Captain America: Civil War – Parental Review

Captain America: Civil War is unlike any other Marvel movie that I have yet seen. It was intensely personal, deeply-thought provoking, and causes you to engage more emotions than any of the previous movies. While it is a roller coaster, it is chock-full of great talking points and discussion starters for your family. For those parents who want a thorough opinion on whether or not this movie is appropriate for their children, I have put together a quick review from the perspective of a pretty cautious movie-watcher. (Warning,  some slight spoilers ahead. I have tried mainly to use vague generalities, but in a few cases I have to be more detailed in order to give full information.)

Sex/Nudity – This section is barely applicable. There is one kiss in this movie that never moves beyond sweet. Scarlet Witch’s costume during a fight scene is low, exposing quite a bit of cleavage. There aren’t many moments when you get a full-on view of her, and the ones that do happen are brief.

Violence/Gore- This movie feels a bit more violent than the previous Cap movies because of the extremely personal nature of the battles. It is friend against friend. One battle is less heart-breaking and more comedic, while the second battle between friends is pretty gut-wrenching. I did not feel that they were unnecessary with the gore or violence in this movie. There are a few moments I would classify as,”gory”. One is short scene where we see man’s disfigured face. There is a scene where a man is bound and suspended upside down above a sink that is slowly filling with water. You see the water cover up his nose before the camera pans away. Another scene where the limp hand of a dead man is shown with blood trailing (a frontal view is shown of the body later on a smaller screen). Be prepared for a lot of smashing, crashing, banging, and bruising. There are a few scenes with some screaming in terror and pain. Also, there is one very highly-upsetting murder shown on a screen where someone has their face bashed twice, killing them. You are shown the entire scene for the emotionally devastating effect of it. It is an emotionally charged moment that might be too much for younger viewers. This scene leads to the final fight between friends that is also deeply upsetting, but it doesn’t end poorly.

Language/Profanity- This movie was lighter in many ways in terms of language. According to imdb there are 5 uses of s***, 2 g**d***, 2 s**of a b****, and 1 a**. I do recall more than one a** than mentioned above. There were also many uses of oh my g** and h*** during intense moments.

Heroes and Role Models- Captain America/Steve Rogers has been an admirable role model from the very beginning. His high moral standards, determination to do the right thing, and stubborn fight for freedom make him a hero for the ages. In this film you get to see another dimension of Steve in that he is faced with many difficult choices that bring him into conflict with some of his best friends. Watching Steve navigate these complex issues is amazing as you see him continue to stand firm in his beliefs, while refusing to give into hate or vengeance.

Tony Stark is a more difficult character to watch in this film, as he too is fighting hard for something that he believes in. However, Tony’s foolish actions in both this movie and his previous appearances in Marvel films have caused a lot of heartache and difficulty. Still, he had the desire to be a hero and do the right thing, making him a heart-wrenching and difficult character in this film. Unlike Steve, he approaches much in this movie with unsteady emotions, and sometimes, a hateful vengeance, either for himself or for others.

Talking Points- There are a lot of great discussion starters in this movie. It is complex plot that shows many angles to one question. Beloved allies become foes, and you see all kinds of reactions based out of many  human insecurities. This movie may be a bit difficult to mentally wade through for younger viewers, but it could also be a great launching pad for some enriching discussion and conversations with their parents.

  • How do you hold yourself accountable? Are you principled enough to hold yourself to a high standard?
  • How do you feel about others holding you accountable to a specific set of standards or beliefs?
  • Can we trust other people to do our thinking for us? Why or why not?
  • Is it a good idea to keep secrets from people we care about?
  • How do we deal with grief?
  • How do we deal with guilt? Do we let the fear of it drive our future actions?
  • What happens when you let a thirst for vengeance drive you? Why could that be a bad thing?
  • What should drive our actions?
  • Can we learn to forgive ourselves while still taking responsibility for our mistakes?
  • What will you do when you are alone in what you believe? How do you stay true to what you know to be right in the face of a majority?
  • Can you have the humility to admit when you have been wrong?
  • How do you treat others who don’t agree with you?

This is a wonderful movie that Marvel should be very proud of. It is a brilliant story, a wonderful set of characters, and introduces many questions that we can all relate to. I highly recommend it to adults, teens, and families who are comfortable with this content. I hope this review can help you determine whether or not it is appropriate for your family.

