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Late End of Year Review 2017

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Howdy ladies and gents, so 2017 is over but there’s no way I can go on without doing my annual END OF YEAR REVIEW! I didn’t have much time to prepare because of awkward work hours and the small window of time I had to record two episodes for my podcast, so forgive me if there is a lack of polish to my material. 😛 Man 2017 had been a pretty crazy adventure filled with highs and lows and once again it is weird that everything has come and gone so quickly haha. As with previous entries, I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. You ready? Cool, let’s go!

Video Games

2017 really was the year I became a gamer again. While in previous years I’ve had my moments here and there, it was mainly thanks to Nintendo and their new games console that I got back into playing games in a big way. As a long-term Nintendo fan, to see the Switch come out and pretty much deliver on its promise of being a portable/home console hybrid was a lot of fun, playing games on there has been addictive as hell and while I miss certain OS features I have on the 3DS and PS4, it is still a good piece of hardware. And the games, bloody hell! At the launch of the Switch we had a handful of games to play, but now we have far too much to play and it is awesome! And just in general, 2017 has been an insane year for gaming just in terms of the releases of quality games and not having the time to play them all. Sure we had some dodgy games here and there and the rise of microtransactions was awful, but overall things worked out for the best in a lot of cases. I wish I had played more PS4 games but what I played on Switch was definitely fun. ARMS was a fun little time, I also got some good nostalgic fun with Ultra Street Fighter 2, that Project Octopath Traveler demo was the best thing ever and I also really liked Blaster Master Zero. But here’s my top 5 games:

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  2. Sonic Mania
  3. Super Mario Odyssey
  4. Steamworld Dig 2
  5. Xenoblade Chronicles 2

I think it is no surprise to people who know that Zelda came out on top, that game made me fall in love with gaming all over again. The sense of joy, discovery, mystery, surprise, the vastness of the world, fun combat, breaking of the usual formula, boss battles and shrines, music, visuals and atmosphere, it just worked for me. Also Sonic Mania, damn, what a fun session. I haven’t played a platforming game that much for a while, it was everything I wanted and more, and while having more new stages would have been great. Going through the game and discovering each of the nostalgic stages along with the new ones with the incredible music, visuals and references to older games was hella fun despite some of the tricky parts. Mario Odyssey was SO MUCH FUN. Much like Zelda, there was a sense of discovery and fun that changed things up from previous games, finding moons, checking out the varied kingdoms and experiencing the crazy gameplay thanks to the hat capturing mechanic was great. Steamworld Dig 2 is a great follow-up to one of my favourite 3DS games, it built on the original game’s mechanics, has a better soundtrack and more noteworthy story too. And Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a lot of fun, taking in the wonderful art direction and music, going through the vast world and getting good at combat and levelling up is delightful even if the game can feel a tad overwhelming with some of the game mechanics.

Films

For me 2017 was a good year for films, it was a lot more consistent than last year especially in regards to the summer film season, and while there were certainly some stinkers here and there, I did appreciate how many quality films there were in different genres at different points throughout the year. There were some nice experiences to be found in the cinema, and even some extra films to watch on Netflix, and while I missed a good few films I missed, I tried my best to catch up on a few in December. On top of that, I got around to watching a good few films at home for the first time like Ip Man 2 & 3, Gladiator, Mission: Impossible 1-3, Spaceballs, Airplane and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm to name a few. Like last year I was strategic in avoiding most bad films, though I did, unfortunately, catch a few dodgy ones here and there. Anyway, I technically did a top 10 film post already, but for those who haven’t seen it I will list it below and as usual, I’m only counting films released in 2017, films originally released in 2016 that got UK release last year DOESN’T COUNT! And with that out of the way, these are my favourite films of 2017:

Top 10 Films of 2017

  1. Blade Runner 2049
  2. Baby Driver
  3. War For the Planet of the Apes
  4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  5. The Big Sick
  6. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  7. Logan
  8. The Villainess
  9. Okja
  10. Detroit

Special Mentions

  • Trainspotting 2
  • Split
  • Get Out
  • John Wick Chapter 2
  • Wonder Woman
  • Molly’s Game
  • Gifted
  • Life

Top 5 Worst/Disappointing Films of 2017

  1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
  2. Alien: Covenant
  3. Power Rangers
  4. Ghost in the Shell
  5. The Dark Tower
  6. The Circle

Television

TV last year has been a lot of fun as I’ve continued to watch a lot of my favourite on-going shows while also discovering new ones along the way. That being said, with the number of films and video games coming out at certain points in the year, it was difficult to keep up with everything. So what I’ll do is briefly mention a few shows here and there that I have enjoyed. Let’s start with those superhero shows. The latter half Agents of SHIELD‘s 4th season with the LMD, virtual world and Ghost Rider storylines came to a close last year in really fun and interesting ways, and by the end of it, I was very curious to see where the show would end. With the 5th season, I’ve only seen the first two episodes but it is certainly an intriguing plot so far. Amazon’s first six episodes of The Tick was surprisingly fun, quirky, weird and awesome and I’m hyped to see more of it next year. With Arrow, it was on an upwards trajectory since season 5 and so far season 6 has been my favourite of the DC CW material because of the references to the past, the higher stakes and an overall sense of drama and un I haven’t felt since season 2. The Flash has been good, not consistently good, but solid during season 4 and the Crisis on Earth-X crossover was the best Arrowverse episode so far. There was also the Netflix side of the Marvel shows where we got one and a half good shows out of three. Iron Fist was one of the most disappointing and boring shows I’ve ever watched, with a story and characters that were annoying and inconsistent. Also, The Defenders had good chemistry between the characters and some cool ideas, but a weak villain and story that got worse after episode 5. But The Punisher, that was my shit. I knew the show would be good, but what we got was something dark, aggressive, super violent and thought-provoking, they did the character justice and I loved the show… Oh and Inhumans, simply put, it was a waste of time, they done messed up with that one.

