Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children: Movie Review

I just got back from this film. Definitely a walk on the darker side for me, I don’t typically go for darker fantasy.

Still, I cannot escape my fascination with Asa Butterfield (Jake), and if he is in a film that fits my moral standards, I am going to be there. I love watching him, not only because his eyes are mesmerizing, but there is this quality in his acting that he brings out every single time, in any character. This level of curiosity, concern, and protectiveness. He’s one of a kind.

So is this movie. It was, unique, to say the least. I would not recommend this film to younger viewers (under 13) as it is very dark and violent. Children are in mortal danger and other children have been brutally murdered.

Still, in terms of a creepy movie that won’t ruin your soul and will give you an engaging story, endearing characters, and a comfortable ending, Miss Peregrine will fit the bill.

It’s no great masterpiece of tight plot, but your interest in the characters and their fate will keep you watching this film. All of the children actors were incredible. Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), was fascinating. She was almost musical in her mannerisms, confident in her actions, and vibrant in her style. I enjoyed her thoroughly and wouldn’t mind cosplaying as her.

The scenery was beautiful or horrifying by turns. Every mood was captured appropriately.

The villain was not exactly what I could term terrifying, he was actually on the casual, almost nonchalant side. He was not the most horrifying of the evil things, so, his lightness was okay. It was almost relaxing to have a nonchalant villain who just did his thing and seemed amused with those people in his way.

Some parts of this movie were just plain bizarre, but if you relax and anticipate weirdness, you should enjoy this film.

Here are some more specifics if you want to know whether or not this movie is appropriate for your family. *warning, some spoilers, I will keep my terms as general as possible

Sex/Nudity- One child’s peculiarity is invisibility, whenever they need him to be completely invisible he has to become naked. Naked and invisible, chilly, but not really an issue.

One female character removes her outer clothing, a male character glances away as if unsure, but she is only going down to an undergarment layer the equivalent of a tank top and shorts. The scene is non-sexual and purely practical.

2 sweet and brief kisses between older teenagers.

Violence/Gore- Prepare yourself, this is a long section.

Multiple characters are shown lying dead with their eye sockets empty. The evil creatures need to feed upon the eyeballs of other “peculiars” in order to accomplish something.

A character picks up a bloody object. Another character is found holding an even bloodier object.

Characters are shown dead.

Characters go through something like an electric shock, which leads to a disturbing body transformation.

Monsters are shot with crossbows, or stabbed with objects.

A dead child is kept in a room, his eye sockets empty.

A child has a knife held to their neck to be used as leverage. The child is fine.

One character does lose their eyeballs on screen, this is not a beloved character.

A villain tries to drown a child, the child is shown underneath ice. The child makes it.

A villain tries to freeze another child. That child appears to be dead, but is revived.

A character is grabbed violently through a window and never seen again.

A character who’s “peculiarity” is to animate things to life creates disturbing little toys, toys that then fight each other and “die”. This character does end up using their power to accomplish good and is better by the end of the film.

A large battle between skeletons and monsters takes place.

Language/Profanity- One oh my g**, maybe 2 at the most

crap

Frightening Scenes- It starts out frightening, it is frightening throughout, it is weird, but the ending is comfortably peaceful and happy.

Heroes/Role Models- There are many heroes in this film. Miss Peregrine’s role in life is to protect “her” children. She puts their safety above her own.

Jake is not a heroic figure to begin with, but he grows into an intelligent and strong protector, embracing his destiny. He also enables the other Peculiars to become braver and use their gifts to defeat evil.

Abe has been protector of the Peculiars his whole life.

Talking Points

  • How can we be brave?
  • What does bravery mean?
  • How can we use our gifts and talents to help those around us?

I enjoyed this movie, despite it being outside of my comfort zone. I wouldn’t be opposed to a sequel, but we shall see what happens.

Happy October!

 

 

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The Need for a Sparring Partner- Part 2

Sparring partners can come in many forms. They can be good friends and allies. They are often love interests. Many sparring partners actually come in the form of villains who, by adding negative pressure, force the hero to get stronger. A sparring partner can also come in the form of a setting or circumstance.

Here are a few examples of good sparring partners.

