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 // Features Editor
The mighty film kings have returned and are ready to claim their Oscar gold. After a three year hiatus (coincidentally), Academy Award-winning filmmakers Steven Spielberg (JAWS) and Robert Zemeckis (FORREST GUMP) are back behind camera, calling the shots. Below is some info on their upcoming films (BRIDGE OF SPIES and THE WALK) and their official trailers.
A dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, DreamWorks Pictures/Fox 2000 Pictures’ BRIDGE OF SPIES is the story of James Donovan (Tom Hanks), a Brooklyn insurance claims lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot.
A spy thriller directed by Spielberg, starring Hanks and written by the Coen Brothers? Where is the sign up sheet?
We’ve been following this film (when it was simply known as “The Untitled Spielberg Cold War Spy Thriller”) for a while now, and now after seeing the trailer, it seems to have all the right stuff: a thrilling narrative with unmatchable talent in front and behind the camera.
With Hanks leading the charge under Spielberg’s wing, BRIDGE OF SPIES could be a serious Oscar contender. It has a MUNICH (2005) kind of feel, which is (to me) one of Spielberg’s best films in the last decade. Hopefully it’s just as good, if not better.
BRIDGE OF SPIES opens everywhere on October 16.
THE WALK is the true story of a young dreamer, Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and a band of unlikely recruits who together achieve the impossible: an illegal wire walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. With little more than nerve and blind ambition, Petit and his ragtag crew overcome daunting physical obstacles, betrayals, countless close calls and overwhelming odds to beat the system and execute their mad plan.
The first teaser had me a feeling a little apprehensive about the project. I like Zemeckis and Gordon-Levitt (who shows of his French accent here), but the whole 3D aspect didn’t capture my attention. It seemed a little dumb at first, but if this trailer is any indication, this movie is going to be a fun 3D spectacle that will have audiences glued to their movie seats for fear of falling over 1,300 feet for this very reason.
THE WALK opens everywhere on October 2.