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    13 years


Wonder Woman 1984

An Honest Review
A Moment of Mockery For the "Everything is Political All the Time Reviews"

I think I need to do the thing where I say that this is empowering, super empowering what with it being the FIRST EVER strong female lead and the FIRST EVER female action hero in a movie EVER...

... because isn't that what we are doing for every female led movie these days?

Wait, no, because it's problematic, right? I mean, Gal is Jewish, and that is problematic. And WW is in a heteronormative loving relationship with a Ciss white male and that is problematic too. And, Wiig is a woman AND a bad guy and that is problematic, right? I mean, all of that is super problematic because it caters to the far right... right? So I'm supposed to hate it because of that, right?

No, no, no, no, because the other bad guy, he maybe slightly resembles Trump, so that makes it OK to like it because it might be making commentary about Trump and Orange Man Bad and... I'm so confused.

What I want to say is that I have read conflicting critic's opinions on this and I don't know which is the right think way to review it!!!!!


Well.... it's too long. I mean I liked the film, but there was too much not story in it that could have, and needed to be trimmed... or at least replaced with MORE story.

And then the Fx.... they were CLEARLY going for an 80s super hero movie ala Supergirl feel, every now and again and, as where it is clear as day that they are doing that... it's 2020 and from reading the NON political reviews it is clear that people don't get that.... because everything is literal and homages that do NOT mock the past tend to go over people's heads.... because.... our collective IQs have dropped to 90.

So it's something I liked, but I can see where people are complaining about it.

Gadot, well, she made a huge sacrifice in this, she got everything she wanted and had to give it away, and there are times in this where you really feel that lose... and kudos to that. But... you sort of feel that the emotion should have been carried further and that not doing so was a bit of a lost opportunity, in the most dramatic sense.

But there is still a lot more of an emotional connection to WW in this, and that is a pretty big step above the first film. I feel like I related to her a little more in this, she was more human and less goddess, and that is welcomed.

The opening was a little too much "We've seen this before" and the surprise at the end was a little too much "we saw this coming," but still welcomed even if the clue dropped half-way through made it an obvious guess.

Over all, it was a lot better and had more depth than the first outing, and was able to add 80s cheese without falling into the "we are going to mock the decade for being in the past," trope that so many other shows and movies have fallen into.

I don't get the non political 1 star reviews, it has it's faults, but not as many as they are making out. I don't respect the political reviews.

And... for it's faults, the connection you can make and the additional humor more than make up for it all.

Mafia III

An Honest Review
I was hesitant because, well, Mafia. You aren't really in the mafia in this, not even really the Dixie Mafia... which would also not really work.

But on the other hand, it's the 1960s. And the thing that I loved most about Mafia II was the world of the 40s and 50s it created.

Unfortunately, as much as it does a GREAT job depicting the 60s... it depicts the 60s in the South and you kind of take on the role of an African-American Dukes of Hazard character... with gangland ties.

Lincoln Clay oscillates between looking too much like Vin Diesel to really get the feel that he's a Black man living in the segregated south, to actually feeling like a Black man living in the 60s south, and it's all dependent on lighting, which is a shame that they couldn't exactly get his skin tone to stay consistent.

Moving it to somewhere that the culture clash and the hippie movement was a bit more profound would have been more of what I wanted.

HOWEVER, instead you get the Civil Rights movement and fights along those lines and, honestly, I can't complain about that either. It was true to the era and made for a moving story line even if the characters are bad guys and not too sympathetic on either side.

It made for a compelling and fun story that I don't think I'd trade... even if I wanted Italian Mob and more Hippie culture. It was completely enjoyable.

The shooting certainly improved from Mafia II... the story is just as great. The exploration of post Vietnam America is pretty freaking fantastic, especially with the Civil Rights Movement thrown in there to spice it all up.

But, unfortunately, like Mafia II, it's just too darn short given the world they throw you into and how much effort they took into making it look period and beautiful.... so where it's a little longer, the lack of side missions, the lack of length, means that you only really experience it for a weekend. And that is a shame.

Mafia II

An Honest Review
Well, this game is PAINFULLY short and in dire need of side missions and busy work, especially given that it takes place in the 40s and 50s and does a great job of making you feel like you are in the 40s and 50s. It is a world that you want to explore and live in for a while, it's a beautiful world, and the game is too fast.

