Uncle NecRo Watches: READY PLAYER ONE

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UNCLE NECRO WATCHES

ready player one

Uncle NecRo just watched the ode to late 20th Century childhood nostalgia, Ready Player One, and he’s joined by Brian from the Will Code For Beer pubcast. What did they think about it? You’ll have to listen to find out…spoilers ahead, folks…

necrosarx@gmail.com
willcodeforbeer.wordpress.com
willcodeforbeershow@gmail.com

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Uncle NecRo Watches: PACIFIC RIM: Uprising

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UNCLE NECRO WATCHES

pacific rim uprising

Uncle NecRo is on holiday (the fancy European way of saying “vacation”) and have taken the afternoon to take in a showing of Pacific Rim: Uprising…this is his brain droppings on the thing…

necrosarx@gmail.com

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THREE DISTORTIONS OF CHRISTIANITY

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Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God — or rather are known by God — how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you. I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong. As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the Gospel to you, and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them. It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you. My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of chilbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you! – Galatians 4:8-20

Almost from the beginning there were forces at work within Christianity that would have destroyed or sidetracked the movement. Of these, three created many problems then and have continued to reappear in other forms even today. The three aberrations are contrasted to true Christianity.

  • JUDIAIZED CHRISTIANITY

Their Definition Of A Christian: Christians are Jews who have recognized Jesus as the promised Savior. Therefore, any Gentile desiring to become a Christian must first become a Jew.

Their Genuine Concern: Having a high regard for the Scriptures and God’s choice of Jews as his people, they did not want to see God’s commands overlooked or broken.

The Danger: Tends to add human traditions and standards to God’s law. Also subtracts from the Scriptures God’s clear concern for all nations.

Application Question: Do you appreciate God’s choice of a unique people through whom He offered forgiveness and eternal life to all peoples?

  • LEGALIZED CHRISTIANITY

Their Definition Of A Christian: Christians are those who live by a long list of “don’ts”. God’s favor is earned by good behavior.

Their Genuine Concern: Recognized that real change brought about by God should lead to changes in behavior.

The Danger: Tends to make God’s love something to earn rather than to accept freely. Would reduce Christianity to a set of impossible rules and transform the Good News into bad news.

Application Question: As important as change in action is, can you see that God may be desiring different changes in you than in others?

  • LAWLESS CHRISTIANITY

Their Definition Of A Christian: Christians live above the law. They need no guidelines. God’s Word is not as important as our personal sense of God’s guidance.

Their Genuine Concern: Recognized that forgiveness from god cannot be based on our ability to live up to his perfect standards. It must be received by faith as a gift made possible by Christ’s death on the cross.

The Danger: Forgets that Christians are still human and fail consistently when trying to live only by what they “feel” God wants.

Application Question: Do you recognize the ongoing need for God’s expressed commands as you live out your gratitude for his great salvation?

  • TRUE CHRISTIANITY

Their Definition Of A Christian: Christians are those who believe inwardly and outwardly that Jesus’ death has allowed God to offer them forgiveness and eternal life as a gift. They have accepted that gift through faith and are seeking to live a life of obedient gratitude for what God has done for them.

Their Genuine Concern:
Christianity is both private and public, with heart-belief and mouth-confession. Our relationship to God and the power he provides result in obedience. Having received forgiveness and eternal life, we are now daily challenged to live that life with his help.

The Danger: Avoids the above dangers.

Application Question: How would those closest to you describe your Christianity? Do they think you live so that God will accept you, or do they know that you live because God has accepted you in Christ?

[taken from the Life Application Study Bible]

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Seems Pretty Apt, Really…

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Saw this, and it made root beer come out of my nose. Thinking it’s pretty apt, considering the current political climate and all…

how the world really ends

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Space is warped and time is bendable…

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space is warped and time is bendableSunday mourning. I appear to have lost an hour of time overnight. I’ve checked the couch cushions, but the hour wasn’t there. It was there when I went to bed, but when I woke up, all gone.

I know I’m missing an hour, because the clocks all say it’s 7am, but everything acts like it’s 6am. Have we all experienced a skip in time? This seems to happen every year; there’s a time skip, then later — several months later — it corrects itself.

Theory: Time is unraveling exponentially. Which would explain why time seems to be going faster than it did when I was a young boy. Is there a wormhole causing the population to time travel? And if so, why isn’t Phoenix affected? Are they situated on an anomaly of some sort?

Whatever it is, it seems to be stable and predictable enough as to be able to warn everyone about the skip a week or so in advance.

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Like A Cat On A Leash…

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cat on a leashBetween the ages of four and five, my family was living in Iceland at the Keflavik Naval base. One afternoon, my dad came back home with a cat that he said was rescued from an abandoned car, and became our family pet. This cat didn’t like me too much, because–for reasons logical to my five-year-old mind at the time–I would always try to walk the cat like a dog. I would tie a belt around her neck and try to go for a walk with the poor thing. Of course, that cat wasn’t having any of it, and would do the passive-resistance thing by laying on her side and not moving while I tried dragging her along, urging to just walk instead of being dragged. It’s a miracle I didn’t inadvertently choke the poor thing to death.

