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In 2018, when the media, politics and Hollywood morals are in the toilet, “The Post” may be the most irrelevant and overrated Oscar contender ever…

Posted on January 15th, 2018
In 2018, when the media, politics and Hollywood morals are in the toilet, “The Post” may be the most irrelevant and overrated Oscar contender ever…

by Coop Cooper

In the early 1970’s, with the Vietnam War still in progress, the official world from the U.S. Government was that the situation was improving. Military analyst Daniel Ellsberg, working for the Rand Corporation, knew the government was lying about the Vietnam situation and unilaterally decided to copy top secret documents proving the contrary. The documents make their way to the New York Times which reports the leak but stops short of publishing the documents due to threats of legal action by the Justice Department. The Washington Post headed by executive editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), which struggled to even get pictures and a story on Nixon’s daughter’s wedding, wants the papers, but is given no help by publisher Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep) who questions Bradlee’s impartiality due to his cozy relationship with the Kennedy family. When an anonymous source delivers the top secret documents to The Washington Post, Bradlee immediately wants to publish them, but he, his staff and Graham all know this could potentially put the paper, their careers and possibly their freedom at stake…

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DARKEST HOUR is a triumph while THE SHAPE OF WATER is an overrated, preachy mess with good performances…

Posted on January 9th, 2018
DARKEST HOUR is a triumph while THE SHAPE OF WATER is an overrated, preachy mess with good performances…

by Coop Cooper

“The Shape of Water” – In early 1960’s Baltimore, a mute cleaning lady named Elisa (Sally Hawkins) works at a top secret government facility that soon acquires a new asset, a half-man/half-fish (Doug Jones) captured from the Amazon River. While the government scientists, lead by the cruel and sadistic G-Man Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon), experiments on the the fish man, Elisa forms an immediate romantic bond with it and learns she can communicate with it. When she discovers Strickland’s plan to kill and dissect the creature, she recruits her gay artist neighbor (Richard Jenkins), her co-worker (Octavia Spencer) and a Russian spy to help free him…

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BLACK MIRROR season 4 is the best season yet…

Posted on January 1st, 2018
BLACK MIRROR season 4 is the best season yet…

by Coop Cooper

The Netflix sci-fi anthology series “Black Mirror”, which focuses on how future technology could damage humankind, has arguably become the most culturally important show of its type since the original “Twilight Zone” series. Now in its fourth season, “Black Mirror” is continuously evolving to create stories that are relevant to the direction our current technological advancements are heading in, but it also is becoming more consistently great throughout each episode…

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Most anticipated films of the 1st Quarter of 2018…

Posted on December 26th, 2017
Most anticipated films of the 1st Quarter of 2018…

1. “Molly’s Game” (Jan. 5) – Written and Directed by Aaron Sorkin, this true story focuses on Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) who was targeted by the FBI for running the most exclusive high stakes poker operation in the world…

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STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI surprises old fans with something totally unexpected…

Posted on December 19th, 2017
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI surprises old fans with something totally unexpected…

by Coop Cooper

As far as Star Wars fandom goes, “The Force Awakens” had tough shoes to fill. It introduced new characters, re-introduced classic characters and had the unenviable job of resurrecting a storyline that has been in carbon freeze hibernation for thirty-four years. It was highly unlikely it would please all of the fans and predictably, the verdict was mixed among both fans and critics, but the film scored high with general audiences. As a lifelong and unapologetic “Star Wars” fan, I was one of the critics who was hard on it and my assessment became harsher with each repeated viewing. For me, the story felt ill-conceived, the writing poor and I didn’t feel endeared to the new characters. Imagine my surprise when “The Last Jedi” comes along and changes my mind about the unpredictable direction this new trilogy has taken…

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SHOT IN THE DARK: The series that shows the compelling careers of Los Angeles stringers…

Posted on December 11th, 2017
SHOT IN THE DARK: The series that shows the compelling careers of Los Angeles stringers…

by Coop Cooper

Ever since seeing the 2014 thriller “Nightcrawler” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, I’ve been fascinated with the careers of ‘stringers’ or freelance camera operators who roam the streets of major cities hoping to record footage of crimes, accidents and disasters in order to sell the footage to news outlets. It’s a seedy, dangerous business where the competition is fierce, but the rewards can be high. Netflix’s new documentary series “Shot in the Dark” chronicles the exploits of real-life stringers in Los Angeles as they capture tragedy on camera while trying to stay one step ahead of their cutthroat rivals. While this docu-series is compelling and exciting to watch, it does bring up ethical issues that highlight the grey-areas of the business and raises the question as to whether the stringers featured in the show are merely ambitious business men or parasitic sociopaths…

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GODLESS and DARK: two new Netflix series that are mildly compelling…