It needs padding, it needs to extend itself a little, or a lot, so you can really live in that world for a bit longer than a COVID weekend.

But... it has some things that make it stand about GTA.

The first is the lock picking method, which adds to the game both in realism and fun. Especially since I have a friend who is a lock picker (which is the most useful friend to have in the world), who does it competitively. He has Youtube videos of picking locks, key and combination, to a timer. And, I guess for a video game the principal of how it's done is sound, but the execution is not. So, I guess if you are going for pure realism it's 50/50.

But if you don't like it you can just break the windows.

In any case, it's a nice addition.

As is the speedometer... and why GTA has never added it is beyond me. But the fun there is that you will get the cops on you, and you will get ticketed if you are driving too fast... which, again, GTA needs to add. And it comes with a safe drive mode that you can turn on and off to assure that you don't speed too much.

Vito, your character looks like a cross between Pacino and DeNiro in the godfather movies (more Bobby than Al) which, again, is fun.

The winter setting in the 40s is beautiful. The summer setting in the 50s is beautiful, and both really take you to the decades they portray, right down to the radio segments and the news with commentary about the Rosenbergs that is brutal, dark, and hysterical... making the car radio feel like what L.A. Noire wanted but never achieved.

The first real mission back in the US tells you exactly what you need to do to mine as much money as you want (which also allows you to hone your lock picking skills) and make enough to assure that you are set to buy whatever you need for coming missions.

Ammo is limited, which is a nice add, and it draws the need to buy hold out weapons and really stock up before you start some missions.... which is another thing it has over GTA where you seem to always have more ammo than you possibly need.

And the cars and driving handle great.

However, it is FAR too short, especially given how great they made the world and the sense you got for being back in the 40s and 50s.

And the shooting is... uninspired. It's not done badly, it's just uninspired.

And, frankly, the game is glitchy. Which means in a few missions you have to die over and over again until you figure out your way around the glitches.

But, all of that is mote when compared to the ability to be in a different era and believably so... I just wish the game was longer, that there were more side missions and busy work to allow you to explore it more completely.

Reservoir Dogs

An Honest Review
It's not a bad game and I think a lot of the negative reviews are because it's 1, very short and 2, not as good as the movie.

But it is fun, and it does play your way through all the parts of the film that, well, that weren't in the film, allowing you to be the different characters as they make their way towards, well, towards what was in the movie.

And it ranks you on how you do, allowing for different endings depending on how psychotic or how professional you act... even through it's already kind of murder one for everyone involved so, it doesn't really matter how many more lives you take... professionally speaking


An Honest Review
Let's be honest, almost all of the 1 star reviews are because of how the Mayan's are depicted and stem from a lack of historical knoweldge.

There seems to be the misconception that the Mayans were peaceful and didn't sacrifice humans... which reminds me of when my wife and I went to visit her family in Guatemala where the high point was really watching the American tourists swim in pools of water that probably had the bodies of thousands of sacrificial victims at the bottom... mostly 14 year-old boys.

Yeah, no way I would get in that water, but then I know what's beneath it.

Apocaypto is kind of about that... but it doesn't really convey the fact that, like the rest of Central and South America the sacrifice was to prevent the end of the world... and this kind of makes it about drought (which hit about the time they made contact with the west)

And it really doesn't convey the culture very well... but it does seem to zero in on the point that it wasn't their own people they were sacrificing, it was the people removed from the cities, the people that fell under the Mayan Empire, but weren't exactly a part of it...

... which is what the Aztecs did too.

But, who cares, in the end it's a brutal fight for survival, and it's an entertaining one.

Hacksaw Ridge

An Honest Review
I don't want to say that I dislike Mel Gibson as an actor, I mean he's been in plenty of movies that I love... but like Clint Eastwood, he makes a FAR better director than he ever made an actor.

Hacksaw Ridge is just one of those films where he does a great job... unfortunately it is Mel Gibson, so it's over-the-top carnage that is not at all underplayed. But you can't fault Gibson for making a Gibson film, you should really know as much coming in.

And he actually got Andre Garfield to act, which might not win him a reward, but it certainly should, that is a something that could get a man canonized... and it was his involvement that made me mistakenly put off viewing it for a few years. He seems like a real actor in this, accent and all.

