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Ridley’s THE MARTIAN washes away the stank of Ridley’s PROMETHEUS

Posted on October 16th, 2015
Ridley’s THE MARTIAN washes away the stank of Ridley’s PROMETHEUS

by Coop Cooper

“Gravity” took an admirable stab at creating a realistic space drama in 2013, and while I found it to be a near-perfect film in terms of photography, acting and effects, it seemed to leave some people cold. Some disliked having to watch one character act alone through most of the film, while others decried its unrealistic scientific aspects. Whatever the case, Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” seems to avoid a few of those problems and while I found it no better than “Gravity”, it sure proves that Scott hasn’t lost his touch after directing the space fiasco that was “Prometheus”…

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SICARIO has it all, including a possible franchise opportunity for Del Toro…

Posted on October 9th, 2015
SICARIO has it all, including a possible franchise opportunity for Del Toro…

by Coop Cooper

Every once in awhile, an action/crime drama will raise the bar in what is often a humdrum and stagnant genre. The style has become more sophisticated over the decades. Actors stopped shooting from the hip and got training from professionals. Lengthy and over-the-top, Hong Kong styled shootouts eventually gave way to a more realistic form of screen combat. The excitement now seems to come from seeing the actors performing accurate tactical reloads and dealing with the tension before impending violence and the traumatic aftermath. “Sicario” utilizes this new style effectively and even manages to elevate the genre…

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SCREAM QUEENS rocks, HEROES REBORN fumbles and THE MUPPETS are pervs???

Posted on October 2nd, 2015
SCREAM QUEENS rocks, HEROES REBORN fumbles and THE MUPPETS are pervs???

by Coop Cooper

One new TV show premiere stood out last week while another bombed and third left me scratching my head. Here is a breakdown of last week’s most anticipated new shows…

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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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MISSISSIPPI GRIND doesn’t insult your intelligence about gambling…

Posted on September 18th, 2015
MISSISSIPPI GRIND doesn’t insult your intelligence about gambling…

by Coop Cooper

I’ve never been a huge fan of gambling films. They tend to glorify an unrealistic amount of luck while passing off the luck and the skill as heroic or virtuous qualities. Fortunately, “Mississippi Grind” is not your typical gambling film.

Ben Mendelsohn plays Gerry, a gambler in Iowa who owes every bookie in town and can’t seem to catch a break. At a poker game, he meets the charismatic Curtis (Ryan Reynolds) who inspires him with confidence and a winning attitude. The two become fast friends and Gerry begins to see signs from on high that his luck is about to change. Gerry suggests to Curtis that they take all that they have and hit every casino along the Mississippi River down to New Orleans to make one big score to solve all of their problems. Unfortunately, Gerry’s luck takes a turn to for the worse, and his good luck charm, Curtis, may have some dark secrets of his own…

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Football season means it’s time to revisit the pigskin cinema classics!

Posted on September 11th, 2015
Football season means it’s time to revisit the pigskin cinema classics!

by Coop Cooper

With football season upon us, it is time to reflect upon (and revisit!) some of the best football movies out there. Whether they are about high school, college, pro… or prison, all are either funny, exciting, inspirational or all three…

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A WALK IN THE WOODS premiere in Oxford, Mississippi…

Posted on September 4th, 2015
A WALK IN THE WOODS premiere in Oxford, Mississippi…

by Coop Cooper

With the current spike of bigger-budget films shooting here in Mississippi, it’s easy to get excited when you see familiar faces featured prominently on the screen. Oxford resident Susan McPhail is one actor who has had an exceptional year and on Tuesday, August the 25th she attended the Oxford, MS premiere of “A Walk in the Woods” in which she plays an unforgettable role. Oh yeah, and the movie also stars Robert Redford and Nick Nolte…

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FEAR THE WALKING DEAD is not what this fan wants…

Posted on August 28th, 2015
FEAR THE WALKING DEAD is not what this fan wants…

by Coop Cooper

Set on the eve of the zombie outbreak from the original series, Nick (Frank Dillane), a young heroin user, awakens from a stupor at an abandoned Los Angeles church to find his friends dead and his girlfriend eating them. He runs away from the horrific scene, is promptly hit by a car and taken to a hospital. His estranged mother, high school guidance counselor Madison (Kim Dickens), and her English teacher boyfriend, Travis (Cliff Curtis), don’t believe Nick’s story, but Travis decides to check out the church anyway. Inside, he finds evidence that Nick was telling the truth. Meanwhile, Madison confronts an honor student who brings a weapon to school only to receive an ominous warning that something terrible is happening in the community and around the country that is being covered up. As Nick escapes from the hospital and Madison and Travis search Los Angeles to find him, a viral video of LAPD officers shooting a zombie sends the city into panic…

