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AMERICAN VANDAL on Netflix is a clever satire about invasive serial documentaries…

Posted on September 18th, 2017
AMERICAN VANDAL on Netflix is a clever satire about invasive serial documentaries…

by Coop Cooper

Even with its outrageous premise, “American Vandal” might fool a few people – at first – into thinking its actually a documentary thriller such as “Making a Murderer” or the hit podcast “Serial”. This fictional witty satire from Netflix takes the serialized documentary approach in order to shine a mildly comedic light on high school social classes, school board politics and the damage caused by airing everyone’s dirty laundry in public…

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“It: Chapter One” will go down as one of the best Stephen King adaptations…

Posted on September 11th, 2017
“It: Chapter One” will go down as one of the best Stephen King adaptations…

by Coop Cooper

I never thought Stephen King’s infamous novel “It” needed a second screen adaptation since the 1990 TV miniseries was sufficiently entertaining and scary. However, this new adaptation arrives during a perfect storm with the growing popularity of the similarly-constructed “Stranger Things” on Netflix and the collective coulrophobia (a fear of clowns) gripping the public due to recent sightings of ‘creepy clowns’ reported around the country. Luckily, “It” hits all the right marks and could rank amongst the best cinematic Stephen King adaptations of all time…






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TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN, When your favorite TV show leaves you with no resolution…

Posted on September 4th, 2017
TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN, When your favorite TV show leaves you with no resolution…

by Coop Cooper

I was dreading watching the series finale of “Twin Peaks: The Return” on Sunday night. Not because I didn’t want to see what would happen, but because I was deathly afraid of what MIGHT happen. I had decided this was the worst-case scenario for how things could end: Very few of the plot threads would wrap up and yet again the main characters would be stuck in some sort of dream nightmarish alternate reality. And then the show would end, forever… and it would appear that is exactly what happened…






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THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD won’t resurrect an antiquated genre…

Posted on August 28th, 2017
THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD won’t resurrect an antiquated genre…

by Coop Cooper

Here’s a movie genre you don’t see much anymore these days: The action buddy comedy. In the 80’s and 90’s, this was one of the highest-grossing genres in Hollywood. Franchises like “Lethal Weapon”, “48 Hrs.” and “Beverly Hills Cop” used to bring fans running to the theater. If “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is any indication, this genre is currently on the outs… but hopefully not dead…






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Is MoviePass worth it for you?…

Posted on August 21st, 2017
Is MoviePass worth it for you?…

by Coop Cooper

It sounds too good to be true, having the option to watch unlimited movies at at theater for only $9.95 a month. That’s exactly what Mitch Lowe, one of the founders of Netflix, is peddling to the masses. Founded in 2011, the services immediately felt resistance from theater chains over the concept. After a long ‘beta-trial’ process which included testing different price options which ranged from $20 low-price options to $99 a month in some locations. Two weeks ago, MoviePass announced the new $10 a month pricing option and consumers scrambled to sign up, crashing the MoviePass website and opening the discussion as to how this was going to work for consumers and how MoviePass, and theater chains, were going to make money off of this risky venture…






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Most anticipated films of the 2nd half of 2017…

Posted on August 14th, 2017
Most anticipated films of the 2nd half of 2017…

by Coop Cooper

1. “It” (Sept. 8) – Based off of the notoriously frightening Stephen King novel, a group of teenage friends are targeted by a monster disguised as a sinister clown (Bill Skarsgard) who is responsible for making local children disappear. This is the first film in a two-part series which will focus on the characters as children in this installment, then as adults returning home to put an end to the evil in the second film. “It” was previously adapted into a TV miniseries in 1990…






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ATOMIC BLONDE is below average, so does that mean “Deadpool 2” is in trouble?…

Posted on August 8th, 2017
ATOMIC BLONDE is below average, so does that mean “Deadpool 2” is in trouble?…

by Coop Cooper

In 1989 right before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the British secret service tasks agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) to secure a list of the names of Soviet double agents in East Berlin from a KGB turncoat named Spyglass (Eddie Marsan). Her maverick company contact in West Berlin, Percival (James McAvoy), seems to have his own agenda and she finds reason to suspect her own people of double crossing her. When the entire operation goes south, she suspects she has become expendable and must discover the truth before assassins on both sides track her down…






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Should ‘fan films’ be illegal?…

Posted on August 1st, 2017
Should ‘fan films’ be illegal?…

by Coop Cooper

Fan films – or films based on popular established film and TV franchise properties – have been around a lot longer than the internet. For example, in the early 80’s a group of teenage friends in Biloxi, Mississippi took a videocamera and painstakingly made a shot-for-shot remake of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in their backyards and basements. Years later, their film was rediscovered by film festival programmers and the boys (now men) have become a worldwide sensation, even garnering praise from “Raiders” director Steven Spielberg himself.

