MCN Columnists
Noah Forrest

Frenzy On Column By Noah ForrestForrest@moviecitynews.com

Frenzy on the Wall: If I Had a Ballot 2011

I’m going to give my picks for the Oscars in the major awards, as if I had an actual ballot. Since the Academy cannot be trusted to make the right decisions and will probably make the safe choice whenever possible, it’s fun to give my perspective. Needless to say, I don’t see the Academy sending me a ballot anytime soon.

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Frenzy on the Wall: Downsized and Dispirited, The Company Men Still Has Feeling

The Company Men is a satisfying film, but not an altogether successful one. However, I’m inclined to give it a pass for a lot of its faults because its cause is such a noble one. The film will serve as a time-capsule for future generations to be able to look back and pinpoint this particular…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Somewhere Goes Nowhere

I consider myself a fan of Sofia Coppola. I think her first two films – The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation – are up there with any other filmmaker’s first two movies. These films showed a fascinating insight into the minds of both males and females, young and old; these were movies about lost…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Looking Forward to a New (Hopefully Better) Year

2010 was not my favorite year at the movies. There were certainly films that I enjoyed and ones that I expect to own and revisit more than a few times, but there wasn’t a single film that made me shudder or give me goosebumps or to even make me gasp aloud. In other words, while…

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Frenzy on the Wall: 2010 Top Ten

2010 has not been a great year for movies. I think the films that are on this list are superior works of cinematic art, but I think that I saw more mediocre and middling fair than ever before. Is it that the actual quality of the films this year wasn’t as good as the past…

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Frenzy on the Wall: No Country For The Coens’ True Grit Remake

True Grit is undeniably brilliant, but I didn’t love it. It’s a very good movie, better than most things you’ve seen this year and completely worthy of your time and money. But considering the talent in front of the camera and behind it, considering the themes on display and the moments of genius that burst…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Black Swan

In the few days that have passed since my initial viewing of Black Swan – with an absolutely packed house in Union Square that audibly gasped and laughed like any other horror film – it has grown in my estimation. I have only seen two masterpieces of cinema in 2010, with two weeks to go, and Black Swan is one of them.

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Frenzy on the Wall: All Good Things Is Almost a Great Thing

Capturing the Friedmans was a monumental movie experience for me, because the documentary focused on a fascinating case that just so happened to have occurred in my hometown. I can’t tell you what an oddly transporting experience it was to see streets and houses that I passed by every day, given new meaning because of…

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Frenzy on the Wall: How to Fix the Oscars

I am an unabashed fan of the Academy Awards. I have watched every telecast since I was a young boy and I still anticipate Oscar Day as much as I always have. Historically, I have never really been a fan of the choices the Academy has made, but I still see the show itself as…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Anne Hathaway is a Great Actress … Right?

“Anne Hathaway is a great actress.” “Is she, though?” Both speakers in that conversation are me. This was the dialogue I was having with myself as I watched Hathaway on Saturday Night Live this past weekend. She was so effortlessly charismatic, her timing excellent, and her presence inviting. Whether she was playing a hillbilly waiting…

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Frenzy on the Wall: How About Some Awards Buzz for These Guys?

Every year around this time, the award-season storylines begin to take shape. You see, like in politics, it’s not always the best candidate or film that gets awarded, it’s usually the one with the best publicity, the best “story.” When Best Picture actually goes to the best film, all it means is that the best…

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Frenzy on the Wall: The Unstoppable Mr. Washington

I’m going to check out Unstoppable this weekend because it looks like dumb fun and I actually find Tony Scott to be a much more entertaining filmmaker than his brother, but sadly, seeing the latest Denzel Washington film isn’t exactly a draw for me any longer. I used to believe Washington was like a modern…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Where’s the Geek Love for Monsters?

The way the film geek crowd ate up District 9 last year, you might expect Monsters, another indie entry in the “aliens among us” genre, to be garnering similar geek buzzing this year, but it’s not. Monsters is not a perfect film, but I was kind of blown away by it, and I think it’s…

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Frenzy on the Wall: I’m Not Scared of Slamming Doors

I can’t understand why anyone would stay in these situations. I mean, why wouldn’t you move out of this house? I understand there are real-world difficulties to maneuver, like mortgages and such, but if there is an entity in my house that is threatening my family, I think I’ll just put the house on the market and move to a hotel for a few months.

