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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Tang Wong (2013)

This Thai teen movie is a case of weak presentation overcome by a thought-provoking and rather powerful story. "Tang Wong" is the name of a Thai traditional dance often used to fulfill a religious pledge. Four boys are connected through three different pledges at a public spirit house: love, winning a science quiz, and getting into a sports competition. When some believe the true effects of these pledges more than others, conflicts and issues are discussed and fighted. All of these are set amidst the backdrop of 2009 Thai political turmoil, where the tension between the government and "Red Shirts", the anti-government protestors, boiled over and erupted in a violent fight with gunshots and fire in the middle of Bangkok.

The filmmaking is rough, with shoddy editing and a few stiff performances. Still, the film is neverless than interesting. A lot of issues and themes overlap and support each other powerfully: how the perceived superstition of religious pledges can be extended and appied to politics, cultural heritage, individualism, and authority figures. One harrowing sequence depicted one of the boys wandering out into the city highway at night in search of his father, a protestor. Sounds of nearby gunshots and scenes of fire add to the real-world tension and illustrated how a belief (that some might perceive as "superstition") can divide people. The film also ends on a rather surprising, but fitting, cynical note. 7.5/10

M (1931)

Hard to believe that this is made in 1931 and just Fritz Lang's first sound film; the way he not only raised tension and dread through visuals but also with the use of sound is chilling and fantastic. The film is also fairly dark and complex in how it deals with a child murderer's psyche and the city-wide manhunt for him. Although the investigation scene (mainly on the side of the police) can drag a little, every scene with Peter Lorre's M is just masterpiece material in how it combines his eye-bulging, superlative performance and expressionist visual to mine great suspense. The last hour is especially nail-biting. It doesn't surpass Metropolis as my favorite of Lang, but still pretty great nonetheless. 9/10

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Such a raw and atmospheric movie, with two mesmerizing central performances. Marlon Brando is as great and brutish as the reputation suggests, but I was more impressed by Vivien Leigh as a woman increasingly unhinged by her tragic past. She really poured herself into the role and made a character with many unlikable qualities highly sympathetic. Having heard (but not seen yet) of Cate Blanchett's character in Blue Jasmine being inspired by this role, it's no wonder she is at the front of the Oscar contenders. As for the movie itself, it runs a little long, with some scenes feeling a too literal translation of the stage play. Still, the story is compelling enough on its own and the performances help smooth over any rough patch it may have. 8/10


Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:50 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
Gonna see M and Testament real soon. I look up his films with Edward G. Robinson, and there are two of them right?


Scarlet Street and The Woman in the Window, both with Joan Bennett as the female lead. She's also the female lead in Man Hunt and The Secret behind the Door. I haven't seen the last one, but the others are all good.

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Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:32 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Syd Henderson wrote:
Ordinary Decent Criminal: Michael Lynch (Kevin Spacey) is the leader of an Irish criminal gang who is more into being flamboyant rather getting rich, though he doesn't mind that. He is married to two sisters, Linda Fiorentino and Helen Baxendale, because nothing says Irish like Kevin Spacey and Linda Fiorentino. Much of the plot of this has to do with the heist of a Carvaggio painting that supposedly is worth 30 million Euros because this will make his name immortal for some reason. Along the way, it asks some interesting questions, such as why he can walk up to the counter to collect his dole while wearing a mask and nobody asks him for identification or summons the police (or in a courtroom, for that matter). We're supposed to root for him, but I was really hoping he'd get the book thrown at him. A really large and heavy book.

Pretty annoying movie that tries to be clever, marked by Spacey's memorably awful attempt at an Irish accent. I'm wondering if it might have been held back for release after American Beauty. (5 of 10)


I watched this when it was released on VHS in about 2001.