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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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FANTASTIC FOUR is missing a 2nd act, and Dr. Doom sucks…

Posted on August 14th, 2015
FANTASTIC FOUR is missing a 2nd act, and Dr. Doom sucks…

by Coop Cooper

The Fantastic Four comic book has a spotty history when it comes to film adaptations. The first movie was slated for 1994, but was considered so poorly done and hokey, it never screened in theaters and can only be viewed on YouTube. The second adaptation in 2005 did fairly well at the box office but did not please fans who thought it was too light and silly. Ditto for the 2007 sequel, “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” which solidified the demise of that particular franchise effort. Now, in 2015, Fox Studios is taking another stab at a FF adaptation, but I believe the studio heads are about to learn they should have saved the effort and let the rights to the characters revert back to Marvel Comics…

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MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION… Watch Tom Cruise get upstaged by Rebecca Ferguson…

Posted on August 7th, 2015
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION…  Watch Tom Cruise get upstaged by Rebecca Ferguson…

by Coop Cooper

After thwarting a terrorist plot to hijack deadly VX nerve gas warheads, Impossible Mission Force operative Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) immediately becomes a target when an insidious organization known as ‘The Syndicate’ begins undermining his agency. Meanwhile, in Washington, Agent William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) defends the IMF in Congress from CIA Director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) who blames the IMF for causing more mayhem than they prevent and seeks to defund and disband the agency. Operating off the radar, Hunt drags his trusty hacker sidekick Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) into the rogue mission where they run across the double agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) who may have the intel to destroy the Syndicate, or betray them all…

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PIXELS is nostalgic, watchable and really stupid…

Posted on August 3rd, 2015
PIXELS is nostalgic, watchable and really stupid…

by Coop Cooper

“Pixels” was a neat idea born of a fantastic 2010 short film by Patrick Jean in which New York City is invaded by classic arcade game characters. Screaming to be made into a feature film, the concept was picked up by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company and developed into a 2015 Sandler summer blockbuster vehicle.

Sandler plays Sam Brenner, a has-been arcade game wizard who was defeated in a 1982 video game tournament by the cocky Eddie ‘Fireblaster’ Plant (Peter Dinklage). Brenner faded into obscurity and became an on-call tech support ‘Nerd’ while his illiterate, uncool friend, Will Cooper (Kevin James), somehow became President of the United States. When an alien intelligence comes across these video games, they create the characters in the games – like Centipede, Space Invaders and even Pac-Man – in real life and send them down to challenge humans to a winner-takes-all contest for Earth…

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ANT-MAN is a deceptively large Marvel Comics movie…

Posted on August 3rd, 2015
ANT-MAN is a deceptively large Marvel Comics movie…

by Coop Cooper

Like “Guardians of the Galaxy” before it, Marvel attempts to introduce viewers to one of its more obscure properties with “Ant-Man” and although it sounds just as silly as movie starring a gun-toting, wisecracking raccoon, it’s also just as fun.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a former electrical engineer turned criminal for exposing a company’s unethical practices, is released from prison and immediately runs into trouble after stealing a mysterious superhero suit from inventor and former S.H.I.E.LD. agent Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). The suit has the power to shrink its user to the size of an insect and the ability to control all species of ants…

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SCREAM and MR. ROBOT… One of these TV shows is something you’ve never seen before

Posted on August 3rd, 2015
SCREAM and MR. ROBOT…  One of these TV shows is something you’ve never seen before

by Coop Cooper

“Scream” (MTV Tuesdays at 10/9C) – Based off of the hit 1996 horror film, this series brings the “Scream” franchise into the episodic world of TV and the internet. When a clique of high school teens maliciously leaks an embarrassing video on the internet, it goes viral and soon after, members of the clique and those around them start dying off under grisly circumstances. When the good girl of the group, Emma (Willa Fitzgerald), starts snooping, she learns the deaths might be connected to a murder spree in which her own mother was the sole survivor. As her friends die off, the list of suspects narrows and the situation becomes more deadly…

