The whole idea of the Doctor rejecting compassion and not trying to find SOME OTHER WAY - taking Davros with him, par example - to deal with the issue, is pretty :/ though. I now communicate via emoticons, I have lost my ability to word. And the complete lack of explanation for Missy's return, especially given all that raises between the Doctor and Clara and that he was supposed to sacrifice her because he chose humanity and Clara and that was a Big Deal. Hopefully they deal with that, but there was so much to enjoy!
I also watched Sense8, which was wonderful (Nomi and Amanita! Sun! Daniela and Lito and Hernando!), and went camping and to Sweden and read a lot of books (mostly fantastic with the occasional wonderful terrible Christian nightmare novel), watched Left Behind (which came off as massively anti-evangelicism and critical of the Rapture, so I was befuddled by the endorsement from the authors) - actually, let's talk some more about this, the least interesting thing on the list:
Okay, so they changed a LOT from the book, presumably to make it more tense. I don't remember the book especially well, but it was not the story of a man trying to land a plane, and none of the first-class passengers were involved in the book. (I actually think their presence was a good idea, because it meant we saw and were invited to empathise with characters other than the main characters, but.)
The book also only shows Irene and Raimi in memories, which has less emotional impact than actualy seeing them, and if I recall correctly a lot of the Rapture action is recounted as something happening offscreen, which, again, numbs the impact of the Rapture - seeing it in person has much more of an effect. Everyone hated this movie and yet I was quite fond of it. One of my friends pointed out that the Chloe storyline on its own would have made a better film, which is probably true.
But. It really came off as antitheistic to me. I'm not saying that as a criticism of the film, I think the only way of representing the Rapture as sympathetic would be to have God not causing the Tribulation and also being incapable of doing anything about it, with the Rapture as the only possible rescue plan. I liked the antitheism, I'm just...slightly shocked that evangelicals couldn't see it. Chloe wins every debate with non-believers. There's no real counter for any of her arguments, although possibly her being saved from suicide/other danger and the plane managing to land could be taken as confirmation of God caring for her. The Muslim man is shown as endlessly kind and caring, which brings up questions about the fairness of the Rapture. (Although evangelicals would pretty definitely take that as 'IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU DO IT ONLY MATTERS THAT YOU'RE CHRISTIAN, WE ARE RIGHT'.)
The evangelicals in the film are terrible at arguing their own case. Pastor Bruce, in response to Chloe's 'what am I supposed to do?' (asking for help in the wake of the death of her family) is 'IT'S NOT ABOUT WHAT YOU DO IT'S ABOUT WHAT YOU BELIEVE', which is classic evangelical inability to listen/fixation on evangelism at all costs. It does make sense character-wise - he's fixated on his own inability to believe the right thing - but it also works as meta-criticism of evangelicism.
Having talked about this, I think it's possible evangelicals support the film because regardless of how poorly they and their theology are portrayed, they get to be right. And to evangelicals it kind of doesn't matter if their God is a douchebag. He's God, he gets to do what he wants and it's right because he's God. Which is some super-toxic ideology, but hey.
My brother raised the point that the Rapture doesn't engage with any of the concerns of those left behind. All it does is prove the evangelicals right, it doesn't offer any proof of God or arguments in favour of God's goodness, it doesn't address those left behind at all. The fact that Chloe is saved from disaster and reunited with her father and Buck could be taken as God engaging with them, but I liked his point (I think he phrased it better), so I'm including it in this post anyway.
Incidentally, in the book Chloe and Buck don't meet until after the Rapture, and Buck originally makes a date with Hattie. The film treats her better than the book, to be honest. Book!Hattie knows Rayford's married but doesn't particularly mind, she's shown as less intelligent - something Rayford notes, because he's delightful like that - and the film version of Hattie is plausibly scared and looking for reassurance - and caring about other members of the flight crew.
Another vast improvement on the book is the treatment of the pilot. In the book, he's kind of a douche and he commits suicide upon finding out his entire family is either dead or raptured. In the film, he's a Christian who is raptured.
Another point - the Christianity the film presents doesn't go much deeper than surface level (also an issue in Christian Mingle, which is not what the opening monologue claims). The pilot is identified as Christian by a watch with a Bible verse note, the flight attendant by a note in her diary about a Bible study. The main focus of the Christians in the film is evangelism and worrying about the Rapture/End Times. This is also a problem in the books, so it's not like there was a great source material to work with, but.
The film doesn't present a convincing or compelling picture of Christianity at all. It's the ultimate in fear-evangelism, relying on scare tactics without engaging with either Christianity or people.
I also watched Twin Peaks! Which is pretty fantastic. I started the show viscerally opposed to the idea of Agent Cooper and Audrey and ended up shipping them in the sense that I liked so much how he didn't go the creepy route but instead was kind and distanced himself because she was a teenager and in high school, and their relationship was lovely and I'd have totally been happy if they'd ended up together when she was older.
I did lose interest in the second season, which I thought was me being Bad At Watching Television, but which may just have been the show lagging. (Although I found the Leland stuff too tense and awful to watch, which I think is a fairly unpopular opinion, so.) It did become interesting again when the White Lodge/Black Lodge storyline got going, though. And Audrey and her character arc were wonderful. Reuniting with her father and being able to help with the business. <3
Another thing: I re-read the Chronicles of Brothers series to livetweet it, and MAN. Those books are worse than I remember. Just. So badly written on so many different levels.
How To Start A Religion
Hold your breath until your lungs crack
When you open your mouth again
Your shout goodnight will echo in the bones
Of children in the light of stars as yet unborn
Find space in your wrists to hold a world
Wait until the birth tears them open
Try to remember
Not to be scared
Learn that your blood is rain
Learn that you pour it out before your enemies
Learn to hope they will drink it and be refreshed
That it will breathe repentance through their insides
Until the taste makes them cough up
All the evil they ever did
Learn each line life etched onto our skin
Learn each blister and each bruise
Until they're painted on your own
From the sheer force of knowing
Because each time you fell you knew how we'd fall
And every drop of blood was pressed between the pages of your memory
Between the leaves of your skin
And all the scars were strokes of letters
And you taught me every word
Until my tongue screamed from the pain of it
And learn that scream
Make it a tune you know by heart
Let the chains squeeze every beat
Until you have no choice
Break them or burst