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Topics - Jed Cooper

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Clint Eastwood Westerns / For A Few Dollars More 50th Anniversary
« on: June 12, 2015, 01:23:54 PM »
For A Few Dollars More (1965)

The first time I saw this was on a local television channel. It was either WLVI 56 or WSBK 38, both Boston stations. I can’t recall which of the Eastwood “spaghetti western” trilogy I’d seen first. I do know that once I saw one, I was hooked and wanted to see more of the same.

I watched this again recently and it’s always entertaining. I always get a kick out of the scene were Eastwood’s character, Manco, interrupts the card game where Red is playing. Manco is a bounty hunter and Red is a wanted man. After losing, Red says, “Didn’t hear what the bet was”, to which Manco replies, “Your life.” Classic! Understandably, he tries to get away but can’t and is given an ultimatum: “Alive or dead? It’s your choice.” With these few words and actions, Eastwood’s character is defined early on in this film. Lee Van Cleef is great, too, as Colonel Mortimer. The standoff between Mortimer and Manco is tense and amusing, ending in a draw and an alliance. Gian Maria Volonté returns as the antagonist and he’s just as effective and entertaining here as El Indio as he was as Ramon in A Fistful Of Dollars .

Another great scene takes place in the sheriff’s office when Manco collects his bounty for Red. When asked where he could find Red, the Sheriff told him but alerted Red’s friends, who confronted Manco at the saloon entrance just after the “alive or dead” scene. Being faster on the draw, of course, Red’s friends were all gunned down quickly and Red himself suffered the same fate when crawling to reach for a gun. Because of the Sheriff’s betrayal, Manco asks, “Tell me, isn’t the Sheriff supposed to be courageous, loyal and, above all, honest?” The Sheriff replies, “Yeah, that he is.” Manco grabs the badge from the the Sheriff’s vest, walks outside and places it in a bystander’s hat, saying, “I think you people need a new sheriff.”

Like the first in the Eastwood/Leone trilogy, this movie stands alone as an incredibly entertaining western. You don’t have to watch A Fistful Of Dollars before seeing this one. Each of the three can be watched in any order because they stand just as well individually as together. A bonus is Ennio Morricone’s score, a fantastic soundtrack to a great western movie.

« on: May 30, 2015, 04:29:29 PM »
A little early, but I thought I'd get the ball rolling.

Mr. Eastwood, you have provided decades of enjoyable, insightful and wonderful entertainment.  I always look forward to your next project. For that, I thank you.

Have a very Happy 85th Birthday, sir and many more! O0

Off-Topic Discussion / Memorial Day 2015
« on: May 21, 2015, 12:42:44 PM »
God bless all who died while serving in the America's armed forces.  And God bless those who continue to make the sacrifice to keep the U.S. safe.

Everybody have a healthy and safe Memorial Day! 

Off-Topic Discussion / A Sad Anniversary
« on: April 28, 2015, 06:10:08 AM »

This month marks a sad anniversary. It’s been nineteen years since my friend Mike Sormanti passed away. It’s still a little hard to believe. I met Michael back in grade school, when we were both attending C.W. Holmes on Mountain Avenue in Malden. Mike was fun to hang out with and had a great sense of humor. We lost touch our senior year in high school. I sure wish he was still around. Even though we went separate ways I think we would’ve reconnected and it would have been fun reminiscing about our youth. We didn’t do any major crazy things but with Mike we almost always laughed and had fun.

I remember him giving me a hard time when I became a big Elvis fan. He used to make fun, saying Elvis sucked on guitar and so on. That didn’t stop me, though. I knew the misperception came from what he’d seen Elvis do in his movies, using a guitar mostly as a prop. I remember him discovering Led Zeppelin and deciding to learn how to play guitar because of what he’d heard by Jimmy Page. Redemption came my way in 1985 when HBO played outtakes of Elvis’ 1968 TV Special (“Comeback Special”). Mike came by for a visit and told me and my family how impressed he was that Elvis could actually play guitar. You should’ve seen the surprised expression on his face when he talked about having seen the HBO special, seeing Elvis not only play guitar, but play it well! He also got a big kick out of all the girls screaming in the audience.

