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HELL OR HIGH WATER and FENCES… Do either have what it takes to win an Oscar?

Posted on January 9th, 2017
HELL OR HIGH WATER and FENCES… Do either have what it takes to win an Oscar?

by Coop Cooper

With the Golden Globes already given out, awards season is officially in full swing. Although the Academy Awards nominations have not been released, here are reviews for two films which have already received Oscars buzz…

“Hell or High Water” – Tanner (Ben Foster) and Toby (Chris Pine) are brothers embarking on a West Texas bank heist spree. Soon-to-retire Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and his partner, Alberto (Gil Birmingham) hit the road to try and track down the unknown bank robbers. As the robberies progress, it becomes evident that the brothers have an agenda that supersedes any wealth they will accumulate from these robberies. As the Rangers close in, Toby becomes concerned about Tanner, whose increasingly reckless behavior borders on the suicidal.

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The painful celeb deaths of 2016 and why we should move on quickly…

Posted on December 30th, 2016
The painful celeb deaths of 2016 and why we should move on quickly…

by Coop Cooper

Every year during the Oscars telecast, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honors the important actors and filmmakers who have passed on in the previous year in a segment titled ‘In Memoriam”. The segment usually only lasts about five minutes, but it would seem that this year, they could dedicate an entire show to it.

2016 has been an unusually painful year for celebrity deaths in all aspects of entertainment, culminating in the one-two punch of losing “Star Wars” royalty Carrie Fisher and her Oscar-winning mother Debbie Reynolds just days apart during the final five days of the calendar year. Along with them, 2016 has claimed famous sports figures like Muhammed Ali and Arnold Palmer, as well as music legends such as David Bowie, Prince and George Michael. As a result, the internet has been ablaze about how horrible 2016 has been due to all of these deaths with the public holding its collective breath until 2017 when the slate will be wiped clean – metaphorically, at least…

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Law “HB 1523” has ruined a good thing (i.e. film) for Mississippi…

Posted on April 11th, 2016
Law “HB 1523” has ruined a good thing (i.e. film) for Mississippi…

by Coop Cooper

During its creation, I knew very little about Mississippi’s new law titled HB 1523. I didn’t have a strong opinion over the new laws cropping up in Southern states aimed at protecting Christians from an ‘allegedly’ belligerent homosexual community threatening lawsuits for not being allowed access to certain restrooms or demanding services that might go against someone’s personal/religious beliefs. When the film industry began boycotting North Carolina because of their newly passed law, that got my attention. When the Georgia governor vetoed a similar bill due to threats the profitable film industry would pull up stakes and leave the state, I felt there was a lesson learned from North Carolina’s folly… It’s foolish to jeopardize a state’s economy by passing a controversial law in an attempt to solve a nebulous moral problem…

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The most promising new genre TV shows of the Fall 2015 season…

Posted on September 25th, 2015
The most promising new genre TV shows of the Fall 2015 season…

by Coop Cooper

With far too many original shows in development to fit into a feature article, I’ll focus on the ‘genre’ shows which have some sort of sci-fi/horror/fantasy element to them. Here are a few of the brand new shows premiering this season that look watchable and have already gotten some critical acclaim (P.S. “Fear the Walking Dead” was such a disappointment, I didn’t even include it in the ‘not-so-hot’ list):

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BAD WORDS is a dark comedy worth checking out

Posted on April 4th, 2014
BAD WORDS is a dark comedy worth checking out

by Coop Cooper

One of the hardest movie genres to pull off is the ‘dark comedy’. Done wrong, it can be the ultimate disaster like “Joe Versus the Volcano” . Done right, it can become a cult hit like “Heathers” and “Harold and Maude”. “Bad Words” attempts this genre and succeeds, even though it’s more of an amusing, mean-spirited distraction than an instant classic.

Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman), a 40-something loser, has found a loophole in the grade school-level spelling bee circuit that allows him to compete against children for the national championship. This enrages the parents of the other competitors and baffles the administrators of the contest who try to block Trilby from competing at every match. Against her better judgement, Trilby’s lawyer (Kathryn Hahn) travels with him to ensure he is allowed to compete in each bee, although she is starting to suspect that Trilby has a hidden agenda for going to such great lengths to remain in the competition. Meanwhile, a precocious little competitor (Rohan Chand) befriends Trilby and begins to look up to him as a mentor, despite Trilby’s wildly irresponsible influence on him…

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The internet is winning the film market…

Posted on July 26th, 2013
The internet is winning the film market…

Indie underground Memphis filmmaker Mike McCarthy had mentioned Black Lodge Video in Midtown Memphis to me more than once. He said it was one of the best cult film and out-of-print video stores he had ever seen, so this past weekend I had an opportunity to drop in and browse their stock. I had been to similar independent movie rental stores in Dallas and Los Angeles that cater to fans of obscure and hard-to-find films and Black Lodge had a better selection than all of them. However, when I left the store I was a little dismayed. Nearly every film in the store I was interested in watching was already available online.

