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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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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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RAIDERS!: THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE… a must see for a film fan

Posted on November 13th, 2015
RAIDERS!: THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE…  a must see for a film fan

by Coop Cooper

A few years ago at the Clarksdale Film Festival, attendees were treated to a very special screening of a Mississippi film project that had been in the works since 1981. Ocean Springs natives Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos were in attendance to show “Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation”, a shot-for-shot remake of “Raiders” done by Zala, Strompolos and their friends, filmed over seven years during the summers of their childhood. The film sat on the shelf until some well-known filmmakers viewed a bootleg copy and tracked down Zala and Strompolos, suddenly thrusting the two (now) adults into limelight. With their exceptionally creative adaptation screening at film festivals all over the world, the old collaborators found themselves haunted by the one scene in “Raiders” they were never able to shoot. Last year, they raised enough money to finally complete the scene back in their home town of Ocean Springs… and all did not go exactly according to plan…

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The most promising new genre TV shows of the Fall 2015 season…

Posted on September 25th, 2015
The most promising new genre TV shows of the Fall 2015 season…

by Coop Cooper

With far too many original shows in development to fit into a feature article, I’ll focus on the ‘genre’ shows which have some sort of sci-fi/horror/fantasy element to them. Here are a few of the brand new shows premiering this season that look watchable and have already gotten some critical acclaim (P.S. “Fear the Walking Dead” was such a disappointment, I didn’t even include it in the ‘not-so-hot’ list):

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What looks good for the rest of 2015?…

Posted on August 21st, 2015
What looks good for the rest of 2015?…

by Coop Cooper

“Straight Outta Compton” about the rise of gangster rap group N.W.A. has been a critical and commercial success with impressive box office numbers this past weekend, and it also marks the end of the summer movie season. Here are ten other highly anticipated movies audiences have to look forward to for the rest of 2015…

“Black Mass” (Sept. 18) – Johnny Depp once again makes a bizarre physical transformation to play real-life murderous mobster-turned FBI informant, Whitey Bulger. Depp seems most comfortable when he finds a role he can disappear into, but he always walks the line between drama and parody. Could this be a sincere attempt by the actor to gain the attention of the Academy?

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ANT-MAN is a deceptively large Marvel Comics movie…

Posted on August 3rd, 2015
ANT-MAN is a deceptively large Marvel Comics movie…

by Coop Cooper

Like “Guardians of the Galaxy” before it, Marvel attempts to introduce viewers to one of its more obscure properties with “Ant-Man” and although it sounds just as silly as movie starring a gun-toting, wisecracking raccoon, it’s also just as fun.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a former electrical engineer turned criminal for exposing a company’s unethical practices, is released from prison and immediately runs into trouble after stealing a mysterious superhero suit from inventor and former S.H.I.E.LD. agent Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). The suit has the power to shrink its user to the size of an insect and the ability to control all species of ants…

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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

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2017 Crossroads Film Festival
2017 Clarksdale Film Festival
2017 Twisted Dreams 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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