When it came my way to discover and appreciate Led Zeppelin, I made it a point to reach out to Mike and tell him. I finally got why he’d became such a big fan. We were both fans of Eastwood movies and the last time we got together was to watch Heartbreak Ridge. I was glad we got to hang out but I noticed something different about him but wasn’t sure. It just seemed he wasn’t as happy as I’d known him when we were kids. Still, 99% of the time I’d seen him I was always greeted with a smile and it was always great catching up with what was going on with him. The last time we talked, I was coming out of Showcase Cinemas in Revere as he was heading in, both of us with friends. I noticed he seemed a little down then, too. What’s weird is I remember the very last time I saw him but it was in passing. We drove by each other, but no chance to say hello.

Not long after I’d learned of his passing, Mike came to me in a dream. This was in June, a couple of months after he was gone. I can’t explain the elation I felt in the dream over seeing him again. I was so happy but Mike barely acknowledged me. He said hello and knew who I was but was preoccupied and in a hurry. I tagged along like an excited puppy, talking all the while. He went to an apartment and packed a bag. He was leaving. The next thing I knew I awoke in tears. An old friend was gone and I never had the chance to say goodbye properly. After all this time, even though we knew each other briefly, I can’t hold back the tears as I type this now. That’s how strong an impression Mike Sormanti left on me.

God bless you, Mike. I still miss you and will always love the friendship we had.

Off-Topic Discussion / HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2014!
« on: November 27, 2014, 07:06:48 AM »
To all who celebrate, have a wonderful, Happy Thanksgiving!

Off-Topic Discussion / Happy Veterans Day 2014
« on: November 10, 2014, 05:53:16 AM »
Tomorrow is Veterans Day.  Thank you to all who have served and continue to serve!  May God bless you all!

Off-Topic Discussion / Happy Halloween 2014
« on: October 31, 2014, 06:47:52 AM »
To all who celebrate, Happy Halloween 2014! 


Off-Topic Discussion / Cooper. Jed Cooper.
« on: August 28, 2014, 12:25:11 PM »
Ok, well, when I first joined this forum way back in ....2002, I think it was, I decided on Jed Cooper because I share the same last name as Eastwood's character in Hang 'Em High, so I thought it a perfect choice.  Some time later, I changed it to my real name.  Then, a little while back I reverted to Jed.  Truth be told I was considering ending my membership here but this forum is just too good to leave!

After deciding not long ago that I do not wish to depart, I have ultimately decided to go back to using my real name.  I very much enjoy returning here from time to time, conversing with others and sharing thoughts on various topics.  The moderators run a tight ship here and they should be commended for doing so. 

SO: Thank you, mods, for doing a very good job here and thank you members, past & present for your thoughts and insight on various topics and movies throughout the years.  I've made a handful of friends that I keep in touch with outside of this forum and that is a bonus.

Have a wonderful morning, afternoon or evening, depending on what part of the globe you reside in!  :)




1. Revenge of the Creature (1955)
2. Francis in the Navy (1955)
3. Lady Godiva of Coventry (1955)
4. Tarantula  (1955)
5. Never Say Goodbye (1956)
6. Star in the Dust (1956)
7. The First Traveling Saleslady (1956)
8. Away All Boats (1956)
9. Escapade in Japan (1957)
10. Lafayette Escadrille (1958)
11. Ambush at Cimarron Pass (1958)

Of course, Ambush At Cimarron Pass could be considered an exception but I don't think Cilnt would mind, especially considering his take on it.  I'm fairly certain he called it one of the worst westerns ever made.

There was a time I was attempting to collect all of these on dvd but didn't get very far.  Revenge Of The Creature was the first time I'd seen him in something other than what he'd been famous for (Leone weterns & Dirty Harry, primarily).  I had it and Away All Boats on dvd but I think that's it.  I saw Tarantula when I was a kid and at that time had no idea who Clint Eastwood was so that was probably the very first time I'd ever seen him, without knowing it.  Of course, a glimpse of that scene from Tarantula can be seen in The Rookie.  I caught his appearance in Never Say Goodbye on television in the late 90's.  More recently, Ambush At Cimarron Pass was featured on the Encore Westerns channel. 

