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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 3.0

    The Matrix Resurrections

    PG - Sci-fi, Action | December 22, 2021 Storyline:

    Thomas Anderson is a man who struggles daily with his own existence. He has flashes of memories he thinks were never real. Everything changes when he meets the legendary Morpheus and his band of rebels, resulting in a return to The Matrix and a quest to reunite with the love of his life, Trinity.

    • 3.0
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    Lana Wachowski has managed to make something worthwhile where most thought she would fail monumentally.

    Even though it lacks the visual grandeur and the spellbinding nature of the original, The Matrix Resurrections has enough to entertain, delight, and give fans a little bit of nostalgia along the way.

    The original trilogy are among my all-time greatest films and I wasn't pleased when I heard about a fourth chapter being made.

    Like many fans, I formulated a lot of possibilities and theories about the plot and was shocked that none of them was seen here.

    The long and short of the story is this; Neo has been brainwashed into thinking that the events of the Matrix never happened and when he stumbles on the truth (yet again), there are new threats waiting and an old flame ready to be rekindled.

    I have learned not to be fooled by trailers and I'm glad I decided not to depend on the trailers for this one because they show very little about the plot.

    Keanu Reeves is my favourite actor but even I was scared that his return wouldn't be able to save this film from being a huge mess. Though his performance here pales in comparison to the first three movies, I'm happy to say he didn't let me down.

    Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity doesn't really kick ass as I expected her to but what her character accomplishes by the third act left me dumbfounded.

    I was pumped to see a few cameos and the supporting cast weren't too bad in their respective roles. The stand out for me was Jessica Henwick. I so loved seeing her and couldn't get enough of her character interacting with Neo.

    Abdul Yayha-Mateen II as Morpheus was not too remarkable and I missed Laurence Fishburne greatly. Thankfully, there were a lot of distractions to make me forget that.

    The plot is ingenious and I commend the director for her efforts; a lot of questions are answered by the end of the film but there are still some unsolved riddles as well.

    One of the main things I looked forward to the most was the action. While it is as good as I wanted it to be in some ways, there was never anything that was groundbreaking about any of the sequences. 

    Those hoping to see Reeves do those amazing things he did as Neo (flying and the rest) will have to be patient and understanding as not everything will play out the way they want.

    In all, The Matrix Resurrections won me over because it is actually a love story masquerading as an action sci-fi.

    The chemistry between Reeves and Moss was great to see and I look forward to further exploration of this new chapter with endless possibilities.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 4.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 4.0
    • Visuals 4.0

    Spider-Man: No Way Home

    PG - Sci-fi, Action, Comedy | December 17, 2021 Storyline:

    The web-slinging superhero faces his toughest test yet when a botched spell opens up the multiverse and leads to supervillains showing up to take their pound of flesh.

    While fighting to right the wrong with the help of Doctor Strange, Spider-Man/Peter Parker must learn what it truly means to be a hero and ultimately embrace his destiny.

    • 3.6
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    For me, this was the most anticipated film of 2021 and it was unfortunate that I didn't get to see it on time. Now, that I have, I would say that it wasn't the superhero bits that impressed me the most but the gut-wrenching drama.

    There is no need to delve into the multiple fan theories and speculations. Marvel fans who haven't seen the movie but who have filled their heads with all sorts of stuff about what happens in the film only have to know that they will see both what they expect and what they never bargained for.

    Tom Holland gives what is without a doubt his most powerful performance as Spidey. For the first 30 minutes or so, we see the normal, cheerful, and carefree dude but as the plot goes into darker territory, the protagonist goes through some of his worst experiences yet and the impact is both cathartic and reality-altering (pun intended!).

    As many expect, things really get interesting when the villains from other universes show up; Alfred Molina and Willem Dafoe as Doc Ock and Green Goblin particularly impressed me. Having seen all the other Spider-Man movies, I was really pumped to witness their cinematic return.

    Before now, Zendaya and Jacob Batalon as MJ and Ned weren't really given much to do other than be Peter Parker's friends. Here, their roles become more important and their acting rises spectacularly to the occasion. 

    The plot is a work of genius and I daresay that this is both the funniest and darkest Marvel movie yet. Every funny line seems to have significance and the humour doesn't ever feel out of place.

    The action is the only thing that didn't really live up to my expectations. But that is not to say that it wasn't good (I think my favourite action sequence was the mirror dimension fight).

    As for the special effects, they do not disappoint (this is a Marvel movie, why would they?). Doctor Strange doing his magic stuff added to the overall visual appeal.

