Articles by Barry Wurst II


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Creed II

The first line spoke in “Creed II” is “You got this.” Its uttered to Adonis Creed (played by Michael B. Jordan) by his girlfriend, Bianca (played by Tessa Thompson) before a boxing match and the statement pretty much sums up the movie: overly familiar but confident. While Creed is enjoying his sudden fame and a…

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The Front Runner

The infamous photograph of Senator Gary Hart, sitting on a pier in a Monkey Business shirt with model Donna Rice sitting in his lap, defined not only an election year but Hart’s political career. It summed up the failed presidential candidacy of a man but also provides a telling, cheeky and unintentionally funny snapshot of…

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Widows

Characters in movies can sometimes reveal a layer to themselves based on the kind of pets they have. This is true of real life, too. If you’re looking for a window into the soul, note the kind of animal a person keeps near them for company. In the case of Veronica, the lead of Steve…

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Zodiac

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…

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Nocturnal Animals

“Nocturnal Animals,” director Tom Ford’s second film, begins with the filmmaker playfully tickling the audience and pushing their buttons. By the time the names of the actors and production team have finished appearing and the introductory moments have faded, the audience may feel they’re in for a big goof. Actually, what develops isn’t a comedy…

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Wildlife

When we meet the Brinson family, Jerry (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) and Jeanette (played by Carey Mulligan) are sharing a tender moment in their living room. Their only son, Joe (played by Ed Oxenbould) watches his parents, visibly embracing this happy, unguarded moment between them. His careful, almost mournful look indicates that this is a…

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The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Lisbeth Salander is still at large. Known in some circles as The Girl Who Hurts Men Who Hurt Women, Salander is a brilliant online hacker, career criminal and a dark, elusive figure. Almost always attired in black and living a permanently transient existence, she is a ruthless enforcer of justice and a haunting presence. I…

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The Godfather

The opening moments of Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” are like a dream coming into focus, as we’re pulled into another world and drawn in with rich, enticing storytelling. A man named Bonasera is addressing Don Vito Corleone (played by Marlon Brando), the elderly “Godfather” mob boss whose daughter, Connie (played by Talia Shire), is…

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Bohemian Rhapsody

There is a powerful film trying to escape from within “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the Freddie Mercury rock biopic that plays it too safe. We meet a young, odd Mercury, played by Rami Malek in a performance that will make him a household name. In 1970, while Mercury works at Heathrow Airport hauling luggage and seeming unlikely…

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