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the neon demon
Feb 20

The Neon Demon is Visually Stunning, But its Beauty is Skin Deep

By Kelly Wilson

Elle Fanning in a scene from ‘The Neon Demon.’

Image: the neon demon

The Neon Demon is a spectacularly beautiful and superficial movie about absolutely nothing.

On the surface, which is all there really is, its about a delicate teenager named Jesse (a pure-hearted Elle Fanning) who moves to Los Angeles to become a model. Once there, she happens into a frenemy-ship with a smirky makeup artist named Ruby (Jena Malone) and her model friends Sarah (Abbey Lee) and Gigi (Bella Heathcote).

As Jesse rises in the fashion world, Ruby and her beautiful cohorts slowly realize her success could spell their demise.

Nicolas Winding Refns (Drive, Only God Forgives) crime here is not making a bad movie. Its directing a beautiful movie with an extremely lackluster screenplay … which he co-wrote, alongside Mary Laws and Polly Stenham.

For nearly two hours, the film is visually stunning, but deeply purposeless. Bizarre twists have very little payoff, and lines meant to be wry and sexy come off charmless and cloying, particularly when every main character is a fashion plate attempting to be all California cool and nonchalant.

Thankfully, you can save yourself from caring about the dialogue to strictly focus on the visual spectacle. Every scene looks brilliant, creatively designed like a moving, intensely stylized fashion editorial. The clothes are gorgeous, the makeup inventive. Even settings like a cheap motel imbue a kitschy chic dreaminess, a perfect backdrop for beautiful Jesse to saunter about in gauzy little dresses.

Winding Refn also pushes for hyper-colored ethereal effects, mixing in glitchy, surrealist scenes that are a trippy feast for the eyes, paired with a brilliant score by Cliff Martinez. There’s a touch of Under the Skineeriness and horror, but Demonlacks the complexity of the creepily gorgeous Scarlett Johansson art film.

Speaking of other movies Demon resembles, there are elements reminiscent of campier fare like The Craft or Jawbreaker, but without any of the fun or personality.Demon magines itself a more serious picture, which drains it of any potential playfulness, something it could have used for its lackluster plot points.

“The story-line was so secondary that the ending was literally thought up on the set.”

The story-line was so secondary that the ending was allegedly thought up on the set.”If any of the crew has suggestions, let us know!” Fanning reportedly said. That won’t be surprising to anyone who sits through the whole thing.

Young Jesse quickly rises through the modeling ranks, with the help of amateur photographer Dean (Karl Glusman) and a modeling connection thanks to super agent Jan, played by Christina Hendricks. Speaking of, Hendricks’ role is like an iStock photo of a Shallow Modeling Agent, predictably scripted and unworthy of her talents.

Also hey, Keanu Reeves is in this movie, playing sleazy motel owner Hank, which is such random, but fun casting. Reeves seems to relish this opportunity to go full dirt bag, but his screen time is limited.

Fanning plays the part of the wide-eyed ingenue well, but the character doesn’t have enough personality to keep you completely engrossed. There’s nothing interesting about Jesse except that she’s pretty, and somehow spectacularly more pretty than extremely pretty humans Gigi and Sarah (by the way, Lee and Heathcoate are both pretty delightful in these supporting roles). It’s just assumed that Jesse has that It factor, or as Ruby so eloquently explains it:She has that thing.

That! Thing!

Additionally, there’s an absurd level of fawning over three blonde, blue-eyed women, an obsession with European beauty standards (reflective of the current fashion industry, certainly) that will bore you to tears and have you praying for even the slightest touch of melanin. Of course, that never arrives.

The pace picks up once Gigi, Sarah and Ruby get frustrated with Jesse’s quick success. Suddenly she is Natalie Portman and they are all bitter Winona Ryders hellbent on destroying this youthful queen bee. She’s Robin Tunney and they’re just a bunch of evil Fairuza Balks!

Sigh. Unfortunately, Neon Demonisn’t as winning as either of those films. All of its charm and beauty is skin deep.

Image: mashable composite

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Read more:

Deep rejuvenating sleep is crucial for your health.

The only method for your human brain to detoxify by way of sleep. Crucial hormones
like melatonin and the growth hormone are produced within your sleep cycle. This
improves your mental, physical and emotional state.

















Jun 27

6 Paths Your World Changes Once You Begrudgingly Enter Your 30s

By Kelly Wilson

Do you remember “the good old days?”

It was the time in life when everyone was carefree and nothing really mattered. But, getting older happens
to all of us, no matter how hard we try to avoid it.

Like a rite of passage we didn’t necessarily sign up for, that pivotal transition from a 20-something to a
30-something sometimes feels more like a punch in the gut.

You go from having a killer social life and an incredible metabolism to working for the man. For many people,
life changes drastically. Butas a 30-something, the most important thing I’ve learned is to laugh at yourself.

Here are a few hilarities you can look forward to:

1. Coffee Habits

20s: The 20’s version of “I need coffee” is cute, really.