What would be great is to have these all compiled in one set.  Not necessarily each of the movies, but Clint's appearances in each.  I know I'd enjoy watching something like that.

I hope there are some that find this topic interesting enough to comment.  Weigh in with your thoughts and which of these appearances you've seen. 


Off-Topic Discussion / Happy Memorial Day 2014
« on: May 23, 2014, 05:56:12 AM »
Have a happy and safe Memorial Day Weekend!

May God bless all those who gave their lives in the line of military duty.  I recently discovered that this holiday was originally called Decoration Day:

Memorial Day is a US federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered.  The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War.  By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.  It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

Memorial Day/Wikipedia

Off-Topic Discussion / HAPPY EASTER 2014!
« on: April 20, 2014, 07:09:15 AM »
To all who celebrate, have a wonderful, safe and very Happy Easter!

General Discussion / Thunderbolt And Lightfoot 40th Anniversary
« on: February 25, 2014, 12:16:16 PM »
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Thunderbolt And Lightfoot.  Weigh in with your thoughts and memories.  Is this a favorite of yours?  What were your first impressions?  Where did you see it first, on the big or little screen?  Do you remember who you were with and whether or not they enjoyed it?  How do you feel about this film today?

General Discussion / Tightrope and City Heat 30th Anniversaries
« on: February 25, 2014, 12:14:58 PM »
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Tightrope and City Heat.  Weigh in with your thoughts and memories.  Are they a favorites of yours?  What were your first impressions?  Where did you see them first, on the big or little screen?  Do you remember who you were with and whether or not they enjoyed them?  How do you feel about these films today?


General Discussion / Million Dollar Baby 10th Anniversary
« on: February 25, 2014, 12:11:10 PM »
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Million Dollar Baby.  Weigh in with your thoughts and memories.  Is this a favorite of yours?  What were your first impressions?  Where did you see it first, on the big or little screen?  Do you remember who you were with and whether or not they enjoyed it?  How do you feel about this film today?

Clint Eastwood Westerns / A Fistful Of Dollars 50th Anniversary
« on: February 24, 2014, 09:03:23 AM »
1964 may be the 50th anniversary of The Beatles conquering America, but it’s also the 50th anniversary of the release of Clint Eastwood’s first major starring movie role in A Fistful Of Dollars.  At least, in Italy.  It premiered in America in 1967.  Weigh in with your thoughts and memories.  Is this a favorite of yours?  What were your first impressions?  Where did you see it first, on the big or little screen?  Do you remember who you were with and whether or not they enjoyed it?  How do you feel about this film today?

For me, I first saw it at home on television during the winter of ‘81/’82.  This, the sequels that followed and Dirty Harry is what solidified my status as a bona fide Clint Eastwood fan!  Afterwards, I sought his movie out on television as much as possible and looked forward for subsequent films coming out in theaters.  It’s almost difficult to describe the feeling upon first seeing this movie.  I was just blown away at how great it was and how entertained I felt.  The Man With No Name was not someone to be messed with!  It was great seeing him befriend the innkeeper Silvanito, helping out Marisol and her family and defeating the Rojos, Ramon in particular, in the finale.

Other than beating Ramon at the end in a duel, my favorite scene is the “I don’t think it’s nice, you laughin’” segment not long after he arrives into San Miguel near the beginning of the movie.  It’s probably the most he says at one time during the whole film and it’s very effectively menacing.  I always get a kick out of how the scene begins and ends; "Get three coffins ready."  "My mistake, four coffins.  "The buildup to the finale is just great, beginning with Eastwood appearing amidst smoke from dynamite explosions, getting shot by Ramon ("The heart, Ramon, aim for the heart."), eventually exposing the steel plate strapped to his body that kept him from being killed, and challenging Ramon to a duel.  "When a man with a .45 meets a man with a rifle, the man with the .45 is a dead man.  Let's see if that's true.  Go ahead, load up and shoot."

I have been entertained and disappointed by many an Eastwood film over the years and for that I am one grateful  and appreciative fan.  The good far outweighs the bad (and, ahem, the ugly  8).  A Fistful Of Dollars is still one of my all-time favorites and to me stands as one of his best.

