Articles by Barry Wurst II


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Star Trek: The Motion Picture

The dirty little secret that “Star Trek” holds is that it took “Star Wars” to bring Gene Roddenberry’s vision to the big screen. Once word got around that George Lucas’ “little” $10 million outer space fantasy was quickly becoming the top grossing film of all time, film studios took action. Suddenly, lavish outer space fantasies…

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Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice

The stunning and wildly unpredictable life and career of recording artist Linda Ronstadt is presented in the gripping documentary, “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.” While the expected concert footage and interviews with famous colleagues are here, perhaps the most impressive factor is how Ronstadt gets to present her story firsthand; through the use…

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Dark Phoenix

In writer/director Simon Kinberg’s “Dark Phoenix,” we learn how mutant Jean Grey (played by Sophie Turner from “Game of Thrones”) obtains extraordinary powers that corrupt her psyche and destroy the relationships around her. As a member of the X-men and a reliable presence at the school for mutants established by Dr. Charles Xavier (played by…

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The Peanut Butter Falcon

Somewhere between the title and the impossibly cutesy-looking trailer, “The Peanut Butter Falcon” seemed totally miss-able. The whole thing sounded like one of those pre-packaged Fox Searchlight movies that flaunts independent film street cred,  while touting an all-star cast that most little films could never dream of affording, in a premise that seemed ready for…

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The Dark Crystal

Jim Henson had nothing to prove when he made “The Dark Crystal.” In fact, as legacies go, his was already staggering. At that point in his career, having been the creative force behind “Sesame Street,” “The Muppet Show” and the still-magical “The Muppet Movie,” Henson came across like the cuddlier, wilder Walt Disney. Henson’s works…

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Echo in the Canyon

“Echo in the Canyon” is director Andrew Slater’s documentary on the game-changing music movement in the mid-late 1960’s that took place in Laurel Canyon, California. The history of that remarkable time is presented from a bevy of music legends, including David Crosby, Ringo Starr, producer Lou Adler, Michelle Phillips, Jackson Browne and Eric Clapton (to…

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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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