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 12/7/2009

The Princess and the Frog (Ron Clements and John Musker, 2009). Disney’s return to traditional animation: New Orleans flavor, voodoo dude, amphibians, Randy Newman songs. High on quality, maybe not quite as high on magic. (full review 12/11)

Invictus (Clint Eastwood, 2009). Going at the Nelson Mandela story via a true rugby saga, which is a good way to go at a great man’s life – pick a slice and get it right. “Old-fashioned” isn’t easy to do, so give Eastwood credit. (full review 12/11)

The Lineup (Don Siegel, 1958). Good smash-mouth noir stuff in a quick-moving Siegel policier starring San Francisco and Eli Wallach.

Sonicsgate (Jason Reid, 2009). Seattle-made labor of love about how a team got stolen from the city by a group of slimebags. Now that’s Americana. (full review 12/11)