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THE MIST television remake pilot stumbles, but GLOW on Netflix is a sensation worth binging…

Posted on June 26th, 2017
THE MIST television remake pilot stumbles, but GLOW on Netflix is a sensation worth binging…

by Coop Cooper

“The Mist” (Thursdays @ 9pm Central on Spike) – Based on the novella by Stephen King, “The Mist” tells the story of a traditional small town in Maine enveloped by an ominous fog full of gigantic murderous monsters. While the townspeople try to survive the horrors within the mist, they turn on each other when the situation becomes increasingly hopeless.

A 2007 feature film-adaptation of the novel directed by “The Walking Dead” TV series creator Frank Darabont, received both critical and popular acclaim. While it was considered faithful to the original source material, it contained a different, shockingly bleak ending that fans and even King himself hailed as an improvement over the novella. The movie adaptation also featured some fantastic, grotesque monster designs…

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WESTWORLD HBO series has more in common with BLADE RUNNER than the original…

Posted on October 10th, 2016
WESTWORLD HBO series has more in common with BLADE RUNNER than the original…

by Coop Cooper

The original 1973 “Westworld” film written/directed by Michael Crichton starred Richard Benjamin and James Brolin as two yuppies who spend a small fortune to visit the adult theme park of the future where humans can experience the old ‘Wild West’ of the late 1800’s. Since the characters in the theme park are played by emotionless robots, the guests can visit brothels and shoot any robot they want without consequence. However, when a glitch in programming causes a robot uprising, they must fight for their lives as they are relentlessly pursued by a villainous gunslinger robot (Yul Brynner) who won’t stop until they are dead.

That simple setup inspired an entire genre of ‘evil robot’ sci-fi movies, made most famous by “The Terminator” film franchise. The new HBO series “Westworld” takes a completely different and more complex approach to the idea by telling the story mostly from the perspective of the robots and the behind-the-scenes employees…






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THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (2016) is a remake I can actually get behind…

Posted on September 28th, 2016
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (2016) is a remake I can actually get behind…

by Coop Cooper

In a Hollywood bloated with remakes, only a few seem like a good idea. Take the recent remake of “The Magnificent Seven” for example. The original 1960 western was actually a remake itself. “Seven Samurai” (1954) was the true original film which has been remade many times, even into a space opera – “Battle Beyond the Stars” (1980). For a classic property that has been remade so many times, it’s hard to blame a studio for attempting to update the western version of it again, especially when it looks as good as this one…






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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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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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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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ROBOCOP remake omits everything I loved about the original…

Posted on February 21st, 2014
ROBOCOP remake omits everything I loved about the original…

by Coop Cooper

The new “RoboCop” film is a textbook example of how Hollywood can mix all of the right elements together and still produce a vastly inferior remake when compared to the original.

Undercover Detroit cop Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) steps on the wrong toes and gets blown apart by a car bomb. Omni Consumer Products salvages enough of Murphy’s body to transform him into RoboCop, the next generation of robot technology merged with a human being. Designed to soften the image of the company’s militarized drone industry to make way for global expansion, Murphy is left with his free will intact. As he tries to come to terms with the loss of his organic body and his endangered relationship with his family, OCP has become concerned with his human-like hesitation and occasional panic attacks. They fiddle with his circuitry resulting in the loss of his humanity, turning him into an uncompromising, fascist drone. However, while solving his own attempted murder, Murphy begins to regain his humanity and take down those responsible, much to the chagrin of the corporation’s CEO (Michael Keaton)…






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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…






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DJANGO UNCHAINED… good movie, makes Mississippi look like hell on Earth?

Posted on January 4th, 2013
DJANGO UNCHAINED…  good movie, makes Mississippi look like hell on Earth?

Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has evolved a great deal as a filmmaker since he wrote and directed “Reservoir Dogs” in the 1992. Refusing to join the Directors Guild so that he could sidestep Hollywood bureaucracy and have total control over his projects was a bold move that few could have pulled off. It gave him nearly unprecedented creative control over big-budgeted films spawned from his fertile imagination. The downside to this he has no one to reign him in when he makes dubious stylistic decisions and while “Django Unchained” is a superior films in most regards, Tarantino could have used a few respected advisers who might have discouraged him from lapsing into his more questionable cinematic fetishes…






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RED DAWN remake review… It’s not 1984 anymore

Posted on November 30th, 2012
RED DAWN remake review…  It’s not 1984 anymore

by Coop Cooper

“Red Dawn”: In this remake of the 1984 action classic, North Korea hits America with an experimental superweapon that cripples the U.S. military. As the rogue country invades, teenagers in Spokane, WA escape to the wilderness and learn guerrilla warfare from an older sibling (Chris Hemsworth), a soldier on leave from the war in Afghanistan. Using techniques used against the U.S. military in Vietnam and the Middle East, the teens strike back against the invaders, while suffering sacrifices along the way.

If you recall my previous articles about this film, you’d know this remake was supposed to be released back in 2010, but was shelved after MGM went bankrupt. It was delayed even longer when the studio got cold feet about how the film market in China would react to being the villains of the film. After spending an extra million dollars to alter the footage to make North Korea the enemy, “Red Dawn” was quietly released over Thanksgiving. Was the million dollar makeover and the wait worth it?…






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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…






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THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2011 remake) review

Posted on January 4th, 2012
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2011 remake) review

Set in modern-day Sweden, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is a high-profile journalist publicly disgraced after failing to expose a corrupt business baron. The patriarch of a wealthy dynasty (Christopher Plummer) hires Mikael to investigate a 40 year-old disappearance of a niece in return for information that could clear Mikael’s reputation. When Mikael’s investigation reveals he is on the trail of an elusive serial killer, he enlists the aid of the brilliant, yet antisocial computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), to help him analyze the cryptic evidence.

Based off of the sleeper-hit novels by the late Swedish author, Stieg Larsson, “Dragon Tattoo” was adapted into a 2009 Swedish film with the two remaining sequels filmed back-to-back. The films became an international success and propelled Noomi Rapace (the original Lisbeth Salander) into the Hollywood A-list, securing her first English-speaking role in “Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.” Regardless of the success of these films in the U.S., Hollywood is never one to pass up on remaking a foreign-language hit…






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Does STRAW DOGS (2011) harm Mississippi’s reputation?

Posted on December 23rd, 2011
Does STRAW DOGS (2011) harm Mississippi’s reputation?

Based on the original 1971 classic, this version of “Straw Dogs” moves the locale from rural England to rural Mississippi. David (James Marsden) and Amy Sumner (Kate Bosworth) return from Hollywood to Amy’s home town to fix up her deceased father’s hurricane-damaged home and so David can get some quiet time to work on his next screenplay. They soon run into Charlie (Alexander Skarsgard) and his contracting crew hired to fix up the Sumner barn. Charlie, an ex beau of Amy’s, gives David a hard time and leers at Amy along with his cronies. An escalating series of circumstances results in these mean-spirited locals pushing too far. They lay siege to the house, giving David and Amy no choice but to fight for their lives…






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“Footloose” might be the best 80’s remake ever

Posted on October 14th, 2011
“Footloose” might be the best 80’s remake ever

The current trend of remaking beloved films of past generations is often met with ire by both critics and movie goers alike. In spite of this vicious cycle, Memphian filmmaker Craig Brewer has accomplished a near impossible feat… He remade one of the most beloved pop movies from the 80’s and actually improved upon it. In short, “Footloose” (2011) is an amazingly entertaining film.

