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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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The STRAW DOGS remake to take place in Mississippi? This hacks me off. by COOP

Posted on August 19th, 2009
The STRAW DOGS remake to take place in Mississippi? This hacks me off. by COOP

Just when I think my home state was finally getting some decent movies portraying the state in a positive light (like The Blind Side which releases on Thanksgiving), the goons who thought it was a good idea to remake Straw Dogs decided it should take place in Mississippi instead of England this time.

Cue the inbred, violent, Southern redneck stereotypes…






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COOP discovers a long-lost tale from his past! New Zealand’s sci-fi epic UNDER THE MOUNTAIN is actually a remake (trailer included)!

Posted on July 13th, 2009
COOP discovers a long-lost tale from his past!  New Zealand’s sci-fi epic UNDER THE MOUNTAIN is actually a remake (trailer included)!

While cruising the Ain’t It Cool News website, I came across the trailer for a new NZ film starring Sam Neill titled “Under the Mountain.” Supposedly it’s a very famous tale that all Kiwi kids grew up with, but how they heck would I know anything about it? Probably another generic kiddie fantasy like “The Last Mimzy” or something lame like that, but I figured but I checked it out anyway… SHOCK!!! I know this story and it’s pretty freakin’ awesome!…






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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS SATURDAY! #3 listen to a groovy song and watch THE BLOB (1986) for free! by DARK SIDE

Posted on July 4th, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS SATURDAY! #3 listen to a groovy song and watch THE BLOB (1986) for free! by DARK SIDE

One of the greatest horror gems of 1988 wasn’t a Freddy or Jason movie. It was a remake. One of the best sci-fi/horror remakes of all time actually, and it rarely gets any love. That’s right, I’m talking about “The Blob.” Pshaw, you say? Who’s afraid of Jell-O? Steve McQueen certainly wasn’t in the original 1958 “Blob.” That’s cuz that kiddie movie didn’t have the amazingly inventive/disgusting kills and the rockin’ 80’s feel of its far superior remake…






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OH NO YOU DIDN’T #2: Nic Cage sinks to a new low in BAD LIEUTENANT remake trailer! by COOP

Posted on May 29th, 2009
OH NO YOU DIDN’T #2:  Nic Cage sinks to a new low in BAD LIEUTENANT remake trailer!  by COOP

Apparently Werner Herzog had a brain aneurism and in his limited faculties suddenly thought remaking this film starring an increasingly looney Nic Cage and setting it in New Orleans to make use of southern stereotypes was a fantastic idea. While it sounded goofy to me, nothing prepared me for the hilarious awfulness that awaited me when I saw this first promo trailer…






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V returns and we have advanced clips! Death to the lizards! by COOP

Posted on May 19th, 2009
V returns and we have advanced clips!  Death to the lizards!  by COOP

Yep, it’s another (sigh) remake. But I actually don’t mind if they update this one since the old 1985 TV miniseries/short-lived series doesn’t hold up well these days. In case you don’t remember, were stil in diapers or sitting around in the guff waiting to be born, “V” begins with a bunch of city-sized spacecraft that appear over every major city in the world (yep, “Independence Day” kinda ripped that part off). Turns out they look exactly like us with the exception of their robot-sounding, metallic voice. Instead of attacking, the aliens announce they are happy to find us and would like to share their technology in exchange for some raw materials such as…






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If TERMINATOR SALVATION is a reboot, what does this mean for the future of cinema? by COOP

Posted on May 18th, 2009
If TERMINATOR SALVATION is a reboot, what does this mean for the future of cinema? by COOP

With “Terminator Salvation” coming out this weekend, predictably the studio is ramping up its marketing campaign which incidentally shows more and more of the film (as is the usual M.O.). I’ve read all the rumors about the big twist at the end, which many have spoken out against, but I think is kind of brilliant from the standpoint that the original Terminator mythology still has a few shocks to reveal in its cataclysmic bible. I won’t discuss the twist here (mentioning spoilers is unofficially against my policy), but rather something else that’s bothering me from the trailer…






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STAR TREK (2009) ***1/2 movie review by COOP

Posted on May 11th, 2009
STAR TREK (2009) ***1/2 movie review by COOP

When I learned of the existence of this franchise reboot, I was fraught with a wide range of emotions. At first I hated the idea of a new “Star Trek” retreading old territory with a new cast. Finally after some outstanding trailers and overwhelmingly positive advanced word, I started getting my hopes up. After viewing it, I have mixed feelings about the end result. While it makes for a terrific summer action flick…






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DISTRICT 9 trailer shows it’s definitely a remake of ALIEN NATION. Prove me wrong! sez COOP

Posted on May 6th, 2009
DISTRICT 9 trailer shows it’s definitely a remake of ALIEN NATION.  Prove me wrong!  sez COOP

Seriously, before anyone starts claiming that Neill Blomkamp and Producer Peter Jackson have an original idea here, I want the world to know that they don’t. As a fan of the original film “Alien Nation” (a.k.a. “Outer Heat,” “Future Tense”), I’ll find it hard to swallow if Blomkamp doesn’t cite the original material which spawned a popular sci-fi TV show AND five made for TV movies. C’mon, Neill… we know where you got this from…






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G-G-G-GHOSTS!!!! JU-ON (THE GRUDGE) videogame looks scarier than the movies! by DARK SIDE

Posted on May 4th, 2009
G-G-G-GHOSTS!!!!  JU-ON (THE GRUDGE) videogame looks scarier than the movies! by DARK SIDE

It’s a shame that people have gotten so down on the “Ju-on” series of films and remakes. Strike that, I mean the first one. Umm… actually I have no idea which one I saw. Believe it or not there are eight films in this franchise. Apparently the first two films were remade in Japan first, then remade again for American audiences (I seemed to have missed one in there, but I digress). My point is that whichever Japanese version I actually saw was one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen. Flash forward to present day…






