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Apr 16, 2012

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Posted: Apr 16, 2012 10:57pm
Apr 7, 2012

external image Dr-Seuss-The-Lorax-starring-Danny-DeVito-Zac-Efron-Ed-Helms-Taylor-Swift-and-Betty-White-Review.jpgThis computer animated 3D film released by Universal pictures and produced by Illumination Entertainment is based on the eponymous book for children by Dr. Seuss. Beginning on the note of love, the film rolls on to revolve around the life of TRed, a young boy, filled with ideals and emotions dwelling in the city of Thneed-Ville. As we watch Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax online, we get to know that apart from its inhabitants, everything else that the city comprised was artificial. He finds his soul grappling with love for this young lady, Audrey, who eventually turns into the girl of his dreams with an inherent passion for real trees. He decides to grow the finest of trees for his love and to fulfill her dream, embarks on a search for seeds. Soon he realizes that the entire city has been cut off from the outside world and seeks the assistance of the lonely character, Once-ler.

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Download Sr. Seuss’ The Lorax movie to hear the recluse narrating his encounter with the charming yet grumpy guardian of the land, Lorax. The moment the young businessman introduces a rebellious invention from the tufts of the native Truffula Tree, serious overproduction takes place, causing depletion to the forest and isolation of Ted’s hometown. Ted is motivated after hearing the whole story to an extent that with the last Truffula Seed, and blessings of Once-ler, Ted moves out to remind people of his town, the important of taking care of and preserving nature. On his way, Ted finds a lot of hatred in store for Lorax within the Mayor and his close accomplices, who knit together a barrier that Ted has to push aside in order to turn successful in his objective.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is one of the most phenomenal animated works ever to be projected on the big screen. The movie is an adaptation of the children’s novel by the same name, written by the deceased and highly acclaimed author, Dr. Seuss. The movie’s release date coincides with the 108th death anniversary of the writer, making it a tribute of sorts to the legacy that he left behind. If you wish to be a part of this honorary celebration, starring the likes of Zac Efron and Taylor Swift, you can watch Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax online to do so.

The movie follows the escapades of its central character, a young boy named Ted, as he sets off on an unlikely mission, in search of a real tree. While that may sound as an easy task in the world that we live in, it is a herculean task in the city of “Thneed-Ville”, which is home to Ted. The city’s peculiarity is that it is sealed from the real world, and the only thing that is not artificial in it is its people. That is why, Ted’s love interest, a lovely girl named Audrey, expresses her greatest wish as the desire to see a real tree. The movie amidst all its fun and 3D frolic, gives us a rather grim glimpse into what the world ahead is likely to be, if we mercilessly keep axing the trees and depleting forests around us. With the fuzzy, yellow creature The Lorax serving as Ted’s sole companion in his challenging mission, and the shady mayor of Thneed-Ville, O’Hare leaving no stone unturned to wreak havoc over their efforts, the movie is packed with thrill galore!

external image Zac-Efron-and-Taylor-Swift-in-The-Lorax.jpgDr. Seuss was ahead of his time. A flat-out creative innovator. Cementing his trademark wild and free renderings and rhyming linguistic liberties, 1957's "The Cat in the Hat" brought mainstream children's books into the realm of absurd yet agreeable anarchy. There were many great books in the surrounding years, but with 1971's "The Lorax", the good doctor delivered a moral tale of levelheaded environmentalism before there were such things as eco-politics and environmental activism. And perhaps since Seuss (actually Theodor Seuss Geisel) was quoted having said, "kids can see a moral coming a mile off," he boldly left the tale unresolved, with only the possibility of hope. A few years later, the author teamed with his friend, animation genius Chuck Jones, to faithfully and memorably adapt "The Lorax" into an animated short.