I thought the whole thing was a piss-poor in-joke i just didn't get

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Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:08 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
NotHughGrant wrote:
Syd Henderson wrote:
Ordinary Decent Criminal: Michael Lynch (Kevin Spacey) is the leader of an Irish criminal gang who is more into being flamboyant rather getting rich, though he doesn't mind that. He is married to two sisters, Linda Fiorentino and Helen Baxendale, because nothing says Irish like Kevin Spacey and Linda Fiorentino. Much of the plot of this has to do with the heist of a Carvaggio painting that supposedly is worth 30 million Euros because this will make his name immortal for some reason. Along the way, it asks some interesting questions, such as why he can walk up to the counter to collect his dole while wearing a mask and nobody asks him for identification or summons the police (or in a courtroom, for that matter). We're supposed to root for him, but I was really hoping he'd get the book thrown at him. A really large and heavy book.

Pretty annoying movie that tries to be clever, marked by Spacey's memorably awful attempt at an Irish accent. I'm wondering if it might have been held back for release after American Beauty. (5 of 10)


I watched this when it was released on VHS in about 2001.

I thought the whole thing was a piss-poor in-joke i just didn't get

I actually quite enjoyed it, I think it's one of Spacey's most underrated films and performances, you want to hear an actor make a really bad attempt at an Irish accent? Try watching Brad Pitt in "The Devil's Own" one of the worst accents i've ever heard in a film, it's no wonder Pitt hates that film.


Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:56 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
12 Years a Slave

Solomon Northup, a free black man, was kidnapped and sold into slavery for 12 years. This is one of the saddest, most sobering stories I have seen in a long, long time. It is also one of the best, most compelling films of the decade so far. I don't want to spoil too much for those who have yet to see this, but it is well worth the price of a ticket. It is also one of the most realistic depictions I have seen of the brutality that was slavery. 12 Years a Slave is easily a candidate for the best film of the year.

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Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:15 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Oblivion Mediocre and generic. It has good ideas that have already been presented better by superior films. Nothing in it stands out. Meh. Grade: C

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Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:50 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Got a long free afternoon so I figure I'd tackle one of my cinema's blind spots. About half an hour in, I fell asleep... normally this would be a criticism of the film, but in this case, I never got bored. The film is just so incredibly comforting that my sleep-deprived brain just wanted to take a nap. When I continued after where I've left off, this time I was fully engaged.

It was just an unusually unique movie. Before this, I found the coldness in Kubrick's later works an impediment in fully admiring/enjoying his films, as I feel it almost veered into indifference in A Clockwork's Orange and muted the horror in The Shining. However, his style works brilliantly with the film's content and themes here, as we are left to literally ponder the universe in all its vastness and mystery. The music and the imagery combined to create a truly hypnotizing, meditating effect. I've heard that the last half hour lost a lot of people, but its psychedelic and cryptic nature puts this film from "one of Kubrick's better films" to "one of the best movies ever made" for me (or maybe I've been prepared for a space movie's trippy last act from Contact). So stimulating both to the mind and senses. And that closing image... it's hard to put into words, but Kubrick's coldness really humanizes this movie this time, none more apparent than that incredibly poignant last scene. It suggests and shares the utmost fascination with the universe, and our place in it. 10/10


Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:20 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
If....(1968) 3.5/4

When I think of revolution in film my thoughts generally tend to go toward The Battle of Algiers or Soderbergh's Che. These are two films that examine the politics and social strain of revolution, while conveying a great deal about the human spirit and its bondage to oppressive establishments. What's arguably so special about If.... is its realization of revolution through atmosphere and setting. The first half of the film orients the viewer to the conservative rules and systems of a strict "college." This is a place that suffocates identity and individuality; an essential breeding ground for desire. If.... captures the mindset that such a place can create within the adolescent male, and the desperate yearning for escape. As the second half of the film transpires, the viewer is exposed to the tyranny and injustice of the "college." Masculinity and tenacity are broken all in the name of the establishment. None of these things are wanted, but the affected have to display a sense of thankfulness for their corrected actions; an admittance of wrongdoing in a place that is chockfull of nefarious activity. It is these events that prompt the coming of the revolution, and spawn a dream-like aura around the remainder of the film. While If.... is grounded in the fight against establishment and the anarchy that can grow from such a structure, its hard to not see desire as a propelling aspect of the film. Desire is what drives the narrative; the desire for something more--something that cannot be attained within the confines of a world that is ruled by restriction. The viewer can directly see desire in the sequence involving the stealing of the motorcycle and the encounter with the girl in the cafe. This is a time where our characters are truly free; a time that sparks the ideas of a revolution that may create a pathway back to such a free, careless time.

