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 // Features Editor
I may not have been alive at the time American daredevil Evil Knievel jumped Caesars Palace or the Grand Canyon, but I can easily see how the man impacted the lives around him and the many generations that followed.
As a kid, I watched the Jackass crew, Tony Hawk, Travis Pastrana, and even Knievel’s son Robbie do great, big things. And if you’re like me, you may have built some ramps in your street when you were a young’n and/or had your friends line up on the sidewalk as you jumped over them on a skateboard or bike. Evel inspired so many.
While we can watch videos of his crashes and successes, the documentary BEING EVEL sheds light on his private life. Through this phenomenal piece we get insight into the complicated figure that was Evel, the injuries he suffered, the playboy he was, the people her hurt along the way, and the price he had to pay to be the most famous daredevil there ever was. It’s an invigorating story.
BEING EVEL opens today in limited release.
Dallas: Texas Theatre
Peter Bogdanovich’s SHE’S FUNNY THAT WAY is one of those films that is hardly made anymore. You know, those silly, wild and kooky to boot screwball comedies that we saw Woody Allen and even Bogdanovich make back in the day? The film definitely adheres to that style; however, what could have been a fun and sparkling farce comedy is all fizz and no laughs.
The film drops us on the set of Arnold Albertson’s new project. Albertson (Owen Wilson), a theatre director, finds himself caught in a love triangle between his wife (Katherine Hahn), her ex-lover (Rhys Ifans), and the call girl-turned-actress (Imogen Poots) in the production.
It is said when you have an all-star cast like this it’s usually the harbinger of a doomed movie. More times than not that is the case. Now, I wouldn’t call SHE’S FUNNY THAT WAY a complete disaster; there are few good qualities here, including a dashing performance from Jennifer Aniston as a misanthropic shrink. However, in all, its flatly directed jokes and gags make you want to slam the theater door.
SHE’S FUNNY THAT WAY opens today in limited release.
Dallas: LOOK Cinemas