Love Interest Sparring Partners

Han Solo and Princess Leia

There is no question that Han’s interest in Leia opened the door for him to reveal his big heart and put it out on his sleeve. Han’s drive to fight for Leia, Luke, and the Rebellion pushed him to greater things and more selflessness than ever before.

Leia’s love for Han opened up places in her heart that she had carefully shielded. She is a more well-rounded person because of him.

Image result for han solo leia gifs

And let us all just recognize the masterpiece that are Han and Leia’s verbal exchanges. I think some of the most legendary film dialogue ever written takes place in The Empire Strikes Back.

Finn and Rey

In the course of just a few days, Finn goes from being a frightened Stormtrooper to charging fearlessly into Starkiller Base and dueling with a Dark Side warrior. Finn makes this incredible 180 turnaround because of one person: Rey. Rey simply being who she is pushes Finn to desire to be better, to be more. And that mighty person is exactly what he becomes.

Likewise, Finn touches Rey’s heart by being the first person in her life who has shown her concern, care, and friendship. His choices regarding her make a huge impact on her chosen direction. Finn was a catalyst in Rey’s life that helped move her down the path she is destined for.

Barry Allen and Iris West 

I wish I had time to cover everything I have to say on the subject of West-Allen. I promise you, there is a juicy article in the works.

Barry Allen has been in love with Iris West since forever. Iris has always believed in Barry, even when he didn’t believe in himself. The combination of these two is dynamite.

Barry runs faster, punches harder, and doesn’t give up because he knows that Iris believes in him. She is his inspiration as well as his home.

Iris has always been inspired by Barry, she has always believed in him, even before he became the Flash. Her relationship with Barry throughout the years has helped shape her into a compassionate and mighty person who makes things happen. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind to Barry, even when he doesn’t want to listen.

Like I said, dynamite.

Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter

*Sigh*, we’ve lived this story so many times and it always hurts. But it still wows me.

Steve Rogers immediately saw the strength, dignity, and heart in Peggy Carter. She was everything he could have ever dreamed for in a woman. Knowing her made him want to be better all the time. He carries a picture of her in his compass because Peggy is his true north, his guide, even after her death her words and heart still reach him at his core.

Peggy Carter was almost instantaneously impacted by Steve Rogers. She fell in love with him on Day 1 and his memory inspired pretty much her entire life. She felt that no one, including her, could ever hope to be everything that Steve was. Keeping him in mind, Peggy lived a legendary life that inspired others.

Best Friends

Steve and Bucky

They are with each other “To the end of the line.” 

Growing up, Bucky kept Steve alive. He never failed to have Steve’s back. He took punches, fought battles, and held his friend up through anything. Knowing that scrawny kid from Brooklyn with the massive heart made Bucky into the best friend everyone dreams of. He is a total hero. Without Bucky, there never would have been Captain America

Steve had the best friend in the world, one he could always depend on. When Steve thought he lost Bucky, he kept going with Bucky still sitting in his heart. The knowledge of who Bucky was and the sacrifices he willingly made hugely impacted Steve’s life choices. Later on, when Steve learned Bucky wasn’t actually dead but now a brainwashed assassin, Steve didn’t write his friend off. He walked through fire and ice to save his friend, without hesitation.

Hiccup and Toothless

Hiccup Haddock began to come into his own as soon as he met Toothless. While Hiccup already had many unrecognized talents and abilities, he never had a reason to bring them forward until he met his dragon. Toothless made Hiccup grow into a selfless leader who is constantly improving. Hiccup never settles or stays stagnant, he is always improving, always growing.

Bonding with Hiccup pushed Toothless beyond the bounds of ordinary dragons. Toothless was already an extraordinary dragon, but his great love for Hiccup has pushed him to do things that go even against his own biological instinct. The greatest example of this is when he challenges the Alpha Bewilderbeast in order to protect Hiccup.

Hiccup and Toothless are stronger together, they inspire and push each other to greater heights all the time.

Woody and Buzz

Despite a rough beginning, Woody and Buzz have a friendship that real life people are jealous of. While Woody at first felt threatened by Buzz’s strong presence, he has since grown to appreciate and lean on this brave little space ranger’s shoulder. Woody helped Buzz face reality, learn resourcefulness, and taught him the joy of being a child’s toy.

