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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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DAREDEVIL is Netflix’s new binge-watching sensation…

Posted on April 17th, 2015
DAREDEVIL is Netflix’s new binge-watching sensation…

by Coop Cooper

The son of a down-on-his-luck boxer in Hell’s Kitchen, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), has his childhood shattered when he saves an elderly man from a getting hit by a truck and the accident renders Murdock blind. Worse than the blindness, Murdock’s other senses become heightened to the point of torture, but a mysterious blind vagabond named Stick (Scott Glenn) trains him to use his other senses to surpass those of other humans, giving him superhuman awareness of his surroundings and rapid healing. Murdock becomes a master of acrobatic hand-to-hand combat and his enhanced senses make him nearly unbeatable in a fight. By day he is an altruistic defense lawyer with his trusty partner, Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), but by night he prowls the neighborhood as a masked vigilante known to some as “The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen”. As Murdock escalates his assault on organized crime, he gains the unwanted attention from the hulking criminal mastermind, Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), who secretly rules the borough…






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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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SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR… a day late and a dollar short (but watchable)

Posted on September 8th, 2014
SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR…  a day late and a dollar short (but watchable)

by Coop Cooper

The first film was a gritty and grand cinematic experiment. A brilliantly stylish adaptation of a comic book revealed in contrasty black and white with the occasional red blood thrown around and a few other primary colors splashed in for punctuation. It presented an all-star, ensemble cast and hardboiled film noir with a dash of horror. Here it is again, but with a little less of all that good stuff.

This film seems to take place after the Bruce Willis segment of the first film but before the Mickey Rourke and Clive Owen segments of the the first film – that’s going to confuse some people, especially since it was out of sequence to begin with. It starts with psychopathic protector of women, Marv (Mickey Rourke), doing what he does best, killing scumbags and not remembering how he got there. Meanwhile gambling shark Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) comes to town with a reckless agenda and a hankering for a game of poker, and runs into exactly the trouble he was looking for. Exotic dancer Nancy (Jessica Alba) still bitter over the death of her would-be lover, Hartigan (Bruce Willis), self-mutilates and plots revenge while the ghost of Hartigan tries to talk her out of it. Private investigator Dwight gets in over his head with Ava (Eva Green), a fem fatal who appears to be in danger but obviously cannot be trusted…






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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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X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST… almost the quality of THE AVENGERS

Posted on July 16th, 2014
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST…  almost the quality of THE AVENGERS

by Coop Cooper

In the near future, the world is all but destroyed as out-of-control robots known as ‘Sentinels’ hunt down and eliminate the last of the mutants. Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) hatches a plan with a handful of surviving X-Men to stop the Sentinels by using a form of mental time travel to prevent a key event in 1973 that lead to the mass production of the killer robots. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), the only one with the brain-healing capacity to survive the trip, has his knowledge/memories transported back into his younger body in the 70’s and goes about tracking down the 60’s-era X-Men team which has disbanded since averting the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. In that same timeline, Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) wages a one-woman war with the U.S. Government, ultimately targeting Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), a scientist who created the Sentinels and has been experimenting on mutants to discover how to best destroy them…






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AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2… they blew it

Posted on July 16th, 2014
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2…  they blew it

by Coop Cooper

After a quick and confusing prelude that shows the last moments of the lives of Peter Parker’s parents, we learn that Spidey/Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is now at the hight of popularity in New York City. He thwarts a plutonium robbery by Aleksei “Rhino” Sytsevich, saves nerdy electrical engineer/Spidey superfan Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) and makes it to his graduation in time to accept his diploma from his valedictorian girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. Despite his hubris, Parker is still haunted by the promise he made to Gwen’s dying father to stay away from her due to his dangerous lifestyle, so he begins to push her away. Meanwhile, Peter’s wealthy childhood friend Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan) discovers he is dying from a rare genetic condition that claimed the life of his father, Norman (Chris Cooper)…






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CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is an early summer blockbuster that can’t possibly be outdone

Posted on April 11th, 2014
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is an early summer blockbuster that can’t possibly be outdone

by Coop Cooper

It seems the trend of Marvel attempting to top previous superhero films continues with “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”. This ambitious attempt to expand on the Captain’s mythology and continue to tie it in with other Marvel properties, especially the upcoming “Avengers 2”, is another giant leap in quality and scope. This new effort is not only overwhelming successful, it could be the best Marvel Comics film so far.

