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2015 (87th) Academy Award predictions…

Posted on February 20th, 2015
2015 (87th) Academy Award predictions…

by Coop Cooper

The 2015 Academy Awards will air this Sunday on ABC at 6pm (Central). Here are my predictions (potential winners are underlined)…

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BETTER CALL SAUL is a worthy heir to BREAKING BAD and maybe then some…

Posted on February 13th, 2015
BETTER CALL SAUL is a worthy heir to BREAKING BAD and maybe then some…

by Coop Cooper

Anyone who regularly watched “Breaking Bad” through most of its run remembers how the shady ambulance-chasing lawyer character of Saul Goodman helped former chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston) manage his crystal methamphetamine empire. While Saul was an amusingly good-natured and funny guy, he was a crook, but it was plain to see he had no stomach for the violence his job sometimes required. Now in a genius stroke, “Bad” creator Vince Gilligan has opted to tell Saul’s story which takes place before, during and after the timespan of “Breaking Bad” with the new series “Better Call Saul”…

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A “Paddington” Bear movie? Yep, and it’s actually a lot of fun…

Posted on February 6th, 2015
A “Paddington” Bear movie?  Yep, and it’s actually a lot of fun…

by Coop Cooper

I remember reading “Paddington Bear” picture books as a kid. I recall being mildly amused by the bear in the hat and overcoat but as an adult I couldn’t possibly imagine a live-action adaptation would be entertaining for both parents and children. Surprisingly, “Paddington” proved me wrong and I’m very pleased to say it surprised me nearly as much as “The Lego Movie” did last year…

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CAKE, FOXCATCHER, BIG EYES, WILD, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR, TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT, SELMA…

Posted on January 30th, 2015
CAKE, FOXCATCHER, BIG EYES, WILD, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR, TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT, SELMA…

by Coop Cooper

Here are reviews of seven more films that created a buzz in 2014…

“Cake” – Jennifer Aniston stars as Claire Bennett, a grieving woman suffering through long-term physical therapy after a car accident claimed the life of her child, spirals into substance abuse and self destruction. When her ‘chronic pain’ support group partner (Anna Kendrick) commits suicide, Claire drags her loyal, yet exasperated housekeeper Silvana (Adriana Barazza) around the city to discover why and to finally begin on her own road to recovery. Aniston’s performance is like nothing she has ever done before and keeps things light with deadpan humor despite the grim subject matter. Many believe she was snubbed for a ‘Best Actress’ nomination and sadly, they may be right. Barazza likewise deserved some recognition for her breakout performance as Silvana…

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Celebrity gaffes: Why they can’t shut up and stop offending everybody…

Posted on January 23rd, 2015
Celebrity gaffes: Why they can’t shut up and stop offending everybody…

by Coop Cooper

Becoming a celebrity is a double-edged sword. On one side you gain the admiration of the public, you are offered ample opportunities to obtain wealth and you receive special treatment due to your status. On the other side, you lose most of your privacy, people have unrealistic expectations of you and every word you speak (or type) in the public arena is scrutinized. While some celebrities bemoan this scrutiny, some use it as a platform to promote their beliefs and pet political causes, as well as expand their fame and influence. Some express these beliefs/causes thoughtfully and eloquently. Many do not…

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More exceptional films from 2014…

Posted on January 16th, 2015
More exceptional films from 2014…

by Coop Cooper

I’m still powering through many of the 2014 films that are up for awards and here are five more I think are exceptional and worthy of a watch…

“Birdman” – A washed up actor (Michael Keaton) tries to salvage a troubled play production that could revitalize his career, but a narcissistic, unhinged co-star (Edward Norton), a zany cast of misfits and his own psychosis could derail his comeback. Shot to look like it was filmed in one continuous shot (it wasn’t), “Birdman” is an actor’s dream film which will be most well known for singlehandedly – if not temporarily – resurrecting Michael Keaton’s career…

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Coop’s top 10 Movies of 2014 (so far)…

Posted on January 9th, 2015
Coop’s top 10 Movies of 2014 (so far)…

by Coop Cooper

Keeping in mind I haven’t seen several of the hyped filmed which may be up for awards (ex- “Unbroken”, “Birdman”, “American Sniper”, “Inherent Vice”, “Selma”, “Foxcatcher”, “The Imitation Game”, etc…), here are ten of my favorites so far from 2014…

10. “Guardians of the Galaxy” – Possibly the most re-watchable film of 2014, this obscure Marvel comic book became the surprise blockbuster of the year. With comic Chris Pratt reinvented as an action hero co-starring with a menagerie of weird aliens, this franchise could be the “Star Wars” of this generation…

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THE INTERVIEW… Not even worth the international incident.

