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A WALK IN THE WOODS premiere in Oxford, Mississippi…

Posted on September 4th, 2015
A WALK IN THE WOODS premiere in Oxford, Mississippi…

by Coop Cooper

With the current spike of bigger-budget films shooting here in Mississippi, it’s easy to get excited when you see familiar faces featured prominently on the screen. Oxford resident Susan McPhail is one actor who has had an exceptional year and on Tuesday, August the 25th she attended the Oxford, MS premiere of “A Walk in the Woods” in which she plays an unforgettable role. Oh yeah, and the movie also stars Robert Redford and Nick Nolte…

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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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Most anticipated films of summer 2015…

Posted on March 20th, 2015
Most anticipated films of summer 2015…

by Coop Cooper

The summer movie season is nearly upon us and here are a few of the most anticipated films that could rake in the big box office bucks…

“The Avengers: Age of Ultron” (May 1) – In this sequel the superhero team fights Ultron, an omnipotent robot villain born from Tony Stark’s technology. This film will greatly expand the Marvel mythology and introduce some new heroes and villains who are sure to appear in future films.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” (May 15) – This will be the first “Mad Max” movie in thirty years and according to the spectacularly chaotic trailer, this franchise rebooting may be worth the wait. Tom Hardy plays the new Max who faces off against two warring clans of survivors, one of which is lead by a one-armed Charlize Theron…

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt… Netflix’s next cult hit?

Posted on March 13th, 2015
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt…  Netflix’s next cult hit?

by Coop Cooper

Netflix once again challenges network and cable TV with a potential new cult classic, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and all thirteen episodes have been released at once through the Netflix Instant online service.

After being saved from a doomsday cult which has been living in an underground bunker for fifteen years, Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) attempts to adjust to her new life on the outside. After a humiliating Today Show interview, she has an epiphany that she should start over, live in New York City and learn the ways of the modern world. She uses her settlement money to find an apartment tended by a sleazy, yet goodhearted landlord (Carol Kane) and moves in with a black, gay, desperate Broadway wannabe (Tituss Burgess). Through happenstance she gets a job as a nanny for the spoiled rotten kids of a clueless and vapid Manhattan socialite (Jane Krakowski), all while trying to keep her past as a ‘Mole Woman’ cultist a secret…

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A “Paddington” Bear movie? Yep, and it’s actually a lot of fun…

Posted on February 6th, 2015
A “Paddington” Bear movie?  Yep, and it’s actually a lot of fun…

by Coop Cooper

I remember reading “Paddington Bear” picture books as a kid. I recall being mildly amused by the bear in the hat and overcoat but as an adult I couldn’t possibly imagine a live-action adaptation would be entertaining for both parents and children. Surprisingly, “Paddington” proved me wrong and I’m very pleased to say it surprised me nearly as much as “The Lego Movie” did last year…

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THE INTERVIEW… Not even worth the international incident.

Posted on January 4th, 2015
THE INTERVIEW…  Not even worth the international incident.

by Coop Cooper The most controversial film of the 21st Century has been released. Was it worth all that fuss? Of course not. Cheesy entertainment talk show host, Dave Skylark (James Franco), and his producer, Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen), suddenly find their meager show getting a lot of attention when rapper Eminem spontaneously comes out […]

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What the Sony hacks mean for movies…

Posted on December 19th, 2014
What the Sony hacks mean for movies…

by Coop Cooper

By now, many of you have heard that the computer systems at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles were hacked and that not only were many embarrassing emails between employees exposed to the public, but many of Sony’s unreleased films were also uploaded to the internet. While this indeed sounds bad for business at Sony, the attack could have far-reaching implications for the future of Hollywood and for world itself…

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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY… Marvel has another huge winner on their hands

Posted on September 8th, 2014
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY…  Marvel has another huge winner on their hands

by Coop Cooper

A strange chain of events lead up to the making of this film. A couple of years ago, if you had suggested that an adaptation of Marvel’s comic book “Guardians of the Galaxy” could be turned into blockbuster film that would break box office records, I would have called you crazy. However, the franchise did have a lot going for it, creating an unlikely yet instantly likable formula from which to base a “Star Wars”-like space opera. It was a huge gamble and somehow it worked.