After waiting for AGES Master of None season 2 came out and it certainly didn’t disappoint, it offered more exciting, insightful and emotional stories with Dev and his adventures in Italy and America. Game of Thrones came back with the first of its last two seasons and season 7 for me was a hell of a lot of fun, it was swift in pace, had a lot of great moments from glorious action sequences to nice reunions to cool reveals and character exchanges. Lucifer for a little while became my favourite show because of humorous and intriguing plots, great character development and chemistry between the cast, and the ongoing fantastical storylines both in seasons 2 & 3. I also binged season 1 & 2 of Into the Badlands and it was really fun seeing how the show’s come with the world, plot, locations and the delicious/well-choreographed action scenes. Samurai Jack season 5 was dark and unsettling, yet fun and full of nostalgia, and to that show return, last year after so many years meant so much to me.  I also enjoyed Big Mouth, the first season of Lost and having fun watching Star Wars Rebels, Rick and Morty and Dragon Ball Super. And finally Bojack Horseman, a show I dismissed for ages because of the weird art and hype, I gave it a watch it changed my world. That show has so many layers and themes that only got darker, more engaging and uncomfortable as I watched each season, and by the end of season 4, I was an emotional mess.

Top 10 TV Shows

  1. Bojack Horseman (season 4)
  2. Punisher (season 1)
  3. Samurai Jack (season 5)
  4. Master of None (season 2)
  5. Game of Thrones (season 7)
  6. Into the Badlands (season 2)
  7. Lucifer (season 2/3)
  8. Arrow (season 6)
  9. The Tick (season 1)
  10. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (season 4)

Music

Music last year has been a little better than 2016. I mean don’t get me wrong, I have heard some absolutely crap stuff via the radio at work or when I went on nights out with my mates. But there has been a surprising amount of catchy music that’s caught my ears. I did get the return of three of my favourite artists; Jamiroquai, AFI and more recently N*E*R*D*, each of them brought a yet familiar sound with their new albums. My favourite had to be Jamiroquai, that Automaton album had my heart and soul for ages, while AFI’s In the Blood album felt like a continuation of Burials, but with echoes of their sound from the mid-2000’s and N*E*R*D*s’ NO ONE EVER REALLY DIES was interesting as it felt like something new, familiar and very Pharrell (in terms of his recent music), I liked it. The other major surprise was Calvin Harris’ Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1, an album that was different yet felt very much like Harris, I liked the funky and varied jams his crafted with a collection of people he worked with on the album, the best stuff he’s done for years. And finally, somehow Zedd and Alessia Cara came out of nowhere with “Stay” one of the most played songs I heard on the radio last year and eventually became one of my unexpected favourite new songs of last year. So bloody catchy! 😛

Favourite Songs

  1. Jamiroquai – Automaton
  2. Calvin Harris – Feels
  3. Zedd, Alessia Cara – Stay

My Experience

2017 was pretty decent overall and while there was certainly hardships to overcome, I also feel like it was one of my better years. I don’t if that’s just due to me adjusting to the crapper aspects of my life or if I’ve made some changes in life that have made the experience easier. Whatever the case is I feel at ease. And I have a lot to look back on and smile, whether it was my volunteering at the Children’s Media Conference for the fourth year in a row, or hooking up with old friends and discussing potential animation projects or returning to both the London Film & Comic-Con and London MCM Expo for some cool convention shenanigans, or the fact that I got to attend the Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall and check several great musicians including my all-time favourites Jamiroquai! But one of the key things that went down that raised last year to another level was going back to Vancouver, Canada with my sister and cousin for 2 weeks. As someone who has been trying to get back there since 2007, I thought it would be a lot longer before I went back, but luckily I went back and got to catch up with some old faces and meeting some new people, refamiliarising myself with Vancouver’s sights and sounds, eating so much food and trying out all that alcohol haha. It was a wonderful adventure that was over far too soon. Other than that I’ve just been at work, facing the highs and lows of that stuff, enjoying the hang time with my workmates on nights out especially that all-day session in Camden, I had a nice 10 year reunion session with my best friends from college and I also doubled down on my commitment to my podcast, illustration work and ideas behind certain animations I want to make. I’ve also made a number of mistakes, some more painful than others, but I think last year is the first time I’m really looking at my issues and trying to rectify them.

There’s also a lot of stuff that happened in the world in regards to the news and media, from royal wedding plans to dangerous hurricanes to sexual harassment cases all over Hollywood and so much more. Talking about any of these things or more would take too long, but what I did want to mention was the loss of certain celebrities last year that affected me personally. Right near the start of the year wast he passing of Bill Paxton, that took a while to settle in. He was one of my favourite actors from childhood, from Twister to Aliens to more recent appearances in End of Tomorrow and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the guy was everywhere. So funny and charismatic and the fact that I met him at a convention a few years ago really hit home. also, Bruce Forsyth, he’s one of those guys you thought would live forever considering how long he’s been on TV and the number of shows he’s hosted, and yet when I heard of his passing it saddened me. Charlie Murphy’s death got me good, I had only really started to get into his work in recent years after watching Chappell Show and Black Jesus, The passing of Roger Moore and Adam West, two actors great associated with massive franchises James Bond and Batman, was again really sad and was just a shock. But the most painful for me was the passing of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington. Cornell I’ve loved since I found Audioslave in 2008 and his music has been part of me for years, the same can be said for Chester’s incredible work with Linkin Park, without his passionate vocals, my music world wouldn’t be same. Their contributions to music and my life are hard to put into words and even thinking about it now, it hurts. So let’s just show some love for those we lost in 2017.

