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
GOOD KILL reunites director Andrew Niccol with Ethan Hawke. Previously, they worked together in an excellent sci-fi film titled GATTACA (1997). I’ll preface by saying GATTACA was a great film because it brought up many social issues while also being an entertaining film. This is exactly what GOOD KILL is. It brings up many significant issues, but it’s also an extremely well-made and well-acted feature.
GOOD KILL is a war-drama about a family man (Ethan Hawke) who questions whether using drones is an effective way of fighting combat.
This is a thought-provoking piece with real human characters with real moral conflict. It doesn’t pull any punches by any means, as it shows the sheer ugliness of war and its ambiguities. It also forces the viewer to think about so many issues, such as the drone program, combat in general, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Powerful, haunting and well worth seeing.
GOOD KILL opens today in select theaters.
Dallas-Ft. Worth: Look Cinemas, Premiere Burleson
This bittersweet drama directed by Brett Haley and starring Blythe Danner held its regional priemere at this year’s Dallas International Film Festival, and it kicked it off in a big way.
The story tells of a widow named Carol (Danner) who is forced to confront her fears about love, family, and death. After her routine is broken, Carol makes new friends (Martin Starr) and decides to start dating again (Sam Elliot).
I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS received rave reviews from its premiere at Sundance back in January, and the same praise carried over in Dallas. It showcased felt performances and proved that even if things get bad in life, there’s always greatness in the world.
- Our Interview with Producers Rebecca Green and Laura D. Smith
- Our Interview with Writer-Director Brett Haley and Star Blythe Danner
I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS opens today in select theaters.
Dallas-Ft. Worth: Landmark Magnolia, Angelika Plano
In his feature debut, musician/filmmaker John Maclean (not to be confused with the Bruce Willis character) creates a perspective of the American frontier that is refreshing and yet captures the heart and spirit of classic westerns. SLOW WEST is a perfect blend of madness and respect of the genre.
The film follows a young man (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who journeys across the 19th Century frontier in American in search of his beloved (Caren Pistorius), while accompanied by a bounty hunter (a charming and witty Michael Fassbender) who keeps his true motive a secret.
SLOW WEST finds its footing early and herds its audiences through a compelling narrative with minimal action and dialogue. While the film may be a slow simmer, it is later ferociously brought to a boil, before unleashing its fury in its final act. With its wicked humor and unexpected flashes of absurdity and violence, SLOW WEST makes for one hell of trip to the theater (and do see it in the theater; the visuals make it).
SLOW WEST opens today in select theaters, and is also available On-Demand.
Dallas-Ft. Worth: Texas Theatre