Now in the age of instantaneous internet video, fan films have become a hobby, a passion and a source of opportunity for many budding filmmakers around the world.






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OZARK is Netflix’s answer to BREAKING BAD and it’s a winner…

Posted on July 24th, 2017
OZARK is Netflix’s answer to BREAKING BAD and it’s a winner…

by Coop Cooper

Once again, Netflix has proven its dominance with yet another outstanding original TV series called “Ozark” that will appeal to a wide audience and may pick up a few awards along the way.

Jason Bateman plays Marty Byrde, a genius financial advisor with a wife, Wendy (Laura Linney), two teen kids and a successful business. He also launders money for the largest drug cartel in Mexico. When someone in the operation is caught skimming money, cartel underboss Del (Esai Morales) shows up and begins to clean house. Minutes for certain death, Marty pitches Del an idea that could make the cartel significantly more money than before. The catch is, Marty and his family will have to immediately drop everything and move to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. Del grants Marty a temporary reprieve and presents him with a near-impossible deadline to launder 8 million through local, small-town businesses. If Marty wants his family to survive, he must work fast to lie, cheat and steal his way to his goal while dealing with local cops, petty crooks, clueless partners, the Dixie Mafia and a vengeful FBI agent…






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Is Blomkamp’s ‘Oats Studios’ the next big change in film?

Posted on July 17th, 2017
Is Blomkamp’s ‘Oats Studios’ the next big change in film?

by Coop Cooper

In the new internet age of media, professional filmmakers have been trying new ideas in order to take advantage of the fact that anyone can post a high-quality video online almost instantly.

South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp recently launched ‘Oats Studios: Volume 1’ as an experiment in seeing which of his cinematic ideas would stick if thrown at a wall. His plan was to take some of his favorite story concepts, fund, shoot and release high-quality short film versions of them on YouTube for free. He could then aggregate feedback from viewers to help him decide which shorts to make into features, series, webseries or into whatever format might fit. This idea isn’t new to Blomkamp since one of his first short films, “Alive in Joburg” was eventually developed into his Oscar-nominated feature sci-fi film “District 9”. However, after his last two features, “Elysium” and “Chappie”, didn’t perform as well as planned, Blomkamp engineered this new approach. All of these shorts are cinema-quality, sci-fi/horror hybrids with unflinching violence and gore (very R-rated), and they are currently free to view on YouTube…






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SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING is fun, different and fully integrated into the Marvel Universe…

Posted on July 10th, 2017
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING is fun, different and fully integrated into the Marvel Universe…

by Coop Cooper

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” (Now in theaters) – After helping Iron Man tip the scales in “Captain America: Civil War”, 15 year-old Peter Parker (Tom Holland) expects to be immediately thrust into service with The Avengers. Instead, he is sent back to his hometown of Queens, NY and instructed by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to lay low, stay in high school and stick to dealing with street-level crime for the time being. Frustrated, he follows orders until he stops a gang of bank robbers using stolen alien weaponry left over from the first “Avengers” film.






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BABY DRIVER, best movie of the year so far?…

Posted on July 10th, 2017
BABY DRIVER, best movie of the year so far?…

by Coop Cooper

Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a savant genius at driving cars. Orphaned at a young age, he boosted the car of the dangerous gangster, Doc (Kevin Spacey), who recognized his special talent. Now Baby is Doc’s top getaway driver, although his talents and strangeness causes distrust and resentment from his fellow criminals. However, unlike his colleagues, Baby has a deaf foster father (CJ Jones) and a new girlfriend (Lily James) to worry about. Nearly done paying his debt to Doc, Baby has plans to get out, but an unstable, trigger-happy bank robber named Bats (Jamie Foxx) could put everybody Baby cares about in danger…






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THE MIST television remake pilot stumbles, but GLOW on Netflix is a sensation worth binging…

Posted on June 26th, 2017
THE MIST television remake pilot stumbles, but GLOW on Netflix is a sensation worth binging…

by Coop Cooper

“The Mist” (Thursdays @ 9pm Central on Spike) – Based on the novella by Stephen King, “The Mist” tells the story of a traditional small town in Maine enveloped by an ominous fog full of gigantic murderous monsters. While the townspeople try to survive the horrors within the mist, they turn on each other when the situation becomes increasingly hopeless.

