Civil War: The First Annual Avenger’s Football Game

“You know what’s about to happen. Are you sure you want to punch your way out of this one?” 

“What do we do?”

“We fight.”

We all had quite a few expectations riding on this crucial battle between both sides of the Civil War. It was the ultimate power clash (well, with the exception of the god of Thunder and the Hulk, but hey, the other Avengers do have their limitations and there was at least 10 minutes of footage to fill).

Many fans expected the airport scene to be horrible for our emotions. Seriously, the thought of Widow and Hawkeye going at it when neither one of them is under mind-control was upsetting. And let’s not even talk about the idea of Widow fighting Cap, the guy who consistently covers her with his shield when the debris starts to fly. And then we have Vision and Scarlet Witch (future husband and wife in the comics) heading into battle against each other. That may need to be ironed out in the pre-marital counseling, just saying.

The thought of any of our beloved Avengers hurting each other was terrible, especially since we know that they all think they are doing the right thing. Gah! The pain!

Still, this scene was fulfilling every fan boy and fan girl’s questions. “What would happen if the Avengers fought each other? Could Falcon beat War Machine (yes, yes he can because Falcon is amazing). Who wins in a punch out between Widow and Hawkeye? Can Ant-man turned Giant-man just pick Avengers out of the sky like King Kong? Just how good is Spiderman?”

So, how do you write a scene with the excitement level set at high, explosions and punches turned up, former friends are foes, and yet, no one dies and fans are alternating gasping at blows and laughing at one-liners?

Answer: The First Annual Avenger’s Football Game.

Think about the thousands of families who have an annual football game, perhaps at Thanksgiving. The stakes are high, and competitive juices are sizzling hotter than the turkey! No one holds back, taunts are exchanged, and Uncle Bill may get a split lip. Still, at the end of the game no one is dead and the battle has entered the annals of legends.

That’s how this amazing scene struck me. I sat at the edge of my seat with the eagerness of a cat at Captain D’s. It was so stinkin’ good! Everyone had a goal in mind, but the majority of the Avengers weren’t really playing “Shoot to kill.”

Honestly, we know that some of these characters were holding back. We saw what Wanda did to the Avenger’s minds back in Age of Ultron. She pretty much compromised the whole team. Steve could have hit Spiderman really hard and squished him (I’m sorry, the title Spider is begging for that joke). But we all know that Steve would never hurt a kid. Vision could have sliced everyone in half if he had wanted to. Natasha has some pretty killer moves with her legs that could take Clint down, but did she really use them? No.

None of our buddies really wanted to hurt each other (except Black Panther but he’s new), so while they all pulled out some of their best fighting, no one died. I’ll just bet you it takes an extra level of skill to bust out those kind of moves with the intention of still leaving everyone alive when the dust settles.

This scene was lively and constantly moving. Characters kept switching foes, which gave us a chance to see different interactions and fighting styles. This entire scene was a superhero nerd’s dream. The filmmakers completely delivered on their promise to give us an incredible action scene while still having some consideration for our emotions. A consideration that they completely trampled on in that final Tony vs. Steve battle; but different time, different scene.

We never knew who was going to be fighting who, what new structure was going to become Giant-man’s new plaything, or, if everyone would stay on their respective teams. The icing on the cake came when Nat switched allegiances at the last minute….more on that tomorrow.

This scene was the stuff of both superhero and action movie legends. I hope that it will be referenced many more times throughout the future movies and I fully intend to watch it over again and again. For now, enjoy some photos and lines from a few of the best moments.

Widow and Hawkeye

“We’re still friends, right?” Natasha

“That depends on how hard you hit me.” Clint

Bucky vs Spiderman

“You have a metal arm? That is awesome, Dude!” Peter Parker

Falcon

“I don’t know how many fights you’ve been in, but there’s not usually this much talking.” Falcon

Giant-man

“Tiny Dude is big now.” Rhodes 

“Anybody on our side hiding any shocking or fantastic abilities they would like to disclose?” Tony

 

What did you think of this scene? Was it everything you were hoping for? Did it disappoint you at all? Did anything take you by surprise? What was your favorite moment?

Other articles you might enjoy 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”

 

 

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Civil War: Spiderman, Meet Steve

“Hey, Cap, big fan.”

Spiderman/Peter Parker jumped into my heart and stuck there from the first moment he opened his mouth. Seriously, I am going to adopt this kid. Tom Holland utterly killed it in making us fall in love with this adorable and earnest teenager who is a little guy taking on a big world.