When we last left Captain Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) he was saving New York from an alien hoard with the help of the other Avengers. Now Rogers works directly for S.H.I.E.L.D. as their top operative with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) as his partner. When he witnesses his agency put people in jeopardy to ensure its own interests, Rogers develops trust issues with his superiors, particularly Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who is preparing to launch a new global defense system with questionable moral implications…






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

Posted on November 15th, 2013
THOR: THE DARK WORLD…  more like “Star Wars” than “Lord of the Rings” (a good thing!)

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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THE WOLVERINE… A robot Silver Samurai? Seriously?

Posted on August 2nd, 2013
THE WOLVERINE…  A robot Silver Samurai?  Seriously?

by Coop Cooper

Logan a.k.a ‘Wolverine’ (Hugh Jackman) has been hiding out in the Yukon wilderness after being forced to kill his lover Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) back in “X-Men 3.” He is tracked down by a mutant ninja named Yukio (Rila Fukushima) who was ordered to bring him to Tokyo meet Yashida, a man he saved from the atom bomb dropped on Nagasaki back in World War II. He reaches Yashida to learn he is the most powerful man in Asia, a pioneer in medicine and technology, but he is dying and claims to be able to grant the immortal Logan the gift of mortality. Yashida’s beautiful and wise daughter Mariko (Tao Okamoto) stands to inherit the family fortune but her father (Hiroyuki Sanada) is plotting against her along with the Yakuza and a clan of ninjas known as ‘The Hand.’ Logan falls for Mariko and becomes embroiled in the family power struggle, but does not realize the forces working against Mariko have plans for him as well.

What a disappointment…






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MAN OF STEEL has flaws but it’s my favorite Superman film so far

Posted on June 21st, 2013
MAN OF STEEL has flaws but it’s my favorite Superman film so far

by Coop Cooper

As the doomed alien planet Krypton self-destructs due to the arrogance of its inhabitants, the military attempts to take over the parliament through a bloody coup led by General Zod (Michael Shannon) who believes he can save the people by seizing control. Jor-El (Russell Crowe) is a scientist who understands the gravity of this disaster and evacuates his infant son and an item called the ‘codex’ before Zod can reach him. Years later, Jor-El’s son Kal-El (Henry Cavill), now relocated on Earth and named Clark Kent, wanders the planet, hiding his immense power from humans as he is constantly put in the position of saving them. After discovering his origins, he inadvertently alerts Zod who has been wandering the galaxy aimlessly with his army looking for him. Zod arrives and threatens the entire world with destruction if Clark does not surrender himself and the codex. Now Clark must reveal himself to the world in order to save his adopted home.

It’s difficult to write a synopsis of this film without revealing what makes it so unique to previous Superman films…






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IRON MAN 3 nearly ruins a franchise

Posted on May 3rd, 2013
IRON MAN 3 nearly ruins a franchise

by Coop Cooper

The first disappointment of the summer season, “Iron Man 3” suffers from similar trilogy woes in which films like “X-Men 3” and “Spider-Man 3” diverged too far from the canon and fell flat with fans. I’ll blame some of this on writer/director Shane Black who took the reins from Joss Whedon to add his “Lethal Weapon” flair to the story, but obviously didn’t have enough respect for the original “Iron Man” comics.

Shaken after the Avengers vs. aliens battle in New York, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) barely sleeps and spends every waking moment designing new Iron Man suits for every dangerous situation imaginable…






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Coop’s top 10 Big-release movies of the year

Posted on December 7th, 2012
Coop’s top 10 Big-release movies of the year

by Coop Cooper

Minus “Life of Pi,” “Les Miserables,” “The Hobbit” and a few others, I’ve seen enough movies this year to determine a list of the best films of the year. While I always miss some I can recommend later, I feel these best represent the pinnacle of big-release, Hollywood cinema for 2012… So far.






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END OF WATCH and DREDD reviews

Posted on November 6th, 2012
END OF WATCH and DREDD reviews

“End of Watch” – Two hero cops (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña) working the most dangerous beat in Los Angeles stumble upon evidence that the brutal drug cartels from south of the border are committing unprecedented atrocities within the area. With reckless disregard for their own safety, they go out of their way to seek out cartel activity, causing them to become targets. All the while they keep the stress and danger they face on a day-to-day basis a secret from their loved ones.

