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Do believe the hype: It really IS that bad... WARNING: May contain SPOILERS!!!
13 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Where does one begin to describe how bad "Battlefield Earth" is? It may not be the worst movie ever made as some claim, but stil, it does manage to suck beyond the point of stupidity.

The first huge flaw of the film is its story and script. The story goes a bit like this: an evil alien race (there obviously are no friendly ones in the entire galaxy...) called the Psychlos (now that's a cool name i guess the eviltrons was taken...) has taken over Earth. They think that humans are simple animals and thus they keep them imprisoned in cages. Until one day, a handful of humans led by a guy named Jonnie Goodboy (whoever came up with these names realy lacks imagination) decides to revolt against their alien enslavers and to no-one's surprise they succeed (more on that later). As far as the script goes things couldn't go worse... Dialogs were probably written by a five year old and contain every cliche in film history ["I promised not to kill him" (hands over gun to his friend) "but he didn't!!! Mou-A-hahahaha" (gunshots ensue)]. The Psychlos are really badly written and never forget to remind us how bad they are by finishing each sentence with a mou-a-haha laugh: "Good morning, nice weather we're having MOU-A-HAHAHAHAHA" Oh my aching sides... The humans are given no depth at all and the fact that they just decide to revolt one day after 1000 years of slavery without any previous attempts at liberation is made really ridiculous because of this.

The direction is also horrible and terribly uninspired. For example the film always cuts to another scene in exactly the same way: via a very old fashioned sliding door like effect. Every single action scene is also ruined by very bad shaky camera work which sometimes puts The Blair Witch Project to shame! Also some scenes (like the lobby shootout from "The Matrix") are ripped verbatim from other movies!

The actors are also doing a horrible job except for Travolta who is clearly having the time of his life, since the realisation of this movie is a dream (probably a nightmare) come true for him. And what the Hell is Forrest Whittaker doing here?

But the worst thing about this movie is that it is totally illogical and unbelivable. I mean ,sure, its is Sci-Fi, but even Sci-Fi has its limits. For example, we find out that Earth fell to the Psychlos after just a nine minute struggle in which every country in the planet threw everything but the kitchen sink at them. But in the end, a handful of humans (who can't be more than 20...) manage not only to free our planet, but also to destroy the planet of the Psychlos... How did they do that you may ask. You see they stumbled upon an 1000 year old military base which was conviniently housing a working nuclear bomb, a bunch of Harriers in mint condition and a flight simulator... But wait, it gets worse... You see these humans who have been reduced to something resembling the Neaderthals, manage to learn how to fly a Harrier better than Tom Cruise in "Top Gun" in just 7 days... 7 days... It takes people more time to learn how to play a flight sim on the PC for God's Sake...

So all in all, "Battlefield Earth" is an excellent unintentional comedy! The only good thing it has going for it, is the Psychlos' make up! Avoid at all costs, unless you' re looking for a realy good laugh!! My rating: 2/10
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Van Helsing (2004)
Bad bad somewhat entertaining
10 May 2004
Van Helshing could have been a great movie. Come to think of it, is had everything a movie needs to provide a fun couple of hours: vampires, women in sexy clothes (all hail Kate Beckinsale), vampire hunters and more women in sexy clothes who also happen to be vampires... So where did it all go wrong?

