Articles by Barry Wurst II


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The Dark Tower

A boy named Jake (well played by Tom Taylor) has a tortured home life and is known in school for his troubling behavior. Jake dreams of a place called Mid-World, where a supernatural gunslinger named Roland of Gilead (played by Idris Elba) pursues Walter, a vile magician (played by Matthew McConaughey). Known as “The Man…

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Snatched

The premise of “Snatched,” the new Amy Schumer vehicle, is so unfit for a comedy, it’s amazing the scant laughs on hand are here at all. Schumer stars as Emily, a spoiled, unpleasant, child-like party girl whose current boyfriend (Randall Park, in a funny cameo) is dumping her to become a sexed up rock star….

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Atomic Blonde

Charlize Theron stars as Lorraine, a well-trained spy who kills a lot of bad men in 1989 Berlin. Her latest mission, set before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, involves joining up with a sketchy colleague named Percival (played by James McAvoy). How tough is Lorraine? After each bad guy tussle, she ends…

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Colossal

Nacho Vigalondo’s “Colossal” sports a unique premise, one of the most original in a long time. Anne Hathaway stars as Gloria, a New York writer whose relationship with Tim, her boyfriend (played Dan Stevens), goes south after too many drinking binges. Following many nights of Gloria becoming blackout drunk and forgetting details about her day,…

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The Thin Red Line

The late 1990’s was an exciting time for cinema. Independent works were being released alongside mainstream blockbusters, Bernardo Bertolucci regularly made new movies every few years and mysterious, untrustworthy reports would spill out of Europe that Stanley Kubrick’s latest work (which one periodical incorrectly identified as “Eyes Wide Open”) was still in production. Then, a…

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Valerian

I saw Luc Besson’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” on opening day at the Queen Ka’ahumanu movie theater, an experience that filled me with nostalgia. As I walked down the hallway to the screen showing Besson’s film, I recalled my time there as an ausher, twenty years earlier. If anyone reading this…

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War For the Planet of the Apes

Too many movies released this summer are best described as being almost-good, which is hardly enough to get excited about. On the other hand, while Matt Reeves’ “War For the Planet of the Apes” overreaches in the final stretch, it comes this-close to being a masterpiece. The third in a trilogy that started with Rupert…

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Spider-Man: Homecoming

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” begins awkwardly, as white collar bureaucrats undermine a group of blue collar workers who are cleaning post- super hero battle rubble. We meet Michael Keaton’s central villain, who takes advantage of the position by stealing alien technology. What follows is “a film by Peter Parker,” showing the young Parker/Spider-Man meeting Tony Stark (played…

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Song To Song

Terrence Malick’s new film, “Song to Song,” is neither a masterpiece nor the disaster many of his dissenters claim it to be. It’s more of the same, though often far greater than merely that and is, at the very least, a consistently stunning film. After his cinematic masters’ thesis, “The Tree of Life,” in which…

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Baby Driver

Ansel Elgort stars as Baby, a getaway driver who works for a wealthy slimeball (Kevin Spacey). Baby is the best there is, as no cop can catch him and he’s never blown an assignment. His hearing impairment, a “hum in the drum,” makes him reliant on music to keep his rhythm sharp and daily life…

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