Conclusion

In conclusion, 2017 was a good year, not perfect, but still a solid experience. I learned a lot, gained some new connections, had some fun experiences that may make for good stories in the future, and I feel like a lot of my experiences this year have prepared me for whatever happens next year. So goodbye 2017 and hello 2018!

Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2017? Please be sure to comment below and finally, have a happy new year and I hope I’ll see ya in again 2018. Laters! 😀

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Posted by on January 2, 2018 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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Year 6 On WordPress! Its Anniversary Time Again!

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, what’s going on? As you can see from the title I’m just making a quick little post about the fact that this blog is celebrating an anniversary. It feels crazy that another year on this blog has passed since I last talked about my fifth year on WordPress but hey, I’m still here in year six so let’s talk about it! 🙂

You know I had to get a good meme for this anniversary post haha. 😀

So like I said before, it feels mad that a whole year has passed since the last anniversary. Time moves far too quickly, blink a several months go by especially between the summer and autumn/fall, and I almost forgot my anniversary was today until I stopped and thought about it and then looked on WordPress just to be sure, and indeed today was the day.

Now as I’ve mentioned before this blog has changed a lot since it’s inception, between 2012 to 2014 was my most active periods in terms of content and interaction from followers/visitors, and since then I don’t post nearly as much. And that’s just because of life as an adult working a lot and not having the same amount of time I did when I was at university, plus I’m just mentally drained these days in ways I never thought I could be and so I just don’t post that much these days. That being said I haven’t given up on this blog, regardless of how little viewership and interaction that I get on here, I will stick around because blogging is something I still enjoy a lot.

So what’s next for this blog? Well just like last the TV season is coming back and I am hoping to do reviews for several returning shows including Arrow, The Flash, Lucifer, Blindspot and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and many more. Also the film reviews will be around for certain films of note in the cinema and finally I’ll be showing off more of my podcast, Film Focus on here in the following months so look out for that when it comes.

In conclusion, to all of you who still swing by this blog and check out my material after all this time, thank you and I hope you will continue to support my content in the future. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2017 in Life

 

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LATE REVIEW: Boardmasters Festival 2017

Howdy ladies and gents, today I am going to talk to you about the Boardmasters Festival that went down in Newquay over the past weekend. I was actually meant to write about this on Monday, but because the weekend was so long and I had to work soon after I just put it off. But I had to at least do some kind of review for it on the blog so here I am. 🙂

So yeah after the longest 9-10 hour journey ever via coach to get down to Newquay I got into the festival on Saturday morning with my friend and it was a lovely area. Even before the various stages were housed by the different artists, there was a lot to see, do and buy. With several stands for buying food, merchandise, and loads of other stuff, and then there were the different sound stages just blaring out music, benched areas for sitting and of course numerous toilet areas too. I just appreciated how well everything was placed in just the right area and there was a nice variety in the food you could eat, the places to chill, the places to go to the loo and a good distance between stages with the various musicians so the sound did overlap/overshadow each other.

When it comes to the musical acts I’m not gonna I only knew about 3 or 4 acts, everyone else was new to me. And do a degree I feel bad because about 90% of them were really good to bloody incredible. But at the same time, I liked coming into this thing completely blank as I had no expectations so to be blown away and discover all this music I didn’t know I would love was a magical feeling.

Firstly there was Kioko which my friend and I found while randomly walking around and their sound caught our immediately with their song “Deadly Roots”, and from there the rest of their set was just a delightfully cool and addictive. Next major act of interest was Will Heard, I have never heard of this guy, but he had such a lovely voice and a nice sense of humour, he also had a wonderful band and backing vocalists, and together they delivered an incredible session which was great for chilling and jamming. Heard and his people really brought the main stage alive. There was a nice variety of Heard’s music and it got a lot of people dancing, me included and it was so much fun. The next musician to catch me by surprise was Laura Mvula, she had such a beautiful voice and an incredibly engaging presence through her music and charisma, her music really touched the soul and like my friend said, it sounds like her music belongs on film soundtrack like maybe the upcoming live action Lion King film that Disney is doing, she’s that good. 🙂

Next highlight of the day for me was Lethal Bizzle, now I knew Bizzle would do well, but I had no clue it would be nearly as fun as it turned out. Besides one other act, Bizzle had drawn in the most people to the main stage area and I was in the middle of that when it all kicked off. Bizzle stepped on stage and asked the crowd to start up some mosh pits and what followed was a chaotic mess of energy, excitement and a loss of items from the crowd. I had the best time ever, but trying to avoid, the moshing, getting hit in the face and being shoved around left, right and centre was crazy. Bizzle had a great selection of all of his most popular material and some new material too and everyone had a great time, whether it was “Dude”, “Rari WorkOut”, “The Drop” or “Pow 2011” it was damn good, but of course “Fester Skank” was the highlight, that was just incredible, oh and can I just say I’ve never seen people so willing to throw shoes, shirts and hoodies out up in the air until that concert haha. And after that was The Vaccines, a band I’ve heard but never really listened to and their material was pretty good and a lot of the crowd going for sure.

And finally to close off the day on the main stage Jamiroquai came and bloody killed it. I saw them once before in Guilford at the Magic Summer Live Festival 3 years ago, so I knew how good they’d be live, but considering the awesome material that the band have crafted with Automaton I knew they’d have some awesome new live material and they did not disappoint. They started out with the opening track from their latest album, Shake It On which was a lovely way to get everybody jamming, but when they went straight into “Little L” I lost my mind. 😛 We also had the gorgeous sounds of “Automaton”, “Dr Buzz”, “Cloud 9” and some of the classic jams like “Cosmic Girl”, “Canned Heat”, “Love Foolosophy” and sexy new arrangement of “Emergency on Planet Earth”, to some unexpected jams like “The Kids” and “Supersonic”, the latter of which is one of my absolute favourite songs to chill to, and the fact they used it to finish out the concert was the icing on the cake for me.