Buzz is Woody’s backbone. When Woody needs support, Buzz is there. When Woody can’t lead the other toys, Buzz steps up to the plate. When Woody forgets who he is and what being a toy means, Buzz is there to remind him. Great friends remind each other who they are when one has forgotten.

Woody and Buzz make each other better, they fill each other out and made one heck of a team.

Enemies

Flash and Reverse Flash

Run, Barry, run!

Eobard Thawne (aka Harrison Wells/The Reverse Flash) is a top example of a how a villain can be an excellent sparring partner.

Thawne is incredibly layered and complex because he has been the friend, mentor, villain, and created circumstances that have all shaped Barry and forced him to become better. Thawne is constantly moving around and changing up his strategy to manipulate Barry’s actions. That being said, everything that Thawne has done has still made Barry faster, stronger, and smarter.

 

Barry continually overcomes obstacles and springs back up. Whenever Thawne thinks he has won, or at least stolen something from Barry, the strength of Barry’s will and heart still carry the day. Thawne continually has to change and evolve his strategy because he just can’t seem to take a good Barry down.

Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader

There are dozens of articles waiting to happen regarding the Skywalker family. I’ll try to keep it simple here for now.

Luke Skywalker came onto the scene as a whiny kid who had raw talent and Force abilities. And he was in WAY OVER HIS HEAD. Still, he had a enough mentoring in the form of Obi-Wan to jump-start his Jedi career. He also adopted his own personal enemy, the scary guy known as Darth Vader.

Luke was driven to conquer Vader for multiple reasons. He knew Vader to be the villain that destroyed his father (whom Luke worships), Vader killed his mentor (Obi-Wan), and Luke knows that in order to become a powerful Jedi, defeating Vader is his primary concern.

This drive to defeat Vader pushes Luke to train. His time spent on Dagobah was all geared towards his impending confrontation with Vader. Mentally, and physically, Luke was preparing himself for the sole goal of defeating Vader. And then, SURPRISE!

This was a huge moment for Luke’s character. Everything could have fallen apart right here, but lucky for us Luke was smart enough to fall down a ventilation shaft and get the heck outta there.

By the sixth movie, Luke’s goal and drive was to win his father back. He was calm, focused, and frighteningly strong. He faced down Vader and the Emperor without fear. He declared himself to be a true Jedi and confirmed his belief in the good left in Anakin Skywalker. Because of his back and forth battle with Vader, emotionally, physically, and mentally, Luke walks out of Return of the Jedi a total superstar.

 

Darth Vader was trapped. He was evil, he hated the Emperor, and he hated himself. But he was too weak to do anything about it. Until he met Luke.

“The Force is strong with this one.” He becomes obsessed with tracking Luke down and bringing Luke over to his side to join him and overthrow the Emperor.

But that Luke is just too darned determined! He’s slippery, he has good friends who have his back, and Luke is surprisingly strong. Vader has to keep thinking outside of the carbonite chamber in order to track Luke down.

He tries to play the “I’m your Daddy, I know you have Daddy issues” card and his kid purposely falls down a ventilation shaft to get away.

Luke awakens something in Vader. He awakens whatever is left of Anakin that is buried inside of this dark Sith lord.

Vader is in awe of this kid, his kid, who keeps popping back up and just getting stronger all the time. Vader is at war within himself, the Dark and Light side are both tugging at him. One side is his enslaved mind to his Master, and on the other side is his love and admiration for his son.

Luke’s faithfulness and strength are strong enough to make Darth Vader shake himself out of years of darkness and slavery, and overcome the evil that is both himself and the Emperor.

If Luke had never been forced to face Vader, he wouldn’t be so strong. And if Luke hadn’t been so strong, Vader never would have returned to being Anakin. That right there is a showcase of the great power of a excellent sparring partner.

Vader and Luke were sparring partners from the very beginning, even though the nature of their interaction with each other evolved and changed throughout the story.

Setting/Circumstance

Mars and Mark Watney

The Martian has to be one of the best films I have ever seen. It was man vs. Mars wrapped up in a dramatic, yet lighthearted and educational package..

