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DARKEST HOUR is a triumph while THE SHAPE OF WATER is an overrated, preachy mess with good performances…

Posted on January 9th, 2018
DARKEST HOUR is a triumph while THE SHAPE OF WATER is an overrated, preachy mess with good performances…

by Coop Cooper

“The Shape of Water” – In early 1960’s Baltimore, a mute cleaning lady named Elisa (Sally Hawkins) works at a top secret government facility that soon acquires a new asset, a half-man/half-fish (Doug Jones) captured from the Amazon River. While the government scientists, lead by the cruel and sadistic G-Man Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon), experiments on the the fish man, Elisa forms an immediate romantic bond with it and learns she can communicate with it. When she discovers Strickland’s plan to kill and dissect the creature, she recruits her gay artist neighbor (Richard Jenkins), her co-worker (Octavia Spencer) and a Russian spy to help free him…

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BLACK MIRROR season 4 is the best season yet…

Posted on January 1st, 2018
BLACK MIRROR season 4 is the best season yet…

by Coop Cooper

The Netflix sci-fi anthology series “Black Mirror”, which focuses on how future technology could damage humankind, has arguably become the most culturally important show of its type since the original “Twilight Zone” series. Now in its fourth season, “Black Mirror” is continuously evolving to create stories that are relevant to the direction our current technological advancements are heading in, but it also is becoming more consistently great throughout each episode…

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Most anticipated films of the 1st Quarter of 2018…

Posted on December 26th, 2017
Most anticipated films of the 1st Quarter of 2018…

1. “Molly’s Game” (Jan. 5) – Written and Directed by Aaron Sorkin, this true story focuses on Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) who was targeted by the FBI for running the most exclusive high stakes poker operation in the world…

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STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI surprises old fans with something totally unexpected…

Posted on December 19th, 2017
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI surprises old fans with something totally unexpected…

by Coop Cooper

As far as Star Wars fandom goes, “The Force Awakens” had tough shoes to fill. It introduced new characters, re-introduced classic characters and had the unenviable job of resurrecting a storyline that has been in carbon freeze hibernation for thirty-four years. It was highly unlikely it would please all of the fans and predictably, the verdict was mixed among both fans and critics, but the film scored high with general audiences. As a lifelong and unapologetic “Star Wars” fan, I was one of the critics who was hard on it and my assessment became harsher with each repeated viewing. For me, the story felt ill-conceived, the writing poor and I didn’t feel endeared to the new characters. Imagine my surprise when “The Last Jedi” comes along and changes my mind about the unpredictable direction this new trilogy has taken…

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GODLESS and DARK: two new Netflix series that are mildly compelling…

Posted on December 5th, 2017
GODLESS and DARK: two new Netflix series that are mildly compelling…

by Coop Cooper

“Godless” (all episodes now available on Netflix) – The small Wild West town of La Belle, New Mexico, populated almost entirely by women, struggles to come back after a mining accident kills most of the male population. It soon becomes the target of the genocidal outlaw Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels) when his number one gunfighter, Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell) turns on him and seeks refuge there, showing up wounded on a nearby ranch run by a widow, Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery). With Griffin bearing down on them and with no means of escape, the citizens of La Belle prepare to defend themselves from the imminent massacre…

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THE PUNISHER and RUNAWAYS: Two new Marvel series that excel in very different ways…

Posted on November 27th, 2017
THE PUNISHER and RUNAWAYS: Two new Marvel series that excel in very different ways…

by Coop Cooper

“The Punisher” (all episodes available on Netflix) – Marine veteran Frank Castle (John Bernthal), whose family was killed in a mob hit gone wrong, puts on a uniform with a painted skull on his chest and systematically murders the entire crime syndicate involved in his family’s demise. Feeling his revenge is complete, he adopts a false identity and tries to live a morose, solitary life as a construction worker. Soon after, he is tracked down and blackmailed into helping a man going by the code name ‘Micro’ (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), a government whistleblower who is framed and forced to go underground, abandoning his family. Castle eventually learns that those responsible for Micro’s situation had a hand in the murder of his family and Castle is compelled to once again put on his uniform and continue his violent spree of revenge…

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JUSTICE LEAGUE has ruined any chance to salvage DC Comics films…

Posted on November 20th, 2017
JUSTICE LEAGUE has ruined any chance to salvage DC Comics films…

by Coop Cooper I cut superhero movies a lot of slack. I read comic books when I was a kid and I was always frustrated that there were few to nil movies or TV shows that could capture the grand scope of a battle between Spider-Man and the Hulk or The Flash versus the Legion […]

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THOR: RAGNAROK would have been perfect if it could have tied up a few (tragic) loose ends…