 

5 Things We Will Miss About “Agent Carter”

It was announced yesterday that the amazing series Agent Carter starring Haley Atwell, James D’Arcy, Enver Gjokaj, and Dominic Cooper, has been cancelled after only two seasons.

This news is devastating to fans of Peggy Carter, who is one of the most incredible Marvel characters to ever grace the screen. She is, without a doubt, the mother of Marvel and fully deserved her own show. Perhaps someone will see the lost potential in cancelling this show too soon and pick it up again in the future. Fingers crossed!

For now, let’s remember the things that we will miss most about Agent Carter.

Jarvis

Jarvis

What a treat it was to see the legendary butler who inspired the modern AI used by Tony Stark as the glue that holds his world together. Agent Carter enabled us to meet and get to know the man of the past, and what an incredible person he is. Jarvis has some of the best lines ever written, his wit and stating-the-obvious remarks on things were one of the most shining aspects of this show. And the moments where he and Peggy go toe-to-toe? Oh, they were so deliciously British.

Peggy and Jarvis

Jarvis also often serves as the voice of truth, stating the profound when Peggy needs it the most.

Jarvis profound

Daniel Souza

Peggy and Hubby

Daniel, the man who won the heart of the woman who loved Steve Rogers. If there was anyone deserving of Peggy Carter, it was him. Souza was every bit the man that Steve Rogers was, he was honest, respectful, and cared about people. Steve would have seen a kindred spirit in him. Daniel never lets his physical limitations get in his way, but managed to be so capable that you forgot he has a bad leg.

At least they gave us the satisfaction of knowing that these two end up together, instead of leaving us hanging.

You can watch the scene here.

The Villains

Agent Carter did an excellent job with their villains. Some they fleshed out and made almost sympathetic, such as Dr. Ivchenko from Season 1. Others were cold and calculating and made your skin crawl. But one thing that Agent Carter totally nailed in the villain department was their female villains.

There is something more utterly terrifying about a female villain than a man. Perhaps it is the cold, almost elegant way that they are cruel. None fits that bill more than 1940s Black Widow: Dottie Underwood.

Dottie Underwood

The shivers that ran down my back when I looked into this woman’s eyes! Bridget Regan did an incredible job playing a cold, heartless woman who could kill with her bare hands. We got a better peek into the Black Widow program that later would produce Natasha Romanoff, a future Avenger. Seeing Dottie made us all realize just how far Natasha has come from those days.

Whitney Frost

Whitney Frost had more dimensions to her than Dottie, and yet, in a way, that made her all the more terrifying. We identified with her on occasion, perhaps even felt sorry for her (until she shot Ana Jarvis, then we despised her.) And then, suddenly she would reveal the ugliness inside of her and she was terrifying. Power lust is a pretty scary thing, one that Wynn Everette nailed in portraying.

That 1940s Setting

There’s a reason there are so many people obsessed with the styles of the 40s, they are amazing. The makers of Agent Carter can be proud of creating a 40s setting that was dreamy and dangerous. From the diner where best friend Angie worked, the old telephone company that housed the secret SSR headquarters, to the old Hollywood glam of LA, we loved every bit of this setting.

Not to mention, Haley Atwell wears the 40s like a second skin.

Peggy, 40s queen

Peggy Carter the Legend

Last but most certainly not least, we are going to miss Peggy Carter. From the first moment we met her in Captain America: The First Avenger we have been in love with this kick-rear, British woman with sass who has a heart bigger than Brooklyn. Marvel must be in love with her as well, she almost rivals Stan Lee in the number of cameos she has had at various life stages in different Marvel films. The more movies you see, the more you realize just how instrumental Peggy has been in the universe.

I have loved every moment of watching this woman. The way she handles bullies, the moments when she shows off her spy skills (the American accent), her witty one-liner games with Jarvis, and above all, the moments when we see the big and beautiful heart of the human, Peggy Carter. She is a legendary character and one that both men and women can admire and try to imitate. We love you, Peggy, and we have not given up on you. Here’s to 2 Seasons of an incredible show, may Peggy, Jarvis, Daniel, and all of the others return to our screens soon!

Peggy 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!