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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: In The Mouth of Madness (1995)

Movie buffs can be an intense crowd, particularly when they’re camping out in line for tickets, waiting hours (or days) to get into the theater and grab the best seat in the house. There is no getting in the way of a fan who is living for the next installment of a series or artist they can’t get enough of. …

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Movie Review: Learning to Drive

Wendy (played by Patricia Clarkson), a writer with a crumbling marriage, decides to gain an upper hand on her shaky existence by taking driving lessons. Her teacher, a Sikh cab driver named Darwan (played by Ben Kingsley), is stern but compassionate and the two to find common ground, as both have uneasy personal lives. Here’s a predictable romantic comedy that …

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Looking Back: Misery (1990)

“I’m your number one fan.” Is there anyone alive who doesn’t know the origin of that quote? While many have uttered that phrase, it’s safe to say that few have meant it as much as Annie Wilkes, in declaring her love for Paul Sheldon, her favorite writer and captive. In Stephen King’s 1987 novel, Wilkes, a reclusive former nurse, is …

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Looking Back: Dolores Claiborne (1995)

When Stephen King fans make their lists of favorite King movie adaptations, the usual suspects are usually all there. Yet, while the Overlook Hotel, Andy DeFrame, the four boys in search of a body, and Cujo the dog are always referenced, hardly anyone mentions or even remembers Dolores Clairborne, the tough-as-nails, lived-in soul that King created and Kathy Bates embodied …

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Theater Review: Noises Off

“Noises Off,” Michael Frayn’s classic stage comedy, has a premise that sounds simple but is extremely difficult to pull off. We watch six actors as they struggle to complete the rehearsal of a bawdy farce called “Nothing On.” Lloyd, the play’s director (who acknowledges that his offstage direction is akin to “the voice of God”) has had it up to …

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Looking Back: Wild Bill (1995)

Every movie Walter Hill makes is a western. It doesn’t matter if the film in question is a dust and wagons horse opera, an 80’s-set biker musical, an landmark “buddy-cop comedy,” or an L.A. gang fable. Hill shapes his narratives on the notion of the wild west, in which masculine figures in lawless landscapes are defined by their often violent …

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Looking Back: A Sound of Thunder (2005)

By the time the much-delayed, reportedly “troubled” “A Sound of Thunder” (barely) made its way to theaters, late in the summer of 2005, there was no one in its corner. That may be one of the reasons I went to see it the weekend it opened and took to it so fondly. Like a puppy found on a doorstep, drenched …

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Looking Back: After Hours (1985)

There is a Martin Scorsese that not even some of his most vocal fans seem fully aware of. While the director of “Goodfellas,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “The Departed” and other modern day classics know him as the director of sprawling, graphically violent, highly profane and intimately character-driven crime stories, many would be surprised to discover how versatile his …

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Looking Back: Nixon (1995)

It is not the responsibility of cinema to be faithful to history. I feel the need to write this when reviewing a film by Oliver Stone, a filmmaker I love, whose work has been vilified by many for exaggerating or outright altering the course of history in his narratives, in part or flamboyantly. When Stone creates a cinematic facsimile of …

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Looking Back: Billy Madison (1995)

In the opening scenes of “Billy Madison,” Adam Sandler (playing the title character) is singing about the virtues of suntan lotion. Moments later, he’s chanting “Nudie Magazine Day” and trying to hit an imaginary swan with a golf cart. Then, he’s present at a dinner party where, in lieu of dialog, he makes jibberish sounds of protest against a business …

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