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Plot: When Christian, an LA trust-fund kid with casual ties to Hollywood, learns of a secret affair between Tara and the lead of his film project, Ryan, he spirals out of control, and his cruel mind games escalate into an act of bloody violence. Runtime: 99 mins Release Date: 01 Aug 2013
This movie was really a one of a kind. It was amazing from start to finish and is very engaging. The characters aren't overly interesting but they don't have to be. All of the actors, especially Lindsay Lohan, are very very good, especially Lindsay. It's the kind of movie you either hate or love but you really need to see it and judge it yourself, as the reviews are all very opposite of each other. If you have an appreciation of indie/artist films then you will most likely like this film. Some of the camera shots are beautiful and although the script isn't top notch it is <more>
still good enough that you don't think "what are they even talking about right now?" I don't recommend it to people with high morals in regards to nudity as it can be quite shocking at times, but overall this is an amazing film.
Why psycho analyze it? It ruins all the fun (by Dan919-755-712633)
All the negative reviews i've been seeing for this movie sounds like the rater didn't even watch it. I saw it VOD because I wanted to see what all the hype was about and truth be told, I'm totally rooting for Lindsay's comeback. I actually enjoyed one of her last movies - I Know Who Killed Me - and thought The Canyons was OK. Lindsay was obviously the best thing happening in it. James Deen made me laugh every time he spoke... He sounded like a "Californian" from the SNL skit. That other couple was completely dumb, so I guess the actors must've hit it out of the <more>
park. In the end - I liked it and am 110% happy I spent the $8 to see it opening VOD yesterday. I think it will become a cult classic.
Paul Schrader's "The Canyons" plays out as a cautionary tale of producers & actors ambitions gone awry. Porn star James Deen is Christian, an obsessed film executive producer. Performed with much dedication and delight, he is definitely a talent to watch as his presence lights up the screen with a dual vitality of charm amongst the midst of darkness in this sordid story of manipulation, vengeance and greed. When Tara, Lindsay Lohan, crawls her way to a better life via wealthy Christian, she also finds a way to carry along her long time love interest Ryan, Nolan Funk, only to <more>
realize that in life and relationships alike, everything comes at a price. Sex is used as the main tool to enact corrective enforcement from Christian as well as Tara. Using this same device, struggling actor Ryan realizes that he must go above and beyond the call of duty if he's to save his principal role in Christian's film. What is to be determined by the protagonists who engage in very sultry situations, is how far they are willing to go to pay for the price of personal and career fulfillment.Everyone has an agenda in this movie. some with plans more evident than others, and when actions don't align the consequences can be severe. A much publicized foursome including LiLo & James Deen and another couple they invite into their bedroom smartly creates a table turning set up that will ultimately plunged the tug of war between the two protagonist Tara & Christian into a surreal, albeit conflicted ending. Actor James Deen beautifully carries the film with a dark charming eloquence as he smoothly enables his obsessive plans into action inconspicuously through anyone surrounding Tara who can be bought or swayed by any means necessary. There are minor technical flaws with sound and focus which by no means are a deterrent to the story Schrader wants to tell. It only becomes a reminder of the limited resources used to bring this independent visions to fruition. Performances from the cast is somewhere between dead serious to campy. This interesting range, some may find it distracting from the story, others may welcome it as an additional oddity within the assaulting feeling of doom and gloom that permeates the picture. The beginning of the film smartly defines the setting and much of the tone of the characters by showcasing once vibrant movie theatres now sadly abandoned defunct venues. This is an allegory that may very well parallel the unforgiving ways of Hollywood and how if left unchecked, unscrupulous cunningness with a bulldozing determination can decay beauty & innocence. That is the case with Tara & Ryan. In a business where the main commodity is the human trade of talent, "The Canyons" does succeed in demonstrating a microcosm of real personalities as they struggle to find their voice in a sometimes all consuming illusionary reality created by Hollywood and the ever revolving doors this dream machine creates.review from Entertainment Film News
Great movie, typical Ellis - detached and cruel (by chenthom)
I think that a lot of the criticism of "The Canyons" is missing the point. All of Ellis' stories have a detached quality in them which makes them hard for audiences to relate to, especially on screen. They seem "unreal".A constant theme in Ellis' work is the existential "ennui", the boredom and emptiness of life, the absence of deeper meaning. His main characters feel that something is missing, but they can't pinpoint what it is. As an audience, we know what they are missing - connection with themselves and others, and genuine emotion. This is why <more>
there is so much disconnect between the protagonists and the viewers.It may be that the choice of Hollywood as a backdrop for this display of existential emptiness is an unlucky one because few people can relate to wealthy Hollywood life on a personal level.However, I applaud the filmmakers for at least having the guts to try. The people in this movie are all choosing materialism over personal connection, and mechanical sex instead of intimacy, an orgasm is for them a reflex just like sneezing. Neither money, sex, nor social status provide happiness for those who get it in abundance; only those who don't have it in abundance think they will bring happiness. The values that popular culture upholds are devoid of value.In addition, I think James Deen does a perfect job playing a narcissistic, controlling, emotionally empty vessel on the verge of snapping, and Lindsay Lohan this is her first movie I've seen, and given the bad press, I'm positively surprised does a great job playing a woman despairing from choosing hell in physical luxury, while starving emotionally.
