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  • I insist on watching the movies on Sci-Fi because, well, I have to. I keep hoping someday there will be a hidden gem, or at least one with some cool special effects. This one was a little of both. While overgrown with B-movie clichés and iffy CGI effects, there were still some pretty interesting twists, and some genuinely creepy moments. I did get caught up in the race to defeat the -ah- monster (?), and I liked the acting of the two main characters, even if the dialog left them pretty thin. The story was a very nice diversion from the usual sort of humanoid-alien-or-zombie run wild. It was fun to watch. I thought the solution was maybe a little trite, but I enjoyed the film enough that I was OK with it. There were little glimpses of pretty intelligent writing sprinkled through the movie. It almost felt like a decent script that got stretched and produced and Sci-Fi-ized into a B-movie (C-movie?). But I think it still maintained some of the interesting parts of the premise, and played them out well. All in all, I enjoyed watching it, and it held my interest all the way to the end. I wonder why the Sci-Fi channel insists on matching cheesy special effects with cheesy acting and cheesy writing. Dr. Who is proof that good writing can carry really cheap effects. I think this movie was a big step in that direction, and I hope they go with it more.
  • This is easily one of the better SciFi channel offerings. Competently acted, directed and written it was enjoyable and well worth watching. The only sub-standard aspect was some of the computer generated effects (blood spatter, fire) were distractingly unrealistic. The storyline certainly borrowed from other movies, but there were enough novel touches to keep it interesting. The pace drags a little toward the end, but it is head and shoulders above much of the dreck they have put out over the years.

    I hope this signals a commitment on the part of the SciFi channel to improve their offerings. How the same channel can produce superb fare like "The Lost Room" also produces crapfests like "Path of Destruction" baffles me.
  • The story-line is familiar: An old Army Base. A Classified Cold War Weapons Experiment. A buried secret that should never have seen the light of day.

    But the Telling of this War/Monster story is edgy and quickly paced-- without the usual ludicrous Hollywood interpersonal sidetracking and with believable characters. The viewer is caught up in HOW quickly the worst case scenario can be averted-- if it can be.

    Also the beginning flashbacks are used incisively and with spare story-telling economy while increasing the tension to a nicety.

    This Saturday Night Horror flick was done well.
  • Oh yes, you've heard it right. Living Hell (or here incorrectly listed as Organizm) is a sci-fi channel movie that actually doesn't suck! Sure, while not the greatest monster movie ever, I still actually had a fun time with this despite its many clichés and plot holes. But hey, I wasn't looking for an Oscar movie. The story is set around a male teacher (Schaech) who breaks into a base to warn the civils not to demolish a New Mexico base, but they don't listen to him and head to the sub levels where they accidentally set a deadly organizm free. Most of the civils get murdered, the creature escapes, and one of the survivors (the beautiful Leerhsen girl from the 'Chainsaw redux) teams with the teacher to stop the organizm before it kills everything in its path. I enjoyed this predictable little movie mostly because the screenwriters knew they weren't making the most original movie, so they just went with it. There are a lot of scenes similar to other horror films (Alien among others), but the good acting and effective directing with many original camera angles makes it up for the very predictable and dull plot. Moreover, the monster is also pretty fake looking and not scary, but after all this was a sci-fi movie, so that didn't bother me. Like I said, it's not the greatest horror film ever, but I was entertained and that's the biggest reason why I'd recommend it. If you're ready to avoid clichés and some fake scenes, you'll enjoy this. Thumbs surprisingly up.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is by no means a good movie. It's the classical contamination/unstoppable monster horror film with the hero and the chick saving the day at the end. But it was done rather well, with probably a ridiculously small budget, crappy CGI and unknown actors.

