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.
Connor Bynum // Film Critic
ARCHER: DANGER ISLAND – “DISHEARTENING SITUATION”
Season 9, Ep. 2
aired on FXX on May 2
After last week’s somewhat bumpy takeoff, the second episode of DANGER ISLAND is a much-appreciated return to form for the show. Picking up directly after the events of Episode 1, Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) miraculously gets his plane, Lucy Goosey, to run mere seconds before crashing in the ocean. While pleasing for Archer who lets out a classic, “Wooo!,” Pam (Amber Nash), Lana (Aisha Tyler) and Fuchs (Chris Parnell) are less than thrilled as they just jumped out of the plane and parachute towards Danger Island.
Pam is clearly the star of this episode, as she begrudgingly escorts Lana and Fuchs back to civilization. Her banter with Krieger (who we will just refer to as Bird from now on) is somewhat hit and miss, but there’s an adorable animation on Bird’s face as Pam elaborately threatens to eat him for dinner if he doesn’t help out the with rest of the group.
Archer has an entertaining scene onboard Lucy Goosey where he goes through an impressively intricate tangent on flight calculations only to determine he cannot land anywhere close to the nearest airstrip. He naturally resorts to getting blackout drunk while his improvised autopilot system involving a bra keeps the plane on course.
Malory once again is given practically nothing to do this episode and the same can be said for Ray and Charlotte. After being imprisoned last week for being unable to pay for her hotel stay, she has already gone completely insane. (To be fair, her character has always been completely insane, so it isn’t that hard to accept.) There’s a clever gag with her introduction involving what looks like a spiral painting with her own excrement on the wall of her cell, but in reality is only Ray’s expensive box of assorted chocolates. Being absurdly French, Ray pouts about it for the rest of the episode.
Malory essentially tells Charlotte that she needs to be a fancy prostitute for the hotel if she wants to pay off her debt. It’s a funny exchange between the two, but honestly it’s a little dark even by the show’s standards. But before she has the chance to accept or decline, Archer crashes his plan on the street outside the hotel in a shockingly realistic sequence where poor Lucy Goosey is utterly destroyed by everything in her path. After finding out he’s alone, Malory sends Archer and Ray out into the jungle to find Pam, Lana, and Fuchs.
The marooned bunch are given two hilarious set pieces this episode. One involves Fuchs nearly getting devoured by a giant snake before plummeting down an obnoxiously tall tree, hitting every branch on the way down. The second is a brutally gory standoff between the three of them and a hoard of Komodo dragons. Bird also takes a poop on Pam’s shoulder and it’s awkward for everyone. When all hope seems lost, Archer and Ray arrive in their car to save the day bringing the whole gang back to the hotel to finally start the plot of the season.
Synopsis of the episode aside, it would all be pointless if there weren’t a few good laughs along the way. Thankfully, the change of setting hasn’t detracted from the characters still being the people we’ve loved to watch for the last nine years.
A preview for next week’s episode: