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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pixels: Movie Review

By: Lakwatsera Lovers
 
Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), Will Cooper (Kevin James), Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad), and Eddie "The Fire Blaster" Plant (Peter Dinklage) love to play arcade games in the 80s. Now, they need to use their skills to save the world from invading aliens that misinterpret the classic video game feeds as a declaration for war. They need to win a series of challenges in order to save the world from massive destruction. 

We don't really understand the hate the film is getting. Maybe a lot of critics love to bury Adam Sandler's films because of his laziness, but sometimes we really don't get the point. The Cobbler and Blended were not awful like Grownups 2 and neither Pixels, which finally gave something fresh to see in the cinema. Kevin James is also a target thanks to the ridiculous sequel of Paul Blart earlier this year.

We haven't seen the film in 3D and most of its visuals will be enjoyed best by wearing 3D glasses. Watching the classic games we used to love before like Pacman and Donkey Kong gives a crazy nostalgic effect as we used to play these games when I was still a kid. The idea they infuse in the story is quite messy, but still they manage to keep the film enjoyable as possible. 

Adam Sandler is still stuck with his familiar character roots that eventually get the girl in the end forcing the romance which is not necessarily needed. However, he made us laugh a few times, but it was Josh Gad who took over into the driver seat in piling up some comedy. It is silly to see Kevin James playing as a president, but we think its fine while Peter Dinklage flirting time with Serena Williams brings him nowhere.


Overall, Pixels stumbles to provide a solid grip to sell its story. It may be a bit complicated to make a decent picture with this marvelous idea, but it still ends up entertaining just by bringing the nostalgic vibe and making the classic games come to life. It may look so silly but admit its a lot of fun.

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 8 out of 10 stars

Cast: Adam Sadler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Jog Gad, Peter Dinklage

Directed by: Chris Columbus
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures PH
Now Showing in cinemas nationwide  

 
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Plastic: Movie Review

By: Lakwastera Lovers

The story follows a group of university students led by Sam (Ed Speleers) to be credit card scammers. It is an easy money for them, but they accidentally rob a notorious gangster named Marcel (Thomas Kretschmann). He wants to the group to settle 2 million pounds in two weeks to pay off their debts. With a little time behind their side, Sam takes a shot in Miami and plans to take an expensive set of jewelry in the heist of their lifetime.

With the film carrying a load of negative reviews and comments on its title, we didn't expect that the British film Plastic would be an entertaining heist flick. It is compelling and eye catching with clever tricks behind its sleeves; the movie will definitely get your attention right from the start of the opening minutes. The actual heist is pretty sharp if you just go with the flow. There are just some few issues behind the story, especially with the decisions of the major characters and the villain who kept on coming to Sam instead of Yatesey, who screwed him up in the first place. 

Overall Plastic is silly but enjoyable enough for us as we walked outside the theater satisfied with the entire thing. There are just some questionable acts and decisions along the way that didn't quite help the plot. But if you just want to see a slick heist film - Plastic won't let you down.

And Yes, Emma Rigby guys? 

Lakwatsera Lovers Rates it 8 out of 10 stars 

Cast: Ed Speelers, Will Poulter, Emma Rigby

Directed by: Julian Gilbey
Distributed by: Solar Pictures PH
Now Showing in cinemas nationwide 

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Ashley Benson, From “PRETTY LITTLE LIARS” to “PIXELS”


Popularly known for playing Hanna Marin in the hit show “Pretty Little Liars,” Ashley Benson makes the giant leap to the big screen with Columbia Pictures' new action-adventure “Pixels.”

Benson takes on the role of Lady Lisa, the film’s 1980s videogame icon, star of the fictional game Dojo Quest. “I get to play a videogame hero – I have two swords and I get to be a badass,” Benson explains. “I’d never worked with swords before, so that was cool. Plus, punching and kicking and beating up Josh Gad is always fun.” (Watch a featurette on Ashley Benson's Lady Lisa below: 
 
In the film, Josh Gad's character, Ludlow Lamonsoff, is chasing the love of his life, which is a videogame character “It makes him sound insane, but he believes in a world where he can co-exist with Lady Lisa and run away with her,” explains Gad.

We wanted Ludlow to be in love with a female video game character from his childhood. We thought it was really sweet, but also showed that he’s a little pathetic,” says producer Allen Covert. “There weren’t a lot of game characters that fit that description so we came up with Dojo Quest and Lady Lisa. The best part was that we actually got to make it into a real game that you can play on your phone.”

