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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Dead Man Down

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another quick review and today I’m talking about Dead Man Down. Now, this is one of the many films that’s been on my watchlist on Amazon Video for AGES, and since I wanted to watch a film that wasn’t too long, but was also on the overdue section of my watchlist I decided to give this film a watch. So is this film a good watch or not? Well read on and find out! 😀

The plot can be summed up as the following: In New York City, a crime lord’s right-hand man is helped by a woman seeking retribution.

Now I don’t want to say too much about the plot in the summary above, so just check out the trailer below if you want any additional information. I watched this film completely blind and I thought this film was fun, but not too captivating throughout. If you have seen any thriller with a revenge plot then you’ve experienced a lot of these story elements before, and at first, you’re intrigued by the main character and his ties these criminals and this mysterious woman. That being said, certain things start out a little slow and there seemed to be a few moving parts to story that I wasn’t sure how they’d serve the main story. However, once some plot twists and revelations come to light the picks up and gets quite exciting. While some plot points play out as you’d expect, there were some minor aspects that turned out differently than I expected which was nice. One of the things that elevate the film is the cast, firstly there’s Colin Farrell as Victor, he doesn’t talk much especially early on, however, as the film goes on we get to learn more about him and understand his motivations, and it also helps that Farrell can be intimidating and likeable. Noomi Rapace as Beatrice is also really good, she’s a woman deeply affected by an accident that left her physically and mentally scarred and at first, it was interesting to learn about her backstory and how she tied to current events of the plot, and Rapace is so charming, strong and cute in this role, and I think this is the most attracted I’ve been to her as an actress so far. Farrell and Rapace have solid and cute chemistry together. Also, Dominic Cooper is good as Darcy, I liked his connection to Victor and how he played detective to find out the truth of an important death earlier on. Also, Terrence Howard did play a decent villain in the form of as Alphonse Hoyt, he’s smooth yet aggressive and has some great moments to chew scenery and in some ways, this character feels like a precursor to his role in Empire. And finally, Isabelle Huppert as Beatrice’s mother Maman was nice, offering light-hearted and subtle moments of drama with her daughter. Visually the film is pretty good. It felt like there was a strong sense of direction when it came to the action as it was shot and framed well, had some nice violence and gunfights, and the final action sequence in a house was pretty damn cool. Also, the film score from Jacob Groth was good and had some lovely dramatic and emotional moments. In conclusion, Dead Man Down was a decent film, it wasn’t overly original and was a little slow and predictable at points, the performances, style, action and latter half of the film kept me engaged.

So have you seen Dead Man Down and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya in the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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A Quick Look Back At Agent Carter Season 1

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, how’s it going with y’all? As you can see I’ve not really wrote that much in recent times because I’m taking things easy around here. With that in mind I thought since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back in action, I thought it’d be nice to have a quick look back at Agent Carter and do a recap/review of sorts just to give you my impressions on the show as a whole. I’ll try to be brief I promise haha. 😛

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The series features focuses on Peggy Carter, a former field agent who is now relegated to doing administrative work for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (S.S.R), however when Howard Stark’s inventions get stolen and he’s labelled an enemy of the USA, he turns to Peggy to help clear his name. So the series follows Peggy as she goes on secret missions for Howard while trying to navigate life as a single woman in 1940s America.

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In a nutshell the story for this season was pretty good. Now I have to say after the two-part premiere of this series I did feel like the momentum slowed down and wasn’t as interesting, and while episodes were decent, they weren’t overly engaging for me and didn’t have that ‘wow’ factor that makes shows must watch TV. However after episode five things really started to pick up and by the finale I was left wanting more. The thing about Agent Carter is that there are a lot of similarities to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. like:

  • Both shows were born from a single character (Peggy Carter here and Phil Coulson for AoS)
  • Both shows were coming off of pretty big films in the MCU (Captain America 1 & 2 for AC and The Avengers for AoS)
  • Both shows started out kind of slow and decided to do a lot of set up and build foundations so that the pay-off at the end of the season was worth the wait
  • Both shows had connections to the MCU films and dug deeper into the comic book source material

Besides what I’ve displayed above, I believe that’s where the connections stop. While this show and AoS had a slow start and had a lot of set up which resulted in some dull or uninteresting episodes that had nothing to do with the main plot. Thankfully AC had an 8-episode season, which meant the story had to be told fairly quickly and that was good decision. Even though I would like to have had more episodes, all of the 8 episodes felt relevant and didn’t deviate from the main plot. There was good deal of mystery, action, spy-based stuff and drama too. What I appreciated about AC is that the danger was always present, there was always something new to learn and that there was a focus on not only Peggy, but her connections with others whether they be allies or villains. Plus the nods to the comics and other MCU films and characters was very welcome especially when it comes to the Black Widow program.