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Cut to now: The makers of "Despicable Me" (a fine and funny film in its own right) have seen fit to take on "The Lorax" via three dimensional computer animation. The result is a clearly pained effort to please everyone. The film strives to be loyal to the source material, but also wants to pander to children in an obnoxiously modern, completely non-Seuss-ian way. Even if one is unfamiliar with the book (and one shouldn't ever need to be familiar with source material in order to enjoy an adaptation), this clashing dichotomy breeds failure at the core of the movie. These filmmakers may understand that Dr. Seuss' sensibility was wacky, but the adaptation they ended up making is tonally whacked. Now we have Dr. Seuss in 3D, reminding us that he wasn't just ahead of his time - he's in your face!!! The wizened old Lorax (voiced by Danny DeVito, reasonably typecast) may look the same in his CG form, but this version is loud and combative whereas the original was all about slow-burn truth saying and passive justice. We know that eventually, the Once-ler gives Ted the very last seed of the very last tree. But what happens after that? A crazy 3D high speed chase, of course!

The actual story of the film is all-new, consisting of a young boy named Ted's (voice of Zac Efron) quest to win the heart of a girl (Audrey, doing little more than enabling the plot, voiced by Taylor Swift) by bringing her a rarely glimpsed, perhaps mythical thing called a "tree". They all live in a "Truman Show"-like domed, sealed town called Thneedville that is completely artificial, right down to the inflatable bushes and light bulb trees that adorn the yards. Ted's mother explains to him how a light bulb tree is superior to a real tree by shifting the light colors at the push of a button: "We have winter, spring, summer... and disco!" (Needle-drop "The Hustle" as a glitter ball emerges and she does a little dance. Yeah.)

external image downloadWatchBtn_a.pngCorporate greed has come a long way since 1971, and the filmmakers acknowledge that with a newly created villain, a sawed-off mogul named Mr. O'Hare (Rob Riggle). O'Hare has mastered the art of creating circular corporate dependence with his O'Hare Air, a company that is too big to fail. (A sign says so!) O'Hare has made a fortune selling clean air to the people of smog-filled Thneedville, and now has a plan to push it to the next level by selling them bottled air (since market research shows that people will buy something if it's in a plastic bottle), a product of his factories that are directly responsible for the smog in the first place. As long as everyone stays happy in their domed city with their fake trees - and no real ones, since they make clean air on their own! - all will continue as is, and Mr. O'Hare will only grow richer. Unlike the Once-ler's downfall, there is no finite end to his raw materials - he's literally selling people nothing. Eco-irresponsibility was the Once-ler's weakness, actual knowledge and a motivated populace is O'Hare's. Any way you look at it, it's all greed-driven - and kids can see that from a mile away.


As Ted must go convince the banished Once-ler to help him in his quest, the film becomes a sort of "The Silence of the Lambs" for kids. Ted is Clarice, the Once-ler is Hannibal Lecter, and O'Hare is Jame Gumb. It's tempting call the Thneedville/O'Hare portions "bookends" or "framework" to the book's story, which is reduced to a glorified flashback that eats up the prolonged middle of the film, but that's not right. The flashback is wedged into the center of the film, and is meant to explain first and foremost what happened to all the authentic trees and pure nature, and perhaps secondly, to make some sort of point about cyclical human greed and rampant disregard for our planet. The previously unseen Once-ler (the regretful character who once upon a time indulged in nature-destroying greed in order to mass-produce Thneeds, a product no one needed) is now striped of his mystery (which always sent my imagination surging as kid) and is given a human face and the disingenuous voice of Ed Helms. In most any other film, the content detailed in the Once-ler's flashback would run five, maybe ten minutes tops. But since this adaptation exists only because of the iconic source material, it gets decompressed as the movie's newly fabricated macro story is put on hold. The Once-ler essentially says so much, repeatedly prodding the boy that if he wants the tree, he has to sit through this story. (Hey, I sat through it, too - do I get a tree?)

external image Lorax-onceler.jpgWhere most children's films of the past few decades are compelled to preach about things like tolerance and environmentalism, "The Lorax" takes this notion a step further by deeply questioning the very way many people live their lives. (That is, pacified and blitzed out in a consumer culture, checked out from an increasingly artificial world.) It's bit of a bold move for a film like this to turn the mirror towards ourselves, revealing such an uncomfortable reality, even if it is only for isolated moments. What we end up with, perhaps amusingly, is practically a cinematic call to arms. As noble as this endeavor may be, it's utterly botched in the heavy-handed execution.

"Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" is colorful and bright, with 3D that's actually not a waste (even if director Chris Renaud's use of it isn't as clever as what he was doing in "Despicable Me"). Certainly the late Theodor Geisel would approve of that aspect. But the problems inherent in the bungled sensibility of "The Lorax" film are fundamentally unsettling, leading one to question the true motivations behind Seuss' estate's in licensing their patriarch's work all over Hollywood. George Clooney's relatives in "The Descendents" can't help but come to mind, especially as we consider this ham-fisted CG diatribe against greed. If that double standard isn't clear enough, the Lorax character can currently be seen hawking fuel-guzzling cars on commercials. We are all children of the age of corporate greed, but hopefully by looking at this film from all sides, we too can see the true moral from a mile away.
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Posted: Apr 7, 2012 2:14am
Apr 7, 2012

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The long-running war between the titans and the gods is at its peak, and havoc is unleashed on earth. The gods have been weakened by the lack of devotion among humans, making the stakes grow in favor of the titans. The imprisoned titans and their ferocious leader, Kronos, threaten to escape from the deep-lying dungeons that they have been left to rot in. The sons of Kronos, Zeus, Hades and Poseidon, have abandoned their father, and are now on the side of the gods.Watch Wrath of the Titans online to see what happens next when Hades and Zeus’ godly son Ares switch loyalties, deciding to pair with Kronos, and capture Zeus. This infuriates Zeus’ demigod son, Perseus, who has decided to leave behind his life of raging battles, in live peacefully with his 10-year old son,

Helius, as a village fisherman. As you download Wrath of the Titans, you shall see Perseus making the drastic decision of returning to the battlefield, to avenge the disloyalty of his brother and Uncle, and to save his father from their deceit. He is accompanied by the warrior Queen Andromeda, Poseidon's demigod son, Argenor, and fallen god Hephaestus (Bill Nighy) in this treacherous mission. The movie offers a gripping blend of action, adventure, thrill and sci-fi, making for a must-have in every movie buff’s collection. You can watch full Wrath of the Titans to make the most of this superbly-crafted tale by Jonathan Liebesman. The movie’s stunning special effects make it all the more enthralling, while the suspense of who will finally emerge victorious in this war keeps you on the edge of your seat right through the last shot!

Watch Wrath of the Titans online to witness the epic battle between the Titans, Gods and Demigods. Ten years post the first clash, Perseus, the demigod, is living a life of fisherman in a quiet village with his ten-year-old son, Helius. The defeat of the evil Kraken took place ten years ago. The struggle that has commenced again now is again between the Gods and the defeated Titans. Yet again the underworld gofers are back to spread the wrath of the evil on the planet Earth as well as effect purity of heavens. The rage between the Gods and Titans has begun. At the same time, humans are losing faith in the existence and supremacy of Gods.

The incarcerated leader of the titans, Kronos is ready to take his revenge from his own sons, Zeus, Hades and Poseidon, who usurped their father long ago and left him in the dark deep hole of Tartarus . But the blow to the Gods is when Hades and Zeus’ own son, Ares trades their loyalty and team with Kronos to captivate Zeus and extricate his powers. Perseus comes to the rescue of Zeus and the world to be darkened with the powers of evil. Download Wrath of the Titans to witness Perseus strategy that leads him to make Andromeda, Hephaestus and Argenor to undertake the mission to rout the Titans and protect Zeus and Earth from being submerged in the darkened world of devil.

“Wrath of the Titans” should more accurately be called “Math of the Titans.”  It exists solely due to the simple math Warner Bros. used when 2010′s “Clash of the Titans” earned upwards of $160 million in North American box office receipts and nearly half-a-billion dollars worldwide.

Like “Clash of the Titans” before it, “Wrath of the Titans” is based on characters and settings from Greek mythology, but not specific stories from Greek mythology.  My major complaint about “Clash of the Titans” is simple: it stank, in part because it was converted to 3D as an afterthought  The result?  A headache-inducing effect that rendered the action nearly unwatchable.