This engaging film acts as a horror tale for prospective police officers. It puts its characters through the worst and most dangerous situations a cop can face and they soldier through them, often with a smile and a wink. The gangsters are as evil as evil can be…






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THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN review

Posted on November 6th, 2012
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN review

Once again Hollywood enters the era of the “way-too-soon” remake. A successful blockbuster film like the 2002 “Spider-Man” might have produced its final sequel five years ago, but that’s not stopping producers from cashing in on an entirely new Spider-Man franchise. It might be an unnecessary redo, but “The Amazing Spider-Man” executes some aspects better than its predecessor.

Peter Parker (Adrew Garfield) loses his parents under suspicious circumstances and goes to live with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). In high school, he is a bullied loner whose brilliance does not go unnoticed by the beautiful overachiever Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). While looking into the death of his parents, the trail leads to OsCorp where coincidentally Gwen works as an assistant to scientist Dr. Connors (Rhys Ifans). Peter goes astray on his tour and is bitten by a genetically modified spider…






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“Captain America: The First Avenger” is the best superhero film of the summer

Posted on August 11th, 2011
“Captain America:  The First Avenger” is the best superhero film of the summer

by Coop Cooper

After 67 years, we finally have a “Captain America” film that not only does justice to the Marvel franchise that created it, but also a worthy bridge film that leads directly into the “Avengers” feature film which will premiere next year.
Taking place in 1942, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants nothing more than to volunteer for the U.S. Army to serve his country on the front lines in Europe. His 4 ft, 90 lb frame and a long list of ailments result in rejection after rejection until Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) witnesses Steve’s pure hearted determination. After a long battery of tests, he offers Steve a chance to become America’s first “Super Soldier.” Steve accepts and is transformed into the superhero Captain America. Cap must face off against Hitler’s own renegade super soldier, the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) who plans to take over the world using a mystical energy source called the Cosmic Cube…






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“Green Lantern” needs a second chance to make a first impression

Posted on June 27th, 2011
“Green Lantern” needs a second chance to make a first impression

An intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps chooses a brash test pilot named Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) to become its first human officer. Unfortunately for Hal, his Lantern predecessor was killed by a planet-devouring entity dubbed Parallax who sets its sights on devouring the Corps-protected planets starting with Earth. Hal must overcome his crippling fear in order to save the Earth and prove himself a worthy keeper of the peace. Green Lanterns have a very appealing and powerful weapon. A ring that harnesses the energy of pure willpower, then projects it into whatever form the wearer imagines. It’s like a portable hologram projector, except the holograms have a physical form. This weapon with unlimited possibilities is the reason we haven’t seen a “Green Lantern” movie until now. Portraying the power itself requires the most modern computer generated effects and a $100 million-plus budget. The power also provides the potential for unlimited silliness…






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“X-Men: First Class” is another worthy addition to the Marvel franchise

Posted on June 15th, 2011
“X-Men: First Class” is another worthy addition to the Marvel franchise

I had almost given up on the “X-Men” franchise after the misfire that was “X-Men 3: Last Stand” and the abysmal “Wolverine” spinoff. “Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky recently teased comic book fans with a promise to make a higher-quality “Wolverine” film set in Japan (one of the most famous story lines in the character’s history) only to kill the project without adequate explanation. That news sunk my hopes even lower. At this point, a classic “X-Men” story taking place in the 1960’s didn’t make much sense to me. They had already modernized the original team members for the 2000’s and made them all youngsters. Thankfully with a bit of creative canon-bending, the gamble worked and audiences finally have another decent “X-Men” movie to enjoy…






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THOR silly but a worthy addition to the Marvel franchise

Posted on May 13th, 2011
THOR silly but a worthy addition to the Marvel franchise

I had many favorite superheroes as a kid but Thor ranked among the highest. He had the power of flight and strength of Superman, he commanded the elements, he wielded a magic weapon and he ruled an entire kingdom. I held out little hope anyone would adapt him into feature film without making him look as silly as Batman in the 1960s TV show. Finally, “Thor” has arrived and although some of the silliness persists, it holds up well enough to usher the God of Thunder into the “Avengers” superhero team movie next year…






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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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