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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: 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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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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