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Chet Roivas

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About Chet Roivas

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  1. Chet Roivas

    Episode 152 - The Breakfast Club (w/ Christy Lemire)

    I first saw this film during a particularly bad year in my very early teens, and it felt like a lifeline. I’d never seen growing pains (growing pains that feel more inconsequential the older you get) captured so well and taken so seriously, What makes it such a perfect and quintessential teen movie is that it only truly speaks to that demographic exclusively. Watching it as an adult, I was depressed by its militantly pro-conformity message, by female characters who too often felt peripheral, and the fact that the big dramatic scene constitutes everyone realising that everything bad in their lives is the fault of their parents. That’s Chekov when you’re twelve, but the adult me just wanted to give them all a clip round the ear and demand that they stop whining. That is why John Hughes’ gifts should never be undervalued. Being addressed by someone who wasn’t a disinterested adult or attempting to sell something meant everything in that wank decade. I have no plans to watch The Breakfast Club again for as long as I live, but it’s a hard yes.
  2. The Exorcist is overrated. The Exorcist III is underrated. But one is a trailblazingly iconic blockbuster that captivated the entire planet, while the other is an unexpectedly exceptional curio. One simply belongs. The other doesn't. But I'm voting for III anyway because it's better.
  3. Chet Roivas

    Episode 134 - Love Actually (w/ Michael H. Weber)

    Richard Curtis' sensibilities are inherently puerile, which is why his identikit romantic comedies have aged so poorly. I continue to be amazed that the co-creator of Blackadder (a parade of brilliantly brutal insults and dick jokes) is now in a self-imposed purgatory, creating endless insufferable kooks faffing around in a depiction of London that's little more than a racist delusion. Love Actually getting into the Canon should trigger a full-blown existential crisis in everyone here.
  4. Chet Roivas

    Best of 2017

    I was going to suggest Paul Verhoeven's stunning Elle, but that appears to have opened last year in the US. I usually have a very low tolerance for Darren Aronofsky, but mother! really did a number on me. It's a film that people will be watching (and arguing furiously about) for decades to come. I'm not entirely sure how it ever got made, but I'm thankful.
  5. Chet Roivas

    My Name is Joe

    Totally agree with this, although Sweet Sixteen just pips it for me. Either film belongs in the Canon.
  6. Chet Roivas

    Episode 108 - The Driver (w/ Edgar Wright)

    I saw this for the very first time a few months ago, and all of the old review snippets that Amy read out at the beginning of the episode are absolutely bang on the money. I love Edgar Wright's work as much as the next person, and I expected his enthusiasm to win me over a little, but it felt like pure nostalgia talking. The Driver puts style before substance to be sure, but I don't understand how anybody is able to properly engage with its utterly infantile plot. The endless brooding pregnant pauses never answered any of the multiple questions that I had about how this crime syndicate is supposed to operate, and there's a complete and utter dearth of actual suspense, hardly ideal for a thriller. Ryan O'Neal has absolutely no screen presence and almost appears to be floating around waiting to be revealed as a ghost. Bruce Dern is as wonderful as he's ever been, but the mano-a-mano aspect of the story never compels because his antagonist is barely there. At least it's relatively lean and there are some really terrific car chases in it, but films as relentlessly derivative as this have to at least bring something new to the party. I'm happy that Wright and QT think this film is "cool", but I think it's a bit of a crock. In short: Non.
  7. Chet Roivas

    Edgar Wright

    Tastes in Edgar Wright films are like strains of DNA. I've seldom met someone who agrees with my preferences. 1. The World's End 2. Scott Pilgrim 3. Shaun 4. Hot Fuzz 5. A Fistful of Fingers (saw it on VHS aeons ago, it isn't great)
  8. Chet Roivas

    A Nightmare on Elm Street

    I totally agree. Pretty much. I'm a huge Wes Craven fan, but even I have to concede that the first Elm Street plays second fiddle to Carpenter's film. Plus, the idea of Devin and Amy seriously discussing any of the Friday the 13th films on The Canon is pretty amusing.
  9. Chet Roivas

    Midnight Run

    I don't disagree with this, which is why it's such a strange brew. Several of George Gallo's screenplays are uncannily similar (the terrible Eddie Griffin comedy Double Take in particular) but Midnight Run is spectacularly likeable, expressly because of the interplay between the leads. I've read the shooting script and I'm amazed that it ever got produced; the film is a success despite that screenplay rather than because of it. It's not a film that cracks me up either; I just find it to be incredibly warm, it makes me smile and unlike you, I find it pretty gripping from start to finish. I return to Butch and Sundance for similar reasons, and I'm not 100% sure that I'd vote to put that film (or Midnight Run) into the Canon. Would love to hear a chat about it though. Siskel and Ebert's review is pretty much bang on for me http://siskelandebert.org/video/5GSYDB8GG744/The-Dead-Pool-Midnight-Run-Die-Hard-1988 (starts at 8:00).
  10. Chet Roivas

    A Nightmare on Elm Street

    Wow, that's disappointing. I'm hoping he hasn't seen it recently, because I watched it last week and it killed.
  11. Chet Roivas

    A Nightmare on Elm Street

    Wes Craven's original Nightmare on Elm Street has the potency and brevity of a classic Grimm fairy tale. Every single sequel bastardised it in some way or another (even the decent ones) but the first film was a genuine landmark. Even the scenes set in broad daylight are unsettling, and Freddy (in his original incarnation only) is a devious, ingenious creation. Also: the soundtrack doesn't get any of the kudos awarded to John Carpenter's Halloween score, but it's in the same league. I think it's a masterpiece and would love to hear it discussed.
  12. Chet Roivas

    Midnight Run

    Midnight Run is a thoroughly terrific film, but I find it fascinating because with a different cast and a different director, it could have been awful. It's perhaps the ultimate "lightning in a bottle" film. Other filmmakers have tried to capture the atmosphere and tone of Midnight Run, but I don't think anyone has come even close to succeeding. A brilliant one-off, well worthy of discussion.
  13. Chet Roivas

    To Live and Die in L.A.

    I think it's at the very top of that list. I still can't understand how they shot it. I agree with this, and that's why I'd love to see it featured on the show. Every single person I've shown the film to (which must be more than twenty people over the years) is left buzzing at the end of it, regardless of age, gender or their general movie preferences. That's the main issue. I hope that Devin and Amy aren't too militant about that going forward. I live in the UK and have had to seek out DVD or Blu-Ray copies of some of the films mentioned on older episodes, but they've always been very cheap. A current streaming option is obviously ideal and I get the concept, but I hope it doesn't restrict their selections too much.
  14. Chet Roivas

    To Live and Die in L.A.

    William Friedkin's finest film in my opinion. To Live and Die in L.A. has been so relentlessly plagiarised and approximated over the past three decades that it deserves a shot at a place in the Canon just because most people haven't seen it. Also: it's heart-stoppingly brilliant. There's a single plot twist (instantly discarded in Friedkin's film) that has been copied so many times that I'm genuinely annoyed whenever isn't given credit. It also launched Willem Dafoe, as well as the unappreciated John Pankow and William Peterson. One off the few 80s films that I regard as an unarguable masterwork.
  15. Chet Roivas

    Casablanca vs. Gone with the Wind

    Agreed.
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