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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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GOTHAM, SCORPION, SLEEPY HOLLOW… Prepare to set your DVRs for Mondays this fall

Posted on September 26th, 2014
GOTHAM, SCORPION, SLEEPY HOLLOW…  Prepare to set your DVRs for Mondays this fall

by Coop Cooper

Prime time fall TV pilots have arrived and Monday is shaping up to be the must-see night of the season. Here are three you might want to set your DVR for…

“Gotham”:

Possibly the most controversial new series of the season, “Gotham” chronicles the origin of Batman from his days as a pre-teen. The young Bruce Wayne plays a small part in the series as rookie detective Jim “future Commissioner” Gordon (Ben McKenzie) tries to solve the murder of Bruce’s parents, a crime that a young Selina “Catwoman” Kyle is secretly a witness to…

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Syfy TV pilots: Z NATION and HIGH MOON… One is great. The other is freaking terrible.

Posted on September 19th, 2014
Syfy TV pilots:  Z NATION and HIGH MOON…  One is great.  The other is freaking terrible.

by Coop Cooper

“Z Nation”:

Taking place years after a zombie apocalypse ravaged the Earth, a team of soldiers and scavengers (including Harold Perrineau, Tom Everett Scott and “Twilight”’s Michael Welch) must escort the only survivor of a zombie bite across the country to a California research facility in order to help develop a cure. They are guided by radio by a lone communications operator (D.J. Qualls) at a desolate military base in the Arctic Circle.

Cashing in on the massive success of “The Walking Dead,” “Z Nation” tries to duplicate a similar story but with a hammier tone…

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10 gritty ‘Rural Noir’ films to catch up on…

Posted on September 12th, 2014
10 gritty ‘Rural Noir’ films to catch up on…

by Coop Cooper

Rural Noir’ is a category that can include western, horror or Southern Gothic elements, but more accurately, they are dark and gritty crime thrillers based in rural locations, giving them a kind of isolating, ‘country’ feel. Here are ten of my favorites in chronological order…

10. “Deliverance” (1972) – Over forty years later this Oscar winner still packs a punch. Many mistake it for a horror film and while it has become the inspiration for many backwoods horror films to date, it remains a solid and shocking mainstream thriller about four men pursued by bloodthirsty mountain men while rafting on a Georgia river.

9. “Badlands” (1973) – This artfully-scripted Terrence Malick thriller about two teen lovers (Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen) on a killing spree in rural South Dakota was the inspiration for “True Romance” and “Natural Born Killers”, both scripted (but not directed) by Quentin Tarantino…

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COLD IN JULY… Lansdale’s gritty rural noir is destined to become a cult sleeper

Posted on September 8th, 2014
COLD IN JULY…  Lansdale’s gritty rural noir is destined to become a cult sleeper

by Coop Cooper

“Cold in July” fills a genre niche that’s rare in the modern world. Gritty, rural thrillers are few and far between but there have been some notable ones in the recent past. “No Country for Old Men” and “Winter’s Bone” come to mind but this is the first time pulp novelist Joe R. Lansdale has contributed to it in the cinematic sense. Known mostly for his horror fiction and pulp crime novels, Lansdale has developed a cult following over the decades and has now crossed-over into the crime cinema genre aided by iconic horror director Jim Mickle and actor/screenwriter Nick Damici.

In 1980’s rural Texas, mild-mannered frame store owner Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall) awakens in the middle of the night to find a masked intruder in his home. To protect his family, he shoots and kills the intruder. The local sheriff (Nick Damici) assures Richard the shooting was clean and that he did the right thing. As Richard and his family attempt to return to normal, the intruder’s father, Russel (Sam Shepard), recently released from prison, begins stalking and threatening Richard. Amidst this dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, Richard uncovers a web of deception with the aid of the flashy, charismatic private eye/pig farmer Jim Bob Luke (Don Johnson). They uncover a horrible truth and must travel a dark path with Russel to put a stop to an evil that is worse than all of them…

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SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR… a day late and a dollar short (but watchable)

Posted on September 8th, 2014
SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR…  a day late and a dollar short (but watchable)

by Coop Cooper

The first film was a gritty and grand cinematic experiment. A brilliantly stylish adaptation of a comic book revealed in contrasty black and white with the occasional red blood thrown around and a few other primary colors splashed in for punctuation. It presented an all-star, ensemble cast and hardboiled film noir with a dash of horror. Here it is again, but with a little less of all that good stuff.

