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THE INFORMANT! (2009) *** movie review by COOP

THE INFORMANT! (2009) *** movie review by COOP

Posted on September 25th, 2009

I didn’t laugh until about 40 minutes into this artsy, awkwardly-styled independent film. There, if that didn’t scare you off, then you might enjoy this light and quirky story by Steven Soderbergh. You won’t be rolling in the aisles, but if you can wait for the tension to build, the laughs will come. It’s too bad Soderbergh couldn’t kick the humor off to an early start because a less patient audience would either fall asleep or walk out…

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THE MUD DOG BLUES movie shoot at Ground Zero Blues Club, by COOP

THE MUD DOG BLUES movie shoot at Ground Zero Blues Club, by COOP

Posted on September 18th, 2009

One very welcome side effect to blues music tourism in Clarksdale, Mississippi is that it attracts filmmakers to the area. Locals may have noticed an increasing amount of camera jockeys and boom mics wandering around downtown and the nearby tourist attractions. Get used to it, because if Tuesday night’s filming of “The Mud Dog Blues” feature promo trailer at Ground Zero Blues Club is any indication, Clarksdale may become one of the most filmed cities in the state.

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Viral Marketing for Motion Pictures… What’s the future of this trend? by COOP

Viral Marketing for Motion Pictures… What’s the future of this trend? by COOP

Posted on September 15th, 2009

I dig viral marketing for its innovation and the way it can emmerse you further into a fictional experience. While it reaches only the most tech-savvy of fans, a good campaign can cause an overnight sensation and facilitate unprecedented levels of interest in a film that might have been ignored back in the days before the internet.
Studios have embraced the practice as well. They now dump a portion of their budget into creating viral marketing for their new releases. This works best for the genre flicks that have either a mythology or a mystery to work with. Let’s look at a few of the best and most successful viral campaigns out there and through the process, try to determine which strategies studios and film pioneers will use next…

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CIGARETTE GIRL… Memphis indie movie premiere (2009) by COOP

CIGARETTE GIRL… Memphis indie movie premiere (2009) by COOP

Posted on September 11th, 2009

I met Tupelo native Mike McCarthy at Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi a little over two weeks ago and I found myself surprised to realize I’d heard of the guy. I caught his ultra low-budget film “Superstarlet A.D.”years back which was released by shlockmeister/producer Lloyd Kaufman, famous for his “Troma” brand of low budget exploitation flicks. I wasn’t a fan of the film, but I got a clear grasp for McCarthy’s style and obsessions. McCarthy spends his time in Memphis soaking up the hip Midtown scene and planning feature film projects. He fetishizes pin-up girls, rockabilly music and indie film… precisely all the ingredients that make up his latest opus, “Cigarette Girl.”

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GAMER (2009) **** movie review by COOP… Surprise, Mikey! He liked it!

GAMER (2009) **** movie review by COOP… Surprise, Mikey! He liked it!

Posted on September 10th, 2009

Color me shocked. What looked like a loud, obnoxious, superficial action flick in the previews actually succeeded in making a meaningful (yet disturbing) social statement. Harkening back to the exploitative B-movie action films of the late 80’s and 90’s, “Gamer” begins as a sleazy, violent bloodbath with seemingly no redeeming cinematic value. Just as I started to turn my brain off, the story surprised me with some plot devices and story concepts way ahead of its time…

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I COME IN PEACE: Watch one of COOP’s favorite sci-fi movies of 1990 online!

I COME IN PEACE: Watch one of COOP’s favorite sci-fi movies of 1990 online!

Posted on September 9th, 2009

It’s an oddity of a film. Originally titled Dark Angel(???), this film capitalized on the late 80’s/early 90’s B-movie star power of Dolph Lundgren. Imitating a Shane Black, cop-buddy movie like Lethal Weapon or The Last Boy Scout, the film adds an additional element to the mix… a 9-foot tall alien drug dealer….

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PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and LAKE MUNGO… two ghostly “mockumentaries” that I want to see. by DARK SIDE

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and LAKE MUNGO… two ghostly “mockumentaries” that I want to see. by DARK SIDE

Posted on September 8th, 2009

Okay, so I’m on an indie horror kick at the moment. Sue me. It’s that time of the year.

