INCLUDE_DATA

Is Blomkamp’s ‘Oats Studios’ the next big change in film?

Posted on July 17th, 2017
Is Blomkamp’s ‘Oats Studios’ the next big change in film?

by Coop Cooper

In the new internet age of media, professional filmmakers have been trying new ideas in order to take advantage of the fact that anyone can post a high-quality video online almost instantly.

South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp recently launched ‘Oats Studios: Volume 1’ as an experiment in seeing which of his cinematic ideas would stick if thrown at a wall. His plan was to take some of his favorite story concepts, fund, shoot and release high-quality short film versions of them on YouTube for free. He could then aggregate feedback from viewers to help him decide which shorts to make into features, series, webseries or into whatever format might fit. This idea isn’t new to Blomkamp since one of his first short films, “Alive in Joburg” was eventually developed into his Oscar-nominated feature sci-fi film “District 9”. However, after his last two features, “Elysium” and “Chappie”, didn’t perform as well as planned, Blomkamp engineered this new approach. All of these shorts are cinema-quality, sci-fi/horror hybrids with unflinching violence and gore (very R-rated), and they are currently free to view on YouTube…

Read more...

If THE MUMMY (2017) is any indication, Universal’s ‘DARK UNIVERSE’ will fail…

Posted on June 13th, 2017
If THE MUMMY (2017) is any indication, Universal’s ‘DARK UNIVERSE’ will fail…

by Coop Cooper

A remake of “The Mummy” starring Tom Cruise… When I first heard about this, I was certain it had to be a false story. Universal Studios owns the rights to many of the classic cinematic monsters: Dracula, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc. Universal has been sitting on these properties for decades trying to figure out how profit off of them in the 21st Century. With “The Mummy”, they are kicking off an interconnected franchise called “Dark Universe” in order to bring all of these classic monsters together for big-budget blockbuster films, kind of like Marvel with “The Avengers” and DC Comics with “Justice League”. After seeing “The Mummy”, I’m afraid they may end up with a disastrous string of bombs on their hands…






Read more...
Comments Off on If THE MUMMY (2017) is any indication, Universal’s ‘DARK UNIVERSE’ will fail…

TWIN PEAKS 2017 PILOT: Is David Lynch trying to merge the “Twin Peaks” universe with “Mulholland Dr.” and “Lost Highway”?

Posted on May 22nd, 2017
TWIN PEAKS 2017 PILOT:  Is David Lynch trying to merge the “Twin Peaks” universe with “Mulholland Dr.” and “Lost Highway”?

by Coop Cooper

In April of 1990, I stumbled upon one of the strangest, most fascinating shows I had ever seen. “Twin Peaks” begins in Washington state near the Canadian border with the murder of a high school teenager named Laura Palmer and the arrival of an FBI agent assigned to investigate the case. The story quickly spirals off into a quirky, supernatural mystery with a bizarre cast of characters in a soap opera-style format. The original “Twin Peaks” series was a cultural phenomenon lasting only two seasons (30 episodes) but inspired countless other films and shows, most notably “The X-Files” and “Lost”. Before “Peaks” ended, the spectre of murder victim Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) made an ominous statement to Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLachlan) in the final episode that she would see him again in twenty-five years. It actually took twenty-six but “Peaks” is finally back with a new one-season-only series on Showtime.

The last season of “Twin Peaks” left a few unresolved cliffhangers…






Read more...
Comments Off on TWIN PEAKS 2017 PILOT: Is David Lynch trying to merge the “Twin Peaks” universe with “Mulholland Dr.” and “Lost Highway”?

AMERICAN GODS was a badly-written novel but the TV series shows promise…

Posted on May 1st, 2017
AMERICAN GODS was a badly-written novel but the TV series shows promise…

by Coop Cooper

The new TV series “American Gods” premiered on the premium Starz channel this past Sunday at 8pm Central. Adapted from the very popular novel by Neil Gaiman, “Gods” has been along time in development. Mixing fantasy/folklore with the modern world, “Gods” has a potential to become yet another hit cable series as long as the adaptation jettisons Gaiman’s questionable style.

