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: Throw Momma From the Train (1987)

As I sit here and begin to shape a retrospective article on Danny DeVito’s “Throw Mamma From the Train,” I can’t help but want to write: The night was….the night was….the night was…the night…the night was… This is also the wonderful opening scene that starts off Devito’s directorial debut (not counting his made for cable “The Rating’s Game” or his …

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Looking Back: Zodiac (2007)

Late into “Zodiac,” Robert Graysmith, the tireless cartoonist-turned-amateur-snoop, is having a red eye meeting at an all-nigh diner with Tochi, one of the key investigators of the lengthy Zodiac killer investigation in San Francisco. Jake Gyllenhall is playing Graysmith, who is explaining to Tochi, played by Mark Ruffalo, the close proximity in which the killings took place. To make a …

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Looking Back: The Invasion (2007)

It’s unfortunate that so many films are the victim of studio-tinkering, producer’s notes, creative indecision and alterations mandated by poor test screenings before their release. Some of these examples are atrocious, like “Suicide Squad” (which, strangely enough, managed to become a blockbuster in spite of its wall-to-wall wretchedness). Then there’s “The Dark Tower,” the would-be franchise starter, summer of ’17 …

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Looking Back: Solaris (2002)

I first encountered Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Solaris” when I was in college. A film periodical informed me of “the Russian ‘2001’” and my local library had one of those bulky, two-videocassette holding boxes that required commitment and not a casual watch. The 1972 film, which is based on the novel by Stanislaw Lem, is set in the near future and is …

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Theater Review: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

As the audience walks into the Maui Arts and Cultural Center theater and takes their seat, a robed choir sits silently nearby, and a massive set piece is visible on stage, with actors giving it maintenance. There’s a pair of towering church bells (which occasionally rock back and forth) in four balcony seats above them. The audience is instantly immersed …

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Looking Back: North Shore (1987)

I recently took an unofficial poll and asked my surfer buddies what their favorite surfing movie is. Before they answered, I would quickly add, “-not a documentary, but the best fictional movie ever made about the sport.” Suddenly, they’d get really quiet, think for a moment, then quickly say, “North Shore.” That was the most frequent answer I’d hear. Sure, …

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Looking Back: Encino Man (1992)

Here’s an odd and fairly useless piece of movie trivia I’ve been lugging around for 25 years: Regis Philbin and Kathy Lee Gifford turned down the chance to play the parents in “Encino Man.” Please, don’t hold in your collective ooh and aahs as you read this! During one of their morning show banter-fests, Philbin and Gifford recalled how they …

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Looking Back: Insomnia (2002)

Christopher Nolan’s 2002 remake of the 1999 Swedish masterpiece “Insomnia” marked his first big budget studio film. It also put in plain view the themes and cinematic panache that would mark all of his work. While “Insomnia” (which came after Nolan’s intriguing, little seen “Following” and his delicious puzzle, “Memento”) is a police procedural thriller, it presents the Nolan trademark …

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Looking Back: Freejack (1992)

The question plaguing Alex Furlong throughout “Freejack” is, who transported me to the future and wants to steal my body for personal use? The real question any rational moviegoer will have while watching “Freejack” is, what in the world are Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger and Sir Anthony Hopkins doing in the same movie? In the opening scenes of “Freejack,” we …

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Theater Review: 9 to 5- The Musical

Dolly Parton’s decision to turn “9 to 5,” her 1980 comedy film blockbuster, into a Broadway musical was an obvious and inevitable choice. Considering how most lifelong fans of the movie immediately begin singing the theme song whenever someone brings it up, few films are more perfectly suited for a musical adaptation. The Allison Janney-starring Broadway adaptation ran in 2009 …

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