There is no villain in The Martian, but there is an antagonist, and one heck of a sparring partner: Mars.

An inanimate object, a thing with no mind, will, or emotions still takes on the role of the opposition. In order to stay alive, Mark Watney has to essentially beat Mars. He has to out-think, out-math, out-science, out-wit, and out-mental Mars.

Mars proves to be a pretty tough sparring partner. It constantly throws things Mark’s way that almost kill him.

Mark jumps through hoops, solves seemingly impossible equations, and comes up with gadgets and gizmos that would make MacGyver weep. Mark also grows very mentally strong during this ordeal. While he faces heartache, loneliness, despair, and fear, he never gives up.

The Mark Watney who went into space with his buddies is not the same Mark Watney that comes back to earth. He has conquered the unimaginable and come out victorious.

Mark still has an affection for Mars. Even though just about every aspect of Mars was trying to kill him on a regular basis, Mark appreciated the beauty and wonder of Mars. Mars was practically became a character in its own right.

Mark’s character sparred with Mars and he grew exponentially. Those watching Mark grew. Mark’s goal to stay in the match (stay alive) with Mars created a ripple effect that went all the way down to earth. Thousands of people were effected and made stronger by the match with Mars.

Jurassic Park Movies- Man Vs. Nature

Yet another series that I have so much to say on, but now is not the time.

The Jurassic Park films are an amazing example of using setting/circumstance as a sparring partner. I put the dinosaurs into the category of setting because the dinosaurs are not dangerous for any emotional or personal reason. This takes the soul and emotion out of the situation, fitting it more into the category of an emotionless setting or circumstance rather than an emotionally-driven character.

While there are human villains in these films, those humans and their effective harm pale in comparison to the dinosaurs and the damage they cause.

Yes, a dinosaur is a living creature, but it is a creature without a spirit and soul. The dinosaurs in Jurassic Park are merely behaving out of their instincts, making them less personal, but no-less deadly. This of course was changed in Jurassic World, when the Indominus Rex began to rampage beyond the need for food or defense, but instead merely for sport.

The characters in the first 3 Jurassic films often go into the situation with wide-eyes and little wisdom.

It doesn’t take long for them to realize that they are pretty well out-matched and they are going to have to adapt and learn fast if they want to live.

The ones who make it out do so because their characters had a growth spurt. They learned to stop underestimating these animals. They learn the animals’ strengths and weaknesses.

The animals also change and adapt. The velociraptors in particular. They experience new circumstances, absorb the information, and then adapt to the new situation. More than any other dinosaur species in this movie series, the velociraptors prove that they are not stagnant and will continue to change and grow. That makes them ever-increasingly difficult to defeat.

This is an incredibly unique set-up, one where an animal is the human’s great sparring partner/enemy, but the non-emotional creature is also learning and growing because of the human’s involvement.

*****

The need for good sparring partners is vital for any story, be it a film, a book, or your real life. I draw a lot from studying these interactions on screen, and I hope now you can too.

What type of sparring partners do you enjoy the most? Villains and heroes? Love interests? Best friends? Setting/circumstance? What are some of your favorite sparring partners on screen? Do you have great real life sparring partners that help you grow and mature?

I’d love to hear your stories and your opinions. Share what you love, I want to know what you think.

And if you missed my previous article, you can find it here.

 

 

 

 

 

Civil War: The Tragic Tale of Tony Stark

“We need to be put in check. Whatever form that takes I’m game.”

Tony Stark: genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. Iron Man. Mad scientist. An amazing individual who is currently on the road to self-destruction.

We love him. He has a wonderful sense of humor that we eagerly look forward to. His gadgets are the stuff of science fiction dreams. The whimsical way he sets up his world (Christmas stockings for his robots and AI, people, that’s adorable) charms us. Tony has a charismatic personality that rallies people around him, even if they end up ready to murder him before it is all said and done.

But in spite of all of these things, Tony Stark never feels that he is enough. A lot of this feeling stems from his obviously strained relationship with his father. I’ll save the ‘importance of good fathers’ rant for another day, but Tony Stark really is a very visual image of what the lack of support from a good father can cause. As I said yesterday, Tony Stark is also straining beneath the weight of wealth, genius, and a God complex. And at some point in his life, Tony came to the conclusion that it was his job and his job alone to save the world. And he would do it, whatever it takes.

