The Neon Demon


Viewed – 10 December 2016  Online-rental

I wasn’t the biggest fan of visionary director Nicolas Winding Refn’s last movie, Only God Forgives … a movie whilst stylistically impressive didn’t draw me in at all.  However I do consider the acclaimed Drive a bit of a cult classic.  So on a film-lover’s basis I’ll always give this guy a day in court.  This latest effort is sort of an amalgamation of influences but I suppose most closely resembles Black Swan, swapping the ballet scene for fashion.  Elle Fanning plays a young model newly arrived in Los Angeles and hoping to get discovered.  There she befriends makeup artist Ruby (Jena Malone) and gets a gig working for agency executive Christina Hendricks.  However as her angelic natural beauty starts to catch the eye of several high profile photographers and designers, she attracts the jealously of fellow models.

neon-demon

This is a striking looking movie.  Refn’s eye for beautiful / macabre imagery is perfectly suited to the subject and we get a very artistic, at times freaky but always interesting ‘experience’ that clearly borrows from the likes of David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick and to a heavy extent Dario Argento … with clear nods to Suspiria.  Add to this an equally effective soundtrack with plenty of industrial-electronic beats enhancing the images.  The plot which is fairly simple goes to some very dark, surprising places and has a stand out turn from Fanning who continues to be an actress to watch.  One of my growing faves, Jena Malone is also very good (will she live down ‘that’ scene?).  We also get an appearance from Keanu Reeves as a creepy hotel manager.  A Winding Refn movie is not for everyone I’ll add … he goes to some pretty shocking extremes here and it all gets rather messed up towards the end, as his movies usually do – but here the twist is a little bonkers and left me feeling a bit pushed out of the experience, almost like Refn was trying to shock for sake of shock rather than concluding on something all that effective or convincing.

However as a bold observation of a very superficial industry where youth and beauty are used and thrown away easily – I still found this both disturbing and intriguing … but not quite the sum of its exceptional looking ‘parts’.

Verdict:  3.5 /5

Top Ten Television Crushes


Inspired once again from a post over at The Sporadic Chronicles Of  A Beginner Blogger, thought I’d post what female characters / actresses I’ve crushed on in television… Not quite as easy as my movies list (click!) I’ll admit, but interesting to compile none the less … in no particular order.  Warning… slight spoilers may appear.

Rachel Green in Friends

rachel

A fan favourite but the ‘every guy’s ideal girlfriend’ appeal of Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Rachel’ in the hit sitcom is the basis of why Aniston continues to be one of the most likeable actresses around today.  Her on/off love story with on-screen boyfriend ‘Ross’ was also one of the highlights of the show.

Daphne Millbrook in Heroes

daphne millbrook

Arrogant but spunky, an expert thief who has the ability to run like The Flash but hides the fact she was actually a paraplegic before her ‘powers’ kicked in … so a vulnerable side too.  Played wonderfully by Brea Grant.

Maggie in The Walking Dead

maggie

Tough, very attractive and her often troubled love affair with on-screen husband ‘Glenn’ really makes this show increasingly watchable.  Helps that Lauren Cohen’s a fine actress too, and can handle a machete like a ruthless killer.

Joan Holloway in Mad Men

joan

When I first saw this red haired bombshell, I thought … wow, who is this actress?  Yes her character may be a bitch, but as seasons continued, we did get to see a gentler side, and damn, that face, those lips…I could go on.  Christina Hendricks is what they were talking about when they coined the phrase ‘…and God Created Woman’.

Kate Austin in Lost

kate

Evangeline Lilly’s vulnerable, feisty and sexy performance as the duel love interest of both ‘Jack’ and ‘Sawyer’ really held this complex, often infuriating but non the less enjoyable show together.  Great to also see Lilly now appearing in The Hobbit movies…makes for a wonderfully alluring elf.

Jane in Breaking Bad

Lewis Jacobs/ Still Photographer, 2008

Jessie’s ill-fated girlfriend, the manipulative and sexy Jane as played by the beautiful Kristen Ritter may only have a small appearance in the acclaimed show, but her legacy lingers on throughout.  Also those dangerously seductive lips and eyes…ahem.

Sam in E.R.

sam

Played by Linda Cardellini, this tough talking, single mother may have the ex husband from hell and a troubled son, yet her beauty and vulnerability make her one of this long-running shows best characters.

Buffy in Buffy The Vampire Slayer

buffy

Ok the fan boy in me was tempted to go for Willow, but really this is crushes and Sarah Michelle Geller’s tough, quirky and sexy Buffy summers is the reason this show was such a massive success.

Taylor Townsend in The O.C.

taylor

Played by the gorgeous Autumn Reeser, this character appeared air-headed bimbo but was actually very funny and adorable … helped she was stunning too!  Must be all that Californian sun.

Dr Jennifer Melfi in The Sopranos

Melfi

From the acclaimed mob drama, how could I forget the smouldering sexiness of Dr Melfi, as played by the lovely Lorraine Bracco?  Made for a big part of the TV show, and the on/off sexual chemistry between her and the late James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano was almost unbearable … even if it never went ‘there’ between them…

Have you any favourite TV characters that got you all hot under the collar?  Feel free to post a link if you have a list of your own.