INCLUDE_DATA

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…

Read more...

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL. 2 is just as fun and entertaining as the original…

Posted on May 9th, 2017
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL. 2 is just as fun and entertaining as the original…

by Coop Cooper

Now infamous cosmic heroes, the Guardians use their newfound celebrity to take high-profile jobs. Their latest assignment has them working for gold-skin beings known as The Sovereign lead by the regal and arrogant Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki). After completing the job, they end up offending the highly pompous and sensitive Sovereign race, who in turn attempt to destroy them. While on the run, the team is separated. Star Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is confronted by a ‘Celestial’ named Ego (Kurt Russell) claiming to be his long lost father. Meanwhile, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) attempts to reconcile with her murderous sister, Nebula (Karen Gillan) while Drax (Dave Bautista) attempts to instruct Ego’s child-like alien ward, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) in the ways of social interaction. Separately, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) team up with Yondu (Michael Rooker) to escape a band of mutinous Ravagers while attempting to rejoin the other Guardians. Some characters have ulterior motives but ultimately, it is Quill who must make the decision to remain with his father, or join his friends in saving the Galaxy once again…

Read more...

AMERICAN GODS was a badly-written novel but the TV series shows promise…

Posted on May 1st, 2017
AMERICAN GODS was a badly-written novel but the TV series shows promise…

by Coop Cooper

The new TV series “American Gods” premiered on the premium Starz channel this past Sunday at 8pm Central. Adapted from the very popular novel by Neil Gaiman, “Gods” has been along time in development. Mixing fantasy/folklore with the modern world, “Gods” has a potential to become yet another hit cable series as long as the adaptation jettisons Gaiman’s questionable style.

A few days shy of being released from prison, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) learns his wife Laura (Emily Browning) has died in a car accident. While traveling across the country to her funeral, Shadow meets the enigmatic con man calling himself Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) who offers Shadow a job as his bodyguard. Shadow refuses but the persistent Mr. Wednesday keeps showing up along the journey to make Shadow the same offer. Low on money, Shadow finally relents to take the job on the condition he is allowed to attend his wife’s funeral to say goodbye. Along the way, they run across beings who look like humans but have supernatural powers. Shadow soon finds himself in the middle of a war between the ‘old gods’ of ancient legends and the ‘new gods’ of modern culture and technology. Meanwhile, he is haunted by the spirit of his dead wife…

Read more...

THE BELKO EXPERIMENT is a fair addition to a difficult genre…

Posted on March 27th, 2017
THE BELKO EXPERIMENT is a fair addition to a difficult genre…

by Coop Cooper

With films and TV shows about societal collapse becoming increasingly popular with audiences, “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn and “Wolf Creek” director Greg McLean team up to bring their own spin on the sub-genre with “The Belko Experiment”. Although it was quietly released in theaters against much bigger films, “Belko” has the potential to find some cult success when audiences discover it after it releases on home video/streaming.

It seems like another regular day at the nonprofit Belko Corporation headquartered in the South American country of Colombia. The international (mostly American) employees go about their daily duties in their main office building when a mysterious voice announces over the intercom that the employees must kill two of their own or four will die automatically…

Read more...

IRON FIST is < the other Marvel/Netflix series, but still worth seeing for fans...

Posted on March 20th, 2017
IRON FIST is < the other Marvel/Netflix series, but still worth seeing for fans...

by Coop Cooper

Tying into the Marvel/Netflix comic book franchise that started with “Daredevil”, “Iron Fist” finishes a origin story that will lead up to Neflix’s most ambitious series to date by teaming up all of the super-powered characters they have introduced so far. It’s too bad that “Iron Fist” doesn’t live up to those other series, even though it has enough watchabilty for those needing a Marvel Comics fix…

Read more...

LOGAN was released about 10 years too soon and we are VERY lucky for it…

Posted on March 7th, 2017
LOGAN was released about 10 years too soon and we are VERY lucky for it…

by Coop Cooper

Comic book movies usually follow a certain formula, especially in the first film of a franchise. As the following sequels roll in, one of two things happen… 1. They run out of fresh ideas, rehash tired cliches and the franchise dies an undignified death, or 2. They evolve into something special. Although technically a spinoff, “Logan” has surpassed its “X-Men” origins to become something so different and unexpected, it will be near impossible for future franchise installments to top it…

Read more...

I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE proves why Netflix is tops, while KILL COMMAND almost proves the opposite…

Posted on February 28th, 2017
I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE proves why Netflix is tops, while KILL COMMAND almost proves the opposite…

by Coop Cooper

“I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” – Ruth (Melanie Lynskey) is a middle-class hospital orderly who can’t seem to shake the depressing feeling that the people she meets on a day-to-day basis are irredeemable jerks. When her house is burglarized and the police can’t seem to help, she decides to balance out the wrong that has been done to her. She enlists the aid of her weirdo loner neighbor, Tony (Elijah Wood), who has an interest in martial arts, ninja weapons and heavy metal. The pair unleash good-intentioned mayhem upon everyone they run across on their trail to recover Ruth’s belongings. Little do they know, the criminals responsible for the burglary are armed-and-dangerous killers…

Read more...

