Articles by Barry Wurst II


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BE NATURAL

Documentary features are not only a means of exploring stories we know but also for creating awareness for under-looked subject matters. Pamela B. Green’s “Be Natural-The Untold Story of Alice Guy Blache” doesn’t just celebrate the work of its central figure, a pioneer female filmmaker in the silent era; Green’s thorough and always engaging work…

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The Farewell

When we meet Billi (played by Awkwafina), she’s broke and living alone in New York. The one constant in her life is her relationship with Nai Nai (played by Zhao Shuzhen), her grandmother who lives in China. Billi is informed by her parents that Nai Nai’s doctor discovered she has cancer. Nai Nai doesn’t have…

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Once Upon a Time…

In Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Rick Dalton, a B-level western star whose career has never branched outside of television. Often accompanied by Cliff, his stuntman, go-to-repairman and best friend (played by Brad Pitt). As the late 1960’s set in and the radical counter cultural movement overtakes America, Dalton’s…

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Hobbs & Shaw

Law enforcer Luke Hobbs (played by Dwayne Johnson) and career criminal Deckard Shaw (played by Jason Statham), supporting characters in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, now have their very own spinoff. What was once fast and furious is now long and tedious. If you’ve ever wondered what one of these movies would be like without…

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Yesterday

Danny Boyle’s “Yesterday” isn’t the jukebox musical I feared, nor the one-joke sitcom its trailer would leave you to believe. In fact, even with its shortcomings, this is a refreshing summer sleeper that has more on its mind than what’s on the surface. Television actor and big screen newcomer Himesh Patel makes a strong starring…

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Midsommar

Ari Aster’s “Midsommar” is the first movie I’ve seen all year that feels like it was made by a real filmmaker, an artist who has carefully designed each shot, collaborated in full with every cast member and has a true vision he reaches with every scene. It’s that good. While the promotional materials are pushing…

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Spider-Man: Far From Home

Peter Parker (played by Tom Holland) is off on a summer vacation to Europe and intends to leave his Spider-Man suit and superheroes duty behind. Parker’s intentions of finally telling MJ (played by Zendaya) how he feels about her are put on hold when Nick Fury (played by the reliably great Samuel L. Jackson) turns…

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The Counselor

You know you’re watching a film noir when the main character is presented with two choices and never picks the right one. Of course, if people in movies did the right thing, made the correct, morally responsible decisions and acted like good, upstanding citizens, we wouldn’t have a movie. In Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor,” Michael…

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Alita: Battle Angel

According to David Hughes’ “The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made,” James Cameron spent ten years after “Titanic” pondering what to make next before ultimately deciding on “Avatar.” During that period of indecision, Cameron came this-close to directing “Terminator 3,” “Spider-Man” and “True Lies 2.” “Alita: Battle Angel,” had also been floating around the rumor mill…

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Out of State

Ciara Lacy’s “Out of State” is the celebrated documentary about Hawaii-born felons who are moved to an Arizona-based prison and practice their cultural heritage on the inside. We watch as displaced prisoners learn profound lessons and traditions of Hawaiian culture as a means to gain mental strength and pass the time of their sentences. These…

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