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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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STAR WARS: REBELS ushers in the next generation of STAR WARS films

Posted on October 3rd, 2014
STAR WARS: REBELS ushers in the next generation of STAR WARS films

by Coop Cooper

There hasn’t been any new “Star Wars” content in awhile besides the excellent, animated “The Clone Wars” series on the Cartoon Network/Netflix that was cancelled earlier this year. While this new series, “Star Wars: Rebels” on the Disney XD Channel isn’t of the same quality as “Clone Wars”, it is a sign of larger things to come.

The story takes place fourteen years after the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire (between episodes III and IV). A crafty, teen street urchin named Ezra inadvertently helps a team of mercenaries hijack a shipment of hand blasters from the Empire. Kanan, the leader of the mercenaries sees potential in Ezra who tags along as they deliver the weapons and food to a planet full of refugees whose homes were destroyed by the Empire. It soon becomes clear to Ezra that these team members are no mere mercenaries but rebels acting against the Empire. During a raid to free a group of enslaved Wookies, Kanan is forced to reveal a secret he has been hiding since the fall of the Republic, a secret which may also have a connection to Ezra…






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THE LEGO MOVIE (on DVD)… the surprise twist makes the movie

Posted on July 16th, 2014
THE LEGO MOVIE (on DVD)…  the surprise twist makes the movie

by Coop Cooper

Anyone who reads my weekly articles knows I often avoid reviewing rated G and PG films. Most kids are easily entertained and having them read my review of “The Lorax” where I theorize the film represents a political ideology, probably isn’t going to dissuade them from wanting to see fluffy Dr. Seuss creatures. The review would actually be for the parents who would probably appreciate knowing if the film is laden with incessant bathroom humor or if the disturbing nature of the story might make little Timmy cry. Sorry parents, but with a few exceptions (see my review of the wonderful “How to Train Your Dragon 2”), I’m not often willing to take one for the team when there are so many other, interesting offers out there. But every once in awhile when I get enough recommendations from those whose opinion I trust to see a children’s-film, I can’t ignore it. For this reason, I watched “The Lego Movie” which was released on DVD last week…






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HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2… best movie of the year?

Posted on July 16th, 2014
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2…  best movie of the year?

by Coop Cooper

If the first “How to Train Your Dragon” was “Star Wars”, then the second film is both “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” all rolled into one. I was a huge fan of the first film, going so far as to say it was the best Dreamworks Animated film ever, possibly surpassing anything put out by Disney’s Pixar as well. This sequel ups the ante with a more mature story, more action, continuing character development and gorgeously updated animation.

Set five years after the first film, the Viking village of Berk has fully embraced and integrated pet Dragons into its culture. Astrid (America Ferrera) and her friends compete in dragon racing games while Chief Stoick (Gerard Butler) and the other citizens collaborate with the dragons to provide for the community. Meanwhile, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon, Toothless, explore the surrounding lands, charting new territories and new species of dragons. They soon run afoul of a band of mercenaries who are capturing dragons for the warlord Drago (Djimon Hounsou) who is enslaving dragons to expand his massive army to conquer Berk and then the world. Opposing Drago is the mysterious ‘Dragon Rider’ Valka (Cate Blanchett) who is a protector of wild dragons and has a secret connection to Hiccup. In order to save the dragons, Hiccup, Stoick and Valka battle Drago and his evil ‘Alpha Dragon’ which has the ability to turn the benevolent dragons against their masters…






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ORPHAN BLACK, RICK AND MORTY and SALEM… 2 good TV shows, 1 bad

Posted on July 16th, 2014
ORPHAN BLACK, RICK AND MORTY and SALEM…  2 good TV shows, 1 bad

by Coop Cooper

“Orphan Black” – Premiering on BBC America last year, “Orphan Black” begins with a career criminal named Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) who witness her exact double committing suicide by jumping in front of a train. Sarah steals the identity of the dead double to rob her bank account, but instead she uncovers a group of clones the double was protecting… and Sarah is one of them. Sarah teams up with her clone sisters to determine where they all came from and why someone is murdering them one by one.

“Orphan Black” began its second season this month and only now am I discovering what a superior show it is. Its success is partly due to the twisty storytelling and witty dialogue, but mostly because of Tatiana Maslany’s uncanny ability to play multiple characters and completely disappear into them…






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Movies to anticipate in 2014 (part 1)…

Posted on January 24th, 2014
Movies to anticipate in 2014 (part 1)…

by Coop Cooper

The slate of films releasing into theaters in 2014 is more crowded than ever. Here are the ones I think have most potential to either be critically-acclaimed blockbusters or disappointing flops…

“The Monuments Men” (Feb. 7) – With a stellar cast, this film about academics sent into Nazi Germany to save works of art from becoming casualties of war could be a big hit as long director George Clooney doesn’t drop the ball.