Ender's Game (2013) 2.5/4

Theres a ton to like about Gavin Hood's adaptation of the beloved science-fiction work Ender's Game. World building and set design are pretty fantastic; If you've read the book you may have a pretty set idea about how the environments in Ender's Game are "supposed" to look, and with that in mind, the film feels organic and consistently true to its source. However, theres a quick, rushed quality to Ender's Game that feels problematic. Dialogue is spoken at a lightening fast speed and the narrative seems to be charged with the same electric , hastened ambience. In turn, the pace of the film never slows down, and the narrative seems to be eagerly dashing towards its final act--constantly disregarding characterization and emotional resonation. Even with these issues, Ender's Game still retains a tight narrative, regardless of its iffy pace and slightly un-involving twist.

Thor: The Dark World (2013) 2/4

A grimacing sequel that will make you treasure the first mediocre film staring the golden bearded wonder. Thor: The Dark World is full of plot contrivances, devices, and a villain that is just plain evil for evil's sake. If that isn't enough, the gist of characters in the film are completely disposable and offer hardly anything valuable to the narrative as a whole. I will concede that there are a few well-worked surprises tucked away in the film, but the farcicalness of the plot is a bit too much to take in. Thor: The Dark World is a great example of a film that simply begs the viewer to get lost its in shiny imagery, in hopes of not questioning its ludicrous nature.

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Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:17 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The other night I caught on later night TV Dillinger (1975) starring Warren Oates as the outlaw John Dillinger. Oates was known to me from Stripes as Sgt. Hulka and I'd not seen much else of his work, but here he was fantastic. The movie largely follows the same period of time occupied by Public Enemies and introduces the same set of characters, so if you've seen PE, you largely know the trajectory of the plot. I understand that PE is more historically accurate, and I did enjoy that film, but Oates did it for me moreso than Depp. -I suppose this is like comparing Kilmer and Quade in their respective Doc Holliday roles.

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Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:15 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Pumpkinhead

A rural man's son is killed in an accident by some city folk, and he calls upon a demon to deliver vengeance to the "outsiders." This tries to rise above typical monster movie stuff and does in a few spots, but it still suffers from dumb characters saying and doing dumb things. However, Lance Henriksen makes this watchable, and the creature effects are very good.

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Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:23 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Pain and Gain-- ***

Had I seen this when it came out in theaters, it would've made my Halftime Top 10. I'm glad to see Michael Bay has a little something else in him besides blockbusters; there's some fascinating satire in this movie with regards to greed and the so-called American Dream (case in point, when Walhberg's character argues that they should have the money to go along with the bodies they have). Definitely some Coen Bros. influence as well with regards to the dark humor and the crime gone horribly wrong. And The Rock..... acting. How about that.

The Best Man-- ***

With the sequel coming out next Friday, I figured I'd catch up on this movie since I've never seen it. I enjoy dialogue-based movies, and this one was a breeze to sit through. The aspects of Morris Chestnut's character (thinking it's okay for him to cheat all those times in the past but going apeshit when he finds out his future wife once did) felt true to life, as did the camaraderie between all four main characters. There's room for the sequel to improve upon (like Melissa De Sousa's character, who is little more than a shrew here), but I'm glad I finally watched this.

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Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:27 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
A couple of weeks after watching the original The Fly, I decided to rewatch the 1986 remake. I hadn't seen The Fly since probably the 90's so it was interesting to revisit it now 10-20 years later. Overall, good performances from Goldblum and Davis, moreover considering that the whole film lies on their shoulders. I thought it was interesting how the film jumpstarted almost instantly to the plot without dancing too much around it. But on the other hand, the relationship between Brundle and Veronice felt a bit forced at first. Also, I think that the second act after Brundle starts exploring the effects of his experiment was a bit weaker than the first act or the third act. That last act is where the film really pushed it. Tragic, intense, and gory. I really liked how well Davis conveyed the sense of seeing a loved one wilt away. Another thing, I would've appreciated if the writers didn't turn Davis' boss into such a disgusting asshole at first. It felt gimmicky and just for the sake of having an antagonist. But for what it's worth, he was perhaps the most level-headed character in the last act of the film. Grade: I'm torn between a high B+ and a low A-

