The Centurions

Guardians of the Galaxy

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Copyright 1 August 2014 Marvel Studios

On planet Earth in 1988, young Peter Quill (Wyatt Oleff) sits in the waiting room of a hospital, listening with headphones to “Awesome Mix Tape no. 1” on his Walkman. His grandpa (Gregg Henry) comes out and gets him so he can say goodbye to his mom, who is dying of cancer. His mom gives him a present and tells him his father was an angel and that Peter is just like him. She asks for his hand, but he’s too scared to take it. Just then, she dies. The distraught Peter runs outside and is abducted by a spaceship.

Twenty-six years later on the planet Morag, an adult Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-lord (Chris Pratt), is searching for a mysterious Orb whilst listening to Awesome Mix Tape no. 1. He finds the Orb and takes it out of a laser enclosure. Almost immediately, Korath (Djimon Hounsou) and his henchmen find Peter. After a shootout, Peter makes it to his ship, the Milano, and escapes.

His partner/mentor Yondu (Michael Rooker) calls and tells Peter to give him the Orb. Peter decides he’s going to sell it on his own.

On the Kree warship the Dark Aster, Korath reports to Ronan (Lee Pace) that he failed in getting the Orb and that it’s in the hands of Peter. Ronan wants the Orb because he can trade it to Thanos in exchange for Thanos destroying Xandar.

Ronan plans to send Nebula (Karen Gillan) after Peter, but Gamora (Zoe Saldana) volunteers. Over Nebula’s complaints, Ronan sends Gamora.

On the planet Xandar, Peter takes the Orb to a broker (Christopher Fairbank) and asks what it is, because Ronan’s goons are after it too. On hearing Ronan’s name, the broker suddenly doesn’t want anything to do with the Orb. He kicks Peter out of his shop. Outside, Gamora jumps Peter and tries to retrieve the Orb herself. Nearby, Rocket Raccoon (voice: Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voice: Vin Diesel) see there’s a bounty on Peter’s head, so they also try to capture him. (Stan Lee has a cameo appearance as an old man on Xandar, chatting up a young lady. Rocket calls him a pervert.). Its not too long before Peter, Gamora, Rocket, and Groot are arrested by Nova HQ and sent to a space prison called the Kyln.

Pretty much everyone in prison wants to kill Gamora because she’s the daughter of Thanos. Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) has a vendetta against her because Ronan killed his wife and daughter, so he wants to avenge them by taking the life of one of Ronan’s family members in return. Gamora explains that she’s not related to Ronan and she was planning on double crossing him. Peter argues in Gamora’s favor.

Meanwhile, at Sanctuary, Ronan reports to Thanos (Josh Brolin) that Gamora is a traitor. Thanos tells him to take care of her and get the Orb. He also notes that Gamora is his favorite daughter, which angers Nebula (his other daughter).

Back at the space prison, Gamora has a plan to sell the Orb to someone else. Peter, Rocket, and Groot agree to help and split the reward. Rocket has a plan to escape the prison. He needs one of the guard’s wrist devices, a prisoner’s prosthetic leg and a battery from a tall column in the prison. As he explains that it’s very important to take the battery last, Groot grabs it first. The alarms go off and security droids fly in. Gamora goes to get a wrist device as Peter negotiates for the prisoner’s leg. Drax decides to join in the escape, realizing that eventually Ronan will go after Gamora and then he can kill Ronan himself.

Everyone gets the item they agreed to get, and they all make it to a guard station near the top of the prison. Rocket is surprised that Peter actually got the leg and says that he (Rocket) was only kidding, and he didn’t really need it. Just as it seems that they have run out of time, Rocket rigs up the stuff to turn off the gravity in the prison and to use the security droids as jets to fly the guard station out of the prison. They escape, but Peter leaves the others, telling Rocket that he left something behind. It turns out that he is retrieving his Walkman with the Awesome Mix Tape from one of the guards.

Yondu goes to his broker and finds out Peter still has the Orb.

Everyone on Peter’s ship gets to know one another better. They don’t like each other at all. Soon they arrive at Knowhere (a space station built in the severed head of a former god-like being) to meet with the Collector. While they wait for their appointment, Drax, Rocket, and Groot get drunk and gamble. Gamora and Peter bond over music. He explains that his mom made him the mix tape of her favorite songs. She listens and likes it. He asks her to dance, but she doesn’t trust him. He says it reminds him of an old fable about other people who didn’t dance. It was called Footloose. He makes a pass at her, but she says she’s not one of the doe-eyed girls he’s used to and she won’t fall for his pelvic sorcery.

Before they can meet with the Collector, Drax, Rocket, and Groot (all drunk) get into a big fight. Drax thinks Groot is dumb and Rocket is tired of people calling him a rodent. Peter talks them out of fighting. The Collector’s assistant fetches them and they all go to meet him. Drax goes off on his own and makes a call.

The Collector (Benicio Del Toro) has a giant assortment of collectibles, including many from the Marvel Universe, and even Cosmo the Soviet space dog. The Collector puts the orb into a kind of lathe, which unscrews the two halves of the Orb to reveal an Infinity Stone. The Collector explains that the Infinity Stone is an all-powerful thing. There are more of them and they can destroy planets. The Collector’s assistant suddenly grabs the stone. The Infinity Stone is poisoning her, and then she and everything in the area blow up. Most of the people survive, along with Cosmo the Soviet space dog. Peter and the others manage to escape with the Orb holding the Infinity Stone. They decide the safest place to take the stone is Nova Headquarters. It’s too dangerous to be anywhere else.

Suddenly the group is ambushed by Ronan and his crew. They find out that Drax called Ronan. Drax was tired of waiting to face Ronan, so he told Ronan where they were. Yondu shows up too. Gamora, Rocket and Quill take off in single passenger ships while Nebula and some of Ronan’s goons chase after them. Drax tries to fight Ronan, but gets beaten up badly. Ronan says he doesn’t even remember killing Drax’s family, nor will he remember killing Drax now.

Nebula chases Gamora’s ship above the atmosphere and blows it up. Nebula gets the Infinity Stone and leaves Gamora floating in space to die. Peter realizes that he can’t allow Gamora to die, so he calls Yondu to tell him where he is, then exits his ship, and floats to Gamora, where he gives her his mask to keep her alive.

Yondu arrives and collects Peter and Gamora with a tractor beam right before they would have died. This is where we see that Yondu’s ship is the same ship that abducted Peter as a child.

Meanwhile, onboard the Dark Aster, Ronan tells Thanos that now that he (Ronan) has the Infinity Stone, he can cut Thanos out of the deal. Instead, he will destroy Xandar himself and then go after Thanos. He puts the Infinity Stone into his hammer.

Back on Yondu’s ship, Yondu is going to kill Peter for double-crossing him, but he doesn’t when Peter says that he has a plan to get the Orb back. Meanwhile on Knowhere, Drax, Groot, and Rocket decide to join forces and save Peter and Gamora from Yondu. They fly the Milano to Yondu’s ship and threaten to blow it up with a special weapon Rocket built unless Yondu releases Peter and Gamora. Peter emerges from the crowd aboard Yondu’s ship, and persuades Rocket that he doesn’t need to be rescued.

Now on board the Milano, Peter explains that they must prevent Ronan from touching the Infinity Stone to the ground of Xandar, which will wipe out the planet, and that he has a plan to stop Ronan. The others ask Peter if he really has a plan, or if he was lying. He says he has part of a plan. After much discussion, he says that he has 12% of a plan. Everyone scoffs, except Groot who says (translated by Rocket) that this is more than 11% of a plan. Rocket says that they will most likely die if they try to stop Ronan. Peter points out that they’ve already lost so much, that at this point they have nothing to lose. Slowly, each of them stands up and announces that he will join the fight against Ronan.

Peter warns Nova HQ that Ronan is coming to destroy them and they should get ready, telling them that they should believe his message, because he’s not 100% a dick.

Rocket’s idea is to blow a hole in Ronan’s ship so Peter, Groot, Drax and Gamora can board it. Gamora is going to cut the power for Ronan’s security and then they’re going to blow him up with a cannon that Rocket made.

They start the plan. Rocket blows a hole in the Dark Aster and then helps Yondu and his men defend Xandar against Ronan’s fighter ships. Yondu is shot down. On the ground, told to surrender, he instead uses his arrow weapon to take out an entire platoon of goons.

On the Dark Aster, Gamora and Nebula get into a big fight, while Drax, Peter and Groot go to the bridge of the ship.

Dozens of Nova ships link together to form a giant net and slow the descent of the Dark Aster. Gamora finally beats Nebula, who falls, landing on a Ravager ship and commandeers it, throwing the Pilot of the ship out the window and flying away. Ronan orders his ships to kamikaze into Xandar. Rocket and Yondu’s men shoot as many of the ships down as they can.

Almost to the bridge, Drax kills Korrath. Groot grows a long thin branch and impales many goons. He then whips them around taking out even more. Everyone makes it to the bridge to fight Ronan. Again, he’s too strong for them, but Peter manages to shoot Ronan with Rocket’s super cannon. It does nothing. Rocket crashes the Milano into the bridge and seems to have destroyed Ronan. The entire ship is plummeting towards Xandar, so Groot forms a giant nest around all of them for safety. Rocket is upset because he knows that what Groot is doing will end up killing him. Groot, who up to this point has only said “I Am Groot,” responds with “We are Groot.”

The ship crashes. Everyone except Groot is okay. Groot is a pile of twigs strewn all about. The battle isnot over though, because Ronan is still fine. He sarcastically calls Peter and his crew the Guardians of the Galaxy. As he raises his hammer for a final blow, Quill stands up and starts to dance to the song “Ooh-ooh Child,” and challenges Ronan to a dance-off. Ronan asks what he’s doing. Peter responds “distracting you” as Drax and Rocket shoot Ronan’s hammer at Ronan, releasing the Infinity Stone. Peter grabs the Infinity Stone before Ronan. Peter starts to be affected in the same way as the Collector’s assistant. Holding the stone is going to kill him, but Gamora tells him to take her hand. He flashes back to when he didn’t have the courage to take his mom’s hand, and he now grabs Gamora’s. Drax and Rocket hold hands with the others, and the power from the Infinity Stone is spread among the four of them, and they all survive. They kill Ronan. Rocket collects one of the sticks that was once Groot.

Yondu appears and demands the Stone as per his original deal with Peter. Peter hands him the Orb. As Yondu and his men take off, one of them notes that he likes Peter and he’s glad they didn’t take him back to his dad like they were supposed to all those years ago.

Gamora is upset that Peter gave up the stone. Peter reveals that he switched the Orbs, and he still has the one with the stone.

At Nova HQ, they turn over the Orb that contains the Infinity Stone and Peter learns he’s only half human and half something ancient and unknown. They speculate that his nonhuman genes allowed him to hold the Infinity Stone without dying.

There is a party on Yondu’s ship. His crew is celebrating but Yondu looks suspiciously at the Orb and then decides to open it. In it is a troll doll. He smiles.

Peter finally opens the present his mom gave him before she died. It’s a cassette labeled “Awesome Mix Tape no. 2.” He asks the Guardians where they want to go. Gamora says, “You lead, Star-lord.” He asks if they want something good or something bad. He then decides they should do something that is both. Rocket holds a pot in which he has stuck the stick that he retrieved after Groot’s sacrifice. We can see the face of a tiny Groot on the stick.

End Credits

During the credits, the baby Groot (slightly larger than in the previous scene) dances in his pot to Quill’s 1980s music, with Drax in the background. The baby Groot stops when Drax looks at him, but he starts again when Drax looks away.

After the credits: The Collector is sitting on the wreckage, drinking, when Cosmo the Soviet space dog comes up and licks his face. We hear a voice that says that’s gross. The camera turns to reveal Howard the Duck sitting on a broken cage, drinking as well.

’Nuff said.

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X-Men
Days of Future Past

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Copyright 23 May 2014 20th Century Fox

Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier recounts how humans created sentinels to hunt and kill mutants. While they at first only hunted mutants, the sentinels later began targeting humans who held a probability of becoming mutants. The resulting events have created an apocalyptic wasteland in which only a handful of mutants have survived, facing extinction should they be found by the sentinels.

Three strange objects are ejected from a large airship and crash to the ground. Warpath realizes that the sentinels have found them and leaves with Blink to warn the others, including Colossus, Sunspot, Bishop, Iceman, and Kitty Pryde. Bishop immediately requests that Sunspot give him some energy in the form of fire, which he absorbs and channels into his advanced rifle. Bishop takes off with Kitty Pryde as the others form a ring of defense against the invading sentinels. The sentinels drill into the mutant’s base, their bodies having the ability to rearrange into different forms and tools. They break through and Sunspot engages the first, drenching it in flames. Colossus engages the second, getting knocked to the ground by the towering sentinel. Warpath tries to help but is knocked away. The third sentinel intercepts Bishop and Kitty. Bishop fires a large energy blast at the sentinel, barely affecting it. Blink appears via the use of her portals and makes an exit for the two fleeing mutants. She then opens up a portal for Iceman to assist against their foe. Iceman uses his ice slide to outmaneuver the pursuing sentinel, encasing it in a thick wall of ice. Kitty and Bishop arrive at a safe room, where Kitty has Bishop lie on a table. She puts her hands around his head as he loses consciousness.

Meanwhile, the sentinels are getting the upper hand in the fight. When Colossus throws a punch that is caught by a sentinel, Colossus’ metal skin begins to form over the sentinel as well. It becomes clear that the sentinels are able to absorb and replicate mutant powers. Both Colossus and Warpath are killed by the sentinel they are fighting. The sentinel fighting Sunspot begins to form a protective cocoon of ice around itself, using the powers of Iceman. It breaks through the gout of flames keeping it at bay and strangles Sunspot to death. Subsequently, the sentinel fighting Iceman encases itself in fire to melt itself free from the ice, using the powers of Sunspot. It breaks through the ice and grabs Iceman by the neck. Iceman’s frozen head slides across the floor and the sentinel steps on it. The sentinels proceed to melt down the door to the room Kitty and Bishop are hiding in. But as they enter, Kitty says “Too late, assholes!” Just before the sentinels can kill the two, everyone in the scene disappears.

The remaining future mutants, Wolverine/Logan, Storm, Professor X/Charles Xavier, and Magneto/Erik Lensherr, disembark from their jet to greet the group of mutants that we just saw die and subsequently disappear. It is revealed that Kitty Pryde’s mutation has evolved to allow her to send someone’s consciousness back through time. During the sentinel assault in the previous scene, Bishop’s consciousness was sent back through time to his younger body. He warned the others of the impending sentinel assault so they could leave before the sentinels ever arrived. Bishop and Kitty disappeared from the opening sequence because that reality had been erased and the time line altered. Kitty explains to the four arrivals that they have done this many times before. Each time the sentinels attack, Warpath spots them, the mutants make a line of defense to buy some time, Kitty sends Bishop back through time with the warning of the attack, and the mutants of the past flee before the attack can ever take place.

Professor Xavier then exclaims that he is aware and has come up with a plan to send his own consciousness back through time to the point when the sentinels were first unleashed. We learn that in 1973, Mystique assassinated Bolivar Trask, the creator of the sentinel program. This murder spurred the humans to further the sentinel program. Mystique is later captured and it is through the study of her DNA that the sentinels of the future are born. Her unique DNA allows the sentinels to adapt mutant powers for their own use. Professor Xavier plans to go back in time to stop the assassination of Bolivar Trask and in turn, prevent the anti-mutant tide that leads to the creation of the sentinels. Kitty says, however, that she can only send someone back a couple of weeks or a month into the past, not decades. She warns that the mind can only be stretched so far without breaking. Wolverine volunteers to go back, his healing ability allowing him to survive the procedure. He must go to the past and convince a broken Charles Xavier to take up arms and work with the man that he hates, Erik Lehnsherr. It is only together that they can find Mystique and prevent her from assassinating Trask. Kitty carries out the procedure, warning Logan that while his consciousness is in the past, his body will stay in the future. Only when his consciousness returns from the past will the timeline change. His mind staying in the past is contingent upon his body existing in the future and Kitty remaining at his side. Logan will have a limited amount of time before they are found by the sentinels of the future; he must complete his mission before then or all will be lost.

