Monday, September 24, 2007

I Like Killing Flies DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Warts-And-All Documentary Profiles Eccentric NYC Restaurateur

Rarely does this critic deem a film worthy of a second viewing, but in the case of this endlessly-entertaining profile, I found myself screening it over and over, a half-dozen times thusfar, and counting. Shot almost entirely inside of a family-run diner called Shopsin’s, the camera follows its irascible proprietor as he goes about micro-manging nearly aspect of the restaurant which bears his name.
Patriarch Kenny Shopsin’s seedy eatery may look like a hole-in-the-wall to the uninitiated, but the place was a much-beloved institution in Greenwich Village for over 35 years. Assisted by a skeleton crew which includes his recently-deceased wife, Eve, and their five kids, Kenny serves as both chef and maitre’ d, running the place with as many arbitrary rules as he has recipes, and there are a mind-boggling 900+ items on the menu.
This irrepressible character seemingly made for the movies treats eating at his establishment as a privilege, not a right. As a consequence, he turns away customers who catch an attitude, or for any number of violations, such as arriving as a party of five. However, a woman willing to flash her breasts is apt to earn VIP treatment. Thus, it is not surprising to see that Shopsin’s is a haunt frequented mostly by local regulars, and that tourists and folks who wander in by accident are likely to be in for the shock of their lives.
Undeniably behaving like the spoiled lord of his humble castle, crude Kenny saunters around with a fly swatter in his hand instead of a staff, which explains the documentary’s title. But besides putting on imperious, intimidating airs, he’s also given to philosophizing about life, and those more meaningful moments are what ultimately make this profile precious.
I like Kenny Shopsin.

Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 80 minutes
Studio: New Video Group


Anonymous said...

No wonder this is a little indi blog guy 'ken williams'. This guy doesnt know what the @#%$ he's talking about. LMAO!
I guess any ol foolish black guy can say whatever he wants to say on his little blog.

Anonymous said...

The previous poster did not even bother to spell the reviewers name right. Shows the intellect behind the stupic comments. I loved the documentary. Also watched more than once.