This film seems to take place after the Bruce Willis segment of the first film but before the Mickey Rourke and Clive Owen segments of the the first film – that’s going to confuse some people, especially since it was out of sequence to begin with. It starts with psychopathic protector of women, Marv (Mickey Rourke), doing what he does best, killing scumbags and not remembering how he got there. Meanwhile gambling shark Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) comes to town with a reckless agenda and a hankering for a game of poker, and runs into exactly the trouble he was looking for. Exotic dancer Nancy (Jessica Alba) still bitter over the death of her would-be lover, Hartigan (Bruce Willis), self-mutilates and plots revenge while the ghost of Hartigan tries to talk her out of it. Private investigator Dwight gets in over his head with Ava (Eva Green), a fem fatal who appears to be in danger but obviously cannot be trusted…

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THE KNICK… Skinemax’s new show pilot is gory good

Posted on September 8th, 2014
THE KNICK… Skinemax’s new show pilot is gory good

by Coop Cooper

Dr. John Thackery (Clive Owen), a drug-addled New York City surgeon in the year 1900, attempts an experimental C-section with his superior Dr. Christensen (Matt Frewer) with disastrous results. Despite the setback and the tragedy it causes for the Knickerbocker Hospital, also known as “The Knick”, Thackery’s resolve strengthens to develop new procedures to cure previously fatal conditions. As he battles his own out-of-control addiction, he puts pressure on his colleagues and nurses to think out of the box and strive for perfection. Meanwhile, Thackery’s new assistant, an African-American surgeon, Dr. Edwards (Andre Holland), is forced into the position against Thackery’s will, causing further tensions at The Knick.

Among other factors, the success of this show could be based on whether audiences can withstand the extremely graphic surgery scenes…

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OUTLANDER… Starz TV series could be a hit (if you have a subscription)

Posted on September 8th, 2014
OUTLANDER… Starz TV series could be a hit (if you have a subscription)

by Coop Cooper

British military nurse Claire Randall (Caitrionia Balfe) returns from World War II after VE Day to her intelligence officer husband, Frank (Tobias Menzies). They abscond to Inverness, Scotland on a ’second honeymoon’ to catch up on their love life and to indulge Frank’s genealogical interests. In the hills near the city, Claire witnesses a Halloween ritual performed by druids around an ancient shrine. The power of the ritual transports Claire back in time to 1743 in the midst of a battle between British Redcoats and Scottish Highlanders. There she finds herself on the run with a band of Scots where she quickly proves herself useful with her advanced first aid skills and medical knowledge. She forms a fast bond with the young fighter Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) after saving his arm, but she soon discovers that they are being hunted by her husband’s villainous Redcoat ancestor “Black Jack” Randall (Tobias Menzies).

This popular series of novels written by Diana Galbaldon has been described as a “Game of Thrones” for the romance novel crowd…

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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY… Marvel has another huge winner on their hands

Posted on September 8th, 2014
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY…  Marvel has another huge winner on their hands

by Coop Cooper

A strange chain of events lead up to the making of this film. A couple of years ago, if you had suggested that an adaptation of Marvel’s comic book “Guardians of the Galaxy” could be turned into blockbuster film that would break box office records, I would have called you crazy. However, the franchise did have a lot going for it, creating an unlikely yet instantly likable formula from which to base a “Star Wars”-like space opera. It was a huge gamble and somehow it worked.

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is abducted as a child by alien mercenaries and grows up to be the planet-hopping, swashbuckling scoundrel ‘Star-Lord’ who inadvertently steals a powerful weapon from the fanatical alien conqueror, Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace). While on the run, Quill is intercepted by Ronan’s second-in-command, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) who has an agenda contrary to her master’s. Also hunting him are two bumbling bounty hunters: Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a genetically enhanced raccoon and his almost mute partner, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), a plant being with magical powers. The four collide and get thrown into prison by the Nova Corps, the intergalactic police force, where they run afoul of the hulking warrior Drax the Destroyer (wrestler Dave Bautista) who has declared revenge on Ronan and Gamora for the death of his family. The five form a contentious truce in order to escape but soon discover they hold the key to saving the galaxy from destruction…

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THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL… an oustanding Netflix-only documentary

Posted on September 8th, 2014
THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL… an oustanding Netflix-only documentary

By Coop Cooper

Netflix continues their domination of TV and film. It seems they have now exclusively distributed the best sports documentary since ESPN released the “30 for 30″ series. That documentary is “The Battered Bastards of Baseball” and as of now it can only be watched on Netflix Instant.

