September in the Rain (1937)

September in the Rain ReviewSeptember in the Rain Review

September in the Rain is a 1937 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a pretty weak short.

This is one of the weaker shorts of this year as it is very much a throwback to the shorts from 1935 and before. It is one giant song and dance routine with various musical numbers and one-off cameo characters. Because it is so short (5:50 may just be the shortest runtime of any Merry Melody) and so full of different routines and characters, it feels rushed, overly complicated and not particularly interesting.

I liked the animation and I have to say that I loved the music here. That song near the end that was sung by black characters was very good and I really liked the titular musical number which was very catchy and well sung. This film is again typically racist, but at least the songs are fine.

September in the Rain is not great as the last Warner Bros. animated short of 1937. The animation and score are good, but the plot and characters are uninspired.

My Rating – 3.4

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The Jetsons Season 2 (1985)

The Jetsons Season 2 Review

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The Jetsons Season 2 Review

The second season of The Jetsons is a major disappointment as it is so inferior to the previous classic season.

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Jetson, you’re fired!

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The Jetsons Season 2 Review

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Yes, I did not love this one. And that is mainly because it lost energy and class as it was filmed two decades later and thus it is overly childish and not as mature or as funny as the first, infinitely better season. It’s a shame that we never got more of the 60s Jetsons as the 80s version pales in comparison.

Elroy Meets Orbitty is fine as these animal-centric episodes go. This pet creature is cute and endearing, but unfortunately does not serve too much purpose and is thus inferior to Astro. Rosie Come Home is actually one of the better episodes here which is emotional and quite lovely. I will take every Rosie episode I can get as they are too rare for some reason.

Solar Snoops is actually quite funny. The entire “disguise as a woman to spy somebody” concept has been done before on The Flintstones, but this is also a pretty good usage of that old idea and seeing George as Georgina produces many funny, though archaic scenes. Judy’s Birthday Surprise is okay, but somewhat dull as she is a boring character to me.

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The Jetsons Season 2 Review

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SuperGeorge is of course ridiculously cartoony and I have just never been a fan of these old superhero episodes in classic cartoons. Family Fallout is pretty solid, though definitely not as great as the killer concept demanded.

Instant Replay is one of those message episodes and the message is familiar but greatly executed here and I loved George’s development in this episode. Fugitive Fleas, on the other hand, is too silly to be taken seriously.

S.M.A.S.H. again is about George and his boss but is better than most such typical episodes as their dynamic is particularly fun and effective here. One Strike, You’re Out is entirely forgettable whereas Mother’s Day for Rosie is cute and endearing, but not one of her better episodes. S’No Relative is one of those typical alien episodes – serviceable but far from memorable.

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The Jetsons Season 2 Review

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Dance Time is okay and with good intentions, but is never really fun or funny. Judy Takes Off has both of the subplots working pretty solidly even though they never coalesce into a coherent whole. Winner Takes All is pretty formulaic and not memorable and The Mirrormoprh is one alien episode too many.

The Cosmic Courtship of George and Jane is a lot of fun and charm as I love the episodes that center on George and Jane’s marriage. This episode has some really charming and wonderful scenes. High Moon is boring and dated, but Hi-Tech Wreck is a pretty solid robot-centric episode and quite amusing.

Little Bundle of Trouble is actually a lot of good fun as the family takes a supposed baby in their house who turns out to be a thieving dwarf. An excellent scenario well played for laughs. Elroy in Wonderland is a pretty solid parody episode, but definitely not belonging in this futuristic show. The Swiss Family Jetson is pretty solid as these types of episodes go, but how many times is Spacely going to lay off George? Honestly??

Rip-Off Rosie has a pretty good premise and not so great, though competent execution. Fantasy Planet is awesome as this episode where each family member gets to live their own fantasy with bad consequences. A great message and everybody gets to have his or her time to shine.

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The Jetsons Season 2 Review

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Both Space Bong and Haunted Halloween are annoying in their silliness. Astro’s Big Moment, on the other hand, is absolutely fantastic as it makes use of a dog show for some great situational comedy. Jetsons’ Millions is also excellent as a particularly strong and funny Spacely/George outing.