First of all the story is godawful and at times it feels like it was written by a 5 year old. First of all it is cliched to the point of stupidity a thing which is obvious right from the beginning since the movie starts with an angry mob carrying torches and pitchforks and heading to lynch Dr. Frankenstein. The first line we hear in the movie is the good doctor shouting "It's alive, it's alive, it's alive". Also In the same sequence Dracula uses the most used line in vampire films "you can't kill me, i'm already dead..." (note to writters: please stop using this line and its variations in everything about vampires, honestly, it's not even remotely funny anymore...) and of course Frankenstein is aided by Igor who (yeah you guessed it) is a midget with a hump on his back... The story also makes no sense at all: Dracula and his brides wants to release upon the world a horde of his offsprings (some gargoyle like small creatures) probably just for the fun of it since no reason as to why he wants to do it is given. To do that he needs to strap Frankenstein's monster in the machine that Dr. Frankestein used to give life to it. Van Helshing of course has to stop him and kill him before he or his minions (including a werewolf) kills Anna, Kate Beckinsale's character. Brace yourselves for the stupidest plot device yet: Van Helshing works for the Vatican and Anna's family has made an oath to kill Dracula or forever rot in Hell. After an expected turn of events Anna is the last of her family and because her family has helped in the Vatican's war against monsters they can't let the eternal damnation of her family happen so they send in Van Helshing... The titular monster hunter is probably one of the swallowest characters ever seen in cinema. He kills monsters because... well because he is told he has to do so by the Vatican since he suffers from amnesia (amnesia seems to love Hugh Jackman since this is the second character (Wolverine was the first) he plays in a major movie who is troubled by it). To make matters worse, the audience is never given an answer to the most crucial question of the movie: who, or rather what the Hell is Van Helshing anyway?

The script is also dreadful and at times makes absolutely no sense. For example, two of Dracula's brides corner Anna and even though they are hell

bent on killing her, they chat with her for five minutes... I can imagine the end of the dialogue: "Sooooooo and now that we've told you what Count Dracula is like in bed, we have to kill you. If that's ok with you, if not then we're obviously open to discussion..."

Then there's the acting... Acting is the movie's second big flaw. The only one of the major actors who manages to come out unscathed is Hugh Jackman. Kate Beckinsale and Richard Roxburgh (Dracula) are nothing but ridiculous with their very fake Romanian accents. Roxburgh's over-acting, especially in the first minutes of the film, along with some very bad dialog, render Dracula nothing short of a caricature, a thing that would be acceptable if the movie was presented as a parody, but unfortunately it isn't.

The film does have some good things going on for it. The amounts of action presented are huge and will satisfy even the hardest action junkie. The fact that the character's have no developement what so ever diminishes the amount of dialogue and raises the number of action scenes. In fact most sequences go a little like this: Van Helshing has an about one or two minutes long dialog with another character, usually with Anna, a monster attacks and an action scene ensues... So it never really gets boring. Most action sequences are good but some, like one involving six horses carrying a carriage and jumping in perfect unisson across a chasm, are plainly illogical and cause laughter.

The film's other high point is the way it looks. The cinematography is excellent especially an early vista of Paris with the Eiffel tower under construction in the background and Dracula's Ice Fortress do manage to create a dark atmosphere. The costumes are also very good. But what steals the show are the special effects. The CGI werewolves are very realistic even up-close and the sequences of vampires turning to bat creatures and humans turning into werewolves as well as the final Dracula and Van Helshing showdown are breath-taking. All in all, the film is excellent eye candy.

Van Helshing is a bad movie almost in every aspect. If you expect a dark and most of all serious movie about the famous vampire hunter then avoid it at all costs. The film is so campy that at times it feels like a Saturday morning Cartoon (Toonsylvania sprung in mind when i heard and saw Igor...) If you want to see some really cool action scenes and SFX and you don't care much about trivial things like say a good story and plot than don't miss it. By the way, a note to Steven Sommers: there's a reason why people don't make movies like the monster movies of the 30s, that's because they now seem campy and ridiculous... Some things belong in the past. And a closing note to Kate Beckinsale: whatever they pay you, never, NEVER play in a film without using your native accent! Believe me it's for your own good.]

So from me Van Helshing gets a very generous 5 out of ten.
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10/10
Well worth the wait
5 May 2004
Kill Bill Volume 1 was my favorite 2003 film. It was one of the rare times i was laughing in a cinema not because the movie was funny (intentionally or unintentionally) but because i was enjoying mt self. It was the most fun time i' ve had in a cinema for a long-long time! After a six month wait period, the film's conclusion finally arrived. Did it leave up to my expectations? Yes it did, although in a totally different way.

Let's get on thing straight right from the start: Kill Bill Vol. 2 is entirely different to Vol. 1. It's almost like watching a completely different film.

