Showing posts from September, 2022

Cache (AKA Hidden) (2005)

Writer/Director: Michael Haneke Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Benichou, Annie Girardot, Bernard Le Coq, Walid Afkir, Lester Makedonsky The comfortable lives of Georges (Daniel Auteuil)  and Anne (Juliette Binoche), an upper-class French couple, are disrupted by the appearance of mysterious videotapes which show that their home is under surveillance.   This becomes the trigger for Georges's guilty flashbacks concerning a boy who lived with his family when he was growing up, with tremendous consequences for his married life.   Director/screenwriter Michael Haneke's film frustrates many viewers with its inconclusive narrative.   Warning!! Disturbing material here! I was fascinated by the theme of guilt: how it can bubble just under the surface of our lives, its destructive power, and the influence it can have on others, including the next generation.   I have come up with an explanation for events that satisfies me, and other viewers are invited to put together

Jewels of Gwahlur (Conan) (1935)

by Robert E. Howard Treasure-hunting Conan becomes involved in a struggle  among four factions to gain possession of a set of valuable jewels in a lost city.  This is not prime Robert E. Howard, but it is still a better read than most of his compatriots in the pulp game could produce.   Robert E. Howard It’s a bit of a mess with a sloppy plot that mashes up slave girls and oracles, ape men and armies.  It is interesting to note that, despite the usual emphasis on Conan’s superhuman physical prowess, Howard takes time to highlight the Cimmerian’s intellectual capabilities as a master of languages.

To the Death! (The Avengers #118) (1973)

  Marvel Events and Crossovers Project Taking a broad historical overview of the Marvel Universe by reading through the major events and crossover events in order. (Thanks to The Marvel Event Timeline at and Marvel Unlimited) Author: Steve Englehart  Artwork: Bob Brown  Inkers: M. Esposito & F. Giacoia  As our dimension merges with Dormammu’s, Captain America and Doctor Strange disagree about whether to go after him and deal with the cause or stay on Earth and deal with the effects.  Fortunately, Nick Fury arrives with SHIELD agents, so the Avengers and Defenders are free to go on the offensive.  They follow the Yellow Brick Road, fighting monsters and extradimensional madness all the way… …until they confront Dormammu and Loki.   When the Defenders fall, it’s up to the Avengers to soldier on.  When the Avengers fall, only the Scarlet Witch is left.  When she falls, it is fortunate that Loki chooses that moment to avenge Do

The Warlord of the Air (Oswald Bastable #1) (1971)

by Michael Moorcock The alternate history that Moorcock proposes--one  in which the colonial powers maintained and expanded their empires, scientific progress was retarded, and great warships dominated the skies--is interesting, but the story he places therein is not very exciting and culminates in a predictable climax.   Michael Moorcock In addition, the first third of the book, which explains how adventurer Oswald Bastable traveled to the future, is really an enormous non-sequitur.   There is really no reason for the protagonist of this story to be a visitor from the past and, other than establishing that fact, nothing that happens at the beginning has any bearing at all on what happens in the rest of the story. "The Admiral of the Air" (Romanian) "The Lord of the Air" (French) "The Lord of the War of Heaven" (Portuguese) "Warlord of the Air" (Finnish)

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Director: Edgar Wright Writers: Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Penelope Wilton, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran, Nicola Cunningham, Keir Mills, Matt Jaynes Slacker buddies Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Ed (Nick  Frost) gradually realize that they are in the middle of a zombie apocalypse that has gripped London.  Shaun, who has already been increasingly dissatisfied with his aimless life, rises to the occasion and sets off to rescue his ex-girlfriend (Kate Ashfield) and mother (Penelope Wilton), dragging Ed along for the ride.   I enjoyed the film, due to wonderful performances and the funny way that hell on earth so slowly impinges on Shaun's existence.   However, I have to admit that it fell short of my expectations, given the acclaim it has received over the years.   I was bothered by several scenes in which characters have extended, pointless conversations with each other while in the midst of an attack, but I was won back by the fresh take on a famil

Breakthrough! (The Defenders #10) (1973)

  Marvel Events and Crossovers Project Taking a broad historical overview of the Marvel Universe by reading through the major events and crossover events in order. (Thanks to The Marvel Event Timeline at and Marvel Unlimited) Author: Steve Englehart  Artist: Sal Buscema  Inker: Frank Bolle  The main event is saved for last. Guided by mystical commands from Doctor Strange, Hulk uncovers the final piece of the Evil Eye… … but Thor is close behind to dispute his possession of it.  The result is a slugfest between two of the heavier hitters in the Marvel Universe.   Hulk’s berserker nature is well-depicted.   The centerpiece of the battle is a stand-off between the two as they grapple hand to hand, locked in place with neither daring to give ground, for an hour.  Fortunately, the remainder of the Avengers and Defenders arrive to stop the battle, having finally figured out that they have been acting as pawns.  Unfortunately, Dormamm