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BABY DRIVER, best movie of the year so far?…

Posted on July 10th, 2017
BABY DRIVER, best movie of the year so far?…

by Coop Cooper

Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a savant genius at driving cars. Orphaned at a young age, he boosted the car of the dangerous gangster, Doc (Kevin Spacey), who recognized his special talent. Now Baby is Doc’s top getaway driver, although his talents and strangeness causes distrust and resentment from his fellow criminals. However, unlike his colleagues, Baby has a deaf foster father (CJ Jones) and a new girlfriend (Lily James) to worry about. Nearly done paying his debt to Doc, Baby has plans to get out, but an unstable, trigger-happy bank robber named Bats (Jamie Foxx) could put everybody Baby cares about in danger…

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Will escalating political correctness result in the censoring or banning of classic movies?

Posted on May 15th, 2017
Will escalating political correctness result in the censoring or banning of classic movies?

by Coop Cooper

Last week I happened to catch the 1939 film “Drums Along the Mohawk” starring Henry Fonda about colonial settlers running afoul of Indians and the British during the American Revolution. In an early scene, Fonda’s character, Gilbert, brings his pampered and delicate new bride, Lana (played by Claudette Colbert), to his modest homestead in the wilderness. The first night they arrive, while Gilbert is out gathering firewood, an old ‘Indian’ appears at the door, frightening Lana. She collapses in a fit of hysteria and when Gilbert rushes in and tries to explain to her that the Indian is his trusted friend ‘Blue Back’, she continues her hysterical fit until Gilbert slaps very hard her across the face, snapping her out of it. Blue Back walks outside and brings back a large stick. He tells Gilbert that Lana is a fine-looking wife but a stick would be more efficient in beating her next time she gets out of hand.

In 1939, this scene was meant to be humorous, but now in the modern era, the laughter would more likely come from how un-politically correct this moment is…






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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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Now that everyone’s offended, will we ever truly enjoy media again?…

Posted on February 12th, 2016
Now that everyone’s offended, will we ever truly enjoy media again?…

by Coop Cooper

I’ve never appreciated Super Bowl halftime shows very much. To me they always felt like pop-culture pandering to the masses, but it is quite clear a monumental amount of talent and organization goes into the production. When I saw Beyoncé perform with Coldplay and Bruno Mars, I didn’t think much of it other than “That Mars guy knows how to dance” and “Coldplay looks out of place” and “Why is Beyoncé dressed like Michael Jackson during his military uniform phase?” Little did I know Beyoncé was setting off a political firestorm in which many felt her performance was disrespectful towards America’s law enforcement officers by emulating the Black Panthers…






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More exceptional films from 2014…

Posted on January 16th, 2015
More exceptional films from 2014…

by Coop Cooper

I’m still powering through many of the 2014 films that are up for awards and here are five more I think are exceptional and worthy of a watch…

“Birdman” – A washed up actor (Michael Keaton) tries to salvage a troubled play production that could revitalize his career, but a narcissistic, unhinged co-star (Edward Norton), a zany cast of misfits and his own psychosis could derail his comeback. Shot to look like it was filmed in one continuous shot (it wasn’t), “Birdman” is an actor’s dream film which will be most well known for singlehandedly – if not temporarily – resurrecting Michael Keaton’s career…






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Country band ‘Lucy Angel’ brings the heat in Clarksdale

Posted on July 5th, 2011
Country band ‘Lucy Angel’ brings the heat in Clarksdale

Mississippi’s new tax incentives for filmmakers have only recently been implemented and already we are seeing the industry taking advantage. Up-and-coming country band ‘Lucy Angel’ surprised and delighted many Clarksdale residents this past Sunday when they arrived in the New World district to shoot the latest music video for their song “Serious.” Producer Jay Carl Nelson, who shot a trailer for his prospective film “Mud Dog Blues” here in town last year, once again chose Clarksdale as the setting for this latest project with Lucy Angel…






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MUD DOG BLUES crew returns to Clarksdale by COOP

Posted on December 12th, 2009
MUD DOG BLUES crew returns to Clarksdale by COOP

On Saturday December 5th, Producers Jay Carl Nelson and Brett Magdovitz returned to Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale to screen the new trailer for their projected feature film “Mud Dog Blues” to the public. “Mud Dog” co-star and 12 year-old son of Nelson, Chase Dean Nelson also accompanied the producers to promote the project. The film will star GregAlan Williams (“Remember the Titans,” “Boston Legal,” “Baywatch” and “The Sopranos”), country music superstar Billy Dean, and Bigg Vinny the “Mac” from the band Trailer Choir. As the film’s promotional literature describes it:

This Project is a heartfelt family film about the “Blues” and the “Mississippi Delta”. Eleven year old Jake Bonham is the son of one of the wealthiest families in all of the South, but Jake…






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Oh, DETHKLOK. You’ve done it again! Review of DETHALBUM II by DARK SIDE

Posted on September 29th, 2009
Oh, DETHKLOK.  You’ve done it again!  Review of DETHALBUM II by DARK SIDE

Nope, it’s not movie news per se, BUT I’m trying to ease back into the horror scene after a long, pre-Halloween slumber. I’m kicking in the movie scene by reviewing Pandorum in the next day or two, but when a bunch of cartoon characters from “Adult Swim” can singlehandedly resurrect the flagging “death metal” scene, that’s news for the ages. Dethalbum II, by the fictional band Dethklok, hit iTunes last night at midnight and I downloaded it immediately. Why? Because Dethalbum I was so popular and completely owned the genre it satirizes…






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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #8 gets silly with YOR: HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE! by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 8th, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #8 gets silly with YOR: HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE! by DARK SIDE

I’ve been in denial for years over this film. Tried to convince myself that I didn’t actually see this movie in the theater… but I did.