So to conclude the Saturday session I had at the Boardmasters Festival was hella fun and it was totally worth the trip with a great selection of artists, a great venue and a good sense of organisation too. I would totally recommend it if you’ve never been. 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2017 in Life, Media, Music

 

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RIP Chester Bennington & Top 8 Linkin Park Songs

Good day to you ladies, alas I am back in the blogging world to discuss some sad news from yesterday, the passing of Chester Bennington former lead singer of Linkin Park. I was hoping I would have to make another post like this for a while, but alas it seems like depression has gotten the best of another talented individual and man does it suck. Now I’m not gonna act like I was the biggest fan of Linkin Park, however, to say they didn’t have a huge impact on my music taste and life, in general, would be a big lie. Along with songs like “Nothing” by A and “Blurry” by Puddle of Mudd, “In the End” was part of my journey into the world of rock and metal, and their music helped me through a lot of the internal drama going on in my mind especially during my teenage years, but on top of that their music was incredible and a big part of that was Chester’s vocals which were so distinctive, intense and gorgeous and to know that he will sing no more hurts me the more I think about it.

So I thought I’d just share my favourite Linkin Park songs based not only on personal preference but also where I Chester’s vocals stood out the most, so in no particular order:

Easier to Run

For a good few years, this was my favourite LP song, it had a sense of drama and emotion that I latched on to pretty easily and the lyrics felt like they related directly to my life during some of those dark days, so this song was always comforting. It is the chorus that gets me every time, Chester’s vocals are gorgeous and you feel the passion especially towards the end with the instrumental side of things building up. Still awesome.

One Step Closer

What can I say? I love the classics, I’ve always loved shouting “Shut up, shut up, shut up, Shut up when I’m talking to you!” especially when you hear it at a night club where rock/metal music is the focus. Everything about this song just screams of pure energy and power and Chester’s vocals play a big part of that for me.

Crawling

I’ve always been attracted to this song because of the lyrical content and again how it felt like it spoke to me in my younger years, and the way Chester sang that chorus is what hooks me every time.

Bleed it Out

Ah man, this is one of the songs I played endlessly during my college years and since then it has been the one LP song I can put on repeat and never get tired of. It is on the shorter side and yet has the right about of style and drama in the music and vocals to stand out as one of my favourites from Minutes to Midnight. My favourite lines: “I’ve opened up these scars, I’ll make you face this, I’ve pulled myself so far, I’ll make you face this now!”

Pts.Of.Athrty

The original “Points of Authority” is still a great song, but the remix is the sound I fell in love with especially during the early 2000’s when it was used during a TV advert/music video for either Toonami on Cartoon Network or the channel CNX in the UK. The way the song has the rock elements but also these extra beats and variations on the original composition is wonderful. And once again Chester’s vocals along with Mike’s raps carry you through the song in a swift, badass and beastly way.

Forgotten

The sad thing is I never experience Hybrid Theory properly until I went to university which was 6 years ago so there are so many great songs I never heard until that point, and this song falls into that category. Well, actually I’ve never been sure if I have heard this song before 2011, but regardless this is easily one of the best songs on the album. Musically it is perfectly crafted with most of subtly and intensity, and Mike and Chester kill it with the rapping and singing, Chester’s vocal is so smooth, delicious and badass, frigging love it!

With You

At this point in time, this is my favourite LP song. There’s an intensity that you appreciate about this song from the first 20-30 seconds and the lyrics paint an emotional picture and good gravy the way Mike and Chester work together on this song is something special, its pure emotion and I adore everything about this song. The whole composition is aggressive and in your face and Chester’s vocals are fantastic.

The Little Things Give You Away

I remember the first time I heard this and good gravy I almost cried. The way the song starts up, with the soft guitar and vocals and then builds to that incredible ending with full on drama with all the instruments and Chester’s vocals washing over the track all the way until the end. Pretty much perfection. This was one of the first songs that I noticed as one of those key songs that finish off an album in a spectacular manner, and now that Chester’s no longer with us it makes the song more powerful than ever.

So yeah there’s my list, I could have done so much more with songs like “Numb“, “The Catalyst“, “Somewhere I Belong” and “Nobody’s Listening” to name a few, but I didn’t want to make this any longer than it needed to be. In the end, I just want to say that Chester, I appreciate everything that you and your band gave me and I’m going to miss you. RIP.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2017 in Life, Media, Music

 

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My Recent Trip To Canada

Hello there to allow my fellow followers and to the people of the internet in general. How’s it goin? Anyway you may have noticed a lack in activity on this blog and there’s a reason, basically I was abroad in Canada visiting family, and while I was able to post about E3 this year, since I wasn’t in the UK I couldn’t do much in the way of reviews. So since I’m back in the UK adjusting back to normal life I thought I’d do a short blog post about the highlights of my trip. 🙂

 

Catching Up With Family And Friends

One of the main reasons I wanted to go back was to visit my family over there. You see my uncle got married out there 11 years ago and meet my family in-law and their friends. Even though my uncle and his family have come back on a few occasions in recent years, I haven’t seen everyone else for the better part of a decade, and so while I didn’t see everybody, just catching up with people and seeing what’s changed and what’s remained the same, but also being able to have more adult conversations was fabulous. We did so much from playing laser tag and riding a flight simulator over Canada to chilling out playing video games and watching films, it was a delightful mix of excitement and relaxing stuff. 😀

