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“Drive” harkens back to the days of “Miami Vice”

Posted on September 30th, 2011
“Drive” harkens back to the days of “Miami Vice”

Ryan Gosling plays a tough-guy-with-no-name who works as a stunt driver/mechanic in Hollywood while moonlighting as a getaway driver for high-risk robberies. With no friends or family, he lives a solitary existence until he forms an unlikely bond with his struggling neighbor Irene (Carrie Mulligan) and her cute son (Kaden Leos). His shifty, but good-hearted handler (Bryan Cranston) sets the driver up with a possible stock car racing gig bankrolled by a deceptively genial mob boss (Albert Brooks). When Irene’s ex-con husband returns home, a cascading chain of events pits the Driver up against the mob, threatening the life of Irene and her son.

While the story doesn’t seem all that original and the action is fairly sparse, the style is exhilarating…

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DVD REVIEWS: BLACK SWAN and TRON LEGACY

Posted on April 12th, 2011
DVD REVIEWS:  BLACK SWAN and TRON LEGACY

By Coop Cooper

One highly anticipated sequel (“Tron Legacy”) and one Oscar-winning film (“Black Swan”): Both are now available on DVD for you to buy or rent.

“Black Swan” tells the harrowing story of a talented, yet emotionally repressed ballerina named Nina (Natalie Portman) who suddenly receives the role of her career playing the Broadway lead in “Swan Lake.” When the sleazy and demanding director (Vincent Cassel) challenges Nina to tap into the dark side of her personality in order to play the sinister Black Swan role, she begins a slow spiral into madness. The conniving upstart Lily (Mila Kunis) both seduces Nina and threatens her career, propelling Nina’s insanity into disturbing realms of paranoia and hallucination.

“Black Swan” emulates the unsettling art-house horror films of Roman Polanski and David Cronenberg, but manages to remain explainable enough for general audiences to digest. It punctuates the more disturbing scenes of… CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW AT THE CLARKSDALE PRESS REGISTER WEBSITE






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COOP predicts the 2011 Academy Awards!

Posted on February 26th, 2011
COOP predicts the 2011 Academy Awards!

No nonsense this year. I have not the taste nor the stomach for it. I just hope that James Franco understands the folly of hosting during his own nomination. The acid may dissolve him permanently due to overexposure and he shows no signs of relenting. Don’t push our buttons too hard, Frank…

Besides that, Hi :)…






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The 8th Annual Oxford Film Fest Reviewed by COOP…

Posted on February 15th, 2011
The 8th Annual Oxford Film Fest Reviewed by COOP…

Once again the fine staff of the Oxford Film Fest have topped themselves to produce the biggest turnout yet. My congratulations to all involved and I already can’t wait to see what is on the menu for 2012.

Films I saw (in no particular order):






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The cast of sci-fi short THE BEST DAY has been chosen!!!

Posted on November 7th, 2010
The cast of sci-fi short THE BEST DAY has been chosen!!!

The film is written, produced and directed by Coop Cooper (The Small Town Critic) with a production crew that consists entirely of Clarksdale, Mississippi residents.

“The Best Day” is a 15-minute science fiction short about an innocent child in a dire situation. Jenny arrives home from school, excited that newly “resurrected” Mommy has returned, only to find that something is very wrong with her. When Mommy’s memories fully return, so do the tragedies of the past. They were once human, now part of a cruel experiment that repeats over and over… and it is all Daddy’s fault.

THE CAST…






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MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!) TURKEY SHOOT, BOOKIES, RESTORATION, SHELTER, THE GREAT RAID, I SELL THE DEAD…

Posted on August 6th, 2010
MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!) TURKEY SHOOT, BOOKIES, RESTORATION, SHELTER, THE GREAT RAID, I SELL THE DEAD…

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Coop’s most recent MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter):

Looks like a random video store sampling this time. Sometimes, that’s the way I like it…

TURKEY SHOOT: Bourgeois sadists hunt Aussie political prisoners. Banned in OZ in the 1980’s, but a total exploitation hoot. 3&1/2 out of 5

BOOKIES: 3 college dorks start a gambling operation out of their dorm room and run afoul of the mob. Smug and sloppily written. 2 out of 5