“RoboCop” (Feb. 12) – It was a bad idea in the first place to try to remake one of the most iconic and beloved sci-fi movies of the 1980’s but with this version jettisoning much of the source material and R-rated content, I predict this could be one of the worst remakes ever…






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THE LORAX review

Posted on November 6th, 2012
THE LORAX review

Ted (Zac Efron) lives in a fantastical utopian society called Thneedville which is entirely made out of plastic. The citizens live in blissful ignorance, unaware of their resource consumption while they foolishly pay for fresh air provided as a utility by the wealthy entrepreneur, Mr. O’Hare. Ted has a crush on his friend Audrey (Taylor Swift) who is fascinated by stories of mythical trees which used to grow in the city. When Audrey expresses her wish to have a tree, Ted makes it his mission to find her one and exits the enclosed city. He locates an old hermit called Once-ler (Ed Helms) who knows the secret behind the disappearance of the forests. The Once-ler tells Ted his story about meeting a creature called the Lorax (Danny DeVito), the appointed guardian of the forest who does not take kindly to tree theft and pollution. It soon becomes clear to Ted that the remorseful Once-ler may have had something to do with the destruction of the trees…






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BRAVE review

Posted on November 6th, 2012
BRAVE review

Disney’s Pixar Animation has an impeccable record. They consistently lead the way in revolutionizing the technology behind animated films and each time they release one, it’s a guaranteed blockbuster. They follow a very specific formula since the film must appeal to both children and adults in order to secure their chances for success. Unfortunately for their latest release, “Brave,” the story lost its way with an ill-advised plot twist…






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Top 10 1980’s movies that kids today are missing out on

Posted on April 23rd, 2012
Top 10 1980’s movies that kids today are missing out on

10. “Top Gun” (1986): With talk of a sequel finally in the works, this one almost didn’t make the list. However, no other film has convinced so many kids to want to be fighter pilots than “Top Gun.” Now that Tom Cruise has agreed to return for a sequel, we might finally get another great modern-day dogfighting film (but not likely).

9. “Field of Dreams” (1989): Easily one of the greatest baseball films of all time, the story mixed sports with a dash of fantasy to create a tear-jerking film even guys can love. While no sequel or remake is needed, kids who haven’t seen “Field of Dreams” are sorely deprived…






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“The Adventures of Tintin” DVD review

Posted on March 20th, 2012
“The Adventures of Tintin” DVD review

While Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” received plentiful critical acclaim last year, his other 2011 film missed out on the grandiose fanfare. An animated passion project that took many years to put together, “The Adventures of Tintin” aimed to introduce the beloved French comic strip character to a much wider audience. While Spielberg succeeded in creating a rousing, action-packed film, I doubt anyone but the European market will fall in love with Tintin the character or the buffoons he associates with…






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May 6th marks the beginning of the summer movie season

Posted on May 4th, 2011
May 6th marks the beginning of the summer movie season

by Coop Cooper

As educational institutions gear down for their summer sabbatical, Hollywood gears up to release their highest-budgeted films. This tradition seems to arrive earlier each year, but the first of these mega-budget projects usually arrive in May. The May blockbusters are strategically placed in this month, often under the assumption the studio heads feel the films are weak, risky or may not compete against the reliable mid-summer releases. Sometimes the reason is simply beating other films to the punch and audiences occasionally find some some pleasant May surprises. Here’s what’s coming next month: CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE AT THE CLARKSDALE PRESS REGISTER WEBSITE






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MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): THE CRAZIES, [REC]2, FROM PARIS WITH LOVE, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE, NINJA ASSASSIN, LEGION…

Posted on May 19th, 2010
MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!):  THE CRAZIES, [REC]2, FROM PARIS WITH LOVE, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE, NINJA ASSASSIN, LEGION…

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Coop’s most recent MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter):

THE CRAZIES (2010): Great first half, effective scares (pitchfork!) but ignored much of what worked in the original. 3 stars

[REC]2: Creative continuity/action/camerawork, but “Exorcist” twist undermines the mythology of original. 2&1/2 stars

FROM PARIS WITH LOVE: Travolta = over the top and action scenes = outrageous, a must see for action fans. 3&1/2 stars

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: Better than AVATAR in story and intent. Total pleasant surprise. Take kids now. 4&1/2 stars

SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE: Sub-par comedy. Baruchel unlikably insecure. Cop-out ending. Title ironically true. 2 stars.

NINJA ASSASSIN: Good gore. Bad CGI shurikens. Rain = ok. Lead actress sucks. Sho Kosugi rocks. Lame plot. 2 stars.