The Wrong Stuff is fine, but not a particularly successful parody. The Vacation is the most familiar episode out of them all here quite probably as I’ve seen old flames of George and Jane before too. Team Spirit is a very annoying baseball episode whereas Future Tense is intriguing, but again too superheroic rather than scientific.

Far-Out Father finds Astro at his most infatuated, with a young poodle here and the end results are more than amusing and endearing. A pretty strong pet episode this one is. Dog Daze Afternoon is exactly the episode as this dog story is highly forgettable.

Grandpa and the Galactic Gold Digger literally destroys the character of Grandpa who was awesome before, but is now nothing more than an old perv. Very frustrating indeed. Robot’s Revenge is pretty strong and reliably so as George vs. Robot episodes have always been pretty good.

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The Jetsons Season 2 Review

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To Tell the Truth is not particularly memorable as a family piece whereas Boy George is one shrinking episode too many. Judy’s Elopement is again too much centered on Judy. The Century’s Best has a fine ending, but is basically a filler episode and A Jetson Christmas Carol is pretty much a typical, forgettable parody.

Overall, this was a pretty weak season of once great show. I liked some episodes quite a bit, but most were either rehashed or silly and the show lost its edge in the eighties with too much childish scenarios and not enough real science. A big disappointment.

Worst Episodes: Dance Time, High Moon, Space Bong, Team Spirit and Boy George.

Best Episodes: Solar Snoops, Instant Replay, The Cosmic Courtship of George and Jane, Fantasy Planet and Jetsons’ Millions.

My Rating – 3.6

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Doctor Who Season 9 (1972)

Doctor Who Season 9 Review

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Doctor Who Season 9 Review

The ninth season of Doctor Who is the weakest season thus far which is too forgettable and typical in most of its episodes.

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Perhaps the Doctor will be able to explain

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Doctor Who Season 9 Review

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Day of the Daleks is the first of the five serials in this season and it is pretty dull as I have never been a fan of the Daleks and I am certainly not a fan of them here as this story is one of their most uninspired.

The Curse of Peladon is actually rather solid, though again far from great. None of the serials in this season are great really. I certainly liked how fun and adventurous this story is, but I wasn’t a fan of its convoluted nature with too many aliens and not enough real substance.

The Sea Devils introduces the titular aliens to us the viewers. They are the cousins of the Silurians but much less memorable or creepy. This story is another stronger serial here with a pretty fun nature to it, but again too silly to be taken seriously or to be remembered later on.

The Mutants is well made and with pretty solid effects and I guess that the story had promise, but it is again the case of style over substance with an excess of action and not enough meat in terms of storytelling or characterization.

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Doctor Who Season 9 Review

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The Time Monster is definitely the weakest serial here with a particularly silly story with many ridiculous scenes and it is infamous for having some pretty mediocre dialogue and silly action sequences.

So in the end, I really did not care for this season of Doctor Who. It is certainly the weakest thus far and the only Doctor Who season so far that I rated below 3.5. I liked some episodes, but most were not all that great and the Doctor himself is surprisingly and very unfortunately restrained here.

Worst Serial: The Time Monster.

Best Serial: The Curse of Peladon.

Worst Episodes: The Time Monster Episode 1, The Time Monster Episode 3, The Mutants Episode 2 and The Mutants Episode 4.

Best Episodes: The Curse of Peladon Episode 2, The Curse of Peladon Episode 3, The Sea Devils Episode 1 and The Sea Devils Episode 2.

My Rating – 3.3

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Annabelle: Creation (2017)

Annabelle: Creation Movie Review

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Annabelle: Creation Movie Review

Annabelle: Creation is a 2017 horror film directed by David F. Sandberg. It is one of the best installments of the Conjuring universe.

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Who cares? Run!