I just received email notification of this posting to the Elvis Insiders Club Community Board.  I'm not posting this in the Elvis thread because I want to share this openly and that goal won't be achieved by posting there.  Unfortunately, you have to be a member to view it in it's entirety.  I've been back and forth over the years but this pretty much sums up my feelings as a fan.  I feel the same way about the original Star Trek tv series and movies and a lot of Clint Eastwood's films.  The Beatles may be more popular, Star Wars may be more cool and there are better actors out there but for me Elvis, Star Trek and Clint Eastwood have been favorites for decades and nothing will ever change that.  The photo is fairly recent, taken last summer on my friend's motorcyle.   

Elvis Fan Story: Brian Cooper

I became an Elvis fan as a result of the media blitz surrounding his passing. His image was all over the place; TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. Upon hearing "Hound Dog" as the opening song for an advertisement for a double album of his greatest hits on television, I was hooked and had to hear more! I’m a fan of most of his Elvis’ work but his 50’s material is my favorite because it’s the most fun, energetic and exciting. I’ve been to Graceland & Sun Studios twice and to his birthplace in Tupelo once. Through a fanzine, I developed a friendship overseas in Romania that has lasted over 22 years. I was too young to catch him on tour but I’ve seen the virtual concert now known as "Elvis Presley - On Stage" four times; twice each in New York at Radio City Music Hall and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. These days I enjoy passing on my appreciation of Elvis’ music to my kids Nicholas and Nina and they enjoy his songs very much. It never ceases to amaze me that Elvis is still the most successful solo recording artist of all time. I can’t explain why, but I love hearing and singing along to his music whenever possible. Unlike other musicians, he never publicly proclaimed himself “The King” but he was, is and always will be! Thankyouverymuch!

I'm only posting the source for anybody mildly curious about this site but please be advised that you do have to be a member of the Insiders Club to view anything related.   source: 


Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of the release of Sudden Impact, the fourth (of five) in the Dirty Harry film series.  I meant to post yesterday but was too busy. 

If anybody would care to, feel free to post your thoughts on the movie.  Where/when you first saw it and with; your first impressions and your thoughts on the film after all these years.  I did a search online and came across some obscure images that I'd like to share.  Hope you enjoy them and this topic.


A closeup of Callahan on the Japanese movie poster, apparently taken from the bank robbery chase sequence.

I used to have this album on vinyl!  I don't believe it's on cd but would be nice if it was.


Off-Topic Discussion / Thanksgiving 2013
« on: November 28, 2013, 08:56:30 AM »
Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate.  Just finished watching Toy Story 3 with my kids, got all choked up at the ending again, lol!  Just a few hours away from enjoying turkey at my wife's sisters' home with family and friends.

Have a great day, everyone!

Off-Topic Discussion / Star Wars "Do, or do not. There is no try."
« on: April 11, 2013, 05:21:01 AM »

I perused and could not (surprisingly) find a thread dedicated to this great science fiction saga, so here it is.  Having had plenty of movie & tv viewing time on my hands recently (recovering from back strain), I chose to watch these films.  Initially, I only considered watching my favorites, the first 3 released between 1977 & 1983.  I first saw Star Wars at a drive-thru theater, believe it or not.  I was away at summer camp at the time and one of the counsellors deciced it would be a good idea for a night out and treated us.  I enjoyed the movie and experience very much.  Sad to say, I didn't venture out to see the next two films.  I was just too much of a Star Trek fan and didn't care all that much about "The Force" or "The Dark Side".  These days, I always enjoy returning to the original Star Wars films from time to time because they are amongst the greatest sci-fi movies of all time.  Hell, I'll go so far as to say amongst the best movies of all time period. 

As I was upon hearing the news of Star Trek: The Next Generation coming to tv, I was very skeptikal upon hearing about more Star Wars movies coming our way without the original stars.  By this time, I'd come to appreciate Star Wars more than in years past.  When the original series were re-released in theaters upon the 20th anniversary of the original in 1997, I made it a point to see them all, enjoyed Star Wars all over again and was thrilled to see what I'd missed initially with the Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi  I didn't mind at all that they had been altered to improve the look of the originals and that there were things included that weren't in the originals.  I know that angered some fans, but at least now both versions are available on dvd and Blu-ray.