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Frenzy on the Wall: Everything Old is Old Again

I had no interest in seeing The Expendables this summer. I loved ’80s action movies as much as the next person; hell, I grew up watching movies like Commando over and over again. Even now, if I catch an old Schwarzenegger or Stallone flick on cable, I find I still have a sentimental attachment to…

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Frenzy on the Wall: A Sad State of Affairs

Let me start by saying that I didn’t see Life as We Know It because I’ve already seen it. Chances are you’ve seen it too. Based on the premise and the trailer, I’m fairly confident that I could predict every beat in that film. Not only do I know everything that will happen in it,…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Is The Social Network Fincher’s Best Film?

The Social Network is the best film of the year so far and we’ve got three more months to go, but I feel it’s safe to say that it’ll be somewhere near the top of my ten best list in December. However, where does it rank with other Fincher films? That’s what I’ve been debating ever since I walked out of the movie and I’ve been wrestling with it all weekend.

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Frenzy on the Wall: James Franco is … Okay

I’m mystified by the accolades that have been heaped upon James Franco over the last few years.  That’s not to say that I don’t think he’s a solid and talented actor because he surely is, but I’m not seeing the “genius” of his performances that others are seeing.  It’s especially odd that he’s held in…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Surprise! Oliver Stone is Chasing Controversy

When I was a young film fan, Oliver Stone was one of my favorite filmmakers. I watched films like Platoon, JFK, Wall Street, and Natural Born Killers during my days in junior high. Later on, films like Salvador, Born on the Fourth of July, Talk Radio, and The Doors were often in my rotation of…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Robert Rodriguez – Exactly What We Thought He Was

It seems that with every new Robert Rodriguez film folks talk about how he wasted all the promise that was evident in El Mariachi. To which I say, “huh?” The film shows a lot of ingenuity – in the sense that he made it for so little money – but not a whole lot of originality. The fact that he basically re-made that film two times says a lot about the kind of filmmaker that he is, too.

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“I was 15 when I first watched Sally Hardesty escape into the back of a pickup truck, covered in blood and cackling like a goddamn witch. All of her friends were dead. She had been kidnapped, tortured and even forced to feed her own blood to her cannibalistic captors’ impossibly shriveled patriarch. Being new to the horror genre, I was sure she was going to die. It had been a few months since I survived a violent sexual assault, where I subsequently ran from my assailant, tripped, fell and fought like hell. I crawled home with bloody knees, makeup-stained cheeks and a new void in both my mind and heart. My sense of safety, my ability to trust others, my willingness to form new relationships and my love of spending time with people I cared about were all taken from me. It wasn’t until I found the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre that something clicked. It was Sally’s strength, and her resilience. It was watching her survive blows to the head from a hammer. It was watching her break free from her bonds and burst through a glass window. It was watching her get back up after she’d been stabbed. It was watching her crawl into the back of a truck, laughing as it drove away from Leatherface. She was the last one to confront the killer, and live. I remember sitting in front of the TV and thinking, There I am. That’s me.”
~ Lauren Milici On “The Final Girl”

“‘Thriller’ enforced its own reality principle; it was there, part of the every commute, a serenade to every errand, a referent to every purchase, a fact of every life. You didn’t have to like it, you only had to acknowledge it. By July 6, 1984, when the Jacksons played the first show of their ‘Victory’ tour, in Kansas City, Missouri, Jacksonism had produced a system of commodification so complete that whatever and whoever was admitted to it instantly became a new commodity. People were no longer comsuming commodities as such things are conventionally understood (records, videos, posters, books, magazines, key rings, earrings necklaces pins buttons wigs voice-altering devices Pepsis t-shirts underwear hats scarves gloves jackets – and why were there no jeans called Bille Jeans?); they were consuming their own gestures of consumption. That is, they were consuming not a Tayloristic Michael Jackson, or any licensed facsimile, but themselves. Riding a Mobius strip of pure capitalism, that was the transubstantiation.”
~ Greil Marcus On Michael Jackson