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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: Alien Resurrection (1997)

Late into Jean Pierre-Jeunet’s “Alien Resurrection,” Winona Ryder’s Call asks Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley this question: “Why do you go on living? How can you stand what you are?” It’s the key exploration of this movie, which adds another dimension and vital theme to the durable franchise. Ridley Scott’s 1979 “Alien” was about Ripley’s survival, James Cameron’s 1986 “Aliens” was …

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Looking Back: Alien 3 (1992)

They say, In Space No One Can Hear You Scream. It can also be said that, After Alien 3, You Can Hear a Pin Drop. This was my experience with David Fincher’s debut film, which I saw in a packed theater on opening night at the Wharf Cinema Center. The 1992 summer movie season was just getting started and it …

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Theater Review: A Few Good Men

Rick Scheideman’s production of Aaron Sorkin’s courtroom drama is such a distinctly theatrical event, it’s an essential experience. Even if you’re familiar with the iconic 1992 Tom Cruise/Jack Nicholson film adaptation (and really, who isn’t?), the staging is unique, Sorkin’s dialog still maintains its smart-alecky kick and the performances are sensational. Ricky Jones stars as Lt. Daniel Kaffee, a U.S. …

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Looking Back: Over The Top (1987)

It makes perfect sense that Sylvester Stallone, at the height of his powers as an 80’s mega-movie star, would make a PG-rated action movie for kids. Over time, Stallone would make a massive comeback, regain his status as an actor (and not merely a Movie Star) and, against all odds, become an Oscar contender. By the mid-1980’s however, Stallone’s career …

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Looking Back: Newsies (1992)

If you bring up Disney’s “Newsies,” most will note that it’s a beloved 2012 Broadway musical, a rousing stage show about the 1899 New York City newsboy strike. Following an acclaimed run on Broadway, the show continues to travel and appear in theaters to this day. There was even a recent Fandango event where a production of “Newsies” was broadcast …

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Theater Review: Dial M For Murder

Francis Taua’s production of “Dial M For Murder” is a charming, old fashioned night of murder/mystery theater. Taua’s thriller reminded me that witnessing a play can feel like being a voyeur. In this case, the audience is invited into a nice apartment, becoming invisible, silent guests as their hosts entertain one another. We watch and listen as these attractive, intelligent …

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Looking Back: Harry and the Hendersons (1987)

In the late 1980’s, Steven Spielberg, the most successful filmmaker of all time, was moving past his “Peter Pan” stage. While helming more adult minded works like “The Color Purple” and “Empire of the Sun,” Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment hired clusters of The Next Spielberg to direct films that he would develop and produce. Although Spielberg was not the director of …

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Looking Back: Eight Legged Freaks (2002)

The problem with “Eight-Legged Freaks,” the 2002 summer blockbuster that wasn’t, is that is plays like a Mad Magazine parody of Robot Chicken’s parody of Joe Dante’s parody of an old 1950’s B-movie. This is the Dean Devlin-produced giant arachnid romp that sports great special effects but feels like such an overly-jokey spoof of itself, we never get a sense …

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Looking Back: Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)

Here is one of the few films from director John Carpenter where his name isn’t above the title. It’s also an unusual, big budget, mainstream studio assignment for Carpenter, whose prior films had been mostly (with a few exceptions) low budget, vision controlled indies. Since this isn’t “John Carpenter’s Memoirs of an Invisible Man” and is a seemingly out-of-place Chevy …

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Looking Back: Three Men and a Baby (1987)

I only had one moment in my life where I got to meet Leonard Nimoy. It was at the Denver Starfest, an annual sci-fi, fantasy and horror film/arts convention and the former Spock was there as pop culture royalty. There was something so regal, mysterious and composed about Nimoy, he always seemed to be tuned into his most famous character, …

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