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DARKEST HOUR is a triumph while THE SHAPE OF WATER is an overrated, preachy mess with good performances…

Posted on January 9th, 2018
DARKEST HOUR is a triumph while THE SHAPE OF WATER is an overrated, preachy mess with good performances…

by Coop Cooper

“The Shape of Water” – In early 1960’s Baltimore, a mute cleaning lady named Elisa (Sally Hawkins) works at a top secret government facility that soon acquires a new asset, a half-man/half-fish (Doug Jones) captured from the Amazon River. While the government scientists, lead by the cruel and sadistic G-Man Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon), experiments on the the fish man, Elisa forms an immediate romantic bond with it and learns she can communicate with it. When she discovers Strickland’s plan to kill and dissect the creature, she recruits her gay artist neighbor (Richard Jenkins), her co-worker (Octavia Spencer) and a Russian spy to help free him…

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BLACK MIRROR season 4 is the best season yet…

Posted on January 1st, 2018
BLACK MIRROR season 4 is the best season yet…

by Coop Cooper

The Netflix sci-fi anthology series “Black Mirror”, which focuses on how future technology could damage humankind, has arguably become the most culturally important show of its type since the original “Twilight Zone” series. Now in its fourth season, “Black Mirror” is continuously evolving to create stories that are relevant to the direction our current technological advancements are heading in, but it also is becoming more consistently great throughout each episode…

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Most anticipated films of the 1st Quarter of 2018…

Posted on December 26th, 2017
Most anticipated films of the 1st Quarter of 2018…

1. “Molly’s Game” (Jan. 5) – Written and Directed by Aaron Sorkin, this true story focuses on Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) who was targeted by the FBI for running the most exclusive high stakes poker operation in the world…

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STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI surprises old fans with something totally unexpected…

Posted on December 19th, 2017
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI surprises old fans with something totally unexpected…

by Coop Cooper

As far as Star Wars fandom goes, “The Force Awakens” had tough shoes to fill. It introduced new characters, re-introduced classic characters and had the unenviable job of resurrecting a storyline that has been in carbon freeze hibernation for thirty-four years. It was highly unlikely it would please all of the fans and predictably, the verdict was mixed among both fans and critics, but the film scored high with general audiences. As a lifelong and unapologetic “Star Wars” fan, I was one of the critics who was hard on it and my assessment became harsher with each repeated viewing. For me, the story felt ill-conceived, the writing poor and I didn’t feel endeared to the new characters. Imagine my surprise when “The Last Jedi” comes along and changes my mind about the unpredictable direction this new trilogy has taken…

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GODLESS and DARK: two new Netflix series that are mildly compelling…

Posted on December 5th, 2017
GODLESS and DARK: two new Netflix series that are mildly compelling…

by Coop Cooper

“Godless” (all episodes now available on Netflix) – The small Wild West town of La Belle, New Mexico, populated almost entirely by women, struggles to come back after a mining accident kills most of the male population. It soon becomes the target of the genocidal outlaw Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels) when his number one gunfighter, Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell) turns on him and seeks refuge there, showing up wounded on a nearby ranch run by a widow, Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery). With Griffin bearing down on them and with no means of escape, the citizens of La Belle prepare to defend themselves from the imminent massacre…

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THE PUNISHER and RUNAWAYS: Two new Marvel series that excel in very different ways…

Posted on November 27th, 2017
THE PUNISHER and RUNAWAYS: Two new Marvel series that excel in very different ways…

by Coop Cooper

“The Punisher” (all episodes available on Netflix) – Marine veteran Frank Castle (John Bernthal), whose family was killed in a mob hit gone wrong, puts on a uniform with a painted skull on his chest and systematically murders the entire crime syndicate involved in his family’s demise. Feeling his revenge is complete, he adopts a false identity and tries to live a morose, solitary life as a construction worker. Soon after, he is tracked down and blackmailed into helping a man going by the code name ‘Micro’ (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), a government whistleblower who is framed and forced to go underground, abandoning his family. Castle eventually learns that those responsible for Micro’s situation had a hand in the murder of his family and Castle is compelled to once again put on his uniform and continue his violent spree of revenge…

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JUSTICE LEAGUE has ruined any chance to salvage DC Comics films…

Posted on November 20th, 2017
JUSTICE LEAGUE has ruined any chance to salvage DC Comics films…

by Coop Cooper I cut superhero movies a lot of slack. I read comic books when I was a kid and I was always frustrated that there were few to nil movies or TV shows that could capture the grand scope of a battle between Spider-Man and the Hulk or The Flash versus the Legion […]

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THOR: RAGNAROK would have been perfect if it could have tied up a few (tragic) loose ends…

Posted on November 7th, 2017
THOR: RAGNAROK would have been perfect if it could have tied up a few (tragic) loose ends…

by Coop Cooper

Compelled by the grim, apocalyptic vision he had during “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been traveling the Nine Realms in order to prevent ‘Ragnarok’, or the Asgardian version of Judgement Day. Since the prophecy of how Ragnarok begins is pretty specific, Thor closes what he believes to be the last loophole and then returns to Asgard only to find Loki (Tom Hiddleston) ruling it in the guise of Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Searching for his father, Thor learns that his long-lost sister, Hela (Cate Blanchett) has plans to conquer Asgard for herself. Failing to stop her, Thor and Loki end up on a waste-disposal planet ruled by The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) who pegs Thor as a contender for his high-profile gladiator battles. Aided by The Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and the former Asgardian warrior Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Thor and Loki attempt to escape the Grandmaster so they can return to Asgard and stop Hela…

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STRANGER THINGS: SEASON 2 brings the same great 80’s nostalgia with mediocre plotting and pacing…

Posted on October 30th, 2017
STRANGER THINGS: SEASON 2 brings the same great 80’s nostalgia with mediocre plotting and pacing…

by Coop Cooper

This season picks up nearly a year after the last one ended. Still traumatized from being trapped in the ‘Upside Down’ dimension, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) has visions of a gigantic, tentacled shadow monster attempting to break its way into our world. His mother, Joyce (Winona Ryder), periodically takes Will to the kindly Dr. Owens (Paul Reiser) at Hawkins National Laboratory for psychological and physical checkups, but the doctor may not be telling them the entire truth about Will’s condition. Meanwhile, the super-powered Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) has escaped from the Upside Down and is found by Chief Hopper (David Harbour) who keeps her safe and hidden from Hawkins Lab in a cabin in the woods, but she runs away in a quest to find out more about her past. Meanwhile, Will’s friends welcome the newcomer Max (Sadie Sink) into their group while Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) finds an alien ‘pollywog’ creature from the Upside Down and raises it as a pet. Also meanwhile, Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) and Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) hatch a plan to get justice for their friend Barb who is declared officially ‘missing’ but was actually killed by a creature from the Upside Down which in turn was covered up by Hawkins Lab…

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TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN, When your favorite TV show leaves you with no resolution…

Posted on September 4th, 2017
TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN, When your favorite TV show leaves you with no resolution…

by Coop Cooper

I was dreading watching the series finale of “Twin Peaks: The Return” on Sunday night. Not because I didn’t want to see what would happen, but because I was deathly afraid of what MIGHT happen. I had decided this was the worst-case scenario for how things could end: Very few of the plot threads would wrap up and yet again the main characters would be stuck in some sort of dream nightmarish alternate reality. And then the show would end, forever… and it would appear that is exactly what happened…

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Most anticipated films of the 2nd half of 2017…

Posted on August 14th, 2017
Most anticipated films of the 2nd half of 2017…

by Coop Cooper

1. “It” (Sept. 8) – Based off of the notoriously frightening Stephen King novel, a group of teenage friends are targeted by a monster disguised as a sinister clown (Bill Skarsgard) who is responsible for making local children disappear. This is the first film in a two-part series which will focus on the characters as children in this installment, then as adults returning home to put an end to the evil in the second film. “It” was previously adapted into a TV miniseries in 1990…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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 […]

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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…

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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…

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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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