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Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:52 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Akira

A landmark anime, this tale to two biker gang friends who find themselves on opposite ends of a government scheme in the years after World War III is strange, thrilling and visually striking. I can see why Akira became such a cult hit; at the time of its release in America, there was nothing like it available for consumers. It may be slightly dated (computer animation has rendered Akira's hand-drawn style obsolete), but it is still an important film, worthy of a watch for anyone interested in anime or cult movies. Additionally, I understand that the film is very different from the original manga,even though both were created by the same person. This makes me interested in reading the manga.

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Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:02 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Hand-drawn animation, especially that of AKIRA's caliber, will never be made obsolete by CG. The most technically advanced computer animation of 10 years ago looks quaint by today's standards. The most advanced hand-drawn animation of any time period retains its virtues--AKIRA, Disney's second Renaissance, the Golden Age, or whenever.

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Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:51 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Just watched "Da"
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0400464/?ref_=tt_cl_t1
It was a nice film. Martin Sheen and Barnard Hughes are both excellent in it.
I would recommend it.


Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:36 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Scenes From A Marriage - It’s taken a long time, but I’m finally nearing the end of my quest to view all of the major works of master Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. The only issue is I've saved the longest for last, the two most notable omissions being 1973's Scenes From A Marriage and 1982's Fanny And Alexander, which run 281 and 312 minutes, respectively, in their original television versions. The latter will have to wait just a little bit longer, but the former has now been crossed off the list. And my biggest fear going in, that the subject matter wouldn’t be able to sustain consistent interest over five hours, ended up not being an issue at all; rarely has a film of such epic length passed by so quickly. True to its title, the film is separated into six “scenes,” titled Innocence and Panic, The Art of Sweeping Things Under The Rug, Paula, The Vale of Tears, The Illiterates, and In the Middle of the Night in a Dark House Somewhere in the World). Each successive scene chronicles the constantly evolving marriage between Marianne (Liv Ullmann) and Johan (Erland Josephson), and the challenges and changes that come from unexpected infidelity and long-term separation.

It’s important to note that this isn’t a film about a couple who grow to hate everything about each other and who just want to be out of each other’s lives completely, but one about two people who still share a deep connection even after the realization they are not suited for a traditional marriage together. Because of this, histrionics are kept to a minimum; most of the film plays out in a manner that is more quietly devastating than anything else. Bergman maintains an incredibly minimal approach throughout, with the action consisting almost entirely of conversations in single settings. Apart from giving the filmmaker plenty of opportunities for his trademark close-ups, this also creates an almost-documentary level of realism (which is appropriate, considering the film begins with the couple consenting to a lengthy filmed interview on the subject of married life). Of course, none of this would have nearly the same impact if the central actors weren’t willing to completely invest in their characters every step of the way. Other familiar faces show up for brief stretches of time (Bibi Andersson as one half of another unhappy couple, Gunnel Lindblom as an amorous associate of Johan’s), but make no mistake, Scenes From A Marriage is completely dominated by Ullmann and Josephson. In fact, for the entire stretch of scenes three through five, they are the only two people to appear onscreen. Together with Bergman, they create a portrait of a relationship that is never anything less than completely believable. The legend supposedly goes that divorce rates in Sweden increased drastically after the first television run in 1973. Whether that is actually true or not, it’s the kind of legend that seems appropriately plausible. Scenes From A Marriage is one of Bergman’s best films, maybe even his very best, but unless you want to seriously reconsider the state of your relationship, it might not be the best choice to watch with your significant other. 10/10.

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Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:56 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Boiler Room

Derivative sure (of Wall Street and Glengarry Glen Ross although it does acknowledge its debt to those films) this one is still well-made and entertaining.The story is fairly predictable. But it's engaging enough and there are good performances by Ribisi, Vin Diesel (his best one so far) and a few others. Not to mention Nia Long.