    Johnathon Schaech made the film better, his acting was good. How come he looks so much like Peter Gallagher? :)

    Anyway, if it weren't for the poor quality of some of the computer generated imagery and if it weren't for the ancient cliché of "unbeatable foe has only one totally fatal weakness that only our her can exploit", I would really have enjoyed it. This way, it is just what I expected, except a slight boost in quality.
  • The premise and support for much of the argument of the movie is decent unlike that of regular SciFi fare. Given that zombie, slasher etc type flicks are the films usually shown on SciFi, this movie deserves consideration simply on originality. Much of what was suggested wasn't too far fetched and more reasonable than the basis of most of the movies that get the usual 3 or 4 rating. The acting is still terrible and James McDaniel seems to be the only competent actor in this project. Still, if movies in this genre worth a 0 get a 3 or a 4 instead then this movie deserves at least a 6 and thats what I'm giving it.
  • Not at all what I expected, this was a good movie. A little like the Mist but better. There was even some scenes that would remind me of the alien films the plant seemed almost alive, not the mention very destructive. The Army was in fact very quick to move in and do what they like to do best and send in the plains and blow things up. I have to say that I thought the special effects were great and the story was well crafted. I recommend watching this film to people who enjoy science fiction. I do for-warn that there is some blood and Nudity in the movie so be sure that the kids are in bed before throwing this movie on.
  • No offense to stumpmee77, but to give this movie a "glowing, glowing report" is like calling McDonalds a whole foods supermarket. "Living Hell" is not only the title of the movie, but the experience one has while watching it. I won't go into detail (it's too painful). The general plot follows the sci-fi model of government experiment gone horribly wrong. Perhaps fans of this movie who believe it to be unique and exciting have never seen a sci-fi original in their lives, and to them I suggest sitting down in front of their televisions this Saturday and watching the newest film. We have the troubled protagonist, who's insane mother carved some plot device into his hand (it turns out he has a pretty messed up family - his dad's a government experiment). There's the saucy military-associated female cohort of his; this movie would not be a sci-fi movie unless the two of them hooked up. But they do more than just "hook up," why, the protagonist rubs his blood all over her in a scene that is equal parts confusing and disgusting. Really, there are so many factual inaccuracies in this movie I am left flabbergasted. Scientifically, this would be like if a movie decided to save California from separating from the rest of America due to plate tectonics it would be necessary to detonate nuclear bombs into the city. Oh, wait, sci-fi aired a movie that did just that. This movie is almost as absurd as a movie that would blow up the Loch Ness Monster in Michigan. Oh, yeah, sci-fi nailed that sucker too. But I digress. If one needs proof to realize this movie is not-so-good, I would direct them to the scene in which, for no reason, a minor female character rips off her shirt. The only "fear factor" present in this movie was the fear of my IQ dropping while watching. I suggest this movie for anyone who likes to laugh.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Having followed the progression of this movie for months after finding out it came through upcoming horror movies.com I finally had the chance to see it yesterday.

    Coming from the old creature features of the 80's the current torture porn movement in horror movies that basically consist out of the many ways you can carve up a human being as unpleasantly as possible cant really make me very happy. So finding a creature feature or even a movie made with attention and a lot of love for the material is becoming more and more special. Unfortunately most of the creature features are movies like lake placid 2 or even worse but sometimes a movie pops out which is really well made. And this is such a movie.

    It is clear that the director made the best of what he could with the budget available ( somewhere around 4 or 5 million) and what he came up with was an organism which grows exponential and cant be stopped. By using this enemy clever ( meaning not showing it too much, especially its CGI origins) the story unfolds in a much bigger way than your typical deserted location. Especially the beginning which reminds the entering of the marines in Aliens2 of the hive is very good. the promise made in those first scenes is kept up all the way to the end where there is a tad too much CGI ( which shows the budget restrains). It all boils down to a satisfying finale. The only scene that is a bit strange is when the female lead - while losing her husband hours before - has a special rub down scene with the male lead that feels off base somehow,and I am not talking why the scene takes place but the way it is executed. speaking of that female lead, she doesn't put in the strongest of performances but that is the only downside I can see. Small errors in the story aside it is all very well made with smart choices( using satellite imagery to depict the main battle gives it the right "it cant be stopped"feeling we all like in these end of the world movies. Just expect a well paced "end of the world" movie which is made with love on a modest budget.

    Very recommended title and for me personally well worth the wait. Would be nice to see what this director can do with more budget.
  • The movie begins well with an interesting if not original take on the outbreak/monster escapes genre. However it doesn't remain any good for any length of time. The story premise is not bad, but the plot is terrible, the script is abysmal, most of the acting is dreadful, Erica Leerhsen is okay but how John Schaech's completely wooden and cheesy acting ever gets him work is beyond me. The physical effects are okay but the cgi is totally below par.