LEGION is the X-Men spinoff series that will be great despite its divorce from the source material…

Posted on February 13th, 2017
LEGION is the X-Men spinoff series that will be great despite its divorce from the source material…

by Coop Cooper

The new superhero TV series “Legion” premiered on the FX Network last week and it has the potential to be a big hit.

After a troubled childhood, David Haller (Dan Stevens) is admitted to a psychiatric facility where he is held for years following some inexplicable and extremely destructive occurrences allegedly caused by him. Heavily medicated to control his ‘schizophrenia’, the child-like David meets fellow patient Syd Barrett (Rachel Keller) and immediately becomes smitten. They form a quick bond, even though Syd’s condition forbids any physical contact. When David impulsively kisses Syd, a unexplained catastrophe happens, resulting in David’s eventual capture by a shadowy organization who determines that David is actually one of the most powerful ‘mutants’ on the planet. David soon learns that he is being groomed as the primary weapon in an upcoming war between humans and super-powered mutants…

Read more...

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS and TRAVELERS… One overrated Oscar contender and one great Netflix series…

Posted on December 26th, 2016
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS and TRAVELERS…  One overrated Oscar contender and one great Netflix series…

by Coop Cooper

“Nocturnal Animals” (feature film in theaters) – Susan (Amy Adams), a pampered socialite and art gallery owner trudges through her loveless second marriage with her wealthy, yet uninterested husband (Armie Hammer). When her writer/teacher first husband, Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal) sends her a manuscript for his new novel, she takes it as a peace offering. Their bitter divorce left them estranged for nineteen years and she reminisces fondly and with regret as the words in his book move her. Eager to reconnect, she reaches out to him, but the story in the book hides an allegory for their failed relationship that could dig the knife in even further.

If “Gone Girl” is widely considered a masterful achievement in storytelling, then “Nocturnal Animals” merely feels like a moderately successful writing experiment. While it starts out like a tense Hitchcockian thriller, it loses momentum and becomes merely an ironic relationship drama…

Read more...

ROGUE ONE… Good but no better than THE FORCE AWAKENS

Posted on December 19th, 2016
ROGUE ONE…  Good but no better than THE FORCE AWAKENS

by Coop Cooper

When Disney announced the development of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, I felt it had even more potential than “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, which didn’t fully live up to my expectations. Being the first “Star Wars” spinoff film also meant that it would usher in a new kind of “Star Wars” movie, connected to the originals, yet divorced from the linear ‘Luke Skywalker’ storyline. While “Rogue One” helped expand the mythology, offered some thrilling scenes and added valuably to the franchise, it was still no better than “The Force Awakens” due to glaring flaws in plot, pacing and character development.

Taking place mere days before “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” (the original 1977 film), the story follows a ragtag band of Rebel spies trying to steal the plans for the original Death Star which will eventually lead to Luke Skywalker destroying it…

Read more...

SPECTRAL and SIEGE OF JADOTVILLE, 2 Netlix movies worth checking out…

Posted on December 5th, 2016
SPECTRAL and SIEGE OF JADOTVILLE, 2 Netlix movies worth checking out…

by Coop Cooper

Netflix continues its domination of media by declaring it will now focus primarily on producing original material. Its selection of originals is already impressively large, but two new films have set the bar even higher with their attention to quality and entertainment value. These two films alone may be signaling the platform’s transition to fully competing with Hollywood. If you still don’t have Netflix, “The Siege of Jadotville” and “Spectral” are two compelling reasons to consider it…

Read more...

ARRIVAL foolishly sidesteps a plot resolution for a vague emotional one…

Posted on November 15th, 2016
ARRIVAL foolishly sidesteps a plot resolution for a vague emotional one…

by Coop Cooper

I’ve seen so many alien invasion movies, I often feel like there are few original storylines to explore. I can often anticipate the twists based on the limited amount of alien invasion scenarios that already exist in fiction and theoretical science. If aliens do visit Earth, there are only a few possibilities as to their intent… 1. Conquest/destruction 2. Aid 3. Passive exploration. Some of the best scientists and science fiction authors agree that if aliens actually make ‘first contact’ with humans, there would be no positive long-term outcome for us, even if they offer to help us. While “Arrival” offers A-list acting, outstanding special effects, and brings some interesting new ideas to the table, it completely fails to address the full consequence of this contact…

