Articles by Barry Wurst II


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Rings

The opening scene of “Rings” takes place on an airplane, as a young man is gripping his arm rest during a turbulent flight. An attractive young woman sitting next to him tells him not to worry. Instead of thanking her, he suddenly asks her if she’s seen a movie so horrible, “it will kill you…

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Silence

For decades, there were two passion projects Martin Scorsese had been aching to make. His long discussed, bucket list films had been “Gangs of New York,” which he made in 2002, and finally, “Silence.” Harrowing, intelligent and rewarding overall, Scorsese’s “Silence” is a tough sit but unquestionably one of the filmmaker’s greatest films. In the…

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Gold

Based on the 1990’s Bre-X mining scandal, “Gold” stars Matthew McConaughey as Kenny Mills, a boisterous but sloppy businessman. Mills bets everything he has on an Indonesian expedition, which he hopes will secure the site for a gold mine. With the help of a no-nonsense partner (a perfect Edgar Ramirez), Mills presses on, even as…

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Split

The introductory scenes of “Split,” the latest creeper feature from M. Night Shyamalan, are straight out of a nightmare. Imagine you, your best friend and the weird girl (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) from your class have been abducted in broad daylight. You’re being kept prisoner for reasons that aren’t initially made clear and your captor,…

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20th Century Women

In Mike Mills’ comedy “20th Century Women,” Lucas Jade Zumann stars as Jamie, the son of an empowered, free spirited single woman (played by Annette Bening). Jamie and his mother live in a house with a few other misfits, some of whom are young women who act as his surrogate sisters. They create a unique…

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Live By Night

Ben Affleck’s fourth film as a director is an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s 2012 novel “Live By Night,” a Prohibition-era gangster drama. Considering that Affleck’s 2007 directorial debut was the extraordinary “Gone Baby Gone” (also based on a Lehane novel) and that his previous film was the Best Picture winner “Argo,” my expectations were high…

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The Hawaii Film Critics Society 2016 List

It appears the Hawaii Film Critics Society has gone gah-gah for “La La.” Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land,” a romantic update of classical Hollywood musicals, earned six awards from the HFCS, including Best Film and Chazelle for Best Director. “Hell or High Water,” David Mackenzie’s neo-western, won three awards, including Best Overlooked Film, Best Supporting…

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Hawaii Film Critics Society 2016 Nominees List

The Hawaii Film Critics Society has once again cast their votes and nominated a broad range of films for their year’s end list. Damien Chazelle’s beloved, Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone-starring musical “La La Land” led the charge with thirteen nominations, more than any other film (in fact, last year’s most nominated title, “Carol,” only received ten)….

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A Monster Calls

J.A. Bayona’s “A Monster Calls” is based on a YA Novel and depicts a young boy’s relationship with a massive, lumbering monster. Yet, the movie doesn’t play like it sounds and surpasses expectations on multiple levels. Although the novel is familiar to young adults, the story is awfully tough, even wrenching at times and may…

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Hidden Figures

The space race hit its legendary stride in 1962, when John Glen became the first American astronaut to orbit planet Earth. After being one-upped by Russian cosmonauts, NASA got the edge it needed in exploring the cosmos and advancing their space program. What very few people knew was the involvement of three remarkable African-American women…

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