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THE RAID 2… quality over the quantity of action in the original

Posted on April 18th, 2014
THE RAID 2… quality over the quantity of action in the original

by Coop Cooper

Martial arts movies seem to have fallen out of favor in America. With all of the great English-speaking karate stars aging themselves out of the business, there are no strong contenders to take on the mantle on this side of the pond other than former MMA stars with zero acting ability and very little charisma. However, Asia still has a heck of a martial arts market and Indonesia has surprisingly stepped up to take the current crown in Kung Fu (or in their case, Silat) action cinema. The phenomenal 2011 action film “The Raid: Redemption” put them on the map and now the anticipated sequel has arrived in theaters to up the ante…

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ZERO DARK THIRTY review… Why I disagree with the critics

Posted on January 11th, 2013
ZERO DARK THIRTY review…  Why I disagree with the critics

by Coop Cooper
“Zero Dark Thirty” speculates the events leading up to the raid in Pakistan which culminated in a U.S. Navy S.E.A.L. team killing the terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. CIA operative Maya (Jessica Chastain) arrives in Pakistan to observe tortures of captured terrorists and eventually uncovers a lead as to where bin Laden is hiding. Her efforts prompt S.E.A.L. Team Six to execute a raid on bin Laden’s compound, an event which is painstakingly recreated by the Oscar-winning director of “The Hurt Locker,” Kathryn Bigelow.

I have always disliked these ‘too soon’ fictional accounts of non-fiction events which rely on wild speculation to dramatize recent incidents…

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More critically acclaimed movies of 2011

Posted on January 23rd, 2012
More critically acclaimed movies of 2011

by Coop Cooper
All of the following films are on the short list for Academy Awards nominations, and while they all have Oscar-caliber qualities (particularly acting), I felt they fell short as “Best Motion Picture” contenders… except for one.

1. “War Horse” – Based on a book and a stage play (????), “War Horse” chronicles the story of a boy searching for his remarkable horse that is lost in the chaos of the battlefields of World War I. Possibly the best film ever in which a non-talking animal is the main character of the story, “War Horse” didn’t unfold as maudlin as I expected. Director Steven Spielberg tends to serve his weepy dramas with an overdose of sugar, but this film has just enough action and skillful execution, it rises above the typical “Lassie” story. While the plot is episodic and awkwardly paced, it’s just too…

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May 6th marks the beginning of the summer movie season

Posted on May 4th, 2011
May 6th marks the beginning of the summer movie season

by Coop Cooper

As educational institutions gear down for their summer sabbatical, Hollywood gears up to release their highest-budgeted films. This tradition seems to arrive earlier each year, but the first of these mega-budget projects usually arrive in May. The May blockbusters are strategically placed in this month, often under the assumption the studio heads feel the films are weak, risky or may not compete against the reliable mid-summer releases. Sometimes the reason is simply beating other films to the punch and audiences occasionally find some some pleasant May surprises. Here’s what’s coming next month: CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE AT THE CLARKSDALE PRESS REGISTER WEBSITE

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MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): PREDATORS, BLOOD AND BONE, THE WHITE RIBBON, THE BROOD, ECLIPSE…

Posted on July 15th, 2010
MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!):  PREDATORS, BLOOD AND BONE, THE WHITE RIBBON, THE BROOD, ECLIPSE…

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Coop’s most recent MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter):

All I can think about is how jazzed I am about INCEPTION tomorrow…

PREDATORS: Cheesy fun that honors and expands upon the original. Quite satisfying, but does it warrant more sequels? Maybe. 3&1/2 out of 5

BLOOD AND BONE: Michael Jai White plays badass, honorable ex-con fighting in underground circuits. Another Lionheart remake. Bah. 2 out of 3

THE WHITE RIBBON: In a pre-WWI German village, a cruel act reveals an underlying evil. Masterful allegory on the rise of fascism. 5 out of 5

THE BROOD: Shrink invents therapy to manifest rage in flesh of patients. Mediocre Cronenberg film still tops most horror efforts. 3 out of 5

ECLIPSE: Better than the first two due to bigger battles and neat vamp backstories. Romance scenes still terminally cheezy. 3&1/2 out of 5

Thy Twitter has spoken.

