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MINDHUNTER on Netflix has a terrible title, but is fit to binge…

Posted on October 16th, 2017
MINDHUNTER on Netflix has a terrible title, but is fit to binge…

by Coop Cooper

Based on the nonfiction book about the life of FBI agent John E. Douglas, “Mindhunter” follows Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff), an FBI agent in the the ‘Behavioral Science Unit’ in the late 1970’s. Having difficulty predicting and stopping violent serial killers, Ford teams up with Special Agent Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) who is stuck traveling to local law enforcement precincts to train police and sheriff deputies how to recognize and handle criminals with abnormal psychology profiles. With the help of psychology professor Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), Ford and Tench begin to unlock the secrets behind the minds of violent murderers by interviewing infamous killers such as Edmund Kemper (Cameron Britton), Jerry Brudos (Happy Anderson) and Richard Speck (Jack Erdie). However, the ethical implications and psychological stress the job inflicts upon the unit may be too much for some of them to handle…

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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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OZARK is Netflix’s answer to BREAKING BAD and it’s a winner…

Posted on July 24th, 2017
OZARK is Netflix’s answer to BREAKING BAD and it’s a winner…

by Coop Cooper

Once again, Netflix has proven its dominance with yet another outstanding original TV series called “Ozark” that will appeal to a wide audience and may pick up a few awards along the way.

Jason Bateman plays Marty Byrde, a genius financial advisor with a wife, Wendy (Laura Linney), two teen kids and a successful business. He also launders money for the largest drug cartel in Mexico. When someone in the operation is caught skimming money, cartel underboss Del (Esai Morales) shows up and begins to clean house. Minutes for certain death, Marty pitches Del an idea that could make the cartel significantly more money than before. The catch is, Marty and his family will have to immediately drop everything and move to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. Del grants Marty a temporary reprieve and presents him with a near-impossible deadline to launder 8 million through local, small-town businesses. If Marty wants his family to survive, he must work fast to lie, cheat and steal his way to his goal while dealing with local cops, petty crooks, clueless partners, the Dixie Mafia and a vengeful FBI agent…






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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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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…






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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 […]

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THE ACCOUNTANT is much better than the title suggests…

Posted on October 17th, 2016
THE ACCOUNTANT is much better than the title suggests…

by Coop Cooper

Ben Affleck stars as Christian Wolff, an autistic savant and accountant, who cooks the books for some of the most notorious criminals on the planet. Meticulous about his every move, he decides to take an assignment at a legitimate prosthetic limb corporation after one too many risky jobs. He finds a kindred spirit in Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), a low-level employee who found the accounting discrepancy which let to his hiring by the company founder, Lamar Black (John Lithgow). When Wolff finds the source of the leaked funds, a couple of company executives end up dead and Wolff discovers that he and Dana have been targeted for assassination. Luckily, Wolff has been trained to deal with dangerous situations and his skill and attention to detail make him a deadly adversary to the assassins lead by the intimidating Brax (John Bernthal).

While this plot line sounds corny, “The Accountant” might be the best action thriller of the year. It feels like a cross between the action/intrigue of the “Bourne” movies mixed with the character complexity of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.






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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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BLOOD FATHER review: Mel Gibson may not be on the A-List but he’s still got it…

Posted on August 29th, 2016
BLOOD FATHER review:  Mel Gibson may not be on the A-List but he’s still got it…

by Coop Cooper

More films with big stars and modest budgets have opted to premiere on Pay Per View or online than ever. Some opt for a limited theater run, with a simultaneous release on services like DirectTV (for rent) or, more often, they bypass the theater release altogether. For example, “Blood Father” starring Mel Gibson, had its premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and is now available to rent on online streaming services like YouTube, Amazon, Vudu and Google Play.

Mel Gibson plays Link, an aging ex-con recently out of the joint and sober. He barely makes ends meet running a tattoo shop out of his trailer when he suddenly gets a desperate call from his runaway addict daughter, Lydia (Erin Moriarty). Lydia has become a target of termination by a drug syndicate after shooting her dealer boyfriend (Diego Luna) during a job gone wrong…






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JASON BOURNE… Please let this franchise die.

Posted on August 1st, 2016
JASON BOURNE…  Please let this franchise die.

by Coop Cooper

Fighting cage matches for cash on the Albanian/Grecian border, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) survives aimlessly off the grid, although seems somewhat bent on self-destruction despite the fact he is still in hiding from the CIA. His old ally, hacker Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), approaches him with a jump drive containing classified information which might lead to him discovering his identity. After a few narrow escapes, Bourne learns that he has a new potential ally in an upstart CIA agent, Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander), who somehow feels compelled to expose illegal practices of CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones). As Bourne gets closer to the truth, a CIA assassin (Vincent Cassel) doggedly pursues him, blaming Bourne’s previous whistleblowing effort for his own capture and torture in Syria…






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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…






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FREE STATE OF JONES and THE DUEL: Two films with Mississippi connections that could have done better…

