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
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.