Paul Shrader's THE CANYONS is actually a pretty good film! (by Dawn_Assayas)
It's the year of rutting apparently. Big name acclaimed directors are making B films - Refn's Only God Forgives and Shrader's The Canyons but the works are alive with cinematic life.Let's not be snooty about the specifics of how a film was made or who is in it or who made it. If any of that influences your opinion, it is prejudice. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and watch the film and then form your opinion.The script by noted misanthropist Bret Easton Ellis is actually pretty good as it lays out a web of lies and deceit that swirl amongst its compact and well <more>
defined set of characters. All are extremely vapid and soulless, all of these people have sold their souls, they are the so called "Hollywood" people that this film wanted to satirize and the film at least successfully nails the inhumanity or the disconnection that can entrenched in people when they suffer from ennui. Think Michangelo's L'Avventura but without a PHD degree.At the center of this web, we have a genuinely sympathetic turn by Lindsay Lohan who gives a strong performance as a lost soul who at least had a shred of decency that the other characters lacked.James Deen, the porn star, is actually used for his acting and delivers a dead eyes performance not unlike that of Christian Bale in American Psycho. He's another one of Ellis grade A psychos.Perhaps surprisingly, another lead emerges in the film in the form of Nolan Funk who also gives a good performance as the other lost soul caught in this unwilling game of cat and mouse.The direction is strong and the film is indeed well shot and credibly performed. There is a looseness about the enterprise that befits the picture and I am sure is entirely intentional. There is almost a reluctance in the film-making for tightness or neatness and perhaps a rigorous embrace of casualness that some people might mistake for amateurish film-making.A tight and perhaps what is called an A picture could be made out of this - it would have higher production values and a bigger name cast, but that would be besides the point - THAT would have been ordinary. In its current form is the film truly what it wants to be, a completely non precious portrayal of an industry and culture in the grip of vapidity and mental shutdown.The resolution of the script didn't quite please me but as the film stands, the film is competently made and absolutely worth your time.
Better than expected! (by gladiator2201-755-90519)
The Canyons is an engrossing soap opera-esque film. Director effectively captures the seedy atmosphere of Hollywood fringe players. All four leads give decent somewhat uneven performances, with Lohan and Deen showing flashes of higher ability. There are some tense scenes of man on man action to keep things interesting. Sex scenes are not played for eroticism, but rather as chilled, impersonal interactions and playing fields of psycho-sexual mind games. The memorable, menacing electronic score sets a fine pace for the story to unfold. I wouldn't call this a comeback for Lohan, but <more>
it's definitely a big step in the right direction towards legitimacy. My only minor complaint would be the sound of her voice when she's crying.. her off-putting, asthmatic squeals do her no favors. I went in expecting a total mess of a film and walked away feeling satisfied and impressed.
Looking into the mirror, Looking into the lens (by mymainman2685)
Bret Easton Ellis is probably the most misunderstood author in the United States. His characters are often described as flat and uninspiring. Their story lines are described in much the same way. And yet, he still remains the same writer, as Norman Mailer described with the 1991 release of American Psycho, that 'shows older authors where the hands on the clock come to.' The Canyons is no exception. Ellis is the screenwriter for the film alongside longtime writer/director Paul Schrader Taxi Driver, Affliction . After viewing the film, I was surprised to see it was almost universally <more>
panned. But it didn't take long for me to remember the history of Ellis and his critics. Evidently, the deliberate work of Schrader was still not enough to help them see the hands on the clock.The film's plot involves the relationship between two couples living in Hollywood. One couple is made up of the boyish, aspiring actor Ryan Nolan Funk and his dedicated girlfriend Gina Amanda Brooks . The other are the subversive, mover-and-shaker Christian James Deen and his masochistic girlfriend Tara Lindsey Lohan . Gina knows Christian and pulls some strings to help Ryan get a role in a low-budget horror film. Right off the bat, it is made clear who is corrupt and who has maintained some level of innocence. The line drawn between these two qualities isn't as bold as the film continues.The film was shot well and the acting was fittingly detached. Schrader is known for being psychologically penetrating and, contrary to many other critics, I believe he shines in his direction here. The mistake commonly made when viewing or reading the work of Ellis is to expect his character's intricacies to be spoon fed to you. Much is implied in the dynamics of their interaction. Their unrelenting one-dimensionality is what makes them compelling. Why do they care so much about material gain and power, in spite of the extreme pain it causes them? Or better yet, why do we? The answer is in the mirror. This is the territory Ellis's characters enter. And it is a place where, if we look closely, we might see what time it is, if we don't cringe and automatically dismiss its relevance in the wake of our confusion.