Not long ago I predicted things would eventually go this way but it would appear it is escalating more quickly than I imagined. I figured poor internet speeds, lack of connectability/infrastructure and worrisome overage fees would keep internet domination at bay. A few things have come to my attention that convinced me otherwise…

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THE BEST DAY short film premiere!

Posted on October 19th, 2011
THE BEST DAY short film premiere!

Date: Thursday, October 27 · 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Location: Delta Cinema, 11 3rd St., Clarksdale, MS

Written, produced and directed by Coop Cooper

Starring: Amye Gousset, David Dallas and Clarksdale natives Anna Carson Tyner and Lois McMurchy Erwin

Co-starring: Steve Hays and Allen Brown of Clarksdale.

Event will feature…

– Trailers for yet-to-be-released short films by other Mississippi filmmakers
– Screening of THE BEST DAY
– Screening of THE BEST DAY blooper reel
– Q&A session
– Presentation of gifts to the cast and crew

After party at Ground Zero Blues Club @ 7pm (food included/free beer & wine)

SPECIAL NOTE: This is the first festival-qualifying narrative short film made by Clarksdale natives!

Approx. rating: PG-13

Here’s a link to the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqDtQ31GAzA

Hope to see you there!

– Coop Cooper

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THE INFORMERS sucks but not because of bad acting, sez DARK SIDE

Posted on August 27th, 2009
THE INFORMERS sucks but not because of bad acting, sez DARK SIDE

I can’t get through a Bret Easton Ellis novel but I sure have loved the movies made from his books. Less than Zero, American Psycho, Rules of Attraction… all great. I love how he mixes 80’s decadence with cultural decay and urban horror. His characters are hardly likable but it’s always the grim satirical statement behind the work that I dig so much.

So when I heard the adaptation of his collection of interlocking short stories The Informers was being dubbed…

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The Secret Lives of Stunt Women by COOP

Posted on July 30th, 2009
The Secret Lives of Stunt Women by COOP

Coop here reporting from Los Angeles. While I’m in town, I thought I’d find some interesting film industry folks to learn more about what they do. Luckily, I stumbled upon some old friends who enlightened me to a part of the business I knew very little about.

Of all the individuals in film, few are as mysterious and unique as those who do stunt work. Not only do these artists employ acting skills, they also harness fierce athletic abilities to achieve seemingly impossible (or painful-looking feats). Those who perform stunts form a very tight circle in the business; and in the case of women, one of the tightest circles in the entire industry…

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MULHOLLAND DRIVE: David Lynch’s 10 Clues to Unlocking This Thriller by BIG WHOOP

Posted on July 6th, 2009
MULHOLLAND DRIVE:  David Lynch’s 10 Clues to Unlocking This Thriller by BIG WHOOP

Coop here. David Lynch’s puzzle of an Oscar-nominated film is always a hotly debated topic when it comes down to deciding what the whole thing was all about. I like a challenge and “Mulholland Drive” provides one of the most intriguing head-scratchers out there (not to mention some terrifying scenes). Big Whoop thinks so as well and she’d like to issue a challenge to you: Discover the secrets of the film by following these clues and mulling over these questions while you watch the movie…

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R.I.P. BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO STORES: New ways to view movies at home by COOP

Posted on July 2nd, 2009
R.I.P. BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO STORES:  New ways to view movies at home by COOP

If you don’t have a big cinema multiplex in your hometown, you can venture an hour or more to a city that does or you can choose to stay home and watch a DVD. For the sake of convenience most choose a night at home with a DVD. But what are your options when your local Blockbuster Video store goes out of business as it did recently in my how town of Clarksdale, Mississippi? Or, what if you’re done with antiquated video stores and you’re looking for something better? Fortunately, the modern age provides many options, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages…

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TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN (2009) *1/2 movie review by COOP

Posted on June 26th, 2009
TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN (2009) *1/2 movie review by COOP

