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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: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels- The Musical

Mel Brooks once famously stated, in reference to what people were saying about his work, “my movie rises below vulgarity!” Filmmaker Frank Oz never said anything remotely like that in regards to his popular 1988 Michael Caine/Steve Martin farce, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” However, I can’t imagine him not noting the cheerful raunchiness of the musical adaptation, which just had its …

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Theater Review: The Crucible

David C. Johnston’s production of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” begins in darkness, as names are whispered, in a rhythmic, taunting fashion. As the lights slowly come up and sparse music sets the scene, we see six young women partaking in a dance. The nature of what they’re doing becomes clearer as the dance progresses, as the choreography suggests a synergy …

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Theater Review: The Cemetery Club

There’s an old saying, that “funerals are for the living”. It’s a bitter expression and I’ve never cared for it.  The saying suggests that a period of  grieving is essential when losing a loved one but a funeral is a futile party for no one but the survivors. While funerals provide friends and loved ones a time to say goodbye, …

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Barry’s Movie Review: Fifty Shades Darker

Where to begin? Following the sordid events of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Anastasia Steele (played by Dakota Johnson) is now single and working at a Seattle publishing house. Her ex, the self-proclaimed “sadist” Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) is still at large, sending her unwanted bouquets and expressing his interest. Rather than move to another city, change her name and file …

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Barry’s Movie Review: Split

The introductory scenes of “Split,” the latest creeper feature from M. Night Shyamalan, are straight out of a nightmare. Imagine you, your best friend and the weird girl (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) from your class have been abducted in broad daylight. You’re being kept prisoner for reasons that aren’t initially made clear and your captor, Kevin (played by a game …

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Barry’s Movie Review: 20th Century Women

In Mike Mills’ comedy “20th Century Women,” Lucas Jade Zumann stars as Jamie, the son of an empowered, free spirited single woman (played by Annette Bening). Jamie and his mother live in a house with a few other misfits, some of whom are young women who act as his surrogate sisters. They create a unique family dynamic, though Jamie struggles …

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Barry’s Movie Review: A Monster Calls

J.A. Bayona’s “A Monster Calls” is based on a YA Novel and depicts a young boy’s relationship with a massive, lumbering monster. Yet, the movie doesn’t play like it sounds and surpasses expectations on multiple levels. Although the novel is familiar to young adults, the story is awfully tough, even wrenching at times and may be too much for young …

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Looking Back: Unaccompanied Minors (2006)

How do movies like “Unaccompanied Minors” happen? If you assemble a cast of solid comic actors in a Christmas-set comedy, wouldn’t there be more comedy gold than coal to mine? Actually, this plays like a junior version of Nora Ephron’s equally baffling yuletide farce, “Mixed Nuts.” The biggest difference between the two is that Ephron’s movie has slightly more laughs …

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Barry’s Movie Review: La La Land

Once upon a time, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola made a musical. Coppola, who became famous worldwide for making “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now,” wrote, directed and financed “One From the Heart,” a lavish musical intended as an ode to classical Hollywood musicals. It had a slight story, splashy musical numbers and dazzling sets. The movie was a gigantic flop that …

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Barry’s Movie Review: Fences

Seeing your favorite movie stars grow up, become old and still remain at the top of their craft is a privilege. My Dad got to see Sean Connery, Jack Lemmon, Paul Newman, Robert Redford and James Garner age gracefully and deliver some of their best work in their golden years. Watching “Fences,” I had the realization that this was happening …

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