I've seen a lot in the last couple of weeks, my thoughts:
Finally caught the following:
BlacKkKlansman- I'm a huge Spike Lee fan, but I really didn't like Chi-Raq, so I was thrilled to be completely moved by BkK. The last 10 minutes are super powerful, I was stuck like a kid playing freeze tag even after the credits. Wow.
A Simple Favor- Man, I loved this movie! Great dialogue and fine acting. What a treat.
Mandy- I didn't know what to expect going in and I was satisfied with a unique, batshit crazy, metal as drymount flick. Didn't love it, but I definitely enjoyed the experience and would like to see it again.
Roman J. Israel, Esq.- This managed to slip by me last year and when I discovered it's by the director of Nightcrawler (a goddamn masterpiece and one of my favorites of the last 10 years) I had to rectify that. Low key good with a killer Denzel performance. I dug it.
Saw 35 films and liked all of them but 3. Starfish and Madam Yankalova's Fine Literature Club were underwhelming. There was only one I really didn't like.
Bad Times at the El Royale- I seem to be in the minority on this, but I really didn't like this flick. I hate movies that try so desperately to be cool and just aren't, and this was a wannabe try-hard that never came together for me. Takes itself way too seriously and I didn't give a damn about any of the characters or their plights. (Somebody KILL THEM ALL I was thinking.) I had similar reactions to Smoking Aces and Seven Psychopaths, so if you're into those maybe you'll dig this fake ass QT waste of time.
Shadow- Loved it. It gave me chills and had me hollering in excitement. Zhang Yimou's in fine form and his limited color palette is gorgeous.
Burning- A lot of people found this slow burn boring, but I was riveted throughout. Can't wait to see it again. (I should've seen it again instead of Bad Times at the El Royale.)
Mid90s- Jonah Hill's flick is the truth! It smashed its skateboard against my nostalgic bone and I'm a sucker for movies with mostly kids in the major roles. I'll buy this and watch it every year like Dazed and Confused and Everybody Wants Some. Didn't expect to like it as much as I did.
Under the Silver Lake- Nobody seemed to like this as much as me. I really enjoyed it. I don't really know what it was about or what the message was, but man, I had a big grin on my face for most of the movie. It seemed to confuse most people, but I didn't have that reaction. It's a fun, unpredictable ride that people are comparing to Southland Tales, but don't let that dissuade you from giving it a chance. Garfield wasn't great, but if you're a fan of rambling modern noir like Inherent Vice, you might dig it.
Tumbbad- This Indian horror film has a dope concept and it ended up on me and my wife's Top 5 list.
Suspiria- There's a lot I like about it and I want to see it again. It's waay different from the original and I think that left people underwhelmed. I love the look of the film and I like the set up, but I anticipated more in the end. People say it goes super crazy, but I didn't feel that way. People also dig the score, but I thought it could've been better and I wish Yorke didn't put his voice in it. Took me out of a pivotal scene. The most horrific part of the experience was when I bit into my grilled cheese sandwich to discover there was ham in it. I hadn't eaten meat in 5 years and even when I did I always hated ham. I kept thinking about the movie after despite being at a fest watching lots of other movies. Need to see it again to really form my opinion.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote- Skipped Halloween to see this and I'm glad that I did. It was good! Jonathan Pryce's best role in a long time and while it's nowhere near as amazing visually as Gilliams' earlier movies, it did get delightful Gilliamy (Gilliamish?) in the end. My expectations were super low because it could never live up to its storied past, but I liked it.
An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn- This is another one I liked more than the average festival attendee. The guy behind The Greasy Strangler's version of a romantic comedy, that is wonderfully odd with super silly characters and more heart than I expected. I loved the score and the tone it gives the film. Emile Hirsch was cracking me up.
Bloodline- Starring Wiliam Scott Thomas or Sean Scott William or Travis Scott Thomas (whoever the guy is from American Pie with 3 first names) as a serial killer with a wife and kid. Hardcore, the opening scene made me want to close my eyes or look away - I can't tell you when the last time that happened was, but I usually watch pretty tame fudge. This movie was entertaining, played great in the midnight slot, has a cool synth score, and wraps things up nicely in the end.
The Bouncer- I skipped Overlord (Nazis + Zombies = massive eye rolls) to see this movie starring JCVD from the director of The Crew (Brasseurs). Check that out if you haven't seen it, it's a tight, little French film that goes hard. The Bouncer was solid too and JCVD is a legit good actor.
Climax- I like Noe because you know you're not just going to watch his films, you're going to experience the fudge out of them. This was no different. I can't say I loved it or that I will be revisiting it often, but I respect the craft and marveled at a filmmaker doing his thing his way with no qualms about anything. Hardcore, unique, and uncompromising. Definitely not for everybody.
In Fabric- More sensuous, hypnotically beautiful fair from the director of The Duke of Burgundy. It was what I expected it to be. Bonus points for slow motion flying jizz.
Other stuff I dug: Dogman, Modest Heroes (Studio Ponoc shorts), The Guilty, Deadly Games, The World is Yours, Slut in a Good Way, and The Quake (sequel to The Wave).
Forgive any typos, I'm out. It's enchilada time!