Articles by Barry Wurst II

Picture Bride pick

Picture Bride

“Picture Bride” was the first Hawaiian film to ever play at the Cannes Film Festival. It also played at the Sundance Film Festival and received national distribution through Miramax Films. That alone should be reason enough to celebrate and recognize Kayo Hatta’s film, which is a small but lovely, vivid depiction of Hawaii in the…

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Following decades of being remembered as a massive paperback staple and a well-remembered televised mini-series, Stephen King’s “It” has finally been made into a proper, R-rated motion picture. Although the setting is now the 1980’s and portions of the novel dealing with the child protagonists as adults has been tossed, this adaptation is faithful, intelligent…

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Close Encounters of the Third Kind

When Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” his fourth film and first after “Jaws,” opened in the fall of 1977, many wondered how it would compare with “Star Wars.” George Lucas’ first groundbreaking, pop-culture shaping and box office conquering mega-hit had overshadowed most of the year. Could Spielberg, whose giant killer shark movie…

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I Do…Until I Don’t

At the start of Lake Bell’s new comedy, “I Do…Until I Don’t,” a fierce, celebrated¬† documentary filmmaker named Vivian Prudeck (played by Dorothy Wells) is giving a lecture on the notion of matrimony. During her presentation, we see a montage of wedding footage. Prudeck declares (in the film’s opening lines): “For life…no one wants anything…

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Logan Lucky

Steven Soderbergh’s new comedy stars Channing Tatum as Jimmy Logan, a lifelong underachiever who decides to perform a heist during a NASCAR event. Jimmy enlists the aid of unlikely cohorts, including his brother Clyde (played by Adam Driver), a local bartender and amputee. There’s also the incarcerated Joe Bang (played by Daniel Craig) and a…

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In This Corner of the World

Sunao Katabuchi’s “In This Corner of the World” centers on Suzo Urano, a teenage girl growing up in the small Japanese town of Kure in 1933. When Suzo is married to a soldier named Shusaku (in a union arranged by her family), she moves to Hiroshima. Since Suzo’s husband is a soldier and barely present,…

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Annabelle: Creation

A happy couple (played by Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto) find their lives forever changed when their daughter, Annabelle, dies a horrible, violent death. Twelve years pass and the late Annabelle’s parents have converted their home into an orphanage. It houses a cluster of girls, including Linda, the youngest (played by Lulu Wilson) and her…



Katherine Bigelow’s “Detroit” begins with a striking but overreaching animated sequence, setting up a historical illustration of racism in this country and how it trickled into Michigan. Whereas the sprawling “O.J. Made in America” carefully and vividly established the troubling racial history building around (and spun off of) its central story, “Detroit” doesn’t create as…

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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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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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