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JASON BOURNE… Please let this franchise die.

Posted on August 1st, 2016
JASON BOURNE…  Please let this franchise die.

by Coop Cooper

Fighting cage matches for cash on the Albanian/Grecian border, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) survives aimlessly off the grid, although seems somewhat bent on self-destruction despite the fact he is still in hiding from the CIA. His old ally, hacker Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), approaches him with a jump drive containing classified information which might lead to him discovering his identity. After a few narrow escapes, Bourne learns that he has a new potential ally in an upstart CIA agent, Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander), who somehow feels compelled to expose illegal practices of CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones). As Bourne gets closer to the truth, a CIA assassin (Vincent Cassel) doggedly pursues him, blaming Bourne’s previous whistleblowing effort for his own capture and torture in Syria…

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STAR TREK: BEYOND finally goes beyond the source material of the original Trek canon…

Posted on July 26th, 2016
STAR TREK: BEYOND finally goes beyond the source material of the original Trek canon…

by Coop Cooper

As a lifelong ‘Trekkie’ I haven’t been the biggest cheerleader for the J. J. Abrams “Star Trek” motion picture reboot. I gave the first film lukewarm reviews. I like the second one better but upon repeated viewings, I’m seeing a great many flaws. I like the casting and I think the actors have chemistry. I appreciate the production design and I don’t mind the high-concept idea behind the rebooting. The issue has been with Abrams trying to recycle Trek history into an original script that doesn’t insult the intelligence of both lifelong fans and casual viewers. “Star Trek: Beyond” thankfully moves beyond that problem to deliver an original and exciting story the previous two films were lacking…






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CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR has more fun than flaws…

Posted on May 10th, 2016
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR has more fun than flaws…

by Coop Cooper

Steve “Captain America” Rogers (Chris Evans) and The Avengers attempt to stop Brock “Crossbones” Rumlow (Frank Grillo) from obtaining a destructive chemical weapon in Lagos, Nigeria and inadvertently cause some serious collateral damage. Fed up with the lack of oversight and the chain of destruction left behind after The Avengers’ battles, the UN introduces an accord to restrain the actions of the team. Tony “Iron Man” Stark, having been reminded of his own failures by a mysterious woman (Alfrie Woodard), decides to support the accord, while Rogers opposes it due to his old-fashioned principles…






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THE JUNGLE BOOK captures some of that old Disney magic…

Posted on April 25th, 2016
THE JUNGLE BOOK captures some of that old Disney magic…

by Coop Cooper

One of my first memories as a child is going to Disney World and seeing a special screening for children of the animated 1967 version of “The Jungle Book” at the hotel where we were staying. It was my first introduction to Rudyard Kipling’s classic story and I recalled loving every minute of it. Now Disney has released a live-action (mostly CGI to be accurate) update of “The Jungle Book” directed by John Favreau and I’m thrilled to report not only does this adaptation pay homage to Kipling’s story, but it also utilizes the songs and the adventurous tone of the classic Disney cartoon…






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DEADPOOL does its own thing and superhero movies are better for it…

Posted on February 16th, 2016
DEADPOOL does its own thing and superhero movies are better for it…

by Coop Cooper

Every couple of years or so, a superhero movie comes along that defies expectations and completely stuns everyone with its originality and success. In 2010, “Kick-Ass” proved that a R-rated superhero movie could become a blockbuster. In 2014, Marvel proved they could take one of its minor properties and turn it into a Star Wars-like epic with “Guardians of the Galaxy”. Now Fox Studios has done the same with one of its minor Marvel properties, making a self-referential, gory, raunchy hit with “Deadpool”…






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THE REVENANT must be seen in theaters!…

Posted on January 12th, 2016
THE REVENANT must be seen in theaters!…

by Coop Cooper

Every year I find at least a handful of movies that surprise me enough to earn my highest rating. It’s always a short list but it takes special mixture of originality, superior storytelling, spot on acting and spectacle for a movie like “The Revenant” to come along and surpass all expectations.

Based on a true story from the 1820’s, frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his half-breed Pawnee son (Forrest Goodluck) leads a party of fur trappers through the bitter cold of the American wilderness when they are attacked by marauding natives. Forced to leave most of their haul behind, the party flees for their outpost and Glass is mauled by a grizzly along the way. Unable to carry him further, the Captain (Domhnall Gleeson) offers a reward to those who stay behind to care for Glass until he either heals or expires. Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) stays behind but betrays Glass by killing his son and leaving Glass for dead. Despite his grave injuries, Glass somehow survives and makes his way hundreds of miles across dangerous country to track down Fitzgerald and get his revenge…






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Coop’s Top 10 movies of 2015 (for now)…

Posted on December 28th, 2015
Coop’s Top 10 movies of 2015 (for now)…

by Coop Cooper

The end of the year is upon us and I have compiled a list of the best films I’ve seen so far in 2015. Granted, this list will undoubtably change as more Oscar-qualifying, year-ending films (like “The Revenant” and “The Hateful Eight”) become available. For now, here is the current list…






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THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2 is a poor movie with an okay conclusion…