Underrated Schrader, with an excellent performance by Lohan (by tieman64)
"The audience is now fully interactive. Unfortunately, the spectacle is a corpse; a surgeon operating on his own brain whilst filming and watching it on his own phone." - Dean Cavanagh Paul Schrader directs "The Canyons". Based on a screenplay by Bret Easton Ellis, the film was mauled by critics. Reminiscent of the director's own "American Gigolo", "Light Sleeper" and "The Walker", it remains one of Schrader's better films.In 2006, Schrader wrote that the "human narrative as we know it will end" and that "art's <more>
seeming demise is not a sign of creative bankruptcy but the twinkling of changes to come." "Canyons" is itself concerned with demises and changes. It opens with shots of decaying cinemas and crumbling theatre houses, communal spaces which once preserved old fashioned subject/object, spectator/artwork divides, but which have now been replaced by something else. But what and to what effect? Schrader then launches into a sleazy, neo-noirish plot Schrader famously wrote "Notes on Noir" in 1972 . Here Lindsay Lohan plays Tara, the love interest of Christian pornographic actor James Deen , a wealthy playboy who spends his days funding films, relaxing in his Malibu mansion and having anonymous sex with strangers. Christian's personal assistant is Gina, who's overseeing the film Christian is financing. Gina is dating Ryan, who once had a relationship with Tara."Art is a narrative. The universe is a narrative. Each and every thing has a beginning, middle, and end," Schrader would say in promotional interviews. In "Canyons", old modes of storytelling, amusement and spectacle have given way to new media. Everyone's making amateur pornography, recording their lives on smart phones and traditional movies are only half-watched and constantly interrupted by pop-ups and instant messages anyway. The human body is itself now the new canvas, a carefully managed profile uploaded and broadcast for digital adulation. In this world, interactive and performative rituals abound, signalling the all-encompassing voyeurism of a surveillance culture that generates a bigger buzz than the lowly cinema screen ever could. "Nobody has a private life anymore," Christian mumbles, and Tara, an ex-actress, outright states that she no longer has interest in films.With this comes a host of neuroses. Schrader's lovers rely on a hook-up application called Amour to arrange sex parties, and everyone is too busy shopping, f***ing, texting and micro-managing their profiles to pay attention to the faces in front of them. "Who knows anyone? Who is really happy?" Christian asks. Schrader provides the answer: Gina, the film's one character to believe in, not only old-fashioned values, but the power of cinema. She remains the only content character in the film, a happiness which is revealed to be hopelessly naive when she discovers, amongst other things, her boyfriend's infidelities.Issues of power and class begin to seep into Schrader's narrative. Tara stays with Christian, and allows him to film and record her, only because he's loaded with cash and she wishes to avoid dehumanising work conditions. Ryan is similarly exploited by men, bosses and cameras. Christian, meanwhile, craves power. He forces others to have sex, forces them to watch him, and forces others to be watched. He loves the vantage points afforded by power. Loves controlling who and how and what is being watched. Unsurprisingly, eyeball to eyeball contact during sex infuriates him; he hates being observed unless on his own terms.As the film progresses, Christian loses power as Tara gains. She subtly "manipulates" Christian into kissing another guy during an orgy, and begins to rekindle an affair with Ryan. Christian doesn't like this. "I like the idea of someone looking at something they can't have. Guy thing. Power! Control!" he says. But Tara's encroaching on Christian's terrain. "I don't feel in control anymore," he complains. "Usually I direct the scene. They made me feel like I'm an actor!" Being a spoilt-brat, Christian responds by going on a murderous rampage. On the film's meta-level, though, the "opening up" or "democratisation" afforded by new media is shown to be threatening to those who have inherited status. With everybody selling their bodies for cash and digitally, willingly pimping their profiles, top-dog Christian, like a defunct movie studio, finds his terrain shrinking. In short, techno-capitalism's age of spectacle has mutated. In "Canyons", Hollywood movies are themselves dead, replaced by micro-budget, Kickstarter-funded shoestring productions. Meanwhile, new media supplants passive looking with active touching. Gina finds these new experiences shocking."The Canyons" was shot on a tiny budget in a little less than three weeks and distributed online through video-on-demand networks. Schrader casts pornographic actors in a number of roles, a tactic which helps blur the lines between next-generation actors and pornography; everyone's now a pimp, producer and hooker.The film's aesthetic is novel. This is an emotionless, open and artificial world whose wheels are lubricated by blood money and whose streets are populated by rootless souls, blood sucking tics and jaded eyeballs which no longer believe in the allure of Hollywood fame. Elsewhere Schrader's cinematography and material plays like clash between "Double Indemnity", "Eyes Wide Shut", "Sunset Boulevard", "The Girlfriend Experience" and Wong Kar-Wai.What really elevates "Canyons", though, is Lindsay Lohan's layered performance. A child actor who came through the studio system, only to find it crushing and discarding her afterwards, Lohan knows what it's like to be trapped in a golden cage. With her beautifully gravelly voice and interesting looks, her Tara is caught between abandonment, strategy, despair and rebellion. Lohan out-acts everyone in a generally poorly acted film, which is perhaps the biggest irony of "Canyons". All your Youtubes, Facebooks, porn-sites, amateur actors and pornographers can't replace the power of a lowly but seasoned thespian. Lohan's strong performance almost refutes Schrader's entire film. Almost.8/10 – See Olivier Assayas' "Demonlover" and Lohan's performance in Altman's similarly themed "A Prairie Home Companion".