When it comes to the cast, they were really good and what appreciated was the fact that there is some character building for new people, while already established members of the MCU got more depth to them. Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter was brilliant, she continues to show why she is one of the best women of the MCU with a strong will, a good heart and a badass set of combat skills. She can be witty and uncompromising, but also melancholy and remorseful, she is just the perfect person you’d want on your team and you want to see her succeed through her endeavours because she’s such a great woman. Then there’s James D’Arcy as Edwin Jarvis, as I’ve said before this man is awesome. He’s the butler of Howard Stark and tends to Stark’s every need, besides that he is full of secrets and skills that we discover of the course of the show which makes him pretty interesting to watch. He assists Peggy’s assistant in her mission to help Howard and he is just as witty as Peggy, however he can be a bit careless and not quite as sharp. Carter and Jarvis have some great chemistry whether it is moments of humour or moments of drama.

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Shea Whigham is pretty good as Roger Dooley, at first his character came across as another typical mean-spirited boss with no personality, but eventually he does develop and become someone pretty interesting. Enver Gjokaj as Daniel Sousa was nice, he was probably the nicest of the males working at the S.S.R., however he was still a bit bland at first and it wasn’t until the latter part of the season when I got to like him.Chad Michael Murray as Jack Thompson is another character I didn’t care about at first because his initial impressions were less than welcoming, however he too was a character who I grew to respect because we got to learn about his backstory and saw him interact with Peggy a lot too. Dominic Cooper again does a really good job as Howard Stark, continuously Cooper’s performance really mirrors that of Robert Downey Jr. as Howard continually shows more and more parrells to Tony, showcasing where most of Tony’s best and worst attributes stem from in the first place. Also Bridget Regan as Dottie Underwood, what a lady! She was a great antagonist for the series and he double act was really fun to watch, though what was even more impressive was Dottie’s backstory and her demeanour when in attack mode, she was cold, vicious and aggressive. And finally Ralph Brown did a goo job as Johann Fennhoff while Lyndsy Fonseca was really fun and charismatic as Angie Martinelli.

As for the presentation it is pretty good. The visual style is nice and the cinematography is good, but the best thing is about the show is the action. The action sequences are well-shot and wonderfully choreographed especially when Peggy and/or Dottie are involved.

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In conclusion Agent Carter‘s first season was pretty good. It was off to a rocky start in the early episodes, however, once we got around half way in, things got a little more interesting and some of the early set up really started to pay off with the revelations in the later episodes. The short number of episodes are good, the performance from Hayley Atwell and the rest of the cast were great and the action was very nicely done. I do hope this series gets a second season, it would be a shame for these stories to end so soon.

Rating: 8/10

So did you see the first season of Agent Carter and if so what did you think? Do you think it lived up to expectations or not and if there is a second season what would you like to see? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Agent Carter Episode 1 & 2 Quick Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, hope you all are doing well and what not. Time for a look back into the realm of television and today I’m going to give you my quick impressions of the season premiere of Marvel’s Agent Carter. Now I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time, ever since the Agent Carter One-Shot, I knew I wanted to see more of Hayley Atwell in this role and now we have this series, an eight episode show that will continue the adventures of Peggy Carter and will expand the MCU. So how does the first two episodes fare? Well read on and find out!

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The first two episodes entitled “Now is Not the End” and “Bridge and Tunnel” deals with Peggy Carter now being recruited by Howard Stark when the country believes that he is selling deadly weapons to their enemies. And since Stark’s most dangerous weapon falls into enemy hands, it’s down to Peggy to recover it, however, her undercover mission is threaten when her superiors at the Strategic Scientific Reserve, Chief Dooley and Agent Thompson are after the same weapon.