Huh, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it? I wonder who else has a story like that. Peter’s entire conversation behind Aunt May’s back with Tony was a bit of flashback to Steve’s story. Here is someone who seems insignificant, weak, and overlooked. And yet, he is given (or in Peter’s case accidentally comes into) great power. Because Peter is a good guy with a good heart, he uses that power to do good deeds.

Unfortunately, people with power are easy targets for those who want to use them. Enter: Tony Stark. Now, guys, please don’t hear me saying that I hate Tony Stark, because I don’t. I like the guy. He is hilarious, he’s smart, and I know that he truly cares. But Tony Stark is the most imbalanced and selfish Avenger on the team. More on that later this week.

In Peter Parker’s case, Tony does something that even he should know better than to do. Tony goes and recruits an impressionable teenager to come fight a battle AGAINST AVENGERS. A battle that is Tony’s wrongful fight. He asks Peter to go to Europe behind Aunt May’s back and fight his private war, all because he wants Peter’s power on his team.

Peter Parker has a good heart. He wants to help people and he’s eager to please. But one thing they made abundantly clear with the introduction of this character is that Spiderman is very young. He’s practically a baby compared to most of the superheroes. And, TONY STARK showed up at his house to ask him for help. What would you do?

Peter Parker comes swinging out into that epic Civil War battle (more on this tomorrow) at the airport with the attitude of a kid in a candy store.

“You have a metal arm? Dude! That is so cool!”

He doesn’t comprehend the seriousness of this situation. He doesn’t understand the politics behind it. He hasn’t heard both sides of the story. But he has these powers, and he wants to use them for good; and so, he is here to fight.

The best Spiderman moments in my opinion were his short interchanges with Steve, followed up by the New York exchange. These moments stuck out to me as an open door for audiences to be introduced to an aspect of Peter Parker that I hope will be explored in Spiderman: Homecoming.

All throughout their exchanged blows, Steve is trying to gently ward off Peter by telling him things such as, “You don’t really know what is happening here.” “You’re fighting the wrong fight, kid.” I apologize that I don’t have the exact lines here, I saw the film only once and I was on the edge of my seat during this scene.

What are Peter’s replies to all of Steve’s statements?

“Tony said that you would say that. He said that you think you are doing the right thing, but you’re wrong.” 

Finally, Steve replies with the cherry-on-top line that points out how inexperienced of a superhero Peter is.

Tony say anything else?”

There. It. Is.

One of the biggest signs of growth and maturity in a person is when they learn to think for themselves. When they learn to ask questions before leaping in. When they are willing to be wrong while also being willing to stand firm on something absolute and true. It’s also important to not let down your guard and give your trust away too easily. Hmm, maybe someone should sign Tony up for this class as well.

Peter Parker hasn’t learned all of this  yet. This knowledge is even more crucial for powerful people such as him, as without it, their power can easily be used for bad purposes. Shame on you, Tony!

But that’s okay, Peter is young and I’ll just bet that he will be eager to grow. He’ll learn to ask questions, to read between the lines, and to trust himself when someone is pushing him to do something that fits their agenda. In the meantime…

“You’ve got heart, kid. Where’re you from?” (Steve, looking both amused and fatherly)

“Queens.” (Spiderman straining to hold up several thousand pounds)

“Brooklyn.” (Steve smiles the ‘kindred spirit’ smile before dashing off)

#newyorkermoment #bigapplebros #justakidfromqueensmeets #justakidfrombrooklyn

I would love to see those two work together again, and I think Steve would as well. He likes a little guy with a big heart and I don’t think he blames Peter one bit. Thus far, the rumors only surround Robert Downey Jr. appearing in Spiderman’s film. Hopefully by then Tony will have grown more himself and can offer more to Peter than a black eye and bruised ribs.

Spiderman’s recruitment and subsequent actions in Civil War are a brilliant way to break ground for his movie coming out next year. He is a raw recruit, but he is already adorable and has the potential to become a fan favorite. I can’t wait to see more of him and I am so glad that he was able pop up in this latest movie. Just like all spiders do, they pop up when you are least expecting them.

What did you think of Spiderman? Did you like his involvement in the movie? Would you have done something different with his character? What are your hopes for his upcoming film?

Other articles on Marvel that you might be interested in- Why The Sokovia Accords Are a Waste of Paper Captain America: Civil War – Parental Review 5 Things We Will Miss About “Agent Carter”

Civil War: Why the Sokovia Accords Are a Waste of Paper

“While many view you as heroes, there are some who prefer the term: vigilante….people are afraid.” (Thaddeus Ross, Civil War)

Of course people are afraid. Why? Because they have people like you running government! You want to know what is terrifying, sir? A world where there are Avenger-free zones because they are buried in red tape and paperwork.

