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Seth Landau
Seth Landau, Candy Stanton, Tori King
Writing Credits:
Seth Landau

In 1993, a psychotherapist investigates a cult that takes over an Arizona town.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
English LPCM 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 92 min.
Price: $24.95
Release Date: 3/22/2022

• Audio Commentary from Writer/Actor/Director Seth Landau, Director of Photography Jayson Crothers, Composer P. Daniel Newman, “Expert In Religion” Dr. Phillip Baker, Movie Critic James “Jimmy O” Oster, Production Designer Jason Kisvarday, Landau’s Girlfriend Elissa Dowling and Actors Candy Stanton, Daniel Schweiger and Jeff Dylan Graham
• Audio Commentary from Writer/Actor/Director Seth Landau
• Interview with Actor George Wendt
• Interview with Actor Tiffany Shepis
• Interview with Actor Daniel Roebuck
• Interview with Actor Brinke Stevens
• Trailers


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Bryan Loves You [Blu-Ray] (2008)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 13, 2022)

According to a blurb on the Blu-ray’s cover, a critic views 2008’s Bryan Loves You as a film that offers “shades of A Clockwork Orange”. That sounds like high praise, so I found myself intrigued to find out how closely Loves brings those “shades”.

Set in Arizona circa the early 1990s, Jonathan (Seth Landau) serves the community as a psychotherapist. However, he eventually starts to perceive a dark shift in the locals.

Jonathan believes that a religious cult called “Followers of Bryan” causes unnatural deaths and a generally ominous air. This perception sends Jonathan down a dark, dangerous path.

Huh – that synopsis doesn’t sound at all like Clockwork Orange, does it? Possibly because Loves really shares little in common with the Kubrick classic, a fact that makes me wonder why the aforementioned critic connected the two.

Anyone who expects Loves to compare favorably with Orange will encounter severe disappointment, but that should go without saying. Kubrick created a genuinely brilliant film in 1971, so it wouldn’t shame those involved with Loves that they couldn’t compete.

Perhaps those behind Loves should feel embarrassed by its general crumminess, though, with emphasis placed on Landau. Not only did he star in the film, but also he wrote and directed it, so much blame lies at his feet.

A look at IMDB doesn’t find a lot of work under Landau’s name, and this seems likely due to his apparent utter lack of talent. As evidenced by the cinematic atrocity in my Blu-ray player, Landau offers a triple threat: he can’t write, he can’t act, and he can’t direct.

Literally nothing about Loves works. The movie uses the already-tired-by-2008 “found footage” theme in a clumsy matter that seems gratuitous at best and pointless most of the time.

Does this tale need to feature “found footage”? No – it just comes across like an excuse for poor filmmaking.

This seems especially true because Loves regularly violates its own conceit. A substantial percentage of the movie’s running time comes from material that couldn’t have been shot by cameras in a manner that fits the concept.

The “narrative” feels more like a series of loosely-linked events with no true throughline or development. Essentially Landau creates a bunch of allegedly creepy scenes that follow a vague thread but never really connect or go anywhere.

Everything about Loves screams amateur hour. Shockingly, Landau recruited a few “name” performers like Daniel Roebuck, Tony Todd and George Wendt for this atrocity.

All embarrass themselves with their terrible performances, and the other “actors” seem even more stiff and unconvincing. Honestly, we find so many awful turns here that I wondered if the actors offered terrible work on purpose as a parody.

Unfortunately, I don’t think Landau intended Loves as satire. I suspect he believes he made a dark, moody tale.

He didn’t, as Loves becomes a thoroughly atrocious effort, a movie so awful it doesn’t even offer the catty “so bad it’s good” vibe that made folks fans of The Room. Somewhere Kubrick spins in his grave that someone favorably compared this steaming heap of dung to Clockwork Orange.

Footnote: a tag scene appears after the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture C/ Audio C/ Bonus B-

Bryan Loves You appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.33:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Apparently shot on consumer grade video cameras, the image looked predictably poor.

Sharpness always looked weak. Close-ups felt bland at best, and much of the film came across as soft and fuzzy.

Plenty of instances of jagged edges and moiré effects appeared. Likely as a result of video artifacts, haloes often manifested around objects.

Colors felt dull and drab. Though the movie came with a natural palette, the tones took on a brownish tint without vivacity.

Blacks came across as wan and muddy, while shadows appeared too dense. I gave the image a “C” just because the issues resided with the source, but make no mistake: this became an ugly picture.