Eating Food

One of the things I loved about my holiday from the first day was the food, I love me some good food and thankfully my auntie wanted to take me, my cousin and sister to all of these different asian food places and we tried so much, from Japanese to Vietnamese to Korean and so much more and there was so much diversity when it came to the meat, seafood and vegetables. For the most part I ate a combination of stuff that was interesting, stuff I liked and stuff I didn’t know I would love, it was fabulous. I ate everything from pizza and burgers to curry to steak and lobster to fried squid to sushi and shrimp and so much more. I was so full on a good few of these days and I probably ate more in the first week than I;d had in the few weeks that came before the holiday. At times it was a little too much but I powered through as much as I could and I think I did a damn good job. 😛

Drinks

Man I enjoyed the drinks in Vancouver. One thing I never got to do last time I was abroad was drink alcohol because I was 2 years below the age limit, so funnily enough my auntie and uncle were keen for us to try all of the different alcoholic beverages the restaurants had to offer, as well as the stuff they had at home and it was a hella fun session. From beers to sake to various cocktails and other mixtures, I had a lovely session. At times it got a little too crazy and I got buzzed on a few occasions, but since we never went out things never got too out of had. But I have to admit, there’s a lot of drinks over there that I. Beyond the alcohol, I had a good few interesting soft drinks whether they were tea, certain juices or fizzy drinks, the types of drinks were much more varied and experimental when compared to what we have in the UK and I need more of that stuff.

Sightseeing

Vancouver is one beautiful place, and when I left there back in 2007 I could still recall all of the wonderful sights I’d seen. But good gravy it was great to go back! From the time I got into the airport to being in Metrotown to Stanley Park, I got to revisit places I hadn’t seen since i was a teenager. Plus there was everything new that I got to see and experience, I love the buzz and energy of Granville, I could walk around that place for ages, admiring the tall buildings, looking at the locations used for filming in certain film and TV shows and checking out the buskers among other things. I also went to my first football match ever in Canada (random I know), and that was awesome because the atmosphere was electric, I loved the chanting, the national anthems and even the opposing team faking all of their injuries haha. Oh and there’s this kick ass place I went to called the Stormcrow which was this awesome full of nerdy stuff like posters, props, masks, and board games from video games and sci-fi and fantasy films and TV. It was delightful.

Meeting Max Landis

And finally we have what could be considered the highlight of my holiday; meeting Max Landis. When my uncle told me he’d be at the comic book shop he used to work at, I jumped at the opportunity to meet him in person and it was easily one of my favourite moments of the year. Like with other notable people who work in the world of entertainment, I was flustered mess haha. I just about able to talk to him coherently introducing myself to him and being able to ask him about his creative process and Landis was incredible. He was just charismatic, engaging and larger-than-life as he appears when I see him online. Just listening to him speak and respond to people is fascinating and I was so glad to get my copy of Superman: American Alien signed and get my photo taken with him..

So yeah that was my little account of my recent two week session in Canada, it was a great two weeks away. It really felt like time got away from us and I wish I had more time to explore and go out for session of dancing or do karaoke or visit other family members. But in the end I had fun and I will go back in the next two years, hopefully. Thanks for reading and look out for some reviews in the near future. 😀

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2017 in Life

 

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Remembering the awesomeness of Chris Cornell

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it goin? For me, not too jolly. Alas another great individual in the world of music has passed, its been reported over the course of several hours today that singer Chris Cornell most known for his work with Soundgarden and Audioslave had died. Details on his passing at the time of me writing this post hasn’t been made clear, but there’s been talks that it could be related to suicide. Whatever the case is, I’m very saddened by this news and just wanted to share my thoughts/memories on what Cornell brought to my life.

A few hours ago I was skimming through my news feed on Facebook and a mate posted a BBC article about the passing of Chris Cornell and I was vocally like: “What? No! No way!” Unfortunately it was real once I looked it up on Google, I was gutted. It was just the other day I was thinking about Audioslave and Soundgarden and thinking that I wanted to go back to their material for the long walks I do when I go to and from work, but now knowing that Cornell is gone, it hurts, it hurts real bad. Now I’m not gonna at like I was the biggest fan of all of Cornell’s endeavours, but I’ve listened to his music a lot since I was 18 and I couldn’t imagine my life without the music he helped create.

I first became aware of Chris Cornell’s vocals when I heard “Black Hole Sun” in my childhood/teenage years and the song really resonated with me, the was a powerful and melancholy nature to it that as strange as it sounds made me feel at ease. Along with Staind’s “It’s Been a While” A’s “Nothing” and Simple Plan’s “I’m Just a Kid“, I had these rock songs that helped me cope with any troubled thoughts I had when I’d heard them. I then heard Cornell’s brilliant vocals again with his song, “You Know My Name” from 2006’s Casino Royale, and I frigging loved it! It was a dramatic change in the types of James Bond theme songs we’d had in the past, but considering that it was a reboot with a hard-edged and more realistic take on the character it suited so well and ended up being in my top 3 Bond songs. Fast forward a few years and then I found Audioslave in college, like I mentioned in a previous blog post I didn’t start listening to Audioslave in 2008/9 and I fell in love with their sound immediately. While there was a lot to love with the self-titled album, it was Out of Exile that hooked me. I adored that album and it was just the synergy of Chris Cornell’s vocals and the former Rage Against the Machine’s music that made it extra special. And finally there’s Soundgarden, I started listening to them after they released “Live To Rise” for The Avengers soundtrack, a lot of long-term Soundgarden fans hated the song and thought it was too soft, but I loved it. And so I went through Superunknown and discovered so much joy especially with the badassery of “Spoonman“! And then with King Animal, that became something of a special album for me, hearing the band sound old and new at the same time and knowing that Cornell hadn’t lost anything as a vocalist. What I love about Cornell’s singing is how you can hear the passion and intensity, how he could be super soft and then aggressively screaming, it had a unique, distinct and recognisable sound and I it was SO good!

