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CATCHING FIRE…  A rare case where the sequel outshines the original

CATCHING FIRE… A rare case where the sequel outshines the original

Posted on November 28th, 2013

by Coop Cooper

A few months have passed since Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) survived their Hunger Games ordeal and they are now expected to go on a ‘Victory Tour” as propaganda shills for the oppressive government. President Snow (Donald Sutherland) has noticed that Katniss and Peeta have drifted apart and that Katniss has renewed a secret courtship with her childhood friend, Gale (Liam Hemsworth). Snow warns Katniss to maintain the appearance that she and Peeta are in love and to encourage obedience among the citizens. This proves impossible as Katniss has become a symbol of revolution to the more oppressed districts. Her presence only incites uprisings, prompting the government to carry out executions for any minor show of protest. In attempt to humiliate and destroy Katniss, Snow drafts all former Hunger Games winners into a final, deadly battle royale. This time, some of the more dangerous contestants have an agenda other than their own survival.

This sequel successfully builds upon everything that was set up in the first film and has ten times more emotional resonance…

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CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN…  this is not the self-discovery movie you’re looking for

CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN… this is not the self-discovery movie you’re looking for

Posted on November 22nd, 2013

by Coop Cooper

Quirky self-discovery comedies are a difficult to pull off. They go like this: A guy or girl suffers a tragedy/existential crisis and is compelled to go on a trip where they will learn their true purpose in life and meet their destiny. Along the way they meet wise men and gurus who have it all figured out and who give the main character a gentle nudge in the right direction. They also meet a soulmate who has the potential to change their life, but they must make the right choices. Usually, a villain or massive obstacle gives the hero the final push they need to triumph in the end or fail and learn a harsh lesson about life. The newly released indie film “Charlie Countryman” follows this formula to the letter, but it doesn’t come very close to mastering it…






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THOR: THE DARK WORLD…  more like “Star Wars” than “Lord of the Rings” (a good thing!)

THOR: THE DARK WORLD… more like “Star Wars” than “Lord of the Rings” (a good thing!)

Posted on November 15th, 2013

by Coop Cooper

Since the events of the “Avengers” movie, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been traversing the ‘Nine Realms’ of the Universe with his Asgardian army, putting an end to longstanding wars with his wisdom and might. Meanwhile on Earth, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) has tried to move on with her life, although her investigations into the mystical energy of Thor’s world leads her body to become possessed by a hidden, Universe-ending energy source. The creators of this source, the Dark Elves, existed before all other life in the universe and wish to use this destructive energy to undo all life besides their own. Thor must return to Earth to destroy this energy and save Jane, but can only reach Earth through the help of his imprisoned, adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) who cannot be trusted due to his role in the destruction of New York in “The Avengers”.

It’s a preposterous premise and the plot description does it no justice. This film is a vast improvement over the original “Thor” film and feels more like “Star Wars” than “Lord of the Rings”…






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ENDER’S GAME review…  An excellent adaptation

ENDER’S GAME review… An excellent adaptation

Posted on November 8th, 2013

by Coop Cooper

Although it never had the level of exposure as “Harry Potter” and “The Hunger Games”, the “Ender’s Game” series of books predates those blockbuster franchises and has a large fan-base dating back to the mid-1980’s when it won the Nebula Award for ‘Best Novel’. Its adaptation to film has been attempted several times in the past but budget restrictions and the difficult special effects scenes (much like the situation with “John Carter of Mars”) kept the adaptation from going into production until F/X technology could affordably catch up to the story’s demands. Now the film adaption has finally come to pass and its potential success could initiate a new blockbuster franchise, but only if it meets the expectations of fans, critics and most importantly… the box office…






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CARRIE remake review…  the best of the remakes

CARRIE remake review… the best of the remakes

Posted on November 4th, 2013

by Coop Cooper

Based on the bestselling book by Stephen King, Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a shy, sensitive high school girl who is mercilessly picked on by the other students. After a particularly cruel moment where Carrie is bullied in the gym shower, Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) a popular girl who took part in the bullying becomes overcome with guilt and tries to find a way to make amends. She convinces her goodhearted jock boyfriend Tommy (Ansel Elgort) to ask Carrie to the prom to give the meek, tormented girl a confidence boost. Carrie accepts but along with puberty, she has developed a frightening power, the emergence of which her psychotically religious mother (Julienne Moore) has been dreading since Carrie’s birth. When the school’s meanest girl plans a humiliating prank on Carrie at the prom, Carrie is pushed too far causing her powers to erupt with deadly results…






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“Captain Phillips” and the new Oxford Commons Theater

“Captain Phillips” and the new Oxford Commons Theater

Posted on November 4th, 2013

by Coop Cooper

In addition to the film “Captain Phillips”, I will also talk about the newly opened Oxford Commons Malco Theater which has been refurbished from the former ‘Amp’ theater on the east side of Oxford, MS. Few people remember the Amp as it had a short and unsuccessful run but Malco is betting that due to Oxford’s rapid growth, the town can now support a second movie theater. I sincerely hope they are right because the venue is classy and pleasant, but first the movie review…






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GRAVITY review…  Probably the best film of the year

GRAVITY review… Probably the best film of the year

Posted on November 4th, 2013

by Coop Cooper

A purely original cinematic experience is exceedingly rare these days. Even the best movies can feel like a (well-done) rehash of old ideas no matter how fresh the packaging is. A great cop movie is essentially the same cop movie you’ve always seen, only with excellent performances, dialogue, script, etc… Never before have I seen a film the likes of “Gravity.”…






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Most anticipated films of Oct./Nov. 2013

Most anticipated films of Oct./Nov. 2013

Posted on November 4th, 2013

by Coop Cooper

With blockbuster season over, Hollywood will release their holiday and wild card films to get audiences into theater seats. Here are a few that have potential…

“Gravity” (releasing Oct. 3rd) – Sandra Bullock plays a medical engineer on her first space mission with a soon-to-be retiring veteran astronaut played by George Clooney. On a routine spacewalk while the two are tethered, their shuttle explodes, hurling them far away from the space station leaving them stranded and helpless, floating in the vacuum. I wasn’t quite sure where a story like this could go (other than certain death for main characters) but unfortunately the TV spots promoting the film give far too much away. However, early word from critics has been overwhelmingly glowing and many are saying this film could sweep the Oscars…






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The pitfalls of film/TV marketing

The pitfalls of film/TV marketing

Posted on November 4th, 2013

by Coop Cooper

Marketing a movie or TV show is a tricky business.

Ron Howard’s latest film “Rush” is a prime example of an original film idea that clearly nobody new how to market. It is being advertised as director Ron Howard’s ‘best film’ and as possibly ‘the best film of the year’ but it’s not really explaining what it’s about other than Formula One racing… a sport that is not terribly popular in America. It also stars Chris ‘Thor’ Hemsworth and that Nazi hero sniper (Daniel Bruhl) from “Inglorious Basterds” whom you probably forgot about. The film utilizes a strange orange and teal color palette and Opie from “The Andy Griffith Show” directed it. That’s about all anyone knows about it even if they studied the TV promos. “Rush” is also a very generic title also utilized by a 1991 undercover narc film starring Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Lee which only adds to the confusion. Despite how good the film might be or how many awards it could win, it does not scream ‘blockbuster.’ One would have to do some digging to find out the film is actually based on the real-life rivalry between two European F1 racers in the 1970’s named James Hunt and Niki Lauda (who???)…






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