Story-wise the episodes was pretty good as it basically shows us Peggy Carter’s status in life, why she gets back into the field of action and what her main goal is. What I liked was that there was a solid balance between the story and action. I loved seeing how Peggy was still grieving over Steve and how she felt like she didn’t have a purpose, that is until Howard comes back into play and offers her a mission. But even after she gets back into action, there are still drama and losses in her life that can’t be avoided. This mission presents new dangers and adventures for Peggy now along with her companion Edwin Jarvis and all this needs to be done while Peggy does her usual job at the S.S.R. It seems like Stark has people who wants his technology and have found a way to weaponize it, we don’t know who yet, but it does make you wonder who it is. Some of the best moments in the episodes are the small character moments either with Peggy on her own or when she’s undercover or talking to Jarvis or Daniel. There are also some connections to the first Captain America film, not over-the-top, but just enough to be relevant.

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As for the cast, they were great. Hayley Atwell was on fire as Peggy Carter. Besides still being one of the most gorgeous women to grace film and TV screens in recent times, she is a fine actress and adds a lot of fun, style and drama to a character that many fan have come to love already. This Peggy is more vulnerable than before, however she is still just as badass as ever, kicking men’s asses, using witty remarks and using her incredible undercover skills to get what she wants. I appreciate how these episodes show how smart and resourceful Peggy can be and how missions require her to become a different person altogether which was fun to watch. Then there’s James D’Arcy as Edwin Jarvis, this guy is awesome. He is the butler of Howard Stark, left to be Peggy’s assistant in her endeavours. He is just as sharp and witty as Peggy, however he has a wife and a life he must maintain beyond his responsibilities with Peggy. Together with Peggy he has some great banter and some wonderful intimate moments too.

Enver Gjokaj as Daniel Sousa was also cool, he’s an agent also working at the S.S.R. and a war veteran. The guy gets an abuse from his co-workers, but doesn’t let it get him down and at times he defends Peggy when possible (even though she doesn’t require it). Gjokaj was one of my favourite parts of Dollhouse, so to see him again in another TV in a substantial role, he’s a good actor and his chemistry with Atwell is lovely. Shea Whigham is good as Roger Dooley, he’s the chief of the S.S.R. and he’s a gruff and serious kind of guy. Whigham is a great actor and I love seeing him in action and his character in this film is very similar in personality and style to Eli Thompson in Boardwalk Empire which was fun considering the time period. Dominic Cooper returning as Howard Stark was kick ass, Cooper has always been a joy to watch in this role and he once again does a fine job. I also liked Costa Ronin’s appearance as Anton Vanko, Chad Michael Murray did a good as Jack Thompson and Lyndsy Fonseca was a charming lady as Angie Martinelli.

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When it comes to the presentation is it nice. Visually the show is consistent with Captain America: The First Avenger and the Agent Carter Short with the muted colours, great lighting and good use of visual effects (I assume) to imitate the old 1940’s look. The action is nicely done with thrilling action scenes whether it involves hand-to-hand combat, car rides, chase sequences or explosions, it is very good, realistic and restrained considering the crazy amounts of items that the MCU have at their disposal. And the soundtrack by Christopher Lennertz is decent, it doesn’t have the same amount of charisma and style as the One-Shot, however it does have its moments.

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In conclusion Agent Carter is off to a very good start, the new adventures in the 1940’s are thrilling, mysterious and leave you wanting to know more. There is a great deal action and wonderful performances from Hayley Atwell and the rest of the cast. While some of the mysteries surrounding Howard Stark’s technology is a bit hard to follow and there’s nothing in this show that’s blown me away, again, the show has started off very strong and has potential to grow and become even better.

Rating: 8.5/10 (or 8/10 for both episodes)

So did you see the first two episodes of Agent Carter and if so what did you think? And how would you compare it to the Agent Carter One-Shot and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Need For Speed Review

Good day to all who may be reading this blog, today I’m finally getting around to talking about one of my most anticipated films of the year, Need For Speed.  Now I love car chases in films and I love Aaron Paul, honestly it is a win-win situation with those two points alone. At first I thought the idea of NFS film was absurd, but once the first trailer hit, it had me. All the interviews about this film and the use of practical effects only heightened my anticipation for the film… But I knew in the back of my mind that the film could go one of two ways; it could be really good or really bad. So which is it? Well read on and find out!

