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: Point Break

I had a case of deja vu walking to the screening of the “Point Break” remake at the Queen Ka’ahumanu Theater. I remembered seeing the original back in 1991 at the same mall but at the long gone Holiday Theater (now the bank and next to where Koho’s still stands). Twenty five years later, I still can’t get enough of …

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Movie Review: Concussion

Will Smith stars as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian doctor who made public his discovery that football players have been suffering from mind scrambling concussions. His declaration is controversial and puts him at odds with both the NFL and fans of the sport. What “Concussion” wants to do is recreate the doctor’s challenging discoveries and courageous journey to be heard, …

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Looking Back: Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

Alexander and Ilya Salkind knew how to shape epic movies with a twinkle in their eye, a grin on their face and a seriousness that gave it a genuine integrity. At least, they did at first, when they oversaw the making of the still magnificent “Superman: The Movie” and its superb sequel, “Superman II.” What followed was “Superman III,” “Supergirl” …

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Movie Review: The Big Short

Director Adam McKay steps outside of his cinematic comfort zone and delivers one of the great, last minute movie surprises of 2015. McKay, the director of “Anchorman,” “Talladega Nights,” “Step Brothers” and (one of the funniest movies of the past ten years) “The Other Guys” has made a serio-comic adaptation of Michael Lewis’ nonfiction 2010 book, “The Big Short: Inside …

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Looking Back: One Magic Christmas (1985)

Readers of my Looking Back column know I have a soft spot for the early/mid-1980’s films released by the Walt Disney Company. Before Michael Eisner came in and fully reinstated Disney to its prior glory, with “The Little Mermaid” and the subsequent animated classics in the wings, the company was making and distributing some offbeat films. Call it The TRON …

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Looking Back: Star Wars Episode III- Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Before we either celebrate the release of “Star Wars- The Force Awakens,” I want to recall the last time a new, live-action “Star Wars” film was released in theaters ten years ago. While the release of the prequel trilogy, “Episodes I-III,” was met with mixed reviews and mostly contempt from longtime fans of The Force, the films don’t deserve to …

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Movie Review: Spotlight

Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Brian d’Arcy James star as the Boston Globe reporters who investigated the Catholic priest molestation scandal during the early days of the 21st century. The story of how the writers of the ‘Spotlight’ section revealed a giant cover-up that horrified the city and the world has become a well crafted, respectable but reserved …

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MFF First Light Review: Song of Lahore

At the beginning of “Song of Lahore,” we meet a group of Pakistani musicians who create classical music. We learn that their music is not fully appreciated in their country, where violence and artistic oppression has weighed heavily on their work. The musicians created Sachal Studios, a space for creating and recording their work, in Lahore, the second largest city …

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MFF First Light Review: 99 Homes

Imagine someone knocking on your door, telling you the bank now owns your home, that you are a “trespasser” and need to vacate your property right now. The person at your door has policemen with him, assures you he is within his rights and that your home ownership is no longer valid. Within minutes, carrying only a few items in …

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MFF First Light Review: I Smile Back

At first glance, Laney Brooks appears as kind of full-time mother I know well and recognize from women I’ve encountered throughout my life. She’s the kind of woman who gets up early, carefully makes each sandwich and even colors pictures on her kid’s lunch bags in crayon. She’s a delightful, plucky mom who is great with her kids and works …

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