movies film

Courtesy Photo / Julia Barnett

Julia Barnett spent her childhood backstage at the theatre while her mother, Cathy, took center stage. She didn’t have any intention to carry on in the family business.

“I actually started college as a global studies and world religions major,” Julia says.

Despite her plans, show business eventually found its way back to her — though she is still most comfortable behind the scenes.

“It’s absolutely in my blood," Julia says.

In addition to her actress mother, Julia’s father, Dan Barnett, is a writer.

If you want to catch a flick in Kansas City, there are plenty of options. You could stream movies from your own couch, or venture out to a multiplex for an IMAX screen experience. We explore what keeps so many Kansas Citians going to smaller, independent movie theaters. 


“Have you ever had a conversation that’s just inspired and it feels like it just rolls back and forth?" asks Enrique Chi, lead singer and founder of the Latin-influenced rock band Making Movies, based in Kansas City, Mo.

"I think that’s a really beautiful human thing, and that’s kind of what songwriting feels like.”

Central Standard caught up with Chi during a recent rehearsal to ask him about his songwriting process and the inspiration behind the song Chase Your Tail.

The current Tom Cruise blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow is the latest example of time warp cinema, a story with loops in time and narrative. Other examples include Sliding Doors, Donnie Darko, and, of course, Groundhog Day.

On Friday's Central Standard, Russ Simmons and the film critics return to review flicks currently showing at your local cineplex, and discuss the best time loop films.


Movie Critics: Hollywood Embraces Religious Films

Apr 25, 2014
THEGALATF / deviantART/CC Google Images

The movie critics are here to discuss new releases. The critics tell us which movies to see and which ones to skip. Later in the show, host Russ Simmons explores the faith-based film phenomenon. 

Released April 4:

DreamWorks Animation

Your average animated film today looks a lot different from Snow White or The Jetsons, and it's all due to the computer animation techniques we use today.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with a Dreamworks animator and a look at the science that makes the silver screen computer animation work.


Movie Critics: What To Watch In Autumn

Sep 13, 2013
JT / Creative Commons

The fall movie season is almost upon us and with it comes more adult fare--even a few fine films that are generating some Oscar buzz.  Plus they also chat about the Kansas International Film Festival and the unique offerings it brings.

Today on Central Standard, Russ Simmons and the movie critics review flicks currently showing. They also walk us through the surprises, the usual suspects, and the instant classics opening up during awards season. We also want to hear your opinion on the matter!

REVIEWS (Out of 5 Stars)

The History And Future Of Drive-Ins

Aug 1, 2013
April Wright

Drive-in movie theaters were once a staple of American popular culture, but over the decades, they've been closing across the country. Kansas City, however, seems to be an epicenter for the disappearing relic across the rest of the United States - we've got three.

This hour, filmmaker and director April Wright joined us from Los Angeles to talk about her documentary Going Attractions, which covers the history and future of drive-ins. Wright spent seven years putting the film together, and she visited almost every state in the process.

Making Movies

About a year and a half ago, local band Making Movies opened for Los Lobos when the legendary Latin rock band was in Kansas City. Making Movies had been incorporating more Latin rhythms into their Spanish- and English-language rock, and one Los Lobos member liked what he heard.

Between sets, Lobo Steve Berlin asked Making Movies if he could produce their next recording. They released the result, entitled “A La Deriva,” on March 5th, and they’re reaching out to create an international audience.

Dracula bites and the Mummy rises as we comb through both frightening and corny moments from Hammer Studios’ horror archives.

Movie Critics: Lawless, Not Flawless

Sep 14, 2012

On this week's Central Standard Friday, join host Russ Simmons and the Movie Critics for a look at what's new in a theater near you, including Lawless, The Bachelorette, Cosmopolis and The Words.

Plus, our critics discuss the re-release of Finding Nemo 3D. Is it worth seeing again?

Movie Critics: The Acceptable Spiderman

Jul 20, 2012

For this week's Central Standard Friday, join host Russ Simmons and the Movie Critics for a look at what's new in a theater near you, including The Amazing Spiderman, Moonrise Kingdom, Ice Age: Continental Drift and Ted. Also, in light of the Aurora, Colorado tragedy, our critics will discuss how the news has changed the way they understand The Dark Knight Rises.

Movie Critics: Summer Blockbusters

May 24, 2012

For this week's Central Standard Friday join host Russ Simmons and the Movie Critics for a look at what's new in a theater near you, including Dark Shadows, The Dictator and Men in Black 3.

Movie Critics: Avengers, Summer Blockbusters

May 4, 2012

In this hour of Central Standard Friday, join host Russ Simmons and the Movie Critics for a look at what's new in the box office, including Marvel's The Avengers.

Sundance Selects

Looking for a great independent, foreign, or documentary film to see the weekend of April 13-15, 2012? Up to Date's critics share their three favorite showing on area screens.

Looking for a great art, independent, foreign, or documentary film to see the weekend of March 3-5, 2012?


If you're still looking for that perfect gift, it may not be too late.  Sure, you could buy some clothing, jewelry, or (men - don't do this), blender, but why not pick something meaningful for your friend or loved one - something that matches their personal taste?  Here's an idea: the gift of movies.

The Movie Critics: What's New in Theaters

Dec 8, 2011

Russ Simmons and the Movie Critics join Walt Bodine for a look at recent movie releases, including The Decedents, The Muppets and New Year's Eve. Plus, we want to know what new releases you're hoping to see before the year ends.