First of all the action takes several steps back and character development steps forth. The Bride (whose real name is revealed but i won't spoil it for you) is almost an entirely different person this time around. She no longer is an unlikable super-bitch. She shows an incredible range of emotions from fear to sympathy and love and this time we really do CARE for her and her cause. Bill also gets some serious development. We learn about his relationship with the Bride and why he decided to kill her, and in the end we do feel some sympathy for him too. There also is a lot of Tarantino-esque dialog in this installment. Bill's take on Superman was one of the smartest things i've heard in a movie this year!

The action and humor although toned down, still play an important part in the movie. Volume 2 is more brutal than Volume 1, and even though it doesn't contain any scenes like the Crazy 88 massacre (who as we find out weren't really 88 LOL) it's very violent and graphic (no blood (gaizers this time). The duel with Elle is truly a thing to behold! But by far the best part of the movie is the chapter entitled "The Cruel Tutelage Of Pei Mei" where we witness the Bride's training by a realy old Kung-Fu master. Their duels and Pei Mei's lines are the movie's highlights!

Direction wise Tarantino works his magic once again. This time the film is more Spagheti-Western oriented and it almost entirelly takes place in a desert (in El Passo none the less...) and the soundtrack is full of songs by Robert Rodriguez and Ennio Moriconne. The usual Kung-Fu tricks (sudden close ups etc) still make their appearance as well as some really cool camera angles and tricks (the end of the opening sequence is a real tour de force for Quentin Tarantino). Kudos have to be given to Tarantino for creating the best and more nightmarish sequence of someone being buried alive, you'll be surprised by how uncomfortable he'll make you feel just by watching a black screen and hearing strange sounds. Credit is also due to Uma Thurman who did one hell of a nice job as the Bride (heck she deserves an Oscar for the last sequence of the film alone) and to David Carandine who was deliciously evil and enjoyable in the role of the eponymous villain.

I only have two gripes about the movie. Sometimes the story dragged on and there were some scenes that just took up time and stalled the story. The sequence where we see Budd working at the titi bar for example was very very long and it served absolutely no purpose. My other gripe is that the Bride's duel with Bill is really short, and out of balance compared to the huge amount of dialog between the two characters that preceeds it.

