INCLUDE_DATA

ORPHAN BLACK, RICK AND MORTY and SALEM… 2 good TV shows, 1 bad

Posted on July 16th, 2014
ORPHAN BLACK, RICK AND MORTY and SALEM…  2 good TV shows, 1 bad

by Coop Cooper

“Orphan Black” – Premiering on BBC America last year, “Orphan Black” begins with a career criminal named Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) who witness her exact double committing suicide by jumping in front of a train. Sarah steals the identity of the dead double to rob her bank account, but instead she uncovers a group of clones the double was protecting… and Sarah is one of them. Sarah teams up with her clone sisters to determine where they all came from and why someone is murdering them one by one.

“Orphan Black” began its second season this month and only now am I discovering what a superior show it is. Its success is partly due to the twisty storytelling and witty dialogue, but mostly because of Tatiana Maslany’s uncanny ability to play multiple characters and completely disappear into them…

Read more...
Comments Off on ORPHAN BLACK, RICK AND MORTY and SALEM… 2 good TV shows, 1 bad

CARRIE remake review… the best of the remakes

Posted on November 4th, 2013
CARRIE remake review…  the best of the remakes

by Coop Cooper

Based on the bestselling book by Stephen King, Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a shy, sensitive high school girl who is mercilessly picked on by the other students. After a particularly cruel moment where Carrie is bullied in the gym shower, Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) a popular girl who took part in the bullying becomes overcome with guilt and tries to find a way to make amends. She convinces her goodhearted jock boyfriend Tommy (Ansel Elgort) to ask Carrie to the prom to give the meek, tormented girl a confidence boost. Carrie accepts but along with puberty, she has developed a frightening power, the emergence of which her psychotically religious mother (Julienne Moore) has been dreading since Carrie’s birth. When the school’s meanest girl plans a humiliating prank on Carrie at the prom, Carrie is pushed too far causing her powers to erupt with deadly results…

Read more...
Comments Off on CARRIE remake review… the best of the remakes

Most anticipated films of Oct./Nov. 2013

Posted on November 4th, 2013
Most anticipated films of Oct./Nov. 2013

by Coop Cooper

With blockbuster season over, Hollywood will release their holiday and wild card films to get audiences into theater seats. Here are a few that have potential…

“Gravity” (releasing Oct. 3rd) – Sandra Bullock plays a medical engineer on her first space mission with a soon-to-be retiring veteran astronaut played by George Clooney. On a routine spacewalk while the two are tethered, their shuttle explodes, hurling them far away from the space station leaving them stranded and helpless, floating in the vacuum. I wasn’t quite sure where a story like this could go (other than certain death for main characters) but unfortunately the TV spots promoting the film give far too much away. However, early word from critics has been overwhelmingly glowing and many are saying this film could sweep the Oscars…

Read more...
Comments Off on Most anticipated films of Oct./Nov. 2013

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…

Read more...
Comments Off on RIDDICK, YOU’RE NEXT, THE WORLD’S END… only one of them is awesome

WORLD WAR Z… The worst movie of the year (so far)

Posted on June 27th, 2013
WORLD WAR Z…  The worst movie of the year (so far)

by Coop Cooper

One of my favorite online comic strips theoatmeal.com released a humorous Venn diagram this week called “What the ‘World War Z’ movie has in common with the book.” The answer: “It’s titled ‘World War Z’.” That’s a pretty fair assessment and although I think the film is rotten on its own merits, I cannot write this review without explaining why the book is important in this case.

Max Brooks (son of the legendary Mel Brooks) wrote an in-depth analysis of what a post-zombie apocalypse world would look like if humans had survived it. It features a journalist who trots around the globe collecting stories – a chapter per-story – from people who survived the outbreak and how they may have contributed to saving the world. It also explains how the world had to change in order to live in a post-zombie world should it ever happen again. It was a brilliant, compelling best-seller and would’ve made a great episodic HBO series.