Posted on December 4th, 2015
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2 is a poor movie with an okay conclusion…

by Coop Cooper

As with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, Hollywood got the bright idea to make more money out of movies based on popular book franchises by splitting them into two (or in the case of “The Hobbit”, three) movies. The way this works best is when the book itself has naturally strong cliffhanger points in the story that will keep viewers hanging on for up to a year before the next installment, plus a strong story to begin with. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 2” is definitely a case of a book adaptation, split into two movies, that didn’t work…






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Amazon’s flawed series production model…

Posted on November 20th, 2015
Amazon’s flawed series production model…

by Coop Cooper

Back in January, Amazon released an online-only pilot episode for “The Man in the High Castle”, based on the celebrated 1962 sci-fi novel by Philip K. Dick. The episode was free to watch to Amazon Prime members and gained acclaim by both critics and audiences. Based on the strength of the pilot and the reaction to it, Amazon ordered a full season of the show and went into production. On October 23rd, the second episode was released, and as of November 20th the rest of the episodes have been released all at once, similar to the Netflix release strategy. But unlike Netflix, Amazon took ten whole months between releasing the pilot and the rest of the series. That was plenty of time for most people who saw the original pilot to completely forget about it and lose interest by the time the show released…






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RAIDERS!: THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE… a must see for a film fan

Posted on November 13th, 2015
RAIDERS!: THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE…  a must see for a film fan

by Coop Cooper

A few years ago at the Clarksdale Film Festival, attendees were treated to a very special screening of a Mississippi film project that had been in the works since 1981. Ocean Springs natives Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos were in attendance to show “Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation”, a shot-for-shot remake of “Raiders” done by Zala, Strompolos and their friends, filmed over seven years during the summers of their childhood. The film sat on the shelf until some well-known filmmakers viewed a bootleg copy and tracked down Zala and Strompolos, suddenly thrusting the two (now) adults into limelight. With their exceptionally creative adaptation screening at film festivals all over the world, the old collaborators found themselves haunted by the one scene in “Raiders” they were never able to shoot. Last year, they raised enough money to finally complete the scene back in their home town of Ocean Springs… and all did not go exactly according to plan…






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BEASTS OF NO NATION… beautiful, brutal, one of the year’s best

Posted on November 6th, 2015
BEASTS OF NO NATION… beautiful, brutal, one of the year’s best

by Coop Cooper

Netflix has been breaking new ground both in the original content it produces and in the way that content is delivered. They changed the model of serialized shows by releasing all episodes of an entire season at once (a brilliant idea) and made their original shows only available to watch through their online service, securing their dominance over other subscription services. Now Netflix hopes to change the model for releasing original feature films and “Beasts of No Nation” is the film that will push the boundaries of Hollywood distribution and possibly spell doom for the future of major theater chains…






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SICARIO has it all, including a possible franchise opportunity for Del Toro…

Posted on October 9th, 2015
SICARIO has it all, including a possible franchise opportunity for Del Toro…

by Coop Cooper

Every once in awhile, an action/crime drama will raise the bar in what is often a humdrum and stagnant genre. The style has become more sophisticated over the decades. Actors stopped shooting from the hip and got training from professionals. Lengthy and over-the-top, Hong Kong styled shootouts eventually gave way to a more realistic form of screen combat. The excitement now seems to come from seeing the actors performing accurate tactical reloads and dealing with the tension before impending violence and the traumatic aftermath. “Sicario” utilizes this new style effectively and even manages to elevate the genre…






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Football season means it’s time to revisit the pigskin cinema classics!

Posted on September 11th, 2015
Football season means it’s time to revisit the pigskin cinema classics!

by Coop Cooper

With football season upon us, it is time to reflect upon (and revisit!) some of the best football movies out there. Whether they are about high school, college, pro… or prison, all are either funny, exciting, inspirational or all three…






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What looks good for the rest of 2015?…

Posted on August 21st, 2015
What looks good for the rest of 2015?…

by Coop Cooper

“Straight Outta Compton” about the rise of gangster rap group N.W.A. has been a critical and commercial success with impressive box office numbers this past weekend, and it also marks the end of the summer movie season. Here are ten other highly anticipated movies audiences have to look forward to for the rest of 2015…

“Black Mass” (Sept. 18) – Johnny Depp once again makes a bizarre physical transformation to play real-life murderous mobster-turned FBI informant, Whitey Bulger. Depp seems most comfortable when he finds a role he can disappear into, but he always walks the line between drama and parody. Could this be a sincere attempt by the actor to gain the attention of the Academy?