Where does this deep drive to save the world single-highhandedly come from? Well, Tony truly does care about saving people. The better part of who he is desires to protect innocent and powerless people. Perhaps it is also compensation for all of the years he spent in selfish frivolity. But even bigger than that, Tony loves being Iron Man, and he is good at it. Just imagine for a moment how wonderful it would feel to do something that causes everyone to sing your praises and thrill at the mere sight of you? The rush of adrenaline and satisfaction that would follow saving people. Somewhere along the way, Tony Stark’s source of self-worth and identity became linked to being Iron Man, savior of the world.

“The futurist is here gentlemen! He sees all, he knows what’s best for you whether you like it or not.” Clint Barton

Often when you feel insufficient personally, you find something to attach yourself to that gives you a sense of worth and identity. A job, money, applause. Tony has all of those things, and it is in those things that he finds his self worth. He’s no different than millions of other people, but unfortunately, the consequences of his actions tend to be global.

Tony is emotionally unstable and reactionary. He’s a grown man, but he still makes a lot of decisions from a place of deep immaturity. He’s brilliant, and is used to being able to fix a problem with some coffee and a few all-nighters in the lab. He can build it, buy it, or talk his way out of it in next to no time. He doesn’t know what to do with a scenario where he can’t come up with a solution.

In Age of Ultron Scarlet Witch drew out some of Tony’s deepest fears and insecurities and revealed them to the world.

“You. Could. Have. Saved. Us. Why. Didn’t. You. Do. More?”

It’s interesting to note that Tony rushed to check on Steve first before the others, even though Hulk was still moving around. I think we can take that as a small sign of how much Tony truly loves his friend Steve.

I also find it very intriguing that it was Steve who said the above words to Tony. Steve really represents a very personal part of who Tony is. He grew up listening to his distant, genius father regale the praises of this guy named Steve Rogers who succeeded in saving the world. Given that Tony was never good enough for his father, imagine what it would feel like to constantly hear about someone who was? No wonder Tony is trying to save the world, it’s like he’s trying to be as good as Captain America and be good enough for both himself and his dead father.

Oh, and then, later on, that exact man shows up in Tony’s world with his same handsome heroism, high morals, and great ideals. As much as Tony loves Steve dearly, he is also bitter and holds a bit of hatred in his heart toward Steve. Something which all came out in the light during that final showdown between the two of them.

Tony is reactionary. He feels something, and he tries to fix it instantly. The moment he came out of this vision he was on a mission. While Ultron had been set in motion in his mind before this event, that vision was the inciting event which sent Tony Stark careening out of control.

Ultron revealed more than anything just how far Tony’s downward spiral has come.

“Ultron can’t see the difference between saving the world and destroying it. Where do you think he gets that?” Wanda Maximoff

Ultron is just Tony’s current mindset put into robot form. The results? Death and destruction. Tony fails on a horrifying scale.

The destruction of Sokovia brings Tony’s ideas about creating a suit of armor around the world crashing to the ground. Literally. In Civil War we are introduced to Tony as he is reeling from the guilt of the large amount of destruction he caused. Like I said before, Tony is reactionary. What do we find him doing? Giving out millions of dollars of grants to a bunch of student projects. The scene with the grieving mother in the hallway is just salt in raw and open wounds. This is all amplified by the fact that Pepper and he aren’t together anymore. She has always been his anchor and stabilizing force, without her, he feels like a loose flag flapping in the wind.

He returns weary and raw to Avengers headquarters to be faced with a reminder again of everything that has ever gone wrong. Now, as I have said before, the ONE AND ONLY event that should have even been discussed here was Sokovia itself. None of the other battles involving Avengers were anywhere out of line.