A few days shy of being released from prison, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) learns his wife Laura (Emily Browning) has died in a car accident. While traveling across the country to her funeral, Shadow meets the enigmatic con man calling himself Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) who offers Shadow a job as his bodyguard. Shadow refuses but the persistent Mr. Wednesday keeps showing up along the journey to make Shadow the same offer. Low on money, Shadow finally relents to take the job on the condition he is allowed to attend his wife’s funeral to say goodbye. Along the way, they run across beings who look like humans but have supernatural powers. Shadow soon finds himself in the middle of a war between the ‘old gods’ of ancient legends and the ‘new gods’ of modern culture and technology. Meanwhile, he is haunted by the spirit of his dead wife…






Read more...
Comments Off on AMERICAN GODS was a badly-written novel but the TV series shows promise…

JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2 rules, A CURE FOR WELLNESS drools…

Posted on February 21st, 2017
JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2 rules, A CURE FOR WELLNESS drools…

by Coop Cooper

“John Wick: Chapter 2” – Retired hitman John Wick (Keanu Reeves) assaults the stronghold of Russian mob boss Abram (Peter Stomare) to retrieve his stolen car from the first film. After doing so, he considers himself once again retired and ready to finally settle down in peace. When a ruthless ex-associate D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) tracks Wick down and demands a long-standing debt to paid through trade, Wick refuses on principle. When D’Antonio makes it clear that refusal is not an option, Wick goes back to work, traveling to Italy for one last job. Of course, when things go sour, Wick must shoot his way out of the situation with killers (lead by Ruby Rose and Common) coming at him from all sides…






Read more...
Comments Off on JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2 rules, A CURE FOR WELLNESS drools…

DOCTOR STRANGE is another Marvel winner that breaks barriers…

Posted on November 8th, 2016
DOCTOR STRANGE is another Marvel winner that breaks barriers…

by Coop Cooper

Based off of the Marvel comic book from the 1970’s, Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is an arrogant, yet brilliant New York neurosurgeon, considered the top in his field. After a terrible car crash causes severe nerve damage to both of his hands, he searches for a miracle cure that will restore his steady-handed surgical abilities. A last-ditch effort sends him to Nepal where he meets a mystical guru known as The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) who offers him a chance to heal himself through the mastery of magic. Strange reluctantly begins training in the mystic arts and finds that his photographic memory, strong will and precise reflexes make him a prodigious student. As his skills with magic begin to quickly reach the highest levels, he learns that his mentors are involved in a war with a dark magician named Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) who intends to achieve immortality by sacrificing Earth to the evil god ‘Dormammu’. Strange’s quick mastery of magic puts him in the middle of this fight which he has had little time to prepare for…






Read more...
Comments Off on DOCTOR STRANGE is another Marvel winner that breaks barriers…

Top scary movies for kids growing up in the 80’s…

Posted on November 8th, 2016
Top scary movies for kids growing up in the 80’s…

by Coop Cooper The 80’s was a cinematic golden era for scary PG films, especially before the PG-13 rating changed the landscape of kid/teen-friendly horror movies. Here are a few of the greatest, scary PG movies of that decade: “The Watcher in the Woods” (1980) – One of Bette Davis’ last films, this Disney-produced movie […]

Read more...
Comments Off on Top scary movies for kids growing up in the 80’s…

Top 10 movies of 2016 so far…

Posted on September 5th, 2016
Top 10 movies of 2016 so far…

by Coop Cooper

My mid-year top 10 list is usually populated with the biggest genre films of the summer and a few wild cards from the beginning of the year. Expect this list to change drastically by the first of January when the rest of the indie films and studio prestige pictures for 2016 finally become available…