Posted on November 7th, 2017
THOR: RAGNAROK would have been perfect if it could have tied up a few (tragic) loose ends…

by Coop Cooper

Compelled by the grim, apocalyptic vision he had during “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been traveling the Nine Realms in order to prevent ‘Ragnarok’, or the Asgardian version of Judgement Day. Since the prophecy of how Ragnarok begins is pretty specific, Thor closes what he believes to be the last loophole and then returns to Asgard only to find Loki (Tom Hiddleston) ruling it in the guise of Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Searching for his father, Thor learns that his long-lost sister, Hela (Cate Blanchett) has plans to conquer Asgard for herself. Failing to stop her, Thor and Loki end up on a waste-disposal planet ruled by The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) who pegs Thor as a contender for his high-profile gladiator battles. Aided by The Hulk/Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and the former Asgardian warrior Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Thor and Loki attempt to escape the Grandmaster so they can return to Asgard and stop Hela…

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STRANGER THINGS: SEASON 2 brings the same great 80’s nostalgia with mediocre plotting and pacing…

Posted on October 30th, 2017
STRANGER THINGS: SEASON 2 brings the same great 80’s nostalgia with mediocre plotting and pacing…

by Coop Cooper

This season picks up nearly a year after the last one ended. Still traumatized from being trapped in the ‘Upside Down’ dimension, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) has visions of a gigantic, tentacled shadow monster attempting to break its way into our world. His mother, Joyce (Winona Ryder), periodically takes Will to the kindly Dr. Owens (Paul Reiser) at Hawkins National Laboratory for psychological and physical checkups, but the doctor may not be telling them the entire truth about Will’s condition. Meanwhile, the super-powered Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) has escaped from the Upside Down and is found by Chief Hopper (David Harbour) who keeps her safe and hidden from Hawkins Lab in a cabin in the woods, but she runs away in a quest to find out more about her past. Meanwhile, Will’s friends welcome the newcomer Max (Sadie Sink) into their group while Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) finds an alien ‘pollywog’ creature from the Upside Down and raises it as a pet. Also meanwhile, Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) and Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) hatch a plan to get justice for their friend Barb who is declared officially ‘missing’ but was actually killed by a creature from the Upside Down which in turn was covered up by Hawkins Lab…

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BLADE RUNNER 2049 is a worthy predecessor to the original because it is original while paying homage to its roots…

Posted on October 9th, 2017
BLADE RUNNER 2049 is a worthy predecessor to the original because it is original while paying homage to its roots…

by Coop Cooper

Considered one of the greatest science fiction films of all time, the original “Blade Runner” (1982) starred Harrison Ford as a policeman in 2019 Los Angeles assigned to seek and gun down fugitive ‘replicant’ androids who are nearly undetectable from humans besides their superior strength, intelligence and lack of emotions. The film was heralded for its stunning visual style and film noir detective story transplanted in a sci-fi setting. Despite being a box office bomb, the film gained cult status and is considered one of the most influential sci-fi films of all time. Now it finally has a sequel after thirty five years. Although it isn’t perfect, I’m glad to say the sequel does honor to the original by once again showing the audience something they’ve never seen before…

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The INHUMANS series on ABC might be Marvel’s most costly fiasco…

Posted on September 30th, 2017
The INHUMANS series on ABC might be Marvel’s most costly fiasco…

by Coop Cooper

Before I can even explain the wacky plot of “Inhumans”, I need to go into who they are and how they fit into the Marvel Universe… Sometime in the distant past, highly evolved humans with powers known as ‘Inhumans’ decided the only way to survive was to isolate themselves from normal humans and erase any knowledge of their existence. With vast powers and superior intellect, they colonized the moon and developed a strange, totalitarian monarchy with a caste system of of upper-class royals/military and lower-level Inhumans with less useful powers and ‘freak’ humans born from other Inhumans who are forced into manual labor roles…

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Is THE ORVILLE more “Trek” than STAR TREK: DISCOVERY?…

Posted on September 24th, 2017
Is THE ORVILLE more “Trek” than STAR TREK: DISCOVERY?…

by Coop Cooper

“Star Trek: Discovery” (CBS All-Access, Sundays at 8:30 Central) – One decade before the Kirk/Spock era of “Trek”, First Officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) finds herself in the middle of a galactic incident when an investigation into a malfunctioning beacon puts her ship, the U.S.S. Shenzhou, into a conflict with the Klingons. Orphaned as a child by a Klingon attack and raised by the Vulcan Ambassador, Sarek (James Frain), Burnham’s rash behavior escalates the conflict, putting her at odds with her captain, Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) that could lead her onto a path to mutiny. At some point Burnham will become first officer on the U.S.S. Discovery under Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) but that doesn’t happen within the first two episodes of the series…

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TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN, When your favorite TV show leaves you with no resolution…

Posted on September 4th, 2017
TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN, When your favorite TV show leaves you with no resolution…

by Coop Cooper

I was dreading watching the series finale of “Twin Peaks: The Return” on Sunday night. Not because I didn’t want to see what would happen, but because I was deathly afraid of what MIGHT happen. I had decided this was the worst-case scenario for how things could end: Very few of the plot threads would wrap up and yet again the main characters would be stuck in some sort of dream nightmarish alternate reality. And then the show would end, forever… and it would appear that is exactly what happened…