Logan wakes up and finds himself in bed with a woman. He looks outside and realizes that the procedure has worked; it is 1973. Seconds later, three thugs burst through the door as Logan is getting dressed. Apparently, he was supposed to be guarding someone’s daughter instead of sleeping with her. He asks if they would believe that he was from the future at which they scoff. He extends his bone claws and the henchmen pull out guns and begin shooting him. He heals from his wounds and proceeds to take out the men, stealing their car.

The next scene introduces Bolivar Trask, who is trying to convince members of Congress to fund his sentinel program. He tells the panel that mutants are a threat to humanity. The committee does not share Trask’s belief, saying that if mutants have been among humankind for some time now, they have existed peacefully alongside their fellow humans. They decide to not provide the funding.

In a US military camp in Vietnam, a high-ranking army officer walks into a segregated tent to find a man named William Stryker preparing to take a group of mutants into custody. The army officer says that these men are going home. Stryker flashes around a document claiming to be part of a special outfit who is transferring the mutants to a Trask Industries facility, informing the army officer that he doesn’t have jurisdiction. The officer counters that he does, transforming into the shape-shifter Mystique. She begins to take out all of the men in the tent in hand-to-hand combat with some assistance from the mutants. Before she can kill Stryker, one of the mutants intervenes and knocks Stryker unconscious. This mutant is Havok from the previous film in the series and he asks about the whereabouts of Magneto. Mystique responds that she’s on her own now. The mutants board a plane home while Mystique walks away in disguise, claiming that there is still work to be done.

Logan drives up to the dilapidated and overgrown Xavier mansion. Hank, also known as Beast, answers the door in his human form. Logan asks to see Charles but is rebuffed by Hank. He forces his way in, exclaims that he and Hank will be good friends in the future, and punches Hank right in the face. Blue fur appears on Hank as he transforms into the Beast. He begins to throw Logan around, giving him a good beating before being stopped by Charles. Despite being paralyzed by a bullet to his spine, he’s walking around normally. Logan pleads his case to Charles only to be ridiculed by the drunken and disheveled young man. Logan asks Charles to read his mind, but Charles can’t. Beast/Hank explains that he developed a serum to control his mutation and keep his beast form at bay. From this, he developed another serum to cure Xavier’s paralysis. A side effect of taking the drug, however, left Charles unable to use his mutant ability to read and control minds. Logan is able to convince him nonetheless, after revealing secrets of Xavier’s past that he had never told anybody. Charles refuses to help Logan and it is clear that he is a broken man, depressed and filled with the guilt of losing his friends, students, and most of all losing Raven/Mystique. Eventually, he agrees to assist Logan for the sake of Raven herself. One problem still exists: they need to enlist the help of Magneto, whom Charles absolutely loathes. Magneto is being kept underneath tons of concrete in a prison at the Pentagon, having already served 10 years in prison for the alleged killing of John F. Kennedy.

We cut to Mystique disguising herself as Bolivar Trask to gain entrance to his personal office. She pores through documents and discovers that Trask has been experimenting on mutants and killing them. She pulls a file regarding an event at which Trask will be present with members of the Vietnamese government and asks Trask’s secretary to type up his itinerary.

To break Magneto out of prison, the group enlists the help of Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver. He uses his ability of ultrafast movement to almost instantly do whatever he chooses. The group arrives at the Pentagon and Hank uses a piece of equipment to interfere with the surveillance cameras. Quicksilver steals a guard’s uniform and makes his way to Magneto’s prison, where he vibrates his hands at a resonant frequency to shatter the glass ceiling. The two make their way to a kitchen when they confront Logan and Charles. Charles immediately punches Erik, who comments that it was nice to see him. Just then guards burst through the door and draw their weapons. Erik asks Charles to use his powers to stop the men but Charles replies that he can’t. The guards open fire and Erik gets ready to kill them, ignoring Charles’ pleas not to. Before anything can happen, we experience a scene from the perspective of Quicksilver with time almost standing still. He uses his enhanced speed to comically knock out the guards and redirect the bullets in flight.

Charles, Erik, Hank, and Logan are aboard a plane en route to Paris to stop Raven from assassinating Trask. Things get heated between Charles and Erik as Charles accuses Erik of taking the things that were most precious away from him. Erik in turn asks where Charles was when they came for Angel, Banshee, Azazel, and Emma Frost. He shouts that they were taken, experimented on and killed and that both he and Charles were supposed to protect them. (It is implied that Trask was responsible.) During this heated exchange, Erik almost causes the plane to crash before calming down.

In a French nightclub, Mystique seduces a Vietnamese army official whom she plans to impersonate to get to Trask.

Back on the plane, Erik says that he was not the one who killed JFK. He claims that he was trying to save him, his reasoning being that JFK was a fellow mutant. Erik apologizes to Charles about how things have played out during the last decade and the two begin to play chess.

Trask enters a conference room full of officials of various governments and tries to convince them of the threat posed by mutants. Having been turned down by the US government, he is exploring other sources of funding for his sentinel program. During the presentation, he demonstrates how his robots are made without one ounce of metal and goes on to describe their ability to distinguish mutants from non mutants. He pulls out a hand-held detector that can sense the Mutant X gene in people; it begins to go off. Mystique’s cover has been blown — she has disguised herself as the Vietnamese officer she seduced — and she begins to take out many of the men in the room. Enter Logan, Charles, and Erik, who stop Mystique just before she can shoot Trask. Charles tries to explain everything to Mystique and persuade her to drop the gun. She is defiant and Erik strips the gun from her. He then does the unthinkable and aims it at her. She is a threat to all mutants because her DNA can lead to the creation of the sentinels of the future. Erik believes that it is too risky for her to remain alive. Raven pleads with Charles to use his powers to stop Erik, unaware that he is powerless. Meanwhile, upon seeing Stryker, who is also at the meeting, Logan begins to lose himself emotionally in a flashback to the experiments performed on him during the Weapon X Program; he falls into a sort of coma as his connection between future and past is disrupted. His body in the future thrashes and extends its claws, injuring Kitty Pryde, who struggles to reconnect the link through time. Logan comes to in Paris, doesn’t recognize anyone or know where he is, and is told by Charles that someone gave him some bad acid. He passes out again.

Hank tackles Erik but fails to stop him from firing the gun. Mystique jumps out the window but Erik is able to guide the bullet to follow her; it hits her in the leg. Outside, crowds of people with cameras capture images of a wounded Mystique running away. They watch as Magneto levitates outside and drags Mystique to him, the bullet still stuck in her leg. He pulls the bullet from her body, ready to finish her off with it, when a transformed Beast attacks him. Onlookers watch in horror as Beast strangles Magneto under water. Mystique uses this time to escape the area and seek medical treatment. Magneto restrains Beast using some metal ornaments from the fountain and makes an escape as well. Logan regains consciousness — memories intact this time — and he and Charles rendezvous with Hank and leave for the mansion to plan their next move.

The media is now in a panic because of the footage of mutants creating mayhem in public. In a tense, crowded Oval Office meeting, Richard Nixon gives Trask the green light to proceed with his sentinel program. Trask says that he can have eight sentinels operational soon. Nixon want to hold a press conference to unveil the sentinels and reassure the American public that he can protect them from the mutant threat.

In a crowded Metro station, Mystique ambushes Magneto, pressing a small pointed piece of plastic to his throat. He claims that he no longer wants to kill her. He notes that their previous encounter left Mystique’s blood on the pavement, which Trask has undoubtedly already obtained. They go their separate ways.

Upon entering the mansion, Charles’ legs give way and he falls to the ground and starts hearing people’s thoughts. Hank rushes to get him his serum. Charles says that he doesn’t take the serum to walk, he takes it to stop the voices he keeps hearing. He is tired of having to feel and hear all of the pain that mutants and humans are experiencing. Logan convinces Charles to not take the serum, exclaiming that he needs the professor to have his powers; it’s the only way to find Raven before she can make another attempt to kill Trask. They proceed to use cerebro to try and locate Raven, but Charles is overwhelmed by all the noise he has been keeping out for the past 10 years. Logan pleads with Charles to try and read his mind. He does so and sees all of the pain and trauma that Logan has experienced through his lifetime. He sees glimpses of the future and has a telepathic conversation with his future self. His future self reassures Charles that there will always be pain but that it is his gift to use that pain to help others. He shows a younger Charles images of what he will accomplish and how he will use his power to bring hope to others in their most dire times. This is just what Charles needed to bring him focus. He tries locating Mystique again.

Back at a Trask facility, a preliminary analysis of Mystique’s blood holds promise for Trask, who demands that she be captured. They will need to harvest her brain tissue, spinal fluid, and bone marrow. Outside, the Mark I sentinels are loaded aboard a train for their trip to Washington DC; Magneto sneaks aboard the train while it speeds toward its destination. While in motion, Magneto rips the metal from the tracks as they pass over them. He manipulates the metal into small strands which he laces throughout the non-metallic bodies of the sentinels.

At an airport, Charles uses random people as avatars to urge Mystique to stop her mission. Charles is not yet strong enough to mentally stop Mystique as she resists his mental probes. He fails to stop her and he, along with Hank and Logan, depart for Washington DC for the press conference.

Magneto enters a secure facility holding two large ball bearings. He uses the bearings to incapacitate three guards and opens a vault. In the vault we see several artifacts: Havok’s X-Men suit, one of Angel’s wings, and Magneto’s helmet. He is here for the helmet, which he takes.

In the future, Kitty is losing a lot of blood. Standing guard outside, Warpath spots multiple sentinel ships heading their way. The mutants make their preparations for a final defense; Kitty, Iceman, Professor X, and Wolverine shelter inside while the others guard outside.

Back in the past, Magneto levitates a sports stadium and moves it towards the press event on the White House lawn at which President Nixon will present Trask’s sentinels. Hank, Logan, and Charles are there amongst the crowd trying to find Mystique. Nixon addresses the nation and drops the curtains, unveiling the sentinels to the public to much applause. Charles finally spots Mystique impersonating a secret serviceman and freezes her in place before she can pull her gun. Charles has a conversation with her telepathically, trying to persuade her that she was not always so quick to kill and that the Raven that he knew was incapable of doing so. All of a sudden the sentinels roar to life to the shock of Trask and the others. They fire at the police cars and it is apparent that Magneto is controlling them. Trask, Nixon, and other VIPs flee to an underground bunker.

Simultaneously, the battle in the future is erupting as well. Storm uses lightning and wind to crash some of the sentinel transporters. Bishop shoots his rifle through portals created by Blink to take out a few sentinels. Magneto takes the X-Jet and modifies in into an explosive, using Storm to charge it with a bolt of lightning. It explodes sending shrapnel everywhere, decimating much of the sentinel force. Magneto is wounded in the resulting explosion by a piece of shrapnel in his abdomen. The mutants take a sigh of relief, believing the battle to be over. It is not, however, and a sentinel sneaks up behind Storm, stabbing her and throwing her off a cliff as more sentinels flood the mutant stronghold.

In the past, Magneto arrives at the press event and drops the stadium around it. He has created a concrete barrier around the White House to prevent any escape. Charles is pinned by debris in the chaos. Magneto posts seven of the sentinels atop the stadium walls to guard the perimeter and leaves one to engage Wolverine and Beast, ordering the sentinel to do what it was designed to do. The sentinel identifies the two as mutants and attacks. Wolverine is unable to inflict any damage against the sentinel with his bone claws and merely distracts it long enough for Beast to jump on its back and rip out its circuitry. While this is going on we see that Nixon, Trask and company are locked securely in their bunker. Trask’s mutant detector begins to go off. Before anything can happen, the room begins to shake; Magneto is ripping the safe room from its foundation.

In the future, the mutants are dying one by one. Colossus is ripped in half by multiple sentinels. Bishop is bombarded by three of them with energy beams, overcharging him until he explodes. Warpath is killed after a sentinel grabs him, slowly moving the mutant’s face into the path of its energy beam. One sentinel forms diamond skin like that of Emma Frost to overcome Sunspot’s flames and cuts off one of his arms. He fights back but is flanked by another sentinel who stabs him with claws that resemble Lady Deathstrike’s. Magneto, realizing the end is near, uses the last of his strength to apply metal reinforcements to the entrance of the building. Before the sentinels can kill him, Blink transports him inside. As the last line of defense outside, Blink puts up a valiant effort to hold the sentinels at bay but is stabbed by many of them. The sentinels then begin breaking through Magneto’s barrier and Iceman leaves to reinforce it with ice.

In the past, Wolverine charges at Magneto. In defense, Magneto hurls debris at Wolverine and stops his assault with a large block of concrete to the back. He then proceeds to force rebar all throughout Wolverine’s body, lifting him in the air and throwing him hundred of meters into the Potomac River, where he apparently drowns. Beast is thrown from the back of the sentinel into a wrecked car. Magneto has now fully excavated the metal safe room and ripped off its door. He aims news cameras at himself and addresses the world. He explains that the sentinels were created out of fear for how dangerous mutants could be. He says that they should be scared and proclaims that a new order will be established with mutants in control, threatening to kill everyone in the safe room. Nixon emerges from the safe room, urging Magneto to kill him if he wants but to let the rest of the people go. “Nixon” is actually Mystique in disguise with a gun behind her back. The sentinel targeting Beast rips through the car and is ready to finish him off but Beast is able to inject himself with his serum in time to change back into normal. The sentinel thinks Hank isn’t a mutant anymore and proceeds to find new targets, Magneto and Mystique are in its sights. The sentinel charges and Magneto begins tearing the robot limb from limb. Mystique uses this moment an takes a shot at Magneto with the metal-less gun. He is hit non-fatally in the neck causing him to lose focus. She is able to knock him out during his brief moment of weakness and remove his helmet. Charles uses his power to pacify Magneto and it is obvious he has lost. Attention turns to Mystique, who is aiming her gun at Trask, saying that he is a monster for the cruel things he has done to her friends. Xavier stops her and makes one final plea to Mystique, saying that he has hope that she will do the right thing. He points out that right now she is a hero in the public eye. He relinquishes control over her, saying that the future is in her hands now.

In the future, the sentinels have breached the room and killed Iceman with energy beams. They confront the last of the survivors and fire killing shots at the group, which includes Xavier, Kitty, and the still unconscious Logan. Just before the shots can reach them, everyone on screen disappears. Mystique has dropped the gun in the past and decided not to kill Trask. Magneto remarks that if he is turned in, they will kill him. Xavier agrees and releases control of him, allowing Magneto to levitate and flee. Newspapers run headlines saying that a mutant saved the president, that the sentinel program was being shut down, and that Trask was being indicted for treason.

Flash to the future where Logan is waking up at the mansion. He hears schoolchildren outside and realizes that the plan worked. He is surprised to see Storm, Iceman, Rogue, and Beast all alive. He encounters Jean Gray. He is awestruck that she is real and doesn’t understand why she is alive. Scott Summers appears and is dumbfounded by Logan’s happiness at seeing them all. Logan sees Xavier and tells him it worked. Xavier welcomes him back and begins to explain what has happened in the years from 1973 to the future that Logan has missed.

In a voice-over, Xavier explains that events can cause ripples through the river of time and when enough ripples are created, the flow of the river can be changed. Back in the past we see that Logan’s body was recovered by military personel. He comes back to life aboard the boat with an army official asking William Stryker what he would like to do with him. Stryker replies that he will take him. As the scene cuts away we see that it is actually Mystique disguised as Stryker.

In a post-credits scene, a skinny bluish mutant, robed and hooded, stands atop a structure. Hundreds of people are bowing to him and chanting his name — En Sabah Nur — as he uses his powers to levitate ancient pyramids into place. We see four people on horseback covered in black as the scene fades to black: Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen.

’Nuff said.