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Half-a-billion dollars in earnings, though, also earns you the right to try again.  And with “Wrath of the Titans” they do better — on a few levels, at least.

“Wrath” takes place ten years after Perseus (Sam Worthington) defeated the monster Kraken in “Clash.” Instead of taking his rightful place as a legendary demigod, he’s decided to live his life as a humble fisherman. When we meet him again, he’s a widower raising his son Helius, hoping to shield the young man from the petty nature of the Greek gods, as well as the perils of formulaic writing, overacting and gratuitous 3D.

Zeus (Liam Neeson) visits Perseus unannounced, warning his son that the Greek gods are losing their power because the people have stopped praying to them.  This is an issue because Kronos, father of Zeus, Poseidon and Hades (Ralph Fiennes), is trying to stage a comeback and destroy the world, and Zeus is hoping his brothers, plus sons Ares and Perseus, will join him to defeat Kronos.

Perseus doesn’t exactly refuse to help but feels his human half makes him inadequate for the task.  That’s when Zeus drops a thunderbolt of knowledge on his son: “You will learn someday that being half-human makes you stronger than a god.”

On that note, Zeus leaves Perseus to meet Poseidon and Ares in Tartarus, realm of Hades, hoping to recruit them, but the god of the underworld has other ideas.  Hades and Ares kill brother/uncle Poseidon and take brother/papa Zeus prisoner, intending to help grandpa/great-grandpa Kronos destroy the world.

Yes, even the gods can benefit from a good family therapist.

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Now comes Perseus to save the day, aided on his journey by Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) and his cousin Agenor, the disappointing demigod son of Poseidon who’s played rather brilliantly by Toby Kebbell.

In the end, all the fuss makes “Wrath of the Titans” a considerably better movie-going experience than “Clash of the Titans,” but that’s not saying much.  The 3D in “Wrath of the Titans” is fantastic but the story and action is nothing we haven’t seen before. Then again, why expect anything more from a sequel so clearly meant to make money, and achieve little else.

Two-and-a-half out of five stars.

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Posted: Apr 7, 2012 2:05am
Apr 7, 2012

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If you want to remember what it felt like the first time you saw the trailer for The Hunger Games, or just pretend you’re a tribute during a workout, this might help: “Deep Shadow,” the instrumental track used in the preview, is now available to download for free on SoundCloud.

It’s composed by T.T.L. (ThroughTheLens), a duo made up of Italian musician Tying Tiffany and her producer, Lorenzo Montanà. They’re currently working on an EP for label ZerOKilled Music, which was founded by an Italian musician, Costanza Francavilla, who began playing their tracks for film and TV music supervisors before they even officially became a duo.

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The Hunger Games, an intense action drama spins around in the poor district of Panem, which once used to be known as North America. Drought, famine and wars have crumpled the entire region, and have turned a united country into a Capitol with 12 districts. Every year, two young envoys from each district take part in competition to participate in The Hunger Games.It not like some fun centric game, for taking part in it is equivalent to digging graves. This brutal game is an interesting dose of entertainment for others, and gets televised in all the districts. If you also want to see this interesting fight, don’t forget to watch full The Hunger Games. The 24 young participants evict their competitors one after the other to make a strong place for themselves.

But the real game begins when a 16-year-young lass, Prim gets selected to represent the district, but Katnis, her elder sister volunteers to participate in place of Prim. It is not as easy as it sounds and both Katniss and her male counterpart, Peeta, encounter the champs of the game, who are trained to fight against them for their whole lives. Download The Hunger Games to catch all the spectacular events of this highly intriguing drama. Will the not-so-trained representatives of the Panem district lose their lives in the game which is meant to entertain others? What happens when they reach war front to encounter the skilled ones? Watch The Hunger Games online to explore where this war ends!

