Barry Wurst II

Barry Wurst II
Barry Wurst II is a senior editor & film critic at MAUIWatch. He wrote film reviews for a local Maui publication and taught film classes at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs (UCCS). Wurst also co-hosted podcasts for Screengeeks.com and has been published in Bright Lights Film Journal and in other film-related websites. He is currently featured in the new MAUIWatch Podcast- The NERDWatch.

Movie Review: The Witch

A family of five, living in 1630’s New England, builds a home outside of a haunted forest, where a horrible witch lives…or does she? “The Witch” displays the kind of directorial confidence and control you rarely see in a first time filmmaker. Writer/director Robert Eggers stages each shot with total precision and uses shadows to nightmarish effect. “The Witch” is …

Read More »

Looking Back: The Wraith (1986)

I caught up with this 1986 action/sci-fi/race car/ horror/teen comedy/ romance/ cult classic in the most appropriate way: while I was on summer break from college, it was the midnight movie on my local Denver TV station. I used to catch every so-bad-its-great title this channel would play every Friday night, as the line up never disappointed. Here’s the plot …

Read More »

Looking Back: The Marine (2006)

Before the opening titles were over, I knew I adored this movie. Not only do we get a title credit, but the film’s star, WWE champion John Cena, appears next to the words “The Marine” and salutes the audience. At ease, soldier, you’ve already won me over. Whereas the campy/awful “No Holds Barred” and the trying too hard “The Scorpion …

Read More »

Looking Back: Lucas (1986)

Whenever someone asks me what I was like as a young boy, I just point to this movie. In some ways, I was nothing like Lucas Bly, the title character played by Corey Haim, particularly in the way he was an “accelerated” child genius. Yet, in so many other ways, the character reminds so much of myself when I was …

Read More »

Looking Back: Valentine (2001)

I suppose it’s fitting to have a Valentine’s Day-themed horror film, as the holiday itself has some grim history. In addition to the holiday once being an observation of Christian martyrs, it is, of course, also the day of the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929 Chicago. With those footnotes in mind and the over-abundance of romantic comedies and …

Read More »

Looking Back: If Looks Could Kill (1991)

It’s hard to defend a movie like “If Looks Could Kill,” though I’m sure going to try. To preface this, I should remind readers under the age of 30 that, once upon a time, there was a red-hot TV superstar named Richard Grieco. I don’t mean to sound snarky. In fact, I liked “21 Jump St.” but loved “Booker,” Grieco’s …

Read More »

Looking Back: Howard the Duck (1986)

My first encounter with Howard the Duck was, appropriately enough, in a pet store. While my Dad was looking for new additions to his massive aquarium, I found a crate of comic books, selling for less than a dollar each. Of the many rumpled comics jammed together, I was drawn to the second issue of “Howard the Duck”, in which …

Read More »

The Year in Film: 2015

My year began with attending the opening night of “The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death” and ended with “The Hateful Eight.” The former was instantly forgettable and sported a redundant title (we get it, she’s bad), while the latter put a bad taste in my mouth, though I’ll never forget it. In between, we had a movie year …

Read More »

Movie Review: Room

There are movies that deal with painful, challenging material and then there are movies that are simply punishing. “Room” is among the latter, a well crafted and acted film with material so repellent, I hope to never sit through it again. We meet a young mother (Brie Larson) and her nine year old son (Jacob Tremblay), who live in a …

Read More »

ARTWatch: Rachael Ray Au Hoon’s U’i Gallery

The art of Rachael Ray Au Hoon is both a richly colorful tapestry of personal expression and a vital tribute to Hawaiian culture. Her work has been present island wide, from the walls of the Bamboo Grill, the Paia Mercantile, Maui Pack and Ship and the Whaler’s Village Museum, to name just a few. Now, Au Hoon has been commissioned …

Read More »