 
Costume designer Christine Wada’s great challenge was to create the look for Lady Lisa, the 1980s object of desire for the film’s fictional game, Dojo Quest. “In the end, there were 222 designs of her costume and hair,” Wada recalls. The reason it was such a great challenge was that Lady Lisa had to do so much: “She’s a character from the 80s, so the design has to feel backdated, but also work in a modern context. She had to be iconic, but the character would also have to handle stunts. And the design had to be able to handle visual effects, so there were certain boundaries that we had to work within.”

Wada’s design melds numerous influences: the layered designs of 1980s swimsuits, crossed with Asian inspirations. “It’s a costume Ashley can actually move and fight in, but it’s also one that makes her look like a character that a teenage boy would fall in love with,” she says.

I love the costume so much,” says Benson. “It would be cool to see girls being Lady Lisa for Halloween.”

 
In “Pixels,” as kids in the 1980s, Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), Will Cooper (Kevin James), Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad), and Eddie “The Fire Blaster” Plant (Peter Dinklage) saved the world thousands of times – at 25 cents a game in the video arcades. Now, they’re going to have to do it for real.

When intergalactic aliens discover video feeds of classic arcade games and misinterpret them as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth, using the video games as the models for their assaults -- and now-U.S. President Cooper must call on his old-school arcade friends to save the world from being destroyed by PAC-MAN™, Donkey Kong™, Galaga™, Centipede®, and Space Invaders™. Joining them is Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), a specialist supplying the arcaders with unique weapons to fight the aliens.

  Opening across the Philippines in August 26, “Pixels” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Trainwreck: Movie Review

By: Lakwatsera Lovers

Finally, after months of waiting game; United International Pictures PH and Ayala Malls Cinemas brings us Trainwreck, which will be shown starting tomorrow August 26.

Amy (Amy Schumer) is a writer for a men's magazine called S'Nuff. She does a lot of drinking, smoking pot and constantly hook up with any guy for sex with a "no sleep over rule." However, she finds herself starting to like the new subject for the article she's writing, a successful sports doctor named Aaron Conners (Bill Hader). With Amy growing-up believing monogamy isn't realistic; she finds herself struggling on how to take her feeling seriously since it's the first time she met a guy who is too perfect for her own league. 

We had a great time watching the film last night as we felt relieved and never knew that the two-hour run-time had passed. The formula of Director Judd Apatow and Writer Amy Schumer worked really well. They've utilized their cast to reach its full potential with Amy Schumer leading the way. She wrote something fresh and gave out a strong performance which is one thing for us to look forward to her upcoming projects. We also loved Bill Hader, who recently lent his voice to Fear in Inside Out. He acted so natural and knows how to deliver the punch lines at the right time. With Amy and Bill  complementing each other making them an enjoyable pair to watch. 

The supporting cast also did well with John Cena ruining the respect we have for him in wrestling (just kidding). He is simply fun to watch especially in the scenes that he really needed to make fun with his self. Lebron James, on the other hand, stumbles a lot in his acting skills but mostly provided the good laughs whenever he is present on the screen. We also want to mention Tilda Swinton, Brie Larson, Vanessa Bayer and Ezra Miller who made their presence felt by providing color to their characters. 


Overall, Trainwreck is a comedy you don't want to miss on the big screen. It is easily one of the best comedy films released this year thanks to a dose of witty actors who are willing to show their fun side. It is worth-it flick for your pleasure and have a stress-free bonding with your friends. 

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 9 out of 10 stars 

Cast: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, John Cena, Lebron James

Directed by: Judd Apatow
Distributed by: United International Pictures PH
Rated R-18 Without Cuts by the MTRCB, and will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide starting this Weds, Aug 26.

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Jardine showcases various home protection products at ICONEX 2015

Supporting the continuous growth of construction industry by participating in different expos across the country, Jardine Distribution Inc. (JDI) recently joined the Iloilo Construction Expo 2015 (ICONEX) from June 22 to 28 at SM City Iloilo. 

 Jardine Distribution Inc. joins one of Iloilo City’s most popular construction expos, ICONEX 2015, last June 22 to 28 at SM City Iloilo.


Now on its third year, Iconex is organized by a group of local architects and engineers to showcase different construction materials that ensure better and more durable houses for Filipino homeowners. The event likewise allows people engaged in the construction industry to connect with each other, opening doors of opportunity for them.

Through the years, Iloilo has witnessed quiet yet constant changes in its structure. The physical manifestations of these changes can be seen in different building and rebuilding construction works in the city. Positioning itself as one of the major cities in Visayas, Iloilo’s construction industry is booming resulting in the city’s economic growth.

JDI’s booth at the annual ICONEX construction draws scores of people, including architects, contractors, engineers, and homeowners.