Undoubtedly one of the the worst movies of the 80’s, Yor: Hunter from the Future made absolutely no sense and unapologetically oozed cheese from every celluloid frame it projected. Cashing in on the Sword and Sorcery/sci-fi hybrids of the early part of the decade (shared with films like Flash Gordon, Krull and Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn), Yor features American actor Reb (I played Captain American once) Brown running around in a loincloth, bad blond wig and a stone axe across a prehistoric landscape…






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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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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS (Special edition!) #4: Pee Wee and Dee Snider BURN IN HELL… by DARK SIDE

Posted on July 10th, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS (Special edition!) #4: Pee Wee and Dee Snider BURN IN HELL… by DARK SIDE

For shame, I never saw “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” in the theater. I ended up seeing it on VHS at summer camp after all the other campers endorsed it with one word… “Awesome.” At the time, “awesome” was a step above “radical,” “gnarly” and “wicked.” When that counselor with the creepy lazy eye put that tape in, I knew I was in for something special. One Large Marge and an Amazing Larry later, I knew I was destined to see this one again and again…






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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS! #2 (every Saturday!) COOP feels the need for speed!!!

Posted on June 27th, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS! #2 (every Saturday!) COOP feels the need for speed!!!

Ah, the summer of ’86.

I remember very clearly choosing to go see “Short Circuit” over “Top Gun” on opening weekend. In hindsight, that’s ridiculous but it happened. About a month later I finally saw Tom Cruise blow up Russians in his F-14 Tomcat and it blew me away. Even better was how entranced everyone was with the soundtrack. It was one of those tapes where every song was listenable (at the time) and people played it…






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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS! #1 (every Saturday!) by DARK SIDE

Posted on June 20th, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS! #1  (every Saturday!) by DARK SIDE

Many of us grew up in the 80’s watching the movies and listening to music. One song from that era can bring back so many great memories. Sometimes… songs remind us of movies (or vice-versa). HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS brings back those memories by connecting the songs we loved from the 80’s to the movie(s) they were attached to. Visit The Small Town Critic every Saturday to rock out with us to the songs and movies that shaped a generation…






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Dex Romweber and the TWO HEADED COW… definitely the most bizarre documentary screening/concert I’ve ever seen! by COOP

Posted on March 18th, 2009
Dex Romweber and the TWO HEADED COW… definitely the most bizarre documentary screening/concert I’ve ever seen! by COOP

I came for a rock show… I ended up reviewing a movie. The local Clarksdale, Mississippi newspaper said some guy named Dex Romweber, a 80’s rockabilly and alternative icon was going to play on St. Patrick’s Day evening at 7:30 at the old, Delta/Tyson single-screen movie theater downtown. “Say wha?” I said. The seats in […]

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ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL (2008) ****1/2… finally gets a release date! by COOP

Posted on February 27th, 2009
ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL (2008) ****1/2… finally gets a release date! by COOP

I’m very happy to hear this. I saw “Anvil!” back in June 2008 and thus ensued one of the most fun movie-going experiences I’ve ever had (go here to read my ANVIL! review). Like a documentary/mini-concert hybrid, the film tells the story of a band who influenced 99% of the heavy metal and thrash bands […]

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THE DARK SIDE CRITIC sez: “STOPS COPIES ME!”

Posted on January 17th, 2009
THE DARK SIDE CRITIC sez: “STOPS COPIES ME!”

You’re gonna have to forgive the self-indulgent post here, but this has been cracking me up all day. My love for “Metalocalypse” is no big secret but sometimes when an episode strikes me as hilarious, I can’t stop laughing for days. Take the episode “Dethcarraldo,” in which the band, Dethklok, hears about a drug called […]

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THE DARK SIDE CRITIC… MUST… GET ONE LAST REVIEW IN!!!… Music from RHYTHM NUN!!!

Posted on January 10th, 2009
THE DARK SIDE CRITIC… MUST… GET ONE LAST REVIEW IN!!!… Music from RHYTHM NUN!!!

I feel… the pull of Coop… THE SMALL TOWN CRITIC is about to take power during the eminent awards season. Whatever, I hijacked this site before and I can do it again. I’ll be back, and I suspect you’ll be ready for me when horror/exploitation reigns supreme. Until he breaks my final barrier, check out […]

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METALOCALYPSE!… THE DARK SIDE CRITIC finds something to love. Awww…

Posted on January 9th, 2009
METALOCALYPSE!… THE DARK SIDE CRITIC finds something to love. Awww…

Cartoon Network’s ADULTSWIM has outdone itself with this crazy little addition to its lineup. Did I say little? I meant GINORMOUS. These 15 minute shorts have become so popular, they’ve accomplished three unlikely feats: 1. Produced an album that debuted #21 on the Billboard’s Top 100 2. Spawned a concert tour in 2008 with sellout […]

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ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL (2008) ****1/2 event review by COOP

Posted on June 27th, 2008
ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL (2008) ****1/2 event review by COOP

I hate documentaries. They have an agenda, they’re preachy and too damn… based in reality. Can’t a man go to the cinema anymore and watch aliens blast the hell out of New York only to have Snake Plissken kick their butts and send them cryin’ back home to mama? (Damn, somebody make that movie and […]

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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 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.

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