So here’s some of my favourite works from Chris Cornell:

In conclusion I just want to say that I love you Chris Cornell, I cannot thank you enough for what you contributed to the rock genre and I will miss you a lot. RIP.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Life, Music

 

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Birthday Chilling is the Name of the Game!

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it goin? So today is my birthday and it feels like it has come out of nowhere once again, not that I didn’t see it coming but right now as I’m blogging it feels kind of surreal that this day is here and I’m a year older. But hey I’m not complaining, so as usual I’m doing a birthday related blog post. 🙂

So normally when you have a birthday you’re meant to celebrate and do a lot of exciting stuff, but not me. I’m just chilling, my day was meant to be spent in the cinema, but since I’m going to dinner with my family later on I can’t binge in the cinema haha. So instead I’m staying inside and watching more Dave Chappelle on Netflix which has been killing me recently because the dude is still funny as hell. Oh and I’m sure I’ll find some time to play some more Breath of the Wild too, yeah I’ve been bleeding the new Zelda game on Switch for weeks whenever I have the time and while I have used a few guys to figure out some shrines because I’m a bit of dummy and accidentally discovered certain secrets, at the same time I’ve discovered so many cool, quirky and interesting things on my own and I am loving the sense of satisfaction I’m getting from the exploration, combat and upgrading of my hearts and stamina. So yeah that’ll probably be what I’m doing today and then I’ll be partying it up tomorrow night with my friends which I hope I’ll survive haha.

I’ve been thinking about where I am in life and while I’ve made some advancements here and there, I have a lot further to go to acquire my goals and even though I still have a lot of time. I’m gonna be 30 in a few years and I’d prefer for my life to be in order by that point especially when it comes to my actual professional career. I also wonder if I’m actually getting better as a person or that I haven’t really grown that much since I turned 18, I still have a teenage mentality but I’m stuck in an adult body. 😛 So sometimes I second guess certain things I’m doing, but I’ve learnt in recent years just to keep going with the flow, be careful and try to have fun and it seems to have worked so far. Anyways I’m gonna go back to YouTube and watch some more SomecallmeJohnny and I’ll see ya when I get around to reviewing Ghost in the Shell. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2017 in Life

 

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Saying Goodbye To Regular Show

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? I know its been a little while since I wrote any film or TV reviews, but today I return with a topic that just needed to be talked about. The other day I finally got around to watching the three-part finale for season 8 of Regular Show, and the fact that one of my favourite cartoons has come to end has me feeling a lot of emotions. And I don’t think I could let this blog continue without addressing the show’s 8th and final season, the finale and my feelings on the show overall. MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD…

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Now some of you may already know about my love for Regular Show as I did a blog post a about it a while ago, but season 7 and more recently season 8 has done a fair amount to reinforce that love not with only the quality of their storytelling and character development, but their ability to change up the basic formula by creating new and interesting scenarios, adding to the existing mythology of the world, and building off of the foundations of previous seasons. And yet it still contains not the humour us fans have come to love but also some of the more relatable/dramatic material.

I will admit, for all the love I’ve had for this cartoon over the years, its consistency in overall seasons hasn’t always been on point. I remember I think after season 4, some ways into season 5 things started to slow down for me, and while there were certainly moments in season 6, again, I didn’t feel like I was having as many great episodes as had come in the show before. That being said, it was during these later seasons that there was more continuity and on-going storylines taking place from what I recall. Season 7 was when things really picked up with the humour and crazy material that made me fall in love with the show, but also bringing up plot points from previous seasons, having character-driven stories and a greater focus on Rigby and his journey to get a high school diploma. And the way that season ended, bloody hell, it totally took me by surprise (SPOILERS with the dome leaving Earth taking the main primary cast into space). And season 8 has featured a lot of really random and bizarre material for the characters to deal with stuff like being homesick, understanding the different rules of space, making new allies and enemies, learning about the history of the space dome and dealing Pops’ key storyline. I had a lot of fun watching this season with all the inventive ways the people behind this show were able to give us more of the same in the simplest/normal of ways, but at the same time was able to provide larger than life circumstances in various ways, some of my favourite episodes include:

  • Space Creds
  • Ugly Moons
  • The Brain of Evil
  • Fries Night (one of my absolute favourites)
  • Stuck in an Elevator
  • The Space Race
  • The Ice Tape
  • The Key to the Universe
  • No Train No Gain
  • Christmas in Space (one of my absolute favourites)
  • Kill ‘Em with Kindness
  • Meet the Seer

But then you have that finale, “A Regular Epic Final Battle” where we got a lot of information from learning about the planet Pops came from to the history of the many battles between Pops and Anti-Pops to the all-out battle between good and evil and how everything got resolved. Good gravy it was a lot to take in, but it was one hell of a ride. The humour was on-point from the dialogue to the visual material, but it also brought in so many characters and elements from previous seasons together for this absolutely fun and action-packed session. It felt like a mini event, like Regular Show had tapped into Captain America: Civil War‘s style of taking most of the best elements from what’s come before and put it all in one place and made it work. But then there was two major surprises: 1) The way Mordecai, Rigby and ultimately Pops finally dealt with Anti-Pops was unexpected, yet natural and quite sad. And 2) That ending montage… Good gravy, I know that there have been shows that have ended like this; with a montage of future events, but to see how long the characters were in space and more importantly where their lives went after they went their separate ways, it was some heavy stuff, but it felt natural, cute, beautiful and most importantly relatable. And the fact that it was set to “Heroes” by David Bowie, damn, that brought the feels on a whole new level. I love that song, and with it being the final music in the Regular Show finale, it meant so much more to me and felt so perfect. While I wish I had seen what had happened to Margret and CJ, and possibly even Thomas, I feel like the conclusion to this show was very appropriate.

