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 11/30/2009

Shockproof (Douglas Sirk, 1949). A Sam Fuller script, given an architectural treatment by Sirk – it’s a real Jim Thompsonesque storyline, too, about a parole officer (Cornel Wilde) falling for his newest charge (Patricia Knight, actually Mrs. Wilde in real life at the time).

Serious Moonlight (Cheryl Hines, 2009). A script by the late Adrienne Shelley, but maybe, under ordinary circumstances, the kind of script that never gets past the writing stage. Still, a reminder that Tim Hutton is an actor. (full review 12/11)

The Strip (Jameel Khan, 2009). Guys at an electronics store; decent music score. (full review 12/4)

Brothers (Jim Sheridan, 2009). Remake of Suzanne Bier’s 2004 film, with some admirable moments in acting and a curious shift in emphasis in a couple of spots. (full review 12/4)

That Hamilton Woman (Alexander Korda, 1940). Olivier and Leigh, in liaison and war, timed to reverberate with WWII. If you’re going to do historical romance, this is the way to do it.