Rockets and Revelations

From a plot perspective, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 was a bit of a hot mess.  It’s got planet fathers, strange beasts, gold plated elves, mutinies, murderous sisters, and a universe ending nefarious plan.  All while trying to be funny.

And yet!  It a lovable hot mess.  And not only that, it works.  It’s a solid movie.

The big reason that it works, and that it’s so lovable, is that under all the plot zaniness lies two interconnected things:  developed characters who have character arcs and a strong theme of family* that ties it together (while also driving the character arcs).  In addition, most of the humour felt seamless, arising from the characters’ actions as they moved along those arcs.

In the end, the Guardians franchise introduced the two characters who have the strongest character arcs in all of the MCU, that of Nebula and Rocket, with Rocket’s being especially strong in Vol 2, and one of my favourite scenes in all of the MCU involving the two of them.**

Spoilers for GotG3 ahead! Continue reading

Wonder Wednesday

Got to see the documentary about the foundation and creation of Sesame Street, and it was excellent.  So much care and intention put into the project by so many dedicated people who were driven to create something wonderful (out of the medium of television, no less!) for our communities.  Very moving.

It’s on some streaming services and well worth checking out if you have a heart in your body.

Wonder Wednesday

How could this not be an Everything, Everywhere, All at Once appreciation post?   Whatever meaning the Oscars may or may not have, it won big, and deservedly so.  It is an astounding, excellent, inventive, powerful, heartfelt, inspiring, insightful, transformational, and a storytelling tour de force.  A real display of passion by all those involved, that, with what might be considered modest means in today’s movie-making complex, shows what’s possible when authenticity is unleashed and aligned.  10000% fabulous.

And while it’s only gotten one philosophy highlight here so far, there will be more to come once I can put it into words…

Until then, if you haven’t seen it, I highly, highly, recommend it, and then watching it again, and again, and again. I certainly have.

— fanart poster by Daria Kalashnikova

Philosophy Tuesday

“I suppose it’s an invitation.  Won’t you be my neighbour?  It’s an invitation for somebody to be close to you.  You know I think everybody longs to be loved, and longs to know that he or she is lovable.  And consequently, the greatest thing we can do is to help somebody know that they are loved and capable of loving.”

— Fred (aka Mr) Rogers

(Pairs wonderfully with this quote also from Mr Rogers and the follow-up post.  And it’s always worth a revisit to his testimony before congress.)

Philosophy Tuesday

“It emphasizes the fact that you can’t rely on the applause of the wider world to tell you whether you’ve lived well or not. Public acclaim may be nice to have, but ultimately, it’s not worth very much. It’s treacherous, fickle, it’s usually wrong… you’ve got to take a lonely private view of what is success and failure for you. I think that is what it’s saying. You’ve got to try and find a meaning that’s within yourself…”

Kazuo Ishiguro on NPR

(I love this, not only for the bit about the creative arts, but that creation and art the most personal to us, the art of living our everyday life.  Who, in that context, is our audience?  Who are we seeking applause from? What actions have a big ‘in order to‘ in them to seek that applause? What default and inherited contexts are we living in, what unquestioned ‘truths’ about what makes for a good life for us?  Where are we being passive and seeking external validation?  We can examine all of these and set any aside that do not enliven and empower ourselves and those around us, and seek our meaning and answers from within, rather than from without.)