The Canyons Blu-ray Review

Actors: Lindsay Lohan, James Deen, Nolan Funk, Amanda Brooks, Tenille Houston
  • Director: Paul Schrader
  • Writers: Bret Easton Ellis
  • Producers: Braxton Pope
  • Format: Blu-ray, Director's Cut, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • Release Date: November 26, 2013
  • Run Time: 100 minutes



            I enjoyed the article about the making of this film far more than I did the movie itself. It isn’t as bad as you might imagine, but it also isn’t good. It isn’t even as shocking as it may have you believe, other than Paul Schrader's willingness to show a semi-erect penis in the background. Lindsay Lohan shows nothing more than you would expect to see in her Playboy shoot, appearing more desperate than sexy in the role of Tara. Basically, this movie is just a waste of time which has garnered a small amount of attention due to casting choices, none of which are actually interesting in the actual film itself. We were all interested in the fact that Lindsay Lohan was doing this movie out of the same curiosity that drives motorists to leer at a bad car crash, but in the end The Canyons feels like sitting through two hours of traffic only to find a stalled car blocking the path.


            Author and screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho, The Rules of Attraction) joined forces with Paul Schrader (writer of Taxi Driver and director of American Gigolo) to create this modern day attempt at campy cult classic. Nobody wanted to finance the film, so they made it themselves by selling things and scraping together just enough money to make this look a little better than soft-core porn. Lohan’s horrid reputation made her suitable only co-starring with a real-life porn star. James Deen is truly the star of the film, though that is not necessarily a compliment as much as it is a fact. He plays Christian, a manipulative movie producer who discovers his girlfriend once had a relationship with the leading actor of his upcoming project.


            Though this is a Hollywood film about the casting and preparing of a film, we only see discussions over dinner. There are no office meetings and much of the storyline is completely unconcerned with the business aspects of movie making. Instead we get a lot of bedroom scenes and pillow talk, none of which is as titillating as Schrader would have you believe. It all becomes tiresome and predictable after awhile, leading to unlikely situations filmed in budget-saving ways.


            The Blu-ray release includes a group of ‘Creating The Canyons’ featurettes, along with the theatrical trailer. The biggest problem with the high definition release of this film is the fact that it only enhances the flaws in the filmmaking. The unrated director’s cut also does little to improve this dull disaster.


    Entertainment Value: 4/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 2/10

    Historical Significance: 7/10

    Disc Features: 5/10



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