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STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS… big plot holes, still better than the last one

Posted on May 24th, 2013
STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS…  big plot holes, still better than the last one

by Coop Cooper

After the last “Star Trek” film was released in theaters, I saw it numerous times on DVD and cable and with each viewing, it held up less and less. Eventually, I got really down on it and would probably downgrade my original rating if I ever resorted to that kind of thing. “Star Trek: Into Darkness” is an improvement over the last film and although it suffers from many of the same problems, at some point you have to stop counting all the plot holes and enjoy the ride.

While bungling the rescue of a primitive race from extinction, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) breaks Starfleet’s number one rule in an attempt to rescue Spock (Zachary Quinto) from certain death.

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IRON MAN 3 nearly ruins a franchise

Posted on May 3rd, 2013
IRON MAN 3 nearly ruins a franchise

by Coop Cooper

The first disappointment of the summer season, “Iron Man 3” suffers from similar trilogy woes in which films like “X-Men 3” and “Spider-Man 3” diverged too far from the canon and fell flat with fans. I’ll blame some of this on writer/director Shane Black who took the reins from Joss Whedon to add his “Lethal Weapon” flair to the story, but obviously didn’t have enough respect for the original “Iron Man” comics.

Shaken after the Avengers vs. aliens battle in New York, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) barely sleeps and spends every waking moment designing new Iron Man suits for every dangerous situation imaginable…

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SKYFALL review

Posted on November 16th, 2012
SKYFALL review

James Bond (Daniel Craig) goes underground when a judgement call by his superior, M (Judi Dench), leaves him abandoned and left for dead. Months later, after a terrorist attack on the British Intelligence MI6 complex massacres dozens of operatives and threatens to expose hundreds more, Bond returns to M and the service. Although his injuries and substance addiction leave him in poor shape to resume his duties, M decides Bond is her best bet against assassin and ex-MI6 agent, Silva (Javier Bardem). Silva, a master 00 operative and hacker, was driven mad by torture and disfigurement as a result of one of M’s more questionable decisions. While Silva executes the destruction of MI6 and attempts the assassination of M, Bond finds himself the sole protector to the boss who sanctioned his own death only months before.

Let it be known that MGM, after a long bankruptcy and resurrection, has successfully returned the Daniel Craig/James Bond franchise to greatness by completely ripping off Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight/Batman” trilogy. Here’s the catch: You can’t get upset about it because it works so well – especially in this case. Let’s break it down…

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EXPENDABLES 2 review

Posted on November 6th, 2012
EXPENDABLES 2 review

Coming straight off of a successful mission in Asia, The Expendables mercenary team captained by Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) returns to their home base of New Orleans only to find CIA spook Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) waiting for them. Barney owes Church 5 million dollars, so the team is strong-armed into a simple hijack mission which takes a bad turn when the villainous Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme) intercepts them. Out for revenge, they track Vilain to a remote area of Russia where they learn he plans to sell a massive amount of plutonium on the black market.

For mercenaries, these guys are too darned nice. Over the course of the film, they risk their lives and lose a lot to save hundreds, maybe thousands of people, without really getting paid. Big-name characters show up out of nowhere to save their rear-ends on multiple occasions. The obligatory one-liners are cheesy, the action is out of control and the entire ridiculous movie is a larf… but it has to be seen to be believed…

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6 great movies for the Halloween season

Posted on October 31st, 2011
6 great movies for the Halloween season

by Coop Cooper
There are many great horror films out there but very few actually take place during or around Halloween. Here are six of the best…

6. “Ginger Snaps” (2000) – Ginger and her sister, Brigitte are two high school Goth outcasts… Until Ginger gets bit by a werewolf. The infection gives Ginger the confidence she’s never had… and an appetite for human flesh. The climax occurs during a Halloween party where Ginger doesn’t need a fake costume to look scary. One of the great underrated werewolf films, “Ginger Snaps” is a sly, grim allegory to the pains of female puberty. It spawned two bizarre and substandard sequels but the original has a large fan following…