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Annabelle: Creation Movie Review

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This is one of the most surprising films I’ve seen recently. Absolutely stupendous. I expected it to be much better than ‘Annabelle’ as that movie is so incredibly mediocre, but I didn’t expect the greatness that I got here as the film at times rivals ‘The Conjuring’ and that is a huge accomplishment.

It is basically an origin story of the doll and a prequel to the original film. In terms of being a prequel, it works stupendously as that final scene ties it up with the original so well. But it is a competent horror story in its own right which stands on its own as its very own beast.

Annabelle: Creation is quite scary. Just like with ‘It’, the movie follows children and thus I felt the danger much more and I do hope that the filmmakers realize this and start making more child-oriented horror films as I am infinitely more disturbed seeing a child than a woman in horrific peril.

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Annabelle: Creation Movie Review

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The film is scary, but it takes its time to get there and that build-up is excellent and the atmosphere is phenomenal. I love historical horror films and this particular period coupled with the orphanage setting led to such a unique, highly interesting horror flick both in time period and in setting. The attention to detail in recreating both is quite stellar.

Let’s talk about the highlights. The best scene is the wheelchair sequence. It happens during the day which is highly admirable and it is all the more scary for it and for the fact that it happens so suddenly. It was inventively filmed with great camera angles and that entire scene is an important plot point while being a genuine shocker in its own right. Another great scene is the well scene and I loved the staircase scene too. The scarecrow is creepy as well. All of these feature outstanding camera work and highly memorable imagery.

Sister Charlotte is a fine character and I really liked the married couple and their backstory was excellent. But the kids are the highlights and mostly just Janice and Linda. I felt sorry for Janice because she had to go through so many horrific things and Linda was such a cute, yet very brave kid. The two shared a wonderful friendship and it was a shame that they had to separate.

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Annabelle: Creation Movie Review

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The performances from the actors are very good and all of the kids did a very good job and they were even quite realistic. The film is very well scored and superbly shot. Definitely some scenes were pretty formulaic and also unfortunately bordered on implausible behavior from the characters, but most of the scenes made sense and were much more realistic or believable than most of the other horror pictures. It is technically a very competent, rich and far from cheap movie that led to it being one of the best horror sequels of all time and another phenomenal horror film from 2017. David F. Sandberg outdid himself as this movie is much better than ‘Lights Out’.

In a year full of great horror films, Annabelle: Creation is another success, but this time it is also one of the biggest pleasant surprises recently. It features excellent camera work, memorable imagery and effective creepy atmosphere and thus the scary scenes fully worked and some were even inventive. The highlights are the staircase scene and especially the wheelchair flight sequence which was unbelievably effective and quite disturbing. The child characters and actors are pretty good, the story is also competent and the film has a very good ending that ties it well with a much inferior original film. It is undoubtedly one of the best horror sequels ever.

My Rating – 4.5

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Porky’s Hero Agency (1937)

Porky's Hero Agency ReviewPorky’s Hero Agency Review

Porky’s Hero Agency is a 1937 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It’s a very authentic short.

The story here is quite offbeat. Porky has a dream in which he goes to Ancient Greece and has to escape from being turned into stone. Basically every building and piece of art or architecture in Greece is portrayed as having being alive before and that was so funny and unexpected. I loved the second half as it was both fun and funny.

The first half, on the other hand, is definitely the lesser and less memorable one. And I found the dream structure very familiar and that cartoon structure was very tedious and overused by this point. But I liked the animation and especially the character design which was amazing. Porky Pig is so good here as our stuttering hero in peril and some of his lines are quite amusing.

Porky’s Hero Agency has its problems, but it is mostly a very good film which benefits from such an offbeat premise and execution.

My Rating – 3.9

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Annabelle (2014)

Annabelle Movie Review

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Annabelle Movie Review

Annabelle is a 2014 horror film which is the spin-off from ‘The Conjuring’. It is the weakest entry in this cinematic universe by far.

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May God have mercy on your soul!

