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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.

Rival Review: Blended

“I’ll let you in on a little secret… Blended is good. It’s really good. Critics have been rigid with their reviews of Blended. It does, of course, get silly, but not to the point of annoyance. THREE STARS” -Greg Turner’s 8/30/14 MauiWatch review of “Blended” It’s been something of an amazement to me just how much Greg loved “Blended.” He …

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Looking Back: The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

All you need to know about “The Chronicles of Riddick” can be found in a brief but tasty section of Dame Judi Dench’s wonderful book, “And Furthermore.” Following chapters on how Ms. Dench rocked the theater and film world, we come to an odd passage of when she was wooed by an admirer, who came backstage to one of her …

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Looking Back: Stargate (1994)

The endearing quality of the films made by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin is that they so clearly love movies and want their audience to bask in the possibilities of cinema. Emmerich, the director, and Devlin, his producing partner, got their start crafting cheap but good looking B-movies before hitting it big. Their breakthrough into the mainstream was “Universal Soldier,” …

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Looking Back: Harlem Nights (1989)

I wonder what would have happened if Eddie Muphy’s directorial debut, “Harlem Nights,” had been one of the best films of its year. The lead up to its release promised big things, not just for Murphy but for the possibilities of African-American filmmakers. Around the time of its release in 1989, Murphy was at the height of his power and …

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The Glass Menagerie: Behind the Scenes of the MAPA Production

The final weekend is upon us for the Maui Academy of Performing Arts production of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie.” This extraordinary production, with its four exceptional lead performances, stylish art direction and sensitive but potent direction by Sally Sefton, only has a few showings left. I was grateful to catch it, as it provided me an opportunity to experience …

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Movie Review: Interstellar

The introductory scenes of “Interstellar” are a series of rich, initially disconnected images that set the framework for an enormous, ever-growing narrative. We see a vast field stretch across a farm land, an aircraft in a tailspin and a pilot named Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, waking from a nightmare and comforted by his daughter, Murphy (played by Mackenzie Foy). …

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Looking Back: A Nightmare on Elm St. 5- The Dream Child (1989)

The saying is that Evil Never Dies. Maybe, but there was a time when Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees both looked to have scared, slashed and terrorized their last teenager. Twenty-five years ago, there was a brief moment in pop culture where it appeared that both franchises had peaked and were finally hanging up the glove and machete for good. …

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Looking Back: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

The “Friday the 13th” franchise remains one of the sturdiest ongoing successes of the horror genre. Cashing in on the success of both “Halloween,” “Carrie” and the grindhouse shocks of Craven’s “Last House on the Left,” the initial Jason Voorhees installment opened in 1980, during the summer season, alongside “The Shining” and “The Empire Strikes Back.” The film made an …

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Movie Review: John Wick

“People keep asking me if I’m back…yeah, I’m thinking I’m back!” This is a line delivered by Keanu Reeves late in “John Wick,” which seems to address his career as much as the character. Reeves’ choices have always been erratic, uneven and occasionally brilliant. As his detractors have noted, he’s a handsome actor with a limited range. The problem, which …

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