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So the premise for the story goes like this:

“Fresh from prison, a street racer who was framed by a wealthy business associate joins a cross-country race with revenge in mind. His ex-partner, learning of the plan, places a massive bounty on his head as the race begins.”

I thought the story was pretty good, if a little predictable and far-fetched at times. The key themes of vengeance and justice are definitely presented at the forefront of the film in a great way. I thought the story would just be some half-assed attempt at justifying the driving of cars, but it is decent, has some moments of drama, humour and it knows it’s car jargon very well too. At the center of the film is the rivalry between two Tobey and Dino and it feels so real and really drives the plot along. The best way to describe this film is what the Fast & Furious films would be if they had a little more realism. And even though this film isn’t based on any of the games from the series, I definitely see shades of NFS Most Wanted, Carbon and Hot Pursuit coming to mind.

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As for the cast they are all pretty good with some standing out more so than others. Firstly Aaron Paul is great as Tobey Marshall, you can see this is a man who got fucked over by his enemy and now he’s out for blood. While this isn’t his best work, you can definitely see his heart was in the right place as he is just as you can see the emotion in his face when the drama’s going on, but there are the little things like the way he talks or has tiny mannerisms that remind me a lot of Jesse Pinkman. Dominic Cooper is pretty cool as Dino Brewster, this guy is a business man who can talk the talk but can’t necessarily walk the walk as he definitely tells a few lies here and there. Cooper plays the sort of generic bad guy, but he does it with enough style and charisma to make it acceptable and believable. Imogen Poots is also good as Julia Maddon, at first her character comes across as a bit of a snobby know-it-all, but you do grow to like her personality traits as this smart and capable woman.

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Scott Mescudi as Benny is great, this guy is pretty much the main source of humour as he’s always cracking jokes, but outside of that he is a great pilot and seems to come through for Tobey when he needs him. Mescudi was a nice addition to the film and while the role doesn’t show off any deep acting talent, he was good in the film I hope to see him in more films. RamĂłn RodrĂ­guez is cool as Joe Peck, he’s a man who knows his stuff is always keeping things together plan-wise. Rami Malek as Finn is cool and a great source of humour outside of Benny’s jokes. Michael Keaton is amazing as Monarch, he’s this eccentric host of a secret supercar race competition and he has a great way with words as he always has something to say. He’s witty, opinionated, weird and awesome all and the same time and I think this may be my favourite role I’ve seen from Keaton in a while.I also liked Harrison Gilbertson as Little Pete Coleman, he was the light-hearted cheeky member of Tobey’s group who was the youngest of the bunch. And lastly Dakota Johnson is good as Anita Coleman even if she’s a bit underused.

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When it comes to the visual presentation, my god, it is amazing. If you’re a fan of 1970’s car chases then this gives you the modern-day equivalent. The car driving scenes are raw, intense, well-shot, incredibly choreographed and it just a drill to watch. You see and hear cars drift, screech, flip, twist and glide all over the place with great precision. To see some of the camera shots from inside the cars, then on the outside with a tracking shot and then with the POV shots as the cars get massacred, it is incredible. So good.

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In conclusion Need For Speed is very fun and exhilarating film. The plot while not unlike material you have seen before and it does get a bit ridiculous at times, it is still pretty good and is amplified by the cast who are all good, especially my man Aaron Paul. But the stars of the film really is the cars and the chaotic action that is filmed SO well, it simply gorgeous to look at. While some may hate on this film, especially since it doesn’t outdo the Fast 5 & 6, it is still a solid action film.

Rating: 8/10 (A very solid film full of kick ass car action)

So what did you think of Need For Speed? Have you seen it or are you gonna see it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo. 😀

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: Captain America: The First Avenger

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #11 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Now we’re gonna change things up a bit with a fairly recent superhero film in the form of Captain America: The First Avenger.

Wow, didn’t expect to be talking about this film so soon but I thought why not? It’s my blog! Anyway, Captain America: The First Avenger is one of those films I have seen only 2 or 3 times, I’m always curious to watch it again but then get reminded of how much disappointment I’ll face so I avoid it. So now I’ve checked it out again its time to pass judgement yet again!

In terms of the plot the film tells the story of Steve Rogers, a sickly man from Brooklyn who is transformed into super-soldier Captain America to aid in the war effort. Rogers must stop the Red Skull – Adolf Hitler’s ruthless head of weaponry and the leader of an organization that intends to use an artifact called the “Tesseract” as an energy-source for world domination.