Even so, Sokovia is laid down at the Avengers’ door when really it should all be sitting in Tony Stark’s lap. Tony feels the guilt, but he hasn’t really stepped up to receive the full responsibility for what he has done.  Then the Accords get dropped onto the table and Tony sees a way to perhaps sooth his burning conscience. In an attempt to buy penance for his soul, Tony jumps headlong into a contract with unreliable government. Honestly, I think if he wasn’t reacting and was thinking more clearly, Tony’s more logical mind would have said ‘no’. This yet again proves his immaturity though, rather than take on the blame himself and say, “Hey guys, I need help and I need you to hold me accountable.” He grabs the easy option of signing his name and now becoming the politicians’ golden boy. When you have to face the music, it is sometimes easier and to have someone else regulate your behavior rather than taking steps and initiative on your own.

Steve knows the incredible danger that the Accords present. He has spent his life defending freedom and has learned to recognize when it is being threatened. Every single instinct he possesses is telling him that this is a bad move. While it would be the easy option to make everyone happy and get out from under the spotlight (Natasha’s first instinct), Steve knows that in the long run they will lose more lives.

But an even greater comparison is drawn between these two friends.

“This job….we try to save as many people as we can. Sometimes that doesn’t mean everybody. But if we can’t find a way to live with that…next time, maybe nobody gets saved.”

Here is one huge, glaring difference between Tony and Steve: Steve can accept failure.

That sounds really lame for a moment. But think about it. Failure is a part of life as human beings (something I discussed yesterday regarding Vision). Tony, whether he realizes it or not, equals failure as not being worth anything. It is a lie that he has believed his whole life. Tony cannot except failure, therefore, he goes so far to try and avoid it at all possible costs that he manages to fail magnificently. With the signing of the Accords, Tony is making a last ditch effort to keep himself from ever failing again.

Steve recognizes that he is going to fail because he is human. He has dealt with that and accepted it. Rather than spending all of his energy focusing on the impossible feat of not failing, Steve puts his effort into doing the best job possible while sticking to his morals.

I think deep down Tony knows that Steve is right, but all of his emotions are warring within him. He’s angry, he’s devastated, he’s scared, and he wants desperately to find redemption.

The airport battle pushes Tony deeper to a place of guilt as his best friend is injured for life because of his stubbornness. Tony begins to think that perhaps he is wrong. Throughout this entire movie I think we are seeing the beginning of the end of the old Tony Stark.

Tony follows Steve and Bucky out to the Russian prison to follow up on their hunch regarding the other Winter Soldiers. You can just feel the impending battle looming heavy in the air like a heavy, gray cloud. The cloud bursts when Zemo shows the footage of December 16, 1991.

The cloud breaks. And Tony is out for blood.

This part is probably one of the most devastating chunks of film footage I have ever witnessed. Tony is so, SO ANGRY! Everything he has ever felt about his father, himself, Steve, and now Bucky are coming to the surface. The grief over losing his mother is probably the most upsetting fact of all. It was obvious from the flashback that Tony loved his mother more than anyone else in the world. But it was also obvious that he grieves over the lack of connection with his father. He had established something of a family and connection with Steve and the other Avengers; but after Steve reveals that he has been keeping the secret of the Starks’ murder under wraps Tony feels that he has been stabbed in the gut. In a way, as much as Steve and Howard were a point of bitterness and jealousy for Tony, Steve was also a connection point with his dad. That is now gone as well.

It all explodes as Tony tries to kill Bucky. He’s only seeing red at this point, it’s pure emotion and adrenaline. Vengeance is the primary directive in his mind. I don’t know about you all, but my heart was hurting pretty bad during this entire scene.

Steve is bound and determined to save Bucky’s life, even if it is at the expense of his friendship with Tony. One thing I did notice during this movie though: Steve never, ever condemns Tony personally for his choices. While he stands firm in what he knows to be true, Steve has an almost compassionate and empathetic attitude towards Tony in this entire movie. You can almost see him hurting for his friend. There is no bitter animosity in Steve’s actions, even as he is punching Tony  repeatedly.

The fight comes to an end as Steve beats Tony down to the ground and is kneeling on his chest. Steve raises the shield above Tony, who moves to cover his neck. The look in Tony’s eyes is one of sheer terror. He truly believes that Steve is going to kill him. But we all know, that is not who Steve is.