A 2007 feature film-adaptation of the novel directed by “The Walking Dead” TV series creator Frank Darabont, received both critical and popular acclaim. While it was considered faithful to the original source material, it contained a different, shockingly bleak ending that fans and even King himself hailed as an improvement over the novella. The movie adaptation also featured some fantastic, grotesque monster designs…






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If THE MUMMY (2017) is any indication, Universal’s ‘DARK UNIVERSE’ will fail…

Posted on June 13th, 2017
If THE MUMMY (2017) is any indication, Universal’s ‘DARK UNIVERSE’ will fail…

by Coop Cooper

A remake of “The Mummy” starring Tom Cruise… When I first heard about this, I was certain it had to be a false story. Universal Studios owns the rights to many of the classic cinematic monsters: Dracula, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc. Universal has been sitting on these properties for decades trying to figure out how profit off of them in the 21st Century. With “The Mummy”, they are kicking off an interconnected franchise called “Dark Universe” in order to bring all of these classic monsters together for big-budget blockbuster films, kind of like Marvel with “The Avengers” and DC Comics with “Justice League”. After seeing “The Mummy”, I’m afraid they may end up with a disastrous string of bombs on their hands…






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WONDER WOMAN doesn’t measure up, no matter its cultural relevance…

Posted on June 6th, 2017
WONDER WOMAN doesn’t measure up, no matter its cultural relevance…

by Coop Cooper

Considering Wonder Woman is one of the biggest superhero icons of all time, it makes little sense as to why it has taken so long to make a feature film about the character. Many attempts have been made only to see the projects die in early development. There was even a TV pilot starring Adrianne Palicki in 2011 that was never aired because it was deemed too terrible. It seemed the property was cursed and even studio execs at Warner Bros said the character was unfilmable. However, when “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” introduced Gal Gadot as the Amazonian princess, Wonder Woman proved that she is too important to ignore. Too bad the film couldn’t solve the problems everyone was worried about…






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TWIN PEAKS 2017 PILOT: Is David Lynch trying to merge the “Twin Peaks” universe with “Mulholland Dr.” and “Lost Highway”?

Posted on May 22nd, 2017
TWIN PEAKS 2017 PILOT:  Is David Lynch trying to merge the “Twin Peaks” universe with “Mulholland Dr.” and “Lost Highway”?

by Coop Cooper

In April of 1990, I stumbled upon one of the strangest, most fascinating shows I had ever seen. “Twin Peaks” begins in Washington state near the Canadian border with the murder of a high school teenager named Laura Palmer and the arrival of an FBI agent assigned to investigate the case. The story quickly spirals off into a quirky, supernatural mystery with a bizarre cast of characters in a soap opera-style format. The original “Twin Peaks” series was a cultural phenomenon lasting only two seasons (30 episodes) but inspired countless other films and shows, most notably “The X-Files” and “Lost”. Before “Peaks” ended, the spectre of murder victim Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) made an ominous statement to Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLachlan) in the final episode that she would see him again in twenty-five years. It actually took twenty-six but “Peaks” is finally back with a new one-season-only series on Showtime.

The last season of “Twin Peaks” left a few unresolved cliffhangers…






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Will escalating political correctness result in the censoring or banning of classic movies?

Posted on May 15th, 2017
Will escalating political correctness result in the censoring or banning of classic movies?

by Coop Cooper

Last week I happened to catch the 1939 film “Drums Along the Mohawk” starring Henry Fonda about colonial settlers running afoul of Indians and the British during the American Revolution. In an early scene, Fonda’s character, Gilbert, brings his pampered and delicate new bride, Lana (played by Claudette Colbert), to his modest homestead in the wilderness. The first night they arrive, while Gilbert is out gathering firewood, an old ‘Indian’ appears at the door, frightening Lana. She collapses in a fit of hysteria and when Gilbert rushes in and tries to explain to her that the Indian is his trusted friend ‘Blue Back’, she continues her hysterical fit until Gilbert slaps very hard her across the face, snapping her out of it. Blue Back walks outside and brings back a large stick. He tells Gilbert that Lana is a fine-looking wife but a stick would be more efficient in beating her next time she gets out of hand.