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It has been like two days since I finished Regular Show and I honestly felt a little empty after I finished the episode. Regular show has been part of my life for around 5 years and for it to be over, it does make me feel sad. Not since Parks and Recreation ended in 2015 have I felt such a loss in the world of TV (check out my thoughts here), funnily enough both shows share a lot of similarities in terms of its characters, humour and emotional material too. Even at the time of writing this, it feels surreal talking about Regular Show in past tense, but I’m glad the show ended on a high with the show having a satisfying conclusion.

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It sucks that one of my favourite TV shows has left the airwaves, but I am so thankful for the memories and the fact that it ended on a good note. Regular Show is one of the best shows Cartoon Network has released and I will miss it greatly. So now I ask you ladies and gents, if you’re a fan of this cartoon did you watch the finale and if so what did you think of it? Drop me a comment below! And if you’re not on this hype already, sort your life out watch some Regular Show, it’s damn good! 😀 😀

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2017 in Media, Television

 

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Rant 19: When People Talk During Films

https://i2.wp.com/www.deelip.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/121.jpg Howdy people and welcome to another instalment in my blogging rants. I can’t believe that its been almost a year since the last rant, that’s mental. with all the crazy stuff I had to deal with in 2016 I’m surprised I didn’t make a few more posts last year. But nevermind, I’m back to talk about something that’s always irked me for a long time and that is people who talk during films.

talking-in-the-cinema

Now this may not be a big deal for people who aren’t that into films but for me and many other film lovers it’s an infuriating experience. For most people films are fun to watch alone or with friends whether you’re in the cinema or at home, but when someone starts talking away during a film you have to questions things like:

  1. Why watch a film if you’re going to talk though it?
  2. If you have questions about what you’re watching, why not let the film answer those questions?

It is mainly terrible when you’re in the cinema because it is the ultimate film-watching experience and you can be in the best mood ever while being fully immersed in a great film… But then you get some selfish asshole, or multiple assholes, whether they’re teenagers, groups of loud girls or guys, annoying couples or old people, sometimes they talk too much. Children are the worst offenders because parents either bring them in because they have no baby sitters or decide to bring them into a screening for a film rated higher than their age… But sometimes it’s not just random people that can bug you, sometimes it can be your own friends and family. On numerous occasions I’ve watched films with people I know only for them to constantly ask me questions or moan about the quality of the film and it got so tedious. My mum is the worst for that, she always asks questions and just doesn’t let things play out, she’s vocal about the notable elements of a film like a bad joke, character death or a double cross, it’s especially annoying when its a film I haven’t seen before and I miss certain details. But then there was my uncle on Christmas Day, good gravy I think he may be as bad as my mum. We watched most of The Avengers and Ant-Man and had to comment on everything from the story, to character motivations to the realism and everything else, and considering that I love those films I hate to be distracted and good god it was almost impossible, and it made me wonder how much worst he’d be like if he was in the cinema. Now I have no issue with watching film with people at all, in fact I welcome it for certain times of films like comedy, horror and superhero films, but with all that bloody jibber jabber, it makes me glad that have the option to watch films alone just to avoid the distraction of people around me. In the end people respect the film watching experience and be silent unless the film wants you to make noise, if you’re talking and not paying attention to the film just get lost.

Well that’s another rant over. Hopefully this has been somewhat insightful and if you’ve had any similar experiences please be sure to comment about it in comments below. Until the next time people, laters. 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in Films, Life, Media, Rant

 

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Films To Look Out For In 2017 Part 1

Howdy people of the internet, it’s a new year so you know what time it is, it’s time for my own personal preview of upcoming films that I believe deserve your attention entitled: Films to look out for in 2017! In PART 1 I’ll be covering films released from now until March, and there are more notable films during this period of time than any year before it.

Now before we begin I have two main things I need to point out:

  1. Obviously a lot of films come out, so if they’re not on my list it’s either because I don’t know about them or I don’t care…
  2. 2016 films getting their UK releases this year don’t count! So there. 😛

Okay then, let’s start 😀

The Bye Bye Man

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Release Date: January 13th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

Now I’m not a horror fan, people who follow this blog are well aware of that… However, I’m always curious about new horror films and a few always seem to make it on my yearly preview lists. From the look of the trailer it looks incredibly generic, predictable and to a degree quite funny with some of the crazy scenarios going on, but there are some interesting ideas in there. The reason this film is on here is because I’ve heard some mentions about it online so it has my interest.

XXX: Return of Xander Cage

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Release Date: January 19th (UK), January 20th (USA)

Trailer:

The funny thing is that I haven’t seen any of the previous XXX films due to lack of interest, however, with the release of this film I feel like I need to go back and get caught up. I don’t know much continuity this new film will have to the previous ones but I am curious. Plus, the trailer for this film looks frigging ridiculous, but in that over-the-top fun kind of way. I don’t think it’ll be as fun or as entertaining as the Fast and Furious films but hell I’ll give it a watch because of my boy Donnie Yen!

Split

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Release Date: January 20th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

There’s three reasons I’m interested in this film: 1) The premise about someone with multiple personalities sounds interesting. 2) James McAvoy is awesome so I’m always curious about his new projects. And 3) M. Night Shyamalan seems to be on an upswing since The Visit so I’m hoping he’ll continue to get better.

T2: Trainspotting

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Release Date: January 27th (UK), March 3rd (US)

Trailer:

I don’t have the massive attachment to Trainspotting like a lot of film fans do, and its not that I hate the film, far from it, I just saw it at a later time and I don’t know if it had the same kind of effect on me as it did for people who saw it closer to the film’s release. I saw it in my late teens and really appreciated it, plus some of the more disturbing material will stay in my memories for years to come, the toilet and the baby scenes messed up my mind for a good few weeks. I’m just curious to see if Trainspotting 2 will be good or just be another unnecessary sequel.