The Hunger Games is a sci fi action film based on the popular book of the same name by acclaimed author Suzzane Collins. Set in a fictional country called Panem and the date is unknown. Panem is built on the ruins of North America. When a country or continent is demolished then only a new civilization can come up and this is what the story of Panem is. This place consists of 12 districts. Watch The Hunger Games online as it revolves around the life of Katniss Everdeen a 16 year old girl who is chosen to participate in the evil game called The Hunger Games. The format of the game is pretty simple – fight to death. 24 teenagers from 12 districts are chosen each year and they have to fight in this much hyped death game. This game is like entertainment for the people of Panem. Every year, the districts are asked to choose one boy and one girl (teenager) to test whether they are worth living or not. The participating teens are also known as Tributes.

http://static.thedeadbolt.com/images/2011/11/the-hunger-games-movie-photo-01.jpgThe prime aim of this game show is to add force to the power of the government. Katniss is not selected from her district but her sister is chosen this time. She doesn’t want her to be a part of the game as it is extremely dangerous for her. She suggests her name and is ready to fight in the game. She needs a mentor and the only person who can help her out is Haymitch Abernathy who was once the champion of the game. The only problem with Haymitch is that he is an alcoholic so what he is going to teach her remains ambiguous. Though well trained, she still has to fight with fighters who are experienced and can take down anyone. In order to come up as a champion Katniss must depend on her instincts and strike. The best is going to win and the best is only going to survive and live for the rest of his or her life.

Following the conclusion of the Harry Potter and Twilight book series, which wrapped-up in 2007 and 2008 respectively, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games became the next “big thing” for young adult fiction readers. However, much like the darker themes presented in the later Harry Potter installments, The Hunger Games explores some especially heavy material – making it a go-to book series for not just young adults, but plenty of readers who also enjoy deeper literary offerings. As a result, it’s no surprise that The Hunger Games film adaptation has, for some time, been one of the most anticipated movie events of 2012 – setting records for pre-release ticket sales and opening weekend sold-out shows.That said, does writer/director Gary Ross (Seabiscuit and Pleasantville – not to mention writing credits on Big, Dave, and Mr. Baseball) ultimately deliver a Hunger Games film adaptation that accurately transports fan-favorite characters and events onto the big screen – as well as offering up an entertaining movie experience for audience members who haven’t bothered with the books?

Despite a few hiccups that come with distilling a 350 page book (told in first person) into a two hour and twenty minute film, The Hunger Games is not only a solid adaptation of the source material – it succeeds at covering a copious amount of backstory, while at the same time delivering some genuinely entertaining (and at times, thrilling) moments, even for those who are still unfamiliar with the book series. The Hungers Games books are jam-packed with supporting characters and in-depth mythos – and so is the film adaptation (at times to a fault).The basic story takes place in a dystopian future where the Capitol rules over the country of Panem (in what used to be North America) – and uses “The Hunger Games” to suppress the surrounding districts. Each year, the Capitol randomly selects one girl and boy from each of the twelve districts to participate in the Hunger Games – where the 24 “tribute” children fight to the death until only one remains.

When young Primrose Everdeen is chosen as tribute at the District 12 “reaping,” her big sister, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), volunteers to fight in her place. Katniss is joined by fellow District 12 tribute, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), a strong but insecure baker’s son, and the two embark on a (one way?) trip to the Capitol to face off against the other district tributes (as well as one another). However, with guidance from District 12 resident (and previous Hunger Games winner) Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), stylist Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), and chaperone Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), Katniss and Peeta quickly discover that to survive the games they’ll need more than just fast feet and good aim.

The central storyline from the books remains intact for the film adaptation, as Katniss attempts to make sense of her situation – both in terms of attempting to survive the Hunger Games (inside and outside of the arena), as well as the difference between illustrious Capitol life and the stark poverty she experienced back home in District 12. Katniss requires a lot from Lawrence (both physically and emotionally) and, as usual, the actress delivers a good, nuanced performance. While the role isn’t likely to get her another “Best Actress” nomination at the Oscars, she does more with this genre piece than most of her peers might have attempted (just as she did with Mystique in X-Men: First Class).

