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The Canyons (Unrated Director's Cut) [Blu-ray]

2.8 out of 5 stars 184 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

While calculating young movie producer Christian (Deen) makes films to keep his trust fund intact, his actress girlfriend, Tara (Lohan), hides an affair with an actor from her past. But Christian becomes aware of her infidelity, which leads the young Angelenos into a violent, sexually-charged tour through the dark side of human nature.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lindsay Lohan, James Deen, Nolan Funk, Amanda Brooks, Tenille Houston
  • Directors: Paul Schrader
  • Writers: Bret Easton Ellis
  • Producers: Braxton Pope
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Director's Cut, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: November 26, 2013
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00EMAGK1W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,268 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
The movie pretends to portray the life of an aspiring model in LA that finds that is not always easy to make it in Hollywood. It starts OK, tries to develop a story with a somewhat complex love triangle. From there though, it goes down really quick, never gets to a point that makes sense, the characters individual stories are never fully explained and the few images that could attract some of the viewers leave you with more questions than answers. I would not call it soft porn since it does not make it that far, even though some scenes are close, but an attempt to tease the viewers that gets lost in the camera movement and angles. Of course the acting is second class, even Lindsay that is the more experienced actress in the movie (and that is saying something) more often than not looks like she is trying too hard. Some of the dialogues are vague and empty and leave you wondering why in the world that scene was even there. Overall, I would not recommend it but if you like independent noir type films; then you can probably find some parts that you like in this movie.
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With Paul Schrader directing, Brett Easton Ellis penning the screenplay, Lindsay Lohan starring and porn stud James Deen as the leading man, the erotic thriller "The Canyons" seemed like a dicey proposition from the outset. With the exception of Deen, the careers of the others have certainly seen better days; "The Canyons" is unlikely to herald a reversal of fortune for anyone involved. Like a dessicated amalgam of its creators greatest hits--think Schrader's "American Gigolo"/"The Comfort of Strangers"/"Auto Focus" meets Ellis' "American Psycho"/"Rules of Attraction"/"Less Than Zero"--"The Canyons" feels redundant and oddly unsexy. Neither erotic nor a thriller, the film could have been much better in the hands of someone like Brian de Palma, who usually excels at this type of campy, melodramatic trash (except for his unfortunate remake of Alain Corneau's "Love Crime"). To be sure, "The Canyons" would have been a better film, had Schrader and Ellis infused it with even the slightest grain of humor, but they spin their dark take with a deadly earnestness that robs the film of any trace of suspense or pleasure. In the past, Ellis has evinced a snarky, gleefully twisted sense of malice that enlivened even the sketchiest projects but in "The Canyons", it's hard to believe that he actually wrote anything other than a very basic outline of the plot. Certainly, the dialogue is such that the actors often seem to be winging it, ad libbing and spouting scripted bits on the fly. (The atrocious dialogue and barely-there script notwithstanding, Ellis probably still would have made a better director for this material than Schrader).

The acting is not as terrible as I expected it to be.
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Interesting ideas, but the writing and acting were sub-standard. Difficult to say whether it was the acting weighing down the writing, or the gravitation field created by the combination of the two that caused the movie to implode.

The makers deserve credit for making this happen outside the studio system with Kickstarter funding, but the quality of the effort has somehow under performed even its $250,000 budget.

The idea of a "post-theatrical" movie is intriguing, but this production made the idea feel like the makers view the future of film closer to pornography than art, and perhaps considering those involved, that was the statement they were attempting to make.
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After the terrible reviews, I was surprised how wonderful this film is. I suspect it has something to do with haters of Lindsay Lohan. She was very good and believable as a young, beautiful woman willing to sell her body ( and thus her spirit) to a man who will 'provide' for her--allow her to live in wealth. She considers working an ordinary, low paying job as hell. The wealthy young man she is living with, Christian, is a sociopath. A hollow man if there ever was one. It's a believable story of the depths people will go to make it in Hollywood, even if 'making it' is a low level producer or actor. The director, Paul Schrader, knows this LA landscape and terrain well, drawing a richly layered yet claustrophobic world. The despicable Christian, the wealthy, gorgeous sociopath, is a realistic Patrick Bateman (Main character of American Psycho). If you liked that film, you should appreciate this one. And Bret Easton Ellis, who wrote the novel American Psycho was the screenwriter for The Canyons.
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Format: DVD
So, this film is an intriguing cocktail - a great writer (Bret Easton Ellis), on-off train wreck Lindsay Lohan, an esteemed director in the form of Paul Schrader and adult movie star du jour, James Deen. I'd read a detailed article by a writer who was on-set during the making of the movie, which seemed like a tenuous affair, on account of Lohan's unpredictability. Would it/wouldn't it end up getting made? The behind-the-scenes drama ought to be a movie in its own rights if that account is accurate! Obviously Lohan managed to show up (if not always on time), and the film did get finished. The end result is both better than I expected and, in other ways, not as good as I'd expected. So, the 'not as good' - I'd expected it to be far edgier and sexier, on account of the fact Deen was in it (and they also cast other adult stars who'd feel comfortable with nudity). To my mind though, apart from a couple of full-frontals, the film itself wasn't that risque (especially when you consider Lohan's and Deen's characters were fond of threesomes). I'm not quite sure why Deen needed to be cast in the role of Christian - I'd expected more sexual edginess by pure virtue of the fact he was. That's not to say I watched this film because I thought it was going to be akin to soft porn (if you want to see Deen in action, you don't have to watch The Canyons for that) - however, I'd expected it to be rawer in that respect. I'd also expected the film to be darker (after all American Psycho (the novel) was wonderfully dark, yet also amusing). It feels that the movie stopped short of being all it could be.

On the other hand, having read a lot of negative reviews, it's better than some are making out. It's a solid three stars. James Deen was incredibly good in the role - he can act.
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