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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.

Looking Back: A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

The brilliance of Steven Spielberg’s “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” is how it steadily provides a study of contrasts, from the opening frame to the closing image. The first thing we see are the words “An Amblin/ Stanley Kubrick Production,” an odd blend if there ever was one (akin to “A Disney/Bernardo Bertolucci Production”). Waves are seen crashing together, further cementing the …

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Looking Back: Rhapsody in August (1991)

There’s a tendency for film buffs to greet the final works of master filmmakers with condescension. It seriously annoys me. Why is it when a legendary filmmaker, near the end of their long career, makes a film not on the scope of their earlier works, the result is almost always categorized as a “lesser” work? John Huston’s “The Dead” got …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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