“Avengers: Endgame”: It. Is. FINISHED.

Rocket Raccoon!

Thanos made this cute, fuzzy antihero cry. Now he must PAY.

One of the most exhilarating parts of seeing highly anticipated event films ASAP is the firm pivot point you pass between “before” and “after”. Once you’ve seen it, spoilers can no longer damage your viewer experience. Months and years of news sites hazarding half-baked guesses to the film’s content see all their handiwork either rendered obsolete and worthless or proven right but ultimately irrelevant once the thing becomes a reality rather than a theoretical construct in quantum-superpositional flux. Once the film “is”, the number of possibilities of how it “might be” dwindles ever downward toward one (1).

That’s not to say everyone has seen it yet, though Entertainment Weekly and other ill-mannered organizations live or die on the operating principle that every popular thing is instantly consumed now-now-NOW by the smartest, coolest readerships who are the only humans in the universe that matter. For folks who know how to use the word “courtesy” in a sentence, it means being careful with blaring spoilers in the faces of everyone who might glance in our direction. (When it comes to movies, at least. As someone who live-tweets the occasional CW super-hero show, I’ll own up to some hypocrisy here.)

It’s in that spirit of keeping up the spoiler-free environment for what’s left of this weekend that our obligatory Avengers: Endgame write-up was composed to the best of my ability. Fair warning: if you were so hardcore about no-spoiler purity that you’ve even avoided all the trailers and TV spots, I’m not sure I can help you at quite that level of dedication.

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Yes, There’s a Scene After the “Captain America: Civil War” End Credits

Civil War!

Chadwick Boseman leads an all-star cast in Black Panther: Civil War, quite to my delight.

The worldwide phenomenon about two unique individuals from very different worlds — one with his armor and his billions, the other with his enviable muscles and his onetime fervor for The American Way — will rank high among other films in the $300-million U.S. box office club at year’s end. Once again the major studios prove they’re still capable of putting out product that can contemplate serious topics even while reveling in visual dynamics and not shying away from moments of emotional intensity.

No, not the one with the Marthas’ boys in it.

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Yes, There’s a Scene After the “Iron Man 3” End Credits

Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man 3, Marvel Studios

Tony Stark and his sidekick, the Bot Wonder.

Before seeing Iron Man 3, I’d run across the whole gamut of reactions online. Friends, acquaintances, and famous strangers I follow either thought it was Super-Hero Film of the Year or the worst travesty since Batman & Robin. I entered the theater with expectations that were high, but slightly different from the average Iron Man movie fan. I suspect most people wanted two hours of the armored Avenger punching and zapping things, with intermittent scenes of Robert Downey Jr. tossing quips like water balloons at unsuspecting characters. Fair warning up front: if you consider the hero’s costume the most important element of a Marvel movie, Iron Man 3 might seem a disappointment. For my money, despite the list of logical lapses my son and I brainstormed on our way out, so far it’s one of the most compelling films of 2013 anyway.

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“Iron Man 3” First Trailer: Destruction, Desolation, Mandarin

The first trailer for Iron Man 3 is here at last. Writer/director Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, among several other sharp action-film scripts) takes Tony Stark and friends into their explosion-filled darkest hour, while Sir Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce show up in clips full of foreboding menace.

Cheers!

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