 
We will never miss this one because Iloilo City is booming and we support the city all the way!” said Peachy Tiu, Marketing Manager “We are present in different construction expos to enlighten everyone on the latest trends in home protection. We innovate and add new products from time to time to offer better ways to protect our prized investment, which is our home.”

During the expo, JDI highlighted its total waterproofing solutions just in time for the start of the rainy season. The company offers a wide array of home protection products such as Sureseal Elastomeric Sealant, Super Thoroseal, Optimum Flex, and Waterplug

Jardine Distribution, Inc. (JDI) is engaged in the marketing and distribution of leading agricultural products, applied construction materials, and home pest solutions. Wholly owned by Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited, JDI operates within the framework of Hong Kong-based Jardine Engineering Corporation.

For more information on Jardine Home Protection Products, visit http://jardinedistribution.com/.



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On September 9 – Run or Burn in “MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS”


The Gladers are now out of the mysterious maze from the first movie adaptation of James Dashner’s highly successful series “The Maze Runner.”  In the second adaptation of the most-anticipated sequel of the young adult book of the same title, “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,”  the Gladers are now out in a ravaged, burned out and broken down world racing through sandstorms, evading flares and battling terrifying creatures known as Cranks.

Director Wes Ball is once again at the helm of the second instalment “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” from which his first adaptation “The Maze Runner” grossed more than $340 million worldwide.   While “The Maze Runner” was about escape, “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” is about a journey.   Explains director Wes Ball, who returns for the next chapter:  “In this film, we learn there is a much bigger world waiting for Thomas and the Gladers, one that’s been ravaged by the sun and a deadly virus. These young people have to find their place in this world and figure out how they can fix it.  The Gladers are very valuable to several different groups, and they’re torn between saving the world and their personal freedom.”

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” picks up where “The Maze Runner” left off, as the Gladers, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien),  Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), Newt (Thomas Brodie Sangster), Frypan (Dexter Darden) and Winston (Alexander Flores)  are unloaded from the chopper that flew them away from the maze. The helicopter’s doors fly open and masked soldiers whisk them into an underground bunker. The bunker is run by the duplicitous Janson (Aidan Gillen), who supplies a feast and warm beds, while warning, “The world out there’s in a rather precarious situation. 

 
Thomas suspects the bunker is run by none other than WCKD (World Catastrophe Killzone Department) and  must convince the Gladers they aren’t safe here. Their loyalty to each other is all they can count on.  The Gladers mount a breakout, fighting against soldiers armed with electric projectile weaponry. Led by Thomas and Minho (Ki Hong Lee), they grab Teresa from a private surgery room and flee the bunker into a raging sandstorm.

They’re now in the Scorch, a futuristic badlands burnt by solar flares. In this barren wasteland, the Gladers trudge toward the unknown. A guilt-ridden Thomas wonders if he should have led them out of the maze.  They survived in the Glade but could die in this area of scorched Earth.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” answers many of the questions posed in the first film. The Gladers learn that most of the Earth has been destroyed, and that it was the ruthless scientific government entity known as WCKD that sent the Gladers into the maze as a survival challenge.  They discover that some of them are immune to the fatal Flare disease that is ravaging the population. These Immunes hold biological enzymes within their bodies that may help others resist the Flare. ““The Maze Runner” was about claustrophobia and we were always closed in and never saw a horizon. But in this new film we go out into the open world with a giant desert of sand dunes swallowing the whole world basically,” says Ball. 

Producer Wyck Godfrey notes, “This story begins to unravel the mystery of what has happened to the world and how it was ravaged.  Our characters find some answers by embarking on a very dangerous journey.”

  Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” opens this September 9 nationwide in Philippine cinemas (ahead of its U.S. release, September 18) from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Check out the trailer below:  


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Revenge-Fueled Women Accelerate Action Bar in “TRANSPORTER 4 REFUELED”

 
In the French Riviera’s criminal underworld, the best driver money can buy is about to be taken to an all-new level of speed and torque in “Transporter 4 Refueled.” The movie stars Ed Skrein and Loan Chabanol who race through the streets of Monaco in a state-of-the-art Audi, Frank (Skrein) unwittingly becomes entangled in a scheme to bring down Yuri (Yuri Kolokolnikov), the Russian human trafficker who forced Anna (Chabanol) into prostitution 15 years ago.  
 
