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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
unwindfilms wrote:
Thief12 wrote:
Re: Dredd, I really would've liked for them to explore this dystopian future, instead of having the action confined to a closed space. I understand there were budget reasons for that, but still, its something they should consider if a sequel ever gets green-lighted. But moreover, the films similarity with The Raid made for a mostly uneventful watch for me. Not that there wasn't enjoyment from part to part, but most of the time I kept thinking "I've seen this before".


Maybe in a sequel (if it happens) this dystopian future will be more explored now the reason was not budget because this movie had a lot of CGI and special effects which was not the case to look for physical locations to do it as you could see at the beginning of it. I think the confined space (a mega -building) served this story very well. The Raid instead was a very low budget film which to be filmed in a building really helped to keep the budget down. I saw the Raid first (I also liked) and later Dredd and I agree here with JamesB that even has some similarities , Dredd is different . I have both movies in blu-ray and I have seen Dredd 4th times and the Raid only once (I did not see it in the Cinema)


I thought I read somewhere that they were limited to what they wanted to do because of budget, but maybe I'm wrong.

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Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:31 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Side Effects

Steven Soderbergh has said he wants to take a sabbatical from filmmaking, and after seeing Side Effects, I think it's a good idea. This is really two films: a convential thriller and a psychological drama, but the parts really don't mesh. Jude Law and Rooney Mara are cast well, but they can only do so much with a very convoluted plot. Here's hoping that when Soderbergh decides to make another film, he's got the creative juices completely recharged.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)

Am I the only one who finds films which have potential or utilize interesting elements, but never manage to realize them at all? Sunday Bloody Sunday seems to be wanting to make some kind of profound statement about how people communicate with each other and the difficulties inherent to how we relate to each other. To this end, there are some attempts to highlight this theme by showing the inner workings of phones and the operators working the phone lines.

Sunday Bloody Sunday is unfortunately, deadly dull thanks to the incredibly sluggish pacing. Very little happens. The main "conflict" revolves around a bisexual man leaving his two lovers so he can visit the U.S. and neither is particularly happy about this. Roger Ebert called this a masterpiece. Maybe it was, but I found myself wanting to play on my iPhone while I was watching this, which I ended up doing. I'm not sure what that says about anything.
-Jeremy

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Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:32 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai - Takashi Miike’s latest effort presents an interesting problem. In general, I have a hard time embracing remakes, especially when I can’t see much of a reason for their existence. With only minor narrative differences, this film is a very faithful retelling of Masaki Kobayashi’s 1962 film Harakiri, which I can say is, without exaggeration, one of the best films I have ever seen. Despite their outward appearances as traditional samurai films, both films feature a narrative that subverts the traditional elements of the genre. The plot concerns an unemployed samurai, who requests the use of a the grounds on a clan estate to commit ritual suicide. Before allowing him to follow through on his plan, the estate’s counselor relates a tale of a similar request. To say anything more would be a disservice to the tremendous power the narrative offers. Miike chooses to shoot his remake in color and, bizarrely, in 3d, and Ryuichi Sakamoto provides an effective if sometimes overbearing score, but in essence this is the same story told the same way. Here’s the thing though. The original film was made by a filmmaker with a very clear and negative stance on the idea of holding misguided concepts of honor over humanist values. That subject is something that rests at the heart of his best works, including the epic The Human Condition. Miike, despite several worthy films on his resume, is not really a filmmaker who deals much in personal statements. His previous film 13 Assassins, also a remake, embraced traditional samurai values, values this film completely rejects. So that’s a problem for me, the inability to understand Miike’s intentions in remaking Kobayashi’s intensely personal work. Still, while I can question the reason for its existence, I can’t deny the simple power of the narrative, which remains as heartbreaking and effective in this remake as it is in the original. My advice though would be to seek out the original version first. 8/10.