Read more...
1 Comment

DOCTOR STRANGE is another Marvel winner that breaks barriers…

Posted on November 8th, 2016
DOCTOR STRANGE is another Marvel winner that breaks barriers…

by Coop Cooper

Based off of the Marvel comic book from the 1970’s, Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is an arrogant, yet brilliant New York neurosurgeon, considered the top in his field. After a terrible car crash causes severe nerve damage to both of his hands, he searches for a miracle cure that will restore his steady-handed surgical abilities. A last-ditch effort sends him to Nepal where he meets a mystical guru known as The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) who offers him a chance to heal himself through the mastery of magic. Strange reluctantly begins training in the mystic arts and finds that his photographic memory, strong will and precise reflexes make him a prodigious student. As his skills with magic begin to quickly reach the highest levels, he learns that his mentors are involved in a war with a dark magician named Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) who intends to achieve immortality by sacrificing Earth to the evil god ‘Dormammu’. Strange’s quick mastery of magic puts him in the middle of this fight which he has had little time to prepare for…

Read more...

Top scary movies for kids growing up in the 80’s…

Posted on November 8th, 2016
Top scary movies for kids growing up in the 80’s…

by Coop Cooper The 80’s was a cinematic golden era for scary PG films, especially before the PG-13 rating changed the landscape of kid/teen-friendly horror movies. Here are a few of the greatest, scary PG movies of that decade: “The Watcher in the Woods” (1980) – One of Bette Davis’ last films, this Disney-produced movie […]

Read more...

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…

Read more...

LUKE CAGE continues Netflix’s Marvel superhero winning streak…

Posted on October 10th, 2016
LUKE CAGE continues Netflix’s Marvel superhero winning streak…

by Coop Cooper

Since the second season of “Daredevil” premiered earlier this year, Marvel Comics fans have been anticipating the release of the African American-themed “Luke Cage” superhero series on Netflix on September 30th. That wait is over and although I think the show has more problems than the brilliant “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones” efforts, its style is more refined and should earn many new fans of this iconic – yet underrated – Marvel superhero. Although he was initially called ‘Power Man’, the moniker didn’t stick. Eventually, the writers of the comics wised-up and realized the name ‘Luke Cage’ was way cooler than ‘Power Man’ could ever be…

Read more...

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…

Read more...

SUICIDE SQUAD isn’t that bad, but what does it mean for D.C. superhero movies?

Posted on August 23rd, 2016
SUICIDE SQUAD isn’t that bad, but what does it mean for D.C. superhero movies?

by Coop Cooper

I thought too much time had passed for me to review “Suicide Squad” but since the film is still #1 at the box office despite abysmal reviews, the projected bomb has become something of an anomaly.
With Superman temporarily dead, a shadowy government agency lead by the uncompromising Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) decides that the villainous rogues and ‘meta-humans’ they already have in custody might make an effective offensive team against a super-powered threat. When Waller’s most powerful convert, the omnipotent witch known as Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), turns against her and threatens to destroy the world, Waller must activate ‘Task Force X’ and bend the captive supervillains to her whim…

Read more...

STAR TREK: BEYOND finally goes beyond the source material of the original Trek canon…

Posted on July 26th, 2016
STAR TREK: BEYOND finally goes beyond the source material of the original Trek canon…

by Coop Cooper

As a lifelong ‘Trekkie’ I haven’t been the biggest cheerleader for the J. J. Abrams “Star Trek” motion picture reboot. I gave the first film lukewarm reviews. I like the second one better but upon repeated viewings, I’m seeing a great many flaws. I like the casting and I think the actors have chemistry. I appreciate the production design and I don’t mind the high-concept idea behind the rebooting. The issue has been with Abrams trying to recycle Trek history into an original script that doesn’t insult the intelligence of both lifelong fans and casual viewers. “Star Trek: Beyond” thankfully moves beyond that problem to deliver an original and exciting story the previous two films were lacking…

Read more...

THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR proves the franchise is a winner…

Posted on July 7th, 2016
THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR proves the franchise is a winner…

by Coop Cooper

‘The Purge’: A fictional U.S. holiday in which one day out of the year for twelve hours, all crime – including murder – becomes legal. The first film from “The Purge” franchise set up an intriguing dystopian idea and merely touched on its implications, but resulted in little more than a slightly above-par home invasion horror flick. The sequel, “The Purge: Anarchy” took the mythology and ran with it, showing the scope of this brutal holiday from a city-wide perspective. “The Purge: Election Year” further expands the franchise to include some fascinating ideas behind the politics of “The Purge” on a nationwide and global scale…

Read more...
Search
Search Form
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.

The Small Town Critic’s SCREENWRITING SERVICES
Follow Coop on Twitter...
    follow me on twitter
    Follow smalltowncritic on Twitter
    Archives
    Subscribe via Email!

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    Subscribe via RSS feed!