Posted on December 5th, 2017
GODLESS and DARK: two new Netflix series that are mildly compelling…

by Coop Cooper

“Godless” (all episodes now available on Netflix) – The small Wild West town of La Belle, New Mexico, populated almost entirely by women, struggles to come back after a mining accident kills most of the male population. It soon becomes the target of the genocidal outlaw Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels) when his number one gunfighter, Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell) turns on him and seeks refuge there, showing up wounded on a nearby ranch run by a widow, Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery). With Griffin bearing down on them and with no means of escape, the citizens of La Belle prepare to defend themselves from the imminent massacre…

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THE PUNISHER and RUNAWAYS: Two new Marvel series that excel in very different ways…

Posted on November 27th, 2017
THE PUNISHER and RUNAWAYS: Two new Marvel series that excel in very different ways…

by Coop Cooper

“The Punisher” (all episodes available on Netflix) – Marine veteran Frank Castle (John Bernthal), whose family was killed in a mob hit gone wrong, puts on a uniform with a painted skull on his chest and systematically murders the entire crime syndicate involved in his family’s demise. Feeling his revenge is complete, he adopts a false identity and tries to live a morose, solitary life as a construction worker. Soon after, he is tracked down and blackmailed into helping a man going by the code name ‘Micro’ (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), a government whistleblower who is framed and forced to go underground, abandoning his family. Castle eventually learns that those responsible for Micro’s situation had a hand in the murder of his family and Castle is compelled to once again put on his uniform and continue his violent spree of revenge…

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JUSTICE LEAGUE has ruined any chance to salvage DC Comics films…

Posted on November 20th, 2017
JUSTICE LEAGUE has ruined any chance to salvage DC Comics films…

by Coop Cooper I cut superhero movies a lot of slack. I read comic books when I was a kid and I was always frustrated that there were few to nil movies or TV shows that could capture the grand scope of a battle between Spider-Man and the Hulk or The Flash versus the Legion […]

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Outing sexual harassment in Hollywood: This one was a long-time coming…

Posted on November 14th, 2017
Outing sexual harassment in Hollywood: This one was a long-time coming…

by Coop Cooper

There was a time in Hollywood – oh, about a year ago – when a sexual assault scandal wasn’t necessarily a career-ending offense. Those accused would immediately deny it and vow to fight these ‘false’ allegations. Usually, their colleagues, co-stars, spouses, studio execs, etc… would announce their ‘support’ for their friend, stating they would ‘stand by them’ through the legal proceedings until their ultimate exoneration or conviction through the court system. Usually the matter would be settled out of court for an undisclosed sum and the problem would be swept under the rug. If it did go to trial and the accuser was convicted, said accuser would do their time/penance, lay low until the public had forgotten about the mess, then reemerge in order to stage a triumphant career comeback. It would appear that time-honored Hollywood tradition is now over…

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THOR: RAGNAROK would have been perfect if it could have tied up a few (tragic) loose ends…

Posted on November 7th, 2017
THOR: RAGNAROK would have been perfect if it could have tied up a few (tragic) loose ends…

by Coop Cooper

Compelled by the grim, apocalyptic vision he had during “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been traveling the Nine Realms in order to prevent ‘Ragnarok’, or the Asgardian version of Judgement Day. Since the prophecy of how Ragnarok begins is pretty specific, Thor closes what he believes to be the last loophole and then returns to Asgard only to find Loki (Tom Hiddleston) ruling it in the guise of Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Searching for his father, Thor learns that his long-lost sister, Hela (Cate Blanchett) has plans to conquer Asgard for herself. Failing to stop her, Thor and Loki end up on a waste-disposal planet ruled by The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) who pegs Thor as a contender for his high-profile gladiator battles. Aided by The Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and the former Asgardian warrior Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Thor and Loki attempt to escape the Grandmaster so they can return to Asgard and stop Hela…

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STRANGER THINGS: SEASON 2 brings the same great 80’s nostalgia with mediocre plotting and pacing…

Posted on October 30th, 2017
STRANGER THINGS: SEASON 2 brings the same great 80’s nostalgia with mediocre plotting and pacing…

by Coop Cooper

This season picks up nearly a year after the last one ended. Still traumatized from being trapped in the ‘Upside Down’ dimension, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) has visions of a gigantic, tentacled shadow monster attempting to break its way into our world. His mother, Joyce (Winona Ryder), periodically takes Will to the kindly Dr. Owens (Paul Reiser) at Hawkins National Laboratory for psychological and physical checkups, but the doctor may not be telling them the entire truth about Will’s condition. Meanwhile, the super-powered Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) has escaped from the Upside Down and is found by Chief Hopper (David Harbour) who keeps her safe and hidden from Hawkins Lab in a cabin in the woods, but she runs away in a quest to find out more about her past. Meanwhile, Will’s friends welcome the newcomer Max (Sadie Sink) into their group while Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) finds an alien ‘pollywog’ creature from the Upside Down and raises it as a pet. Also meanwhile, Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) and Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) hatch a plan to get justice for their friend Barb who is declared officially ‘missing’ but was actually killed by a creature from the Upside Down which in turn was covered up by Hawkins Lab…