RESTORATION: A disgraced English doctor is forced to marry King Charles II’s mistress, resulting in tragedy and redemption. Epic. 4 out of 5

SHELTER: Shrink meets a schizo man who suffers from a demonic curse. Gimmicky yet stylish thriller from the writer of IDENTITY. 3 out of 5

THE GREAT RAID: True story of WWII rescue of POWs from a Japanese camp in Philippines. Inspiring story yet poorly executed film. 2 out of 5

I SELL THE DEAD: Amusingly well-written tale of cockney graverobbers who specialize in capturing vamps, zombies and aliens. 3&1/2 out of 5

Thy Twitter has spoken.

-Coop






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MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, PECKER, WATCHING THE DETECTIVES, SALVAGE (2006), SALVAGE (2009), 2012, APACHES…

Posted on July 27th, 2010
MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!):  THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, PECKER, WATCHING THE DETECTIVES, SALVAGE (2006), SALVAGE (2009), 2012, APACHES…

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Coop’s most recent MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter):

Nothing brand new here, but I just can’t get the energy up to go see WANTED II… I mean, SALT…

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO: Quirky autistic hacker chick fights crime and has a lot of sex in Sweden. High brow yet boring. 2 out of 5

PECKER: Photog’s quick fame ruins lives of loved ones. Semi-autobio of John Waters. Clever allegory for artistic expression. 3&1/2 out of 5

WATCHING THE DETECTIVES: A girl (Lucy Liu) uses wild pranks to woo a nerdy boy (Cillian Murphy). Well-written indie rom-com. 3&1/2 out of 5

SALVAGE (2006): Girl relives her death at the hands of a serial killer over and over. Above par indie horror with a great twist. 3 out of 5

SALVAGE (2009): Mother searches for daughter during invasion by soldiers hunting a murderous mutant. Good tension, lame BBC plot. 2 out of 5

2012: John Cusack tries to save family from the apocalypse. Worst disaster movie ever. Roland Emmerich should take up bowling. 1 out of 5

APACHES: Sinister 1977 British public service film about irresponsible brats dying in farming accidents. Brutal and brilliant. 4 out of 5

Thy Twitter has spoken.






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MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): GET HIM TO THE GREEK, BITCH SLAP, THE CALAMARI WRESTLER, TALES FROM THE SCRIPT, Uwe Boll’s RAMPAGE…

Posted on June 21st, 2010
MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!):  GET HIM TO THE GREEK, BITCH SLAP, THE CALAMARI WRESTLER, TALES FROM THE SCRIPT, Uwe Boll’s RAMPAGE…

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Coop’s most recent MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter):

Got some high-rated exploitation (and one documentary) this time around! All of these movies are terrific, especially Uwe Boll’s surprisingly powerful RAMPAGE (who would have expected that one?)…

RAMPAGE: Uwe Boll knocks one out of the park. Hyperviolent domestic terrorist shocker delivers. Hell freezes over. 4 out of 5

BITCH SLAP: Fun, hyper violent, tongue-in-cheek exploitation about 3 sex bombs killing each other over loot. 3&1/2 out of 5

THE CALAMARI WRESTLER: Japanese wrestler dies and reincarnates in a mansized rubber squid suit. New camp classic. 4 out of 5

TALES FROM THE SCRIPT: A little bitter, but a must-see doc for anyone even remotely interested in screenwriting. 4 out of 5

GET HIM TO THE GREEK: Russell Brand = comedic genius. Best drug freak out scene of all time. Can’t stop giggling. 4 out of 5






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MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): SPLICE, EXAM, D.E.B.S., DISCTRICT B13: ULTIMATUM, VALHALLA RISING…

Posted on June 7th, 2010
MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): SPLICE, EXAM, D.E.B.S., DISCTRICT B13: ULTIMATUM, VALHALLA RISING…

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Coop’s most recent MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter):

SPLICE: Frankenstein redo with icky scruples, laughably repulsive monster and jerk hipster protagonists. Uncool. 2 out of 5.

EXAM: 8 job hopefuls locked in a room with ticking clock and menacing set of rules. Cool concept, sloppy plot. 3 out of 5.