Posted on January 4th, 2015
THE INTERVIEW…  Not even worth the international incident.

by Coop Cooper
The most controversial film of the 21st Century has been released. Was it worth all that fuss? Of course not.
Cheesy entertainment talk show host, Dave Skylark (James Franco), and his producer, Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen), suddenly find their meager show getting a lot of attention when rapper Eminem spontaneously comes out [...]

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EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS is predictable… which is probably a good thing all around

Posted on December 26th, 2014
EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS is predictable… which is probably a good thing all around

by Coop Cooper

Mirroring the Old Testament verses on which it was based, Moses (Christian Bale) grows up a prince of Egypt and fights alongside of the future Pharaoh, Ramses (Joel Edgerton), as his adopted brother. Unaware of his Hebrew heritage, Moses is sent to parlay with the leader of the Jewish slaves (Ben Kingsley) who informs him of his past and his future destiny. In disbelief, Moses returns to his duties, but betrays Ramses to protect a Hebrew servant. Moses is exiled, finds refuge with a band of Jewish wanderers and quickly falls in love with a woman named Zipporah (Maria Valverde) whom he marries. After a time of peace, God speaks to Moses, setting off a chain of events that will lead to Moses freeing the Jewish slaves from Egypt…

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What the Sony hacks mean for movies…

Posted on December 19th, 2014
What the Sony hacks mean for movies…

by Coop Cooper

By now, many of you have heard that the computer systems at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles were hacked and that not only were many embarrassing emails between employees exposed to the public, but many of Sony’s unreleased films were also uploaded to the internet. While this indeed sounds bad for business at Sony, the attack could have far-reaching implications for the future of Hollywood and for world itself…

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Motion picture sound stage coming to Clarksdale, MS? 8 advantages for Mississippi, Hollywood and Clarksdale…

Posted on December 12th, 2014
Motion picture sound stage coming to Clarksdale, MS?  8 advantages for Mississippi, Hollywood and Clarksdale…

by Coop Cooper

Hot on the heels of the news that the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame will install a new museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Mayor Bill Luckett has announced plans to erect a possible motion picture sound stage here in town. While there are currently two other sound stages in the state, one in Canton and the other in Biloxi (with another possibly underway on the coast), this would be the first facility of its kind in the northern region of the state. A sound stage would essentially be a warehouse-sized, open-spaced facility for building motion picture sets and contains all of the equipment, amenities and operational support needed for large productions. Here are eight potential advantages to having a movie sound stage in Clarksdale:

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THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING is a fine story about a relationship and a disability (but light on the ‘theory’)

Posted on December 5th, 2014
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING is a fine story about a relationship and a disability (but light on the ‘theory’)

by Coop Cooper

Preeminent physicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) attends Cambridge as a graduate student in Cosmology and falls madly in love with Romance Languages student Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones). Hawking proves himself as an intimidatingly brilliant scholar and he wows his instructors with his theories on how a black hole created the universe. Soon after he has an accident on campus and learns he has ALS or ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease’ which is a degenerative motor-neuron condition that doctors predict will give Hawkins only two years to live. Crushed, Hawking pushes Jane away but her love for him only strengthens their connection. After a quick wedding, Jane cares for the increasingly debilitated Hawking as he tries to prove a ‘Unified Theory’ while they raise a family amidst the strain of his deteriorating physical condition. A kindly church organist (Charlie Cox) with a crush on Jane and a spirited new nurse (Maxine Peake) for Hawking further complicates the relationship…

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THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 has some sticky issues but should satisfy fans…

Posted on November 28th, 2014
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 has some sticky issues but should satisfy fans…

by Coop Cooper

Directly following the events in “Catching Fire”, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) awakens alone in an underground infirmary in District 13 after barely surviving the last Hunger Games event. Now under the protection of the resistance, Katniss is asked by resistance leader President Coin (Julianne Moore) to become the ‘Mockingjay’, the symbol of the revolution. Enraged that the resistance did not fulfill its promise to rescue her partner, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Katniss refuses until she realizes she is in the position to make demands…

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How mobile devices are changing the way we watch TV/movies…

Posted on November 21st, 2014
How mobile devices are changing the way we watch TV/movies…

by Coop Cooper

Most of us realize by now how useful our ’smart’ cellular phones and tablets can be but most of us might not be aware of their full capabilities. Of course you can watch a TV show or movie on such a device if you download it beforehand or stream it via a wifi connection, but did you know you could beam that show to a nearby wifi-enabled TV? Even if your phone or TV doesn’t have that feature, you could easily find the proper phone-to-TV wire connector to achieve the same result. Imagine that… You basically have a portable HD Blu Ray player in your pocket and you didn’t even realize it. While that sounds impressive, it is merely scratching the surface of how your current (and next) cell phone will deliver entertainment…

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INTERSTELLAR… The most overrated film of the year?