Similar thoughts greeted the blah LPCM 2.0 soundtrack of Loves. Despite the 2.0 appellation, this appeared to be a monaural mix, as I never detected any obvious stereo material.

Quality felt completely ordinary, which made sense because the track intended to come from a 1990s camcorder. Speech seemed intelligible but reedy and distant.

Effects didn’t have much to do and they felt fairly thin as well. Music laid on too much bass, so expect your subwoofer to go a little nuts. As with the visuals, I gave this one a “C” due to the restrictions of the original material, but it delivered a sub-mediocre mix.

As we shift to extras, we find two separate audio commentaries, the first of which comes from 2008 and features writer/director/actor Seth Landau, director of photography Jayson Crothers, composer P. Daniel Newman, “expert in religion” Dr. Phillip Baker, movie critic James “Jimmy O.” Oster, production designer Jason Kisvarday, “hot girl” Elissa Dowling and actors Candy Stanton, Daniel Schweiger and Jeff Dylan Graham. Most sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, technical domains and related elements. Midway through the piece, editor Greg Robbins appears briefly for some separately-taped remarks.

I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced a commentary with as many peaks and valleys as this one. While about half of the track offers pretty good filmmaking information, the rest makes it a tough slog.

At the start, Landau adopts a goofy accent and pretends to be “Stefan”, his own assistant. At the end, a mysterious party arrives at the session to demand the Landau hand over the film or else, and the track concludes with 16 minutes of silence after this person murders Stanton.

Alrighty then.

In between, the commentary mixes actual information about the movie with joking, bizarre taped interjections from Landau in character, and a lot of pointless banter.

Buried in here, we find the roots of a good discussion. However, all the idiotic parts make this an inconsistent track as likely to annoy as to inform.

For the second commentary, we get a circa 2021 piece solely with writer/director/actor Seth Landau. He brings a running, screen-specific view of story/characters, photography, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, editing, real-life influences and related domains.

Without question, Landau’s solo 2021 track offers a superior experience compared to its predecessor. Landau gives us a largely informative view of the film’s production.

However, Landau devotes too much of the commentary to his thoughts about critics who hated Loves. Apparently he believes that the horror press loathed it because it didn’t offer a standard slasher flick.

While I can’t speak for these folks, Landau should understand there are plenty of reasons to dislike Loves beyond expectations. However, he seems blind to the movie’s issues and feels like he made a terrific film that got unjustly lambasted because he didn’t ladle out the blood and gore.

Without the self-pity, this becomes a good commentary. Even with the moping, it still works fairly well, but Landau’s criticism of critics becomes a drag.

Four interviews ensue, and the first comes from Actor George Wendt. In this 44-minute, 50-second chat, Wendt and Landau discuss aspects of the actor’s career.

Don’t expect much about Loves, which makes sense given that Wendt barely appears in the movie. Wendt brings a few decent thoughts about his long time in films/TV but this seems mostly like a loose, meandering conversation.

An Interview with Actor Tiffany Shepsis goes for 50 minutes, 49 seconds. Along with Landau, the piece delivers thoughts about how they know each other and aspects of their careers.

As became the case with the Wendt chat, we hear little about Loves here, as mostly Shepsis and Landau look at their connections and various thoughts about Hollywood. A smattering of insights emerge but most of this piece seems too long and unfocused.

Next we get an Interview with Actor Daniel Roebuck. Also with Landau – and Schweiger enters at the 18-minute mark - this one spans 59 minutes, 35 seconds and examines careers and various film-related topics.

Like the other chats, we find a lot of rambling conversation without a lot of real information. Roebuck occasionally touches on flicks of his like The Fugitive and some entertainment appears, but most of the piece just feels unfocused.

Finally, we get an Interview with Actor Brinke Stevens. During her 31-minute, 46-second reel, she looks at her career and related domains. Like the other chats, this one mixes useful notes with off-topic musing, so it becomes another frustrating piece.

Trailers offers promos for Bryan Loves You, , The Dark and One Dark Night.

An attempt to tell a spooky psychological thriller about cults, Bryan Loves You flops in literally all possible ways. Poorly executed in every manner conceivable, this becomes an unwatchable embarrassment. The Blu-ray offers weak picture and audio due to the nature of the source along with a long roster of inconsistent bonus materials. Avoid this atrocity like the plague.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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