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The Amazing Spider Man
Introducing The Green Goblin, Electo and The Rhino

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Copyright 2 May 2014 Sony Pictures

The movie opens with a close-up on fingers furiously typing on a keyboard. Files are being deleted from a system. Spiders kept in tubes as research test subjects are killed en masse with poison gas. A bespectacled figure checks vials, some of which feature the skull and crossbones. A shot reveals it’s Peter Parker’s father, Richard Parker (Campbell Scott). Suddenly, his computer access is cut off and he can’t complete his mission to destroy the project files. Richard dashes from the Oscorp building on his way home to Peter and his wife, Mary (Embeth Davidtz) .

Richard is recording a message with a webcam. “People will say I’m a monster for what I’ve done”. He hears Peter call for him and cuts his message short. Rushing up from the basement, he sees that the house has been ransacked. Someone is looking for the files he took. A car pulls up as Mary says goodbye to Peter. Richard grabs her away. Peter is clearly distraught. He touches Richard’s hand for one last time and stares at them from the front door.

Richard and Mary are on a private jet. Mary mentions that she has found somewhere safe for them to stay as Richard uploads project files from his laptop. He tries to reassure her, explaining that their life has been changed forever. Richard doesn’t want to put Peter through that. Mary pops into the bathroom just as one of the flight crew steps out of the cockpit. Richard notes the man has gone to a sink and appears to be washing blood off his hands. He is VERY suspicious and wary of the guy’s behavior. Suddenly, the crew guy pulls a gun and threatens Richard. He locks Mary in the bathroom and prepares to shoot Richard. As Richard uploads the file, Mary realizes something is wrongs and bursts out. A struggle ensues and Mary is shot! Richard desperately overcomes the thug. Mary reminds Richard to finish the upload just as the thug roars back to life!

They scrap back and forth as we see the pilot (Timothy Adams) is dead and the plane falls into a steep dive. Thug shuts down the laptop again as Richard realizes his fate is sealed. Mary is dead; there’s no getting out of the situation. However, the file upload to Roosevelt has to be completed. Richard shoots out a window and holds onto the laptop with the strongest Cat-5 cable in existence. The hitman flies out the window to his death and Richard confirms that the file is transferred. The plane plummets to its doom and cut to black.

Present Day

Music rings in as the camera follows Spider-Man falling to earth. A stunning sequence follows Spider-Man playing webbing his way through the city. He overhears a helicopter radio announcing a plutonium shipment under siege at Oscorp. Spidey swings into action to help. A big tow truck is being driven by a bald guy with a Russian accent, Aleksei Sytsevich (Paul Giamatti). He’s bashing lots of Manhattan vehicles as he tows/steals the Oscorp truck. Armed assistants set explosives to blow the hatch as the Russian rolls over police cars. Spidey swings impressively through buildings in hot pursuit.

The goons (Dusan Hyska & Andrei Runtso) blow the hatch and hop into the van. There’s a container of yellowish vials that are their target. Spidey hops onto the tow truck and engages in some Spidey banter with Sytsevich (who clearly has no idea who he is). As the goons prepare to hijack the plutonium, we cut to a Oscorp employee the socially inept geek Max Dillion (Jamie Foxx) stumbling through a crowd with an armful of blueprints. Naturally, the prints get knocked from his hands and roll into the street JUST as Spidey and Sytsevich barrel around the corner. Spidey leaps to the rescue and prevents Max from being squashed by a cab. Spidey hands him the plans and notes that he works at Oscorp before leaping away.

Sytsevich, clearly ignorant of the dangers of radioactive material, slams into a bunch of cars, tossing the goons and the P-238 around in the van. Dozens of cop cars crash into the truck pinning it in. The goons burst from the van firing at the cops with automatic weapons. Strands of web shoot from above, yanking the goons and suspending them over the cops. Sytsevich takes his chance to escape. The P-238 is bouncing all over the place as Spidey tries to avert disaster, catching, juggling and swinging like a chandelier. As he bounds out to recover one last vial, his phone rings. Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is at their high school graduation waiting for him. He’s really late. As he playfully banters with Gwen he imagines that he sees her disapproving father riding by in an NYPD patrol car. He remembers his broken promise to leave Gwen alone (from the first Amazing Spider Man film).

Gwen is called up to deliver her valedictory speech. Peter isn’t there. Cut back to the truck chase. The next sequence bounces back and forth between the speech and Spidey trying to stop the truck. Parker’s Spider sense triggers into a slow motion shot as he leaps over a bus to protect some pedestrians. FINALLY, Spidey subdues Sytsevich, grabs the P-238, makes it to graduation and kisses Gwen on stage! (Note: Spider Man and comic book creator Stan Lee has a cameo as an elderly man at the graduation who sees Peter change out of his Spider Man costume).

Aunt May (Sally Field) takes pictures of the new graduate before sending him off with Gwen. They make a date where Peter will join Gwen and her family for Dim Sum at 8:00 pm. Peter catches a glimpse of Captain Stacey standing with his family and hears his voice in his head. That evening, Peter shows up to the date, but won’t come into the Chinese restaurant that Gwen and her family are at. Gwen meets him at the door and they talk again about her dad and the promise Peter made. Peter is torn, but Gwen really isn’t having it. Peter loves her, but he couldn’t handle losing her because of his actions. Gwen decides to break it off. She’s done.

The next morning, Peter is on another visually stunning city patrol. Falling and swinging as the wind ripples his Spidey suit. As a radio call-in show plays in the background, Spidey rescues a grade school kid and his science project. He encourages the kid, much like he did with Max at the beginning of the movie. During an extended montage, a talk radio debates rages while he saves a girl, changes clothes, saves a bodega and mingles with costumed New Yorkers. Of course, he still keeps an eye on Gwen every now and then.

After a cute scene with Aunt May, we cut to Max Dillon, who has really flipped out after his chance meeting with Spider-Man. He seems to have created an alternate Spidey persona with whom he engages in a meticulously crafted fantasy. Oscorp is developing a new power grid system and Max is part of the team. Max’s delusion may have spilled over into his work life too. He shares an elevator with Gwen with whom he shares his Spider-Man story. Unbeknownst to him, Gwen appreciates his fascination.

Meanwhile, Harry Osborn arrives home to visit his ailing father. Norman looks awful; his skin is discolored and his hands are claw like. He’s bedridden and looks like he’s at the end of his rope. Norman derides Harry for not achieving more. They have a fractured relationship. It is as bitter as Norman’s illness. He says the disease is genetic and implies that Harry will succumb to the same fate. He asks to see Harry’s hand and notices that it is shaking; a symptom of the illness. He hands Harry a drive with his research. Minutes later, a newscast announces Norman Osborn’s death.

Gwen receives a quick message about good news regarding her scholarship; meanwhile, most of Oscorp is being allowed to leave early to attend a memorial for Norman, but Max is told by his supervisor (B.J. Novak) to stay behind and check out a problem with the bio-electric power grid. The room is a mess of electric eel tanks and strange equipment. Max calls a colleague to deactivate the system for safety purposes, but the colleague refuses, saying he’s on his way out the door. Max nevertheless tries to repair the system, but ends up electrocuting himself and falling into the tank of eels. His transformation has begun.

Meanwhile in a boardroom, Harry is being informed of various Oscorp troubles. He twirls the drive while responding to the information. He couldn’t care less about it all, and sees that the Board doesn’t respect him. Consequently, he lashes out with his disdain for them, elevating his father’s assistant, Felicia Hardy (Felicity Jones), as his second-in-command. Charm doesn’t run in the family. Peter Parker is announced, raising eyebrows in the room. Harry steps out to see Peter. They haven’t seen each other in years. He came to check in on his old friend in the wake of his father’s passing. After an awkward moment, the friends reconnect with a laugh.

In a local riverside park, Harry and Peter catch up. Harry seems genuinely happy to get away from his Oscorp drama and they bum around the city together. Harry apologizes for the distance in their relationship which leads to a conversation about why Peter’s parents left. Harry also learns that Peter has a girlfriend, and Peter says Gwen’s name, mentioning she’s an Oscorp employee. A van is monitoring their conversation which turns into a discussion of Max’s accident. He’s to be written off to avoid another scandal.

Cut to the lab where Dillon’s corpse has been stashed. In the midst of electrical interference, Dillon’s body reanimates in a shower of sparks. Electrical tools jump to life as Dillion discovers the nature of his powers. Grabbing a coat, Dillion/Electro Man stumbles out of the lab.

That evening, Peter meets with Gwen in the city. Looks like they’re making up. They have real chemistry and they both seem a lot happier in each other’s presence.

Meanwhile, Dillon steps into the street and immediately sets off all the car alarms. He sucks the electricity right out of a car. As he looks up, he sees the city as a matrix of electrical energy. Max Dillon wants more and heads to Times Square.

Back to Pete and Gwen. He admits that he’s been watching over her. She knows he’s still in love with her. It’s a nice moment. “It’s the closest I can get to being with you.” Suddenly, Gwen drops a bomb. That phone call was about a scholarship to Oxford. She’s one of two finalists and could be headed to England. As Peter tries to process the news, his spider sense triggers. He looks to Times Square.

Max grabs a power outlet to draw in the energy. He doesn’t appear to have any motivation other than to absorb the energy. A cop demands that he stop and Max inadvertently flips a big truck with his electromagnetic powers. As a fleet of cop cars surround him, he catches a glimpse of himself on the big TV monitors. It’s the attention and stardom he’s craved his whole life. His emotions explode triggering a wave of energy that flips the squad cars. Spidey swoops in to catch one before it crushes a cop and tries to talk Max down.

At first Max seeing his hero seems to improve his mental state. Spidey tries to talk him down a bit, begging the police snipers to lay off. Unfortunately, they take a shot, setting him off. As the crowd rallies behind the Spider Man, Max’s inner dialog goes into overdrive. Convinced that he has been betrayed, he grabs some electrical cables, jacking them into his chest and sucking huge amounts of electricity into his body. Times Square goes dark and Max/Electro sends a blast of power that tears the block to shreds. Electro sends lightning bolts into the screaming crowd, levitating on electromagnetic force. Spidey sprays a fire hose onto him, disrupting Electro’s power and sending him plummeting to earth. Electro is down for the count and Spidey heads home to watch the news about the fight.

Glancing at his busted web shooter, Peter becomes consumed with solving the mystery of his parents’ disappearance. He feverishly starts research on the internet trying to connect the dots.

Meanwhile, Harry is sitting in a cavernous office. He’s listening to news coverage fiddling with the drive his father left him. He feels an itch on his neck and as he reaches to scratch it, the drive pricks his finger. Falling to the desk, the drive causes a reaction with the desktop display and begins spitting out information about a secret battle armor. Harry looks at more files, and sees a video of Richard Parker explaining research into mutated spiders

Cut to Peter experimenting with ways to Electro-proof his electronic web shooters by watching YouTube videos. The next morning, his phone rings. It’s Harry asking to see him. Harry says he’s dying and needs Peter’s help to save his life. At Harry’s office, a video of Richard and Norman is playing. They are talking about how spiders might be merged with human DNA to achieve miraculous cures. Harry is convinced that Spider-Man is the key to success. Harry needs to find Spider-Man and experiment on his blood to find a cure.

Meanwhile, Gwen starts looking through Oscorp files to find Max Dillon. She thinks that he might be the electrical creature that attacked the city. Security agents detect the file access and block it, and then trace it back to Gwen.

Cut back to Harry, who thinks Peter has a relationship with Spider-Man. He needs Peter to put them in contact. The scene cuts back and forth between Harry/Peter and security people tracking Gwen’s inquiries. They start to chase her and she bumps into Peter. Hopping into a storeroom, she explains that she knows who Electro is. Peter explains that Harry wants Spider-Man’s blood and is fearful of the consequences. But back to business, Peter doesn’t want Gwen to go to England. They kiss and attempt to exit the building. Gwen hops into an elevator with Harry Osborn. Harry figures out that this is the Gwen who has a relationship with Peter.

Cut to an exterior shot of Ravencroft Institution where Dillon has been collected and stored. Clearly, this isn’t a benevolent place. Dr. Kafka explains that he wants to help Dillon. Max is incredulous as he recognizes Oscorp tech. After a few attempts to assess the limits of his powers, Dillon christens himself Electro. Scheming Oscorp exec Donald Menken (Colm Feore) commands that he be shut down and Electro is placed back into the neutralizing water chamber.

Back at Peter’s house, Aunt May is sitting in the midst of Peter’s conspiracy web about his parents. He confronts her about the truth and demands answers. She explains that he was dropped off on their steps with no explanation. She begins to ramble in frustration and will not reveal anything more about his parents. Peter explains that he doesn’t want to replace her, he just needs to know the truth. May relents and tells him that some government officials came to see them. They claimed that Peter’s parents were traitors. It doesn’t make sense to either of them. May says that Richard had a very normal routine of taking the D train to work every morning at 7 am, and came home at 6 pm.

Cut to Harry’s house. He looks awful. Spider-Man has dropped in to explain that giving him his blood isn’t possible. It could have deadly side effects. Harry doesn’t care. He wants the blood, no matter the cost. Harry is clearly going over the edge. He is desperate and Peter realizes he’s made a mistake. He’s about to make another one by interrupting Gwen as she heads into her scholarship interview. Despite breaking his heart, he wishes her luck in the interview.

He takes his frustration out on his conspiracy web, tearing it apart. In the midst of the take down, he throws an electronic device that Richard owned, and it breaks open, revealing a large number of subway tokens stashed inside. He remembers what May said about Richard taking the D train. Entering Roosevelt and the D train together on the internet, he learns about a secret subway station along the D line that was used to transport President Roosevelt, the same person Richard was trying to send the data to in the opening scene.

Back at Oscorp. Harry is in a drunken fit. He’s sure that his fate is sealed since the super spiders were destroyed. Felicia, however, thinks there’s still a chance. Apparently, Oscorp extracted the venom as a failsafe before killing the spiders. Harry begins combing through files to find the cache of venom. Apparently, Menken has been using Harry’s security clearance to run the off-books Special Projects division at Ravencroft. Harry watches the Electro footage as Menken bursts into his office. It’s a setup! Menken uses the Electro fiasco to remove Harry from his job and wrest control of Oscorp.

Peter is in the subway tunnels looking for his dad’s lab. He discovers the Roosevelt station and activates a switch with a token. Gradually, the tracks open to reveal a subterranean lab car that roars to life. All of his dad’s research is here and the file download was completed years ago. Richard’s video explains Norman Osborn’s nefarious deeds while proclaiming his own innocence. Richard Parker refused to let his research be used for biological weapons.

At Ravencroft, Harry breaks in to meet with Electro, stunning two guards and taking their access badges. Back to Peter, Richard announces that he used his own DNA with the spiders, meaning that only someone with HIS bloodline can replicate the experiments. That’s why only Peter could inherit the Spider-Man powers without harm

Harry races through the Ravencroft facility activating a fire alarm.

Peter watches as his father says that Peter is the most important thing to him, driving Peter to tears.

Harry strips off his disguise and enters the chamber where Electro is being held. He cancels Electro’s sedation. Harry bargains with Electro to take down Oscorp for him. Harry appeals to Max’s desperate need for friendship and they agree to take down Spider-Man together Of course, Electro exacts revenge on Kafka before escaping with Harry.

Meanwhile, Peter leaves the subway station and receives a voice mail from Gwen. She’s been accepted to Oxford and is already headed to the airport to avoid a face to face goodbye.

At Oscorp, Electro kill Menken’s security guard before Harry walks in and forces Menken to grant him access to Special Projects. Electro dashes off to reclaim his stolen power grid design and cripple the city. In Special Projects, Harry injects himself with the spider venom “cure”, which sets off a painful transformation into the Green Goblin as Menken escapes. Harry is in extreme pain and looks up to see the special armor from the hard drive video. Crawling painfully while green light flashes all around him, he makes his way to the suit. Upon entering it, a healing protocol begins to repair the damage to his ravaged system.