The story is unique, interesting and good for the most part, though the execution is a bit off. For the first half its pretty much about us getting to know Steve Rogers, who he is, how he’s selected for the super soldier programme and how he’s transformed into the hero that he becomes. The next half is about Rogers’ effort to take out the Red Skull. The first half of the film is nice and there’s a good amount of character development, though it is a little long-winded and then when the pace picks up in the second half there’s not really as much detailed material as there was in the first half. And speaking the action none it is really all that good because it’s over too quickly or worse it happens in BLOODY MONTAGES! Caps donning of his costume, his action scenes, the work together with the hollowing commandos, all of that happens in montage which means none it can be fully appreciated or taken in. Actually that actually applies to a lot of aspects in this film, a lot of stuff happens and the film doesn’t take enough time for things to be processed, so then when other major stuff happens that ties into things that’s happened before you don’t really care about it because it wasn’t there long enough to matter.

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Now let’s talk about the cast. Firstly Chris Evans as does well as Steve Rogers/Captain America, he embodies all the right traits of the character and it is a massive turn around after seeing him as the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four films. Evans was cool, assertive and was truthful as the character and he has nice screen presence. Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter was great. Besides being totally beautiful and being arguably the hottest out of the love interests in Marvel’s Phase One films, Atwell was nice, kind and knew how to kick ass as Peggy, you could see why Cap would fall for her.

Then there’s Hugo Weaving as Johann Schmidt/Red Skull. I thought before this film came out that this was the perfect casting for this role, Weaving is awesome at playing villains and this was one of the best from the comics. It should have been perfect. The problem is that his interpretation of the character is so dull and one-dimensional. I mean a lot of villains are but Red Skull from the comics is this brilliant supervillian with a smart mind and very evil personality, Weaving’s version of the character was just your common “I want to rule the world with power” kind of guy with no charisma or unique charms and that hurt me.

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Sebastian Stan as Sergeant James “Bucky” Barnes was alright but not nearly as good as I was hoping for. Obviously they heavily changed and updated his character for this film, and Stan does what he can with his material but it isn’t enough for me to care about him. The problem is that Steve and Bucky’s relationship doesn’t feel that strong and there’s only a few points where their long friendship seemed real. Then there’s Tommy Lee Jones as Colonel Chester Phillips, he was amazing. I didn’t expect his role to be so big in the film but every time Jones was on-screen he had such great dialogue that made me laugh and kept me smiling throughout. Also Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark was very good as the younger version of the father of Tony Stark. Cooper’s version of Howard was very reminiscent of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in terms of his love of the ladies, level of intellect and his love of the ladies. And lastly there’s Stanley Tucci as Dr. Abraham Erskine, the scientist who created the Super Soldier Serum. Tucci was sweet, funny and wonderful in his role, my only issue was that he wasn’t on-screen longer.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is nice, the way the film creates its old-school 1940’s looks is nice if somewhat questionable at times, also the CGI used in the film for the advanced weaponry and moments when Steve Rogers or Cap is doing something superhuman is decent but is never consistently realistic. But let’s talk about the special effects used to make Chris Evans look skinny, I know that character’s meant to look feeble but that was super extreme Chris’ head looked absurd on that little body double. The action is also nice when it’s on but the problem is none of it is there long enough to appreciate because a lot of it is in FRIGGING MONTAGE! As for the soundtrack by Alan Silvestri it is nice and has a heroic sound to it when the action’s going down but other than that it’s just there and isn’t overly memorable.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well for the most part the film follows the source material with Steve Rogers’ history, how he became Captain America, the stuff with Dr. Erskine and the Red Skull. But there were a lot of changes like Bucky being an adult rather than a teenager and the nature of some of the character deaths was changed a lot too.

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So to conclude.Captain America: The First Avenger is a decent effort and has a good cast to help carry the story along. The problem is that it is something special or amazing, it doesn’t have that wow factor about it. It isn’t a terrible film but any means but because of the source material I know that this film could have been so much more and that’s why it is more disappointing that it is good.

Rating: 7/10 (It’s good but it could have been SO much better)

So there’s my review people, only 19 more to go. So have you seen Captain America: The First Avenger and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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