If Vol. 1 was all style and no substance, then Vol. 2 is all style and all substance. It's a different experience in many levels but it's still a very enjoyable one. If the reason you saw Volume 1 was because you liked the slick action scenes featured in the trailers, don't even bother watching Volume 2, you will be very disappointed. I rate this movie with a perfect 10. Simply put, alongside Big Fish (which debuted here in 2004), it's the best film i've seen this far in 2004.
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10/10
One of the best films of 2002-2003!! Definetly the best documentary i've ever seen.
13 November 2003
Documentaries are perhaps the most overlooked movies out there. Most of them are considered just as interesting and exciting as spending an hour at school. Well this is neither boring or dull and it manages to be interesting, watchable by everyone while effectively dealing with a very serious subject: gun possession and murders in USA. The film itself, as suggested by the title, is mainly about the Columbine High School Massacre. It tries to explain who is responsible for that tragedy and why a large part of the American population owns guns. The film moves in an excellent and very original pace ,for a documentary, it goes from hilarious to shocking, then depressing, then hillarious again and so on and so forth. Michael Moore examines every aspect of the problem, from America's history and the Wars that America has been, directly or indirectly, involved in to the influence of rock music and Marylin Manson who ,very much to my surprise, speaks very logically like a very sensible man, ditching his monster of rock persona (but not the make-up). Also worth of note is a short film by Mat Stone and Trey Parker about America's history. The main question that Moore poses throughout the film is why the USA has such so many shooting victims when other countries that have an equally if more blood-filled history (Germany and Britain are stated as examples), similar social problems like unemployment and poverty have significantly smaller numbers of shooting victims. Although a direct answer is not given, several factors are hinted, like the fact the governement it self with the wars that it wages promotes gun violence and violence in general. The biggest problem is, according to Moore, fear. Fear which is caused by the media and their constant coverage of violence making the people afraid of their own neihbors. Towards the end of the film we get to see Moore as an activist as we see his and two Columbine survivors' (successful in the end) effort to make Wal Mart ban the sale of guns and ammo. The film ends with Moore ridiculing the president of the NRA, Charlton Heston. In conclusion, this is a very enlightening and moving documentary about a very serious problem. No matter what you thing about gun possession you have to have a look at it. Could be the best film of the year. 10/10
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Entertaining but a far cry from the excellent graphic novel
9 November 2003
Many people who write comments about this film have no idea that this movie is based on a graphic novel of the same name or (since it says it on the credits) they haven't read it. One simple fact is that The League is one of the best graphic novels ever made because of its complex characters (they are based on literary works but comic book takes them one or many steps further than their literary counterparts making them deeper in the process) its clever and original story and its 19th century (although a lot different than the one we are taught about at school) atmosphere. It is sad to see that the only thing that's made it to the movie is the visual aesthetic of the comic book. First of all a lot of the characters' depth and importance has been sacrificed for P.R. reasons. In the real League Mina is the one who brings the League together and leads it and her name in Mina Murray, you see in the comic her husband was not dead, she divorced him and took back her maiden name, a thing that was frowned upon at the time and reveals a lot about her character. Oh and although it is hinted that she is a vampire (unlike the movie in the comic she NEVER takes the scarf off her neck) she is never shown as a blood sucking super-vampire. Alan Quartermain is really a broken man instead of a retired action hero in the Comic, and an alcoholic and opium addict... No wander why these traits never made it to the movie huh? Captain Nemo is (as in the book) an Indian prince fighting against the empire instead of a techno pirate and Tom Shawyer doesn't even exist... He was added to attract the American audience... On a positive note, Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde and the invisible man (he has his original name from the H.G. Wells novel in the comic) are very faithful to their comic-book counterparts. The story although a tad similar (i'm talking about the first novel since the second hasn't been released here yet) has been simplified to the point of stupidity and changed so that the screenwriters could add some fighting scenes... Let's focus a bit on the film itself now. The plot is very loosely put together but it moves really-really fast. Most of the actors do an excellent job acting and looking the part they've been given. Sean Connery is excellent as Alan Quartemain and the same goes for Peta Willson and the guys (can't remember their names) who play Nemo and the invisible man. Oh and Stuart Townsend is quite good as well... Shane West however is awful and since he is next to Sean Connery in most scenes, his acting looks ridiculous... Stephen Norington has done a good job directing but my complaint is that in some fight scenes the camera moves too quickly and it isn't focused enough to see the cool moves that happen on screen... All in all, if you're looking for something to kill a couple of hours this movie will do just that. A little knowledge of the comic-book helps a lot since it makes some things (the Nautilus's rocket launchers or the streets in Venice) look less farfetched. Oh and a note to you blooper-hunters out there, the movie is set in an ALTERNATE 19th century so don't post about things that weren't around in that period... Fans of the comic book will no doubt be very disappointed about this wasted opportunity of turning one of the best comics ever in an excellent movie. As far as comic to movie transitions go this is definetely not one of the best out there but not the worse either... Just don't have high hopes about it and you won't be (that) disappointed. 6/10
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7/10
Not the best in the series but possible the best way to end the trilogy.
9 November 2003
Well after the trailers and the hype i have to say that i was really looking forward to seeing the Matrix Revolutions. What i got to see was not as great as i expected, but it was not awful either, it was ok, just ok. But the more i started thinking about it afterwards, the more i liked it...