D.E.B.S.: Lesbian evil mastermind seduces crack agent of an all-girl superspy team. Spoof undermines message. 1 out of 5.

DISTRICT B13: ULTIMATUM… Cliche, low on action. Huge insult to the original which set action standards. 2 out of 5.

VALHALLA RISING: A bloody, trippy, grimy, violent, slow and pretentious allegory for the death of religion. 2 out of 5.






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Strategies for women to convince their men to go see “CHICK FLICKS”… by COOP

Posted on May 27th, 2010
Strategies for women to convince their men to go see “CHICK FLICKS”…  by COOP

For many of you couples, this is probably a common argument: He wants to see the new Bruce Willis action movie while she’d rather see the latest romantic comedy starring Julie Roberts. Now this may not apply to all guys. Girls, if you have a boyfriend/husband who likes most romantic comedies and Victorian Era dramas, then hold onto him. You’ve bagged yourself a sensitive, modern guy there. Since that description doesn’t apply to the majority of men, here is some advice for women trying to convince their significant other to see the latest “chick flick” (don’t worry tough guys… this benefits you too).

Firstly, don’t ever… EVER use the word “cute” to describe a movie. As soon as guys hear a movie is “cute” or “sweet” or any other adjective that conjures images of babies and puppy dogs, they immediately…






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MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): THE CRAZIES, [REC]2, FROM PARIS WITH LOVE, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE, NINJA ASSASSIN, LEGION…

Posted on May 19th, 2010
MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!):  THE CRAZIES, [REC]2, FROM PARIS WITH LOVE, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE, NINJA ASSASSIN, LEGION…

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Coop’s most recent MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter):

THE CRAZIES (2010): Great first half, effective scares (pitchfork!) but ignored much of what worked in the original. 3 stars

[REC]2: Creative continuity/action/camerawork, but “Exorcist” twist undermines the mythology of original. 2&1/2 stars

FROM PARIS WITH LOVE: Travolta = over the top and action scenes = outrageous, a must see for action fans. 3&1/2 stars

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: Better than AVATAR in story and intent. Total pleasant surprise. Take kids now. 4&1/2 stars

SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE: Sub-par comedy. Baruchel unlikably insecure. Cop-out ending. Title ironically true. 2 stars.

NINJA ASSASSIN: Good gore. Bad CGI shurikens. Rain = ok. Lead actress sucks. Sho Kosugi rocks. Lame plot. 2 stars.

LEGION: Amazing concept. Angels + weapons = BOOM. Weak execution. All characters unlikable. Wings clipped. 2&1/2 stars.






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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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NEW MOON (2009) **1/2 movie review by COOP

Posted on November 23rd, 2009
NEW MOON (2009) **1/2 movie review by COOP

I gave last year’s “Twilight” a fair pass because it pulled off some original and compelling storytelling despite the backlash by non-fans who found the whole phenomenon silly and far too juvenile for mainstream audiences. I went so far as to read the New Moon novel and while I found it uneven, soapy and poorly structured, I understood and enjoyed the way it made a cliché subject readable. I also respected the direction it was heading and was looking forward to seeing the film adaptation and the next sequel (“Eclipse”). That good will has expired because…






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THE FOURTH KIND (2009) ***1/2 movie review by COOP

Posted on November 10th, 2009
THE FOURTH KIND (2009) ***1/2 movie review by COOP

High on the heels of the runaway box office hit “Paranormal Activity,” another “found footage” scare flick has entered the scene just shy of the Halloween season. Touting itself as a dramatization of supposedly real taped hypnosis sessions that reveal alien abductions, the creators of “The Fourth Kind” made a sizable gamble. “The Blair Witch Project” was ten years ago and found footage films had not regained a foothold in the genre until “Paranormal Activity” came around. Add to the fact no one expected the escalating hype and sudden wide release of “PA” and “The Fourth Kind” gets the lucky boost it needs for box office success. There’s one major difference between these two films…






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LAW ABIDING CITIZEN (2009) ***1/2 movie review by COOP

Posted on October 21st, 2009
LAW ABIDING CITIZEN (2009) ***1/2 movie review by COOP

