfield”. He released little information about it, shrouding its plot in secrecy in such a way that set the internet aflame with speculation. In the end, it turned out to be a simple found-footage monster movie with a few interesting surprises thrown in. The current spinoff, “10 Cloverfield Lane” was so secret, nobody even knew of its existence until two months before its release. While not a true sequel to “Cloverfield”, it does enhance the franchise and helps explain a big mystery about the original film…

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HAP AND LEONARD may finally bring author Joe R. Lansdale the spotlight…

Posted on March 18th, 2016
HAP AND LEONARD may finally bring author Joe R. Lansdale the spotlight…

by Coop Cooper

For a mid-season, hard-bold, southern-fried detective cable TV show with a bit of comedy, this one hits me in all the right places.

Set in 1988 in East Texas, caucasian cowboy Hap Collins (James Purefoy of “The Following”) and his gay, African American best friend, Leonard Pine (Michael Kenneth Williams of “The Wire”), get laid off as day laborers at a rose bush farm. Struggling to make a buck, Hap receives a visit from his no-good ex-wife Trudy (Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men”) who offers them a get-rich-quick mission to find a sunken car containing a million dollars in cash. Hap, being the only one who knows the location of the abandoned bridge the car is located under, reluctantly agrees as long as Leonard – who is an ex-marine and a diver – gets cut in on the deal. Trudy’s current hippy husband (Bill Sage) and his misfit revolutionary group are fronting the job, but little do they know a nerdy psychopath (Jimmi Simpson) and his lethal punk rocker girlfriend (Pollyanna McIntosh) are on the hunt to grab the cash for themselves…

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DOWNTON ABBEY, the end of a TV phenomenon…

Posted on March 7th, 2016
DOWNTON ABBEY, the end of a TV phenomenon…

by Coop Cooper
Although the final episode aired during Christmas in the UK, American audiences got their last glimpse of “Downton Abbey” during the PBS Masterpiece Theatre finale this past Sunday. The show, which chronicled the trials and tribulations of the Lord of Grantham and his royal English family for six seasons could have been easily dismissed as a stuffy, British soap opera with little appeal to American or international audiences. Instead, the series became PBS’s biggest programming hit of all time and captured the imagination of viewers from countries like Argentina and Japan…

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If the 88th Annual Academy Awards needed a diversity reality check then everybody blew it, including Chris Rock…

Posted on March 2nd, 2016
If the 88th Annual Academy Awards needed a diversity reality check then everybody blew it, including Chris Rock…

by Coop Cooper

In his opening monologue at the 88 Annual Academy Awards, host Chris Rock joked that in the 50’s and 60’s blacks weren’t protesting the Oscars. He explains: “We had real things to protest at the time. They were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won ‘Best Cinematographer’. You know, when your grandmother is swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about Best Documentary or Foreign Short.” The audience – mostly white – laughed loudly and nervously. Were they supposed to laugh? Were we?…

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THE WITCH is the pinnacle of the craft…

Posted on February 22nd, 2016
THE WITCH is the pinnacle of the craft…

by Coop Cooper

The story begins in 17th century America as Puritan settlers William (Ralph Ineson) and Katherine (Kate Dickie), disillusioned with their community for its lack of piety, abandon their protected village to build a homestead in the deep wilderness on the edge of an ominous forest. They drag along their newborn son, out-of-control twins Mercy and Jonas (Ellie Granger and Lucas Dawson), sensitive preteen son Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw) and alluring teenage daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy). When the newborn mysteriously goes missing under Thomasin’s watch, the family begins to unravel as they are plagued by menacing and unexplainable occurrences. When the suspicion of witchcraft arises, Thomasin becomes the prime suspect. As the threat puts all members of the family in peril, Thomasin must choose between survival and damnation…

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DEADPOOL does its own thing and superhero movies are better for it…

Posted on February 16th, 2016
DEADPOOL does its own thing and superhero movies are better for it…

by Coop Cooper

Every couple of years or so, a superhero movie comes along that defies expectations and completely stuns everyone with its originality and success. In 2010, “Kick-Ass” proved that a R-rated superhero movie could become a blockbuster. In 2014, Marvel proved they could take one of its minor properties and turn it into a Star Wars-like epic with “Guardians of the Galaxy”. Now Fox Studios has done the same with one of its minor Marvel properties, making a self-referential, gory, raunchy hit with “Deadpool”…