And then, of course, it's the story of a pacifist who went to war to save lives... and in the end that's pretty noble by the strictest definition and you feel it though out, which is probably the point... despite the over-the-top carnage.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

An Honest Review
I guess the most powerful thing I can say is that I remember my family gathering around the television to watch this every week when I was a little kid. And it aired on when my father was 2 years-old.

In other words it has lasting resonance, but that it because, like the original Twilight Zone (and to an extent the 80s reboot) it has a little bot of everything and a new story to tell every week.

It's like what American Horror Story wants to be, but can't seem to wrap a story up in a single episode... or at least can't seem to do it well enough that guarantees that viewers will come back every week.

It has a little of everything in a way that is runs the field from fun to scary depending on, well, depending on which episode you watch


An Honest Review
I usually do a 10 or 1 star review... and this doesn't deserve 1 star. For a spin-off series it's actually REALLY good. Save Frasier I don't think I've ever seen a spin-off this good.

After MASH? Nah. But it was better than Joey.

But it's still not Buffy, and Buffy had a formula that I absolutely loved.

Angel is sort of WB film noir and.... it works, almost to the point where it might fit in 1940s LA.

It's starts off slow, it wants to be Buffy and it wants to be it's own show, but somewhere around the 2nd Season it finds its footing and runs with it.


An Honest Review
This is what Nerdrotic SHOULD be, it has a lot of the same content, it's just not constantly condescending and outright mean.

I used to read comics... comics went woke and I lost interest. Star Wars, Star Trek, Who.... and the same thing happened. They went Woke, I lost the will to really watch them, but Jeremy does it for me while I can devote my down time to other more enjoyable shows.... like Buffy re-runs, and Star Trek reruns, and... all the shows that didn't seem like propaganda that aired once upon a time.

So this is where I go to stay kind of up-to-date on the tings I used to love, can no longer stand watching, but am waiting and hoping will slowly turn back to their former entertainment glory.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

An Honest Review
Wow. I mean it unfortunately came out in 97 and ended in '03 which was really the worst possible time for me. That was going to HS and working full time to save for college and then going to college and working two jobs to avoid debt time.

So when it came out I was vaguely aware of it and some people who's opinions on things like this I still trust absolutely loved it... and some actually hated it. Which to me made it a controversial must see for me... but 97-03 was just not the time.

I didn't get to watch it until life calmed down a bit and that was around '09. And, of course, by then NO ONE wanted to talk about i and everyone had moved on to other shows. So I was left in my own Buffy Bubble and it became a sort of private love affair.

So... what you have here is a television series based on B-Movie tropes that then turns them upside down in a way that you will absolutely love... if you love B-Movies and all their tropes.

The cast is across the board hysterical. It's not really a comedy, but you're going to at least chuckle in every episode.

And the pretty blond ditz that dies in every B horror movie is the kick-butt savior. Which is problematic in 2020 because you aren't supposed to acknowledge that women were ever portrayed as heroic before 2016, and, as a result, any mention of this will get you the N , M, and F word labels by people want to say that they are fighting for equality and thus Buffy doesn't fit in their timelines....

... so even today it's controversial... but this time it is controversial by the people that SHOULD like it... because it was made before 2016 so they don't.

Point being, it is awesome from start to finish... I'm one of the freaks that didn't take any issue with Dawn...and if you have one of the better teachers you are going to learn all about how it forever changed the English language... so there you go, if the title is the reason you don't like it, you got that academia link.

But, who cares, it's just fun to watch and isn't that the point?

Dark Phoenix

An Honest Review
Well... I thought The Last Stand was bad. You know, the movie where they took one of the most classic of classic legendary Claremont X-Men stories and merged it with a Joss Whedon X-Men story line that had nothing to do with Dark Phoenix and.... just lost the plot entirely.

I mean that was pretty bad. This is worse.

This is ultra woke Politically Correct kinda Ghostbusters 2016, they have a message about genderstudies that trumps the story and didn't you know that everyone of a certain race, gender, and sexuality is absolute evil even if they have a long history of being the good guy sort of plot.