Posted on November 18th, 2014
INTERSTELLAR…  The most overrated film of the year?

by Coop Cooper

The film takes place in a future where war has been eradicated and forward technological progress has come to a standstill. Although there is peace, the world is suffering due to lung disease caused by unending dust storms and all edible plant life is dying from an incurable blight. Farmers are more valued than spaceship pilots, so Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) has forsaken his gift to live in the country and raise corn with his family. When Cooper and his spirited, genius daughter Murphy investigate a paranormal event in their farmhouse, it leads them to the location of a secret government project to discover life on distant planets and risk a new means of travel to get there. Cooper is inducted into the project and sent into space, leaving his grieving daughter behind…

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NIGHTCRAWLER is a fascinating look at freelance video vultures…

Posted on November 7th, 2014
NIGHTCRAWLER is a fascinating look at freelance video vultures…

by Coop Cooper

In urban Los Angeles, petty scrap metal thief Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) happens upon a fiery car wreck and becomes fascinated with the freelance cameramen who appear to cover the incident. Determined to break into the business, he buys a cheap camera, a police scanner and prowls the streets. His intrusive nature draws the ire of cops and competitors, but his work catches the eye of late night TV news producer Nina Romina (Rene Russo) who admires Lou’s aggression and his attention to the bloodiest of details. His minor successes compel Lou to hire the clueless and homeless Rick (Riz Ahmed) as his assistant whom he continuously puts into dangerous situations. Under relentless pressure from Nina and his own ambitious ego, Lou spirals into increasingly felonious behavior after he beats the police to the scene of a brutal shotgun massacre in a ritzy LA neighborhood…

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FURY brings furious action (but a few cliches)…

Posted on October 24th, 2014
FURY brings furious action (but a few cliches)…

Set in 1945 as the Allied forces penetrate deep into Germany in an attempt to quickly end the war, the battle-weary tank crew of the vehicle dubbed ‘Fury’ emerge from a fierce battle as the sole survivors of their platoon. Having already suffered through intense action in North Africa and France, they return from this battle having lost their beloved assistant driver only to have green typist/clerk Norman (Logan Lerman) thrust upon them as an untrained, last-second replacement. The rest of the veteran crew treat Norman with visible disgust, but tank commander Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier (Brad Pitt), goes to extreme lengths to toughen the kid up before Norman’s reluctance to pull the trigger gets them all killed…

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AUTOMATA… A weird movie for sci-fi fans only

Posted on October 17th, 2014
AUTOMATA…  A weird movie for sci-fi fans only

by Coop Cooper

Quality sci-fi B-movies are hard to come by these days. In the 80’s all you needed was Jean Claude Van Damme or Dolph Lundgren, an evil alien or robot and a bunch of kung fu, guns and explosions. Budgets don’t allow for that kind of stuff in B-movies anymore and it’s a shame because they are now all but extinct. “Automata” harkens back to the quality of those B-films with its flawlessly produced special effects and its strange, off-kilter storyline, even though it doesn’t have near enough action to satisfy completely…

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GONE GIRL is an Oscar-lock and a subversive look at American relationships…

Posted on October 10th, 2014
GONE GIRL is an Oscar-lock and a subversive look at American relationships…

When Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears under suspicious circumstances, her husband Nick (Ben Affleck) cooperates with the police lead by the shrewd Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens). The story intermittently flashes back to show how Amy and Nick met, their whirlwind romance and their descent into mutual bitter resentment. As the evidence is uncovered, the community and the media begin to turn on Nick, believing him to be a murderer.

To end that description of the plot with ‘but all is not what it seems…’ would be an understatement. Much has been hyped about the New York Times best-selling novel Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (who also wrote the screenplay), with many critics claiming the twist and turns in the story makes this one a must-read.

This film adaptation will be nominated for Academy Awards and will probably win a few. Here are the reasons why…

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STAR WARS: REBELS ushers in the next generation of STAR WARS films

Posted on October 3rd, 2014
STAR WARS: REBELS ushers in the next generation of STAR WARS films

by Coop Cooper

There hasn’t been any new “Star Wars” content in awhile besides the excellent, animated “The Clone Wars” series on the Cartoon Network/Netflix that was cancelled earlier this year. While this new series, “Star Wars: Rebels” on the Disney XD Channel isn’t of the same quality as “Clone Wars”, it is a sign of larger things to come.

The story takes place fourteen years after the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire (between episodes III and IV). A crafty, teen street urchin named Ezra inadvertently helps a team of mercenaries hijack a shipment of hand blasters from the Empire. Kanan, the leader of the mercenaries sees potential in Ezra who tags along as they deliver the weapons and food to a planet full of refugees whose homes were destroyed by the Empire. It soon becomes clear to Ezra that these team members are no mere mercenaries but rebels acting against the Empire. During a raid to free a group of enslaved Wookies, Kanan is forced to reveal a secret he has been hiding since the fall of the Republic, a secret which may also have a connection to Ezra…

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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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