    The premise: a boy is branded on his hands by his mother just before she kills herself and her husband. The boy never forgets level whatever it was and vault 12 because it's on his hands!! Cue years later and the army base which the message relates to is being decommissioned and the boy now a man remembers his mother's warning "don not disturb vault 12" so he drives into the base to warn em all.

    Fans of intelligent sci-fi will despair. Brits (we're an intelligent bunch) don't even bother unless you want ninety minutes of shouting at the screen at the stupidity of it. But if that's your bag then go ahead, it's probably worth watching just for this gratuitous soft core 'cover me in blood' scene, like Arnie covered himself in mud in predator- it's so cringeworthingly bad they all deserve an award.

    Or you could just skip to that scene and save yourself all the trouble - roughly 1hr 10 mins in.
  • Despite a good idea, I was not expecting much in all honesty from Living Hell considering it was from the notorious- in a negative way- Sci-Fi Channel. But it is one of their more tolerable movies, maybe not living up to making what happens truly hellish but it similarly doesn't live up in terms of horribleness either. It is far from perfect, the special effects/make-up looked often as if they were unfinished, the ending is really trite and a bit of a cop-out and the whole vines thing being linked to the military base was a stale plot point that could've been expanded upon to make it stick. On top of that, the characters- aside from the overly-obvious clichés- are nowhere near developed enough to be likable and with two exceptions the acting is pretty dire, Erica Leehrsen is beautiful but lacks charisma and needs more maturity in her acting. The two exceptions are Johnathan Schaech, who has some questionable lines sometimes but he is a likable and believable actor all the same, and James McDaniel, for the same reasons. Along with their performances, there are good things. For the Sci-Fi Channel, it doesn't look too bad. The scenery is nice to look at and doesn't look like someone's basements, and the editing has more clarity than you would expect. The music is a rise above the generic and over-bearing stuff I often here, while the script, even with some dialogue that doesn't always ring true, does have some intelligent touches and the story while not particularly original in terms of the telling of it(the borrowing from older movies) and the science as ever is enough to raise an eyebrow is never dull and actually has some suspenseful atmosphere. It also deserves credit for being a departure from the zombie and vampire movies I've seen a lot of(and considering the overall quality starting to get tired actually). The killings are decent as well, and some of the gore is enough to make the stomach churn without it being too overdone. So overall, tolerable Sci-Fi movie if not as terrifying(in what's going on) or as horrible(overall execution of movie) as you'd think. 5/10 Bethany Cox
  • Warning: Spoilers
    While I was expecting this to be a more of a monster based movie, I was not deterred when realizing it was based off of a biological entity, which only drew my attention to it more solidly as I have never seen a movie such as this. I'd love to add a synopsis to the movie, but I believe you must be an authenticated user??? Not sure. But this is a great movie, and I recommend it to anyone who is not faint of heart, and unafraid of a lot of blood. It has a very good story line, with nice special effects, and a great movie as a whole. The movie isn't a happy-ever-after type movie as most are these days, and actually has some twisted turns which will cause the viewer to think for a second, feeling for the character in the movie. While this movie was quite great, it came with a few drawbacks, as all do. The main one was that I do not think it was long enough, or maybe its just me. Also, there wasn't enough blood! The last thing I can think of is there wasn't enough nudity of Erica Leerhsen =]
  • stumpmee7728 February 2008
    will this be on DVD? I turned if off last Sunday, thinking oh it's a Final Destination rip-off. Was going to turn it off tonight then decided to watch for a change of pace. Was glad I did!!! Who wrote, produced this? Not a bunch of twenty somethings! And the fear factor!!! Believable, intelligent characters (even the mule heads; you'll see what I mean) and within it a big mystery if one does not like sci-fi. I won't say anymore except it ranks up there, no past "Chupacalbra(sp) Terror". If you've been thinking Sci-Fi channel only produces movies that stink, watch this. I won't give details just give it a glowing, glowing report. Staying around for the cure.
  • Im not sure whether some people are conditioned by watching sci-fi channel a bit too much. That will sure explain some glaring "reviews" here. Either that or connection to the crew . I was really surprised to find relatively high score for this movie here at IMDb. Make no mistake, this "movie" is just another cheapo, full of holes, wooden acting, nonsense, "special" effects , physics that bends just like script needs and such. Its not even bad enough to become fun. Just ordinary , boringly bad. Positive things? Main heroine is cute. Btw, someone mentioned Myst as somewhat similar movie. I guess human imagination has no ends. Stay far far away from this turd.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    OK, let's go thru a few of the things that made this movie so irritating to watch

