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MICRO REVIEWS:  I can’t get no satisfaction, so I’m now using TWITTER to pick up the slack in between the big movie reviews!  by COOP

MICRO REVIEWS: I can’t get no satisfaction, so I’m now using TWITTER to pick up the slack in between the big movie reviews! by COOP

Posted on May 18th, 2010

Homer Simpson: “You know something Marge, it’s not that tough being a film cricket.”

Me: “Bull@#$%!”

Contrary to popular belief it actually IS hard being a film cricket… I mean critic. A tough market shares some of the blame but a lot of us bloggers also have other jobs/projects/responsibilities burning on the stove. Then there’s family obligations, staying fit, the thankless job of single-handedly managing a website, not to mention the million other chores that keep us from spending our precious time at the keyboard (like we actually have to go out to see some movies for instance). For those of us who live in the sticks, the challenge of actually SEEING films can be magnified x 10. Then getting it to the publisher on time to make the paper while I’m juggling screenwriting, creating teaching documents and about a dozen other projects. What am I getting at here?…

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DARK SIDE returns to review THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (2010) **** and to pitch director Tom Six some suggestions for sequels!

DARK SIDE returns to review THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (2010) **** and to pitch director Tom Six some suggestions for sequels!

Posted on May 14th, 2010

Oh… My… God… Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new David Cronenberg. This silly indie movie had me cackling and howling for its full 90 minute run time. Did I say silly? Because I meant AWESOME. Dr. Heiter (The now imminent character actor Dieter Laser) hates humans, despite being a very weird one himself. No longer satisfied with de-freak-a-fying Siamese twins, Dr. H decides to surgically conjoin a trio of Rottweilers from maw to anus just for kicks. The result: His most cherished pet. When his beloved 3-dog dies, he creates a heartfelt tombstone for it and buries 3-dog in the backyard. Afterwards he feels a loss that only escalating unnecessary surgery can cure. His next project: THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) is a go. That all happens BEFORE the movie starts mind you….

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IRON MAN 2 (2010) ***1/2 movie review by COOP

IRON MAN 2 (2010) ***1/2 movie review by COOP

Posted on May 7th, 2010

The first “Iron Man” movie defied expectations to become one of the most critically acclaimed and popular superhero films of all time. “Iron Man 2” retains many of the qualities (special effects, performances, humor, etc.) that made the first one great, but overall the film suffers from a minor case of “sequel-itis”.

The story picks up where the last one ended… Billionaire genius Tony Stark impulsively reveals to the world he is the armored superhero known as Iron Man. Months later the world is largely at peace due to…

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THE LOSERS (2010) ** movie capsule by COOP

THE LOSERS (2010) ** movie capsule by COOP

Posted on April 27th, 2010

An obnoxious rip off of “The A-Team”. There, I said it.

It starts off promising enough. An elite 5-man military team lead by Col. Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) get betrayed by their handlers in an appropriately shocking and tragic double-cross. Disgraced but fortunately presumed dead, the team goes underground in Bolivia to live below the radar. A sleazy and mysterious woman named Aisha (Zoe Saldana who is now so overexposed and overhyped I can no longer root for her) locates the team and offers them the chance to get revenge on the ultra-powerful mastermind named Max (Jason Patric) who…

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KICK-ASS (2010) ***** movie review by COOP

KICK-ASS (2010) ***** movie review by COOP

Posted on April 20th, 2010

We’ve all heard the urban legend about the kid who put on a red cape and jumped out of his bedroom window after watching “Superman” back in 1978. While that story may or may not be true – and I’m honestly afraid to look it up to find out – it presents us with a cautionary tale that we are all merely human. Trying to live out foolish fantasies of superheroism could easily shorten our already limited lifespan. This is also the basic premise of the Mark Millar/John Romita comic book “Kick-Ass”, criticized for its portrayal of youth engaged in graphic violence and it’s cavalier approach to the subject. The film adaptation shares…

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THE SMALL TOWN CRITIC’S 2010 SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW: PART 2 by COOP

THE SMALL TOWN CRITIC’S 2010 SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW: PART 2 by COOP