The start of the movie is almost perfect, filled with the usual Matrix action sequences and the explanation to what happened to Neo ,which is this movie's number one problem, you see after all the theories that have been posted all over the net, and in this site too, the explanation given by the brothers is a bit well... stupid and too farfetched... And then to the second problem, these first 20 minutes are the last we'll see of the Matrix... (except for the final showdown of course) But come to think of it that's not such a bad thing, you see the brothers used all their gunfighting and Kung-Fu fighting ideas in the previous Matrix films so these action sequences are a complete repetition of the other two films, the "cloak room shoot out" for example is identical to the "lobby shoot-out" scene in the first film, only that this time the bad guys are running on the ceiling... The second part of the movie takes place in the real world and for its largest part it shows us the last stand of the humans in Zion. This battle is one of the best i've ever seen, the CGI created Sentinels look excellent and most importantly, REAL! Every time they change formations i can guarantee that you'll be picking up your jaw from the floor! However, there is a big fault in the flow of the film here since for the duration of this battle we don't get to see Neo and Trinity at all, the last time we get to see them is in the Neo vs. Baine battle after which Neo is left in a very bad condition, so instead of showing us if the star is ok, they show us a bunch of extras getting killed by the Sentinels.. The last part of the film is the final showdown between Neo and Agent Smith... Only one word can describe this epic confrontation...WOW!! We get to see a fight that most clearly shows the Anime influence of the films... And that's exactly what it is like, like those epic confrontations in say.. Dragonball (only that it doesn't last a couple of years and it doesn't have any fireballs...) The ending of the battle as well as the end of the movie will surely give birth to many theories and discussions between avid Matrix fans... In conclusion, probably the Matrix Revolutions will not be what you expect it to be... If you really want to enjoy the film leave all your expectations at home and when you judge it, don't do so as if it were a standalone movie but a part of a bigger movie, and if you look at it like that then surely you won't be disappointed. All in all, although it's not the best in the series, it's the best possible ending for the Matrix Trilogy. 7/10
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Amélie (2001)
10/10
Words can't describe it...
9 November 2003
First of all let's get one thing straight: Amelie is my favorite movie of all time and trust me i've seen many-many movies!!

So what is it all about? The movie tells us the story of Amelie from the moment she was conceived (in perhaps the most clever scene i've ever seen) 'till ,well, the present. Amelie lives in a very beautiful world filled with strange people, from her father who never goes out of the house and spends his time building some sort of mausoleum for her deceased mother to the jealous guy at "Les Deux Moulins" cafe everyone is unique and as far away from normal as you can imagine! Amelie is a waitress in the aforementioned cafe and at she finds pleasure at helping out everyone around her who needs her help and making them happy always in her own way. For example she punishes the grocer for being harsh to his retarted employee and in one of the best scenes i've ever seen she gives a blind man the tour of her neighborhood. But when she falls in love, she is unable to help herself and confess her love to Nino proving that although she tries to make everyone else happy, she doesn't have the guts to take the risk to try and make HERSELF happy.

So what makes Amelie stand out? First of all its unique art direction. Everything is simply beautiful, from the streets of Monmarte to the design and decoration of her house everything is beautiful. The scenery combined with the Jean-Pierre's direction and Yan Tierssen's excellent soundtrack give the sense of being in a dream, not an absurd dream like a David Lynch movie but a beautiful from which you would never want to wake up... Then there is Amelie herself... Audrey Tautut is without doubt the most perfect woman. From the way she looks to the way she moves and talks, she is not acting trying to be Amelie,she IS Amelie, it's like the part was written especially for her even though she was selecte among thousands of other actresses... Then there's the direction which is perfect with a lot of clever touches throughout the film (such as showing us her beating heart when she meets Nino or the way the various flashbacks kick in) clearly this movie wouldn't be half as good if it weren't for all these factors plus, the music!! Never have i seen a most suiting soundtrack for a movie. In the end as you've probably assumed every little ellement and detail has been carefully selected, nothing is there by accident and nothing from a street poster to an actor feels like it shouldn't be there.