Again, I was five. I didn’t know any better. My parents did punish me when they caught me doing it. Please keep the threats to my life to a minimum, they do get boorish after a while. Anyway…

I bring up this trip down amnesia lane for the purpose of illustrating another bit of truth about my daily wanderings in this post-Evangelical wilderness of mine: my flesh just doesn’t want to cooperate. Since endeavoring to become a disciple of Jesus Christ and not merely a follower (there is a difference; perhaps one day I will finally write about that as well…on the list it goes), and letting the Holy Spirit do His thing with the sanctification process that will be going on until the day I go Home, my flesh isn’t very happy about it.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.– Galatians 5:24-25

The thing about crucifixion as a means of execution is, it’s not the most efficient or even humanitarian way of being put to death. It could take hours, days, even weeks for the condemned person to finally die. In the meantime, it’s a very painful, very horrendous and slowly antagonizing death. The metaphor is very apt, as my flesh is slowly dying, being put to death by the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification on me, and it knows it’s dying. It can feel the death processes very clearly. And it’s not going to go without a fight.

Basically, when my flesh can’t get what it wants, when it feels it’s being dragged along by the Holy Spirit upon the leash that ties it to me, it does what the cat in Iceland did: it tries to make the process as rough as possible by laying down and dragging along. I want to follow the Holy Spirit, but my progress is being hindered by this dead weight not wanting to comply.

But, I seem to be in good company with this struggle. As the same guy who wrote the words in Galatians, also wrote this in Romans:

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!– Romans 7:21-25

So, here I am, wanting to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance, but being bogged down by my flesh more often than not. I despair, but then I remember that the Apostle Paul himself struggled with the same thing. And if one of the greatest followers of Jesus Christ had trouble, what makes me think I’m going to get to the end of this path I follow unscathed?

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Movie Review: ANNIHILATION

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annihilationParamount
2018
R

“It’s destroying everything.”
“It’s not destroying. It’s making something new.”

It’s not an easy thing for a movie to get under my skin. As someone who cut his teeth on horror and sci-fi movies and general weird fiction at a young age, I might be what you would consider a bit jaded when it comes to these kind of movies. So, when something comes along that can really get under my skin while at the same time gets my brain going, we’ve got something special, I would say.

I was looking forward to watching Annihilation since reading the premise on Den Of Geek last year. Apparently, this was a movie that was in danger of being dumbed down by executive suits. But the director and the producer stuck to their guns, and Annihilation was released as it was…to theaters in the US and China, and Netflix everywhere else. Which seems like an insult, like the studio was trying to make the movie fail. Regardless, as an Americanite, I saw Annihilation on the big screen. And I assure you, this is worthy of the big screen, not shuffled off onto Netflix.

Spoilers ahead, everyone. Really, stop reading this and watch the movie and come back. You won’t regret it.

Still here? Well, you’ve been duly noted, then…

So, a meteorite hits a lighthouse on the Florida coast, and immediately a translucent alien soap bubble begins to slowly grow and engulf the surrounding area. Being dubbed the “shimmer”, the military and scientists send in a variety of things to study it…only whatever — and whoever — they send in never comes back. Except for one guy, who had been missing for a year. His wife, a biologist and ex-military herself, is still holding on to hope that he comes back…and he does! With no memory of where he was, or how he got back to their house, while acting strangely detached and odd. Soon after he arrives, he and the wife are taken by the military to the base set up at the outside perimeter of the slowly advancing shimmer. With her husband in a coma, the wife volunteers to join a team to go into the Shimmer and try to get to the lighthouse at the center and figure out not only what’s going on inside the Shimmer, but what may have happened to the previous team that never came back. Mostly. Anyway, as soon as they all go in, the weirdness happens, as they immediately lose three days they can’t remember. They notice the fauna and the wildlife seem to be mutating, as the Shimmer works more like a prism, refracting not only light, but also the basic DNA structure of everything within the expanding structure. Which makes for not only unique beauty, but also some very disturbing nightmare fuel. Soon, the paranoia starts to take hold, and the team begin dying one by one, until the biologist wife and the psychiatrist leader of the team remain…maybe. Do they make it to the lighthouse? Well, yes…but that’s all I’m gonna say, because YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS MOVIE.

Seriously, Annihilation is a fantastic movie that needs to be watched. That description up there? No justice to what actually goes on in the flick. This is one of those rare instances where the mix of heady hard science fiction and Lovecraftian nightmare fuel works at a level that I haven’t experienced in a long while. It’s taken me this long to figure out just how I was going to write this review without not only spoiling things, but just keeping things from spiraling into a multi-page thesis type article. I’ve been chewing on this for just over a week since seeing this, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be thinking about it long after I post this.

The disappointing thing is, I understand that Annihilation is probably going to not do as well as I want this to. Mainly because it’s not the entertaining comic book stuff that’s been the usual fare. It’s not Star Wars. It’s not a Marvel superhero movie. It’s a slow-burning, heady science fiction movie that’s more than the sum of its parts. If you love movies like Arrival, 2001: A Space Odessey, Event Horizon and Ex Machina, then do yourself a favor and go watch Annihilation while you can, in the theaters. Very much recommended.

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