“Gosh, I’m so sleepy, and its just past lunch. I think I want a Starbucks.”

I liked to change it up by adding flavors, sweeteners and creams.

It wasn’t a requirement.

I considered coffee a 4 pm treat to top off the day. Ain’t that sweet?

30s: Once the morning punches you in the face, its like an IV bag of coffee is needed.

Its not a fun little treat anymore.

Those mornings I don’t have coffee, I am desperately searching my cabinets for just one little K-cup.

Maybe one rolled away, or maybe I still have that crappy starter box with all the different varieties I never wanted in the first place.

I still enjoy switching up creamers once in a while, but that’s also just child’s play.

I will take it strong and black if I have to.

Mmm, coffee.

2. Gym Routines

20s: Lets face it: We went to the gym in our cutest, tightest pants, and we had ulterior motives.

What a great place to look for dudes.

I mean, if he was into fitness, he just had to be a good catch, right?

Which guy with broad shoulders and a good sweat going wouldn’t be the soulfully intelligent man of my dreams?

So, we met our gal pals at 8 pm and worked real hard on that StairMaster.

Never mind the sidelong glances across the room to the free weights area.

30s: Gym? Who the hell has time to go to the gym?

I finally purchased a treadmill last year, just so I can run on the hamster wheel at home.

I walk in from work at 5 pm, and I have absolutely no desire to interact with any more members of the free world for the day.

Convenience trumps cute outfits.

Through the trial and error of our younger days, we figure out not all gym rats can recite Shakespeare or hold a conversation.

So, I run at home or pop in a home video.

You mean there’s a 25-minute video in existence that’s going to give me the same bod I used to work three hours on? Sold.

Minutes later, I am wiping the liquid awesome off the floor and high-fiving Shaun T. through my TV.

Not only did he kick my ass, but Ive also got dinner done in the crock pot in the next room.


3. Hangovers

20s: They were a badge of honor, remember?

You walked in to a Friday morning lecture with a ball cap and sunglasses on.

At least one friend would high-five you on the way to your seat.

You had another amazing Thirsty Thursday, and you really didn’t feel that bad.

You just had a slight headache and were a little thirsty.

It was all totally worth it because you rocked it with your gal pals until 2 am.

30s: Hangovers become a scarlet letter.

How flipping embarrassing. What the heck just happened?

Why do I feel like a train has run over my face?

I am nauseated, my head is pounding and its going to take three days to recover.

Never again.

4. Skin Care

20s: Some of us thought tanning was a good idea.

The darker the tan, the thinner the thighs, right?

We all drank that Kool-Aid at some point, and we hit the ultraviolet rays one too many times.

“I just need a little pre-tan so I don’t burn on spring break. It keeps my skin from breaking out!”

30s: I am wondering why no one told me I looked like a Dorito with super white teeth back then.

Not to mention, why did no one warn me about all the harmful effects?

I don’t tan anymore for lots of reasons. But really, shouldn’t cancer be enough of one?

Not only do I not tan, but I also spend a small fortune on skincare to reverse those super awesome signs of aging.

We go from being 22 and buying monthly bronze goddess packages to being 33 and spending a weeks pay on top-of-the-line beauty products that claim to make me look 10 years younger, minus the tan.

Oh, the irony.

5 – 9 pm

20s: This was the witching hour.

Meet your girls for dinner, load up on something carby to negate the effects of too much alcohol and then, party.

30s: Carbs are now the devil. I get excited for 9 pm for a different reason.

The house is quiet. I can put on my ugliest, fuzzy pants and hit the sack.

Huzzah. Its like winning the 30-something lottery every night.

6. Friends

20s: You had tons of them. There were 500 people in your cell phone contacts, and they were all good people you’d meet for lunch or a movie any time.

You saw them a lot, too. Everybody hung out at the same haunts.

You ate together in the commons between classes. You were meeting new people all the time.

The more the merrier was your motto.

30s: Who has time to make friends? Unless they’re longtime BFFs, the only new people you meet are at work.

You’re down to three, and they all have nicknames that pop up on your contacts list that are related to some inside joke.

It’s quality versus quantity.

Nowadays, free time is the most important form of currency you possess.

You don’t want to waste it on people who are not “your people.

Adulting is hard.

We eventually have to come to terms with the fact every decade ends.

Every bit of fun you had in your 20s will soon be a memory.

More importantly, though, when the battle cry sounds and you are forced to cross the picket line into that third decade, remember to take all of your crazy, fun-loving personality with you.

Everything we do in this life is a choice.

We can either choose to laugh at ourselves and be happy, or we can choose to take everything too seriously.

I choose to enjoy the now and to look back on the good times with a smirk and an eyebrow raise.

Would you do it all over again?

Hell yes, you would.

Read more:

If You Are Experiencing Undesired Results

In Any Aspect Of Your Life (No Matter How
Hard You Try) Chances Are It’s Because Your
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