Cut to Gwen, caught in bridge traffic on the way to the airport. Her taxi driver (Teddy Coluca) sees that Spider-Man has webbed a love note on the bridge that draws Gwen out of her cab. He scoops her up and carries her off to talk. He’s in love with her and they have the “movie love talk” on top of the bridge. Peter will go to England to be with her. As they kiss, Electro takes down the city’s power grid, enveloping New York in darkness (and severely complicating air traffic). Gwen says there’s a reset switch at the plant, but if Electro fries that, the city will never get back up. Brainy Gwen also figures out that Peter can Electro-proof his web shooters by magnetizing them. They do this with jumper cables from a squad car and Peter webs Gwen to a car for safety.

Electro is a living field of electricity that dwarfs whole city blocks. He challenges Spider-Man to settle their score setting off a dazzling sequence of Spidey jumping around Electo-blast and grabbing his webbing like a maniac.

Meanwhile, the flight Gwen missed is getting pretty desperate for contact with ground control. Their own instruments are being affected by Electro’s field. What’s more, ANOTHER flight is on an intercept path.

Spidey tries to short circuit Electro, but he’s grown too powerful They trade punches and Electro literally spits electricity onto Spidey’s head. Gwen’s magnetizing trick works allowing Peter to toss Electro into the power grid and gain a moment’s breather. Unfortunately, Electro is back in seconds and starts pummeling Peter as he bounces between the grid towers. Spidey is taking a pretty bad beating until Gwen runs over Electro with a Squad car. Gwen insists on staying and they work out a plan to defeat Electro. Spidey will distract him while Gwen resets the system. It’s a big impressive fight sequence with Spidey using his spider sense to evade electrocution.

Spider-Man creates a web to channel Electro’s energy and cues Gwen to flip the switch. The backlash restores the city’s power and seemingly destroys Electro. The restored power avoids the plane collision and all seems well. Until Harry comes screaming in on his goblin glider, cackling maniacally. Seeing Peter and Gwen together, Harry/Green Goblin figures out that Peter is Spider-Man and decides to hurt Peter by harming Gwen. Peter pleads with him to let Gwen go. Harry/Green Goblin obliges, by dropping her from his glider. Peter jumps to save her, but Harry drops a pumpkin bomb to finish the job. A furiously fast fight ensues, with Harry and Peter duking it out while Gwen attempts to avoid becoming collateral damage.

Gwen falls and Peter webs her stopping her descent. Harry pounces and pins Peter to a clock wheel. As the mechanism moves, it will cut his web and send Gwen to her fate. Peter pins Harry and wedges his foot on the mechanism to spare Gwen, but to no avail. The wheel turns, the web snaps and Gwen falls. The clock damage takes out Harry and Peter leaps through the wreckage to save his love. The web line catches, but the impact snaps her neck, killing her instantly. The pose mimics the comic book perfectly. Peter gently cradles her lifeless body, pleading for her to stay with him.

Cut to her funeral. Mrs. Stacy (Kari Coleman) is devastated. Peter and Aunt May hang back until the family leaves. Peter sits alone at her grave and a series of shots show him watching over her site over a period of several months.

At Ravencroft, Harry is in a cell. A visitor shrouded in shadow (the same man from the end of the first film) visits and discusses a plan. Spider-Man is grief-stricken and out of action. Harry has a plan and wants to “keep it small.” Apparently, all that they need is at Oscorp. They decide on using Aleksei Sytsevich as a test subject.

Cut to a shot of Oscorp tower. Mr. Gustav Fiers (Michael Massee), who is the shadowy man walks through a room with specialized gear; Octo-arms (for Dr. Octopus), vulture wings (for Vulture), and an armored Rhino suit…. They will spring Sytsevich and set him against the city.

At the Parker house, a newscast indicates that Spider Man has been missing for five months. Aunt May expresses concern that Spider-Man has disappeared. Peter is consumed with remorse, but in his bedroom he grabs a USB stick and watches Gwen’s graduation day speech. The speech is all about maintaining a sense of hope. Remembering her bravery, he opens his closet and takes the uniform.

Aleksei Sytsevich, controlling the mechanized suit as The Rhino, has just robbed a bank and is rampaging through the city. His superior armor is cutting through the cops. Inspired by his hero, the science fair kid has donned a Spidey suit and runs out to face the Rhino. Laughing at the sight, Rhino takes the bait and marches toward him. Until the real Spider-Man swoops in. Rhino charges Spidey who swings a manhole cover against Rhino….

Fade to black. End credits.

’Nuff said.

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Captain America
The Winter Soldier

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Copyright 4 April 2014 Marvel Studios

Two years after the events of ‘The Avengers’, retired soldier Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) jogging around Washington, D.C. Catching up to him very quickly is Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans). Steve completes multiple laps over Sam until the latter gets tired and sits to rest. The two of them formally introduce themselves to each other. Sam is a war veteran and he knows Steve has been adjusting to life in the 21st century, and that he has a lot to catch up on. He recommends Steve listen to Marvin Gaye’s “Trouble Man” soundtrack to get up to speed on the last few decades. Steve adds it to his list, along with things like “Star Wars/Trek” and “Rocky”. Steve then gets a text telling him to stand by the curb. A car pulls up, driven by Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). She greets the two men and has Steve hop in the car.

The duo join other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, led by Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo), as they fly over the Indian Ocean. A S.H.I.E.L.D. vessel, the Lemurian Star, has been taken over by pirates, led by Georges Batroc (Georges St-Pierre). They are holding hostages, including Agent Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernandez). Steve, in his Captain America outfit, dives out of the jet armed only with his shield and no parachute. He lands in the water and climbs onto the ship, beating every goon that comes in his way. Natasha and the other agents drop down to aid Cap. The agents defeat the pirates and rescue the hostages while Batroc tries to run and is caught by Cap. They fight on the deck of the ship, with Batroc getting quickly back up on his feet even when Cap manages to take him down. “I thought you were more than a mask,” he says smugly. Steve removes his mask and replies, “Let’s find out.” He continues the fight and knocks Batroc down for good with his shield.

Steve finds Natasha extracting files from the ship’s computer using a S.H.I.E.L.D. flash drive. He calls her out on this as they’re supposed to be helping Rumlow get hostages out. She pulls the flash drive out, moments before a pirate runs past and throws a grenade at the two. Steve grabs Natasha and jumps through a window before it explodes.

At the Triskelion, S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters in Washington DC, Steve confronts Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) about the motives behind Natasha’s task. Fury knew Steve wouldn’t be comfortable with it, so he asked Natasha. Fury reminds Steve that he can’t trust anybody, even those who work closely with him. He takes Steve into an elevator down to the underground level where there are three Helicarriers being worked on as part of Project Insight, an operation that connects the Helicarriers to spy satellites used to prevent any possible terrorist attacks. This is in part a response to the events that took place in New York, but Steve sees this as more of an aggressive form of protection. Fury insists that he get with the program.

Steve visits the Smithsonian Museum to check out an exhibit dedicated to Captain America. A child recognizes him in disguise, but Steve holds a finger to his lips asking the kid not to point him out. The kid understands and keeps quiet. Among the displays are mannequins with costumes of Steve’s old commando squad, and one of his old friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), whom Steve saw fall to his death (in the first Captain America film). Steve checks out a video of his old love, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), in which she commemorates Steve on his actions as Cap. He later visits an elderly Peggy, who has since been married and had children. She is ill and although she initially appears to recognize Steve, she slips back into a state where she believes to be seeing him again for the first time since he was lost, shocked to see him alive. He merely says, “I couldn’t leave my best girl. Not when she owes me a dance.”

Fury tries to access the files that Natasha got on the flash drive, but he is unable to get past security, something that was apparently set by himself. He goes to meet with Defense Secretary Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) as he is meeting with the World Security Council over the matter of the hijacking of the vessel. Fury tells Pierce that they need to delay Project Insight. Pierce says ‘okay’, but he wants Fury to have Iron Man stop by his niece’s birthday.

Steve finds Sam counseling other veterans suffering from PTSD. After the group meeting, Sam reveals to Steve that he lost his friend Riley in battle in Iraq after he was shot down in the air with an RPG. Despite this, Sam still loves flying. He asks Steve what makes him happy. He doesn’t know.

As Fury drives, he contacts Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) to rendezvous with him. As he stops at an intersection, a police car pulls up alongside Fury’s car on his passenger’s side. Fury notices that the officers driving the car are looking at him very suspiciously as a black man driving a very expensive SUV. The driver then hits his siren for a quick second and pulls forward.

Just as Fury pulls into the intersection, another police car appears and T-bones Fury’s car from the drivers’ side, sending it into some bollards. The first police car then suddenly stops, and backs up straight into Fury’s car. A third police car simultaneously plows into Fury’s car from behind, and several more units quickly arrive, boxing Fury’s car in. The first police car to hit Fury then backs up. A second later, a black windowless van screeches to a halt, discharging a full SWAT team. The patrol and SWAT officers draw submachine guns and assault rifles and take up positions around Fury’s car. The onboard computer informs Fury that the DC Metropolitan Police dispatch shows no units in the area.

Seconds later, the police officers open fire, riddling the car with bullets, to no avail, since the windows are made of bulletproof glass. The police decide to move to their next strategy: four men from the SWAT team grab a hydraulic battering ram from their van. They unfold a tripod, and plant it next to the car. The operator then pushes a button so that the tripod drills holes into the pavement to stabilize it, before firing it. Each hit rocks the car sideways and weakens the window drastically. Just as the window’s integrity reaches 1%, Fury grabs a hidden minigun and returns fire through the window. Most of the cops on the scene are immediately hit and killed, while the SWAT van and one of the police cars are blown up by a grenade launcher. After a prolonged exchange of gunfire, he commands the car to drive itself out. Fury’s car takes off, with two police cars in hot pursuit.

A lengthy pursuit unfolds through the streets. After forcing their way through stopped traffic, and another running shootout, the two police cars catch up to Fury and begin to trade paint with him. Fortunately for Fury, his onboard computer detects a box truck about to catch up to them at the next intersection. Fury slams on the brakes for his car, while the two police cars continue on and are promptly T-boned by the truck.

Fury commands the vehicle’s computer to get him to a safe location and speeds off. Before the computer can find a safe spot for him, he sees the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) standing in the middle of the road. The Winter Soldier promptly shoots a sticky bomb that attaches itself to the underside of Fury’s car. It explodes and flips the car over. The Winter Soldier walks over to Fury, ready to finish him off, but he escapes in time by burning a hole through the roof of the car and the street below with a laser weapon.

Steve goes back to his apartment to find his pretty neighbor, Sharon Carter (Emily Van Camp) going to do laundry. He offers to let her use his machine, but she says she just spent a lot of time in the diseased ward of the hospital and doesn’t want to pass any sickness to Steve. She tells him that he left his stereo on.

Steve hears music as he cautiously enters his house, grabbing his shield for protection. He finds an injured Fury sitting on his couch. Out loud, Fury says his wife kicked him out, but he shows Steve through text on his phone that anybody could be listening. Before he can say anything else, Fury is shot three times. Steve looks out the window for the shooter. Fury hands him the flash drive and tells him not to trust anybody. The neighbor comes in, armed with a gun. She is Agent 13 of S.H.I.E.L.D., and she tends to Fury. Steve runs after the Winter Soldier. Steve smashes through the walls to catch up to the Winter Soldier outside. He throws his shield at him, but the Winter Soldier catches it with one swift move in his left hand, then throws it back to Steve. Steve catches the shield and is shoved back a bit and looks up, only to find the Winter Soldier has disappeared.

Natasha meets up with Steve at the hospital as they watch doctors operating on Fury. Joining them is Agent Hill. The doctors try to revive him, but Fury flatlines. They call in his death. Afterwards, Natasha asks Steve why Fury was in his apartment. He claims to not know, right as Rumlow tells him they need him back at S.H.I.E.L.D. Natasha calls Steve a bad liar, and they separate. We see that Steve also hid the flash drive behind a pack of gum in the vending machine.

Steve is brought in to speak with Pierce. He also asks Steve why Fury was in his apartment, hoping to find clues to who killed him. They suspect Batroc after he was found the previous night in a safe house. Pierce insinuates that Fury hired the pirates to infiltrate the ship so that he could acquire classified information, and was then killed after the deal went wrong. Steve denies the claim. Pierce asks him again why Fury was there. Steve only says that Fury told him not to trust anybody.

Steve hops on the elevator, which becomes occupied with more S.H.I.E.L.D. agents at each floor it stops at, including Rumlow. Steve notices one agent looking sweaty, and others looking very suspicious, itching for their pistols. He asks anybody if they’d wish to get out, prompting them all to attack him. They strap him magnetic cuffs to his wrists and hold an electric stunning rod to him, but Steve overpowers them and knocks everyone out cold. Agent Sitwell sees the battle through a monitor and orders the STRIKE team to get to the elevator. Steve breaks off the cuffs with his shield and sees the STRIKE team heading his way. He breaks off the elevator wires to send the elevator down. The team still approaches, so Steve breaks through the glass in the elevator, falling dozens of floors and hits the plaza, landing on his shield. He runs to the garage and rides out on his motorcycle, evading the obstacles laid out by S.H.I.E.L.D. A Quinjet emerges to shoot at Steve. He throws his shield into the propellers, jamming it, and giving him an opportunity to hop over it and escape.

Sitwell orders S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to be on the lookout for Steve. Agent 13 demands to know why they’re issuing a manhunt for Captain America. Pierce comes into the room and brands him a fugitive for withholding information on Fury’s death.

Steve goes back to the hospital to retrieve the flash drive from the vending machine, but it’s gone. Natasha appears, chewing some gum. Steve pushes her into a room and demands to know what she knows about the mysterious assassin. She knows the assassin as the Winter Soldier. He nearly killed her on a mission in Iran, during which the target she was assigned to protect was killed, and has reportedly been responsible for over 200 assassinations over the past 50 years. They decide to use the flash drive to find out what they can on Winter Soldier’s whereabouts.

Pierce meets with the WSC members again, defending Fury as a martyr, though they believe he was killed for trying to cover up his own illegal dealings. They all opt to reactivate Project Insight.

Steve and Natasha go to a mall, disguised as a civilian couple. They take the flash drive to an Apple Store and pop it into a MacBook Pro to find signal coming from Wheaton, New Jersey. Natasha tells Steve that they have 9 minutes or less before SHIELD agents find them. The duo spot Rumlow and other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents coming around every corner. Natasha pulls Steve in for a kiss on the escalator to draw attention away from themselves, since public displays of affection make people uncomfortable. The ruse works and Rumlow doesn’t spot them.

Steve and Natasha drive to an abandoned military base where the signal led them to. Steve recognizes it as his old training base in New Jersey, and he briefly envisions his former, smaller self running past him. He enters the facility with Natasha, which is discovered to be an original S.H.I.E.L.D. office. They find framed portraits of Howard Stark and Peggy, along with Col. Chester Phillips. Steve looks behind a bookshelf and uncovers a room full of computers. The only modern type of technology in the room is a small port for the flash drive to be stuck in. Natasha places it in there and activates a computer. A German voice speaks and analyzes the two. The voice belongs to Arnim Zola (Toby Jones), former accomplice of the Red Skull. He transferred his consciousness into a computer once his body had failed him because of a disease. Zola tells the duo that his and Red Skull’s group HYDRA was formed on the belief that humanity could not be trusted with its own freedom, and after the war, S.H.I.E.L.D. recruited him and other HYDRA operatives, where they conspired against their new employers. He reveals that they were directly responsible for targeting people such as the President, along with causing the car accident that killed Howard and Maria Stark. Zola adds that a missile is heading for their location in less than 30 seconds. Steve and Natasha jump into a hole as the missile hits, destroying the computers. Steve protects himself and Natasha as the place crumbles. Rumlow and his goons search the place to make sure there are no survivors.