These are two that I’m highly anticipating. Not good considering I doubt I (or you) will get to see either anytime soon.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: EVIDENCE OF A HAUNTING
Hitting the festival circuit for awhile now (at least since 2007), this Blair Witch-type found-footage film capitalizes on a very simple idea… A couple move into a new place. Weird things start happening so they set up some video cameras to try and solve the mystery. Things get scary. So scary in fact that it’s rumored that audience members…

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PONTYPOOL review… Zombies vs. Don Imus! by DARK SIDE

PONTYPOOL review… Zombies vs. Don Imus! by DARK SIDE

Posted on September 7th, 2009

I’m making this a spoiler-heavy, in-depth review because of the fact that Pontypool could’ve been a great horror movie. In fact, the first half was near flawless.

But I’ll get to that. Boy will I ever. You see, I got a few favorite concepts out there that work great by themselves. Sometimes a smarty pants comes along and merges two of the concepts to create what I call a “super concept.” It’s kinda like when rock stars from different bands get together to form “super bands.” Sometimes it works (Traveling Wilburys), sometimes it doesn’t (Hear ‘n Aid). This concept worked… almost. In what amounts to a mix of Talk Radio, Night of the Living Dead and War of the Worlds, we meet…

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BOONDOCK SAINTS II: ALL SAINTS DAY finally has a trailer! I still can’t believe it actually got made. by COOP

BOONDOCK SAINTS II: ALL SAINTS DAY finally has a trailer! I still can’t believe it actually got made. by COOP

Posted on September 5th, 2009

(NOTE: I’m delaying the next installment of HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #11 for another week. Partially due to this week’s technical difficulties but also so I can save up some of the good horror ones for the month of October. Plus, this news was too juicy and I had to jump on it ASAP…)

My love for Boondock Saints (5 out of 5 stars!) has no bounds. Which is why with a heavy heart I still feel that a sequel should’ve never been made. Why? Because writer/director Troy Duffy didn’t deserve one. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Saints involve a pair of illegal immigrant Irish twins, the McManus brothers (Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus) who get in a scrap with some local Russian mobsters in a Boston slum. After killing the mobsters in self defense, the brothers simultaneously get a divine vision instructing them to…

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HALLOWEEN II (2009) * movie review by DARK SIDE

HALLOWEEN II (2009) * movie review by DARK SIDE

Posted on September 4th, 2009

It’s a sad weekend when your best new release choice is another lousy horror remake. I strongly disliked director Rob Zombie’s first “Halloween” remake in execution and in principle. It made a mint, but was so poorly received by critics and fans of the original classic, the indignant Zombie swore to not do a sequel. Two years later he broke that promise with a sequel even poorer than his first. Methinks dollar signs and ego played a part in his decision to beat a dead horse and I sincerely doubt after this stinker, anyone would want to see a third…

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IT CAME WITHOUT WARNING (1980)… Watch one of my favorite horror/sci-fi films online for free! by DARK SIDE

IT CAME WITHOUT WARNING (1980)… Watch one of my favorite horror/sci-fi films online for free! by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 31st, 2009

Count yourself lucky if you’ve ever seen this movie prior to today. It’s a rare find on DVD and appears sporadically on the Independent Film Channel. It Came Without Warning aka Without Warning aka Alien Warning aka The Warning aka Alien Encounter aka Alien Shock scared the heck out of me in 1980 with its shocking televised promo spots. The normally tame programming would interrupt to show humans being attacked by frisbee monsters thrown by a giant alien with an over-sized noggin. At 4 (or possibly 5) years old, I was horrified at seeing those images.

Years later, I had completely forgotten the name of the…

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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #10:  REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS (1986) has a rockin’ and controversial soundtrack! by COOP

HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #10: REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS (1986) has a rockin’ and controversial soundtrack! by COOP

Posted on August 29th, 2009

Possibly the first “smutty” movie I ever saw, Reform School Girls (1986) is not a movie to be taken seriously. At all. I didn’t understand that when I first saw it. I thought all R-rated movies were serious and therefore this was serious. I figured reform schools were evil places filled with bad, naked women… something that scared yet intrigued me. Kinda made me feel like “bad girls” new secrets and things that normal people weren’t supposed to know about. Mystery and danger.