LEGION: Amazing concept. Angels + weapons = BOOM. Weak execution. All characters unlikable. Wings clipped. 2&1/2 stars.






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AVATAR (2009) *** movie review by COOP

Posted on December 23rd, 2009
AVATAR (2009) *** movie review by COOP

The most highly anticipated film of the year, “Avatar” marks director James Cameron’s first feature film since 1997’s “Titanic.” The notoriously meticulous filmmaker has painstakingly prepared this film, utilizing the largest motion picture budget to date. An estimated $300 million went into the making of this science fiction epic which boasts revolutionary 3-D imagery and supposedly “photo-real” special effects. Given Cameron’s exceptional track record for delivering some of the most successful mega-budget blockbusters of all time, “Avatar” has a lot to live up to…






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Oh, DETHKLOK. You’ve done it again! Review of DETHALBUM II by DARK SIDE

Posted on September 29th, 2009
Oh, DETHKLOK.  You’ve done it again!  Review of DETHALBUM II by DARK SIDE

Nope, it’s not movie news per se, BUT I’m trying to ease back into the horror scene after a long, pre-Halloween slumber. I’m kicking in the movie scene by reviewing Pandorum in the next day or two, but when a bunch of cartoon characters from “Adult Swim” can singlehandedly resurrect the flagging “death metal” scene, that’s news for the ages. Dethalbum II, by the fictional band Dethklok, hit iTunes last night at midnight and I downloaded it immediately. Why? Because Dethalbum I was so popular and completely owned the genre it satirizes…






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TRON LEGACY teaser trailer made me weak in the knees… by COOP

Posted on July 27th, 2009
TRON LEGACY teaser trailer made me weak in the knees…  by COOP

Not since The Empire Strikes Back have I anticipated a movie so eagerly. Tron was one of the biggest cinematic staples of my childhood. I can’t imagine a world without it. Finally, we are about to get a sequel. Tron Legacy (formerly Tron 2.0 and TR2N) has been a twinkle on the horizon for many years now. Four years ago or so, Jeff Bridges did an interview wearing his old Flynn helmet which sparked speculation that something was on stove. Rumors emerged…






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Why wait for a live-action GL movie? COOP reviews GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT

Posted on July 22nd, 2009
Why wait for a live-action GL movie? COOP reviews GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT

It’s an origin story, yet test pilot Hal Jordan becomes Green Lantern by the 3 min 30 sec mark. Despite the hasty introduction, this animated, direct to DVD Green Lantern movie contains a lot of what fans have been waiting for. Massive outer space battles, grumpy Kilowog, a non-wimpy Sinestro, giant green flyswatters. Surely a live-action version couldn’t support the FX that First Flight boasts, and… What? Yes, I said giant green flyswatters. Yeah, that pisses me off too.






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OH NO YOU DIDN’T #3: Someone who has never seen a STAR WARS movie tries to explain it! by COOP **UPDATED!**

Posted on June 11th, 2009
OH NO YOU DIDN’T #3:  Someone who has never seen a STAR WARS movie tries to explain it!  by COOP **UPDATED!**

I declare this one a must-see. Some dude named Joe Nicolosi apparently asked an air-headed friend (girlfriend, maybe) Amanda to explain the original “Star Wars” trilogy even though she has NEVER SEEN any of the films. Correction: She’s seen bits and pieces and knows the characters’ names, but Joe tapes the entire explanation and adds animation for comedic effect. The result: A hilarious work of genius…






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UP (2009) ***** quick movie review by COOP

Posted on June 3rd, 2009
UP (2009) ***** quick movie review by COOP

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this one, but know that it’s not just for kids. “Up” strikes exactly the right balance between kid-friendly and adult-friendly. It manages to entertain on all levels and it does it all in 3-D. I was amazed how it could wrench at your heart one minute, then get you laughing again in the next. I might even go so far as to say…






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Just for fun… The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen Anthem! by COOP

Posted on May 16th, 2009
Just for fun…  The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen Anthem!  by COOP

Yeah, so I got a silly hair in me today. Feel free to sing along to the 2nd verse of this one. I remember standing up and saluting the first time I saw this…






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BATTLE FOR TERRA 3-D (2009) ***1/2 movie review by COOP

Posted on May 5th, 2009
BATTLE FOR TERRA 3-D (2009) ***1/2 movie review by COOP

Formerly titled “Terra,” this 3-D animated film hasn’t gotten a lot of press or as big of a release as I would have expected. It’s independent and lower-budgeted than those movies produced by Pixar and Dreamworks, but don’t let that fool you. “Battle for Terra” packs an emotional punch with a solid, sci-fi morality tale usually reserved for a more mature vehicle. Alas, the cheapness shows and the film suffers a bit, but that should in no way discourage…






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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 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

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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