In his home, Pierce bids goodbye to his housekeeper, Renata (Branka Katic), just as the Winter Soldier appears in his kitchen. He never speaks a word. Pierce starts to talk to him when Renata comes back to get her phone. Remarking that he wishes she’d knocked, Pierce shoots her twice because she’s seen him and the Winter Soldier talking.

Steve and Natasha hide out at Sam’s home, knowing they can trust him. Natasha expresses remorse over her involvement with HYDRA agents. Sam agrees to help the two, utilizing a military project called Falcon.

Back in D.C., Sitwell walks away from meeting Senator Stern (Garry Shandling; reprising his role from “Iron Man 2”). Before they part ways, Stern leans in and whispers to Sitwell, “Hail HYDRA”. Sam calls Sitwell’s phone and orders him to walk to a car to meet with him and his friends. The heroes force Sitwell up to the roof of a tall building. Steve holds Sitwell over the edge, threatening to drop him. Sitwell knows this isn’t Steve’s style. Steve agrees…letting Natasha kick Sitwell off the roof. Moments later, Sam, in his Falcon jet-pack suit with wings, flies up to the roof holding Sitwell. The now terrified traitor confesses that Zola created an algorithm to locate certain people around the world based on any personal facts or data. He name-drops Tony Stark (Iron Man), Bruce Banner (The Hulk), and Stephen Strange (hinting to a future “Doctor Strange” movie). The targets are picked based on their past actions. This makes Sitwell realize that Pierce may very well kill him.

En route back to the Triskelion, the Winter Soldier jumps onto the heroes’ car and pulls Sitwell out through the window, and throws him into the path of a truck. The assassin is joined by other HYDRA agents in attacking the car. Steve pulls Natasha and Sam out, sliding on the car door through the streets. They fight off the villains, with Winter Soldier pursuing Natasha while the HYDRA agents fight Steve and Sam. Winter Soldier thinks he’s found Natasha hiding behind a car and he shoots a bomb to her, but it was really a recording played back on a phone. When he does find Natasha, he shoots at her. Steve jumps out and battles Winter Soldier. The assassin is just as fast and even stronger than Steve. Steve manages to remove his mask, and he finally learns the assassin’s identity — Bucky Barnes. Steve stares at the man who was once his friend, unable to believe that he is standing before him alive and trying to kill him. “Bucky?”, he asks. “Who the hell is Bucky?”, Winter Soldier responds. The HYDRA agents then take Steve, Sam, and Natasha into custody.

The heroes are taken in a prison van. Sam notices Natasha is bleeding from her shoulder, telling the guards she needs assistance. One guard pulls out an electric rod, neutralizing the other guard. The first guard turns out to be Agent Hill in disguise. She takes the heroes to a secret facility to treat Natasha, but first she shows them Fury lying in bed, very much alive. He survived with an anti-stress serum developed by Banner, originally to control his Hulk problem. When he and Natasha are a little more rested, they gather with the other heroes over the fact that Project Insight is set to take place within hours, where the Helicarriers will form a triangular shape and lock sights on their targets around the globe. Fury takes out three chips that they will use to override the Helicarriers’ systems. He turns control over to Steve to give orders.

Within a bank, the HYDRA agents work to fix up Winter Soldier’s metal arm after his fight with Steve. He has brief flashbacks to his old life, from the fall he took to the moment he was recovered by Zola and the HYDRA agents. His left arm was amputated and replaced with the bionic metal arm. When he began to freak out, Zola had him sedated and later put on ice. Pierce comes in, praising the Winter Soldier’s work and asking him to come back to do it again. Winter Soldier asks about Steve, claiming to know him. Pierce orders the agents to get him back to his original killing mindset.

Steve stands on a bridge, reminiscing about his time spent with Bucky. A flashback shows Bucky with Steve after the funeral of Steve’s mother. Bucky offers Steve to let him stay with his family, and all he’d have to do is shine his shoes. Sam comes over, prepared to join Steve in the fight. Steve tells him to suit up before going to the Captain America exhibit to get his old suit. The elderly security guard (Stan Lee) sees the suit missing and comments that he’s gonna get fired.

The WSC members arrive at the Triskelion, guided by Pierce. He gives them electronic pins that will give them access to anywhere in the building. Rogers and Falcon break into the headquarters. Cap accesses a mic that patches him through to every speaker. He tells the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that Pierce is a traitor who is working with HYDRA agents, and that they must stop Project Insight from happening. Rumlow and his goons break into the control room. He forces an agent to release the Helicarriers, but Agent 13 intervenes. She forces Rumlow to drop his gun. He does, then grabs his knife and cuts 13’s arm, leading to a gunfight between the S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA agents. Rumlow, amidst the bullets, manages to release the Helicarriers himself.

Cap and Falcon make their way to the Helicarriers as the HYDRA agents try to shoot at them. Cap gets the first chip into one Helicarrier, while Falcon flies around, avoiding getting shot. He manages to get a heat-seeking missile that was aimed at him to hit a Helicarrier to give him an entrance, allowing him to place the second chip in there. Hill, meanwhile, monitors their progress while fighting off HYDRA agents trying to kill her.

Pierce tries convincing the WSC members to join him in their project, making it sound as a peaceful effort to subdue potential attacks around the world. He hands Councilman Singh (Bernard White) a glass of champagne, but Singh refuses to join him and tosses the glass. Pierce pulls out a gun and aims at Singh, but Councilwoman Hawley (Jenny Agutter) kicks Singh away, then takes down the other HYDRA goons in the room before taking the gun. She removes her disguise to reveal Natasha. Her backup comes when Fury steps out of a helicopter, to Pierce’s surprise. Knowing Pierce probably changed the retinal scan, Fury removes his eyepatch to reveal his scarred dead eye to override Project Insight along with Pierce, as they are the only two agents of the highest degree needed for that. Pierce then sets off the pins he gave the council members, causing it to burn deeply into their sternum. He threatens to set it on Natasha, forcing her to walk out with him. Natasha activates it herself, burning herself, but not as deep. Fury then shoots Pierce twice, killing him. His last words are “Hail HYDRA.”

The Winter Soldier is set loose, killing off the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents trying to aid Cap and Falcon in taking down the last Helicarrier. He rips off Falcon’s wing and throws him off the Helicarrier. The HYDRA agents begin to lock on their targets, with over 700,000 and counting. Falcon manages to get his parachute out, leaving him grounded. He runs back into the Triskelion to fight Rumlow. Cap confronts Winter Soldier inside the Helicarrier, trying to get through to his best friend by reminding him that millions could die. Unwilling to listen, Winter Soldier battles Cap again. Cap runs to grab the chip and replace it, but Winter Soldier swipes it from him. Cap manages to wound both of Winter Soldier’s arms, then puts him in a headlock until he releases the chip. Cap rushes to place the chip into the system, but Winter Soldier shoots him three times. He still succeeds in placing the chip, calling Hill to override the Helicarriers. The targets go offline, to the surprise of the dumbfounded HYDRA agents. With the systems overriden, Hill has the Helicarriers open fire upon each other. One Helicarrier crashes into a dam beneath the Triskelion. The second crashes through the Triskelion, catching Rumlow in the destruction. Sam runs like hell out of the window as Natasha and Fury fly their chopper in time to catch him.

The third Helicarrier continues to fall with Cap and Winter Soldier inside. Cap chooses not to fight his friend, dropping his shield out of the Helicarrier. Winter Soldier mercilessly punches him repeatedly across the face, even as Cap chooses to stick it out with him until the end. Before he delivers the fatal blow, Winter Soldier looks at Cap with hesitance, almost as if he is starting to remember. The Helicarrier crashes, throwing Cap out and sending him into the water below. He slips into unconsciousness, but not before seeing a hand reaching out for him. Winter Soldier drags Cap to the shore before walking away for good.

In the aftermath, we see Steve in a hospital recovering as Marvin Gaye’s “Trouble Man” plays. He wakes up to hear the music. We also see Agent 13 at a shooting range, Agent Hill about to undergo a lie detector test at Stark Industries, Senator Stern getting arrested, and Rumlow being treated by doctors, still alive but terribly burnt. Natasha is brought to a hearing to answer for her ties to S.H.I.E.L.D. She defends herself by saying that even if they wanted to put her in an institution, they could not because the council members know they need her and her allies. She coolly walks away. Meanwhile, Fury gets rids of any trace of his existence, including his passports and eyepatch, burning them for good.

Fury meets Steve and Sam at a cemetery at his own grave. On the headstone are Fury’s name and the words “The path of the righteous man….” This is a reference to the fake Bible verse that Samuel L. Jackson’s Pulp Fiction character, Jules Winnfield, liked to quote. Fury tells Sam and Steve that if anybody asks for him, they only need to come here to his grave.

Fury leaves as Natasha arrives to tell the guys this is Fury’s way of saying “Thank you.” She hands Steve a file that he wanted, then suggests he ask out Agent 13, whose name is really Sharon Carter. Steve looks at the file, which concerns Bucky and his Winter Soldier transformation. Sam realizes that Steve is going to look for Bucky. Steve tells him that he doesn’t have to go with him. Sam replies, “I know. When do we start?”

Mid-Credits Scene:

Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) is discussing recent events with a fellow HYDRA agent in an underground lab somewhere in Europe. Even though some of their agents have been lost, they have many other followers around the world. They are performing an experiment with secret weapons, including Loki’s scepter. Von Strucker guides the agent to “the twins” — Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, aka Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen). They exhibit superpowers of their own, with Pietro having superhuman speed, and Wanda having telekinetic powers, which she is seen using destructively. Von Strucker observes them and comments, “This is the age of miracles…”

Post-Credits Scene:

Bucky/Winter Soldier walks through the Captain America exhibit at the Smithsonian and comes across the display of himself. He stares at it pensively, hoping to regain memory of his old life.

’Nuff said.

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Thor
The Dark World

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Copyright 8 November 2013 Marvel Studios

Eons ago, Bor, the father of Odin, clashes with the Dark Elf Malekith, who seeks to destroy the universe using a weapon known as the Aether. After conquering Malekith’s forces, including enhanced warriors called the Kursed, on their home world of Svartalfheim, Bor safeguards the Aether within a stone column. Unbeknownst to him, Malekith, his lieutenant Algrim, and a handful of Dark Elves escape into suspended animation.

In present-day Asgard, Loki stands imprisoned for his war crimes on Earth. Meanwhile, Thor, alongside warriors Fandral, Volstagg and Sif repel marauders on Vanaheim, home of their comrade Hogun; it is the final battle in a war to pacify the Nine Realms following the reconstruction of Bifröst, the “Rainbow Bridge” between realms, which had been destroyed two years earlier. In London, astrophysicist Dr. Jane Foster’s intern, Darcy Lewis, now with her own intern, Ian, takes Jane to an abandoned factory where objects have begun to disobey the laws of physics and disappear into thin air. Separating from the group, Jane is teleported to another world, where she is infected by the Aether.

The Asgardians learn that the Convergence, a rare alignment of the Nine Realms, is imminent; as the event approaches, portals linking the worlds appear at random. Heimdall alerts Thor of Jane’s recent disappearance, leading Thor to search for her. When she inadvertently releases an unearthly force while being arrested by the police for trespassing on private property, he takes her to Asgard. However, the Asgardian healers say they do not know how to treat her. Odin, recognizing the Aether, warns Jane’s infection will kill her given enough time, and that the Aether’s return heralds a catastrophic prophecy.

Malekith, awakened by the Aether’s release, turns Algrim into a Kursed and attacks Asgard. During the battle, Malekith and Algrim search for Jane, knowing she contains the Aether. When they fail to capture her, they escape, but not before killing Thor’s mother Frigga in a swordfight. Despite Odin’s orders not to leave Asgard, Thor reluctantly teams up with Loki, who knows of a secret portal to Malekith’s world, where they will use Jane to lure and confront Malekith, away from Asgard. In return, Thor promises Loki that he can have his revenge on Malekith for killing their mother. With Volstagg and Sif stalling Asgardian soldiers and Fandral assisting their escape, Thor and Loki commandeer a Dark Elf spaceship and escape to Svartalfheim with Jane.

On Svartalfheim, Loki tricks Malekith into drawing the Aether out of Jane. However, Thor’s attempt to destroy the substance fails, and the Aether-empowered Malekith leaves with his ship as Loki appears to be fatally wounded while protecting Thor from Algrim. Thor, cradling Loki in his arms, promises to tell their father of his sacrifice. Following Loki’s apparent death, Thor and Jane discover another portal in a nearby cave and reunite with Jane’s mentor Dr. Erik Selvig, Darcy and Ian in London. There, they learn that Malekith plans to unleash the Aether to destroy the universe, and that he will do this in Greenwich, the center of the Convergence. Thor battles Malekith, but a portal separates them, leaving Malekith unopposed. Thor comes back in time to help his mortal comrades use their scientific equipment to transport Malekith to Svartalfheim, where he is killed before he can destroy the universe.

Thor returns to Asgard, where he declines Odin’s offer to take the throne and tells Odin of Loki’s sacrifice. As he leaves, Odin’s form transforms to that of a grinning Loki.

In a mid-credits scene, Volstagg and Sif visit the Collector and entrust the Aether to his care, commenting that, with the Tesseract already in Asgard, having two Infinity Stones so close together would be dangerous. As they leave, the Collector remarks, “One down, five to go.” (Foreshadowing the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.) In a post-credits scene, Jane and Thor reunite on Earth, while somewhere in London a frost monster from Jotunheim, accidentally transported to Earth during the final battle, continues to run amok.

’Nuff said.

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Destruction in Metropolis
Kryptonian World Engine Destroys much of downtown Metropolis

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Kryptonian soldier Zod attempts to use Kryptonian World Engine to terraform Earth into a new Krypton.

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Man of Steel

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Copyright 14 June 2013 Warner Brothers Studios

The story opens on the Planet Krypton, wherein Lara Lor-Van (Ayelet Zurer), has just given birth to a son. She and her husband Jor-El (Russell Crowe) have birthed their son naturally and in violation of the basic laws of the planet, where babies are to be bred through genetic engineering with a planetary ‘Codex’ that imprints what a person’s place in life is to be (leader, scientist, general, etc).

Jor-El and his wife have chosen this path as their planet is on the brink of destruction. Harvesting their planet’s core for resources has made it unstable and it will destroy itself. After the birth of his son, Jor-El appears before the Kryptonian Leaders, pleading with them to allow him to save the planet’s Codex, and to search for a habitable world beyond Krypton. However, even with destruction imminent, the council will not abandon its ways.

The council is set upon by General Zod (Michael Shannon) and numerous followers, intending to take control of the planet. Though Jor-El does disagree with Council, he refuses to join Zod’s coup. Zod orders Jor-El to be arrested, but Jor-El escapes and flees to an area nearby, wherein the planet’s birthing chamber resides. Right before he leaves, he tells Lara to prepare the small spacecraft he has built to transport his son from Krypton and to find a suitable world to send him to.

Stealing the Codex from the chamber, Jor-El races back to his home where his wife Lara has found a planet to send their baby to: Earth. Though Lara is sad at the loss of their child, Jor-El claims he will live his life in a new way: free of the limitations imposed by Kryptonian society. Their son, Kal-El, will be able to choose his way in life. Lara worries about their son’s ability to survive on his new planet; Jor-El assures her he will be stronger, faster, invulnerable and possess powers that will make him a super-being there because of Earth’s yellow sun. Jor-El places the Codex into a device that bonds it to his son’s living cells.

As they prepare to launch the pod containing their son, Zod and his followers force their way into the Els residence, demanding that Jor-El hand over the Codex. Jor-El claims it is in the pod with his son. Zod becomes enraged and attacks Jor-El, eventually stabbing him to death. During the fight, Lara engages the pod’s engines and it shoots into the sky.

Angered that Jor-El and his wife have doomed the Kryptonian race with the removal of the Codex, Zod orders his followers to shoot down the pod. However, his orders are suddenly cancelled when Kryptonian security ships appear, destroying the attacking vessel and arresting Zod and his minions. In the confusion, a Phantom Drive engages on the pod, rocketing the baby away in the blink of an eye.