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Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:07 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:
Scenes From A Marriage - It’s taken a long time, but I’m finally nearing the end of my quest to view all of the major works of master Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. The only issue is I've saved the longest for last, the two most notable omissions being 1973's Scenes From A Marriage and 1982's Fanny And Alexander, which run 281 and 312 minutes, respectively, in their original television versions. The latter will have to wait just a little bit longer, but the former has now been crossed off the list. And my biggest fear going in, that the subject matter wouldn’t be able to sustain consistent interest over five hours, ended up not being an issue at all; rarely has a film of such epic length passed by so quickly. True to its title, the film is separated into six “scenes,” titled Innocence and Panic, The Art of Sweeping Things Under The Rug, Paula, The Vale of Tears, The Illiterates, and In the Middle of the Night in a Dark House Somewhere in the World). Each successive scene chronicles the constantly evolving marriage between Marianne (Liv Ullmann) and Johan (Erland Josephson), and the challenges and changes that come from unexpected infidelity and long-term separation.

It’s important to note that this isn’t a film about a couple who grow to hate everything about each other and who just want to be out of each other’s lives completely, but one about two people who still share a deep connection even after the realization they are not suited for a traditional marriage together. Because of this, histrionics are kept to a minimum; most of the film plays out in a manner that is more quietly devastating than anything else. Bergman maintains an incredibly minimal approach throughout, with the action consisting almost entirely of conversations in single settings. Apart from giving the filmmaker plenty of opportunities for his trademark close-ups, this also creates an almost-documentary level of realism (which is appropriate, considering the film begins with the couple consenting to a lengthy filmed interview on the subject of married life). Of course, none of this would have nearly the same impact if the central actors weren’t willing to completely invest in their characters every step of the way. Other familiar faces show up for brief stretches of time (Bibi Andersson as one half of another unhappy couple, Gunnel Lindblom as an amorous associate of Johan’s), but make no mistake, Scenes From A Marriage is completely dominated by Ullmann and Josephson. In fact, for the entire stretch of scenes three through five, they are the only two people to appear onscreen. Together with Bergman, they create a portrait of a relationship that is never anything less than completely believable. The legend supposedly goes that divorce rates in Sweden increased drastically after the first television run in 1973. Whether that is actually true or not, it’s the kind of legend that seems appropriately plausible. Scenes From A Marriage is one of Bergman’s best films, maybe even his very best, but unless you want to seriously reconsider the state of your relationship, it might not be the best choice to watch with your significant other. 10/10.


Yes! This is my favorite Bergman and I'm so glad you watched it. I watched the theatrical version (same with Fanny and Alexander) so the length wasn't quite as punishing for me, but I agree that it flies by. What a film!

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Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:07 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
M (1931) ****

And the Fritz Lang appreciation train keeps on chugging along. I started watching this once about five years ago but was too tired to watch a movie so I gave up 20 minutes in. I have no idea why it took me so long to come back to it but I'm sure glad I did. Directed with skill and panache that I definitely do not associate with the transitional period that was the early 1930s, with an interesting angle to take on what is (now, though it wasn't at the time) a familiar storyline and with social commentary to boot, this is a very good film.

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Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:09 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
M (1931) ****

And the Fritz Lang appreciation train keeps on chugging along. I started watching this once about five years ago but was too tired to watch a movie so I gave up 20 minutes in. I have no idea why it took me so long to come back to it but I'm sure glad I did. Directed with skill and panache that I definitely do not associate with the transitional period that was the early 1930s, with an interesting angle to take on what is (now, though it wasn't at the time) a familiar storyline and with social commentary to boot, this is a very good film.


Fritz Lang is such a fascinating paradox of a director. Gritty, grimey, noirish, sometimes night-marish, but simultaneously prone to mawkishness as much as Frank Borzage. M is a classic and You Only Live Once is a pretty good one. Woman in the Window is good, though the ending is stupid. But I don't like Scarlet Street or The Big Heat; too much cornball.


Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:15 pm
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