Films featuring giant fighting robots are never intended as high art. Designated as summer blockbusters, these big-budgeted crowd pleasers emphasize huge explosions, excellent special effects, big actors and PG to PG-13 ratings… something the whole family can enjoy, right? But what happens when a directing/producing team is so out of touch with the real world that they throw good sense to the wind and let inappropriate, even downright offensive elements creep into what was supposed to be a decent film for both kids and adults? You get…

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MISSISSIPPI MOVIES: How Modern Hollywood Perceives the South by COOP

Posted on June 19th, 2009
MISSISSIPPI MOVIES:  How Modern Hollywood Perceives the South by COOP

I once had a roommate/friend in college who flat-out refused to come to visit me and my family in Mississippi. He thought the south had such a bad reputation that he was bound to experience something so offensive to his beliefs that he would not be able to keep a civil tongue. We were in Dallas, Texas, at the time, mind you. I suddenly became self conscious when I learned that people from parts of Texas or even other parts of the South regarded Mississippi as backwards, unfriendly to outsiders, racist and dangerous. Was my home state that bad? Sure, history played a part in the…

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WHY HOLLYWOOD NEEDS TO MAKE STUPID MOVIES by COOP

Posted on June 5th, 2009
WHY HOLLYWOOD NEEDS TO MAKE STUPID MOVIES by COOP

“Paul Blart: Mall Cop.” Did you see it? I didn’t. Looked insulting, idiotic and – dare I say – stupid. Kevin James doesn’t amuse me in the slightest and I couldn’t imagine anyone liking it… but by May of 2009 it had made $145 million domestically. It scored a mere 33% on RottenTomatoes.com (meaning only 33% of movie critics gave it a positive review)! How could this happen? Let me explain…

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10 TOUGHEST MOVIE HEROES OF ALL TIME by COOP

Posted on April 8th, 2009
10 TOUGHEST MOVIE HEROES OF ALL TIME by COOP

These are the heroes that just won’t go down no matter what you thow at them. The best of the best. The Greatest. Here’s the criteria I used while making the list… a. The heroes must survive to the end of their film/franchise. b. No superheroes with superpowers. c. Pick heroes who represent cult phenom films. These are my results:

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À L’INTÉRIEUR (“INSIDE” 2007) ***** … a retrospect. YOU ARE NOT PREPARED!!! by DARK SIDE

Posted on April 5th, 2009
À L’INTÉRIEUR (“INSIDE” 2007) ***** …  a retrospect.  YOU ARE NOT PREPARED!!!  by DARK SIDE

Haven’t seen this one in about a year, but no matter what you’ve seen… YOU CANNOT HANDLE THIS HORROR MOVIE. It’s horrific in the extreme as only the (recent) French can accomplish. I’ve seen nothing like it and I don’t expect to see a competitor soon… Unless this “Martyrs” movie is as slick as they […]

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LAUNCH!!! Welcome to the new site… by Coop

Posted on April 2nd, 2009
LAUNCH!!!   Welcome to the new site… by Coop

Dig the new digs. Not bad, eh? It’s STILL a work in progress, but as far as you are concerned, it’s ready to roll. Browse around the menu. You can… Read all of my articles and reviews Read about me and meet my contributors Sign up to follow me on popular social networking sites See […]

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LEAKED! 2009 Oscar results posted online??? Looks fake to me… by COOP

Posted on February 22nd, 2009
LEAKED! 2009 Oscar results posted online??? Looks fake to me… by COOP

I saw this two days ago, yet did nothing. Now the major news outlets are starting to report it, so I guess I’d better say something. This so-called “leaked” document is a fake. It contradicts the protocol by which the Academy follows to the letter, so there’s no reason to believe it is in any […]

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TWO BEST PICTURE NOMINIEES… FROST/NIXON & THE READER (2008) movie reviews by COOP **UPDATE**

Posted on February 5th, 2009
TWO BEST PICTURE NOMINIEES…  FROST/NIXON & THE READER (2008) movie reviews by COOP **UPDATE**

FROST/NIXON *** Torn from the pages of history, “Frost/Nixon” tells the story behind the interview between British talk-show host David Frost (Michael Sheen) and former U.S. President Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) after the Watergate scandal. Frost pushes hard to secure the interview, offering a tidy honorarium and recruiting political analyst James Reston Jr. (Sam Rockwell) […]

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Coop’s latest! The teaser for the upcoming 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 is Coop's latest, most ambitious short film and will be ready for a late 2013 festival season.

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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