The first and second editions of Complete Idiot's Guide to Bridge by H. Anthony Medley comprised the fastest selling beginning bridge book, going through more than 10 printings. This updated Third Edition includes a detailed Guide to Bids and Responses, along with the most detailed, 12-page Glossary ever published, as well as examples to make learning the game even easier. Click book to order. Available in all bookstores and on Kindle.  


The Neon Demon (0/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 117 minutes.

Not for children.

Intended as a scathing indictment of the fashion world, it’s basically a horror film that includes graphic scenes of perversions like necrophilia and cannibalism. It’s mind-numbingly slow (made slower by slow motion) and stomach-turningly disgusting. Why it’s not rated NC-17 is puzzling.

This monstrosity is directed by Nicholas Winding Refn, who also wrote it along with Mary Laws and Polly Stenham. Refn is responsible for the depraved story. Refn was also responsible for Only God Forbids (2013). The first line of my review of that film, “Even God would find it difficult to forgive this piece of pseudo-stylistic rubbish,” is perfectly applicable here, too.

It takes a sick mind to come up with unregenerate drivel like these and try to palm them off as “entertainments.” Refn says, “With The Neon Demon, I wanted to create a funny, beautiful, violent, sexy, melodramatic, titillating teen horror film, but without the horror.”

Alas, what he produced was a film that is not funny, nor beautiful, nor melodramatic, nor titillating. What he did produce was physical and psychological violence and horror, despite his protestations to the contrary. This is just Only God Forbids in a different package, this time in the guise of teenaged fashion models but with the near-pornographic violence, although not as graphic as in his prior effort. In fact, one could say that he succeeded in producing  a teen horror film, because it is horrible.

Elle Fanning is a mid-teen who has lost her parents so arrives in Los Angeles alone to live in a crummy motel run by Keanu Reeves (who must be in it so Refn could use his name to draw in fans because his character is meaningless and rarely seen). Elle is supposed to be a drop dead beautiful fashion queen, but I don’t see it. She’s attractive but nothing out of the ordinary world of movie stars. Anyway all the other models are jealous of her and the movie descends into chaotic madness, with an ending that is simply unbelievable, but isn’t that true of all horror films?

The movie is one of those that has scene after scene of people thinking, looking, etc. It’s slow and uninvolving, except to hope that it will soon end. It eventually does, but, unfortunately, not soon enough. I wanted to leave early on, and after sitting through the ending I regretted my decision to stay.