Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.
Preston Barta // Film Critic
Twilight Time releases their February crop for classic movie lovers to watch again, or enjoy for the first time. All films are available today on Blu-ray through TwilightTimeMovies.com.
There are plenty of movies about obsession, where a character’s love for another takes them to desperate, sometimes even fatal, lengths. CHILLY SCENES OF WINTER doesn’t go that far. Instead, it tells of a more charming, relatable and heartbreaking version of the story.
The film centers on a state government worker (John Heard) who meets a beautiful woman (Mary Beth Hurt) who’s on the rebound. They enjoy some time together before she decides to go back to her husband and family. The rest is a story of winning back her affection.
Fascinatingly, the narrative is presented in a stream-of-consciousness format, where we constantly know what’s going on in the central character’s head, his worries and paranoia. This should be mandatory viewing for anyone who struggles with trust in his or her relationship.
Special Features: Isolated Music Track, Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Joan Micklin Silver and Producer Amy Robinson, and the Original Theatrical Trailer.
Don Siegel (DIRTY HARRY) directs a solid-enough murder mystery set against the picturesque backdrop of the Grand Canyon. Starring Cornel Wilde, Victoria Shaw and Mickey Shaughnessy, EDGE OF ETERNITY is a movie about simply looking cinematic (it helps that it’s thrillingly shot in Cinemascope). There’s nothing particularly special about the performances or plot, but it looks good and has fun in the process.
Special Features: Isolated Movie Track, Audio Commentary by Film Historians C. Courtney Joyner and Nick Redman.
INTERIORS marks one of Woody Allen’s most quiet films, both visually and aurally. Oddly enough, for a story about an upper-class family (Diane Keaton, Kristin Griffith and Mary Beth Hurt) shattered by the divorce of their parents (E.G. Marshall and Geraldine Page), much of what we see onscreen — whether it’s the colors or long stretches of silence — taps into the despair and sadness we often feel when the people we love most find that their own love is fading. In what could have been another mopey drama about a dysfunctional family, Allen engagingly takes a psychological approach to these characters’ problems.
Special Features: Original Theatrical Trailer.
Filmmaker Henry Hathaway (original TRUE GRIT, NIAGARA) crafts an intense noir film about a small-time crook (Victor Mature) trying to lead a new life with his family, only to find someone (Richard Widmark) from his past is out for revenge against him. Parts of KISS OF DEATH are, of course, dated, but the performances, scripted characters and occasional suspense make it worthwhile.
Special Features: Isolated Music Track, Audio Commentary with Film Historians Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman, Audio Commentary with Film Historians James Ursini and Alian Silver, and the Original Theatrical Trailer.