-Coop
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MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): GET HIM TO THE GREEK, BITCH SLAP, THE CALAMARI WRESTLER, TALES FROM THE SCRIPT, Uwe Boll’s RAMPAGE…

Posted on June 21st, 2010
MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!):  GET HIM TO THE GREEK, BITCH SLAP, THE CALAMARI WRESTLER, TALES FROM THE SCRIPT, Uwe Boll’s RAMPAGE…

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Coop’s most recent MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter):

Got some high-rated exploitation (and one documentary) this time around! All of these movies are terrific, especially Uwe Boll’s surprisingly powerful RAMPAGE (who would have expected that one?)…

RAMPAGE: Uwe Boll knocks one out of the park. Hyperviolent domestic terrorist shocker delivers. Hell freezes over. 4 out of 5

BITCH SLAP: Fun, hyper violent, tongue-in-cheek exploitation about 3 sex bombs killing each other over loot. 3&1/2 out of 5

THE CALAMARI WRESTLER: Japanese wrestler dies and reincarnates in a mansized rubber squid suit. New camp classic. 4 out of 5

TALES FROM THE SCRIPT: A little bitter, but a must-see doc for anyone even remotely interested in screenwriting. 4 out of 5

GET HIM TO THE GREEK: Russell Brand = comedic genius. Best drug freak out scene of all time. Can’t stop giggling. 4 out of 5

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MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): SPLICE, EXAM, D.E.B.S., DISCTRICT B13: ULTIMATUM, VALHALLA RISING…

Posted on June 7th, 2010
MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): SPLICE, EXAM, D.E.B.S., DISCTRICT B13: ULTIMATUM, VALHALLA RISING…

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Coop’s most recent MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter):

SPLICE: Frankenstein redo with icky scruples, laughably repulsive monster and jerk hipster protagonists. Uncool. 2 out of 5.

EXAM: 8 job hopefuls locked in a room with ticking clock and menacing set of rules. Cool concept, sloppy plot. 3 out of 5.

D.E.B.S.: Lesbian evil mastermind seduces crack agent of an all-girl superspy team. Spoof undermines message. 1 out of 5.

DISTRICT B13: ULTIMATUM… Cliche, low on action. Huge insult to the original which set action standards. 2 out of 5.

VALHALLA RISING: A bloody, trippy, grimy, violent, slow and pretentious allegory for the death of religion. 2 out of 5.

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G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA (2009) *** movie review by COOP

Posted on August 11th, 2009
G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA (2009) *** movie review by COOP

Most children of the 80’s remember getting home from school and turning on the TV to watch a double dose of “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” cartoons. In retrospect, these 30 minute time-wasters don’t hold up too well in the modern day of computer generated animation and not so easily impressed pre-teens. That didn’t stop Michael Bay from creating two mega-blockbuster “Transformers” films, nor did it discourage “The Mummy” series director Stephen Sommers from attempting a live-action “G.I. Joe” adaptation. For a big, dumb action movie idea, I’d say they hired the perfect director for the job.

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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #7: COOP commands you to sweep the leg! You have a problem with that?

Posted on August 1st, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #7: COOP commands you to sweep the leg! You have a problem with that?

One of the most culturally iconic films of the 80’s, Pat Morita scored an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the gentle and reluctant karate sensei, Mr. Miagi. The film is so quotable, you can spout off nearly any line from it and everyone would know exactly which film you’re referring to. “Wax on, wax off”…

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The Secret Lives of Stunt Women by COOP

Posted on July 30th, 2009
The Secret Lives of Stunt Women by COOP

Coop here reporting from Los Angeles. While I’m in town, I thought I’d find some interesting film industry folks to learn more about what they do. Luckily, I stumbled upon some old friends who enlightened me to a part of the business I knew very little about.

Of all the individuals in film, few are as mysterious and unique as those who do stunt work. Not only do these artists employ acting skills, they also harness fierce athletic abilities to achieve seemingly impossible (or painful-looking feats). Those who perform stunts form a very tight circle in the business; and in the case of women, one of the tightest circles in the entire industry…

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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #6: Need inspiration to get in shape? VISION QUEST has it! by COOP

Posted on July 25th, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #6: Need inspiration to get in shape?  VISION QUEST has it!  by COOP

Sports movies reached a pinnacle in the 80’s with many shining examples of how underdogs can triumph through sportsmanship, hard work and the desire to “win or die in the attempt” (something my old football coached turned into the acronym “W.O.D.I.T.A.”). Vision Quest (1985) is the best of these films. Matthew Modine plays Louden Swain, a smart and precocious beanpole who suddenly decides to give his high school career meaning by performing a near impossible feat…

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Neo the ninja! The creators of THE MATRIX return with a NINJA ASSASSIN trailer! by COOP

Posted on July 23rd, 2009
Neo the ninja!  The creators of THE MATRIX return with a NINJA ASSASSIN trailer!  by COOP

