Articles by Barry Wurst II


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A Hidden Life

At the beginning of Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life,” Franz Yagerstatter (played by August Diehl) is returning home to his family. Living in Austria during the early days of Nazi recruitment and the war to come, Yagerstatter has been training as a soldier but finding his conscience at a crossroads and wanting nothing to do…

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The Tree of Life

When Terrence Malick makes a movie, three things happen: they’re years-in-the-making personal films, audiences are typically baffled by them and, over time, they are reevaluated and declared works of genius. Malick has only made five films, but each are so breathtaking, so thrilling to watch and stunningly made, his reputation as a recluse and master…

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Heat

I remember the moment when Michael Mann’s “Heat” won me over the first time I saw it. It comes during the first twenty-five minutes and takes place in a bookstore. We see Neil, played by Robert De Niro, sitting alone. He’s reading and trying hard not to stand out in one of those bookstore/cafe combos…

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THE HAWAII FILM CRITICS SOCIETY 2019 LIST

Quentin Tarantino’s wild cinematic dream of a long-gone era won over the Hawaii Film Critics Society. “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” Tarantino’s shocking, controversial 9th film, led the Best of 2019 list, winning five awards, including Best Picture, Director and Best Supporting Actor (for Brad Pitt’s wonderful turn as a seen-it-all stuntman). “Joker,” the…

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HAWAII FILM CRITICS SOCIETY 2019 NOMINEES LIST

The Hawaii Film Critics Society released its list of nominations for their year’s end, Best of 2019 List today. Leading the nominees are Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” with twelve nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Leonardo Di Caprio), Best Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt) and Best Original Screenplay (Tarantino).  In the running…

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The Year in Film: 2019

In 2019, Martin Scorsese stated that Marvel superhero movies aren’t cinema, compared them to an amusement parks and lamented the kind of films young audiences have now, in contrast to the kind of films he grew up with. Well, everyone lost their minds over this, particularly those on the internet who were furious that Scorsese…

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

As with every “Star Wars” review I write, this will be mostly spoiler-free, though I’ve rarely composed a critique of an installment from this franchise that is also so enthusiasm-free.  Speaking of spoiler, the opening crawl (the BIG WORDS that slowly inch up the screen, filling us in on the story, while John Williams’ glorious…

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Cats

When I was 7-years old, my father took me to see my first Broadway musical, which was “Cats.” It was 1985, I was living in Riverdale, New Jersey at the time and, like many kids my age, was aware that the Andrew Lloyd Webber-penned production (based on the poetry of T.S. Eliot) was the top…

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Richard Jewell

In a very short amount of time, director Clint Eastwood’s new film, “Richard Jewell,” has gone from being one of the year’s eagerly anticipated adult dramas to the most controversial film of 2019. To get right to the point, the controversy is merited, as the film is imperfect in some ways but don’t let the…

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The Irishman

In the introductory moments of “The Irishman,” the camera enters the film through a box-like entrance, possibly a camera-like peep hole but more than likely a coffin shaped viewpoint that signifies the overlying theme of the film. Sure enough, the opening is set in a retirement home, as James “The Irishman” Sheeran (played by Robert…

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