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WAYWARD PINES > THE WHISPERS but both still need to prove themselves worthy…

Posted on June 12th, 2015
WAYWARD PINES > THE WHISPERS but both still need to prove themselves worthy…

by Coop Cooper Summer is almost upon us and TV networks are firing up two new supernatural-themed series for the season. Both of these shows, “The Whispers” (Mondays 10/9c on ABC) and “Wayward Pines” (Thursdays 9/8c on FOX) have already begun their series run. “The Whispers” – After a little girl sets up a nearly […]

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BARELY LETHAL is mediocre teen fodder, but Steinfeld is great…

Posted on June 5th, 2015
BARELY  LETHAL is mediocre teen fodder, but Steinfeld is great…

by Coop Cooper

Good ‘Teen Movies’ are in short supply. The worst of them are overproduced, vapid studio films or sloppy, saccharine indies. “Barely Lethal” aims high by trying to channel some of the big studio films, but doesn’t quite rise to the challenge, even though its charismatic lead makes it enjoyable to watch.

Number 83 (Hailee Steinfeld) is a teen government assassin who yearns for a normal, teenage high school experience, but her handler, Hardman (Samuel L. Jackson), keeps a tight reign on his proteges. While apprehending the traitorous terrorist, Victoria Knox (Jessica Alba), 83 is lost during the mission and presumed dead. Taking advantage of the situation, 83 goes AWOL, changes her name to Megan Walsh and joins a student exchange program as a Canadian assigned to America…

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TOMORROWLAND is one big Disney commercial and I’m not okay with that…

Posted on May 29th, 2015
TOMORROWLAND is one big Disney commercial and I’m not okay with that…

by Coop Cooper

As a kid growing up in the 80’s, I remember very clearly some of the move/TV content created for my viewing pleasure was designed to encourage me to buy toys. “He-Man”, “Transformers”, “G.I. Joe”, even the “Star Wars” films had a hand in me writing up my Christmas list for Santa Claus. I can forgive “Star Wars” since it invented the whole concept and made getting new toys exciting, but most of these shows were unapologetic cash grabs. “Tomorrowland” feels like a throwback to that shady old practice…

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MAD MAX: FURY ROAD wins the early summer releases for 2015…

Posted on May 22nd, 2015
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD wins the early summer releases for 2015…

by Coop Cooper

The first “Mad Max” film premiered in 1979, starring a very young Mel Gibson and the film went on to become a cult classic. Two sequels followed, the critically revered “The Road Warrior” (1981) and the less respected, yet highly entertaining “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome” (1985). Now for the first time in thirty years, we finally have a new Mad Max film… and the result is spectacular.

Taking place sometime long after the original “Mad Max” film, Max (Tom Hardy) and his suped-up Ford Falcon are immediately caught out in the open, captured by the War Boys and taken prisoner. The War Boys are young, radiation-stricken mutants who live only half a life and must rely on constant blood transfusions to live. Unfortunately, Max is a universal donor and is used by the ambitiously suicidal War Boy named Nux (Nicholas Hoult) as a rejuvenating ‘blood bag’…

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MAGGIE shows you a Schwarzenegger you’ve never seen before…

Posted on May 15th, 2015
MAGGIE shows you a Schwarzenegger you’ve never seen before…

by Coop Cooper

I once joked many years ago that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career would have another shot in the arm if he ever took a role as a transvestite prostitute in an indie drama. I didn’t say that to insult the guy, I just meant he’s never taken a risk to try a starring role outside the bombastic action film genre (and the occasional high-budget, goofy comedy) he worked so hard to define in the 80’s and 90’s. Now, after 46 years of working in the film industry, ‘The Governator’ has finally taken that risk with the minimalist zombie indie tearjerker, “Maggie”…

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MR. TURNER is slow, long, sometimes beautiful and it’s on DVD…

Posted on May 8th, 2015
MR. TURNER is slow, long, sometimes beautiful and it’s on DVD…

by Coop Cooper

Arriving this week to DVD is an Academy Award-nominated film which did not get as much hype as the rest. “Mr. Turner”, a biographical drama directed by Mike Leigh, received nominations for cinematography, costume design, original score and production design, although it won none of these categories. With the exception of the score, I’d say it could’ve been a strong contender in three of those categories, but the film simply couldn’t compete with the more interesting of last year’s nominees…

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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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