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Annabelle Movie Review

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I really did not like this film. It isn’t horrible, but it is a giant mediocrity on almost every level. In terms of storytelling and characterization, it is tired and uninspired. The doll herself is truly terrifying in look, but unfortunately they never really utilized her as she only got a couple of scenes which was simply ridiculous. It was a giant missed opportunity.

Mia and John are your basic, boring white couple and there is nothing about them that is even remotely interesting. They are just there. It doesn’t help that the dialogue is so ridiculously bad and stupid. Father Perez is much more memorable with ‘Once Upon a Time’s Tony Amendola giving a fine performance. Ward Horton was simply horrible, but at least Annabelle Wallis is quite competent in the main role.

As for Evelyn, I have to say that I was furious how they killed her off in the ending. Her choice to sacrifice herself instead of Mia was just ridiculous to me and beyond stupid. The fact that they killed her and made it seem okay was atrocious enough, but the fact that that led to such a bad message or a lack of any was even more troublesome.

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Annabelle Movie Review

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Annabelle is competently acted for the most part and most of the scares are fine, if not great. But the problem with it is that it is surprisingly restrained and tame in its approach with basically only a couple of action/scare sequences and that’s it.

They went with the more restrained, elegant approach but because the film was so typical in plot and execution and because it lacked in atmosphere, it thus ended up being incredibly boring to sit through. It is funny how they managed to screw up this simple and ripe for scares concept and thus Annabelle ended up being such a weak, mediocre spin-off of an infinitely better movie.

Annabelle is a giant mediocrity. It has some fine performances, but the characters are so incredibly boring and the film is uninspired in execution and with a particularly odd choice of being restrained. It is a very dull, tired spin-off which should have had much more action in it. The ending is also infuriating how stupid and just wrong it is.

My Rating – 2.5

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The Shindig (1930)

The Shindig ReviewThe Shindig Review

The Shindig is a 1930 Mickey Mouse cartoon. It is a charming entry.

Once again we get a dancing entry and again it happens in a barn as Mickey and the rest of the gang dance and play instruments there. The film is important for being the first Mickey Mouse short where Clarabelle Cow is fully anthropomorphized as she stands on two legs and acts human. She is quite memorable and the rest of the characters are also charming with Mickey and Minnie stealing the show.

This is one of those musical episodes and once again it is a cliched, highly typical and familiar cartoon set in a familiar setting and with the basic structure of dancing and playing instruments. But it is better than most previous such entries mainly because it is a lot of fun with such a high energy and charm factor to it. It is repetitive, but at least they used great pieces of music.

The Shindig is a typical musical Mickey Mouse entry, but better than most thanks to an energetic approach and charming character interactions.

My Rating – 3.5

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Children of Men (2006)

Children of Men Movie Review

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Children of Men Movie Review

Children of Men is a 2006 science fiction thriller film directed by Alfonso Cuaron and starring Clive Owen. It is one of the best genre films of the 2000s.

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Your baby is the miracle the whole world has been waiting for

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Children of Men Movie Review

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It is set in 2027 Britain. In the future, humans are infertile and for the last eighteen years there has not been a single birth. To me this concept is highly original and ripe for solid thrills which it does have a lot to offer. But there is one problem here and that is the ambiguity of it. I do realize that most may prefer this, but I wanted at least bits of information when it comes to infertility and why it came to be in this bleak future world and the movie did not give me any answers whatsoever which was pretty lazy.

I liked the mix of science fiction concept, drama and intense thriller. This is one of those dystopian films that are very dark, but not overly dark as I loved the theme of hope which was well explored. So the film is bleak, but still hopeful and ending on such a wonderfully ambiguous, but still hopeful note. And I really liked its religious parallels. My favorite scenes are the ending, the death of Caine’s character which was beyond tragic and that famous car chase which was brilliantly and so realistically executed.

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Children of Men Movie Review

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Clive Owen is excellent in what is arguably one of his best performances. Julianne Moore is surprisingly underutilized here, but she still made an impression. Both of their characters are great and Kee is also very likable, but it is Michael Caine who surprised me the most here as he played a very different character than usual. He portrays a hippy and a highly endearing one and never has he been more likable in a role, at least for me.