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“X-Men: First Class” is another worthy addition to the Marvel franchise

Posted on June 15th, 2011
“X-Men: First Class” is another worthy addition to the Marvel franchise

I had almost given up on the “X-Men” franchise after the misfire that was “X-Men 3: Last Stand” and the abysmal “Wolverine” spinoff. “Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky recently teased comic book fans with a promise to make a higher-quality “Wolverine” film set in Japan (one of the most famous story lines in the character’s history) only to kill the project without adequate explanation. That news sunk my hopes even lower. At this point, a classic “X-Men” story taking place in the 1960’s didn’t make much sense to me. They had already modernized the original team members for the 2000’s and made them all youngsters. Thankfully with a bit of creative canon-bending, the gamble worked and audiences finally have another decent “X-Men” movie to enjoy…

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THOR silly but a worthy addition to the Marvel franchise

Posted on May 13th, 2011
THOR silly but a worthy addition to the Marvel franchise

I had many favorite superheroes as a kid but Thor ranked among the highest. He had the power of flight and strength of Superman, he commanded the elements, he wielded a magic weapon and he ruled an entire kingdom. I held out little hope anyone would adapt him into feature film without making him look as silly as Batman in the 1960s TV show. Finally, “Thor” has arrived and although some of the silliness persists, it holds up well enough to usher the God of Thunder into the “Avengers” superhero team movie next year…

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HALLOWEEN REWIND: HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS presents “Ode to Slashers!” Music from Jason, Freddy and Michael! by DARK SIDE

Posted on October 1st, 2010
HALLOWEEN REWIND:  HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS presents “Ode to Slashers!”  Music from Jason, Freddy and Michael! by DARK SIDE

Does anyone remember that bizarre pop song that Alice Cooper did for the Friday the 13th movie franchise? Yeah, I didn’t either until a friend reminded me that it existed. FT13 Part 6 was poised to resurrect (literally) the flailing franchise who already saw the demise of it’s main character, Jason, in IV and replaced him with a temporary impostor in V. Nobody liked that, so what was their solution for 6? Death to Arnold Horshack from Welcome Back, Kotter. Just kidding, but not really…

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MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): MOTHER, MONSTERS, THE KILLER INSIDE ME, INTRUDER, DRILLBIT TAYLOR, THE TOWN, CENTURION…

Posted on September 27th, 2010
MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!):  MOTHER, MONSTERS, THE KILLER INSIDE ME, INTRUDER, DRILLBIT TAYLOR, THE TOWN, CENTURION…

Got a slew of them here. MONSTERS is currently available as a $10.oo rent on iTunes and THE KILLER INSIDE ME will be available on DVD/Blu-Ray tomorrow (Sept. 28)…

MOTHER – Poor Korean mom turns detective in an attempt to free her alleged murdering, simple-minded son. Powerful cinema. 5 out of 5 stars.

MONSTERS – Immigration statement thinly disguised as arthouse sci-fi. Watchable for critics, unsatisfying for mainstream. 3 out of 5 stars

THE KILLER INSIDE ME – C. Affleck plays a psycho lawman in 1960’s TX. Brilliant, brutal and one of the best of the year. 5 out of 5 stars

INTRUDER – Sam Raimi & crew try to survive a slasher attack in a supermarket. Nice camerawork but lame considering the talent. 2 – 5 stars

DRILLBIT TAYLOR – Innocuous comedy where 3 nerds hire a homeless buffoon to protect them from a bully. Cute but hollow. 2&1/2 out of 5 stars

THE TOWN – A guilt-ridden Boston bank robber falls in love with a former hostage. Affleck remakes HEAT with kick-ass results. 4 out of 5 stars

CENTURION – Spec fiction about what may have happened to the 9th Roman Legion. Sloppy pacing/high watchability. Bloody brutal! 3 out of 5