Gen Ross

Ross proceeds in this nauseating scene to slap the Avengers on the hand by showing a video montage of all of their massive “disasters”. Let’s review these disastrous events one by one and look at them objectively from a purely logical standpoint.

New York: An alien invasion led by an adopted magician with a chip on his shoulder. Oh, and a nuclear warhead that was just thrown in for good measure by a “legal” organization, SHIELD aka Hydra. How were the Avengers involved? They were begged, hunted down, and collected from their everyday lives to come and fight a battle they did not create. And they kicked rear, big time! Not only did they destroy the aliens, the portal, and the nuclear warhead, but they also managed to do it with as little destruction and casualties as possible. Sure, go ahead and cry over some broken glass, Ross.

D.C. The Triskellion: This was really Steve, Natasha, and Sam’s baby. What did they do? They discovered that the most evil organization on the face of the earth had grown up inside of SHIELD and was about to come out with a grand gesture: the murder of over 20 million people. But good gracious, Steve, those buildings and hellicarriers cost billions, how dare you drop them into the Potomac?

Sokovia and Ultron: This incident was the closest thing to the kind of horrifying event that Ross infers have been all of the Avenger’s battles. Here, I agree with him that what happened in Sokovia was awful. But that’s not on the Avengers, that is on the one-and-only Tony Stark who made the murder bot in the first place. If you want to blame someone, blame Stark. Don’t you dare make him your poster boy for following the “rules”. Despite it being Tony’s fault, guess what team showed up with the motto no one left behind? Yes, let’s regulate these folks to protect the innocent.

Nigeria and the bomb: This was a tragic event where innocent people died. The Avengers were saddened by the experience, especially Wanda. She tried so hard to not skip a beat; however, humans are not perfect and sometimes we make mistakes. But the very idea of Avengers being given the blame for this incident is so ridiculous it’s embarrassing. Why were they in Nigeria in the first place? An evil villain was planning an attack so that he could steal a biological weapon. I repeat, a biological weapon that could kill millions. And naturally, the Avengers were called in as they are literally the only beings capable of handling this kind of situation. Things got hairy and one of them slipped when she was trying to keep a marketplace and her team leader from blowing up. The real icing on the cake is that these Accords were dreamed up and created by individuals who probably struggle to make it to the gym once a year; and yet, they feel qualified to critique someone who is performing the impossible on a regular basis.

Are these vigilantes? Are they choosing situations based on personal vendettas? Are they going out with no regard for life and consequences to further their agendas? Do they randomly misuse their power to further their own designs?

No, that would be the politicians. They call on the Avengers to perform the impossible and then critique them for not being “perfect”. They cite, “The percentage of conflicts since the introduction of Iron Man, blah, blah, blah.” Crazy and evil people with big tech and big superpowers would have risen up whether there were any Avengers around or not. Maybe the large number of conflicts exist because there were actually some good and powerful people who were available to do the impossible.

Taking away good people’s freedom is an old and foolish concept. Trying to control forces beyond your ability is vain and dangerous. Forcing good people to be regulated more than they need only enables the bad guys.

So why did some good guys choose #teamtony and the Accords? Well, Tony was driven by his guilt for Ultron. Tony is like a pendulum, he reacts and then makes drastic choices out of those reactions. Rhodes; I am not as familiar with him, but where Tony goes, he follows. Vision; Vision is still learning to be less the formal AI and more the human, but he’ll get there. T’Challa only chose #teamtony as the best way to get vengeance on the man he thought killed his father. Black Widow is severely practical, and she saw the Accords as a way to perhaps get back in the good graces of the world (or, at least the projected percentage of the population which according to Ross, “are afraid”.) But Widow is a spy first, and one of the few people she trusts is Steve. When she found out the truth, she had no qualms about switching allegiances. Spiderman? He just did what Tony said. More on that tomorrow. Needless to say, I think the only member of #teamtony who still agreed with the Accords at the end of the movie was Rhodes. But we’ll give him some extra grace because he’s healing from a severe injury and is likely still under the influence of medication.

All of this to point out what many Marvel fans have agreed upon: the Accords are a waste of paper. Feel free to be self-important all that you want, Ross and Co; meanwhile, my back door is always open to any disheveled Avenger. They are welcome to clean up using my good towels and I will happily make them a big breakfast.

As for Ross and Friends, I feel that they need to do something worthwhile with all of the paper they used to print out the Accords. After all, many good and honest trees gave their life for that material. I recommend origami, paper airplanes, or perhaps using the Accords to light a bonfire for s’mores at the large apology cookout you should host for the Avengers.

Tomorrow, more on Spiderman and Steve.

 

 

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!