Zod and his followers are banished to The Phantom Zone. In a fury, Zod lashes out, declaring the leaders will not grant him and his followers a quick death. He also swears to Lara (who is present), that he will find her son. Zod and his followers are placed in a giant craft, the Black Zero, that is sent into the Phantom Zone.

Shortly after, Krypton’s core collapses as Lara passively watches the planet breaking apart. Many worlds away, the pod carrying Kal-El rockets into Earth’s atmosphere, touching down somewhere in the Great Plains of the United States.

The scene then shifts to ocean waters, where we see a bearded man (Henry Cavill) working aboard a fishing vessel and having trouble concentrating on his duties.The crew are soon alerted to a distress call for help from a flaming oil rig. The bearded man quickly disappears from the ship but is on the rig moments later, rescuing the crew and getting them to board a Coast Guard chopper. He is unable to join them, as he rushes to keep a part of the rig from collapsing on the landing pad. As the chopper flies away with the rig’s crew, the rig collapses down on him and he ends up floating in the water.

We soon learn that this is Clark Kent, as in a deep mental state, he recalls when he was younger, and manifested X-Ray vision, and super-hearing. Scared at what he was seeing and hearing, Clark runs from his classroom and locks himself in a closet. His Mother Martha Kent comes to the school, and manages to coax him out, helping him to focus his powers, quelling the myriad sounds he hears.

Back in the present-day, Clark has managed to return to land and steals some clothes. As he attempts to figure out where he is, he sees a school bus nearby. Clark has another flashback to when he was 13. He recalls being picked on by a boy named Pete Ross (Jack Foley), before the school bus they were on suddenly blows a tire, and careens off a bridge into a river. Thinking quickly, Clark escapes out the rear emergency door, and pushes the bus to shore. Clark jumps back into the water and pulls the very boy who harassed him to safety.

Though Pete’s mother claims that Clark miraculously saved the occupants of the bus, Clark’s father Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) tries to convince her otherwise. Needless to say, Clark feels even more conflicted, as his father has tried to tell him to suppress his powers, but Clark was torn by a need to help others.

When Clark demands to know what’s wrong with him, Jonathan shows his son the pod he came to Earth in, along with a strange metallic item that was found with him. Jonathan claims he had a metallurgist examine it, but it is comprised of elements not found on Earth. Imprinted on the small fragment of metal is a shield-like shape containing an “S”.

The scene then returns to the present day, where Clark has a job at a truck stop in Canada. As he works, he hears some military men talking quietly about some object found in the ice a ways north of the stop. When a trucker comes in and starts harassing one of the waitresses, Clark attempts to stop him, but afraid others will see his powers, stands there and takes the trucker’s taunts. Without saying a word, Clark takes off his apron and leaves the stop. Later, as the trucker leaves, he is shocked to find his rig impaled on several of the tree logs he was hauling.

The scene then cuts to Lois Lane (Amy Adams), landing at the base in Canada, where she is met by Professor Emil Hamilton (Richard Schiff), and Colonel Nathan Hardy (Christopher Meloni). Drilling is still commencing within the ice to get to uncover the craft, but ice drilling tests have at least confirmed that the ice surrounding the object is thousands of years old.

Going out in the evening to shoot some pictures, Lois is shocked when she checks them to see a man walking on a ridge near the drilling site without cold-weather clothing. She sneaks up to where he was, and finds a tunnel bored into the ice. The tunnel is Clark’s doing, as he had followed the word of the military men, and made his way to the site, using his heat vision to tunnel into the ice. He then finds a strange spacecraft, and going inside, finds a panel that opens up. It contains a hole that seems to match the shape of the object his father found with him in the pod. Inserting the object the hole causes a person to suddenly appear nearby. He doesn’t say a word, simply walking off. Clark attempts to catch up to this person, but he always seems to be several steps ahead of him.

Meanwhile, Lois has found her way onto the ship, but is attacked by a sentry. Her screams cause Clark to come running. After dismantling the sentry by crushing it with his bare hands, he sees that the sentry has wounded Lois in her lower abdomen. He tells her she’s bleeding internally and uses his heat vision to cauterize the wound. Shortly after, military forces nearby are all amazed when the ice starts to crack and a giant ship emerges, flying off.

Lois is found the next day and shortly thereafter she writes up an article about what she experienced. However, her editor at the Daily Planet, Perry White (Laurence Fishburne), refuses to publish it. Even the Pentagon has denied her ‘aliens and spaceships’ story. Lois then attempts to play hard ball. Going to a contact of hers named Glen Woodburn (Chad Krowchuk), she allows him to publish her story. Though he cautions that she could get in trouble for leaking the story, she claims she wants to do this, in hopes that it will catch the attention of the person she met.

Meanwhile, Clark has piloted the spaceship to another remote location in the Arctic. It turns out the figure he was following is a hologram of his father Jor-El, who is appearing via the ‘key’ Clark inserted into the ship. Jor-El explains the history of the planet Krypton and that the ship Clark found was a sentry ship sent out many years before, when the the council of Krypton had attempted to colonize other planets.

Jor-El shows Clark a dark blue and red suit bearing the shielded “S”. Jor-El explains that it is the emblem of the House of El and a symbol of hope. Jor-El also explains that the Earth’s sun has made Clark stronger, and has been helping him manifest powers for some time. Jor-El tells Clark that the suit will symbolize his mission: to help the people of Earth and act as their guardian. Stepping outside the ship, Clark begins to push his powers: first taking flying leaps, before eventually being able to fly at great speeds, breaking the sound barrier and flying great distances around the world.

Back in Metropolis, Perry White is furious that Lois leaked her story to the internet, and suspends her for three weeks. Lois uses this time to begin tracking down leads to her mystery man. Her sleuthing leads her to Smallville, and eventually, Martha Kent.

Visiting the grave of Jonathan Kent, she is surprised when her mystery man appears (albeit in nondescript clothing). Lois claims she wants to tell Clark’s story, but he tells her of how he abides by his father’s request to not reveal himself until the world ‘was ready.’

Clark then relates how Jonathan died. After the two have an argument during a drive, which mostly concerns Clark frustration over his true ancestry and how he is forbidden to reveal his powers to anyone but his parents, they stop when a tornado forms, threatening everyone on the road nearby. Clark gets his mother and several others to safety, with Jonathan attempting to get the family dog free of their vehicle. The dog makes it out safely, but Jonathan ends up injuring himself, unable to make it to the overpass where everyone has taken shelter. Clark had wanted to help his father, but a gesture from Jonathan cautioned him to not reveal himself, leaving Jonathan to be swept away by the tornado. Hearing his story, Lois respects Clark’s wish for privacy, and stops trying to pursue a story from him.

Clark returns to his mother, and happily tells her that he has found where he came from, and who his true parents are. Though Martha fears that her son will now be taken from her, Clark assures her it won’t happen.

Meanwhile, the military has received word of a strange ship in geosynchronous orbit around the planet. Soon, others report the strange sighting, but are surprised when power is cut off to all parts of the world, and a message is broadcast from General Zod. Zod demands that the people of Earth hand over Kal-El within 24 hours or there will be consequences. A worldwide manhunt is initiated to find this “Kal-El”. Glenn Woodburn is interviewed about the aliens and drops Lois’ name, which soon results in numerous FBI agents being sent to take her into custody. Lois tries to flee from them, but she’s quickly intercepted and turned over to the US Army.

Back in Smallville, Clark goes to a local church, and confesses to the pastor there that he is the one the aliens want. Though he admits he is conflicted: he doesn’t trust that Zod will leave Earth in peace, but he is also wondering if he should trust humanity. His decision is made when the Pastor tells him that sometimes one must take a leap of faith.

Clark then appears before the Army in his Kryptonian suit, willing to surrender on condition that he can meet with Lois and that she be freed. Clark is handcuffed (he allows them to, as a gesture of trust and to help them feel more secure), and he and Lois have a short conversation. She asks him about the “S” on his chest which he tells her is not an S as Earthlings know it, but a symbol of hope. When she suggests a new moniker, her voice is cut off by feedback from the audio system observers are using behind a 2-way mirror — but Clark shows he is easily able see through it and identify the people standing behind it. Clark stands up and effortlessly breaks his handcuffs and tells the observers he’ll allow them to turn him over to Zod and that he’ll protect the planet from whatever danger Zod presents.

In a remote desert, a black craft appears to bring him to Zod’s ship. The craft is commanded by Faora-Ul (Antje Traue), who also demands of General Swanwick (Harry Lennix), that Lois also be taken with them. Though Swanwick points out that the deal was originally for only Kal-El to be handed over, Lois goes along. Before they reach Zod’s ship, Lois is fitted with a breathing apparatus, as the atmosphere on the ship will be toxic to humans. When Faora is distracted, Clark slips Lois the key he used to restart the Arctic ship.

On board the ship Zod welcomes Clark, who a few moments later collapses to the floor of the ship, seemingly unable to breathe. Though Lois is worried for him, Zod assures her that Clark’s body is simply adjusting to the Kryptonian atmosphere aboard the ship.

Clark passes out, and finds himself in a dreamlike vision of his family’s farm. Zod explains to Clark that after the destruction of Krypton, the portal to the Phantom Zone where they were trapped was opened again. After modifying the portal’s Phantom Drive, they were able to transport themselves all across the galaxy in the Black Zero. Visiting the various planets which colonizing ships were sent, their searches for a new planet proved unfruitful, as each of the colonists sent to these various planets were found to have perished. However, Zod and his followers took what they could from the remnants of their civilization, including a terraforming machine called a “World Engine”.

When Clark activated the ship in the Arctic, it sent out a signal, which lead Zod to Earth. Zod claims that he intends to turn Earth into a New Krypton, but Clark is unwilling to go along with this plan since it will mean Earth’s annihilation and the deaths of all humans.

Awakening from the vision, Zod tells Clark that with or without him, he will revive their civilization. As well, Clark’s adjustments to the ship have made him no stronger than the other Kryptonians on it. This allows one of Zod’s men, Jax-Ur (Mackenzie Gray), to obtain a blood sample from Clark.

Meanwhile, Lois is thrown into a holding cell, where she comes across a panel with a small hole. Lois notes it is the same shape as the key she has. Inserting it allows the information from Jor-El to appear before her. The key causes the ship’s atmosphere to alter towards more suitable conditions for Clark and Lois, and Jor-El gives Lois valuable information for stopping Zod, along with leading her to an escape pod. As she activates the pod a guard suddenly shoots at her, damaging the pod. The change in the atmosphere returns Clark’s strength, allowing him to break his bonds, and Jor-El appears before him, pointing out that Lois needs to be saved because of the damage to the pod.

Clark saves Lois from the pod, but his attention is soon drawn to his mother, who is set upon by Zod and Faora. Zod goes to the Kent farm, looking for the Codex. Faora finds Clark’s pod, but no sign of the Codex. When Zod threatens Martha, Clark races to save her, hitting Zod with such force that the two end up thrown into the heart of downtown Smallville.

Upon recovering, Zod’s face-mask malfunctions and his body begins to adapt to the Earthen environment, as he suddenly gains X-Ray vision, and his hearing begins to take in everything at once (just like Clark did when he gained these powers long ago). The effect is debilitating to Zod as his senses overload and he is forced to retreat.

Clark claims that his parents helped him hone his skills to control the sensory overload, but his assurance is thrown aside when a ship recovers the stunned Zod, and Faora and a larger Kryptonian (Nam-Ek) attempt to bring Clark down. A battle erupts between Clark and his enemies, causing huge amounts of destruction.

Word of the alien presence in Smallville has reached the Army, and Col. Hardy approaches with helicopters and planes. Hardy claims that all three of the aliens (including Clark) are hostile, and all forms of weaponry are thrown at them. Though Faora and Nam-Ek escape, Clark is able to change Hardy’s mind when he saves the Colonel along with several other soldiers.

Clark returns to his mother, but also encounters Lois, who explains to him what Jor-El told her on the ship.

Back on his ship, Zod is informed what happened to the Codex. Jor-El had diffused it into Clark’s cells, making him the source to create new Kryptonian life. When Zod is informed that Clark does not need to be taken alive to retrieve the Codex, he puts his plan into effect.

Zod separates the World Engine from the Black Zero. As it touches down in the South Indian Ocean, the Black Zero hovers over Metropolis. Using the Phantom Drive, Zod activates the World Engine, which creates a link with the Black Zero through the Earth’s core, beginning the process of terraforming Earth into a planet more like Krypton. Dr. Emil Hamilton determines that the process is creating a stronger gravitational pull and making the planet more dense. The effect causes massive destruction, flattening cars and shaking skyscrapers apart. The force of the machine also causes objects to repeatedly rise and plummet to Earth.

As Swanwick contemplates what to do, he receives word that Clark (now being called “Superman” by some of the soldiers), has a plan. Using the information that Lois obtained, Clark reasons that if the pod that brought him to Earth is activated by the key he has it will start up the Phantom Drive inside. If the pod collides with Zod’s ship which also has its drive activated, a black hole will warp the Black Zero and it’s occupants back into the Phantom Zone.

Meanwhile, Zod leaves his ship, and heads for the ship Clark found in the Arctic. On board the ship is a gestation chamber with many unborn Kryptonian fetuses. The projection of Jor-El speaks to Zod, telling him to halt his operation. Zod refuses to listen to the words of a ghost. and will stop at nothing to revive Krypton and it’s people. Zod’s key eventually overrides Jor-El’s, and the ship now responds to Zod, causing Jor-El’s hologram to disappear.

Col Hardy, Dr Hamilton, and Lois board a plane to take the pod to Metropolis, while Superman flies around the world to try and stop the World Engine. However, he is assailed by a Kryptonian defense mechanism within the machine that attempts to fend him off with long tentacles.

The situation over Metropolis grows more desperate as none of the planes sent by the Air Force are able to get close to the Black Zero. Zod’s ship and the World Engine have created a gravitational vacuum that keeps the transport unable to properly launch Clark’s pod. Realizing there’s no way he can fight off the tentacles, Clark goes deep under the World Engine and punches his way through it, causing the connection to sever and the machine to explode. With the gravitational disruption gone, Hardy flies the transport closer to Zod’s ship but it is intercepted by Faora, who attempts to stop them.

As well, Zod has arrived in Metropolis with the ship. As he attempts to destroy the Air Force plane, Clark swoops in and crashes into the ship’s control panel. Zod yells for Clark to once again let him complete his plan to revive Krypton. “Krypton had its chance,” yells Clark, who then uses his heat-vision to tear apart the ship, causing it to crash and the gestation chamber to fracture.

Faora’s attempts fail as well as Hardy steers the plane into the ship. As Lois was on the rear of the plane as it tilted down towards the ship, she loses her balance and falls to Earth. The collision of the two Phantom Drives causes the military aircraft and the Black Zero (along with the people on the vessels) to disappear.

Clark manages to save Lois again and puts her safely on the ground. Nearby, the sound of moving metal is heard, and Clark finds Zod, thoroughly enraged. Zod tells Clark that he was engineered to be a General of Krypton and to protect it and its people. With nothing left to revive the planet, Zod seethes that Clark has taken his soul and promises to kill the humans one at a time in retribution for what Clark has done.

The two then battle across Metropolis, smashing through buildings. During the fight, Zod adapts further to Earth’s atmosphere, spawning heat-vision and the ability for flight. The battle soon ends with them in a train station, where Zod blasts his heat vision at a nearby family. “If you love these people so much, then you can mourn for them,” he shouts. Clark begs Zod to stop but when Zod claims he will never stop, Clark snaps the General’s neck, killing him. It is clear that Clark did not want to exact such a terrible judgement, and he agonizes over having not only killed another person, but one of the last of his race. Lois appears and comforts him.

Some time later, Swanwick and Black Ops Mercenary (Christina Wren) find Superman downing an Air Force drone. Superman claims that he knows they had sent it to find his home on Earth but he wants the search to stop. He vows that he will continue to fight for what is right and the security of Earth. The General questions Superman’s commitment to which Clark replies that he’s from Kansas and can be trusted. As he flies away, the General’s adjutant smiles, clearly won over by how handsome and forthright he appears to be.

