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: What Lies Beneath (2000)

Robert Zemeckis managed to squeeze two movies into 2000, in a way that demonstrates his innovative approach to filmmaking. This is the filmmaker who made the two “Back to the Future” sequels back-to-back (before others thought to shoot franchise films this way). The years-in-the-making world of Zemeckis’ “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is so seamless, no live action/animation hybrid has come …

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Looking Back: Charlie’s Angels (2000)

Sometimes it’s harder for film buffs to detect a blockbuster-to-be than it is to pick an instant flop. The early word on the Drew Barrymore-produced film adaptation of the endearingly cheesy TV series, “Charlie’s Angels,” came packed with bitter word of mouth. By now, everyone has heard the rumor that co-stars Bill Murray and Lucy Liu had a falling out, …

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Looking Back: The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990)

Movies like “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane” are tough to pinpoint, as it created in me two completely diverging perspectives. On the one hand, the sole, big budget, major studio backing of shock comedian Andrew “Dice” Clay is every bit the stinker today as it was 25 years ago. Yet, its funnier than I remembered and, to a point, I …

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Theater Review: Evita

Theater can be an immersive, intimate experience. I was reminded of this during the opening scenes of “Evita,” which just opened at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, playing inside the Castle Theater. The lights fade to black and suddenly, a giant sized screen lowers and plays a black and white movie. Actors are scattered throughout the theater, in character …

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Looking Back: Darkman (1990)

Sam Raimi’s “Darkman” can be watched with the sound off and the viewer wouldn’t miss any of the story points. Sure, you’d regret not hearing Danny Elfman’s grand but grim score, the knowingly B-movie dialog, the gooshy sound effects of synthetic flesh melting and Liam Neeson’s endlessly quotable lines. Yet, “Darkman” is such a richly cinematic creation, overloaded with look-at-me …

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Looking Back: The Watcher (2000)

The stories around “The Watcher,” Keanu Reeves’ unfortunate 2000 serial killer thriller, are so much more interesting than the film itself. If you watch the movie and know nothing about its troubled history, you’re likely to forget it, move on and barely recall watching it weeks later. On the other hand, if you know what Reeves went through, the movie …

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Returning to Evita- An Interview with Amy Hanaiali’i

In theater, you never get a second chance to watch a shooting star, or so I thought. While movies and books can be shared an infinite number of times amongst fans, great performances on stage come and go, never to be experienced again. I’ll never see, for example, Christopher Plummer and James Earl Jones in what was regarded as the …

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Movie Review: Shaun the Sheep Movie

“Shaun the Sheep” came into my life at exactly the right time. Years ago, my wife and I were dealing with the devastating loss of a family member and, to say the least, we were in need of a distraction and a good laugh. We came across the “Shaun the Sheep” TV series, put out by the award-winning Aardman Animations, …

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Looking Back: Tremors (1990)

The key to why “Tremors” works so well is that it never forgets it’s a comedy. Yes, there are giant, worm-like creatures in the ground that pull you under and lots of scary moments but the movie never loses its sense of humor and forgets what it is. In the same way “An American Werewolf in London,” “Ghostbusters,” “Tucker & …

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Looking Back: Johnny Mnemonic (1995)

Keanu Reeves is so robotic as the title character in “Johnny Mnemonic,” it comes as a surprise when we learn he isn’t a robot or android. Johnny is a high-tech courier in a futuristic world where, rather than send something via e-mail on the internet (concepts the film seems aware of but doesn’t fully broach), he inserts information into his …

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