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Now that everyone’s offended, will we ever truly enjoy media again?…

Posted on February 12th, 2016
Now that everyone’s offended, will we ever truly enjoy media again?…

by Coop Cooper

I’ve never appreciated Super Bowl halftime shows very much. To me they always felt like pop-culture pandering to the masses, but it is quite clear a monumental amount of talent and organization goes into the production. When I saw Beyoncé perform with Coldplay and Bruno Mars, I didn’t think much of it other than “That Mars guy knows how to dance” and “Coldplay looks out of place” and “Why is Beyoncé dressed like Michael Jackson during his military uniform phase?” Little did I know Beyoncé was setting off a political firestorm in which many felt her performance was disrespectful towards America’s law enforcement officers by emulating the Black Panthers…

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Film selections at the 6th Annual Clarksdale Film Fest impress…

Posted on February 5th, 2016
Film selections at the 6th Annual Clarksdale Film Fest impress…

by Coop Cooper

The 6th Annual Clarksdale Film Fest is over and a good time was had by all. Here is a bit of what was screened at the fest and some of the fest’s more interesting (and Clarksdale-centric) offerings…

The festival kicked off Thursday night with the documentary “The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane” which included dozens of performances and candid footage from the Stones’ early years on up into the present. Interviews of the band members are used as voice overs to accompany and sometimes narrate the past footage, giving a rare insight into the history of the band, their blues influences and how they persevered and cheated death to become the icons they are today…

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THE MAGICIANS and THE X-FILES. Neither start off great, but both could reignite obsessions…

Posted on January 25th, 2016
THE MAGICIANS and THE X-FILES.  Neither start off great, but both could reignite obsessions…

by Coop Cooper

One is a new TV series based on a popular novel trilogy and the other is a true classic TV series resurrected for a new generation. Here are the new, highly-anticipated shows that premiered this week…

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SPOTLIGHT and THE BIG SHORT are pretty good as far as heavy-handed, outrage pieces go…

Posted on January 19th, 2016
SPOTLIGHT and THE BIG SHORT are pretty good as far as heavy-handed, outrage pieces go…

by Coop Cooper

Outrage pieces aimed at real-life institutions and events are compelling but like documentaries covering similar topics, they deserve skepticism and scrutiny in their presentation of the facts as well as their intentions, both political and personal. One thing that makes these films so polarizing is that they have an agenda and rarely present both sides of an argument, so they should be taken with a grain of salt even if they appear to be correct. Here are two Oscar-nominated films up for Best Picture that fall under this category…

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THE REVENANT must be seen in theaters!…

Posted on January 12th, 2016
THE REVENANT must be seen in theaters!…

by Coop Cooper

Every year I find at least a handful of movies that surprise me enough to earn my highest rating. It’s always a short list but it takes special mixture of originality, superior storytelling, spot on acting and spectacle for a movie like “The Revenant” to come along and surpass all expectations.

Based on a true story from the 1820’s, frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his half-breed Pawnee son (Forrest Goodluck) leads a party of fur trappers through the bitter cold of the American wilderness when they are attacked by marauding natives. Forced to leave most of their haul behind, the party flees for their outpost and Glass is mauled by a grizzly along the way. Unable to carry him further, the Captain (Domhnall Gleeson) offers a reward to those who stay behind to care for Glass until he either heals or expires. Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) stays behind but betrays Glass by killing his son and leaving Glass for dead. Despite his grave injuries, Glass somehow survives and makes his way hundreds of miles across dangerous country to track down Fitzgerald and get his revenge…

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THE HATEFUL EIGHT is proof that Tarantino’s ego has reached critical mass…