Thus started my obsession of…

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Hollywood Green or “Everything Old is New Again” by JAY

Hollywood Green or “Everything Old is New Again” by JAY

Posted on August 28th, 2009

Recycling is all the rage these days. In my neighborhood up in the Pacific Northwest, it’s almost a religion. In Michigan it’s actually mandatory – but at 10¢ a can, who’s complaining? Yep, taking a discarded resource and reshaping it into a usable commodity for a fraction of the cost of producing new materials is nothing new. In fact Hollywood has been doing just that for decades…

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THE INFORMERS sucks but not because of bad acting, sez DARK SIDE

THE INFORMERS sucks but not because of bad acting, sez DARK SIDE

Posted on August 27th, 2009

I can’t get through a Bret Easton Ellis novel but I sure have loved the movies made from his books. Less than Zero, American Psycho, Rules of Attraction… all great. I love how he mixes 80’s decadence with cultural decay and urban horror. His characters are hardly likable but it’s always the grim satirical statement behind the work that I dig so much.

So when I heard the adaptation of his collection of interlocking short stories The Informers was being dubbed…

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Revenge fantasies never looked so good. Awesome new trailer for LAW ABIDING CITIZEN. by COOP

Revenge fantasies never looked so good. Awesome new trailer for LAW ABIDING CITIZEN. by COOP

Posted on August 26th, 2009

Gerard Butler, once a D-list guy who once played Dracula 2000, soared to the status of ultra-badass status after playing the mythic King Leonidas in 300. Then he fumbled his new found success as an action star by starring in a couple of romantic comedies and a Guy Ritchie movie.

Now he’s poised to finally take his rightful place as a Hollywood star… at least for the rest of this year. His sci-fi action film Gamer releases next month. On October 16, a more promising film starring Butler releases…

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INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009) **** movie review by COOP

INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009) **** movie review by COOP

Posted on August 25th, 2009

Quentin Tarantino is a bona fide oddity in the modern film industry. The bulletproof director stays independent and non-union but he still manages to find the budget to fulfill his every whim. He takes his sweet time getting there, but what he creates often gains a massive amount critical/public scrutiny and acclaim. A long-gestating vanity project for Tarantino, “Inglourious Basterds” achieves some cinematic feats that rank it in the highest categories of cinema. For Tarantino fans, this is an admirable achievement. Unfortunately for…

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Scary trailer for THE FOURTH KIND inspires DARK SIDE to teach YOU how to defend against alien abductions (seriously)!

Scary trailer for THE FOURTH KIND inspires DARK SIDE to teach YOU how to defend against alien abductions (seriously)!

Posted on August 24th, 2009

Like some kind of evil sequel to Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Fourth Kind takes real file footage from supposed alien abductees under hypnosis in Nome, Alaska and fictionalizes their stories for the silver screen.

Milla Jovovich plays Abby, a shrink who discovers a disturbing similarity in her patients’ nightmares. They all have visions of an owl at their window, paralysis, intense fear, yadda-yadda. The deeper she delves into this mystery, the scarier it gets. Under hypnosis, patients relive their terror as aliens…

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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #9: Wes Craven orders Assistant Director Skinner to SHOCK Peter Berg! by DARK SIDE

HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #9: Wes Craven orders Assistant Director Skinner to SHOCK Peter Berg! by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 22nd, 2009

I’ll wager very few X-Files fans know that Mitch Pileggi (Assistant Director Skinner) on the popular show got his genre start as a crazed serial killer. That’s right, old Uncle Mitch once played Horace Pinker, one of the meanest villains ever to grace the silver screen. He’s so mean, he even nearly beat his son to death for interfering with matricide. He’s so mean, he gets his jollies wasting entire families with a Rambo knife. He’s so mean, even the Electric Satan won’t let him die after an execution by electric chair…

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About that AVATAR trailer…  by COOP

About that AVATAR trailer… by COOP

Posted on August 21st, 2009

I haven’t seen this much hype over something since Halley’s Comet back in ’86. James Cameron’s 3-D sci-fi epic Avatar is so highly anticipated (or at least wants to be) that today Cameron has released 15 mins of free footage to be show in participating IMAX theaters all over the world. That’s right, people all over the world are going to a movie theater just to see a 15 minute trailer. Now, I’m a huge sci-fi fan but I’m no sucker…

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Is fear of the MPAA the reason why most American horror films (like THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake) wimp out? by DARK SIDE

Is fear of the MPAA the reason why most American horror films (like THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake) wimp out? by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 20th, 2009

Just saw the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated (3 out of 5 stars) about how how the Motion Picture Association of America has one of the most powerful, secretive and arbitrarily unchecked bureaucratic systems in the U.S. When you can hand down a rating for a movie (G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17) and not have to give a reason, nor reveal who made the decision, you’ve got an abuse of power there, sir! While I usually don’t have too many qualms with their system – because frankly…

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