In the film version…

Read more...
Comments Off on WORLD WAR Z… The worst movie of the year (so far)

THE PURGE could one day be a great horror franchise… but not today

Posted on June 14th, 2013
THE PURGE could one day be a great horror franchise… but not today

by Coop Cooper

The story takes place in near future America that is now virtually crime and poverty free. The credit for this golden age is given to the annual “Purge” in which for one 12 hour period out of the year, all crime – including murder – is legal. This cathartic moral hiatus allows citizens to release pent up rage, frustration and perceived revenge upon society so that the survivors might live the rest of the year in peace. Security salesman James Sandlin (Ethan Hawke) provides protection systems for his entire neighborhood and with his business booming, he is at ease with the annual event, especially since the system on his house is top-notch. His wife (Lena Heady), son and daughter become less at ease as the beginning of the Purge grows closer. When James’ naïve son witnesses a homeless man (Edwin Hodge) being chased by a bloodthirsty mob, he puts his entire family at risk to let him in. The dangerous gang tears through the house’s security measures to get at them while James and his family fight to survive the night.

It’s a preposterous, yet fascinatingly simple premise that begs for analysis on a ‘what would you do in this situation?’ kind of level…

Read more...
Comments Off on THE PURGE could one day be a great horror franchise… but not today

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.

Read more...
Comments Off on Amazon challenges Netflix in the digital content market

EVIL DEAD is as evil as original, not as cool…

Posted on April 30th, 2013
EVIL DEAD is as evil as original, not as cool…

by Coop Cooper

The original “The Evil Dead” (1981) was a little horror picture that could. Despite its ultra low budget and goofy acting, it earned rave reviews from Stephen King and achieved cult status for its relentless carnage, groundbreaking camerawork and sly comedic touches. It’s official sequel “Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn” (1987) – which was actually more of a remake – topped the original in every way and is considered one of the greatest horror comedies ever made. Its final sequel “Army of Darkness” (1992) eclipsed the cult status of the first two as a fantasy action comedy that owed just as much to “The Three Stooges” as it did to the horror genre…

Read more...
Comments Off on EVIL DEAD is as evil as original, not as cool…

THE COLLECTION mini review

Posted on February 1st, 2013
THE COLLECTION mini review

“The Collection” – A sequel to the 2009 horror thriller “The Collector,” this film franchise was initially supposed to be a prequel to the successful “Saw” film series. Arkin (Josh Stewart) who survived the first film is inadvertently freed when the serial killer known as ‘The Collector’ pulls off a mass killing, the likes of which has never been seen in cinema. During his escape, he misses the opportunity to save Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick), the daughter of a powerful political figure (Christopher McDonald). Enforcers working for this figure force Arkin to help them locate locate and guide them into the Collector’s base of operations to save Elena, but inside the raiders find more danger than they bargained for…

Read more...
Comments Off on THE COLLECTION mini review

Retro Review: THE STEPFATHER (1987)… Leave it to Meat-Cleaver

Posted on January 29th, 2013
Retro Review: THE STEPFATHER (1987)…  Leave it to Meat-Cleaver

by Chris Moore

The Stepfather opens with a bearded man (Terry O’Quinn) washing a whole lot of blood off, trimming his beard, putting in colored contact lenses, and casually strolling out of his home, leaving the grisly corpses of his family (and his former identity) behind. A year passes and we learn the same man has now become Jerry Blake, a charming small town real estate agent. With new wife Susan (Shelley Hack) and stepdaughter Stephanie (Jill Schoelen) in tow, Jerry seems to have it all, but as his new family begins to disappoint him, Jerry starts having those murderous thoughts again…

Read more...
Comments Off on Retro Review: THE STEPFATHER (1987)… Leave it to Meat-Cleaver

Is THE FOLLOWING a midseason hit?

Posted on January 29th, 2013
Is THE FOLLOWING a midseason hit?