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HAPPY DEATH DAY is a good retro-slasher flick but Stephen King’s “1922” probably shouldn’t have been adapted…

Posted on October 24th, 2017
HAPPY DEATH DAY is a good retro-slasher flick but Stephen King’s “1922” probably shouldn’t have been adapted…

by Coop Cooper

“Happy Death Day” (now in theaters) – Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) is a selfish, mean sorority girl at a Louisiana college who spends her semesters getting drunk and sleeping with random guys, all while having an affair with a married professor. After a particularly wild night, Tree wakes up on her birthday in the bed of a strange boy, Carter (Israel Broussard). After she spends the day insulting him, her friends and everyone who cares about her, she is brutally murdered by a masked killer. After her death, she suddenly wakes up in Carter’s bed again and repeats the same day. After she realizes what is happening, she attempts to change her routine and even fight back, but the killer is always one step ahead of her. As she begins to narrow the list of suspects, she also begins making amends to all the people she has hurt, but she soon realizes that she may not have unlimited chances to close the time loop and survive the ordeal…

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MINDHUNTER on Netflix has a terrible title, but is fit to binge…

Posted on October 16th, 2017
MINDHUNTER on Netflix has a terrible title, but is fit to binge…

by Coop Cooper

Based on the nonfiction book about the life of FBI agent John E. Douglas, “Mindhunter” follows Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff), an FBI agent in the the ‘Behavioral Science Unit’ in the late 1970’s. Having difficulty predicting and stopping violent serial killers, Ford teams up with Special Agent Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) who is stuck traveling to local law enforcement precincts to train police and sheriff deputies how to recognize and handle criminals with abnormal psychology profiles. With the help of psychology professor Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), Ford and Tench begin to unlock the secrets behind the minds of violent murderers by interviewing infamous killers such as Edmund Kemper (Cameron Britton), Jerry Brudos (Happy Anderson) and Richard Speck (Jack Erdie). However, the ethical implications and psychological stress the job inflicts upon the unit may be too much for some of them to handle…

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BLADE RUNNER 2049 is a worthy predecessor to the original because it is original while paying homage to its roots…

Posted on October 9th, 2017
BLADE RUNNER 2049 is a worthy predecessor to the original because it is original while paying homage to its roots…

by Coop Cooper

Considered one of the greatest science fiction films of all time, the original “Blade Runner” (1982) starred Harrison Ford as a policeman in 2019 Los Angeles assigned to seek and gun down fugitive ‘replicant’ androids who are nearly undetectable from humans besides their superior strength, intelligence and lack of emotions. The film was heralded for its stunning visual style and film noir detective story transplanted in a sci-fi setting. Despite being a box office bomb, the film gained cult status and is considered one of the most influential sci-fi films of all time. Now it finally has a sequel after thirty five years. Although it isn’t perfect, I’m glad to say the sequel does honor to the original by once again showing the audience something they’ve never seen before…

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The INHUMANS series on ABC might be Marvel’s most costly fiasco…

Posted on September 30th, 2017
The INHUMANS series on ABC might be Marvel’s most costly fiasco…

by Coop Cooper

Before I can even explain the wacky plot of “Inhumans”, I need to go into who they are and how they fit into the Marvel Universe… Sometime in the distant past, highly evolved humans with powers known as ‘Inhumans’ decided the only way to survive was to isolate themselves from normal humans and erase any knowledge of their existence. With vast powers and superior intellect, they colonized the moon and developed a strange, totalitarian monarchy with a caste system of of upper-class royals/military and lower-level Inhumans with less useful powers and ‘freak’ humans born from other Inhumans who are forced into manual labor roles…

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Is THE ORVILLE more “Trek” than STAR TREK: DISCOVERY?…

Posted on September 24th, 2017
Is THE ORVILLE more “Trek” than STAR TREK: DISCOVERY?…

by Coop Cooper

“Star Trek: Discovery” (CBS All-Access, Sundays at 8:30 Central) – One decade before the Kirk/Spock era of “Trek”, First Officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) finds herself in the middle of a galactic incident when an investigation into a malfunctioning beacon puts her ship, the U.S.S. Shenzhou, into a conflict with the Klingons. Orphaned as a child by a Klingon attack and raised by the Vulcan Ambassador, Sarek (James Frain), Burnham’s rash behavior escalates the conflict, putting her at odds with her captain, Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) that could lead her onto a path to mutiny. At some point Burnham will become first officer on the U.S.S. Discovery under Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) but that doesn’t happen within the first two episodes of the series…

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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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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 Nightmares Film Festival
2017 A Night of Horror Film Festival
2017 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
2017 Oxford Film Festival
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
2017 Grenada Afterglow Film Festival
2017 Shiver International Film Festival
2017 Southern States Indie FanFilmFest

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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