Thy Twitter has spoken…

-Coop

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MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): A-TEAM, JONAH HEX, MACABRE (2009), GALAXY OF TERROR, NECROMENTIA, IN AMERICA…

Posted on July 5th, 2010
MICRO REVIEWS (via Twitter!): A-TEAM, JONAH HEX, MACABRE (2009), GALAXY OF TERROR, NECROMENTIA, IN AMERICA…

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

Yep, I’ve been slackin’. Maybe it’s the weak summer box office releases getting me down. At least I’ve been watching a lot of low-budget horror… an unapologetic passion of mine. Groovy…

IN AMERICA: Fine acting, but ultimately pretentious Oscar-bait about modern Irish immigrants. Includes an AIDS subplot? Ick. 2&1/2 out of 5.

NECROMENTIA: Ripoff of HELLRAISER in theme and visuals, but told backwards. Terrific atmosphere and creep factor. Inept story. 2 out of 5

GALAXY OF TERROR: Goofy, gory Corman shocker. Flimsy storyline with some neat H.R. Giger visuals and monsters. Worst ending ever. 2 out of 5

MACABRE: Better than average, ultra-gory killer family story out of Indonesia. Creepiest lead villain in Asian movie history. 3&1/2 out of 5

JONAH HEX: Cool comic book premise gets railroaded into cinematic hell. Everything sucks, especially Jonah’s face makeup. 1&1/2 out of 5

A-TEAM: Sloppy… but great actors/characters have undeniable chemistry. Nice action. Better than THE LOSERS. Murdock rules. 3&1/2 out of 5

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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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DARK SIDE returns to review THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (2010) **** and to pitch director Tom Six some suggestions for sequels!

Posted on May 14th, 2010
DARK SIDE returns to review THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (2010) **** and to pitch director Tom Six some suggestions for sequels!

Oh… My… God… Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new David Cronenberg. This silly indie movie had me cackling and howling for its full 90 minute run time. Did I say silly? Because I meant AWESOME. Dr. Heiter (The now imminent character actor Dieter Laser) hates humans, despite being a very weird one himself. No longer satisfied with de-freak-a-fying Siamese twins, Dr. H decides to surgically conjoin a trio of Rottweilers from maw to anus just for kicks. The result: His most cherished pet. When his beloved 3-dog dies, he creates a heartfelt tombstone for it and buries 3-dog in the backyard. Afterwards he feels a loss that only escalating unnecessary surgery can cure. His next project: THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) is a go. That all happens BEFORE the movie starts mind you….

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DARK SIDE says the new DVD release TRICK ‘R TREAT (2009) ***** is the greatest Halloween movie that doesn’t feature Michael Myers!

Posted on October 7th, 2009
DARK SIDE says the new DVD release TRICK ‘R TREAT (2009) ***** is the greatest Halloween movie that doesn’t feature Michael Myers!

That’s right, I said it. The cat’s out of the bag. There’s no going back now…

Michael Dougherty’s long-beleaguered holiday film has finally found a wide-release on video. Originally slated for a theatrical release in October 2007, Warner Bros. suddenly shelved it with no explanation. The rumor was that the bigwigs feared it would bomb competing against Saw IV and then Saw V the following year. Not seeing an end to the Saw tradition of releasing a high-grossing film every Halloween (Saw VI releases this month), The WB decided to dump Trick ‘R Treat to a DVD/Blu-Ray release for Oct. 6 and market the hell out of it for one month.

What a low-down, dirty shame. One of the best Halloween movies of all time, it gets delayed for two years and it doesn’t even get a theatrical release. I hope someone leaves a flaming bag of crap at the Warner Brothers studio gate for that one…

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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #11: LEATHERFACE has a (Lääz) Rockit in his pocket… Care to blast off? by DARK SIDE

Posted on October 4th, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #11:  LEATHERFACE has a (Lääz) Rockit in his pocket… Care to blast off? by DARK SIDE

Texas Chain Saw Massacre III: Leatherface (1990) was the biggest budget production of the original Chain Saw franchise before Michael Bay got his grubby little hands on them. It starred a young Viggo Mortensen as the handsome and deadly “Tex”, reliable character actor Tom Everett as a babbling maniac and genre legend Ken Foree as a heroic survivalist nut.