Teen orphan Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald) moves from Boston to a small town in Georgia after his mother dies of cancer. His good-hearted uncle (Ray McKinnon) takes him in and makes him feel at home, but Ren soon runs afoul of a county ordinance that bans loud music and dancing…






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Communists have already won in RED DAWN remake

Posted on April 4th, 2011
Communists have already won in RED DAWN remake

A favorite film of my childhood, “Red Dawn” (1985) told a bloody fantasy about American teens forced into guerilla warfare against an invading Soviet/Cuban coalition. It starred the late Patrick Swayze, Hollywood’s most popular current meltdown Charlie Sheen and an ensemble of up-and-coming young stars. A new 2009 remake intended to update the concept, making China the primary invading force, but the film was mysteriously shelved and unspoken of until now.

The venerable Hollywood studio MGM revealed this month that it spent an extra $1 million dollars to change the film so as not to offend a country that is far from being a U.S. ally. “Red Dawn” remake producer Tripp Vinson spoke to the press to try to explain why the studio paid an exorbitant amount of money to digitally change the Chinese invaders of the film into the North Korean military: “We were initially very reluctant to make any changes, but… READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT THE CLARKSDALE PRESS REGISTER WEBSITE






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SHERLOCK HOLMES (2009) *** movie review by COOP

Posted on December 30th, 2009
SHERLOCK HOLMES (2009) *** movie review by COOP

Like any other venerable, once-popular property, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes was bound to get a Hollywood redo sooner or later. Since I never much cared for the stuffy, British “Sherlock” films of the past, I welcomed the idea of a more stylized, updated version of the eccentric detective. Despite my usual dislike of the overrated English director, Guy Ritchie (better known as Madonna’s ex-husband), I felt his modern panache would mix well with the Victorian Era mystery genre. While all the right ingredients seemed present, the end result…






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AVATAR (2009) *** movie review by COOP

Posted on December 23rd, 2009
AVATAR (2009) *** movie review by COOP

The most highly anticipated film of the year, “Avatar” marks director James Cameron’s first feature film since 1997’s “Titanic.” The notoriously meticulous filmmaker has painstakingly prepared this film, utilizing the largest motion picture budget to date. An estimated $300 million went into the making of this science fiction epic which boasts revolutionary 3-D imagery and supposedly “photo-real” special effects. Given Cameron’s exceptional track record for delivering some of the most successful mega-budget blockbusters of all time, “Avatar” has a lot to live up to…






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HALLOWEEN II (2009) * movie review by DARK SIDE

Posted on September 4th, 2009
HALLOWEEN II (2009) * movie review by DARK SIDE

It’s a sad weekend when your best new release choice is another lousy horror remake. I strongly disliked director Rob Zombie’s first “Halloween” remake in execution and in principle. It made a mint, but was so poorly received by critics and fans of the original classic, the indignant Zombie swore to not do a sequel. Two years later he broke that promise with a sequel even poorer than his first. Methinks dollar signs and ego played a part in his decision to beat a dead horse and I sincerely doubt after this stinker, anyone would want to see a third…






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Hollywood Green or “Everything Old is New Again” by JAY

Posted on August 28th, 2009
Hollywood Green or “Everything Old is New Again” by JAY

Recycling is all the rage these days. In my neighborhood up in the Pacific Northwest, it’s almost a religion. In Michigan it’s actually mandatory – but at 10¢ a can, who’s complaining? Yep, taking a discarded resource and reshaping it into a usable commodity for a fraction of the cost of producing new materials is nothing new. In fact Hollywood has been doing just that for decades…






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Is fear of the MPAA the reason why most American horror films (like THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake) wimp out? by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 20th, 2009
Is fear of the MPAA the reason why most American horror films (like THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake) wimp out? by DARK SIDE

Just saw the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated (3 out of 5 stars) about how how the Motion Picture Association of America has one of the most powerful, secretive and arbitrarily unchecked bureaucratic systems in the U.S. When you can hand down a rating for a movie (G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17) and not have to give a reason, nor reveal who made the decision, you’ve got an abuse of power there, sir! While I usually don’t have too many qualms with their system – because frankly…






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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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