alobear (alobear) wrote,

T-Rexes, Talking Raccoons, Turkish Cats

Yesterday, I finished listening to Just One Damned Things After Another, the first in the St Mary's Chronicles by Jody Taylor. This was recommended to me by two separate sources, and it sounded like a good audiobook series, so I decided to give it a try. And there was a lot about it that I enjoyed. It's about a historian who joins an organisation that have developed time travel, and the setting and set-up are both well realised an a lot of fun. There are great characters, interesting interplay, tons of action and excitement, and a good debate about the ethics of time travel - whether to interfere or leave well alone.

However, it also had some quite grim bits, and some very sad bits, and various bits that made me want to stop listening. Towards the end, I was fluctuating wildly between wanting to carry on with the series and wanting to give up after this one. And, in the end, I decided not to carry on, as I didn't enjoy the good bits enough to put up with the less good bits. Interesting and fun, but also a bit too grim.

Yesterday, we also went to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2, after re-watching the first one the same day. I was glad we did this, as I remembered very little about it, and it gave a good grounding to the backstory, so I could go into the second one well-informed. I was also trying out a new attitude of wanting to enjoy things more, rather than wanting to criticise them.

And the first half of the film was great! Really funny, really exciting, and a good time hanging out with characters I like. Then it hit the saggy middle section, where there was a bit too much indiscriminate killing, and not enough moving the plot forwards, and it lost me for a while. It definitely picked up again towards the end, and I thought the climax was pretty good. But the whole thing was too long and could easily have been cut without losing anything important, and some of the recurring jokes very much fell flat. Still, Baby Groot was marvellous, I thought Rocket's arc was particularly effective, I laughed out loud multiple times, and there was some very cool set pieces. So, overall, a good experience, though far from outstanding.

This morning, I watched Kedi, a very different prospect. It's a Turkish documentary about street cats in Instanbul, and I really enjoyed it. It was wonderfully put together, with shots of the cats wandering the city and interacting with various humans, overlayed with voice-overs from the people, talking about their relationships with the cats, and some really lovely music. I would consider tons of cats roaming the streets of London a total nuisance, but there are plenty of people in Instanbul who expend large amounts of time and money in looking after these cats, and they had some quite profound things to say about what the cats represent and what they mean to them. It was quite moving in places, and certainly made me think differently about cats - at least for a little while!
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