Articles by Barry Wurst II


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Zodiac

Late into “Zodiac,” Robert Graysmith, the tireless cartoonist-turned-amateur-snoop, is having a red eye meeting at an all-nigh diner with Tochi, one of the key investigators of the lengthy Zodiac killer investigation in San Francisco. Jake Gyllenhall is playing Graysmith, who is explaining to Tochi, played by Mark Ruffalo, the close proximity in which the killings…

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Nocturnal Animals

“Nocturnal Animals,” director Tom Ford’s second film, begins with the filmmaker playfully tickling the audience and pushing their buttons. By the time the names of the actors and production team have finished appearing and the introductory moments have faded, the audience may feel they’re in for a big goof. Actually, what develops isn’t a comedy…

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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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