Me and Invictus and the Frog (Weekly Links)

McKay and Orson Welles

Movies I reviewed for the Herald this week.

Invictus. “Only Clint Eastwood would make an inspirational sports movie without the big halftime pep talk.”

Me and Orson Welles. “One of the most exciting moments in 20th-century theater.”

The Princess and the Frog. “Cab Calloway crossed with Mephistopheles.”

Serious Moonlight. “Sideways approach.”

The Slammin’ Salmon. “I never thought Beerfest would look good in retrospect.”

Earth Days. “A moment to look back rather than prognosticate.”

Sonicsgate. “Won’t bring the team back, but it provides some catharsis.”

I show up tonight on the Seattle Channel’s Art Zone in Studio with Nancy Guppy. Talking Sunday at 4 on a panel on exploitation, at Fantagraphics Books. And Monday morning at 10, an hour of 2009’s best films on KUOW-FM.

Thursday, Dec. 17, join us for the fifth annual “Critics Wrap,” a panel talk on the best movies of 2009. 7 p.m., Frye Art Museum, free; the participants are Jim Emerson, Kathleen Murphy, and Andrew Wright. And me. There is no getting rid of me.

Movie Diary 11/19/2009

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Chris Weitz, 2009). Everybody’s shirtless, almost, in the sequel to the pretty good Twilight. Kristen Stewart is excellent, the CGI dogs are not, the Northwest locations are convincing, the final line is daft. (full review 11/20)

Me and Orson Welles (Richard Linklater, 2009). Nice idea about a kid (Zac Efron) signing on for a minor role in Welles’ 1937 production of Julius Caesar at the Mercury Theatre. Some gracefully rendered insights and a real Wellesian energy from Christian McKay. (full review 12/11)

Ninja Assassin (James McTeigue, 2009). Haven’t seen this much bodily mortification since The Passion of the Christ. With the secret mountain lair and the many flying implements of death, this should be more fun. (full review 11/25)