Traditionally, TV midseason (usually in January/February) was a dumping ground for TV pilots initially rejected from a fall season premiere. Networks would take an early ax to their lowest-rated fall shows and transfer the budget to these substitutes in the fat-chance hope that a sleeper hit would emerge. This usually results in a turkey Now with around-the-year programming, networks are seeing the midseason as second opportunity to launch some of their A-list shows. The most hyped show of midseason 2013 is “The Following” on the Fox network…

Read more...
Comments Off on Is THE FOLLOWING a midseason hit?

“Mama’s” gotta let go…

Posted on January 20th, 2013
“Mama’s” gotta let go…

Coop here. I’d like to welcome my new guest critic, Chris Moore. I’ve admired Chris’s excellent taste in film (especially horror films) for awhile now and I’m pleased he has agreed to contribute his insightful reviews the site. Glad to have you, Chris!

by Chris Moore

With Guillermo del Toro’s seal of approval, an intriguing concept, a game performance by this year’s “it” girl, Jessica Chastain, Universal Pictures’ “Mama” was poised to be one of this year’s most interesting chillers. Regrettably, Mama isn’t much more than a wasted opportunity.

Five years after their father left them stranded in a secluded cabin, Victoria (Megan Charpentier) and Lilly (Isabelle Nélisse) are sent to live their uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his slightly cold and immature girlfriend Annabel (Jessica Chastain). As he tries to help the young girls return to normal civilization, Dr. Dreyfuss (Daniel Kash) discovers that while the girls were in the cabin, they developed an imaginary mother figured named – you guessed it – Mama. Soon, it becomes clear to all parties involved that Mama might not be a figment of Victoria and Lilly’s imaginations after all…

Read more...
Comments Off on “Mama’s” gotta let go…

Coop’s top 10 indie films of 2012…

Posted on December 27th, 2012
Coop’s top 10 indie films of 2012…

by Coop Cooper
10. “Absentia” – Without any recognizable actors, “Absentia” is the most solidly effective direct-to-DVD horror film I’ve seen all year. It tells the story of a recovering junkie, Callie, who goes to live with her sister who is filing to have her husband declared “dead in absentia” after a lengthy disappearance. As her sister tries to cope with this development, Callie suspects the strange pedestrian tunnel within view of the house has something to do with the string of disappearances in the area.
9. “God Bless America” – This extremely dark comedy by former comedian Bobcat Goldthwait follows a sad sack (Joel Murray) who decides to assassinate a particularly nasty reality TV star before offing himself…

Read more...
Comments Off on Coop’s top 10 indie films of 2012…

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.

Read more...
Comments Off on Coop’s top 10 Big-release movies of the year

Coop’s next short film GOD MAKER has 6 more days left to fund!

Posted on November 13th, 2012
Coop’s next short film GOD MAKER has 6 more days left to fund!

That’s right, I’m making another short film. At this second, we only have 6 days left on The Indiegogo campaign with only $900 out of $5000 left to go to shoot this one (filming in Dec. of 2012) in Clarksdale and Como, Mississippi.

This one is a blues music-themed horror film set in the Mississippi Delta. See that fetching actress in the teaser box? That’s Juliet Reeves, my lead actress and co-producer. Here’s a bit of the pitch…

Since I began filmmaking, I wanted to create a project that included some of the most outstanding aspects of Northwestern Mississippi where I grew up. I wanted it to include the culture, architecture, folklore and – most importantly – BLUES MUSIC.

Your contribution will help me, my actors and my crew to film my latest screenplay, “God Maker”. This film is my revisionist take on the Robert Johnson “sell your soul to the devil” legend. It will be our most ambitious film to date.

Check out our fundraising page for our teaser trailer and to help us spread the word!… Go here to see the GOD MAKER teaser and to contribute!

Read more...
Comments Off on Coop’s next short film GOD MAKER has 6 more days left to fund!