Porco Rosso - There are a few select films that are always mentioned first when talking about Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. The usual suspects are films like My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke, and deservedly so; those films have earned all the acclaim that has come their way. Mentioned much less often is 1992's Porco Rosso, which might be why it was the last entry in Miyazaki's filmography I'd yet to see. The film, based on a three-part manga by Miyazaki, is about a famous seaplane pilot, who due to an unexplained curse takes the form of a pig. The plot follows this pilot as he strikes up a friendship with a young female engineer, while also dueling with a rival American pilot for the affections of a beautiful lounge singer. Because the story is set in Italy in the period between WWI and WWII, the film has a different feel than most Ghibli films, with slight noir undertones and a sometimes quite melancholy tone. One scene in particular, where the pilot watches as his dead companions fly up into the heavens, ranks up there with the best Ghibli material. The origin of the pilot's curse is never explained, which is a nice touch. There is even some ambiguity as to the nature of his curse, as well as how everything ultimately plays out, resulting in a handful of possible interpretations. You'd never see that in a Hollywood animation, where everything would be definitively wrapped up with a colorful bow to complete the package. Assumedly the manga the film is based on would provide more concrete answers, but I kind of like how the film leaves us with some loose ends and stray feelings. 8/10.

The Cat Returns - In what has been overall a Studio Ghibli kind of month for me, both in revisiting old favorites and seeking out previously-unseen selections, this 2002 effort from the renowned animation studio is perhaps the least remarkable new addition. With a runtime of only 75 minutes and a less detailed animation style, particularly when it comes to human animations, the film feels a little slight compared to other Ghibli efforts. The plot follows an average girl who has self-esteem problems, whose regular life is interrupted when she saves a cat from being run over by a truck. The cat turns out to be a prince, and the girl finds herself involuntarily engaged to him as a "reward" from the other cats in the kingdom. As she journeys to the cat kingdom, she is accompanied by a rogue cat baron and a fat white cat, to protect her from the cat king's sinister intentions. The film features a nice, if more simplistic, message about believing in oneself, which is visualized literally by the girl fighting to remain herself as she gradually turns into a cat. There's also an cool connection to the earlier, and much more grounded, 1995 Ghibli film Whisper Of The Heart, where the cat baron made a small cameo in a dream sequence. Even taking into account My Neighbor Totoro and Ponyo, two films with younger characters at the center of their narratives, this is the one that's probably geared most to younger viewers. It's pleasant and still an enjoyable watch, but it's not going to stick with me in the same way as most Ghibli efforts. 6/10.

The Awakening - The United Kingdom has a strong reputation for crafting some of cinema's best examples of psychological horror. Films like The Innocents and The Haunting loom large over the genre, and the recent The Awakening attempts to occupy a similar realm. The always watchable Rebecca Hall plays a famous skeptic of the supernatural, who goes around debunking supposed paranormal activity. Starting to get burned out by her work, she is approaching by a slightly sinister, stuttering Dominic West (light-years away from the character he plays on The Wire), who presents her with a new case at an isolated school for boys in the dour English countryside. She accepts his proposition, in part because, despite her profession, she desperately wants to have her skepticism challenged, to experience something truly beyond this world. That idea in itself is an interesting one, and probably deserves a better film to explore that idea further. It's mostly abandoned in this film though, as events gradually start to unfold in a more traditional and predictable manner. There are the requisite jump scares, the misleading red herrings, and the now-obligatory twist that accompanies any film like this (If you've seen films like The Others or Shutter Island, you kind of know what to expect here). It all ends on a note of understated ambiguity, or at least I think it does, because to be honest it's the type of film that doesn't exactly command attention. I could very well have zoned out in certain points that would have made the ending more definite, but I don't think I can be bothered to go back and see if I missed anything. That realization doesn't speak too highly on the cumulative effect of the film, which might be a little too harsh. It's the kind of film I want to embrace, in part because it's hearkening back to a more sophisticated area of horror. But it ends up being nothing more than a passable piece of old-fashioned, psychological Gothic horror, executed with a workmanlike efficiency, but lacking the elements needed to separate itself from its superior influences. 5/10.

I also watched Holy Motors, which I'll have more to say about in the future, but I will say now that it might be my new favorite film of last year.

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Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:42 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
thered47 wrote:
Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)

Am I the only one who finds films which have potential or utilize interesting elements, but never manage to realize them at all? Sunday Bloody Sunday seems to be wanting to make some kind of profound statement about how people communicate with each other and the difficulties inherent to how we relate to each other. To this end, there are some attempts to highlight this theme by showing the inner workings of phones and the operators working the phone lines.