    1. Kid watches his parents go thru a murder/suicide, has s3v12 CARVED, that's right CARVED into his hands. Years later "Hey, who should we hire to teach our kids?: How about the guy with the carved stuff on his hands, he's gotta be stable right? Safe around kids?

    2. The attempts at trying to be like the movie "aliens" with videocam feeds and a sense of urgency and chaos, when it's this cheesy, it doesn't work.

    3. The constant issue with the fact that the heroine has gone AWOL. OK OK, we got it the first 30 times it was mentioned. Here the world is being invaded by an indestructible organism that grows exponentially, and all anyone seems to give a rat's butt about is the fact that the heroine is absent without leave. "You are gonna be court martialed and thrown in the brig for being AWOL soldier" "Sir, excuse me sir, but seeing as how the world is going to end, um, you can jam it sideways sir"

    4. All the sir/yes sir dialog Sigh "Sir, I may have vital information about the organism sir, did I tell you about my last bowel movement sir, or the fact that I am on my period sir and am a little bit emotional sir?"

    5. The heroine almost pukes when the hero cuts himself on the finger to test his theory on the affects of his blood on the organism. 30 minutes later (and within 24 hrs of her husband being killed in front of her) she is bathing, that's right BATHING herself in the hero's blood, a little bit too erotically I might add.

    6. The heroine complains that if only "Glenn were alive, he would know what to do, he always does" Ummm excuse me, but are we talking about the same wheelchair bound hubby that can't even prevent himself from getting an ass sore? Puh-lease.

    7. So after the heroine coats herself with blood and realizes that it is a good defense, what does this chick that has figured out about immunity and dna blah blah blah do at the end? She opens up the capsule surrounding her husband that washes her with fluid, thus negating the immunity from the blood. What a moron, it's not like he was alive anyway. Then she is whining and screaming for Frank to come rescue her while he is in the middle of killing the organism. ME ME ME.

    This movie was painful to watch, I mean really painful. The heroine has this constant half open mouth expression throughout the entire movie, and the hero makes it seem like he is expending a huge amount of energy bleeding himself dry..uh, it doesn't take much effort to bleed, why the grunting and furrowed brow? He usually ends up in a fetal position anyways sooner or later. The general shooting at the organism with a pistol after it wasn't stopped with tanks, helicopters or anything else..this guy is a general and he can't figure this out? Another moron. Ugg, don't waste your time with this movie..it was pathetic, I mean really pathetic.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    FYI, I already mentioned on the message board that I spent a day on the set of this movie when they were shooting in an abandoned wing of the New Mexico State Prison near Santa Fe. They were doing the "interrogation" scene where Johnathon/Frank shows his scarred hands. I knew then that "LIVING HELL" was an effort to both provide a straightahead sci-fi action movie, and approach the "biological weapon run amuck" genre with tongue lightly in cheek (on what's today called a low budget). I think "LIVING HELL" is mostly successful in doing both, and I had a lot of fun watching the final product. I'm guessing, though, that the lovely Erica Leerhsen's blink-and-you'll-miss-it nude shot has been removed for Sci-Fi's broadcasts...? It's when the Frank character is smearing blood on her. It won't matter to anyone who gets a charge out of blood-smearing, of course.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A derelict Army base is scheduled for demolition; buried beneath is a terrifying secret. Enclosed in a subterranean vault is what is left of a top-secret Cold War biological experiment. A mild mannered biology teacher Frank Sears(Jonathan Schaech)drives 36 hours to warn the Army that destroying the base may awaken an unsuspected dangerous entity. Army hazmat specialist Carrie Freeborn(Erica Leerhsen)witnesses the unleashing of an organizm that absorbs light and energy and to sustain itself feeds on anything living. It is a race against the clock to figure out the entity's genetics to save mankind. Freeborn and Sears seems to know more than the military experts.

