Gordon MacMillan comes out of the dark to review a new movie title from
Neon, Emap’s new film magazine launched this month, carries the strap
‘Mainlining movies’. It’s perfect. Neon is less Hollywood gloss, less
Premiere and grittier than the competition. But a small warning: if your
idea of a good film is anything with Meg Ryan in it - in other words, if
you’re not a dedicated film freak - then Neon is not for you.
This is reflected in the look of the magazine - including the grainy
cover and the orange (neon) masthead that gives the whole thing a sort
of late-night look.
It manages to sustain through 116 pages a rather good mix of useless fun
snippets (Pamela Anderson’s favourite Chevy Chase movie is Fletch), news
and a fine bag of features.
The first piece kicks off with the Coen brothers picking their ten
favourite underwear movies and pretty much sets the tone. That’s the
point. You have to at least be interested, see the fun, in a Coen
brothers underwear list (or as Joel Coen says of Twelve Monkeys: ‘For
the plot is underwear’).
And, yes, there are plenty of lists - which is good, as anyone who is
reasonably dedicated to spending their time in dark movie theatres
usually has an interest in lists (or is that just me?).
The cover feature (‘Crack, smack, guns and shopping: wasted, how
Hollywood ate Robert Downey Jnr alive’) gives you an idea of where Neon
is going. That said, the half-dozen features are remarkably even, making
it an excellent read for a debut. Hopefully, this is not entirely down
to the extra amount of time allowed to put the launch issue together.
The consistency test, I guess, comes with the second issue. Here’s
Gordon MacMillan is the Barry Norman of Campaign’s newsdesk
Mark Whelan, a director of ie; [sic], chooses the Littlewoods Pools
centre-spread ad in the December issue of Loaded: ‘So there I was,
flicking through a, er, friend’s copy of Loaded when after a good five
to six seconds I came across the centre spread. ‘Stone me,’ I thought,
‘if it isn’t my mate Stuart’s pneumatic girlfriend.’ I flicked the page
over, wondering who the other pin-up was. ‘Stone me again! It’s, er, a
Littlewoods advert.’ Featuring Joanne Guest wearing only the contents of
two Dulux matchpots and a pair of shorts, it is followed up several
pages later by a similar shot and a stuck-on pools coupon bearing the
rather saucy line: ‘I wish I could keep my draws on for 10 weeks’. It
shows a really good understanding of the reader and of making the most
of the medium. Who says the Pools is boring?’ Media planners/buyers: Tim
Elton and Alan Levy, BBJ Media Services, creative: DMB&B