Here at the Baltimore Chop we care about our readers, the good people of Baltimore Town. We want you all to have happy and fulfilling lives, especially during this, the Holiday Season. We care so much that we would even hate to see any of you be mildly inconvenienced by watching any part of a less-than-outstanding movie film. Likewise when we find an outstanding movie film it is our great honor to recommend it to you, dear readers, so that you may enjoy its awesomeness.
It is in that spirit that we humbly present the third installment in our now-monthly series Netflix Queue Review. Here’s a few things available for streaming that we’ve watched lately. Should you be watching them too?
Netflix has the Yule Log. This is great news because often this Winter we haven’t wanted to watch shitty movies anyway, and we’ve been spending more time reading and listening to music, so the Yule Log is an outstanding screen saver for the TV. This version plays Christmas music though, so you have to turn the sound all the way down. ★ ★ ★ ★
We’ve always liked Brian Posehn. We even went to see him at the Ottobar when he came through a few years ago. So we’re sorry to report that this new special is pretty goddamn terrible. It’s just more of the same fart and weed and masturbation jokes that made Posehn famous, but although they’re technically new material you get the feeling that you’ve heard them all before. Posehn hasn’t aged well and neither has his material. At this point it’s truly hard to tell who’s older, fatter, more annoying or less relevant, him or Kevin Smith. We turned this off after 30 minutes because it’s garbage. ★
The Chop is a great fan of Kurt Vonnegut, so it was with a bit of apprehension that we sat down to watch Slaughterhouse-Five. They say the movie is never as good as the book and when your books are as good as Vonnegut’s no one’s going to make a movie that lives up to them. Breakfast of Champions and Mother Night were perfectly fine movies, but were disappointing all the same. This isn’t the case with Slaughterhouse-Five. George Roy Hill is a director who understands black humor as well as anyone. This film works well because Hill uses his own dark humor throughout instead of merely trying to channel Vonnegut’s. Naturally, a movie about a character who’s become unstuck in Time is going to have a lot of jumpcuts, but Slaughterhouse-Five manages to jump time throughout the entire movie without feeling disjointed or confusing. As a bonus the actor playing Billy Pilgrim is also a dead ringer for Andy Samberg. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is one of those movies that Netflix is trying to force on viewers, putting it at the top of the results for multiple menus and suggestions and such. Should you watch it? Meh, probably not. It’s shot in black and white for no discernible reason. It kind of reminded us of Tiny Furniture, and we hated Tiny Furniture. But this isn’t quite as bad as that. The characters are mostly unlikeable, but on the other hand they’re all pretty miserable throughout the film so that’s a plus. ‘What do you mean you’re miserable? Your blog looks so happy!’ There’s a bit of sample dialogue for you. If you’re one of those people who enjoys throwing the word ‘privilege’ around you’ll probably love this movie. ★ ★
Closely related to Frances Ha is I am Not a Hipster which is about… wait for it… a hipster who is lonely and miserable despite having a hit record out and being popular. His mom died and he doesn’t get along with his dad, but the old man and this hipster’s 3 sisters come to visit him and scatter mom’s ashes. He cries and says he’s lonely but then feels better. Oh yeah spoiler alert or whatever. The music is pretty good in this movie even if the lip syncing is not. Plus there’s a part where this hipster singer busts into an electropop show and beats up some douchey dumbass named SpaceFace playing beats on his macbook. Worth watching for that alone. ★ ★ ★