The Space Between Us

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Release Date: February 3rd (USA), February 10th (UK)

Trailer:

I hadn’t heard about this film until I looked it up and the trailer makes the film more intriguing to watch than the premise I read online. While I felt like I could predict how a good few of the story elements play out, I just like the unique story with a human born on Mars who trailers to Earth to experience life in a totally different way. The cast looks solid and I think there will be  lot of dramatic material to experience which should be fun.

The Lego Batman Movie

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Release Date: February 10th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

Batman was one of the standout part od the The Lego Movie, so when they announced The Lego Batman Movie it felt like a no brainer, though I thought it was a bad idea as you’d be getting too much of a good thing as a whole film. That being said, so far the marketing has been good and while I haven’t laughed out loud at any of the material, it does look pretty funny and Will Arnett seems to be on-point as Batman so I hope the film turns out well.

John Wick Chapter Two

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Release Date: February 10th (USA), February 17th (UK)

Trailer:

John Wick was a really fun film, while not as amazing as some people suggested online, it was better than I expected and I really liked the action and Keanu Reeves in the central role. Once I saw the first trailer for this sequel I was totally in, it looks so filthy and fun, and Lawrence Fishburne! Woo! Can’t wait for this film, I’m hoping it’ll just as good if not better.

A Cue For Wellness

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Release Date: February 17th (USA), February 24th (UK)

Trailer:

I heard about this film on Collider Movie Talk last year and after I saw the trailer I was intrigued. Psychological horror tends to make for the best viewing experiences and I like the cast especially with Dane DeHaan and Jason Isaacs. Plus the trailer has a disturbing atmosphere, creepy imagery and messed up experiences for all of the patients at this facility,

Fist Fight

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Release Date: February 17th (USA), March 3rd (UK)

Trailer:

This film on paper sounds like something I’d hate, it is a concept that sounds stupid and absurd, but it is at the same time the kind of foolishness that could make for some laughs especially with Ice Cube and Charlie Day at the center of it. The trailer looks absolutely silly and it has the stuff I like and dislike about comedies at the same time, I feel like this could just be an adventure set in the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia world and that’s what makes me want to watch the film.

Logan

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Release Date: March 3rd (USA & UK)

Trailer:

Logan was a film I was down to watch for a while now, but that trailer was what pushed this film into the “must watch” category. That trailer was the most unexpected and awesome piece of marketing that I think I saw last year, the tone, violence and choice of music presented a more mature, melancholy and brutal kind of comic book film than what we’ve seen in the X-Men film series so far. It could still be bad, but I’m hoping, Jame Mangold, the writers and Hugh Jackman have crafted something beautiful to send of this version of Wolverine in style!

Kong: Skull Island

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Release Date: March 10, 2017 (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I’ve been hyped for this film since its announcement and the cast only increased my hype and the first trailer really impressed me with the tone, visual style and atmosphere. It wasn’t until the second trailer when I started to feel hesitation, while it showed off more of the island, Kong himself and the other monsters, the humour was pretty hit and miss and the tone didn’t feel as intimidating as the last one. I just hope the film is action heavy but scary too.

The Wall

The Wall

Release Date: March 10th (USA), March 17th (UK)

Trailer:

I’m not too keen on war films but some of the more recent films in the genre have caught my interest and the fact that Doug Liman is directing this one already has my interest, but then you add the crazy/intriguing premise and an interest pairing of Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena, and I think you could have a really good film to watch if it’s executed well.

Beauty and the Beast

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Release Date: March 17th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

The hype for this film is ridiculous, most friends that I know who are major Disney fans are stupid hyped for this film and apparently so is the rest of the internet if you look at all the views for the trailers online. I think I’m the only one who doesn’t love the original, probably because I saw it once and while it was good, it’s not in my top 10. Yeah I said it, suck it haters! But I am curious to see how this live-action version compares, it looks very pretty, but some of the redesigns to the characters look questionable, but hell if its even half as good as 2015’s Cinderella then I’ll be a happy lad.

The Belko Experiment

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Release Date: March 17th (USA)

Trailer:

I don’t know if this film is getting a UK release because according to IMDB its only coming to America in March but I hope that I’ll get to see it in the cinema because this looks like it’ll be some messy and interesting fun.

Life

life-poster

Release Date: March 24th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

So now we have the second Mars-related film on the list in the form of life with a premise that sounds interesting and a solid set of main actors in the form of Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds.

Power Rangers

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Release Date: March 24th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

As a fan of Power Rangers during the peak of its popularity I have a lot of nostalgic attachment to the franchise and this new reboot at this current point in time good be either really good or really bad. Now I know that in order to sell this film to new audiences that changes have to be made, and I didn’t expect them to be so dramatic with that first trailer, that being said it does look interesting with its mix of Chronicle and The Breakfast Club, I feel like there are familiar beats with the story and characters that I’ve seen before, but it does look like a unique interpretation of the show while still keep some of the original elements intact. I hope that it is good.

Ghost in the Shell

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Release Date: March 24th (USA) March 31st (UK)

Trailer:

This feel has been a long time coming, I was never really down with the idea of a live action version of Ghost in the Shell but with all the talk about it from Hollywood I never thought it’d ever get made. But here we are in 2017 just under 3 months away from its release in cinemas and so far the trailers look pretty cool with the visual imagery and ties to the animated film. I don’t have a huge attachments to the original anime so if this film is good then I’ll be happy, if it sucks then you know we can always wait for Akira right? Haha… But seriously I hope that never happens.

Alrighty then, that’s PART 1 done. Thanks a lot for reading. Are any of the films listed on your personal list of films to watch? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and I’ll see you for PART 2! Laters 😀

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2017 in Films, Media

 

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