PG Cooper is the founder and head writer of PG Cooper’s Movie Reviews. Having started the site 3 years ago, the site has now grown to include five other contributing writers who have cumulatively reviewed hundreds of films. Look for his recent reviews of Silver Linings Playbook, Killing them Softly and The Departed
Rorschach Reviews: What brought you to start PG Cooper’s Movie Reviews?
PG Cooper: First and foremost a love of film. But what really get the ball rolling is in 2010 I started posting my thoughts on new released films on Facebook. These early reviews were really short and don’t reflect my current writing at all, but they got me started. As I went on my reviews gradually became longer, more well-written, and were taking a lot more time and effort. The logical next step was to create a blog, so in September of 2010 I launched PG Cooper’s Movie Reviews and haven’t looked back since.
RR: When and how did you come to start reviewing films with HT Schuyler?
PG: HT and I have been friends in real life for a number of years and we both share a love for movies. I remember talking to HT about writing reviews, basically saying how much I was enjoying it, and recommending he get a blog too. He said that he didn’t want to create his own site, but he’d gladly write on mine if I’d be okay with it. I was happy to have him and he’s been a prominent member of the site ever since.
RR: How do you both divide movies between you, and have you ever had films that you both want to write different reviews on?
PG: In general, whoever sees a film first gets reviewing privileges, though there are exceptions where one of us will call dibs on a film. If see films together, we usually just discuss who reviews what. I don’t think there’s ever been any conflict regarding who reviews what though.
There’ve also been a few films that we both reviewed, either because we had different opinions, or just a strong desire to write about a certain film.
RR: Over the past year, what film have you two most strongly disagreed on?
PG: Wow, that’s a good question. As far as 2012 releases go, I personally loved The Master and HT didn’t. I know he respects and admires certain elements of the film, but on the whole it doesn’t quite work for him.
As far as non-2012 releases go, we both saw American Psycho for the first time this year. In spite of some flaws, I think it’s a great film while HT hates it.
RR: I have yet to see both of those films, but I’ve seen hugely different opinions of The Master from critics this year and am very interested to see which camp I fall into. How would you rank it against other movies this year? (I.e. is there anything you liked even more in 2012?)
PG: I don’t know if I’m comfortable ranking 2012’s films just yet, after all there’s still a lot more to see. That said, The Master is certainly the top tier of films I’ve seen all year.
RR: I’ll be sure to catch it when it comes out on DVD. After the success of There Will Be Blood in the awards circuit, I’m sure that The Master will garner a lot of attention from the Academy. Looking at the past five years or so, do you think that the Oscar Award winners/nominees are fairly chosen? What would be some examples of Oscar robbings/injustices that have frustrated you in that time period?
PG: No Country For Old Men, The Hurt Locker, and The Artist were respectable best picture choices in my opinion. I was less fond of Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech winning best picture. Not that those films are bad, I just don’t find them best picture quality. If I were to do best picture for the last few years it would look something like this: 2007: There Will Be Blood, 2008: The Dark Knight, 2009: In The Loop, 2010: Inception, 2011: Drive.
RR: Excellent choices, it is sad that the Academy seems to have no love for Nolan whatsoever (seeing as he is arguably my favorite contemporary director). I also loved the Hurt Locker and was ecstatic when it won best picture, but I think its Best Original Screenplay award should have gone to Inglourious Basterds. What are your thoughts on the recent switch to 10 Best Picture nominations rather than 5?
PG: First off, I agree about The Hurt Locker stealing Inglourious Basterds screenplay Oscar. As for the expansion to ten nominees; on one hand a more interesting selection of films are nominated. On the other hand, it sort of devalues a Best Picture nomination. I guess I’m sort of indifferent to it.
RR: I agree with you on that. In the end it’s all about ratings, but I suppose that’s the way life works. While we’re on the topic of sacrificing integrity for profitability, what would you say is your least favorite “Blockbuster” of all time? (This could be either in a Sell-Out way or just an over-all terribleness way)
PG: Gotta go with Batman and Robin. I know it’s cliché to mock that movie for how bad it is, but it’s just so damn bad. I also have an intense hatred for Terminator 3, just because it spat in the face of the series in order to make a quick buck.
RR: Good choices, I’d probably stick with Batman & Robin as well but Transformers 2 would be extremely tempting. I think the most frustrating part of that movie was that I went to it for the midnight release with some friends and not only was it awful but the actually liked it. Then it went on to make over $400 million at the box office and I started to lose faith in humanity. Thank god we still have people like Joss Whedon and Christopher Nolan who know how to make a Blockbuster amazing.
Before we go, what are some things that the future might hold for PG Cooper’s Movie Reviews? I.e. new segments, contributors, etc.
PG: Never actually saw Transformers 2, so I guess I dodged a bullet there.
As far as the future of the site goes, I’m not really looking for new contributors right now. The site currently has six writers (myself included) and I don’t think we need anymore, at least for now. I plan on doing some more lists and I’m currently finishing up a new top ten right now, and I plan on doing some more movie battles soon, since they’re a lot of fun to make. Oh and at some point in the first quarter of 2013 I’ll be doing the third annual PG Cooper’s Movie Awards. Think a more down to earth Oscars. Other than that, we should be chugging along as usual. Thanks for interviewing me.
You can find PG Cooper at PG Cooper’s Movie Reviews or follow him on Twitter at @pgcooper1939