Instead, the shield comes crashing down into the arc reactor and stays there. A very poignant image is created, the shield has crushed the arc reactor. Freedom and truth are the victor, Tony and the Accords are defeated. Tony looks both shocked and relieved. In one last quick flair of anger, he yells after a retreating Steve,

“That shield doesn’t belong to you! It belongs to my father!” 

Steve dumps the shield on the ground without a second thought. Tony lies on the ground looking broken and confused.

The movie ends with the Avengers still split, but not shattered. Tony seems to be calmer and walking around with a clearer head. He is still hurting. You can see the pain in his eyes as he watches his best friend Rhody struggle to walk. Tony seems to have accepted the fact that he had a part to play in his friend’s pain, which is progress. Of course, he designs something to help Rhody out, but what I think makes an even bigger statement is the fact that he stands by while Rhody starts rehab. When Rhody falls, Tony moves to help pick him up. I think this is incredibly symbolic of the fact that Tony is perhaps starting to understand his humanity and accept it.

We have the cute “Tony Stank” scene where the package arrives from Steve. Inside is a letter and an old flip phone. #oldguy #oldtech

“Tony, I’m glad you’re back at the compound. I don’t like the idea of you rattling around a mansion by yourself. We all need family. The Avengers are yours, maybe more so than mine. I’ve been on my own since I was 18. I never really fit in anywhere, even in the army. My faith’s in people, I guess. Individuals. And I’m happy to say that, for the most part, they haven’t let me down. Which is why I can’t let them down either. Locks can be replaced, but maybe they shouldn’t. I know I hurt you, Tony. I guess I thought by not telling you about your parents I was sparing you, but I can see now that I was really sparing myself, and I’m sorry. Hopefully one day you can understand. I wish we agreed on the Accords, I really do. I know you’re doing what you believe in, and that’s all any of us can do. That’s all any of us should… So no matter what, I promise you, if you need us – if you need me – I’ll be there.”

Tony’s face when reading the letter is very healing to watch. He has the look of a man who has just faced his inner demons, but feels freer for having fought them in the open. He also smiles and seems to receive Steve’s earnest apology. There is no sarcasm or bitterness in his eyes this time, instead, there is something resembling peace. Maybe he and Steve can repair the damage and start afresh.

He ends the scene by putting Secretary Ross on hold, an action which I believe is symbolic of the fact that Tony is beginning to change his perspective.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Tony Stark has been on the road to hell for a while, and in Civil War I believe he walked right through it. But sometimes in order to heal and become whole, you have to walk through hell and then climb back up again into the light. Luckily for Tony, he is surrounded by people who will have his back and are willing to walk walk with him. After all, how do the Avengers do anything?

Together.

What did you think of Tony in this movie? Were you Team Iron Man, and if so, was it for political reasons or just because you like him? What scenes made you feel the most? Where do you think Tony will go from here?

If you liked this article, you might like these as well! Civil War: Why Vision Needed to Fail Civil War: Natasha Romanoff, Steve’s Friend Civil War: The First Annual Avenger’s Football Game Civil War: Spiderman, Meet Steve Civil War: Why the Sokovia Accords Are a Waste of Paper Captain America: Civil War – Parental Review 5 Things We Will Miss About “Agent Carter”

 

Welcome

Welcome to reellifebygrace.

My name is Grace, and I love a good story, especially told in movie form. From a very early age, movies and television have ignited my imagination and influenced my life. Someday I hope to become a member of the film world, but for now, I want to get started by sharing my love of movies with other fans.

I hope to use this site to learn more about the medium I love, as well as digging deeper into stories and their characters. I hope that this site can become a place where fans and movie-goers can connect in their shared love of great stories.

Parental reviews, comments and observations on films, character studies, story spotlights, film trivia and knowledge, and perhaps even a cosplay tip or two is what I plan to share with you.

I only intend to write what I know, what I love, and what I have seen. I am merely an untrained observer/writer and fan of films who decided to write her thoughts down for the public to view.

But that’s the fun of movies, right? They are a common story which creates a meeting ground for people from all different backgrounds to connect, discuss, and enjoy. Very few of us are “trained”, or “professionals”.

The “reel” truth is that none of us need to be anything but a fan in order to enjoy the magic of movies. So dig in and enjoy!