There’s little doubt that some moviegoers will dismiss The Hunger Games as the next Twilight saga – in terms of the quality of the acting and production values. However, as we addressed in our article detailing “5 Facts About ‘The Hunger Games’ Movie for Those Who Haven’t Read the Books,” Ross actually lined up a lot of top-tier acting talent (up-and-comers as well as Hollywood veterans) to ground the horrific events depicted in The Hunger Games with believable (and meaningful) performances. Hutcherson (as fellow tribute Peeta) also succeeds in keeping up with Lawrence – presenting one of the more interesting characters in the film (even with a pink-haired Elizabeth Banks and drunk Woody Harrelson running around); Hutcherson also delivers during a pair of especially contemplative moments.

Unfortunately, even Peeta isn’t safe from the book-to-film adaptation process – as  many side characters are left entirely undeveloped or presented with somewhat muddled motivations. The scope of the film leaves some character actions and motivations a bit vague, which will cause non-fans to leave the theater with a mixed impression of who they are.  In the case of Peeta, despite a full character arc that works on the surface level, his in-arena motivations aren’t nearly as cohesive (or as interesting) as they are in the source material. In addition, the “Mockingjay,” which has major thematic importance (not to mention practical application) in the book series goes almost entirely undeveloped in the film, and despite a lot of onscreen time that’s spent on the subject, doesn’t ever come full-circle. These aren’t just “adaptation” nitpicks, in terms of what is shown on screen – the film leaves plotholes that could be confusing for general audiences (given the time that was spent setting them up).

with one or two exceptions, the non-District 12 tributes are mostly just blank caricatures that leave next-to-no emotional impact as either victims or villains. Obviously, with 24 tributes, not to mention a number of non-Games side characters, it would be hard to get to know everyone (a lot of the kids are throwaways in the book); however, as a film (as opposed to a book – where Katniss is limited to first person), the experience could have benefited from a bit more time spent with a few other tributes – so that as they attempt to slaughter (or help) Katniss, they’d have more impact than just the immediate onscreen action. It’s a tricky balance, and though the director succeeds overall, there are times when The Hunger Games seems more concerned with building up the larger world in preparation for a sequel, than fully serving some of the moments and characters featured in the current installment. That said, Ross does succeed in utilizing the film medium for the better, such as when he makes up for the lack of Katniss’ internal thoughts by smartly implementing external sources for much needed exposition (via the game announcers and production team).

It needs to be said that some moviegoers – those expecting an epic action movie experience – may also find that the film drags (especially in Act 2), given the lengthy run time. Anyone interested in the series mythos will be sated by seeing book characters re-imagined on the big screen, but prior to the actual Hunger Games, there are very few (read: zero) large-scale action pieces to break up all the world-building and exposition. Patient moviegoers will enjoy plenty of intriguing character drama, but there’s no doubt that the film (like the books) relies heavily on the back end to hit its action quota. Ultimately, action fans may still be underwhelmed by the actual Games themselves.

 frantic cuts probably helped the film maintain a PG-13 rating, given all the teenagers that die on camera, but as a result, the film is short on captivating battle choreography or epic one-on-one confrontations. Instead of large-scale action set pieces, The Hunger Games movie presents a story about Katniss surviving (and often hiding) – not outright hunting down her fellow tributes – and because of that, the Games portion (despite loads of tense moments) could prove to be underwhelming. In the end, the film is better off for the restraint that Ross employs – since it keeps the focus on Katniss and her plight (not over-the-top CGI explosions) – but it will limit the entertainment value of the onscreen action for some moviegoers.

As the first installment in what will be a four-part film series (based on a three-part book series), Ross has done a solid job establishing the series’ major players, as well as the ins and outs of Panem society. Ultimately the director crams a lot of quality content into the film’s two-hour twenty-minute runtime – though some plot threads, scenes, and characters are underserved by the movie’s conclusion. While The Hunger Games is not a non-stop fight-to-the-death action film, it succeeds at being something even more interesting – a fascinating and disturbing (not to mention tense) character drama that successfully captures the core themes of the book.

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Posted: Apr 7, 2012 2:00am

 

 
 
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