In 1939, this scene was meant to be humorous, but now in the modern era, the laughter would more likely come from how un-politically correct this moment is…






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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL. 2 is just as fun and entertaining as the original…

Posted on May 9th, 2017
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL. 2 is just as fun and entertaining as the original…

by Coop Cooper

Now infamous cosmic heroes, the Guardians use their newfound celebrity to take high-profile jobs. Their latest assignment has them working for gold-skin beings known as The Sovereign lead by the regal and arrogant Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki). After completing the job, they end up offending the highly pompous and sensitive Sovereign race, who in turn attempt to destroy them. While on the run, the team is separated. Star Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is confronted by a ‘Celestial’ named Ego (Kurt Russell) claiming to be his long lost father. Meanwhile, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) attempts to reconcile with her murderous sister, Nebula (Karen Gillan) while Drax (Dave Bautista) attempts to instruct Ego’s child-like alien ward, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) in the ways of social interaction. Separately, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) team up with Yondu (Michael Rooker) to escape a band of mutinous Ravagers while attempting to rejoin the other Guardians. Some characters have ulterior motives but ultimately, it is Quill who must make the decision to remain with his father, or join his friends in saving the Galaxy once again…






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AMERICAN GODS was a badly-written novel but the TV series shows promise…

Posted on May 1st, 2017
AMERICAN GODS was a badly-written novel but the TV series shows promise…

by Coop Cooper

The new TV series “American Gods” premiered on the premium Starz channel this past Sunday at 8pm Central. Adapted from the very popular novel by Neil Gaiman, “Gods” has been along time in development. Mixing fantasy/folklore with the modern world, “Gods” has a potential to become yet another hit cable series as long as the adaptation jettisons Gaiman’s questionable style.

A few days shy of being released from prison, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) learns his wife Laura (Emily Browning) has died in a car accident. While traveling across the country to her funeral, Shadow meets the enigmatic con man calling himself Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) who offers Shadow a job as his bodyguard. Shadow refuses but the persistent Mr. Wednesday keeps showing up along the journey to make Shadow the same offer. Low on money, Shadow finally relents to take the job on the condition he is allowed to attend his wife’s funeral to say goodbye. Along the way, they run across beings who look like humans but have supernatural powers. Shadow soon finds himself in the middle of a war between the ‘old gods’ of ancient legends and the ‘new gods’ of modern culture and technology. Meanwhile, he is haunted by the spirit of his dead wife…






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The dark side of online Film/TV content providers…

Posted on April 18th, 2017
The dark side of online Film/TV content providers…

by Coop Cooper

I often praise the virtues of online Film/TV providers such as Netflix and Amazon Prime in this column, and while I feel the web is the future of film distribution, I am starting to see some problems with it. While it might seem like a jackpot for a filmmaker to get their films distributed on a streaming site like Netflix, it doesn’t always add up to positive results for the filmmakers or viewers. What that could mean for us: We might miss out on some great films – or tricked into watching bad ones – because they aren’t being promoted ethically, have misleading ratings or they might be tampered with in such a way that ruins it for the rest of us…






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Trailer for the award-winning short PRISMA…


A corporate promotional VHS tape from 1984 conceals a brain-altering signal which is said to grant increased health, longevity and psychic powers to those who watch it. View at your own risk...

WINNER: SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, 2017 Oxford Film Festival

WINNER: BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

SEMI-FINALIST: 2017 NanoCon International Science-Fiction Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST ANIMATION, 2017 End of Days Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST GRAPHICS, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2017 Crossroads Film Festival
2017 Clarksdale Film Festival
2017 Twisted Dreams Film Festival
2017 Tupelo Film Festival
2017 NanoCon International Sci-Fi Film Festival
2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival
2017 End of Days Film Festival

Trailer for the lost 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 remains unfinished and in limbo for now, but the trailer expresses the mood and imagery intended for the project...

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 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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