Posted on April 18th, 2010

In Part 1, the summer movie slate didn’t look to promising from April 9 – June 11 (with the exception of “Iron Man 2” and maybe “Kick-Ass”). Let’s see how the rest of the summer movies stack up… June 18 introduces another fringe comic book hero to the silver screen with “Jonah Hex”, about a disfigured, ex-Confederate soldier turned bounty hunter (Josh Brolin) who along with a prostitute (Megan Fox) battles supernatural forces of evil unleashed by a calculating villain (John Malkovich). While this western comic book franchise has a cult following among readers, the film will test the property’s potential for mass appeal…

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THE SMALL TOWN CRITIC’S 2010 SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW: PART 1 by COOP

THE SMALL TOWN CRITIC’S 2010 SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW: PART 1 by COOP

Posted on April 7th, 2010

Many people don’t realize the beginning of spring coincides with the launch of the summer movie season. While that might sound a bit early, and it is, you may have already noticed the 3-D remake blockbuster “Clash of the Titans” has already set a few records… despite severe critical backlash. It has already begun. Here are the summer (starting in spring) movies you might decide to spend your hard-earned summer (spring) cash on. Some have me cautiously optimistic. Others, not so much. Some I’m going to preemptively encourage you to keep your money in you wallet…

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The TRON LEGACY trailer…  I’m still reeling from it… by COOP

The TRON LEGACY trailer… I’m still reeling from it… by COOP

Posted on March 23rd, 2010

Oh yeah, I’m diggin’ it. You should dig on it too unless your dead… OR IN JAIL. And if you’re in jail… BREAK OUT so you can see TRON LEGACY on December 17th. I’ll bake a cake with a jackhammer in it.

Drink in the new trailer below. I’ve watched it no less than 33 times. Did I mention that Academy Award Winning Actor Jeff Bridges stars, revising his role as hero Kevin Flynn from the original TRON? Well, he does…

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ACADEMY AWARDS…  How did they do?  Not bad…  How did I do?  Not bad…  by COOP

ACADEMY AWARDS… How did they do? Not bad… How did I do? Not bad… by COOP

Posted on March 9th, 2010

58%… That’s how I scored in my predictions. Now that may not sound great (I’ve certainly scored better averages), but I’m pleased with this stat for a few reasons…

1. I scored 100% correct in the top 8 categories: Leading Actor, Supporting Actor, Leading Actress, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Editing, Directing and Best Picture. Granted, these were pretty predictable but there was a 50/50 chance of someone else winning in most of those categories.

2. Often, my 2nd choice won the award. I figured “The Young Victoria” would probably win for Costume Design but decided (wrongly) to take a chance on “Coco Before Chanel”. I figured…

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I Predict the Predictable 82nd ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS (and I dare you to beat me) by COOP

I Predict the Predictable 82nd ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS (and I dare you to beat me) by COOP

Posted on March 3rd, 2010

In what looks to be one of the most predictable Oscar races of all time, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has made a few changes to their nomination format, but those changes have not ramped up the suspense in many of the categories. For the first time, 10 movies have been nominated for “Best Picture”. While that sounds unorthodox, I believe it’s a perfectly altruistic and fair move to some of those great films that don’t usually get a lot of attention come awards season. Many voters (and the media) have jumped on highly influential bandwagons to champion a select few of the nominees, so the chances for an upset or two seem few and far between. However, in the Academy Awards, upsets do happen and with the changes to the voting system this year, things could get interesting…

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Jay’s Picks for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards: (Nostradamus, eat your heart out.)

Jay’s Picks for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards: (Nostradamus, eat your heart out.)

Posted on March 1st, 2010

A note from Coop: Jay has once again thrown down the gauntlet to declare his annual Oscar picks. With my own queued up and ready to go (you can go ahead and download my picks ballot, but my reasoning behind my choices won’t be posted for another couple of days), he gets first crack at doing the convincing. To download his ballot, go here.

Below are some jpegs of his picks. For a clearer, more readable version, go to the link above to either view or download the ballot…

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OSCAR: MINE ARE WEENERS… A Hopeless Slackass’ Guide to Handicapping the Academy Awards by JAY

OSCAR: MINE ARE WEENERS… A Hopeless Slackass’ Guide to Handicapping the Academy Awards by JAY

Posted on February 24th, 2010

Tis’ the season to see folly.

