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

Posted on September 26th, 2014
Posted on September 26th, 2014

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. Trailing behind his senior corrupt partner, Bullock (Donal Logue), Gordon runs across the paths of future Batman villains Edward “Riddler” Nygma, Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot and “Poison” Ivy Pepper as he discovers the death of the Waynes may be part of a deep conspiracy.

The show’s controversy stems from an outcry of Batman fans who didn’t want to see the “Smallville”-version of Batman’s story which they feared would be dumbed-down for a primetime, teenaged audience. The second controversy arose with the introduction of a ‘new’ gangster villain in the show, which was not part of the original Batman canon, by the name of ‘Fish Mooney’ (Jada Pinkett Smith) which many fans saw as an attempt to force a token minority character into the mythology. While the Fish Mooney debacle did indeed seem fishy (sorry), the pilot episode surprised me with its gritty tone, competent acting and above-average writing.

Unfortunately, the weakest link is Bruce Wayne himself. He is too small to do anything but mope and injure himself and I can already tell his storyline will be the least interesting, even if Alfred (Sean Pertwee) becomes more of a mentor to him. The clunkiest scene comes at the end when Gordon essentially asks Bruce ‘still a kid’ Wayne permission not to resign and continue to look for the killer of Bruce’s parents. Even so, “Gotham” would have to dip pretty low for me not to tune into it every week. (on Fox at 7pm on Mondays)

Rating: 3 and ½ out of 5

Scorpion”:

A think tank of four nerdy, socially dysfunctional geniuses gets recruited by a Homeland Security director (Robert Patrick) to put their heads together to stop a cyberattack that will crash all of the planes flying into Los Angeles International Airport in less than two hours. The best internet option for the geniuses to use is a greasy spoon diner that looks suspiciously like the exact same one featured at the end of “Pulp Fiction”. In the chaos, a struggling waitress (Katherine McPhee) and her pre-teen autistic son, who happens to be more a brilliant savant than any of them, gets pulled into the mission.

The show moves at an exciting, break-neck pace and it has has a lot of heart. Although the plot basically the same as “Die Hard 2”, the show itself is actually a reworking of the old “Mission Impossible” series. It is a great idea but the pilot has a huge problem… When the geniuses have to stop and explain things to the dumb people, it brings everything – including believability – to a screeching halt. Unfortunately one of those people is McPhee who needs explanations for EVERYTHING, especially as to why her son is the way he is. She also gets in the way with her objections to the moral judgements they have to make in order to solve the problem and it gets exceptionally ridiculous when she gets thrown into the action. It’s an annoyance that should improve in subsequent episodes, but as smart as it wants to be, “Scorpion” might become nothing more than a brainless, guilty pleasure. (on CBS 8pm on Mondays)

Rating: 3 out of 5

Sleepy Hollow”:

I favorably reviewed “Sleepy Hollow” last year, gave it a thumb(s) up and it became a runaway hit with viewers. It returns this week with its second season and it starts off with a bang – literally, with an intense gun fight against the Headless Horseman – and a few unexpected twists. Those of you who pine for the days of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Angel” and “Supernatural” owe it to yourselves to get on board with this series. The undeniable chemistry between the two leads, Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abbie (Nicole Beharie) is enhanced even further by Ichabod’s wit and frustrated befuddlement with the modern world. Get caught up with the first season. It may be the best show you’re not watching. (on Fox 8pm on Mondays)

Rating: 4 out of 5

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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:
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2017 Oxford Film Festival
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2017 Clarksdale Film Festival
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2017 NanoCon International Sci-Fi Film Festival
2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival
2017 End of Days Film Festival
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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...

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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:
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2012 CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CROSSROADS FILM FESTIVAL
2012 NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI FILM FESTIVAL
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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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