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.

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 The person at your door has policemen with him, assures you he is within his rights and that your home ownership is no longer valid.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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

Movie Review: The Good Dinosaur

The latest Pixar animated film hit me harder than expected, though I suspect it might be just me. My wife recently gave birth to our first child, a beautiful girl who was born two months early, a “preemie.” I divulge this information because of how an early scene in “The Good Dinosaur” affected me. We see three brontosaurus eggs hatching, …

Read More »

Theater Review: Elf The Musical

While driving to the Historic Iao Theater to catch the opening night of “Elf- The Musical,” there was Christmas music playing on the radio. Since it was only the day after Thanksgiving, it felt a little early, even for someone like myself who loves the holiday season. Nevertheless, while my turkey leftovers remain stacked high and won’t be consumed anytime …

Read More »

Looking Back: Dancer in the Dark (2000)

The experience of seeing Lar Von Triers’ “Dancer in the Dark” on the big screen was so overwhelming, it left me numb and drained in my seat. I took my friend Jenn with me to see it, on a let’s-go-catch-a-movie whim. The experience left us both stunned. For some reason, we were both drawn to Von Triers’ deconstructive, knowingly post-modernist …

Read More »

Looking Back: Munich (2005)

Steven Spielberg has a habit of making two films back-to-back, with a commercial, summer-ready work followed by more serious, adult-minded drama. He followed “Jurassic Park” with “Schindler’s List,” “The Lost World” with “Amistad, and “Minority Report” with “Catch Me If You Can.” His 2005 blockbuster, “War of the Worlds,” one of the most successful films to date, was followed up …

Read More »

Swingin’ Tiki Time Returns

It’s back. Following an enthusiastic turn out for “Swingin’ Tiki Time with Eric Gilliom” in its initial June incarnation, the event is now in full swing at Sugar Beach Events in Kihei. This unique blend of music, food and nostalgia recreates the feel of classic Hawaiian entertainment that local folks used to have at venues like Trader Vic’s. Gilliom and …

Read More »

Looking Back: State of Grace (1990)

Why wasn’t “State of Grace” recognized immediately for its value as one of the finest mobster films ever made? I blame the studio. Coming out at the end of 1990, Phil Joanou’s drama had two giant obstacles to face: the competition and Orion Pictures, it’s distributor. To address the latter and to give them the break they deserve, Orion was …

Read More »

Looking Back: The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)

I’ve never encountered a movie flopping with a louder, more surprising thud than Brian De Palma’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities” (1990). Film buffs can usually detect these things coming, as the months leading up to release can often give red flags, leaked word of mouth or tell-tale trailers that the film in question is a turkey. With “Bonfire,” its …

Read More »