And, in the end, it even had less to do with the Dark Phoenix Saga than the Last Stand did. Source material... even X-Men story in name only... and I mean that even after X-Men lost the Marvel Flagship marquee status and did the same downward trajectory as, well, as the X-Men reboot did.

Romeo + Juliet

An Honest Review
Shakespeare is still getting work in Hollywood, and probably always will...

... but I like updated modern Shakespeare when it comes in the form of West Side Story, She's all That, Overboard (all the other million or so Rom-Coms based off of The Taming of the Shrew) and not when the film is modern day with Shakespearean English and... yeah.

Too much of a Juxtaposition for me.

The kind of WWII update of Richard III wasn't bad, but it wasn't really taking Richard II, putting it in a different time, and keeping almost everything else intact.

I guess what I am saying is that it didn't mesh well for me.

Left Behind

An Honest Review
There are even FEW Christians and Conservatives (with the exception of Ned Flanders) that actually enjoy Christian and Conservative movies... or at least Christian movies.

There are a lot of exceptions with Conservative films, Dirty Harry, Red Dawn, they can be fun.

But Christian Films... MAYBE The Passion of the Christ, The Bible miniseries, Mysteries of the Bible if that actually counts....

... Movies like this are the reason. Nicolas Cage was once a big star and oh the mighty fall, now he's in a remake of Left Behind that, honestly, I only watched to rip into, I walked into it with low expectations of Fx that wouldn't look cutting edge in the 70s, of acting that is both too earnest and too forced (and that is without Cage) to look naturalistic. Audio quality that...

... yeah, OK, shockingly the audio quality was a step above most Christian movies.

In other words, it stinks, you know it's going to stink because movies like this are more about the message than they are about the entertainment.

But... that was 2014 and, as Hollywood piles quota onto quota and demands that creators hit check marks that have nothing to do with the story, I suspect that it will change soon... my guess is that people that want to make entertaining films are going to gravitate towards this genre, towards low budget outside of Hollywood fare, towards whomever is offering up the money and is willing to allow them to make a film they want to make and not a political propaganda film.

It was made in 2014, and like all the other movies in this genre it sucks. But Hollywood is working on changing that and forcing talent out... and the people that funded Left Behind will jump at the chance of getting actual talent behind their projects.


An Honest Review

I'll be honest, I didn't like the musical back in the 90s, I thought it was just plain awful and kind of pretentious.

But the good news is that this is so much worse. Even Dame Judy Dench doesn't seem to be able to find a footing, and she's a Dame for a reason, she's probably one of the greatest living actresses on the face of the earth... and Cats makes her look utterly incompetent.

It's a cringe fest from start to finish.

And all I can say is that I am so sorry so many talented and respected people had to be in this train wreck.


An Honest Review
I guess it's a musical, and the world needs more of them, so there is that going for it. And I guess the races are swapped so... that is supposed to make it really good for reasons that aren't really clear.

But, really, it's void of wit and insight, it is completely insulting to history with the only thing that seems accurate and true to life is that Hamilton existed and was Secretary of State

And the views expressed by Hamilton are the least Hamiltonian views you're ever going to see.

If you've ever read him, you kind of wonder if this is based on the same Alexander Hamilton.

1776 got a LOT of history wrong for artistic liberties, but at least the theme was accurate and it got more right than wrong.

Hamilton doesn't even try. It's the story of Hamilton written by people that haven't even heard of his Report on Manufacturing and the economy he created.

Free Willy

An Honest Review
I guess Free Willy depends on how old you were in 1993.

For the most part, I really like Family Friendly, if they are done right they can be entertaining and uplifting. And, the kid in me can still see how people would love it, and still love it, if they saw it as a little kid.

But I was 13 when Free Willy came out, and, honestly, it's not E.T., it's not The Goonies, it's not even Radio Flyer let alone Sandlot.

It's a little too trite, a little too earnest, a little too childish and it lacks the fun and sense of adventure that films like Flight of the Navigator and The Explorers still hold.

In other words, for a family friendly movie, it's more kid friendly and not family enough, and it doesn't age well. I think if you are older than 10 when you see it, you're likely to throw the 1 star out there because it honestly doesn't have that much to offer to people much older. And, if you are under 10 when you saw it, year, it's probably a nostalgia classic to you.

It's just one of the family friendly movies that forgot it's supposed to be fun for the whole family, and that makes it age dependent.

