Articles by Barry Wurst II


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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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The Other Side of the Wind

Writing about Orson Welles is like being the last cop to show up at a crime scene; coming up with fresh clues and insights is nearly impossible when there are intellectual footprints  and film scholar fingerprints everywhere. I’ve never written a piece in my life about Welles’ “Citizen Kane” (1941), because nearly everyone else has….

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Solo: A Star Wars Story

Ron Howard’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” had more obstacles to avoid than the Millennium Falcon flying through an asteroid field. Here is the inevitable Han Solo prequel adventure, sans Harrison Ford, with promising newcomer Alden Ehrenreich (the scene stealer of “Hail Caesar!”) taking over the role of the “scruffy lookin’ nerf herder,” scoundrel/pilot. In…

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Halloween

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to the series that gave her the unchallenged title of Scream Queen and launched her career. After years of establishing her versatility in various projects, Curtis once again honors her fan base with another deeply felt, complex take on Laurie Strode. In this distinctly different take on the series, Strode is…

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A Star is Born

The fear of being on stage in front of an audience is said to be among the most crippling phobias many face. How about magnifying that fear with knowing that you were never meant to be there in the first place, that your presence on a performance space in front of hundreds is an unnatural…

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Venom

My younger brother Marty had a Venom action figure that used to freak out my mother. It was likely due to how, if you pressed the button on the back of the figure, it would declare, “I wanna eat your brain!” Venom is an offshoot of Spider-Man and a towering, black-clad figure, who plainly resembles…

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