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Cooter's Watch List: Big stars in smaller films

Posted August 18, 2015, 4:08 PM

This week we have yet another interesting mix of options for your viewing pleasure. I think one of the more interesting things about the period of home entertainment that we currently find ourselves in is just how accessible good films are to both make and view.

Case in point, this week I'm highlighting films starring Glenn Close and Nicole Kidman. At one point, these huge actresses would normally only be seen in huge Hollywood films, but now they can both do massive films and smaller independent fare. The result is that great actors are bringing their talents to films that normally wouldn't get to benefit from their expertise.

Don't worry, there are still plenty of true independent gems in the mix, but it's all about raising the water level for all films. I think you'll agree that these films are a great...

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VideoETA received an award!

Posted August 18, 2015, 3:08 PM

It's not everyday you get recognized for what you do. We've been doing this website for over 16 years and we have finally received our first award.

Late Friday afternoon we received a message that we had been recognized by a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Their Emerging Technologies Section selected us as one of only 17 websites for their annual "Best Free Reference Websites" list. In the 17-year existence of the list, they've honored: All-Music Guide, All Recipes, Amazon, Better Business Bureau, CNET, CNN, Codeacademy, ESPN, Farmers Almanac, Google Maps, History Channel, Hulu, IMDb, Khan Academy, MapQuest, Metacritic, NASA,, National Public Radio, National Weather Service, New York Times,,, Rotten Tomatoes, SEC's EDGAR, TED, Thomas (Library of Congress),, U.S. Census Bureau,, WebMD, Wikipedia, and Wolfram Alpha -- just to name, uh, several.

That's a pretty...

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Monday Mixer: All the 'Star Wars' news from the D23 Expo

Posted August 17, 2015, 5:08 PM

You'll have to forgive the tardiness for this MM. My mom was in town visiting last week to see the grandkids and it always takes me a day or two to get back up to speed. Some would say recover from the visit, but it's really not that bad.

Sadly, I don't have the luxury to ease back into things this week though. In case you missed it, Disney had their biannual D23 Expo event this past weekend in Anaheim. As you would imagine, there were the usual updates on the future of the parks, Pixar films and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the real jackpot of news centered around all things Star Wars.

This is the first true D23 expo in which Disney had full reins over LucasFilm after the October 2012 sale, but it also didn't hurt that The...

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Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' trailer is epic in scope

Posted August 12, 2015, 2:08 PM

You have to give it to Quentin Tarantino. He has a vision and he can deliver his brand of stylized violence like no other director working in Hollywood today.

The trailer for The Hateful Eight debuted today and all indications are that he's got another hit on his hands. Shot in "glorious 70mm," the film is going to look as pretty as anything in theaters when it comes out on Christmas Day, but it almost didn't happen at all.

If you recall, the script leaked out onto the Internet and Tarantino swore that in retaliation he wasn't ever going to make the film. But, cooler heads prevailed and with the passage of time, The Hateful Eight was shot and I think it's safe to say even from just this one trailer that he made the right decision.

Out of professional responsibility more...

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Casting Spielberg's 'Ready Player One'

Posted August 12, 2015, 2:08 PM

Earlier this week over on Ain't It Cool News, there was a report that Steven Spielberg was trying to coax actor Gene Wilder out of retirement for an upcoming film role. While some people might simply gloss over this news, we immediately latched onto the possibility hinted at in the article, that he might be wooing Wilder to play Halliday in the upcoming film Ready Player One.

Ready Player One is a book written by Ernest Cline, who also wrote the screenplay to one of my under appreciated gems Fanboys, set in the near dystopian future where a virtual reality community known as the OASIS has usurped the plain old Internet to become humanity's favorite pastime. Ready Player One also happens to be one of the best books that I've read in the last decade or so. The book had been...

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Cooter's Watch List: Patrick Stewart does double duty

Posted August 11, 2015, 4:08 PM

It's funny how some weeks are heavier than others. Case in point, last week we featured ten films that had some truly wonderful films that needed a bit of spotlight shone their way.

This week, the competition isn't so great.

Obviously, there are films released each week and while there are plenty of good independent films out there, many of them make you scratch your head and ask why they were ever made in the first place. The goal of this column remains the same, I am going to pick out the best of the rest as it were.

This week, I think there are five films that deserve to be seen, but for one reason or another they were never released at theaters. Or if they were released in theaters, they only played on a handful of screens and a criminally small...

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Monday Mixer: A whole three seconds of new 'Force Awakens' footage

Posted August 10, 2015, 2:08 PM

We live in a weird time.

For all the advancement and technological progress that we've made in the last half century or so, there are still troubling issues that surround us every day. We remain a country divided among artificial lines and one of the leading candidates to run this country just offended women on national TV and his popularity numbers went up.

This isn't the place to get political, although it all trickles down to what we do here. No, there's another event that hit much closer to home in the past week. On Wednesday, a young man entered a movie theater with a hatchet, pellet gun and pepper spray not more than 5 miles from where I currently sit as I write this.

While I haven't visited Carmike Hickory 8 in a number of years since I moved from the area...

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Undiscovered Picks

Upcoming movies worth watching that you may not have heard of.

  • Big Sky
  • Tio Papi
  • Lords of London
  • Hungry Hearts
  • Wolf Warrior