Articles by Barry Wurst II


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Zombieland: Double Tap

The last time we were in “Zombieland,” it was a decade ago and our group of heroes had survived a massive zombie attack in an amusement park. Now, the gun-toting, Twinkie-loving Tallahassee (played by Woody Harrelson), brainy and neurotic Columbus (played by Jesse Eisenberg), a stern Wichita (played by Emma Stone) and fed-up Little Rock…

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Gemini Man

In the mid-90’s there were two high concept screenplays that were much discussed and in demand to be made within the Hollywood studio system. One was called “The Ticking Man,” set in the near future, about a man who wakes up, finds a bomb has been surgically planted in his chest and has one hour…

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Joker

Finally, someone at Warner Brothers realized that if you release a stand-alone movie about the Joker, you’re bound to make piles of money. The trouble is, they entrusted the story of Batman’s greatest nemesis with Todd Phillips, the director of Due Date, whose love of ‘70s movies (and mean-spirited material in general) gets the better of…

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Ad Astra

Director James Gray’s “Ad Astra” takes place in “The Near Future” and stars Brad Pitt as Roy McBride, a celebrated astronaut of notable lineage- Clifford, his late father (played by Tommy Lee Jones) is a cosmonaut of legendary status. McBride is working on the International Space Station when a cosmic freak occurrence, referred to as…

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Rambo: Last Blood

After John Rambo (played by Sylvester Stallone) saved a group of missionaries and murdered most of the bad guys in Burma, he settled down, found a home with a mailbox bearing his last name and embraced normal life. At least, that was the conclusion of “Rambo,” the 2008 installment which belatedly caught us up with…

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IT: Chapter Two

Following the enormous  financial and artistic success of “IT” (2017), returning director Andy Muschietti had a real monster to contend with- how to top the first film and shape what needed to be the horror genre equivalent of “The Godfather, Part II”? To the credit of the filmmakers and actors, this ambitious sequel only gets…

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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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