Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Heroine Nausicaä and companion fox squirrel

Hayao Miyazaki’s career as an animator in charge of his own destiny starts here, with Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, two hours of typical Miyazaki, from 1984, which more or less set the benchmark for what was to come. There had been one full feature before, 1979’s The Castle of Cagliostro, but that was part of an ongoing series dedicated to Lupin III, supposedly the grandson of the French master thief Arsène Lupin. In Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, we are introduced to Nausicaä, a pure Miyazaki character, a tough, brave, kind, thoughtful and resourceful young woman separated from her parents and adrift in a world that’s a mash-up … Read more


Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men

The origin story of the Marvel Comics characters which, as in the original print version, struggles with the sheer number of characters. It’s a SFX-heavy titanium-shelled blockbuster that pits one team of mutants (headed by good guy Patrick Stewart) against another (bad guy Ian McKellen). Guy being the operative word – X-Men isn’t too bothered with the sexism of its source material. Take that name for starters. Men? X-Persons, surely. The men in the comic, as in this adaptation are all gutsy and have traditional masculine attributes: Professor Xavier (Stewart) has brains; Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is a hairy brute; Cyclops (James Marsden) has nuclear-level laser sight; and as for naughty Sabretooth and Toad … Read more