The script of “Transporter 4 Refueled” by Bill Collage, Adam Cooper and Luc Besson offered an entirely new take on the high-octane action series, which centers on a tough, tight-lipped, highly skilled driver-for-hire. “Refueled is more filled out than earlier Transporter movies because we have several layers, several characters, lots of subplots and revelations that get slowly revealed throughout the film,” observes director Camille Delamarre. “We developed Frank’s character to be less of a caricature. Instead of the bodybuilding hero who never loses or takes a bad hit, Frank’s character suffers. He hurts. And he also does his fair share of attacking.”
               
Although it features plenty of the stunt driving, fight scenes and plot twists that have made the franchise an enduring favorite among moviegoers, the action is fueled by intriguing characters with compelling backstories. Frank is haunted by his wartime service and has a tense relationship with his father, a retired spy. Anna, a prostitute since an early age, refuses to remain a victim of her ruthless pimp. “Besides having a new Transporter and lots of sexy elements, Refueled gives the audience a complex story full of new developments,” says Delamarre.
 
 
As for the new Transporter himself, Ed Skrein takes unabashed pride in his character’s journey through the mean streets of southern France. “Rolling around on the floor wrestling and fighting with bamboo sticks and punching other guys with pads on and fighting in front of a moving car—the only time you want to be in situations like that is when you’re on a film set,” he says. “I’m a complete pacifist myself, but when it’s scripted that I get in a fight and win, it’s fantastic.”
 
The robberies, kidnappings and gun fights are orchestrated by the cunning women who take charge in Refueled.  Anna, portrayed by Paris-born actress Loan Chabanol (Fading Gigolo) is the leader of this pack of fierce beauties. “Anna’s mysterious, smart, manipulative and charming when she needs to be,” says Chabanol. “She was born in the Soviet Union and was forced to become a prostitute at the age of 12. Now she’s looking for revenge because everything has been taken away from her and she wants to get it back.”
 
To complement the film’s luxuriant cinematography and production design, Anna and her posse were outfitted in fashion-forward ensembles sourced from high-end brands. “The women in Refueled dress like sexy, very fashionable models,” says Delamarre, whose wife designs purses for an international fashion house. “We had partnerships with several luxury brands who loaned us accessories, purses and dresses.”

  Transporter 4 Refueled” opens September 2 nationwide in cinemas from Pioneer Films.

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Chris Evans Debuts as Director in Charming Love Story “BEFORE WE GO” To Open September 2 Exclusive at Ayala Malls Cinemas

 
Chris Evans steps off from his duties in saving the world and debuts as a director in the upcoming romantic, serendipitous movie “Before We Go.”  Drawing his inspiration from director Richard Linklater of the highly acclaimed films “Before Sunset,” “Before Sunrise” and “Before Midnight,” Evans also stars in “Before We Go” where two strangers meet at Grand Central Station and spent the night away contemplating on their current and uncertain future. Over the course of one night, they form an unlikely bond and the conflicts in their own lives become the basis for exploration into each other and themselves.
 
Evans stars alongside the beautiful Alice Eve wherein Evans plays Nick, a trumpet player practicing along the corridors of the Station on the fateful night he meets Brooke (Eve).  Brooke is seen frantically catching the last train home after being robbed, Nick volunteers to get her home safe and try to find the culprit who stole her bag.                 
 
 
I’ve known for a while I wanted to direct,” Evans says. “But (time) never really opens up. There’s another movie to do, there’s another acting job. It just got to a point where I was like, you know what — I have to do this.  I’ve always been a big fan of romance, and I think this story captured the idea of meeting somebody in an unexpected, unintentional night, unfolding in a really pure manner.  You have two characters that were hiding, running, damaged.  And each one of them were in need of a kind of understanding on what love meant.”
 
Before We Go’s” producing studio RADiUS collaborates once again with Evans, whom they have previously worked with in “Snowpiercer.”  “We’re excited to be working with him again on this winning romance,” added RADiUS co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego. “Directed with a deft hand, both he and Alice have tremendous chemistry with each delivering an assured subtlety and highly seductive performance.”
 
 “As a first time director, I’m so excited that we found a home with RADiUS,” Evans said in a statement earlier this year. “I was really impressed with what they did on ‘Snowpiercer’ and my film couldn’t be in better hands. ”

  Before We Go” opens September 2 exclusive at Ayala Malls  Cinemas nationwide.
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“EVEREST” Chosen as Opening Film of 72nd Venice Film Festival

 
Universal Pictures’ epic adventure “Everest,” directed by Baltasar Kormákur, has been selected as the opening film, out of competition, of the 72nd Venice Film Festival (September 2nd – 12th 2015).