THE BAY review

Posted on November 9th, 2012
THE BAY review

This mockumentary chronicles the gruesome decimation of a small town on Chesapeake Bay by a virulent parasite. Pieced together from interviews, security cameras and found footage shot by civilians, “The Bay” mimics classic environmental disaster films from the 1970’s which were known for predicting grim consequences for the planet due to human negligence. What separates “The Bay” from the classic environmental horror films are these elements: 1. Computer generated special effects 2. The “found footage” format which has become all the rage these days 3. A complete and utter lack of narrative.

Notice in the above paragraph that I didn’t mention a storyline or point out the main characters of the film. That’s because “The Bay” has none. The film eschews a main character for a series of vignettes and scenes set to a timeline and tied together by one of the worst narrators I have ever encountered in cinematic history…

Read more...
Comments Off on THE BAY review

DARK SHADOWS review

Posted on November 6th, 2012
DARK SHADOWS review

Of all A-list directors, only Tim Burton chooses to remain almost entirely in the gothic genre. His passions of late have been either adaptations or remakes of dark material and the old vampire soap opera “Dark Shadows” seems right up his alley. The original 1966 TV soap was a bit before my time and the 12-episode 1991 revival series completely failed to capture my imagination. I have no personal stake (pun intended) in a feature-length remake of the series – nor did I feel one was called for – but with such low expectations, I found myself somewhat entertained.

Wealthy 19th century fishing industry tycoon Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) spurns the love of a witch (Eva Green) who murders his fiance and curses him into becoming a vampire. She rallies the townsfolk to capture and bury him alive-ish near his “Collinswood” mansion in Maine…

Read more...
Comments Off on DARK SHADOWS review

SILENT HOUSE (American remake) movie review

Posted on November 6th, 2012
SILENT HOUSE (American remake) movie review

Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) accompanies her father (Adam Trese) and Uncle Peter (Eric Sheffer Stevens) to their old summer home in upstate New York to pack up their belongings before selling it. The house is without power and has been vandalized by local hoodlums, prompting boards on all of the windows and padlocked chains on the doors. After her uncle leaves she runs into an old childhood friend in the front yard whom she doesn’t seem to remember. Back inside the house, her father disappears and she soon finds herself trapped inside and menaced by unseen intruders.

While the premise is familiar, the method behind its filming is an oddity. “Silent House” is presented as one long, continuous take that lasts the duration of the entire film which clocks in around 1 hour and 20 minutes…

Read more...
Comments Off on SILENT HOUSE (American remake) movie review

PROMETHEUS is an insult to the ALIEN franchise…

Posted on June 8th, 2012
PROMETHEUS is an insult to the ALIEN franchise…

I’m very angry. Ridley Scott took the blockbuster franchise he started with the movie “Alien” and completely threw it under the bus to negate his career-defining success in such a way, it’s almost as if he willingly intended to sabotage it. I was well-prepared for this installment, kept away from early reviews and was aware/resigned to the warning that there would be NO recognizable aliens in this film, but I was not prepared for the level of incompetence displayed by the veteran filmmakers involved. Let me elaborate…

Read more...
Comments Off on PROMETHEUS is an insult to the ALIEN franchise…

How we made a movie in 48 hours…

Posted on June 8th, 2012
How we made a movie in 48 hours…

Can a quality short film be made in 48 hours? For several years now, creators of 48 hour film challenges have proven that it can be done by both professionals and amateurs alike.

The filmmakers and their crews are assigned a very specific genre (ex: wedding disaster, zombie comedy, hitman action, etc…) and a line of dialogue (such as: “It’s not just a hobby; it’s a way of life.”) that must be spoken during the film. The filmmakers must rush to write, plan, shoot and edit the film before the 48 hour time limit expires. The ultimate prize could be prestige, awards or cash. Though I feared I would regret it, I decided to take one of these challenge this past weekend. With a good bit of help, I succeeded…

Read more...
Comments Off on How we made a movie in 48 hours…
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 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.

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!