Ok, back to these three prequels.  I didn't like them much the first time around.  In The Phantom Menace, I couldn't stand Jar Jar Binks but I figured that creature was thrown in for the kiddies to enjoy.  Thank goodness it's presence wasn't as apparent in the following 2 films (I say "it" because for the life of me I can't tell if it's male or female; doesn't matter).  Of these 3, Attack Of The Clones is my favorite.  Having watched them all again recently, like a lot of films I've previously disliked on one level or another, I've come away with a new appreciation.  Sure, the magic from the original 3 is missing but there are a lot of good qualities and I enjoy the presence of the original characters; R2-D2, C-3PO, Yoda and Chewbacca.  They're still a far cry from the first 3 but overall fit in nicely with the series.

So, being such a big Star Trek fan made me miss out on the prime Star Wars years but that's okay.  That's the bad part.  The good part is being able to enjoy these films (moreso the original 3) on a level like they're still new to me.  Star Trek will always be my favorite (the original tv series & movies only) but I've seen them all multiple times so the magic is all but gone.  Not so with Star Wars.  I can certainly understand why a lot of fans consider Star Wars to be cooler than Star Trek.  Although, both do have cool sayings, "May the force be with you" and "Live long and prosper", geeky as they may sound.  Not only that, but my son has begun viewing them with me and enjoys them (not that I won't at least attempt to enjoy the best of Star Trek).

In the grand scheme of things, both are great.  Of course, I'll quote Elvis, who once said, "There's room for everybody" and that certainly applies here.  Star Wars and Star Trek are both great in their own right, each making up for the other's weaknesses.  I'm fortunate enough to be able to enjoy, ahem, "The Best Of Both Worlds" (sorry, TNG episode title but I couldn't help it - it fits!).  The same goes for Elvis Presley & The Beatles.  There are lovers and haters of each but don't seem to be a lot of fans of both (I could be wrong about that, just going on impressions).  Each performer/band is my all time favorite so I can have my proverbial cake and eat it, too.

Since J.J. Abrams did such a fantastic job with rebooting Star Trek in 2009, I'm curious to see how the latest Star Wars movie comes out.  My only complaint about 2009's Trek was messing with the timeline but otherwise, it's a great movie worth repeated viewings and I can't wait to see the next installment.  It appears we'll have to wait until 2015 for the next Star Wars film.  Man, I remember the days when these films came out every 2-3 years and were usually very good.  I know this is Star Wars but once again I have to use a Star Trek-ism; to quote Kirk from Star Trek III, "As we say on Earth, c'est la vie!"

I haven't paid any attention to The Clone Wars movie or tv series.  It reminds me of the animated Star Trek, but obviously with much higher visual quality (the stories in the animated Star Trek episodes were very good, some even better than season 3 of the original series!)  To be honest, I'm not sure where The Clone Wars fits in or if they will very well.  I wasn't even going to go this far but thought it better than ending on a Star Trek quote in a Star Wars topic.  ;D 


Off-Topic Discussion / Comedy Films! (& TV)
« on: April 11, 2013, 12:16:07 AM »
As much as I enjoy action movies, comedy is probably my favorite movie genre.  Laughing is one of the best experiences in the world, especially when shared with others.  The films below aren't the greatest of all time by any means, but a few of my favorites by Jim Carrey.  I remember how popular they became upon release and watching Carrey's stardom skyrocket during this time.

Jim Carrey is one of my favorite comedic actors.  He's done a handful of other very good comedies since these but I also enjoyed The Truman Show very much.  Of course, the Eastwood connection is his appearance in The Dead Pool.

Some recent classics I enjoy are Smokey & The Bandit, Stir Crazy, Young Frankenstein and Eastwood's "Which Way" comedies.  To go back even further, another favorite is Jerry Lewis.  Hard to top his zaniness!  He's done a lot of funny movies with Dean Martin and on his own.  I enjoyed watching the Abbott & Costello tv show when I was younger and have always enjoyed watching The Three Stooges and thought the new movie was great.

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