Bottom line is that Amelie is more of an experience than a movie. The story is not original nor exciting but it's the world that it's set in and the way it is told that makes it special. You have to see it for yourselves, or rather experience it, to really understand it. It is art in its purest and most audience friendly form! Don't let the subtitles or the fact that the movie's in French scare you, give it a chance and as the tagline says it may change your lives!!
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Undying (2001 Video Game)
8/10
Excelent yet linear first person shooter
1 May 2001
Undying is a very good game which brings some new elements on the tired genre of first person shoot em ups. It tells the story of Patrick Galloway an expert of the occult and a formidable fighter who is summoned by a friend to his estate in Ireland to investigate some weird phainomena. The game is set in Ireland after World War one so don't expect to find weapons like chainguns or rocket launchers.All the weapons in the game can be considered antiques but the real fun in the game are its spells and the system they operate on.Our hero is ambidexterous so he can use both his hands at the same time: he casts spells with his right arm and uses his guns with the left.So you can shoot and cast spells at the same time which as you understand very fun and also unique to this game! The graphics are great and they can run very well on a medium power P.C..Level design is also cool and atmospheric. Mostly the game revolves around the Covenant estate and the mansion but there are many other locations waiting to be discovered as you progress. Thanks to the talent of Clyve Barker the game has an excelent storyline and plot (something very rare for a First person shooter) and i said before a great and very spooky atmosphere the voice acting is also good but not excellent. But the game has two main flaws. First of all it is quite linear so when your mission says for example go to that room all the doors in the house will be locked apart from those that lead to the room of your mission this may save time but it restricts your liberty of exploration.Secondly the fact all the weapons are antiques may not appeal to most fps players who are used to high tech weaponry. As far as difficulty is concerned the game is very well balanced. Most of it is of medium difficulty but sometimes it gets more difficult but not frustratingly difficult. Overall undying is a great game. Definitely one of the best fps out there.
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Metal Gear Solid (1998 Video Game)
10/10
The Best Game EVER Made
30 April 2001
It has been in production for more than four years and video gaming tradition has it that any game that stays that long in production is most likely to turn out bad.Well Metal Gear didn't follow this tradition.All those years were spent on making it perfect and the truth is that almost everything in this game is excellent!!!!First of all the story is simply brilliant with many unexpected twists.The voice acting is flawless all the actors are believable nad they have great accents which of course is something very rare for a video game. In other words if metal gear was a film it could win an Oscar!!!!Technically the game is awesome.Enemy A.I. works nice and the enemies are very smart and their behaviour is totally believable. For example if they spot you they will hunt you down and if you try to hide they won't hesitate to use grenades or call reinforcements in their attempt to kill you!! The graphics are nice and the strange camera angle may confuse you at the beginning but it never ever causes problems like the camera in Tomb Raider.Unfortunately the game isn't perfect (no game can ever be perfect) first of all the game is quite small it will only take you one week to finish it and secondly there are a lot of cutscenes between the action which may make it feel very movie like but they sometimes are very long and they seem to break up the action. So in conclusion metal gear is the closest you'll ever get to actually playing a big budget action and espionage movie it may not be the longest or hardest game out there but believe me when i say that it is worth each penny of the money you'll pay for it.
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The Gift (2000)
A masterpiece
28 April 2001
8/10 one of the best movies i have seen this year!!! I love scary movies and that's the reason i saw The Gift.But to my surprise it was more than just a scary movie a-la Sixth Sense. The atmosphere throughout the film is great so the film's jump moments always manage to scare you and make you jump from your seat Sam Raimi has done an excellent job directing this film But it's not all atmosphere, the film also takes a turn towards the mystery genre half way through and it manages to deliver as both a scary and mystery movie !!! The actors are all great (especially the star Cate Blanchet) apart from Keannu Reeves who is simply not convincing enough as a mucho husband.It's not better than the sixth sense but comparing them would be kind of unfair since The Gift is half Scary movie half mystery/who-dun-it movie.Overall The Gift is a great film!!!!!!
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Traffic (2000)
Four different stories about drugs in the U.S.A.
28 April 2001
Rating 2/10 The most boring film i've ever seen!!!!!! Well after all the nice comments i had heard about traffic i decided to go and se it and i very much regretted it!!! Traffic is simply put one of the worst films i have EVER seen.I couldn't believe my ears when i heard that it won the Oscar for best direction!!!! The direction sucked throughout the movie as did the editing i mean what's with these eye tiring yellow Mexico scenes anyway??? The absence of music along with the absence of story and action made half the audience fall asleep and the other half walked out in the middle!!!! The director has gone too far with the depiction of drug use during the film basicaly the movie should have been called: "drugs and how to do it"!!!!!So call me stupid or say that i simply can't understand this "masterpiece" but my bottom line is that is a very very very overrated movie that's not worth your time or money DON'T believe the hype!!!!!!!
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