Death of a Nation

An Honest Review
So, Trump is the outsider, right? He wasn't a politician before he ran for president, he started dismissing career politicians, he went to war with corporations.

And the opposition just elected the establishment president, they protested FOR mega monopolistic corporate tech giant's right to protest. They are really raging FOR the machine...

... and yet all the 1 star reviews sound like they think they are being anti-establishment while they are backing the establishment.

To me, that is the same as shaving your head and pretending that you have always been punk.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't compare Trump to Lincoln... except the GOP at the time was the upstart party wasn't it? They ran on the single issue of dismantling the old establishment built on slavery...

... slavery doesn't exist any longer, at least not in the US, at least not legally.... but I can see the essence of the comparison. They were both anti-establishment and, in both cases, the establishment fought back with a vengeance.

And, even then, the South viewed themselves as rebels fighting against the establishment... as they struggled to preserve the establishment of slavery.

IDK, whatever, IMDB has a problem with censoring anything that isn't a far left review of things like this, so, I'll probably get rejected, and no one will ever read this.

But, in both cases, the establishment fought back, the establishment used violence. The only real difference is that the Civil War was a traditional war, and this uprising seems to be closer to Ireland's Troubles and just as partisan.

Halo 2

An Honest Review
Well, the handgun was a little less powerful in this wasn't it? But, you could have two, and that makes sense because anything as powerful as it was in the first game.... you probably couldn't control it to be as accurate as it was in Halo.

And, you can be the aliens too, and the final mission was a shotgun zombie kill fest, or at least close to the final mission (if I remember right).

What I am saying is that the game was SUPER FUN, a great follow-up to Halo, and, like Halo, really a game made for socially killing your friends for the sake of fun... and that is the appeal of FPS games... and it is also the drawback to the online style of play.

Online the other other players might as well just be NPC's, even when you can speak with them you don't have that feeling of the split screen and everyone in the same room shouting at one another and swearing as they are killed by people they are friends with, close too... you don't get that with headsets and online FPS shootouts.

I think Halo 2 was when online was introduced to the series.... but it still encouraged your friends to gather around one television and that is where the appeal is, the socialization, the REAL socialization. It was kind of like playing a violent board game when you did it.

Now with everyone online, it's like playing a video game with NPC's you can talk to... and that lacks the socialization, the bonding, the fun of the split screen shoot outs with friends.

I don't know, now when I play games like this, I do it single player, only because the fun didn't come with playing against people miles away, it came with playing against people in the same room as you.

To me, at least, it just isn't as much fun without that TRUE social element... and Halo 2 was the last of that era.

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

An Honest Review
Well, it didn't age well. At least not the special effects. But, they were more practical than digital and that makes a difference. You get the feeling that the people are actually there when the effects are practical and not digital, and you don't have that sensation that you are watching other people play a video game like you do with a lot of the digital effects heavy movies these days.

It's just, the practical effects weren't that great and kind of cheap, even in 89, because they figured... kid movie.

However, it's still more Family Movie than Kid Movie. It has enough in the way of adventure and fun to appeal to all age groups, and it knows how to keep things clean without dumbing them down... and that is something that a lot of family films do NOT know how to do.

It has enough where, the only people that don't like it are the people that need everything deadly serious, and they aren't going to like much

Free Willy

An Honest Review
I guess Free Willy depends on how old you were in 1993.

For the most part, I really like Family Friendly, if they are done right they can be entertaining and uplifting. And, the kid in me can still see how people would love it, and still love it, if they saw it as a little kid.

But I was 13 when Free Willy came out, and, honestly, it's not E.T., it's not The Goonies, it's not even Radio Flyer let alone Sandlot.

It's a little too trite, a little too earnest, a little too childish and it lacks the fun and sense of adventure that films like Flight of the Navigator and The Explorers still hold.

In other words, for a family friendly movie, it's more kid friendly and not family enough, and it doesn't age well. I think if you are older than 10 when you see it, you're likely to throw the 1 star out there because it honestly doesn't have that much to offer to people much older. And, if you are under 10 when you saw it, year, it's probably a nostalgia classic to you.

It's just one of the family friendly movies that forgot it's supposed to be fun for the whole family, and that makes it age dependent.