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Most anticipated films of the 2nd half of 2017…

Posted on August 14th, 2017
Most anticipated films of the 2nd half of 2017…

by Coop Cooper

1. “It” (Sept. 8) – Based off of the notoriously frightening Stephen King novel, a group of teenage friends are targeted by a monster disguised as a sinister clown (Bill Skarsgard) who is responsible for making local children disappear. This is the first film in a two-part series which will focus on the characters as children in this installment, then as adults returning home to put an end to the evil in the second film. “It” was previously adapted into a TV miniseries in 1990…

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Should ‘fan films’ be illegal?…

Posted on August 1st, 2017
Should ‘fan films’ be illegal?…

by Coop Cooper

Fan films – or films based on popular established film and TV franchise properties – have been around a lot longer than the internet. For example, in the early 80’s a group of teenage friends in Biloxi, Mississippi took a videocamera and painstakingly made a shot-for-shot remake of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in their backyards and basements. Years later, their film was rediscovered by film festival programmers and the boys (now men) have become a worldwide sensation, even garnering praise from “Raiders” director Steven Spielberg himself.

Now in the age of instantaneous internet video, fan films have become a hobby, a passion and a source of opportunity for many budding filmmakers around the world.

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Is Blomkamp’s ‘Oats Studios’ the next big change in film?

Posted on July 17th, 2017
Is Blomkamp’s ‘Oats Studios’ the next big change in film?

by Coop Cooper

In the new internet age of media, professional filmmakers have been trying new ideas in order to take advantage of the fact that anyone can post a high-quality video online almost instantly.

South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp recently launched ‘Oats Studios: Volume 1’ as an experiment in seeing which of his cinematic ideas would stick if thrown at a wall. His plan was to take some of his favorite story concepts, fund, shoot and release high-quality short film versions of them on YouTube for free. He could then aggregate feedback from viewers to help him decide which shorts to make into features, series, webseries or into whatever format might fit. This idea isn’t new to Blomkamp since one of his first short films, “Alive in Joburg” was eventually developed into his Oscar-nominated feature sci-fi film “District 9”. However, after his last two features, “Elysium” and “Chappie”, didn’t perform as well as planned, Blomkamp engineered this new approach. All of these shorts are cinema-quality, sci-fi/horror hybrids with unflinching violence and gore (very R-rated), and they are currently free to view on YouTube…

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SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING is fun, different and fully integrated into the Marvel Universe…

Posted on July 10th, 2017
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING is fun, different and fully integrated into the Marvel Universe…

by Coop Cooper

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” (Now in theaters) – After helping Iron Man tip the scales in “Captain America: Civil War”, 15 year-old Peter Parker (Tom Holland) expects to be immediately thrust into service with The Avengers. Instead, he is sent back to his hometown of Queens, NY and instructed by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to lay low, stay in high school and stick to dealing with street-level crime for the time being. Frustrated, he follows orders until he stops a gang of bank robbers using stolen alien weaponry left over from the first “Avengers” film.

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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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WONDER WOMAN doesn’t measure up, no matter its cultural relevance…

Posted on June 6th, 2017
WONDER WOMAN doesn’t measure up, no matter its cultural relevance…

by Coop Cooper

Considering Wonder Woman is one of the biggest superhero icons of all time, it makes little sense as to why it has taken so long to make a feature film about the character. Many attempts have been made only to see the projects die in early development. There was even a TV pilot starring Adrianne Palicki in 2011 that was never aired because it was deemed too terrible. It seemed the property was cursed and even studio execs at Warner Bros said the character was unfilmable. However, when “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” introduced Gal Gadot as the Amazonian princess, Wonder Woman proved that she is too important to ignore. Too bad the film couldn’t solve the problems everyone was worried about…

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TWIN PEAKS 2017 PILOT: Is David Lynch trying to merge the “Twin Peaks” universe with “Mulholland Dr.” and “Lost Highway”?

Posted on May 22nd, 2017
TWIN PEAKS 2017 PILOT:  Is David Lynch trying to merge the “Twin Peaks” universe with “Mulholland Dr.” and “Lost Highway”?

by Coop Cooper

In April of 1990, I stumbled upon one of the strangest, most fascinating shows I had ever seen. “Twin Peaks” begins in Washington state near the Canadian border with the murder of a high school teenager named Laura Palmer and the arrival of an FBI agent assigned to investigate the case. The story quickly spirals off into a quirky, supernatural mystery with a bizarre cast of characters in a soap opera-style format. The original “Twin Peaks” series was a cultural phenomenon lasting only two seasons (30 episodes) but inspired countless other films and shows, most notably “The X-Files” and “Lost”. Before “Peaks” ended, the spectre of murder victim Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) made an ominous statement to Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLachlan) in the final episode that she would see him again in twenty-five years. It actually took twenty-six but “Peaks” is finally back with a new one-season-only series on Showtime.

The last season of “Twin Peaks” left a few unresolved cliffhangers…

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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 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.

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