Posted on January 8th, 2016
THE HATEFUL EIGHT is proof that Tarantino’s ego has reached critical mass…

by Coop Cooper

There are a few famous filmmakers out there who I feel have developed an unhealthy contempt for their audiences. At some point in their career, their inflated egos take over and they no longer care if anyone enjoys their films as long as they get what they want out of it. They give grandiose speeches on why everyone else is wrong or stupid but them and frequently lash out at critics and fans over the pettiest of nitpicks. Their movies become increasingly self-indulgent, less accessible to general audiences and their creative choices become questionable at best and spiteful at worst. We’ve seen this happen with M. Night Shyamalan, Kevin Smith and George Lucas, all of whom polarized and alienated many fans with their toxicity (well, “The Visit” was terrible but Shyamalan is at least trying to get back in our good graces). Although he may have already succumbed to this long ago, I believe Quintin Tarantino presently falls squarely into this category and I offer “The Hateful Eight” as evidence…

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Coop’s Top 10 movies of 2015 (for now)…

Posted on December 28th, 2015
Coop’s Top 10 movies of 2015 (for now)…

by Coop Cooper

The end of the year is upon us and I have compiled a list of the best films I’ve seen so far in 2015. Granted, this list will undoubtably change as more Oscar-qualifying, year-ending films (like “The Revenant” and “The Hateful Eight”) become available. For now, here is the current list…

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STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS… It might be my LEAST favorite Star Wars movie. That’s right, I said it…

Posted on December 21st, 2015
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS…  It might be my LEAST favorite Star Wars movie.  That’s right, I said it…

by Coop Cooper

***NOTE: The first half is a spoiler-free review, but after the primary review I discuss all of the major spoilers***

Set around thirty five years after “Return of the Jedi”, the Resistance still battles the remnants of the Empire which now calls itself The First Order. Lead by Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), the Resistance searches for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) who went into a self-imposed exile when one of his Jedi apprentices, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), turned to the dark side and betrayed him. Finn (John Boyega), a First Order Stormtrooper with a conscience, deserts his post and escapes with Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) who had been captured by Kylo Ren while searching for the location of Skywalker. The pair crash lands in the deserts of the planet Jakku and Finn becomes separated from Dameron. Finn runs across the young scavenger, Rey (Daisy Ridley), who has come into possession of Dameron’s droid BB-8 who has a map which could lead the Resistance to Skywalker. When the First Order tracks them down, Finn, Rey and BB-8 steal a ship and escape in an attempt to find Skywalker and join the Resistance. Along the way, they run into some infamous heroes of the Rebellion.

As I watched “The Force Awakens”, I was having conflicting emotions about what I was seeing. Something about the movie didn’t feel right and I couldn’t put my finger on it. It wasn’t until I watched “The Empire Strikes Back” again that I realized the problem… “The Force Awakens” is a rushed and sloppy movie by comparison…

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Coop’s latest! The teaser for the upcoming short GOD MAKER…


Northern Mississippi 1932:
In a cabin in the woods, a blind blues guitarist will discover his destiny from a lovesick goddess who seeks to corrupt his soul.

GOD MAKER is Coop's latest, most ambitious short film and will be ready for a late 2013 festival season.

Coop’s award-winning 48 hour short film trailer for REGRESS…


Told in reverse, this experimental made-in-48-hours film begins with a shocking murder then backtracks (like a viewer rewinding a VHS tape) to reveal the chilling origins of this tragedy.

WINNER: BEST SHORT FILM at the 2013 Clarksdale Film Festival...
NOMINATED: BEST DIRECTING by the 2012 48hr. Guerrilla Film Challenge (international contest)...
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Crossroads Film Festival

Watch the teaser for Coop’s 1970’s grindhouse movie spoof…


I'm not even going to mention the freaky-deaky title of this film on the blog. Watch it to find out.

Watch Coop’s award-winning short film THE BEST DAY…


WINNER: 2012 MAGNOLIA FILM FESTIVAL "Best Homegrown Film"
WINNER: 2012 SEATTLE TRUE INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL "Best Scream"

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2012 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CROSSROADS FILM FESTIVAL
2012 NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI FILM FESTIVAL
2012 ATLANTA INDIE HORROR FILM FESTIVAL
2012 OTHERFEST
2012 MISSISSIPPI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
2012 SUN AND SAND FILM FESTIVAL

Morgan Freeman asks Coop a question at THE BEST DAY premiere! Video below…


My short film THE BEST DAY premiered in October 2011 at the Delta Cinema in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Little did I know I had a special guest in the audience who was about to ask me a question during the Q&A. Yep, I got a little flustered when I saw who it was.

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