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is abducted as a child by alien mercenaries and grows up to be the planet-hopping, swashbuckling scoundrel ‘Star-Lord’ who inadvertently steals a powerful weapon from the fanatical alien conqueror, Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace). While on the run, Quill is intercepted by Ronan’s second-in-command, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) who has an agenda contrary to her master’s. Also hunting him are two bumbling bounty hunters: Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), a genetically enhanced raccoon and his almost mute partner, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), a plant being with magical powers. The four collide and get thrown into prison by the Nova Corps, the intergalactic police force, where they run afoul of the hulking warrior Drax the Destroyer (wrestler Dave Bautista) who has declared revenge on Ronan and Gamora for the death of his family. The five form a contentious truce in order to escape but soon discover they hold the key to saving the galaxy from destruction…

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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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Coop’s Top 10 movies of 2013

Posted on January 13th, 2014
Coop’s Top 10 movies of 2013

by Coop Cooper

Many critics are claiming that 2013 was an exceptionally strong year for film with many “best of” lists showing a wide variety of favorites with no clear winners agreed upon. Here is my list for “Best Films of 2013”…

10. “Dallas Buyer’s Club” – This true life story about a Texas roughneck/AIDS victim who becomes a drug smuggler and activist to legalize non-FDA approved anti-AIDS drugs was one of the surprises of the year. McConaughey should get a Best Actor nomination and Jarred Leto should get a Best Supporting Actor nomination for their powerful, chameleon-like performances…

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THE INTERVIEW has a lot in common with ISHTAR (and that is never a good thing)…

Posted on January 2nd, 2014
THE INTERVIEW has a lot in common with ISHTAR (and that is never a good thing)…

by Coop Cooper

The most controversial film of the 21st Century has been released. Was it worth all that fuss? Of course not.
Cheesy entertainment talk show host, Dave Skylark (James Franco), and his producer, Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen), suddenly find their meager show getting a lot of attention when rapper Eminem spontaneously comes out of the closet, live on their show. With their sudden boost in ratings, celebrities begin to come onto their show to air out their darkest secrets. When they find out that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is a big fan of the show, they land an interview with ‘The Supreme Leader’ who has recently detonated the country’s first nuclear bomb. The CIA sends Agent Lacey (Lizzy Caplan) to Skylark and Rapaport to convince them to assassinate Un (Randall Park) for them which they reluctantly accept…

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Hollywood continues to go PC (except for raunchy comedies)

Posted on December 13th, 2013
Hollywood continues to go PC (except for raunchy comedies)

by Coop Cooper

As I browsed the online Hollywood rumor sites and trade publications (a daily ritual of mine), I came across a poster for a new Tom Cruise film scheduled to release this summer that I wasn’t familiar with. The sci-fi/action film “Edge of Tomorrow” wasn’t something I remembered hearing advanced word about which was surprising considering Tom Cruises’ films are often hyped long before they even begin shooting. I did some quick digging and realized I had heard of this film, but under a different title. “All You Need is Kill”, based on a Japanese novel, was a much more clever and memorable title than the generic one that replaced it. It could be dismissed but this is the second time this year that the word “Kill” has been removed from a major studio film title…

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

Posted on November 22nd, 2013
CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN…  this is not the self-discovery movie you’re looking for

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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THE EAST, THE BLING RING, SPRING BREAKERS… all on DVD and once again, only one is interesting

Posted on September 20th, 2013
THE EAST, THE BLING RING, SPRING BREAKERS…  all on DVD and once again, only one is interesting

by Coop Cooper

Here are three films currently available on DVD which seem to have a common theme: People getting mixed up with the wrong crowd with disastrous consequences…

“The East” – Sarah (Brit Marling), a corporate spy, goes undercover for a security firm to infiltrate a group of highly destructive eco-terrorists who are plaguing morally questionable big businesses. Sarah gains the trust of the cult-like group and its charismatic leader Benji (Alexander Skarsgard) and pulls off a few ‘jams’ with them. At first she feels guilty for taking part, but eventually she sees justification for their actions… until things start going wrong. Soon she begins walking a line between joining the group or taking them down.

What showed promise in premise becomes a pretentious, preachy fairy tale in practice that takes direct aim at corporations the filmmakers think are immoral, but wags its finger only because the terrorist group goes too far and not because their philosophy may have been fundamentally flawed…

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RIDDICK, YOU’RE NEXT, THE WORLD’S END… only one of them is awesome

Posted on September 13th, 2013
RIDDICK, YOU’RE NEXT, THE WORLD’S END…  only one of them is awesome

by Coop Cooper

“Riddick” – Based off of the prequel films “Pitch Black” and “The Chronicles of Riddick,” Vin Diesel once again finds himself stranded on desert planet full of hostile wildlife after his duplicitous compatriots double-cross him and leave him for dead. Raising an alien wolf and becoming an interplanetary version of Robinson Crusoe, Riddick discovers a secret about the planet that compels him to quickly find a way off of it. He locates a remote mercenary supply depot and alerts them to his presence despite the ever-increasing bounty on his head. Two competing bounty hunter ships arrive, causing a dangerous standoff between them, Riddick and the impending alien danger that approaches…

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Amazon challenges Netflix in the digital content market

Posted on April 30th, 2013
Amazon challenges Netflix in the digital content market

by Coop Cooper

Amazon.com is taking a cue from Netflix and has launched over a dozen of their own TV show pilots exclusively online. They plan to utilize user ratings and comments to determine which shows they will produce full seasons of which will air on the Amazon.com website.