Read more...
Comments Off on Top 10 movies of 2016 so far…

URGE is an early contender for ‘Worst Movie of the Year’…

Posted on June 6th, 2016
URGE is an early contender for ‘Worst Movie of the Year’…

by Coop Cooper

A group of ultra-privileged, 20-somethings (maybe 30-somethings?) take a private helicopter to an island mansion for an annual weekend of debauchery. Growing bored of all of their decadent choices for recreation, they decide to head to town to find a dance club for some old-fashioned drugs and dancing. They happen upon an ethereal, hedonistic club where anything goes. While the rest of the friends revel in the bizarreness, the wildest of the group, Jason (Justin Chatwin), goes on a mission to find drugs. He is directed to a sinister dealer, Daemon Sloan (Pierce Brosnan), peddling a new narcotic called ‘urge’. The rule is you can only handle one dose in your entire life, but will result in the best high of your life simply because it completely removes inhibitions…






Read more...
Comments Off on URGE is an early contender for ‘Worst Movie of the Year’…

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, even Ivan Ooze can’t keep this fun film down…

Posted on May 31st, 2016
X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, even Ivan Ooze can’t keep this fun film down…

by Coop Cooper

A despotic, god-like mutant dubbed ‘Apocalypse’ (Oscar Isaac) is betrayed by his ancient Egyptian followers and entombed under a collapsed pyramid before he can execute his plan to conquer the world. In 1983, he is re-awakened and begins to recruit powerful mutants to aid him in resuming his mass destruction. Meanwhile, Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) continues to train young mutants at his Upstate New York institute including new recruits Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) has been on the run, helping other mutants in trouble when she discovers that Magneto (Michael Fassbender) has come out of hiding after a tragedy forces him to use his powers. She returns to New York to inform Xavier and in an attempt to find Magneto, they gain the attention of ‘Apocalypse’ who has already recruited Magneto. Apocalypse sees Xavier as a psychic weapon he can use to subjugate mankind and attempts to capture him. After a catastrophic attack on the school by Apocalypse and his ‘Four Horsemen’, the new recruits must step up to help the veteran X-Men save the world…






Read more...
Comments Off on X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, even Ivan Ooze can’t keep this fun film down…

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…






Read more...
Comments Off on CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR has more fun than flaws…

MIDNIGHT SPECIAL doesn’t shine a light on anything new…

Posted on April 25th, 2016
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL doesn’t shine a light on anything new…

by Coop Cooper

On the run from a religious cult and the authorities, Roy (Michael Shannon) and his son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) travel across the country in an attempt to reach a set of coordinates. Accompanying them is Roy’s childhood friend, Lucas (Joel Edgerton), an ex state trooper determined to protect Roy and Alton at all costs. The cause of their flight is Alton’s strange and dangerous powers which randomly manifest themselves in alarming ways, most commonly when Alton is exposed to sunlight. Roy has resigned himself to the fact that Alton is not meant for this Earth and the coordinates Alton conjured should return him to where he belongs. Unfortunately, Alton also picks up radio waves, including classified ones the government isn’t happy about him exposing. The cult also wants him back to further their misguided ideology and send henchmen to return him to the fold…






Read more...
Comments Off on MIDNIGHT SPECIAL doesn’t shine a light on anything new…

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…






Read more...
Comments Off on THE JUNGLE BOOK captures some of that old Disney magic…

BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE was destined to disappoint…

Posted on March 30th, 2016
BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE was destined to disappoint…

by Coop Cooper

In an attempt to replicate Marvel’s success, D.C. Comics has united their properties in order to pave the way for a “Justice League” movie. Though it has been tried many times and has failed, it looks like it is finally on track to happen and “Batman v Superman” has arrived to set it all up. Unfortunately, it seems as if it was destined to be a disappointment.