Oh yeah, and Leatherface sports a sweet mullet…

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HALLOWEEN II (2009) * movie review by DARK SIDE

Posted on September 4th, 2009
HALLOWEEN II (2009) * movie review by DARK SIDE

It’s a sad weekend when your best new release choice is another lousy horror remake. I strongly disliked director Rob Zombie’s first “Halloween” remake in execution and in principle. It made a mint, but was so poorly received by critics and fans of the original classic, the indignant Zombie swore to not do a sequel. Two years later he broke that promise with a sequel even poorer than his first. Methinks dollar signs and ego played a part in his decision to beat a dead horse and I sincerely doubt after this stinker, anyone would want to see a third…

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INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009) **** movie review by COOP

Posted on August 25th, 2009
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009) **** movie review by COOP

Quentin Tarantino is a bona fide oddity in the modern film industry. The bulletproof director stays independent and non-union but he still manages to find the budget to fulfill his every whim. He takes his sweet time getting there, but what he creates often gains a massive amount critical/public scrutiny and acclaim. A long-gestating vanity project for Tarantino, “Inglourious Basterds” achieves some cinematic feats that rank it in the highest categories of cinema. For Tarantino fans, this is an admirable achievement. Unfortunately for…

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HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #9: Wes Craven orders Assistant Director Skinner to SHOCK Peter Berg! by DARK SIDE

Posted on August 22nd, 2009
HAIR METAL MOVIE MADNESS #9: Wes Craven orders Assistant Director Skinner to SHOCK Peter Berg! by DARK SIDE

I’ll wager very few X-Files fans know that Mitch Pileggi (Assistant Director Skinner) on the popular show got his genre start as a crazed serial killer. That’s right, old Uncle Mitch once played Horace Pinker, one of the meanest villains ever to grace the silver screen. He’s so mean, he even nearly beat his son to death for interfering with matricide. He’s so mean, he gets his jollies wasting entire families with a Rambo knife. He’s so mean, even the Electric Satan won’t let him die after an execution by electric chair…

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PUBLIC ENEMIES (2009) *** movie review by COOP

Posted on July 3rd, 2009
PUBLIC ENEMIES (2009) *** movie review by COOP

Some would credit Director Michael Mann as the undisputed king of cop vs. robber crime epics. Creating TV shows like “Miami Vice” and “Crime Story,” plus his perfect opus “Heat” gives him all of the street cred needed to tackle the true-life story of notorious bank robber John Dillinger and the G-Men commissioned to take him down. An apparent slam-dunk for the maestro of modern shoot-em ups. After coming off his lousy remake of “Miami Vice,” I would’ve expected Mann to step his game. As they say in the 1930’s gangster movies of old: No dice…

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Watch 10 minutes of TRICK ‘r TREAT online! Film soon to be (finally) released! by DARK SIDE

Posted on June 18th, 2009
Watch 10 minutes of TRICK ‘r TREAT online! Film soon to be (finally) released! by DARK SIDE

How many years have we been waiting for this one? Two? Three years? Whatever, here’s a 10 minute clip of the long-delayed anthology Halloween movie “Trick ‘r Treat” just in time for summer (say what?). Apparently it will receive a possible limited theatrical run then go straight to DVD and Blu Ray in time for the Season of the Witch. Such a shame because…

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A picture of Mickey Rourke as WHIPLASH in IRON MAN 2… Holy smokes, this is for real! by COOP

Posted on June 10th, 2009
A picture of Mickey Rourke as WHIPLASH in IRON MAN 2…  Holy smokes, this is for real!  by COOP

I don’t freakin’ believe it. I figured Whiplash was at the bottom of the list for villain in next “Iron Man” film but I was wrong. Dead wrong… and this here pic proves it:

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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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