Sunday Bloody Sunday is unfortunately, deadly dull thanks to the incredibly sluggish pacing. Very little happens. The main "conflict" revolves around a bisexual man leaving his two lovers so he can visit the U.S. and neither is particularly happy about this. Roger Ebert called this a masterpiece. Maybe it was, but I found myself wanting to play on my iPhone while I was watching this, which I ended up doing. I'm not sure what that says about anything.
-Jeremy


Interesting. I'm going to be completely honest and admit I thought this had something to do with the Irish massacre, but I see now that was 1972. So yeah

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Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:15 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Transporter

Occasionally, it's nice to be reminded that there's a reason behind the action genre's reputation for producing inconsequential fluff. Did I say nice? Maybe that's not the best word.

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Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:12 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sherlock Holmes (1922) is a surprisingly interesting movie that gradually loses coherence due to some crucial lost scenes. In this one student Prince Alexis of some eastern European country (not Russia) is framed for stealing the Cambridge University Athletic Fund. John Watson suggests that a fellow student might be able to find the true culprit. That student is Sherlock Holmes, who is busy accumulation vast minutae of knowledge, and this is his first case. The solution brings up the name of crimelord Moriarty, and Holmes, out of curiosity, arranges to meet Moriarty. Holmes immediately realizes that Moriarty is truly evil, and has now found a purpose in life: to bring down Moriarty's organization. The task takes many years, and requires him to become a master detective.

John Barrymore makes an effective Sherlock Holmes. He has a cold stare that freezes you. Roland Young (in his first screen appearance) is Dr. Watson, who doesn't really have that much to do. This is also William Powell's first film, and I didn't recognize him; he provides the first link to Moriarty's organization. The movie is coherent for the first hour, but connections start getting lost between scenes so that the big confrontations stop making sense. It's too bad.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
This is the only Sherlock Holmes film I know of that ends with him going on his honeymoon.


This used to be a lost film, but it was found (or mostly found) in the 1970s, with progressively restored versions appearing in 1975 and 2001, but there are still more than twenty minutes of film lost. (6.5 of 10)

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Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:56 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Magnolia

Freaking, wow. 4/4

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Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:26 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Rewatched Memento (2000)

Nolan films often get lukewarm and qualified praise around these parts, and not without some good reasoning. But few of his films, for me, have aged quite as well as Memento.

It's been 8 years since I watched this, and unlike The Prestige (a qualified success of style over substance), Memento has actually grown on me more as I've gotten a bit older.

Memento is a disturbing film. But not just because of its dark tone and grim subject matter, but because Leonard exists in many of us. Obviously not to the extent that is shown here, but his pathology isn't uncommon.

Spoilers -
The crux of this film is essentially that we have a man who values his own problems, and his own mission to deal with those problems, above all else in the world. Even when it is shown to Leonard that his mission is in fact over (or solved if you like), he simply chooses to erase the evidence of this so he can continue his raison d'etre. It’s like the Superstates in “1984”, destined to War forever with none of the sides willing to attempt a final, crushing blow on the other. Leonard doesn’t really want to solve his problem, he doesn’t want to be freed from the pain it causes him, because that same problem and pain defines who he is and gives him the illusion of purpose.

How many people do you know on that on some level think this way? I bet if you answered honestly it would be a few.

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Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:35 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Troy (2004)

I'm still a bit torn on Troy. It does contain moments of satire-like quality. Pitt pouts like a prom-Queen, and some of the diologue has me in stitches. But there are some moments of true brilliance.

For instance, the Paris vs Menelaos and Hector-Achilles battles. When Paris is preparing to go out and fight Menelaos and we are given his through-the-helmet perspective that combined with the brightness of the sun; the size of the braying mob audience; and the fact that Menelaos could eat Paris for a pre-breakfast warm-up snack, gives that scene a real spine-tingling power and sense of dread.

Ditto the fight between Hector and Achilles, which was brilliantly choreographed. I'd actually say that this scene is almost uncomfortable to watch, but for all the right reasons.

