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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.

Theater Review: The Frog Prince

Derek Nakagawa’s production of “The Frog Prince” at the ProArts Theater in Kihei is the kind of show that works perfectly for its audience of wide-eyed keiki and their parents. This is children’s theater done right and with real affection. Nakagawa wrote and directs this witty “fractured fairy tale,” which is stuffed with laughs and flies by at a nearly …

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Theater Review: My Three Angels

Francis Tau’a’s production of “My Three Angels,” which just opened at the ProArts Playhouse in Kihei, might just be the most unusual yuletide stage comedy of the season. It stars Jim Oxborrow, Mark Levine and Orion Milligan as Joseph, Jules and Alfred (respectively), three convicts who are assigned to fix the roof of the Ducotel General Store, which is in …

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Theater Review: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Early into “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” the David Kaye-directed production at the Historic Iao Theater, Sara Jelley (playing Truly Scrumptious) makes her entrance by riding down the theater aisle onto the stage. Sure, she’s on a bike that’s supposed to be standing in for a motorcycle, but it’s a moment that signals what’s to come. Namely, much more showmanship and …

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Theater Review: The Wanna-Be Gentleman

Moliere’s comedies are so rarely produced on stage locally, let alone in most community theaters, that it’s a treat when the opportunity arrives to see them on stage. If you’ve never seen one of Moliere’s comedies or only experienced them when force fed in a college course (which was my unfortunate introduction to the man and his work), then the …

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Looking Back: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

My father taught a class on Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” and his notes, handouts and worksheets provided me with my initial education on the novel. So did the terrifying and gorgeous illustrations by Greg Hildebrandt, whose work for the 1985 The Unicorn Publishing House edition is forever etched into my imagination. On film, my first Dracula was Frank Langella, who played …

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Looking Back: Metro (1997)

Eddie Murphy was celebrating a serious victory lap when his 1997 vehicle, “Metro,” opened nationwide. After years of films that either under-performed, left his enormous fan base unhappy or deemed him no longer in his element, he made a big comeback with the 1996  “The Nutty Professor.” Over a decade into his film career, Murphy’s multiple performances in, of all …

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Looking Back: TMNT (2007)

Of all things, the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” has emerged as one of the most definitively American of comic book heroes. The blend of surfer dude personas, a constant diet of pizza, a passion for martial arts and the spectacle of giant, talking turtles plays simultaneously like a spoof and celebration of American pop culture. The Turtles, with their vigilante …

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Looking Back: Ferngully- The Last Rainforest (1992)

Bill Kroyer’s 1992 animated feature, “Ferngully: The Last Rainforest,” feels like a direct response to the horrific 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. This occurrence, in which 10.8 million gallons of oil was spilled into Alaskan wild life, stands as one of the greatest environmental disasters on record. Images of surviving wild life drenched in black goo or the wild life …

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Looking Back: The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (1992)

In the similar manner that Peyton Flanders sneaks up on the Bartel family, “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle” crept up on moviegoers in early 1992 and firmly insinuated itself into pop culture. How under the radar was this movie? Hollywood Pictures (the Disney label that, like Touchstone Pictures, was intended to distribute adult minded movies) had a national sneak …

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Looking Back: 1408 (2007)

Prior to this summer’s Stephen King Movie Renaissance, with the release of Nikolaj Arcel’s “The Dark Tower” and Andy Muschietti’s “It,” the last time we got a major summer movie based on a King novel was ten years ago, with Mikael Hafstrom’s “1408.” What began as a you-finish-the-tale writing sample from King’s  non-fiction/partly instructional “On Writing” led to King completing …

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