Meh? First of all, this MTV exclusive trailer is of very poor quality. You can’t tell what’s going on half the time. What’s really disturbing is even though you can’t make out much, you can still see how crappy the CGI throwing stars and digital blood look. Then you have ninjas with machine guns and rocket launchers, mystical Shinobi magic, a ninja getting run over by a car… What is all this junk?…

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Bob is right… FIGHTING sucks. by COOP

Posted on April 27th, 2009
Bob is right…  FIGHTING sucks.  by COOP

Sometimes a comment hits the nail square on the head and it gets me talking. I wrote an article awhile back about how “Fighting” looks a rip-off or remake of the Jean Claude Van Damme action film “Lionheart.” Imagine my shock when I suddenly got no less than 15 profane and obscene comments from dudes who flat out hate Channing Tatum. None of them were constructive opinions, merely rage-filled ramblings of malcontents. While I didn’t appreciate their inappropriate remarks (I deleted the comments for decency’s sake), I can identify with their anger…

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BLEEDIN’ WICKED GOOGLY… Films about 35 of those “Other” Sports (Part 4 of 7) by JAY

Posted on April 26th, 2009
BLEEDIN’ WICKED GOOGLY… Films about 35 of those “Other” Sports (Part 4 of 7) by JAY

Did you know there was a movie about lacross? Neither did I. Jay counts down #’s 16 through 20 of the sports movies you may (or may not) know about. Now, if only they’d make a movie about competitive cockfighting…

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10 TOUGHEST MOVIE HEROES OF ALL TIME by COOP

Posted on April 8th, 2009
10 TOUGHEST MOVIE HEROES OF ALL TIME by COOP

These are the heroes that just won’t go down no matter what you thow at them. The best of the best. The Greatest. Here’s the criteria I used while making the list… a. The heroes must survive to the end of their film/franchise. b. No superheroes with superpowers. c. Pick heroes who represent cult phenom films. These are my results:

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THE PERFECT SLEEP… Oldman, Rutten, Bono all say DO NOT GO SEE THIS MOVIE! by COOP

Posted on March 16th, 2009
THE PERFECT SLEEP… Oldman, Rutten, Bono all say DO NOT GO SEE THIS MOVIE! by COOP

Obviously a fantastic put-on, the creators of the new Noir/Martial Arts film “The Perfect Sleep” have gotten Gary Oldman, UFC fighting legend Bas Rutten and Bono to speak out AGAINST this movie in a hilariously bizarre promotional video. Yep, you heard me right… It’s a “film noir” film mixed with martial arts. It’s a genre […]

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FIGHTING = a remake of LIONHEART??? by COOP **UPDATED**

Posted on January 15th, 2009
FIGHTING = a remake of LIONHEART??? by COOP **UPDATED**

Definitely one of the best Jean Claude Van Damme arena fighting movies, “Lionheart” opened theatrically in 1990 and solidified the actor’s action star status. The story follows Lyon Gaultier (Van Damme) who goes AWOL from the French Foreign Legion when he hears his brother has been killed. He stows away to America to find his […]

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REDBELT (2008) ***1/2 DVD review by COOP

Posted on September 21st, 2008
REDBELT (2008) ***1/2 DVD review by COOP

If anyone is to enjoy this film, you must have these three prerequisites… 1. An interest in martial arts, both practice and philosophy 2. A love for David Mamet’s work and style 3. An appreciation for art-house movies If you don’t qualify for even one of these, you won’t get “Redbelt.” Lucky for me, I […]

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ONG BAK 2: A neat trailer for martial arts fans! by COOP

Posted on June 17th, 2008
ONG BAK 2: A neat trailer for martial arts fans! by COOP

Tony Jaa’s acting debut in the original “Ong Bak” made him an overnight sensation and boosted Thai cinema into the limelight. It also set a new standard for stunts and hyper-realistic, martial arts combat. His follow up, “The Protector (Tom Yum Goong)” showcased the two best martial arts scenes I’ve ever witnessed. If this promo […]

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KUNG FU PANDA (2008) **** Film review by COOP

Posted on June 11th, 2008
KUNG FU PANDA (2008) **** Film review by COOP

I love martial arts films. Doesn’t matter if you do, you’ll still like this one. It’s got fuzzy animals talking. Jack Black plays a panda and Angelina Jolie, a tiger. Tigress, rather. I don’t have to convince most of you to see this one. If you have kids, you’re already locked in. It’s an animated […]

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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
SEMI-FINALIST: 2017 NanoCon International Science-Fiction Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2017 Crossroads Film Festival
2017 Clarksdale Film Festival
2017 Twisted Dreams Film Festival
2017 Tupelo Film Festival
2017 FantaSci Short 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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