    Writer/director Richard Jefferies is to be commended for giving us a Science Fiction flick that actually seems to cause us concern without the use of zombies or vampires. To be exact I'm not too sure that this story line wasn't inspired by Stephen King. Special effects are simple, but better than average and pretty cool to watch. Also starring is James McDaniel of NYPD Blue fame. At times I think Leerhsen is just too attractive for this role. Other players: Dylan Kenin, Vic Chao and Jason Wiles.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Living Hell is set in New Mexico where US military base Fort Lambert is about to be closed for good, however a full check of the premises has to be made under the supervision of Colonel Erik Maitland (James McDaniel). In a small nearby town a man named Frank Sears (Jonathon Schaech) it trying to find the base, once he gets directions & finds it Franks demands to see someone in authority but is told to go away. Frank is persistent & breaks into the base, Sears tells how his mother who committed suicide worked at Fort Lambert in 1959 & that she warned him vault twelve in sub-level three must never be opened. Curious Maitland sends a team to check the vault out where they find a false wall containing some sort of tank with a dead monkey & man inside covered in what looks like roots. The roots return to life & start spreading out, engulfing & killing everything in their way, soon the entire base is covered in them & they continue to grow at an astronomical rate, eventually the military realise they are dealing with a giant organism that feeds off energy & destroys everything in it's path...

    Released under the title Organism on DVD in the US this made-for-telly sci-fi horror film was written co-produced & directed by Richard Jeffries & much to my surprise isn't completely awful, Living hell felt like a modern updating of The Blob (1958) in many ways with the old standby of the US military, secret experiments & Government conspiracies getting the blame rather than some extra-terrestrial alien force. I mean we blame the Government for everything else so why not huge organisms that threaten to engulf & destroy the entire planet? As a result of some military experiments during the Cold War an organism was created from a scientists DNA that basically feeds off any sort of energy & destroys everything in it's path as it grow's, there's some scientific techno-babble about it being half animal half plant but I was never convinced but the film does have a decent premise that is maybe bigger than the production could have given justice to as the organism threatens to engulf the entire world. The resolution is also a bit of a cop-out & is about the simplest & quickest concept that the makers could have come up with. All in all not a bad sci-fi horror 'Creature Feature' but by no means any sort of classic either, Living Hell will pass 90 odd minutes harmlessly enough but you will have probably forgotten about it by the next day.

    Well made with good production values this looks quite nice actually, the real desert locations help & even the CGI computer effects are actually reasonable. The organism just looks like the roots of a plant growing & moving incredibly fast with a squelching style sound effect, not the scariest thing ever put on screen but it's makes for a powerful nemesis. There's little in the way of gore, a woman commits suicide by shooting herself through the head & there's a bit of blood while there's also a few vine infested rotten body shots too. For the perverts out there there's an out of place feeling scene in which a woman strips down to her underwear & then Frank coats her in his own blood, whatever turns you on I suppose. There's a slight lack of momentum here & not enough is put at threat, it's not until near the end when they discover the organism feeds of energy & the sun is about to rise that the urgency grow's & the pace quickens but overall Living Hell really isn't a bad effort at all.

    Apparently filmed in just twenty nine days on location in New Mexico on a supposed budget of about $4,500,000 this is much better than your average Sci-Fi Channel premiere. The acting is alright, I mean it's nothing amazing but alright.

    Living Hell is actually a half decent little sci-fi horror creature feature that should have been crap but surprisingly isn't, I will admit it's no masterpiece for sure but as a way to pass 90 odd minutes you could do a lot worse. Much better than I expected.
  • thomasjane_8630 June 2008
    i see this movie is good and it's not boring with repeated story like another Sci-Fi movies . the story is good and it may be real , the acting also is well, the events are somehow interesting with a little horror shows.. and a lot of mystery to find out what's going on and what's this disses or that monster that attack everything... and i see this movie could be great if it's have more horror action ... also i see this movie or the story it could be smiler to doomsday 2012 with little difference .. however i can't tell you the events of the movie to don't spoil it to you.., and in my opinion of this movie it's good and it deserve to watch that's all that i can say it about this movie.. enjoy it .
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Well, there is a new film out, and it is nothing short of ridiculous, pathetic, cheap, and brain-rotting. Pretty much every bad thing that can happen to a movie happens in this film.