Posted on July 4th, 2016
FREE STATE OF JONES and THE DUEL:  Two films with Mississippi connections that could have done better…

by Coop Cooper

Here are two current films that have strong Mississippi connections. One takes place in the state and while the other does not, it was filmed within the state.
“Free State of Jones” – Newt Knight (Matthew McConaughey), a medic in the Confederate Army, deserts for his home in Jones County, Mississippi when a young relative is killed in battle. Upon bringing the body back to the mother, Knight discovers that his family and neighbors – all poor women and children with the men off at war – are being robbed of all of their possessions by Rebel soldiers under the auspice of a 10% war tax. In the act of defending a family from robbery, Knight is identified as a deserter and must hide in the swamps amongst a small band of runaway slaves. Amongst those slaves is a Creole healer named Rachel (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) whom Knight forms a relationship with. As more deserters arrive to the swamp, Knight forms a militia and is able to run Confederates out of Jones and the surrounding counties. When the war ends, Knight and his followers suffer repercussions for their efforts…






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OUTCAST and PREACHER, two TV shows about demon possession. And they both have the goods…

Posted on May 24th, 2016
OUTCAST and PREACHER, two TV shows about demon possession.  And they both have the goods…

by Coop Cooper

Two similar-in-concept, supernaturally-themed TV shows are premiering this week and both are worth checking out…

“Outcast” (Cinemax series) – Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit) spends most of his time sleeping, barely eating, not showering and keeping to himself in his childhood home in rural West Virginia. His kind sister Megan (Wrenn Schmidt) shows up occasionally to help him clean up, take him grocery shopping and force him into awkward dinners with her family, but the rest of the locals treat Kyle as a pariah. They all think he killed his wife, but in reality, she fell victim to demon possession, a phenomena that has plagued Kyle’s family since his childhood. Meanwhile, Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister) has been dealing with a rash of demon possessions all over the region and he believes Kyle may have a special ability to resist and vanquish the evil spirits…






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MIDNIGHT SPECIAL doesn’t shine a light on anything new…

Posted on April 25th, 2016
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL doesn’t shine a light on anything new…

by Coop Cooper

On the run from a religious cult and the authorities, Roy (Michael Shannon) and his son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) travel across the country in an attempt to reach a set of coordinates. Accompanying them is Roy’s childhood friend, Lucas (Joel Edgerton), an ex state trooper determined to protect Roy and Alton at all costs. The cause of their flight is Alton’s strange and dangerous powers which randomly manifest themselves in alarming ways, most commonly when Alton is exposed to sunlight. Roy has resigned himself to the fact that Alton is not meant for this Earth and the coordinates Alton conjured should return him to where he belongs. Unfortunately, Alton also picks up radio waves, including classified ones the government isn’t happy about him exposing. The cult also wants him back to further their misguided ideology and send henchmen to return him to the fold…






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HAP AND LEONARD may finally bring author Joe R. Lansdale the spotlight…

Posted on March 18th, 2016
HAP AND LEONARD may finally bring author Joe R. Lansdale the spotlight…

by Coop Cooper

For a mid-season, hard-bold, southern-fried detective cable TV show with a bit of comedy, this one hits me in all the right places.

Set in 1988 in East Texas, caucasian cowboy Hap Collins (James Purefoy of “The Following”) and his gay, African American best friend, Leonard Pine (Michael Kenneth Williams of “The Wire”), get laid off as day laborers at a rose bush farm. Struggling to make a buck, Hap receives a visit from his no-good ex-wife Trudy (Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men”) who offers them a get-rich-quick mission to find a sunken car containing a million dollars in cash. Hap, being the only one who knows the location of the abandoned bridge the car is located under, reluctantly agrees as long as Leonard – who is an ex-marine and a diver – gets cut in on the deal. Trudy’s current hippy husband (Bill Sage) and his misfit revolutionary group are fronting the job, but little do they know a nerdy psychopath (Jimmi Simpson) and his lethal punk rocker girlfriend (Pollyanna McIntosh) are on the hunt to grab the cash for themselves…






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THE HATEFUL EIGHT is proof that Tarantino’s ego has reached critical mass…

Posted on January 8th, 2016
THE HATEFUL EIGHT is proof that Tarantino’s ego has reached critical mass…

by Coop Cooper

There are a few famous filmmakers out there who I feel have developed an unhealthy contempt for their audiences. At some point in their career, their inflated egos take over and they no longer care if anyone enjoys their films as long as they get what they want out of it. They give grandiose speeches on why everyone else is wrong or stupid but them and frequently lash out at critics and fans over the pettiest of nitpicks. Their movies become increasingly self-indulgent, less accessible to general audiences and their creative choices become questionable at best and spiteful at worst. We’ve seen this happen with M. Night Shyamalan, Kevin Smith and George Lucas, all of whom polarized and alienated many fans with their toxicity (well, “The Visit” was terrible but Shyamalan is at least trying to get back in our good graces). Although he may have already succumbed to this long ago, I believe Quintin Tarantino presently falls squarely into this category and I offer “The Hateful Eight” as evidence…






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Amazon’s flawed series production model…

Posted on November 20th, 2015
Amazon’s flawed series production model…

by Coop Cooper

Back in January, Amazon released an online-only pilot episode for “The Man in the High Castle”, based on the celebrated 1962 sci-fi novel by Philip K. Dick. The episode was free to watch to Amazon Prime members and gained acclaim by both critics and audiences. Based on the strength of the pilot and the reaction to it, Amazon ordered a full season of the show and went into production. On October 23rd, the second episode was released, and as of November 20th the rest of the episodes have been released all at once, similar to the Netflix release strategy. But unlike Netflix, Amazon took ten whole months between releasing the pilot and the rest of the series. That was plenty of time for most people who saw the original pilot to completely forget about it and lose interest by the time the show released…






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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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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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