The film gets off to a quick start as Clyde (Gerard Butler) watches as two thugs break into his house, render him immobile and kill his wife and little girl within the first 2 minutes of the movie. Months later, hotshot prosecutor Nick (Jamie Foxx) calculates that the offenders will get off unless he cuts a deal. Distraught, Clyde waits 10 years and then gets his revenge on the two killers in very creative ways. He allows himself to be caught and informs Nick that his revenge is not complete. Suddenly, Nick’s friends, colleagues and anyone else responsible for the miscarriage of justice start dying in a series of…






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DARK SIDE sees PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (2009) ***1/2 in Memphis with Craig Brewer!

Posted on October 12th, 2009
DARK SIDE sees PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (2009) ***1/2 in Memphis with Craig Brewer!

Bless the Oxford Film Freak. After monitoring screening news about Paranormal Activity: Evidence of a Haunting like a hawk, I thought I had the lowdown on when it might show near me, like say in Memphis, TN. The projections: Not likely. Apparently Memphis doesn’t have the cinematic pull as Lincoln, Nebraska or Cleveland, Ohio (bollocks, I say) and wouldn’t be getting a midnight screening. Then I got word of a last minute screening in Memphis at the Indie Memphis Film Festival at the fantastic Studio on the Square Theater. The kicker… Craig Brewer (Memphis native/director of Hustle and Flow and Black Snake Moan) would be introducing the film.

Jackpot!…






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SURROGATES (2009) *** movie review by COOP

Posted on September 30th, 2009
SURROGATES (2009) *** movie review by COOP

I like science fiction films that make me think, but sometimes a concept really gets my gears moving. Films with robots tend to catch my fancy. I even taught an English unit to high school students involving classic short stories about robots and how they could have a positive or negative effect on society. 95% of the time, the stories lean toward the negative. “Surrogates,” based off of a graphic novel, is no exception. While engaging and moderately exciting, it raises more questions that it answers…






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GAMER (2009) **** movie review by COOP… Surprise, Mikey! He liked it!

Posted on September 10th, 2009
GAMER (2009) **** movie review by COOP… Surprise, Mikey! He liked it!

Color me shocked. What looked like a loud, obnoxious, superficial action flick in the previews actually succeeded in making a meaningful (yet disturbing) social statement. Harkening back to the exploitative B-movie action films of the late 80’s and 90’s, “Gamer” begins as a sleazy, violent bloodbath with seemingly no redeeming cinematic value. Just as I started to turn my brain off, the story surprised me with some plot devices and story concepts way ahead of its time…






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PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and LAKE MUNGO… two ghostly “mockumentaries” that I want to see. by DARK SIDE

Posted on September 8th, 2009
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and LAKE MUNGO… two ghostly “mockumentaries” that I want to see. by DARK SIDE

Okay, so I’m on an indie horror kick at the moment. Sue me. It’s that time of the year.

These are two that I’m highly anticipating. Not good considering I doubt I (or you) will get to see either anytime soon.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: EVIDENCE OF A HAUNTING
Hitting the festival circuit for awhile now (at least since 2007), this Blair Witch-type found-footage film capitalizes on a very simple idea… A couple move into a new place. Weird things start happening so they set up some video cameras to try and solve the mystery. Things get scary. So scary in fact that it’s rumored that audience members…






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PONTYPOOL review… Zombies vs. Don Imus! by DARK SIDE

Posted on September 7th, 2009
PONTYPOOL review… Zombies vs. Don Imus! by DARK SIDE

I’m making this a spoiler-heavy, in-depth review because of the fact that Pontypool could’ve been a great horror movie. In fact, the first half was near flawless.

But I’ll get to that. Boy will I ever. You see, I got a few favorite concepts out there that work great by themselves. Sometimes a smarty pants comes along and merges two of the concepts to create what I call a “super concept.” It’s kinda like when rock stars from different bands get together to form “super bands.” Sometimes it works (Traveling Wilburys), sometimes it doesn’t (Hear ‘n Aid). This concept worked… almost. In what amounts to a mix of Talk Radio, Night of the Living Dead and War of the Worlds, we meet…






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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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