Elle Fanning, Jena Malone, Christina Hendricks, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee
Nicolas Winding Refn
Following up on the polarizing “Only God Forgives,” director Nicolas Winding Refn has made a movie that’s bound to split audiences just as much as the unconventional revenge thriller starring Ryan Gosling. “The Neon Demon” is a beautiful, hypnotic nightmare that goes to some comical, horrifying and unexpected places – places not all audiences are understandably willing to go.
Jesse (Elle Fanning) has just moved to Los Angeles, but not to be a star like most people. Though the teenage girl’s past is a bit of a mystery, it’s obvious she’s always had to survive on her own. Even when Jesse starts to find some success in the modeling world, she’s still fighting to survive. Being the new girl on the scene and finding success so quickly, she makes enemies with fellow models Gigi (Bella Heathcote) and Sarah (Abbey Lee), who are less taken with young Jessie than their friend, makeup artist Ruby (Jena Malone). For the most part, Jesse is on her own in these cruel environments – whether in an off-putting nightclub, a photo shoot or a crappy motel – and surrounded by even crueler characters that want to devour her beauty.
Upon first viewing, Jesse’s journey doesn’t add up to much. The film, which Refn co-wrote with Marry Laws and Polly Stenham, relies more on atmosphere than plot, but the story isn’t as thin as it initially appears. There is a purpose to every scene and shot in “The Neon Demon,” and they’re always serving Jesse’s story. When a mountain lion trashes the teenager’s room, it seems random at first glance, but it’s a key piece of foreshadowing of what’s to come. Even a sequence that features two of the main characters showering together, which easily could’ve been laughable or gratuitous, reinforces the story Refn is telling – a story about animals.
As I’ve mentioned here about 20,000 times, my approach to Drink of the Week is that these are reasonably quick and easy to make cocktails for the home, not major DIY projects. While I love the companies that send me free drinks and (for the most part) really good cocktails, if a recipe calls for, say, a ginger-asparagus-truffle reduction syrup, I’ll skip it. If it demands that I use freshly ground nutmeg, I’ll very likely just stick with the store-bought pre-ground stuff, thank you very much. In other words, I’m kind of lazy and I think you might be, too!
So, when I saw that today’s recipe called for “fresh lemonade,” my heart sank. The Hornitos Tequila people have been very generous to me, both in terms of freebies and in sending me good-to-superb recipes to share with all of you, and I trust them. Also, I am a big believer in the cocktailian ethos that demands fresh juices as much as possible. (Yes, sour mix is a crime against both God and man. You can quote me on that.) I really wanted to do this recipe right, but I just didn’t feel like making my own lemonade.
I decided to get tough with myself. After all, lemonade is just lemon juice, sugar and water. How hard could it be to simply make a mini-lemonade and add it to the drink? Well, it really wasn’t difficult at all, but all I know is that when I substituted the 1 1/2 ounces of fresh lemonade in today’s recipe with 1/2 ounce of lemon juice, a tablespoon of sugar and an ounce of additional water, the mixed drink that resulted was kind of disappointing. A bit too sweet, perhaps. Way too sweet? Maybe. I’ve never made lemonade before and my poor math skills were not helping in terms of trying to make a very small amount of the stuff based on the many recipes I found online.
If you want to keep your energy costs low and carbon footprint small, consider powering your home with propane. You will be joining over 12 million households who use propane as their fuel source and enjoy the many perks of using this type of energy. Propane is environmentally friendly, it reduces energy costs, and it’s safe and reliable. Propane powers home and water heating systems, cooking units and outdoor appliances. Most people also like that a propane generator takes less than 10 seconds to turn on, while an electric power outage can last hours or sometimes days.
Sometimes, you just have to “bro” for it and let the chips fall where they may. It’s in that spirit that “Chicago P.D.” star Jesse Lee Soffer has teamed up with Harley-Davidson to create a series of pop-up motorcycle shares to give people a chance to check out the new stripped-down, agile Roadster firsthand.
In this video, we spoke with Soffer, aka Mighty Bro Young, about how many hot babes he has picked up on his Harley, playing “Call of Duty” with his bros, and his secret to scoring a date with non-Presidential daughter Sophia Bush.
For less than $7 a day, you can own a new Harley-Davidson Roadster motorcycle, which features a minimalist retro design and modern nimble performance made for urban environments.
Harley’s pop-up motorcycle shares are in Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Portland until May 20th. Everyone else can experience a Roadster at their local dealership. Visit www.h-d.com/roadster for details.
When you need a ride but don’t have a car or don’t want to do your own driving, you have a few options. You could wait a while at a bus stop, or hail a cab, or you could even impose on friends or family to get you where you need to go. But here is a better idea: Use Uber.