MCN Columnists
Noah Forrest

Frenzy On Column By Noah

Frenzy on the Wall: Who’s the Biggest Star in the World (Right Now)?

William Goldman is one of the greatest screenwriters of all-time, but he was also a fantastic essayist and one of the most insightful minds when it came to writing about films. His collection of essays, The Big Picture, has been read so many times by me that the pages are starting to break free from…

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Frenzy on the Wall: 10 Movies to See This Fall/Winter

I write this column every year. In fact, I write this column three times a year, with the changing of the movie seasons. The interesting thing about writing this particular column at this particular time in this particular year is: 1) this has been such an unfathomably terrible year at the movies that the fall…

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Is Angelina Jolie the First Female Action Hero?

I finally caught up with Salt this weekend and I’m surprised it’s gotten a pass from most of the critical community (61% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes). It’s not that it’s an awful movie, but it’s certainly not a very good one. In fact, it’s a ridiculous and outlandish film that feels twenty minutes too long…

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Scott Pilgrim Vs the World: Less Than Perfect, But That’s Okay

I hate to repeat the beginning of my Inception column, but Scott Pilgrim Vs the World is neither the best nor the worst movie ever. What is it about us as a culture these days? It seems like every film, album, painting, ballet, etc. has to be categorized as either “amazing” or “terrible.” Art runs…

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On Kevin Kline, Todd Solondz, and the Sad Decline of Indie Film

I was thirteen years old in 1996, which I think is the year “indie” film became more of an adjective than a movement. It was the year that “indie” replaced the word “arthouse” — which was odd because many of the successful indie films that followed weren’t independently financed at all. But that year had…

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The Trouble with Defining the Chick Flick as “Stupid”

Are most Hollywood movies made for women “stupid,” or do Hollywood studios in general tend to make movies for both men and women that aren’t aiming for a high intellectual watermark? I was perusing Entertainment Weekly, reading about the upcoming film Eat, Pray, Love when I came across a sub-story about how movies made for…

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Burning Questions

We’re in the middle of the summer movie season and so far everything has been exactly what we would have expected it to be. No movie has been any better or worse than I would have assumed before summer started and I’ve yet to see something that has truly wowed me. There are still about…

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Mid-Year Report Card

The first half of any given year is not a good time to reflect on what movies have been released. This is where I give my usual speech about how ridiculous it is that all the “smart” and “prestigious” films are reserved for after the summer is over; I mean, honestly, what kind of studies…

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Still Cruising After All These Years

I haven’t seen Knight and Day yet and the word on the street has been mixed, but even if it’s terrible I’ll still believe that Tom Cruise is a fantastic and underrated actor. It’s not often that one of the biggest movie stars in the world can be classified as “underrated” because clearly most audiences enjoy his…

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The Talented Actor Inside Casey Affleck

This past week, I sat down to watch Michael Winterbottom’s adaptation of Jim Thompson’s classic pulp noir The Killer Inside Me, hoping for a misunderstood masterpiece. The film had been much maligned for being “misogynistic” and “violent” and when I hear about films that are so divisive and controversial, it usually piques my interest – chances are, if…

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The A-Team: Overkill is Underrated?

“Overkill is underrated.” The above line is spoken to Liam Neeson’s character in the final third of The A-Team, a reboot/reimagining/remake/redo/reinvention/adaptation of the television show. I’m willing to bet that Joe Carnahan, the director of The A-Team, kept that line in the film as a bit of a self-reflexive joke since his film is all about overkill. But it…

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On Vacation

I’m lucky enough to be spending a couple of weeks in Maui, so my movie-watching schedule has been somewhat disrupted so that I can snorkel and tan and all of that. And yes, I’m saying this to make you jealous. But I’m also saying this to let you know that I haven’t gotten a chance…

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Mark Hopkins Director of Living in Emergency

In this podcast, Noah interviews Mark Hopkins, director of the documentary Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors without Borders. They talk about real-life heroes, The Hurt Locker, Apocalypse Now, and the shocking reality of many non-Westerners’ lives. Listen to Noah Forrest Podcast with Mark Hopkins

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Agora: The Great Atheist Film?

Alejandro Amenabar’s excellent Agora opened this past week in limited release and I can’t help but wonder why a film that resembles Gladiator (except smarter and more entertaining) is being dumped by its distributor at the end of May rather than given a wide-release on thousands of screens. I thought the only reason this could be so…

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Sex and the Shallow Depiction of Women

se Sex and the City is one of the great disappointments for me. I’m referring not to the TV show or the movie, but the franchise as a whole – taken as one complete story. Disappointment only comes when there is the promise of something greater and the first few seasons of Sex and the City…

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Ridley Me This: Why Isn’t Sir Scott as Great as You Tell Me He Is?

One of the first few columns that I wrote for Movie City News, way back in 2007, was about Ridley Scott and how I felt he was overrated. I look back at that column now and I can see that I’ve improved as a writer since then, that my points could have been stronger, etc. But I think…

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Why Tetro Is the Best Film You’ll See This Year

That’s a bit of a misleading header, since the film was actually released last year, but it’s still true. I’m betting most of you folks never saw the movie since it was in and out of theaters so quickly, but you’re in luck because it was just released on DVD and Blu-Ray this past Tuesday….

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What to Make of The Human Centipede?

SPOILER ALERT: This column contains spoilers for the movie The Human Centipede. This weekend I saw a horror movie and it wasn’t the needless remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Instead, I decided to flip on my movies on demand and watch The Human Centipede. I’d heard a lot about this film, about how controversial it…

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Date Night: How to Make Funny People Unfunny

Comedy is subjective. What one person finds hilarious might leave someone else cold. So, when people tell me that they think certain comedians or films are funny and I don’t agree, I don’t really see the point in arguing. You will never be able to convince someone of what is funny; you either feel it…

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Kick-Ass or: Geeks Love Geeks

I remember reading about how Kick-Ass blew the roof off the Alamo Drafthouse when it played during Harry Knowles’ birthday party. I grew up reading AICN every day and I still do out of habit, but it’s been a while since I read anything on the site without taking a heavy dose of salt first. And it’s…

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Frenzy On Column

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon