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Avengers return

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Well, you gotta hand it to Marvel. With minimal leaks and more hype than any film in a while, Avengers: Endgame is finally here. And apparently it's the best yet.

Perhaps because I have been banging the "Avengers aren't really all that good" drum for a number of years, the cinematic gods did not bless me with an Endgame prescreening, but early word from the bullpen is that returning directors Joe and Anthony Russo have concocted a fitting finale to the uber-successful, decade-long, 22-film Marvel Cinematic Universe storyline that started way back with the first Iron Man flick, and one of the best orchestrated comic book movie climaxes of all time.

Speaking of, there's an interesting side note and cultural observation about this film: over the past month (at least), there's been a very robust and popular internet discussion based on the theory that Ant-Man might singlehandedly defeat bad-guy Thanos and become the Endgame hero-iest hero of all.

The strategy, so the theory goes, is that Paul Rudd's wisecracking, size-shifting Ant-Man will make himself really small, like cellular level small, then somehow jump/climb/scurry and insert himself into Thanos' ass/intestinal tract. Once firmly latched in, Ant-Man will suddenly expand to super-giant size and explode the thought-to-be indestructible Thanos from the inside out, separating the stones of destiny (or whatever they are called) and saving the day.

As incredible as the Ant-Man Sodomy Theory is, it will never come to be (also, I'm pretty sure no one talked this way about Apocalypse Now) but Paul Rudd's Ant-Man does play a big role in Endgame (just not that big). There's no point in spoiling the plot with any more details but from the sounds of things, this three-hour-plus conclusion will fulfil all your expectations and go down in history as the best Avengers movie yet. Which, again, is not that big of a deal to me.

The action in Avengers flicks has always been too quick-cut and impersonal for me but I guess that comes with the territory with so many heroes fighting simultaneously. The star talent involved is still bankable and Endgame will make a gazillion dollars regardless. One thing I know for sure—my nine-year-old is pumped on it (he might be expecting the Ant-Man ending though, it's hard to know.)

From superheroes to creepy zeros, the "Bottom of the Barrel" true crime series continues this week with Abducted in Plain Sight, an almost unbelievable documentary about Jan Broberg, a girl who was kidnapped by a neighbour in the '70s. Once her folks got around to actually realizing their friend from up the street was not bringing their 12-year-old daughter back (hint: it took them five days!), things get really weird, and equally dark.

Thanks to some tight work, the FBI catches the neighbour/rapist but he manages to manipulate the Broberg family to the point where he's not only not charged with his crimes, he's able to do them again!

True crime stories are not for everyone and, at times, Abducted in Plain Sight is very difficult to watch, especially for parents. This one actually watches like a step-by-step playbook of what not to do (with disturbing re-enactments) and is almost like watching a shitty horror movie where people make the worst decisions and you want to scream at the screen, except it's all real (even the alien subplot).

Available on Netflix, Abducted in Plain Sight is a harsh, crazy reminder of the power of manipulation in a world where no one expects evil to live just up the street. (It also kind of makes you wish the world had more Ant-Mans).

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