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 // Editor
Fantastic Fest favorite, EVERLY, an action-thriller about a woman who must fight her way through a team of assassins, features Salma Hayek kicking butt and showing off her butt. What can go wrong? A lot.
Aside from a few funny lines here or there and some unique action scenes, EVERLY pulls from every cliché in the book. Not once do you feel for any of the characters and their situations. The whole film is just one big ego trip for director Joe Lynch, who fails in nearly every department.
EVERLY is available today on VOD, and opens in theaters next month.
SUBURBAN GOTHIC may not be a film for everybody, but if you and your friends like strange yet goofy movies, then it just may be the most fun you’ll have at the theater or home this weekend.
The film follows the story of Raymond (Matthew Gray Gubler) as he fights to solve the mystery of the spirit that is threatening the lives of those around him.
Almost always with a low budget horror-comedies, you expect the usual poorly acted schlock fest; however, Gubler and writer-director Richard Bates Jr. keep your smiles big and your laughs constant. Note: It’s best to think of it as a R-rated Disney Halloween movie.
SUBURBAN GOTHIC is playing in limited release and is also available on VOD.
On a weekend getaway to focus on their relationship, Carl (Sam Huntington) takes his wife Sue (Meaghan Rath) to a mountain lodge to enjoy some snow and wine. However, upon arrival, he discovers that his ex-girlfriend Robyn (an always stunning Emmanuelle Chriqui) is now the proud owner of that very lodge. After which, awkwardness and tension ensue as Carl tries to keep as much of his past relationship hidden from his wife as possible.
While the acting all around is in strong order, especially Rath, THREE NIGHT STAND is neither funny or enjoyable to watch. Props to writer-director Pat Kiely (BEING HUMAN) for taking the story down a different rabbit hole (one would expect our protagonist to fall back in love with his ex). However, the narrative steers in a more dark and depressing direction. Although this may be more a little true to life, it’s difficult to say THREE NIGHT STAND is an amusing experience. It’s just sad, and not in a beautiful kind of way (i.e. BLUE VALENTINE).
THREE NIGHT STAND is playing in limited release and is also available on VOD.