Children of Men is technically terrific. Certainly the film is a cop-out in terms of special effects and I disliked that this future was way too restrained technologically speaking, but it was believable having in mind that infertility happened. The despair and also hope was felt as the film conveyed its atmosphere so well.

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Children of Men Movie Review

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The direction from Alfonso Cuaron is terrific and this surely is one of his best works. His deft hand behind all of this project is definitely felt. The score is also very good, especially the use of religious score to accompany its religious imagery. I loved the atmosphere and I really liked the cinematography which is particularly accomplished here along with the editing. It is deft and the film is never at all boring or rushed. It works as a pretty great chase thriller above all else and it is one of a few dystopian films that never overstays its welcome.

Children of Men has a very strong concept despite not giving any answers when it comes to it. It is a phenomenal chase thriller and a dystopian film that earns its bleakness and darkness as the atmosphere is so strong and the sense of despair and also hope is felt in almost every scene. It has a bunch of unforgettable sequences such as that wonderfully ambiguous ending and that highly memorable, perfectly executed car chase sequence. The performances are great, Cuaron’s direction is superb and the film has memorable imagery leading to a highly competent sci-fi thriller.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos (1937)

The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos ReviewThe Woods Are Full of Cuckoos Review

The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos is a 1937 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a pretty dated flick.

That is not to say that it’s a bad film. It is definitely solid and full of that typical Merry Melodies energy and irreverence. I liked some of the gags and the character designs are particularly effective and diverse here. And the overall animation and songs are solid.

But the film is awfully dated and of its time as most of the gags and celebrity parodies could only be understood by the audiences of its time and thus it lost its momentum for sure. Some I recognized, but most were unfamiliar to me and the biggest problem was the use of radio programmers and singers instead of movie actors and I am less familiar with those and thus the movie was too foreign for me.

The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos is solid, but awfully dated and not particularly funny for today’s audiences.

My Rating – 3.4

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Three Colors: Blue (1993)

Three Colors: Blue Movie Review

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Three Colors: Blue Movie Review

Three Colors: Blue is a 1993 Polish-French drama film directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski and starring Juliette Binoche. It is a solid, but boring film.

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Now I have only one thing left to do: nothing.

I don’t want any belongings, any memories.

No friends, no love. Those are all traps

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Three Colors: Blue Movie Review

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It is about a woman who loses her husband and child in a car accident and tries to live a normal life afterwards. She tries to get rid of all their things and forget but the past still haunts her and her husband’s past ties catch up with her and she has to deal with them.

The plot itself is quite good and the film is thematically very solid. It deals with grief in a very solid and realistic manner and it portrays a broken woman in a very honest way. However, it isn’t as deep as it thinks it is and it doesn’t have anything deeper and new to say about grief and loss and it just sort of presents its story without diving deeper into it.

I found Juliette Binoche’s performance to be superb here and it truly is one of her career best works. She had to play a devastated woman and she did bring it emotionally. She gave a magnetic performance in her movie as this entire story relies basically only on her as we got to see a couple of more minor characters and that’s it.

Three Colors: Blue definitely is a slow movie. But it is not a slow-burn in a positive sense. It is mostly a very boring, tedious experience that is slowly paced for the sake of it and mostly pretentious and not truly artistic.

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Three Colors: Blue Movie Review

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I found the direction solid and the cinematography is excellent. Some choices are great such as the use of the color blue (liberty) as well as that interesting editing technique with interesting cuts that – when over – bring you to the exact same scene. The film is definitely very well crafted overall technically and it is powerful in its emotion at times, but it is too depressing, too slow and ultimately an overrated movie that gets too much credit. I do hope that the rest of the trilogy is more interesting.

Three Colors: Blue is a very boring and depressing movie that is solid but far from great. The film is technically accomplished with excellent cinematography, editing and direction and the performance from Juliette Binoche is terrific. It also has its emotional scenes. But it is way too slow and tedious and it doesn’t delve deep enough into its themes.

My Rating – 3.5

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