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MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION… Watch Tom Cruise get upstaged by Rebecca Ferguson…

Posted on August 7th, 2015
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION…  Watch Tom Cruise get upstaged by Rebecca Ferguson…

by Coop Cooper

After thwarting a terrorist plot to hijack deadly VX nerve gas warheads, Impossible Mission Force operative Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) immediately becomes a target when an insidious organization known as ‘The Syndicate’ begins undermining his agency. Meanwhile, in Washington, Agent William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) defends the IMF in Congress from CIA Director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) who blames the IMF for causing more mayhem than they prevent and seeks to defund and disband the agency. Operating off the radar, Hunt drags his trusty hacker sidekick Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) into the rogue mission where they run across the double agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) who may have the intel to destroy the Syndicate, or betray them all…






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PIXELS is nostalgic, watchable and really stupid…

Posted on August 3rd, 2015
PIXELS is nostalgic, watchable and really stupid…

by Coop Cooper

“Pixels” was a neat idea born of a fantastic 2010 short film by Patrick Jean in which New York City is invaded by classic arcade game characters. Screaming to be made into a feature film, the concept was picked up by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company and developed into a 2015 Sandler summer blockbuster vehicle.

Sandler plays Sam Brenner, a has-been arcade game wizard who was defeated in a 1982 video game tournament by the cocky Eddie ‘Fireblaster’ Plant (Peter Dinklage). Brenner faded into obscurity and became an on-call tech support ‘Nerd’ while his illiterate, uncool friend, Will Cooper (Kevin James), somehow became President of the United States. When an alien intelligence comes across these video games, they create the characters in the games – like Centipede, Space Invaders and even Pac-Man – in real life and send them down to challenge humans to a winner-takes-all contest for Earth…






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ANT-MAN is a deceptively large Marvel Comics movie…

Posted on August 3rd, 2015
ANT-MAN is a deceptively large Marvel Comics movie…

by Coop Cooper

Like “Guardians of the Galaxy” before it, Marvel attempts to introduce viewers to one of its more obscure properties with “Ant-Man” and although it sounds just as silly as movie starring a gun-toting, wisecracking raccoon, it’s also just as fun.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a former electrical engineer turned criminal for exposing a company’s unethical practices, is released from prison and immediately runs into trouble after stealing a mysterious superhero suit from inventor and former S.H.I.E.LD. agent Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). The suit has the power to shrink its user to the size of an insect and the ability to control all species of ants…






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BARELY LETHAL is mediocre teen fodder, but Steinfeld is great…

Posted on June 5th, 2015
BARELY  LETHAL is mediocre teen fodder, but Steinfeld is great…

by Coop Cooper

Good ‘Teen Movies’ are in short supply. The worst of them are overproduced, vapid studio films or sloppy, saccharine indies. “Barely Lethal” aims high by trying to channel some of the big studio films, but doesn’t quite rise to the challenge, even though its charismatic lead makes it enjoyable to watch.

Number 83 (Hailee Steinfeld) is a teen government assassin who yearns for a normal, teenage high school experience, but her handler, Hardman (Samuel L. Jackson), keeps a tight reign on his proteges. While apprehending the traitorous terrorist, Victoria Knox (Jessica Alba), 83 is lost during the mission and presumed dead. Taking advantage of the situation, 83 goes AWOL, changes her name to Megan Walsh and joins a student exchange program as a Canadian assigned to America…






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MAD MAX: FURY ROAD wins the early summer releases for 2015…

Posted on May 22nd, 2015
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD wins the early summer releases for 2015…

by Coop Cooper

The first “Mad Max” film premiered in 1979, starring a very young Mel Gibson and the film went on to become a cult classic. Two sequels followed, the critically revered “The Road Warrior” (1981) and the less respected, yet highly entertaining “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome” (1985). Now for the first time in thirty years, we finally have a new Mad Max film… and the result is spectacular.

Taking place sometime long after the original “Mad Max” film, Max (Tom Hardy) and his suped-up Ford Falcon are immediately caught out in the open, captured by the War Boys and taken prisoner. The War Boys are young, radiation-stricken mutants who live only half a life and must rely on constant blood transfusions to live. Unfortunately, Max is a universal donor and is used by the ambitiously suicidal War Boy named Nux (Nicholas Hoult) as a rejuvenating ‘blood bag’…






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AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is a fun mess of a superhero film…

Posted on May 1st, 2015
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is a fun mess of a superhero film…

by Coop Cooper

The Avengers, now a full-fledged cooperative team, assaults the base of the evil Hydra scientist Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) and discovers he has been experimenting with alien technology. Worried that another alien invasion could catch the world off guard, Tony “Iron Man” Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce “Hulk” Banner (Mark Ruffalo), create Ultron (voiced by James Spader), a super-intelligent computer program designed to strategize and out think any adversary. Apparently neither scientist has seen a “Terminator” movie because Ultron immediately revolts and builds a robot army with the intent on wiping out humanity. Ultron is aided by the super-powered twins, Wanda “The Scarlet Witch” (Elizabeth Olsen) and Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who have a personal grudge against Tony Stark…






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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:
2017 Nightmares Film Festival
2017 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
2017 Oxford Film Festival
2017 Crossroads Film Festival
2017 Clarksdale Film Festival
2017 Twisted Dreams Film Festival
2017 Tupelo Film Festival
2017 NanoCon International Sci-Fi Film Festival
2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival
2017 End of Days Film Festival
2017 Grenada Afterglow Film Festival
2017 Shiver International Film Festival

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...

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 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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