Character actor Bing Russell (father of actor Kurt Russell) grew up obsessed with baseball, becoming a friend to some of the most famous Yankees of the day, eventually becoming a pro player himself. After an injury ended his pro baseball career, he returned to Hollywood, making some in-depth instructional baseball films starring his son Kurt. Although he loved both film and baseball, he felt compelled to leave Hollywood and become more involved in the sport. In 1973, upon seeing an opportunity to buy a AAA minor league team in Oregon, he took it and turned it into the only independent minor league Baseball team in the nation. Now the single-A Portland Mavericks, Bing announced tryouts would be open to the general public, drawing a huge crowd of misfits and former MLB rejects…

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THE PURGE: ANARCHY… far superior to its promising predecessor

Posted on September 8th, 2014
THE PURGE: ANARCHY…  far superior to its promising predecessor

by Coop Cooper

When the first “The Purge” movie was released last year, I reviewed it and decided it was an exciting idea for a franchise but the execution did not live up to the intriguing concept. I made a wish list of what I wanted to see in the next “Purge” film: 1. Take the action outside to the streets to show the carnage going on in a more open environment. 2. Show what different classes of people have to do to survive the night. 3. Show the futility of society in this version of America. Not only did “The Purge: Anarchy” completely fulfill my wish list, but it added a few new ideas by expanding on its mythology.

Set in a future, dystopian version of America, crime and population-related problems have become nearly non-existent thanks to the annual ‘Purge’. On that day, for a period of twelve hours, all emergency services are suspended and all crime is legal. Citizens are allowed to hunt each other down with impunity. The only rules are that high-level public officials are off-limits as are ‘class 4 weapons’ (explosives)…

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THE STRAIN and THE LEFTOVERS… supernatural TV shows with potential?

Posted on July 18th, 2014
THE STRAIN and THE LEFTOVERS…  supernatural TV shows with potential?

by Coop Cooper

“The Strain” (FX channel Mondays at 9pm Central) – “The Strain” is a modern update of “Dracula” that mixes science into the mysticism of vampires. When a international flight from Berlin lands in New York with all of the crew and passengers either dead or in some strange state of hibernation, Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and his Center for Disease Control team investigate, suspecting a rare viral outbreak. They soon discover a giant sarcophagus filled with dirt, teeming with worm-like parasites. After a series of brutal deaths, they begin to suspect that something larger is responsible for the outbreak and is attempting to escape the airport. Meanwhile, a shadowy millionaire (Jonathan Hyde), who arranged the delivery of the sarcophagus, attempts to secure it while a mysterious old pawn broker with a sword cane (David Bradley) tries to convince Goodweather to destroy the coffin before it leaves the airport.

Adapted from a series of comic books, this story isn’t very original as it culls many derivative ideas from a multitude of horror films…

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NOAH (on DVD)… too weird to recommend to anybody

Posted on July 16th, 2014
NOAH (on DVD)…  too weird to recommend to anybody

by Coop Cooper

The movie narrates hastily through the book of Genesis, explaining how after Cain killed Abel, Cain’s progeny – with the help of fallen angels – spread across all the land and created a Godless industrialized nation. Only the last of the descendants of the third brother, Seth, continued to protect creation, the last of which is Noah (Russell Crowe) and his family. When Noah receives a vision that the Creator will destroy the world by use of water, he seeks out his grandfather Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins) for guidance with the help of the fallen angels who become his protector. Methuselah gives him a seed, a relic from the Garden of Eden and the vision suddenly becomes clear to Noah. He must save as many of Earth’s creatures by building an ark using wood from the planted seed to carry them through the coming flood. The life-bringing streams created by the seed attract the animals to the ark, but they also draw the attention of bloodthirsty humans, especially Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone), the self-proclaimed king of all men.

Director Darren Aronofsky is a self-proclaimed atheist which makes this biblical subject matter an odd choice for him to adapt…

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THE LEGO MOVIE (on DVD)… the surprise twist makes the movie

Posted on July 16th, 2014
THE LEGO MOVIE (on DVD)…  the surprise twist makes the movie

by Coop Cooper

Anyone who reads my weekly articles knows I often avoid reviewing rated G and PG films. Most kids are easily entertained and having them read my review of “The Lorax” where I theorize the film represents a political ideology, probably isn’t going to dissuade them from wanting to see fluffy Dr. Seuss creatures. The review would actually be for the parents who would probably appreciate knowing if the film is laden with incessant bathroom humor or if the disturbing nature of the story might make little Timmy cry. Sorry parents, but with a few exceptions (see my review of the wonderful “How to Train Your Dragon 2”), I’m not often willing to take one for the team when there are so many other, interesting offers out there. But every once in awhile when I get enough recommendations from those whose opinion I trust to see a children’s-film, I can’t ignore it. For this reason, I watched “The Lego Movie” which was released on DVD last week…

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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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