Strange Luck

An Honest Review
Another review here compared this to Eerie Indiana, and honestly that is apt, the best possible description for a TV show that few people know actually existed.

And that's a shame, Sweeney is a John Cusack clone that has a Fox Mulder under-acted style, which transfers nicely to a show that is kind of comically out there and still skeptical.

Another reviewer called it Quirky, which is another apt review given that the writers found the time to add in little throw away instances of luck and coincidence as mundane as finding a penny while still focusing on the bigger story in the episode. It makes for quirky, tongue-in-cheek fun.

Unfortunately it was short lived, obscure, and darn near impossible to find today.

Mulholland Falls

An Honest Review
Well.... Andrew McCarthy does an excellent job, but everyone else kind of phones it in, including the director.

It's supposed to be a kind of Neo Noir, but it never really feels as gritty or as mysterious as a noir should and the femme fatales never really feel as fatal and ominous and devious as they should.

The detectives aren't really hard boiled, not even Madison who always seems to be hard boiled. The detectives also never really get around to doing much detecting.

In the end it's really, honestly, only Andrew McCarthy that even looks like he's trying. Other than that it's just four guys that drive around in a convertible and try to look tough or irritating as the plot unfolds around them... without really needing their involvement.

L.A. Noire

An Honest Review
OK, yeah, I was expecting GTA in the 40s.... but then again you are a cop and that kind of limits how you can act. It's not really a free for all where you can blow through cars at a red light and drive through foot traffic to get to where you are going faster.

Remember, you're a cop, property damage kind of counts against you, but injuring pedestrians certainly does... at least in the story mode. Not so much in Patrol Mode.

But then... the soundtrack is amazing, both the dramatic sequences and the era appropriate radio music. The lighting (especially in Black and White mode) is superb and really feels like an old Hard Boiled detective film...

... but being a Chinatown fan, I kind of went for color.

And it's fun driving around 1940s LA and solving crimes. That is really where the appeal is, but if you saw "Rockstar' and "Open World" I can see there you thought GTA in the 40s.

The story slowly unravels as you put crimes together, your actions, the clues you find, and the how you question suspects and witnesses all determine how well you do, and how much you botch the case... which allows you to finish a mission and really screw the pooch, avoid tailing suspects by properly interrogating them, or put more links together and turn a small crime into a big bust.

If you're not into the boring detective work and the unraveling mystery, it's going to be slow and tedious for you, but if that's the kind of thing you enjoy, it will prove to be a fun and moody game.

Class of 1984

An Honest Review
It's 2020 and, frankly, I miss movies like this.

Hollywood has tanked, they really aren't putting out anything worth watching any longer... and it's debatable if Class of 1984 is really worth watching. I guess it depends on your mood.

But we need that padding back. We need a whole bunch of ridiculous, low budget exploitation films to pad and help finance the bigger ones. That might actually stop Hollywood from actively attacking the people that didn't go see the trash movies they spent millions on and still tanked.

Because, honestly, I'm not going to spend $25 a ticket to go see a gender and race swapped remake of a beloved childhood lecture with a heavy handed one sided political message and no real story or plot.

But I will spend a few bucks to stream a trash exploitation movie, with no real message, no real budget, and a plot that was made to just be fun and entertaining.

Class of 1984 is one of those movies, one of the movies where you can sit back and just be entertained for an hour without having to suffer through anything that you're not allowed to make fun of because... meh politics.

This is the type of movie where it's almost encouraged that you make fun of it... while you are watching it. This is the home movie market, where you don't view it in theaters because a little audience participation makes for a better viewing experience.

This I will pay to see on a rainy weekend.

The plot sucks, it stars the funny dude from Rip Tide, and its over the top and silly... in other words, it's escapist entertainment. And ENTERTAINMENT is what movies should be all about

Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach

An Honest Review
I don't know. As an adult, yeah, this is a HORRIBLE installment.

But as a kid, I actually thought it was still pretty good, still pretty funny, still slap stick and stupid, and everything I wanted from a Police Academy film.

But... as an adult, it's not as funny as I thought it was as a kid.

So I am kind of torn, there are certainly FAR better Police Academy films (and I'm going to give them 10 of 10 because fun movies deserve it) but this one... this one a lot of the humor that still holds true in the others fell flat.

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