The world premiere of “Everest” will be screened on September 2 in the Sala Grande theatre (Palazzo del Cinema) at the Lido. Inspired by the incredible events surrounding an attempt to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, “Everest” documents the awe-inspiring journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind. Their mettle tested by the harshest elements found on the planet, the climbers will face nearly impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival.

 
Opening the Venice film festival has proven to be good luck for the awards race, with the last two openers, `Gravity' and `Birdman,' netting a slew of nominations and some major wins,” says UK newspaper The Guardian. “Baltasar Kormakur’s survival thriller `Everest' will be keen to follow,“ adds The Guardian's review, predicting the film might pick up nominations for best picture, director and supporting actor.

Everest” is a Working Title Films production starring Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal, produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Baltasar Kormákur, Nicky Kentish Barnes, Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson. Universal Pictures and Walden Media’s presentation of “Everest”—in association with Cross Creek Pictures—is adapted for the screen by William Nicholson (“Gladiator”) and Oscar® winner Simon Beaufoy (“Slumdog Millionaire”).

The film was shot on location in Nepal on the foothills of Everest, the Italian Alps and at Cinecittà Studios in Rome and Pinewood Studios in the U.K.

 Opening across the Philippines on Sept. 16, 2015, “Everest” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures
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Meryl Streep Learns to Play Guitar For “RICKI AND THE FLASH”

 
Meryl Streep takes on a whole new gig – a hard-rocking singer/guitarist – for Oscar®-winning director Jonathan Demme and Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody in TriStar Pictures' “Ricki and the Flash.”

Streep stars as Ricki Rendazzo, a guitar heroine who made a world of mistakes as she followed her dreams of rock ‘n’ roll stardom. Returning home, Ricki gets a shot at redemption and a chance to make things right as she faces the music with her family.

We all have to live with our mistakes,” says Streep. “I think she wishes that her kids liked her more, understood her – I think that is a regret – but she’s pretty clear-eyed about it. Ricki lives in the moment – she acts on the impulse that feels imperative to her. It’s a relief to play someone who doesn’t act how everybody thinks she should be. She’s saying, ‘I can’t help being the way I am.’”


Though Streep was the first, best, and only choice to play the role, she would have to learn to play guitar to bring Ricki to life. Demme’s vision for the film, from the very beginning, was to make the band real. “With this kind of character-driven film, we have to make people feel like it’s real,” he says. “It never occurred to me to do anything other than make the band real. The customary thing is that the band pretends to play, and you overlay a previously-recorded, perfect track, but I didn’t want to do that – I wanted this great band, with Meryl at the center, to really get out there and play.
 
Streep, already a talented singer, trained for months to play the guitar, including several weeks with guitarist Larry Saltzman and several more with legendary Los Angeles session player Neil Citron. “To begin with, I started learning on an acoustic guitar with a teacher in New York and then moved to the electric guitar about a month later,” Streep explains. “Then I worked pretty much every day with Neil Citron, who is this genius guitar teacher. He put the telecaster in my hands and taught me a lot of little tricks that rock ‘n’ rollers use, bar chords, quick changes and stuff like that.”

 
She says that she found the electric guitar easier to play, “but your mistakes are much louder. With an acoustic, you get away with it. With an electric, you have to be really committed to that bad note because it’s ringing through the hall! It was such a lot of fun.”

I never doubted for a second that Meryl wouldn’t become an excellent rhythm guitar player, because I know she’s a research beast,” says Demme. “She works as hard in the months leading up to a movie as she does when she’s shooting it.”

Learning guitar was fun, but it was a private enterprise and then all of a sudden Jonathan said, ‘We’re going to get two weeks and the band’s going to get together.’ I thought, two weeks?! Two weeks to become a band?” Streep recalls. “It didn’t seem like enough time, but those guys were so great. They were very gentle with me and forgiving in the very beginning, because I really couldn’t keep up with them. Then, around the sixth day, we hit a groove and then we couldn’t stop playing. We played and played and played and I really get why Ricki wanted never to give that up, because it’s soooooo much fun.”

The rehearsals were so intense that the band barred all outsiders – even Demme himself – from the sessions. “That was fair,” Demme laughs. “When I finally showed up, three weeks in, and I entered the little room where they were playing, they were up on the bandstand and there was Meryl Streep, right in the middle of it, looking like she’d been doing it all her life. It was thrilling – the only thing more thrilling was when we started shooting and really seeing them play in front of a live audience.”

Originally, Jonathan said, ‘Three songs, it’s going to be easy, you’re going to have two weeks of rehearsal and three songs, tops!’” says Streep. “Well, there are ten songs in the movie – ten! – and that’s hard.”

 
To be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide starting Sept. 9, “Ricki and the Flash” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.
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