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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.

Movie Review: Left Behind (2014)

Arguably the biggest movie curiosity of 2014 has arrived and surprisingly hasn’t gone straight to video. Based on how it plays, it could have premiered on the SYFY Channel, in between airings of “Sharktopus” and “Sharknado 2: The Second One.” The irresistible pairing of Oscar winner Nicolas Cage and a faith based film company has resulted in a remake of …

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Looking Back: The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

Here’s a remake that truly wasn’t just a re-hash of the original and matches the deep-seeded paranoia and creepiness of its predecessor. It’s also every bit as forced as most remakes and stands meekly in the large shadow cast by the first film bearing the title. The 1962 “Manchurian Candidate” firmly remains a classic American film, depicting our fears of …

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Looking Back: The Village (2004)

The turning point for M. Night Shyamalan’s career came with the release of “The Village” in 2004, only it wasn’t the kind of redirection most would desire. As a writer/director, he survived seeing his first film, 1997’s “Wide Awake,” get compromised in the editing room, dumped in theaters and mostly forgotten. His extraordinary comeback, “The Sixth Sense” in 1999, jolted …

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Looking Back: UHF (1989)

Twenty-five years ago, “Weekend at Bernie’s,” “Young Einstein” and “UHF” were all playing in theaters. Well, “Bernie’s” actually played for a while, as the other two only briefly made the rounds before becoming favorites on videocassette. Of the three, “Bernie’s” was the most financially successful and is arguably the one containing the most “edge,” which is like saying “Police Academy …

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Wait Until Dark: Behind the Scenes of the Maui Onstage Production

The Maui OnStage production of “Wait Until Dark” at the historic Iao Theater is directed by Dale Button, who was in the midst of a tech rehearsals when I met him and his cast. It was amusing to witness firsthand the cheerful camaraderie in view. The play is intense and blood curdling but the actors were all cheerful and chummy, …

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REVIEW: Wait Until Dark

During a pivotal sequence in the Dale Button directed production of “Wait Until Dark,” the characters and the audience are immersed in total darkness. It’s so dark, I couldn’t see my hand in front of me, and only the EXIT sign to my far left and some glowing stage tape gave me any sense of geography. While this passage of …

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Wait Until Dark: A Primer for the Maui OnStage Production

It almost doesn’t seem possible, that a play could be scary. With all the things movies have going for them, like creepy soundtracks, ominous sound effects, actors pretending to be petrified and a voyeuristic camera, you’d figure the same effect couldn’t be replicated on stage, in a theater, with actors clearly performing in front of you. Yet, Broadway and theater …

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Review: The Maze Runner

The more Dystopia-laced these Young Adult movie adaptations get, the more they’re really about high school. Let’s examine the evidence. Films based on books with mainstream youth appeal is now one of the hottest brands in film right now. Rarely a season goes by that we don’t see some New York Times Bestseller made into a big budget film, for …

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Review: No Good Deed

It’s a dark and stormy night. You’re a mother of three, home alone with your two very young children. The doorbell rings and you see a good looking man on your doorstep. He says he just survived a car accident and hopes you could let him use your phone. He seems really nice, so you invite him inside. He sits …

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REVIEW: The November Man

Halfway through “The November Man,” it occurred to me that I’ve never, in my life, met anyone named Pierce. I’m blessed with a name so goofy, I’ve never met another Barry Wurst II, either. Still, has anyone ever heard a name more manly and action movie-ready than Pierce Brosnan? It’s hard not to be a fan of the man’s work, …

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