Paired with the ‘Amazon Prime’ service, the first episode of each of these shows is free for all users, but subsequent episodes will be available only to Amazon Prime subscribers. Like Netflix, Amazon Prime also offers many free online movies to watch, but nowhere near as many as Netflix. It does however come with free 2-day shipping on anything ordered from Amazon.com which is a huge bonus for frequent online shoppers (and frankly, the only reason I have a subscription). As an added bonus you can rent some ebooks for free instead of buying them, but Amazon intentionally makes this perk difficult and confusing to execute as they would rather you buy them.

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IDENTITIY THIEF steals your precious time

Posted on April 30th, 2013
IDENTITIY THIEF steals your precious time

by Coop Cooper

The thought of having your identity stolen is a frightening and all-too-real possibility for any honest citizen. With the sprawling bureaucracy that goes hand in hand with modern life, it’s surprisingly easy for an opportunistic sociopath to steal someone’s personal information and go on a shopping spree, doing damage that is difficult to reverse. This type of crime can ruin reputations and lives. Strange that someone would think that kind of scenario it would make a passable mean-spirited, R-rated comedy…

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Top comedies of the 1970’s

Posted on February 15th, 2013
Top comedies of the 1970’s

With all of Hollywood focusing on the Oscars which is a week away, why not talk about something completely unrelated, like comedy classics from the 1970’s? Here are a few of the best and now is a perfect time to get acquainted (or re-acquainted) with them since there is absolutely nothing new in the theaters worth mentioning…

“Where’s Poppa?” aka “Going Ape” (1970) – George Segal plays a man desperate to have a life and find romance if it weren’t for his senile mother played by Ruth Gordon who blocks his chance for happiness at every turn. This edgy dark comedy shocked audiences back then but is now considered a cult classic. Funniest moment: Rob Leibman’s inability to take a shortcut through Central Park without getting his clothes stolen…

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ROBOT & FRANK mini review

Posted on February 1st, 2013
ROBOT & FRANK mini review

“Robot & Frank” – Set in the near future where robot caretakers are commonplace, Frank (Frank Langella) is a retired cat-burglar in a small New York community whose Alzheimer’s symptoms are steadily increasing. His son (James Marsden) insists that Frank accept the latest model of robot caretaker (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard) much to the ire of Frank’s daughter (Liv Tyler) who thinks robot labor is ruining society. Frank hates the robot at first but as the automaton begins to improve his day-to-day life, he soon realizes the robot could help him revive his former career. In an attempt to keep his waning brain sharp, Frank begins to teach the helpful robot the art of picking locks and casing marks. However, Frank’s renewed hobby begins to strain his relationship with the kindly librarian (Susan Sarandon) he is courting…

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STRUCK BY LIGHTNING review

Posted on December 27th, 2012
STRUCK BY LIGHTNING review

by Coop Cooper
Smart coming-of-age films are few and far between. When they aren’t right out inane, the good ones range from light and silly to pitch dark. Chris Colfer, the very young star/writer of “Struck by Lightning,” has deftly avoided these clichés to deliver an inspiring and very funny coming-of-age flick.
Chris Colfer (award-winning actor on the hit TV show “Glee”) stars as Carson Phillips, an outspoken overachiever who exasperates his classmates and the adults around him by challenging their apathy toward the injustices and mediocrity they choose to ignore on a daily basis. His basket case mom (Allison Janney) drinks and medicates herself into a stupor while mourning her dead relationship with Carson’s deadbeat dad (Dermot Mulroney) who has not told his pregnant fiance (Christina Hendricks) about the family he abandoned. Aided by his odd, video camera-obsessed friend, Malerie (Rebel Wilson), Carson blackmails his most adversarial classmates into writing for his startup literary magazine which he hopes will clench his chances for acceptance into Northwestern University…

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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 A Night of Horror 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
2017 Southern States Indie FanFilmFest

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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