Clark then returns to Smallville, where he and Martha visit Jonathan’s grave. Clark claims he wishes his father could have seen what he accomplished, but Martha Kent says he did. When she asks what Clark intends to do now, he claims he’ll get a job where he can be updated on what is going on with the world, where he won’t be questioned about visiting dangerous places, and where he will be able to ask questions if needed.

We then see him in the Daily Planet building, being introduced to Lois Lane. Though he is now sporting a pair of black-rimmed glasses, it is apparent that Lois knows just who this new employee is.

’Nuff said.

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The Invicinble Ironman
Introducing The Mandarin

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Copyright 3 May 2013 Marvel Studios

The movie opens with Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) narrating a story about how we create our own demons. In a flashback to New Year’s Eve 1999, Tony, meets a botanical scientist named Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) in Bern, Switzerland, and arrogantly avoids crippled scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), who wants Tony’s backing in his endeavor, Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM). Maya has an experimental plant. Maya has been working on experimental (and in some cases unethical) biological research in plants that causes their DNA to change drastically and has the power to cure incurable diseases and paralysis.

In December 2012, it has been quite some time after the events of New York City and the Avengers Initiative. A haunted Tony Stark has obsessively built several Iron Man suits in his mansion. Tony works on a new model, the Mark 42, which is modular; all the suit pieces fly to him and recombine. The first attempt at making the MK42 work is met with a funk version of “Jingle Bells” with Tony dancing while the pieces are coming at him. As per the course, Tony of course completely ignores any safety measures that JARVIS takes. It ends rather poorly when Tony is thrown across the room attempting flight with the MK42 and it shatters into pieces. JARVIS of course gloats with an “I told you so” moment.

Tony then continues his story about creating demons. He then talks about how he turned on the TV to find a new terrorist at work called “The Mandarin” (Ben Kingsley). The Mandarin hijacks American airwaves and makes his American debut by taking credit for the bombing of a US military station in Kuwait that killed the wives and children of soldiers out on maneuvers. President Ellis’s initial response to the Mandarin however makes him the butt of the jokes of late night talk show hosts: It seems the only thing that he’s able to come up with is to take the MK8, the suit worn by Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and formerly known as “War Machine” and have it repainted, rebranded, and reintroduced as “The Iron Patriot”.

Tony later asks Rhodes in a restaurant what’s really going on with the Mandarin. Rhodes tells Tony that while the media and the press only know of three bombings attributed to the Mandarin, there have been at least six more that have taken place off the books. Rhodes explains that he’s now operating MK8 as the “Iron Patriot” (formerly known as War Machine). While the two are coming to an agreement that the name chosen was horrible, Tony is confronted by a group of kids who want his autograph. Tony jokes that the boy looks very much like Ralphie from A Christmas Story. The girl asks how Tony was able to escape the worm hole in New York, causing him to freak out. Tony makes a B-line for his Iron Man suit and enters, JARVIS explains that Tony is suffering a massive anxiety attack.

Back at Stark Industries, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) goes to meet her 4:00 appointment. The appointment is Aldrich Killian, who has cleaned himself up since 1999. Aldrich wants Stark Industries’ backing in his think tank called “Advanced Idea Mechanics”. AIM’s goal is a biological experiment called “Extremis” which harnesses’ the brain’s power to alter human DNA. He then shows Pepper a massive hologram reconstructing of his brain and how Extremis can utilize parts of the brain that would otherwise go unused. Pepper tells Aldrich that Stark Industries isn’t interested in funding AIM because the ideas could be translate into human weapons.

Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) has found a new career as the head of security at Stark Industries although he’s annoying nearly 99% of the company’s personnel and visitors with his penchant for requiring everybody to wear badges, and Pepper explains that complaints against him have risen nearly 200% since he started working there (which Happy takes as a compliment).

Pepper drives home and Tony has a huge stuffed bunny for her as her Christmas gift. However, he is busy working and Pepper isn’t greeted by Tony, but by another remote-controlled prototype of the Iron Man suit, and that has her rather upset. Tony has developed a heads-up-display (HUD) and is using it as a remote control. That night while asleep, Tony is having some bad PTSD induced trauma about what happened in New York. They’re then startled when one of the new prototype Iron Man suits is awakened and has made its’ way into the bedroom. Tony then immediately dismantles it. A frustrated Pepper tells Tony that she’s going to sleep downstairs and has him “tinker with that” after he explains to Pepper that he’s been a complete mess since the events in New York and has been unable to sleep.

The next day Happy follows one of Killian’s men, Eric Savin (James Badge Dale), to the Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Savin gives another man, Jack Taggart, a briefcase. Happy tries to intercede but is beaten senseless by Savin, and seconds later, Taggart overheats and explodes, leaving behind only his old dog tags. Happy is left severely injured, while Savin walks away. Hours later, the Mandarin hijacks the TV airwaves to take responsibility for the blast.

Tony is now furious over Happy, who has been knocked into a coma by the bombing.. After visiting the hospital to check on Happy, and to make sure that all of the hospital employees were wearing badges while in Happy’s room (not to mention make sure that the TV is playing Downton Abbey as it’s Happy’s favorite show), Tony is mobbed by reporters. One of them blatantly asks if Tony is going to kill this guy. A frustrated Tony then asks the reporters if that’s what they really want, then issues his threat to the Mandarin saying that he just died and gives his home address on TV, egging on the Mandarin to carry out an attack on his home and that he’ll be ready. Tony then angrily destroys the reporter’s tape recorder and tells the mob of reporters to bill him.

While at home, Tony has JARVIS bring up a hologram diagram of the destruction at Graumann’s Chinese Theater. While JARVIS is analyzing the attack, Tony discovers that Happy is pointing to a curious oddity of military dog tags with the name “Jack Taggart” etched onto them. Since there was no active military personnel at the blast, Tony wonders exactly what the dog tags are doing there. JARVIS then analyzes the latest Mandarin attack and compares with past incidents. This blast at the theater bears resemblance to an incident that happened four years ago in Rose Hill, Tennessee, and predates any known Mandarin attack, where an ex-army soldier named Chad Davis blew himself up, taking five people with him. Tony asks JARVIS if he’s ever been to Tennessee. JARVIS then creates a flight path for the Iron Man suit.

He’s interrupted when the doorbell rings. A paranoid Tony wonders why he’s getting visitors since he told JARVIS that the house is on complete and total lock down. The visitor turns out not to be the Mandarin, but Dr. Maya Hansen, who believes Tony is in danger. A freaked out Pepper is arguing with Maya and just as that’s happening, the house is attacked by three gunships disguised as news choppers. Tony commands the MK42 suit to cover and protect Pepper. Pepper and Maya survive the attack. Tony gets the MK42 back but down on power he cannot fly. The house crumbles into the sea, taking Tony with it. The suit regains some power and flies off, unseen. Tony passes out.

Sometime later, Tony awakens in the suit when JARVIS sets off the low battery alarm. He then sees he’s plummeting towards the ground and crashes into a snowy forest at full speed. Initially, he thinks he’s in Northern California, but JARVIS informs him that he’s actually five miles outside of Rose Hill, Tennessee. Tony is exasperated, but JARVIS reminds him that he asked for a flight plan to be made. With no more power, JARVIS shuts itself down.

Tony trudges through the snow, dragging the MK42 along with him. He stops at a gas station, where he uses a payphone to call Pepper, then steals a Poncho off a cigar store mannequin.

Tony then drags the MK42 to a seemingly empty house nearby. Inside, he immediately begins work on repairing the MK42. But the house isn’t empty. It’s occupied by a lonely 10 year old kid named Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins), who is stunned to find Tony working in his garage. Tony asks Harley for some help and promises that he’ll be rewarded later on if he gets the help he needs. Harley tells Tony that the world thinks he’s dead after the attack on his mansion. Tony calls himself “The Mechanic” and Harley asks Tony one question too many about the events in New York City, causing Tony to have another anxiety attack.

Back at the remains of Tony’s now completely destroyed Malibu mansion, Pepper is searching for any clues to find out whether or not Tony’s still alive. Thankfully she is able to retrieve a voice message left from Tony recorded after the attack that proves that he is alive. A relieved Pepper then seeks answers. Tony, working with Harley, assumes that Harley is being bullied at school because Harley keeps making harmless weapons to defend himself with, like a potato gun. Tony finally manages to get JARVIS back online thanks to a HUD display that he developed several months prior to the bombing.

Teaming with Harley, Tony investigates the remains of the Mandarin-esque suicide bombing. Harley tells Tony about all the rumors surrounding the attack and the “soldier” in question. Tony notices that there are five shadows on a concrete wall, from the five victims who were killed along with Chad Davis.

Tony then meets with Davis’s mother at a bar, where he notices she’s expecting someone and has a file on hand. He is about to ask her more questions when one of Killian’s agents, Ellen Brandt, shows up and suddenly cuffs Tony. She poses as a Homeland Security agent to explain her actions to the sheriff, but when he starts asking her for identification, she shoots him. Tony manages to escape the bar, only to be cornered by Savin. He manages to defeat Brandt by luring her into a room where he’s opened a gas line, and heats up Davis’s dog tags in a microwave. The explosion throws Brandt into a telephone line and electrocutes her. Savin tries to take Harley hostage, but Harley overpowers him, allowing Tony to grab his car keys and escape.

Tony drives off in Savin’s car. While he drives, the Mandarin hijacks the airwaves once more and explains that he’s going to brutally murder the CEO of a major oil company on live television if the president doesn’t contact them within a specific time frame. Despite the President making the phone call, the Mandarin carries out the shooting, warning that the President is his next target.

Tony calls Rhodes, who has managed to locate what they think is the Mandarin. Rhodes takes his suit to the Middle East. There, he is shocked to find nothing but an abandoned warehouse which doesn’t have a single trace of the Mandarin. He also finds that the file he got in Rose Hill is a document from Advanced Idea Mechanics, Killian’s company.

Tony drives to a nearby beauty pageant, and sneaks into one of the camera crew vans so he can research the data on the documents he’s found. Fortunately for Tony, the van is being operated by one of Tony’s biggest fans, who even goes so far as to have Iron Man’s likeness tattooed on his arm – though rather unrecognizable. Tony hacks into AIM’s servers and finds video footage that sheds new light on what is going on: the bombs are the work of soldiers from the Extremis program, an experimental treatment intended to allow its users to recover from crippling injuries like amputations. However, if a user’s body cannot properly metabolize Extremis, the user’s body heats to an extreme temperature and explodes. After veterans started growing unstable and exploding, their deaths were used to cover up Extremis’ flaws by manufacturing a terrorist plot. The test footage shows that a number of early subjects were killed because of Extremis’s flaws.

Rhodes tracks the Mandarin’s IP address and is led to a sweat shop in the Middle East. But it turns out to be a trap, for one of Killian’s agents disarms him and knocks him unconscious. Then Killian’s men steal Rhodes’s suit.

Tony uses the IP addreses that the Mandarin has been using to hijack American airwaves and traces him to Miami. Tony infiltrates the estate headquarters using a variety of home-made weapons fashioned from stuff bought at a hardware store, Harley’s trade mark potato gun, and a limited edition Dora the Explorer watch belonging to Harley’s unseen sister.

Inside he discovers the Mandarin is actually a flighty British actor named Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley), who is oblivious to the acts the Mandarin has carried out. When confronted, Slattery manages to tell both Tony and Rhodes that he’s the Mandarin, and manages to completely annoy them both, and Tony goes to confront Killian, while Rhodes stays behind and tries to get any information he can out of the completely clueless Slattery. Tony is captured by some of Killian’s henchmen – who are also Extremis experiments, and Maya reveals she was working with Killain all along. She thinks Tony can help perfect the Extremis DNA. Aldrich arrives and reveals he has kidnapped Pepper and subjected her to Extremis, intending to infuse her with superhuman abilities and turn her against Tony as leverage to gain Tony’s aid in fixing Extremis’ flaws. Aldrich then shoots Maya.

Tony escapes his captivity by summoning the MK42 suit from Tennessee, and reunites with Rhodes on the estate, discovering that Aldrich intends to attack President Ellis aboard Air Force One. Unfortunately as time is critical, the MK42 has yet to regain full flight power. Savin boards the President’s plane wearing the Iron Patriot suit, shoots the Secret Service agents aboard and takes the President. Savin then blows holes in the airliner body and survivors fall out. Iron Man kills Savin and manages to rescue the falling people, Tony had been controlling the unit by remote control. Meanwhile the Iron Patriot suit flies away with the President on board. Tony and Rhodes trace Aldrich to an impounded oil drilling platform where Aldrich intends to kill Ellis on live television. The Vice President will become a puppet leader, following Aldrich’s orders in exchange for Extremis to cure a little girl’s disability.

Rhodes manages to locate the President in a massive ship yard at Miami’s port. Tony enacts a new strategy, and has JARVIS enact the “House Party Protocol” which unleashes a massive army of Iron Man suits – each one different from the next. On the platform, Tony goes to save Pepper, and Rhodes saves the President. Tony summons a fleet of his various Iron Man suits, controlled remotely by JARVIS, to provide air support and attack the many other Extremis infected guards. Rhodes secures the President and leads him to safety, while Tony discovers Pepper has survived the Extremis procedure. However, before he can save her, a container crane rig collapses around them and she falls 200 feet to her apparent death. Tony is forced into confronting Aldrich using several suits and finally traps him in the 42 suit that self-destructs. But, a glowing Aldrich survives and staggers toward a defenseless Stark. Killian tells Tony that the Mandarin was made up, that he is the Mandarin and that all attacks were taken out by Extremis experiments. Pepper shows up with Extremis powers and finishes off the weakened Aldrich.

After the battle, Tony orders JARVIS to implement “Clean Slate Protocol” which destroys each remaining Iron Man suit remotely, as a sign of his intention to devote more time to Pepper. The Vice President and Slattery are arrested. In a voiceover Tony mentions he cures Pepper, and Tony himself undergoes surgery to remove the shrapnel embedded near his heart. He pitches his obsolete chest arc reactor into the sea, musing he will always be Iron Man, even without his armor. He gathers some scrap parts from his house wreckage and drives off in his Audi eTron. He then leaves Harley with a rebuilt lab and new version of Harley’s trademark potato gun, telling him that Iron Man will be back and leaves a thank you note from “The Mechanic”.

In a post-credits scene, it is revealed that Stark has been recounting his experiences to Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo, uncredited), who awakens, having fallen asleep at the beginning of Tony’s story, followed by the words “Tony Stark will return”.

’Nuff said.

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The Amazing Spider Man
Introducing The Lizard

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Copyright 3 July 2012 Sony Pictures

Scientist Richard Parker (Campbell Scott) is playing hide-and-seek with his young son Peter (Max Charles) when he discovers that his study has been broken into. After quickly gathering some hidden documents, Richard and his wife Mary (Embeth Davidtz) leave Peter with his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen), then mysteriously depart without telling Peter where they are going.

Years later, the teenage Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) has become an alienated social outcast. He attends Midtown Science High School, where he pines over his crush Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), while frequently getting bullied by the obnoxious Flash Thompson (Chris Zylka).

At home, Peter finds a briefcase containing some of his father’s old documents and learns that his father worked with fellow scientist Dr. Curtis Connors (Rhys Ifans) at a pharmaceutical company named Oscorp. Faking his way into the Oscorp building by pretending to be an intern, Peter sneaks into a laboratory where extremely strong “biocable” is being created from genetically-modified spiders. One of the spiders escapes from its container and bites Peter. On the subway ride home, Peter scuffles with a gang of thugs and discovers that he suddenly has increased agility and strength. Upon returning home, he finds the spider hiding in his jacket and stores it away.

