Man, this is harder than I thought it would be.
You may not remember the era before social media, but in my day, we really didn’t have to worry about spoilers as much as we do now. For one thing, we tended not to have multi-franchise films (before 2000, the longest running film franchise was Star Trek), and when we did, the worst you had to worry about was some asshole accidentally spoiling that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father. As long as people were courteous, life went on.
So the biggest movie, like, ever, came out this weekend, and I’m that one guy who hasn’t seen it yet. Hey, I’ve got good reason. My wife was out of town until Sunday and she wants to see it too, so we’ve agreed to hold off until Free Comic Book Day weekend to go see it. We have a kid who is very busy during the school week, so no, seeing in on Monday through Thursday is out of the question. And Friday, we’re camping out for FCBD.
So, here I am, avoiding spoilers. Or trying to. I can’t NOT turn off social media, you know. Writing for the greatest pop culture website ever, I need to be online, checking news, keeping in touch with the rest of the PCU staff, looking at cat photos, etc., etc. I could just turn into a cloistered monk for the next week, but that’s not a realistic option.
Anyway, you people who’ve seen the movie have already started with the spoilers. It’s started with the “Oh, man, that ENDING,” and “Hey, we need to talk about X character” and “I’m crying over here,” and I need to quickly scroll past whatever’s in my feed so the experience isn’t ruined for me.
Somebody posted a photo of Thanos snapping his fingers from Infinity Gauntlet #1. OK, I’ll give you that one. I read the original comic back in 1990 just like everybody else, so I’m taking it as a given that shit’s going to happen in this movie. Thanos wins? It’s a two-part movie, so I’m expecting that. Characters are going to die? I’m expecting that. Major characters are going to die? The original MCU actors are reaching the end of their contracts. They want to be done with the franchise. So yeah, I’m expecting that.
I’ve been a comic book reader for probably 35 years. I know how these things work. An Infinity Gauntlet can do whatever you can imagine, and then undo it. I expect Infinity War to be a dangerous, brutal movie that will screw with my emotions. I also expect it to all be fixed by the end. It’s a darned movie.
Still, I’ve got a little girl with me who wants to know what happens. She’s worried about going to school on Monday and getting spoiled by some classmate. I’ve told her: cover your ears, tell them not to spoil it, and walk off. And no matter how good it is: it’s just a movie.
(And yeah: to the whiny critic reading this article who says just take her to the movie: no, you do not know my kid’s schedule. She has activities, homework, and needs sleep. She can wait six more days to see it. I’m the parent; you can shut up.)
But for me, I fully expect that the rest of you are going to slowly let spoilers creep into your social media and in your casual conversation. I’m going to courteously ask you: please don’t do this, for the sake of your friends and neighbors who haven’t gotten to the movie yet. I realize that there’s a realistic time limit on this: social spoiler embargoes have a time limit, and I’m pretty sure it’s OK to talk about Rosebud being a sled 77 years after Citizen Kane was released. But a week, maybe two, is realistic.
As a reviewer, I get to see a lot of stuff early. I’m the guy who saw The Last Jedi a week earlier than the rest of you, so I knew all the twists and turns and surprises ahead of most other people. I kept my mouth shut for the sake of those who wanted to be surprised, and I made my review as spoiler-free as possible. Because spoiling is really shitty behavior, especially in today’s instant-information marketplace.
So: when it comes to discussing the movie for the rest of the week, please don’t…
Ah, shit. There’s another angry post about Cap’s…
Oh, that’s about the Stanley Cup playoffs. Whew.
You see what kind of tension I have to live with for the next week? Be nice with the spoilers this week.