Much to laugh at, but no small amount to awe.

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Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:56 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Gedmud wrote:
Magnolia

Freaking, wow. 4/4


IK....R?

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Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:27 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
NotHughGrant wrote:
Rewatched Memento (2000)

Nolan films often get lukewarm and qualified praise around these parts, and not without some good reasoning. But few of his films, for me, have aged quite as well as Memento.

It's been 8 years since I watched this, and unlike The Prestige (a qualified success of style over substance), Memento has actually grown on me more as I've gotten a bit older.

Memento is a disturbing film. But not just because of its dark tone and grim subject matter, but because Leonard exists in many of us. Obviously not to the extent that is shown here, but his pathology isn't uncommon.

I watched the movie "in story sequence" from the special features on the DVD last year. Taking away the gimick and things (obivously) get a more clear and the story's not as impressive, and you can see some of the editing cheats. Definitely a better movie as intended, but a fun exercise to watch the alternative way.


Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:36 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Army of Darkness (1992)

The third installment in the Evil Dead series, Sam Raimi's campy, cult classic shows it's seams in many areas, but that is all part of the fun. Bruce Campbell's Ash finds himself in medievel England trying to navigate between to warring bands of knights and an oncoming army of dead-ites bent on posessing the powerful Necromicon, the book of the dead. The action is over the top and the one liners flow freely. There is also much fun to be had in watching Raimi and his team try to employ grand special effects on a limited budget. Not high art, but tons of fun. 3.0 / 4.0

This was shown as part of the 20th Anniversary of the film with Bruce Campbell on hand to introduce the movie and take Q&A from the sold out audience. Campbell knows how to work a crowd and his wide body of work over the past 30 years elicited some great stories. Unfortunately, some in the audience took this as a chance to promote themselves, or try to out-shine Campbell, which generally led to failure on their part. One of my friends in attendance has worked behind the scenes at one of these before and actually was Bruce's "handler" for the day. He said Bruce was actually a very quiet and soft-spoken guy back stage. Quite the turn-around from when he gets a microphone in hand and a spotlight.

Limitless (2011)

Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a down-on-his luck writer who can't seem to get his life on track. He has a book he's supposed to be writing, but can't get past the first sentence. His girlfriend has dumped him, he's running out of money and he's in danger of losing his sqalid NY apartment. A chance encounter introduces him to the super secret, super drug "NZT" which, he is assured, will be FDA-approved soon and which has the ability to open up access to the 80% of the brain we never use. Suddenly Eddie is able to see things clearly and starts to get his life in order, and decides to ply his new found intelligence to rising the ranks of Wll Street. But of course, everything comes with a price. Part Flowers For Algernon, part Phenomenon, part Wall Street, Limitless is a somewhat pedestrian thriller. It emphasizes all of the possibilities of Morra, but only scratches the surface of the ethics. The only reason he really questions the use of "NZT" is due to the physiological dangers it presents both in its continued use and in its withdrawal. An OK diversion of a movie with some interesting camera play by director Neil Burger, and Robert De Niro on hand playing a Wall Street shark and sometime mentor to Eddie. 2.5 / 4.0


Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:01 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Funny Games (1997)
A well-off family of three begin their holidays at their lakeside holiday house, when two seemingly polite and refined young men intrude upon them and start to torture and kill them.
Michael Haneke’s controversial movie is less of a feature film than a treatise on violence in the media and the audience’s reaction towards screen violence. Unlike Oliver Stone’s ‘Natural Born Killers’, it doesn’t fall into the trap of using cinematic techniques, which make screen violence exciting, in order to criticise violence in the media and, consequently, it isn’t as hypocritical and misguided. Rather, ‘Funny Games’ takes an intellectual and detached approach to the subject and uses alienation techniques borrowed from Berthold Brecht or Jean-Luc Godard in order to create a distance towards its material, namely the breaking of the Fourth Wall by the main perpetrator.
This approach isn’t without problems, however: Firstly, it is difficult to empathise with the suffering of the victimised family when the filmmaker (through the character of the killer) frequently reminds you that you are “only” watching a movie. Of course, Haneke’s point is that there is no such thing as “only” watching a movie and that witnessing fictional violence and witnessing real violence are similar if not the same experiences. I don’t quite buy this argument, though, and it is further undermined by these distancing techniques. Secondly, Haneke appears to condemn the audience for actually watching (movies such as) ‘Funny Games’, which begs the question: If it is morally wrong to watch something like ‘Funny Games’, isn’t it even worse to produce a movie like ‘Funny Games’?
Anyway, whether you agree with Haneke or not, his movie achieves perfectly what it sets out to do with the above-mentioned reservations. It makes for a spectacularly uncomfortable movie experience, surpassed only by extreme cinema such as ‘Irréversible’. The acting by Ulrich Mühe (‘Lives of Others’) and in particular Susanne Lothar (‘The Reader’, ‘The White Ribbon’) is brilliant. The direction is brilliant and manages to make the movie a very disturbing work without actually depicting many instances of violence on-screen.
Overall, I’m not sure how to rate this film. It’s a bit like the John Zorn/Naked City/ Pain Killer music on the soundtrack: Interesting, technically accomplished, packs a visceral punch, fascinating on an intellectual level, but really, really unpleasant and deliberately so. I’ll go for 7/10
P.S.: I don’t have any inclination towards watching Haneke’s own English language remake, but I am intruiged whether it’s really a shot-by-shot remake. Has anybody seen both movies and are there any significat differences between both versions?


Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:05 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Both versions of Funny Games are pretty much exactly the same, there's virtually no differences between them and they both suck major ass, IMO there's nothing "intellectual" about those films.


Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:47 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
Both versions of Funny Games are pretty much exactly the same, there's virtually no differences between them and they both suck major ass, IMO there's nothing "intellectual" about those films.


Thanks. I don't feel the need to watch 'Funny Games' twice.

I know it's a bit rich coming from a non-native speaker, but aren't you confusing "intellectual" and "intelligent"? I meant to say that the movie tried to stimulate rational and critical analysis rather than an emotional response.


Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:26 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Gedmud wrote:
Magnolia

Freaking, wow. 4/4


IK....R?


Now that I have had time to let it settle, I'll elaborate.

I'm very new to PTA, as of now I've only seen The Master and Magnolia. I didn't care much for the former, but have a great deal of respect for it, mostly due to technical aspects. After I watched it I committed to watching his previous films which I had heard so many good things about. That's how I came to watch Magnolia. Let me first say again, wow. Few times have I experienced an emotional response to a film this powerful. Magnolia truly is one of the best films that I've ever seen. "Ensemble" pieces are pretty hit and miss with me, but this is the pinnacle of what an ensemble piece should be like, it definitely has the best ending I've seen in an ensemble movie so far.

Every performance had a raw emotional depth that only the best movies have. I really miss Tom Cruise, as silly as it sounds. Magnolia may have been his last truly outstanding performance. I still respect the guy for giving all he's got in every performance since, even when the material is weak. Can I also just say that from now until my death I will have my ass planted in every showing of a movie that Philip Seymour Hoffman is in? The guy is an acting God.

Magnolia is one of those movies that can really create a connection with the viewer, and that is something special that you don't get that often, or at least something that hasn't happened to me on more than 10 or 15 occasions, so far.

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Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:13 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
Both versions of Funny Games are pretty much exactly the same, there's virtually no differences between them and they both suck major ass, IMO there's nothing "intellectual" about those films.


It's pretty obvious you don't know much about film theory.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Both versions of Funny Games are pretty much exactly the same, there's virtually no differences between them and they both suck major ass, IMO there's nothing "intellectual" about those films.


It's pretty obvious you don't know much about film theory.

When it comes to those films, there's no way any "theory" could make them any better.


Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:51 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Both versions of Funny Games are pretty much exactly the same, there's virtually no differences between them and they both suck major ass, IMO there's nothing "intellectual" about those films.


It's pretty obvious you don't know much about film theory.

When it comes to those films, there's no way any "theory" could make them any better.


To agree with Haneke or not is your choice, but to dismiss his work as void of any intellectual thought is incredibly ignorant.

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Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:19 pm
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