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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: Miracle on 34th St. (1994)

Let’s just get it out of the way: the 1994 remake of “Miracle on 34th St.” isn’t as good as the original. There was never a question of whether a new version of the 1947 holiday classic could match or surpass what came before it. Those determined to dismiss the second cinematic telling of the Valentine Davies story likely aren’t …

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Brooks Maguire: The MAUIWatch Interview

During my conversation with Brooks Maguire, in which he summarized his amazing career and recalled pivotal connections made, I was struck by his unforced humility. Maguire’s long, remarkable journey as a passionate musician, professional performer and recording artist is full of opportunities to name drop and aggrandize, but Maguire’s soft spoken way of recalling the past reveals a man who …

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Review: Elf The Musical

Before the curtain fell during the first act, signaling an intermission, I became aware that my jaw was tired from smiling so much. I had a grin that lasted most of the running time of “Elf The Musical,” the wonderful new show playing at The Historic Iao Theate, just in time for the holiday season. Both a faithful re-telling of …

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Hawai’i Cinema Showcase: The Haumana (2013) and Get A Job (2011) at The MACC

A unique night of film is coming to the Maui Arts and Cultural Center this week that film buffs and local art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss. Brian Kohne’s inaugural film event for his Hawaii Cinema motion picture production company will be a recurring event in 2015 and seeks to emphasize the recent output of local independent filmmakers, provide a definition for …

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Looking Back: Back to the Future Part II (1989)

How big a deal was it when “Back to the Future Part II” opened on Maui 25 years ago? The Lahaina Cinemas, which housed the local premiere, ran this notice in their show times section: “Auditorium #1 is being readied for the opening of Back to the Future 2, Coming on November 22nd.” Whoa. Of course, being a young boy, …

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Looking Back: Brainscan (1994)

I really had no plans to write about “Brainscan,” the CD-ROM (remember those?) themed thriller from twenty years back. My dear friend Lisa asked me if I’d write about it and she’s a hard person to say no to. I normally don’t take requests when I write a column, though the film in question came out in one of the …

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Elf the Musical- A Primer for the Maui OnStage Production

Dear Santa, I don’t know how it happened, but every December, I watch “Elf.” I know, it’s not “A Christmas Story” or “Miracle on 34th St” or a true masterpiece like “Ernest Saves Christmas,” but there’s something about the story of Buddy the Elf that has me watching every year. It wasn’t always like this, as the 2003 Will Ferrell …

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Looking Back: The ‘Burbs (1989)

A couple of years ago, I took my dog on a walk and caught one of my neighbors digging a hole in their back yard. I wouldn’t have thought much of it, except it was 11 o’clock at night and he was shoveling fiercely. My leashed dog was pulling me back to my house (even she seemed weirded out) and …

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Looking Back: The Last Starfighter (1984)

It’s both a relief and a real surprise that no one has gotten around to remaking “The Last Starfighter.” The premise invites itself to a reboot rather easily and still holds its Geek Cred appeal as much today as it did in 1984. Who wouldn’t want to see a movie about a teenage gamer, living in a trailer park, whose …

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Movie Review: Whiplash

Performing a musical instrument with precision, in front of peers or critical eyes, can be terrifying. There’s something rather personal about playing an instrument , making harsh criticism especially hurtful. Since the instrument is, at some level, an extension of the artist, what does it say if the performance is subpar? The stress and fear related in creating art, in …

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