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G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA (French) trailer. Cobra attacks using green goo! by COOP

Posted on April 30th, 2009
G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA (French) trailer.  Cobra attacks using green goo! by COOP

I imagine a lot of people are going to get excited about this… A big new international trailer was just released on the nets showing G.I. Joe and Cobra in action. Looks ULTRA CORNY, but very comic book-like and kinetic. Big explosions, lots of impossible tech, Starship Troopers-like mech suits, green ooze that eats metal, black on white ninja action… It’s all here and it shows a LOT more than the previous teaser…






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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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H2: HALLOWEEN 2 trailer. I don’t know what to say. Oh wait… yeah I do. by DARK SIDE

Posted on April 24th, 2009
H2:  HALLOWEEN 2 trailer.  I don’t know what to say.  Oh wait…  yeah I do.  by DARK SIDE

With his “H2” coming out at the end of August, Zombie looks poised to make some additional enemies and solidify the ones he made two years ago. It’s a nice trailer. Very tense and cut together well. It’s also NOT “Halloween.” Here we have “Hobo with a knife” Michael terrorizing Laurie Strode again, but this time not on Halloween…






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PREDATORS!!! Robert Rodriguez will finally move ahead on his “Predator” sequel/reboot! by DARK SIDE

Posted on April 24th, 2009
PREDATORS!!!  Robert Rodriguez will finally move ahead on his “Predator” sequel/reboot! by DARK SIDE

YES!!! It’s been confirmed over at Ain’t It Cool News. That awesome-sounding script from the 90’s that Rodriguez wrote about Schwarzenegger’s character getting kidnapped by the Predators and put into some sort of zoo or prison and he has to team up with other alien species to escape… Yeah, I always liked that idea. Now Rodriguez gets another chance with the franchise and this time, it’s really moving forward. He’s saying it’s going to be a “reboot,” but no one knows whether that will include…






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KIRK, meet BONES. STAR TREK 2009 video clips! by COOP

Posted on April 21st, 2009
KIRK, meet BONES.  STAR TREK 2009 video clips!  by COOP

This has been out for a bit, but after coming across it again I heard the ghostly voice of Deforest Kelly telling me to post it. I swear I don’t know what Carl Urban is smoking but for the first time in his career, he’s finally impressed me. If this clip is any indication, he’s got Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy nailed better than Kelly himself. I’ll know for sure once I hear him say a “Dammit Jim! I’m a doctor, not a ________!” line. Here’s a clip that shows…






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STATE OF PLAY (2009) *** quick review by COOP

Posted on April 20th, 2009
STATE OF PLAY (2009) *** quick review by COOP

I’m mostly agree with Sebastian’s review on this one, but it did not excite me as much as other efforts like “The Insider” and 70’s political thrillers like “The Conversation.” There were some extremely clever (but sometimes confusing) twists and turns. I didn’t feel that the final twist and resolution made for a completely logical or compelling moment, but I appreciated the level of depth the filmmakers managed to achieve. What “State of Play” does add to the table is some pretty insightful thoughts on issues…






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STATE OF PLAY (2009) ***** movie review by SEBASTIAN

Posted on April 19th, 2009
STATE OF PLAY (2009) ***** movie review by SEBASTIAN

Director Kevin Macdonald scores a homerun with this tale of Capital Hill conspiracy and intrigue. Macdonald’s “Last King of Scotland” failed to impress me, but State of Play is the real deal: a thriller with teeth and enough story to keep you thinking well after the last frame rolls. If you like films like “All the President’s Men” and “The Insider”, then this film is for you. U.S. Senator Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) is forced to turn to old friend and reporter Cal McAffrey for help after the death of an aide exposes a personal conflict that threatens…






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“Bard None: A Cinematic Guide to Really Bad Shakespeare” by JAY

Posted on April 16th, 2009
“Bard None:  A Cinematic Guide to Really Bad Shakespeare” by JAY

Terrence Howard is Macbeth. That’s not a typo. The “Hustle and Flow” star recently announced plans to not only bring the seminal Shakespearean tragedy to the big screen but to set it in the Caribbean confines of Puerto Rico and cast himself in the title role. No start date has as yet been set for “Macbeth, Mon” but I’ll wager it’ll be a favorite of the Sundance set come 2010. Oh, and Eddie Murphy has decided to reinvent the wheel by taking “Romeo and Juliet” and shifting the focus of the story to Mom and Pop Montague and Capulet; thereby turning the treasured tale of unrequited love into “Meeteth the Fockers”…






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RED DAWN remake! Someone has seen the script! by COOP

Posted on April 15th, 2009
RED DAWN remake!  Someone has seen the script!  by COOP

No, that someone isn’t me… But, from what I’m hearing so far, I’m not too eager to read the thing. As you might’ve guessed, this time the Chinese invade. This isn’t so fun because it turns the whole thing into a war against races as well as countries (as you might remember, the cast of protagonists in the original “Red Dawn” were all pretty much all white).






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Not a Xenu’s chance in hell… Travolta + Cruise does NOT = BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID!!! by JAY

Posted on April 9th, 2009
Not a Xenu’s chance in hell…  Travolta + Cruise does NOT = BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID!!!  by JAY

(NOTE: Jay is a master of observational sarcasm and a welcome new contributor to The Small Town Critic. Behold his wit and satire in this news item that rightfully scores a solid 10 on the ludicrous scale)… So Tom Cruise is teaming up with BFF and fellow Scientologist John Travolta to remake the Newman / Redford […]

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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 Nightmares 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

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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