While Clark ‘Superman’ Kent (Henry Cavill) was fighting General Zod and the Kryptonians in “Man of Steel”, Bruce ‘Batman’ Wayne (Ben Affleck) was on the ground in Metropolis witnessing the destruction of the city and of his branch office, resulting in the death of his employees. Horrified by the incident and warned by a prophetic vision delivered by another superhero, Wayne develops a deep distrust of Superman and starts searching for the Man of Steel’s weakness…






Read more...
Comments Off on BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE was destined to disappoint…

THE MAGICIANS and THE X-FILES. Neither start off great, but both could reignite obsessions…

Posted on January 25th, 2016
THE MAGICIANS and THE X-FILES.  Neither start off great, but both could reignite obsessions…

by Coop Cooper

One is a new TV series based on a popular novel trilogy and the other is a true classic TV series resurrected for a new generation. Here are the new, highly-anticipated shows that premiered this week…






Read more...
Comments Off on THE MAGICIANS and THE X-FILES. Neither start off great, but both could reignite obsessions…

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS… It might be my LEAST favorite Star Wars movie. That’s right, I said it…

Posted on December 21st, 2015
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS…  It might be my LEAST favorite Star Wars movie.  That’s right, I said it…

by Coop Cooper

***NOTE: The first half is a spoiler-free review, but after the primary review I discuss all of the major spoilers***

Set around thirty five years after “Return of the Jedi”, the Resistance still battles the remnants of the Empire which now calls itself The First Order. Lead by Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), the Resistance searches for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) who went into a self-imposed exile when one of his Jedi apprentices, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), turned to the dark side and betrayed him. Finn (John Boyega), a First Order Stormtrooper with a conscience, deserts his post and escapes with Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) who had been captured by Kylo Ren while searching for the location of Skywalker. The pair crash lands in the deserts of the planet Jakku and Finn becomes separated from Dameron. Finn runs across the young scavenger, Rey (Daisy Ridley), who has come into possession of Dameron’s droid BB-8 who has a map which could lead the Resistance to Skywalker. When the First Order tracks them down, Finn, Rey and BB-8 steal a ship and escape in an attempt to find Skywalker and join the Resistance. Along the way, they run into some infamous heroes of the Rebellion.

As I watched “The Force Awakens”, I was having conflicting emotions about what I was seeing. Something about the movie didn’t feel right and I couldn’t put my finger on it. It wasn’t until I watched “The Empire Strikes Back” again that I realized the problem… “The Force Awakens” is a rushed and sloppy movie by comparison…






Read more...
Comments Off on STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS… It might be my LEAST favorite Star Wars movie. That’s right, I said it…

KRAMPUS earns its PG-13 rating and becomes a new holiday cult classic in waiting…

Posted on December 18th, 2015
KRAMPUS earns its PG-13 rating and becomes a new holiday cult classic in waiting…

by Coop Cooper

Holiday movies are tricky, but unless they take place during Halloween, holiday horror movies are the trickiest. There aren’t many great ones to speak of that take place around Christmas; even fewer that are aimed at younger crowds. Michael Dougherty made a name for himself as a director with the highly underrated Halloween movie “Trick r’ Treat” and now he seems hellbent on cornering the market on all holiday horror movies if “Krampus” is any indication…






Read more...
Comments Off on KRAMPUS earns its PG-13 rating and becomes a new holiday cult classic in waiting…

THE LEFTOVERS Season 2 finale… I finally get it and now it may be gone…

Posted on December 11th, 2015
THE LEFTOVERS Season 2 finale…  I finally get it and now it may be gone…

by Coop Cooper

***UPDATE: It was renewed for a 3rd (and final) season :)***

It’s quite possible that HBO’s critically acclaimed original series “The Leftovers” may have aired its final episode. Sunday night marked the end of the second season and there is a possibility it will not be renewed for a third season due to lower than expected ratings. That would be a shame considering it is one of the best episodic shows on TV and after viewing this (potentially) final episode, I find myself desperately wanting to see a third season. Why? Because I finally understand it now…






Read more...
Comments Off on THE LEFTOVERS Season 2 finale… I finally get it and now it may be gone…

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…






Read more...
Comments Off on THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2 is a poor movie with an okay conclusion…

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…






Read more...
Comments Off on Amazon’s flawed series production model…
Search
Search Form
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.

The Small Town Critic’s SCREENWRITING SERVICES
Follow Coop on Twitter...
    follow me on twitter
    Follow smalltowncritic on Twitter
    Archives
    Subscribe via Email!

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    Subscribe via RSS feed!