It never fails. Every year about this time movie studios all along the San Andreas are clamoring to unload their homogenized, “release delayed”, unscreened, should’a-gone-straight-to-DVD dreck onto a movie going public so starved for any semblance of post-tryptophanian entertainment that it doesn’t seem to mind plopping down ten bucks a pop for the cinematic equivalent of a Zippy the Pinhead comic. B-movie sequels, RomCom bomb-athons and shameless hyperfad exploitationals clog our collective movie-going consciousness, leaving us longing for the unrivaled artistry and emotive tour de force of “Dracula vs. Billy the Kid”…

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COOP reports from the 2010 OXFORD (MISSISSIPPI) FILM FESTIVAL

COOP reports from the 2010 OXFORD (MISSISSIPPI) FILM FESTIVAL

Posted on February 9th, 2010

The 7th year of the annual Oxford Film Festival in Oxford, Mississippi kicked off the night of Thursday the 4th by taking over half of the Malco Oxford Studio Cinema and roping an area off for the media, filmmakers and other assorted guests. While I had attended screenings at large festivals during my tenure in Los Angeles, I was only moderately enthused about covering a local one. I figured I’d see a few underwhelming indie flicks and slink on back home to Clarksdale for some light writing and shut-eye. Boy was I ever wrong.

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THE SMALL TOWN CRITIC to host Q & A at the 2010 Oxford Film Fest!

THE SMALL TOWN CRITIC to host Q & A at the 2010 Oxford Film Fest!

Posted on February 4th, 2010

WARNING: Shameless self promotion ahead…

The Oxford Film Fest – which takes place in the friendly town of Oxford, Mississippi – begins tonight (2/4/10) and yours truly will be hosting the Q & A for the Mike McCarthy cult hit Cigarette Girl at 10pm tonight and 9:45pm Friday night.

You might remember me reviewing Cigarette Girl at it’s Memphis premiere where I heralded its importance as a symbol of modern cinema born from the ashes of the Memphis urban landscape. Its stylistically gorgeous production design and its bold originality made it one of my favorite cinematic experiences of 2009.

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THE BOOK OF ELI (2010) *** movie review capsule by COOP

THE BOOK OF ELI (2010) *** movie review capsule by COOP

Posted on January 21st, 2010

Here’s a movie with an ambitious story and message that almost pulled it off.

Denzel Washington plays a cat-eating, machete-wielding post apocalyptic badass named Eli who walks the Earth (like Caine in “Kung Fu”) and carries a book that is supposed to save the remainder of the planet’s population 33 years after nuclear war. He runs afoul of Carnegie (Gary Oldman), the honcho of a wild west-style town who has been searching for the book for years with plans to use it to control the masses rather than save them. When he learns that Eli possesses it, he stops and nothing to get it…

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DAYBREAKERS (2009) **1/2 movie review by DARK SIDE

DAYBREAKERS (2009) **1/2 movie review by DARK SIDE

Posted on January 18th, 2010

With vampires en vogue at the moment, Hollywood has been struggling to figure out how to cash in on the latest horror movie craze. Understanding that not all viewers are enraptured by the “Twilight” phenomenon, studios have been struggling to develop vampire-themed properties that show potential for larger appeal. “Daybreakers” attempts a big-budgeted stab at making vampires marketable to the action-horror crowd, but the filmmakers don’t seem to realize when they’re flogging a dead horse…

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UP IN THE AIR (2009) ***** movie review by COOP

UP IN THE AIR (2009) ***** movie review by COOP

Posted on January 7th, 2010

“Up in the Air” first received a limited release in November to overwhelming critical acclaim. Soon after, it racked up multiple award nominations, including 6 potential Golden Globes. On Christmas Day it released wide to audiences with very little advertising or fanfare, but after finally getting an opportunity to see this film, I can confirm the hype is grossly understated.

Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) lives out of a suitcase 322 days out of the year. He travels around the country firing people for a living and…

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