The next day, Peter goes to Dr. Connors’s house and gives him Richard Parker’s documents. Dr. Connors explains that he and Richard were researching cross-species genetics in order to find a way to re-grow lost limbs, Dr. Connors being motivated by the loss of his own right arm. Dr. Connors is frustrated because his superior, Dr. Rajit Ratha (Irrfan Khan), is pressuring him to devise a cure for Oscorp’s CEO Norman Osborn, who is terminally ill.

Back at school, Peter gets in trouble after accidentally breaking a basketball hoop during a game with Flash. Uncle Ben is forced to switch a work shift to meet with the principal about the situation. Afterward, Uncle Ben asks Peter to pick up Aunt May, but Peter instead practices his new-found powers and meets with Dr. Connors at Oscorp, who shows him how the limb-regeneration formula works on a laboratory mouse.

When Peter returns home, Uncle Ben scolds him for having forgotten to pick up Aunt May, reminding him that Richard believed that people should always make their responsibilities their priority. A distraught Peter storms off. He goes to a store to buy milk, but falls two cents cents short and is refused service by the store clerk. Suddenly, a man robs the store and Peter doesn’t do anything to stop him. Uncle Ben, who was searching for Peter, sees the thief running away and wrestles with him over a gun. The thief shoots Uncle Ben right in front of Peter and runs off.

Shortly after the attack, Peter acquires a police sketch of the killer and uses his abilities to hunt criminals matching the killer’s description. After attacking a man who fits the description, he is chased by a gang and falls inside an abandoned gym, and a luchador wrestling poster inspires him to create a mask.

Later on, he adds a spandex suit for mobility and suddenly becomes a folk hero who the public refers to as ‘Spider-Man.’ The police, led by Gwen’s father, Captain George Stacy (Denis Leary), soon start a man-hunt for the masked vigilante.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ratha fires Dr. Connors for refusing to immediately start human trials of the limb-regeneration formula. He takes a sample of the drug and plans to test it at a Veterans Administration hospital under the guise of flu shots. Growing desperate, Dr. Connors injects himself with the formula, and passes out. Upon awakening, he finds his lost arm has fully regenerated. However, he then mutates into a large, reptilian monster and chases Dr. Ratha at the Williamsburg Bridge, throwing cars over the side as he rampages. Spider-Man saves each fallen car with the biocable web, which he deploys from wrist-mounted shooters of his own invention. With a great deal of difficulty, he also manages to save the life of a young boy trapped in a car that has fallen from the bridge and that Spider-Man is holding suspended in midair through the biocable webbing. Spider-Man then confronts the Lizard in the sewers, barely escaping alive.

Unfortunately, Peter leaves behind a camera he used to expose the Lizard’s intentions — a camera inscribed with his name. The Lizard finds it and learns Spider-Man’s real identity. He attacks Peter at school and plans to unleash the drug all over Manhattan to mutate all humans into lizards using a cloud-generating device at Oscorp Tower, unaware that Gwen is there making an antidote for the condition at Peter’s request. The police mobilize to stop both him and Spider-Man, but are delayed when the Lizard infects officers with small doses of the chemical.

Captain Stacy learns Spider-Man’s real identity and allows him to go stop Connors while proceeding to the tower himself after Peter mentions that Gwen is there making the antidote. However, during the manhunt, Spider-Man was wounded by a police bullet and is having difficulty swinging from building to building to reach Oscorp Tower. The father of the young boy whose life Spider-Man saved works in construction, and hears about what’s going on through the radio and TV while working an evening shift. He calls all of his construction worker friends who are also working, and they all maneuver large cranes into proper formation so that Spider-Man can use them to reach Oscorp Tower.

After Captain Stacy retrieves the antidote from Gwen and arrives to save Spider-Man, who was being overpowered, both of them fight together to delay the Lizard while Spider-Man modifies the machine to disperse the antidote instead, restoring the humanity of Connors and the infected officers, and allowing him to save Peter from a fatal fall from the tower.

Unfortunately, the Lizard mortally wounded Captain Stacy. Before he dies of his wounds, Stacy makes Peter promise to keep Gwen safe by staying away from her. Peter initially does so, staying out of sight at Captain Stacy’s funeral, which offends Gwen. She confronts him at his house, and he doesn’t talk about it, but Gwen is no fool; she realizes his reasons. Arriving late to class back in school, Peter is told by a teacher to “not make promises he can’t keep.” Peter leans forward and whispers to Gwen, “but those are the best kind.” She smiles, and it is implied that the two resume their relationship. With his first challenge surmounted, Peter officially takes to the streets as a proper hero.

In a post-credits scene, Dr. Connors is sitting in a prison cell speaking with a mysterious man (presumably Norman Osborn). The man inquires about Dr. Connors divulging information about Peter’s father, but Dr. Connors tells the man to leave Peter alone, and the scene abruptly ends with a flash of lightning.

’Nuff said.

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The Avengers
Battle of New York

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Copyright 4 May 2012 Marvel Studios

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division), arrives at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico, during an evacuation. The Tesseract, an energy source of unknown potential, has activated. It opens a portal through space and the exiled Norse god Loki (Tom Hiddleston) steps through, carrying a strange spear with a blue glowing tip. Loki takes the Tesseract and uses the spear to take control of the minds of several SHIELD personnel, including Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) , and Agent Clint “Hawkeye” Barton (Jeremy Renner), to aid him in his getaway. SHIELD personnel pull out of their base when an energy surge from the Tesseract causes the ground beneath the base to collapse and destroying it. A short pursuit of Loki fails to capture him.

In response to the attack, Nick Fury issues a state of emergency, telling his top agents Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), that they are completely out of options. Fury pulls Romanoff and Coulson out of their respective assignments and sends them to find the heroes he needs to oppose Loki. Romanoff is found in Eastern Europe interrogating suspects, and Coulson pulls her off the assignment and sends her to find “the big guy”: Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), aka The Incredible Hulk. Banner has been living in exile in India working for a hospital in Calcutta helping sick people, and has found inner peace doing so. Romanoff tells Banner about the Tesseract and its’ destructive capabilities. As the world’s expert on gamma rays, Banner is their best chance to find the cube’s location.

During a video chat with the World Security Council, the superiors who run S.H.I.E.L.D., Fury is grilled about his plan to bring about the Avengers Initiative. The WSC are furious, saying that it’s the wrong thing to do and these people will never work together as a group. Fury says they have no other option and this is their only hope of defeating Loki. The superiors reluctantly agree.

Steve Rogers, (Chris Evans) on the other hand, is relatively easy to find. S.H.I.E.L.D. has been keeping tabs on him since he was found in the ice and still alive. Fury goes to greet Rogers at his gymnasium where he finds he doesn’t sleep. Fury tells Rogers that he will find a briefing packet about what’s going on back at his apartment. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is seen in a new Iron Man armor that has underwater capabilities. He is installing a new electrical connection that will take his office building completely off the electrical grid allowing it to become self sustaining. He’s greeted at his office by Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) who tells him that it’s date night. Tony wants Pepper to know how it feels to be a genius and after an argument about how much credit she should get for coming up with the Stark Tower idea, date night is off. Coulson arrives, and Tony quickly and repeatedly tries to cut him off. Coulson hands Tony a laptop with all the data on it about everything that’s going on. Pepper decides instead to go to Washington DC to get the zoning permits for the next two buildings for Stark Tower as it seems Tony has homework to do, and a lot of it.

On the airplane to the secured location – an aircraft carrier that can convert to a flying aircraft carrier, Coulson is telling Rogers about how it’s such an honor that they found him and tells him about his Captain America trading card collection. They then head to the helicarrier and Rogers is introduced to Dr. Bruce Banner. The two then wonder what kind of ride they’re in for. Rogers thinks it’s a submarine but the last thing Dr. Banner should be riding in is a submerged, pressurized metal container. The carrier takes off. On board, they are briefed that Dr. Selvig and Loki have been traced to Stuttgart, Germany.

Rogers’ first assignment is to go to Stuttgart to arrest Loki and bring him on board the helicarrier. Loki is at a formal black tie gala at an art museum where he is kidnapping a doctor who harbors the element they need to make the Tesseract work. While Dr. Selvig creates a distraction and Hawkeye kills the men guarding the building, Loki carries out his plan. Outside, he is instructing the civilians present that they need to kneel before him – or else, and that freedom is life’s great lie. He’s then confronted by Rogers in Captain America regalia, and later Tony makes his entrance to the tune of AC/DC’s “Shoot To Kill” with full Iron Man weapons drawn and daring Loki to make a move.

Loki quickly surrenders when the two heroes arrive, and while being flown to the high tech prison on board the helicarrier, the plane encounters a lighting storm. Rogers asks Loki if he’s afraid of lighting but Loki tells him it’s not the lightning that he’s afraid of. It’s what follows. Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Loki’s half-brother and the Norse God of thunder, arrives and attempts to capture Loki so Loki can face Asguardian justice for his crimes (which will be more effective than Earth’s), but Thor gets into a fight with Rogers and Tony. The fight ends in a stalemate. Eventually, Loki is taken to the helicarrier and placed in a glass cell designed to hold the Hulk. Fury explains that if Loki attempts to escape, even by merely cracking the glass, a shaft will open below him and he’ll plummet to Earth and possibly be killed.

On board the aircraft carrier, the fully assembled Avengers squad is being briefed by Fury about what they think will possibly happen next. Loki is in prison and is interrogated by Agent Romanoff. Tony Stark arrives and it seems the only one of the group he really gets along with is Bruce Banner. While conducting experiments on Loki’s scepter, Stark tries to get a rise out of Banner so he can witness Banner’s famous party trick (read: turning into the Incredible Hulk). Banner flinches and then begins telling about how he’s been unable to fully harness his abilities and that he suffered depression after the accident. That’s why he moved to Calcutta, as helping people is what gives his life meaning.

The Avengers, now brought together, argue and deliberate over how to approach Loki and the revelation that SHIELD plans to harness the Tesseract’s power to develop weapons, a discovery made by Rogers. Fury admits that the events in New Mexico a year before (recounted in Thor) made SHIELD aware of other races on other worlds, some of whom may see Earth as an easy target. Thor is seen asking agent Coulson about what happened to Jane Foster. Coulson tells him that S.H.I.E.L.D. has placed her in their witness protection program and that she’s in a safe zone in London.

The decision was made to produce weapons with the Tesseract as a means of deterrence. As the group argues, Clint Barton and Loki’s possessed agents attack the helicarrier, disabling one of its engines in flight. While Stark and Rogers attempt to restart the damaged engine, Romanoff tries to prevent Dr. Banner from turning into the Hulk and destroying the ship from inside. Her attempt fails and she’s chased through the ship until Thor takes up the battle to pacify the beast and manages to fell him briefly with a hit from his hammer, Mjolnir. While fighting Barton, Romanoff slams him into a guard rail, and the blow to the head breaks Loki’s mind control. After the Hulk falls from the ship, Thor is tricked into Loki’s holding cell by Loki himself, who has recovered his scepter and releases the cell and allows Thor to plummet. Loki is held at bay briefly by Agent Coulson but is also tricked by one of Loki’s holographic projections – Coulson is stabbed in the back by the real Loki. Coulson later shoots Loki with a blast from an unidentified weapon, one that harnesses the power of the Destroyer. Coulson dies while Fury tries to save his life. Thor escapes from the cell a split second before it hits the ground. Banner wakes up in his human form after crashing into an abandoned factory.

Fury uses Coulson’s apparent death to motivate the Avengers to work as a team. Stark and Rogers realize that simply defeating them will not be enough for Loki. He needs to overpower them in a very public way so as to validate himself as ruler of Earth. Using a device built by Dr. Selvig, Loki opens a portal to the Chitauri home world over Manhattan, summoning a Chitauri invasion. Once again the group’s petty differences overshadow their ability to communicate as a team, especially with Banner now missing. While in an argument with Rogers, Tony finally figures out that Loki is a full tilt diva, and that he’s obviously set up shop at the top of Stark’s office.

Natasha, unfortunately arrives too late just as Dr. Selvig has opened the portal. This unleashes Loki’s army and all hell breaks loose. The army is massive and they can’t all fight them off as much as they are entering the earth’s atmosphere. Tony Stark thankfully shows up, as does Bruce Banner. While fighting, Rogers dispatches NYPD cops to direct citizens into the underground tunnels and sewers. Meanwhile, the Hulk smashes, and Tony arrives at Stark Tower where he attempts to stall Loki with a drink which is used to threaten and intimidate him. As that’s going on, Tony has JARVIS prepare an under development version of Iron Man called MK18 which is contained in a giant box coded specifically for Tony and has advanced weapons capabilities. Loki refuses to cooperate, saying the destruction will continue as long as the citizens of earth don’t get that they need to be ruled by him. Loki attempts to take control of Stark by using his scepter on his heart to control his mind, but it fails thanks to Tony’s somewhat trusty Arc Reactor that keeps him alive.

The Avengers rally in defense of New York, but quickly come to the conclusion that they will be overwhelmed as wave after wave of Chitauri descend upon Earth. With help from the reformed Barton, Rogers and Thor evacuate civilians while Dr. Banner transforms into the Hulk and goes after Loki, beating him into submission in Tony Stark’s penthouse. Romanoff makes her way, with a little help from the Chitauri, to the device that holds the portal open (conveniently located on the roof of the Stark Building) and hits Dr. Selvig over the head, freeing him of Loki’s control. Dr. Selvig reveals that Loki’s staff can be used to close the portal.

As that’s happening, Hulk confronts Loki, who refuses to be intimidated by such a beast. As Rogers instructed, Hulk smashes Loki into near oblivion. That allows Romanoff to grab the scepter and head to the roof to shut down the portal. While Romanoff is securing the portal, Stark is securing the perimeter. Meanwhile, with Fury on a conference call to the council, Fury berates the council’s decision to launch a nuclear missile at Manhattan. Fury tries everything possible to stop the council from launching nukes, even destroying two jets that are taking off from the helicarrier. Unfortunately as he’s about to fire on a third, it gets away and launches a nuclear weapon.

Tony intercepts the missile and he knows exactly where to put it – he flies it into the portal. While in the portal, Stark instructs JARVIS to try Pepper one last time. Unfortunately the call fails as Pepper is on a plane and glued to the TV with other Stark Industries executives. Tony launches the nuke at the Chitauri mothership, completely destroying the invasion. All the invading aliens collapse and are rendered useless. Stark sees the nuke go just as he runs out of oxygen and falls to what appears to be certain doom. Thankfully he manages to escape the portal just as Romanoff is able to successfully close it. Once back in the atmosphere it looks like Tony isn’t going to make it, but is saved by the Hulk thanks to incredible timing. A dazed Stark, awakened by the Hulk’s roar, offers to take the team out for shawarma, but they decide to apprehend Loki first. The Avengers go their separate ways. Romanoff, Rogers, and Hawkeye return to working for S.H.I.E.L.D., Tony and Pepper are seen rebuilding Stark Tower and are working on the next phase of the project. Thor escorts Loki and the Tesseract back to Asgard where Loki will stand multiple trials for war crimes from both Asgard and the Chitauri. Meanwhile, multiple TV news reports recap the events surrounding the Avengers, and while they’ve become worldwide heroes for to some for their efforts in New York, others are fearful and want to know who will take responsibility for the devastation.

On another video conference call with the World Security Council, Fury is being congratulated, but they also grill him that now their secret’s out, this group is too dangerous for the world to handle. And Fury is glad – what happened in New York is a warning. A warning to all galaxies that if they try to attack earth, S.H.I.E.L.D. is there to defend it. And they have just the team. Fury also tells the S.H.I.E.L.D. board that the Avengers’ whereabouts are no longer being tracked. They’ve earned a leave of absence, but will be called back when needed. He also tells the council that the Tesseract is where no one on earth will ever be able to find it.

In a mid-credits scene, the Chitauri leader the Other tells his master that it is futile to attack Earth, as fighting the Avengers is like courting death. His master turns, revealing himself to be Thanos.

After further credits, the Avengers are shown eating together in a shawarma joint; the team looks worn out and no one speaks.

’Nuff said.

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