I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.
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.