    For starters, the acting. I really don't think any acting takes place in this film. This is living proof of Hitchcock's statement that actors are just moving furniture. There are actually levels of bad acting present, from mildly dull to sickeningly horrid, and all in between.

    Second, the storyline. Think of a cross between Evolution (with David Duchovny and Julianne Moore) and Predator. A military scientist years ago engineered a creature that consumes energy and light. If it begins to take in energy, then it spreads faster than any virus or substance in nature; anything it touches, it kills, and it moves miles in minutes. The person who it can't kill is the son of the man who created it, whose blood contains the "antivirus" to destroy it. So, therefore, he and a (very pretty) Army official have to return to "ground zero" to let him kill the creature. Oh, and he keeps her safe from the being by covering her entire body in his own blood--gotta admit that's a new one. In other words, the story is one-dimensional and largely unoriginal.

    Finally, the effects. The creature is almost entirely CGI, as you might expect in something like this. Unfortunately, this is some pretty friggin' cheesy CGI. It's the CGI that quality studios sell to amateurs to make them feel not so bad about themselves.

    In short, only watch this movie if you don't value your own IQ. It will rot brain cells and leave you wondering what your life is really all about. For the sake of modern man's intellect, PLEASE do not see this and encourage these people!
  • Mokylok17 November 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    One of the worst movies ever... Its been a while since I saw a movie with a plot as stupid as this one... with cast performance worst than that of kindergarten kids playing peter pan for the first time... I really consider the movie a waste of time... So poorly prepared. With a lot of "special effects" instead of actual acting (the murder and suicide scene)... so face... Even the virus movement was face. The computer images in the movie was like seeing the screen of an old video game. And what was that with the guy showing us his butt? what point did it make in the movie? Of course that was not the worst part... Actually I cant find a worst part. All of it was terrible... Just Don't See it...
  • First of all, in my opinion, this story would get a prime rating if it had been made as a video game but not a movie. Imagination in story is great and story has still lots of room to improve... Maybe we'll see a sequel in the following years. This story deserves a better shot in combination with a better directing.

    Even though there are some inconsistency about sci-fi logic, in my opinion, this film deserves to be over 5 about rating. The end of movie is highly predictable but this didn't keep me out of watching till the end of movie. Special effects might be better but again don't let this prevent you to see the movie if you hasn't yet.
  • MartianOctocretr530 August 2009
    A neurotic geek crashes the gate at a closing military base, raving apocalyptic tales of woe. He warns everybody not to open a secret deadly vault that nobody knew about in the first place until this dummy told them. So they ignore his fanatic warnings, stupidly open it, and a lot of cast extras die.

    Could have been better. Plot staples such as sinister covert government operations, a mindlessly brutal and effective extra-terrestrial killing machine, scary Indian tribal legends--not bad stuff. Has potential. But the story doesn't develop. Just more yelling, gratuitously violent deaths, and government stupidity. Also more poor acting. Turn off the brain, and it's just passable.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The film itself had a good storyline, but the "organism" that grows i felt was almost a copy of the same one used in evolution in both appearance and how the creature grows.

    The acting was good at times but during a scene when a helicopter blows up looks awful as they get "blown" down by the explosion and it looks really really superimposed and in my mind quite tacky.

    All in all the film did not suck like most films in this genre, although i probably couldn't watch the film again as it is not one of the films you can watch again and again.

    I would recommend people to watch this film as it was quite good and if they liked evolution they may or may not like this really does depend of their preferences.

    The films ending was a bit cheesy both characters walking off into the sunset together with an army convoy driving toward them to pick them up.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The premise of this film is simple enough. A Cold War project is buried beneath a forgotten army base, and is unwittingly unleashed by a cleanup crew dismantling the base before demolition.

    The son of the scientist who devised the organism knows there is something horrible, and attempts to warn the Army before it is too late. INstead, the creature is released, threatening the town.

    My common complaint with movies featuring the military is that they have no idea how the military is structured. Skilled scientists would be given higher ranks than specialist and private, while officers involved with such a project would have more technical knowledge.

    The movie drags in a lot of places, as though they know they only have 30 minutes of story to fill out an hour and a half bag. still, okay to watch, not really great but okay.
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