    The third act resonated so well with me and the drama was so touching that I almost teared up at some point. I commend the director Jon Watts for his homage to all other Spider-man films (you only have to see this film to understand that!).

    Many reviews are hailing Spider-Man: No Way Home as the best Marvel movie. I disagree with that. In my opinion, it isn't the best but it definitely ranks up there as one of the best. 

    As a Marvel fan and a superhero geek, I really enjoyed this one. 

     

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 4.0
    • Visuals 3.0

    A Naija Christmas

    PG - Comedy-Drama | December 16, 2021 Storyline:

    A mother whose health seems to be deteriorating tasks her three sons to get married by Christmas. The catch is that whoever ties the knot first will inherit her property.

    • 3.2
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    Kunle Afolayan excels in making comedy movies as well as serious ones. With A Naija Christmas, he brings the holiday cheers and fun with a thoroughly entertaining flick.

    Starring the late Rachel Oniga as Agatha Agu, this film revolves around her character who is unhappy with the fact that none of her three sons have settled down in life.

     After she is rushed to the hospital, Agatha tells her sons that whoever marries first will get the mansion she resides in.

    The three young men (played by Kunle Remi, Efa Iwara, and Abayomi Alvin) must race against time to get a lady to say yes to their proposal amid the sibling rivalry and bickering that threatens to tear them apart.

    Since the film is a comedy, the tone is light and there are exaggerated acts here and there, spiced with the needed jokes in between. Everything works in tandem to give the viewer a truly satisfying experience.

    The late Rachel Oniga steals every scene she appears in but it's the competition among her sons and their endless disagreements that make the film very entertaining.

    The actors who portray the three sons are all impressive in their performances but I feel the last one, Chike (Abayomi Alvin) was sidelined a little.

    Let me also mention that Adedimeji Lateef's portrayal of a creepy antagonist is both comical and unsettling. I also found it convincing.

    The cinematography is very good, the shots and sound editing perfect and the entire story ended in the best possible way.

    A Naija Christmas is the perfect holiday movie and once again Kunle Afolayan shows that he is at the top of his game.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 4.0
    • Acting 4.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 4.0

    King Richard

    PG - Drama | November 19, 2021 Storyline:

    The inspirational true story of Richard Williams, a determined father who raises two extraordinary girls to become the legendary tennis players known all over the globe.

    • 3.6
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    This biographical film hits all the right notes, with Will Smith delivering a captivating and mesmerizing performance as the eponymous character.

    Just to be clear, King Richard isn't about the legendary Venus and Serena Williams; it's a story focusing on their father who went the extra mile to make sure that his two daughters etched their names in the history books.

    When I got wind of the project months ago, I was a bit skeptical, especially with Smith playing the lead role. He is a good actor (everyone knows that) but I asked myself why another better actor wasn't chosen for the part as I hadn't seen Smith do some impressive acting in a while. Well, the dude has shown that he was born for the part.

    Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, this film captures the struggles of the Williams family long before Venus and Serena became household names.

    Richard Williams, the patriarch of the family, is determined to keep his five daughters off the streets, and his fierce determination to see two of them become world-class tennis stars finally pays off when he meets Paul Cohen (Tony Goldwyn).

    The road to greatness is a rough one and along the way, nerves are touched, bonds are tested but in all this, Richard never loses faith. 

    Everything gets to a climax when Venus (Saniyya Sidney) gets a chance to prove herself by going toe to toe with the number one female tennis player in the world.

    The story is compelling, the acting is convincing, the pacing is perfect, and the plot progression is apt, leading to a final act that will leave you at the edge of your seat.

    As the protagonist, Will Smith is a force of nature; his accent, mannerisms, and poise all point to his dedication to playing a remarkable real-life character. It's not often you are moved to tears by his performance and here he almost made me shed a few.

    The tennis-playing sisters are portrayed by young actors who also impress in their respective roles. While Venus is calculating, Serena (Demi Singleton) is a ferocious fighter.

    I can't forget to mention the equally talented Aunjanue Ellis whose role as Oracene 'Brandy' Price, Richard Williams'wife, is also instrumental in the film being exceptional. Her character keeps Richard grounded and she is the one who has to constantly remind him that he doesn't have to prove anything more than the sacrifice he is making.

    King Richard is a touching and inspiring story about a man who gave it his all to ensure that his daughters become two of the greatest sporting stars on the planet. Thanks to Will Smith, it's worth every damn second.

    Two thumbs way up!

     

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 2.0
    • Screen Play 2.0
    • Visuals 3.0

    Red Notice

    PG - Action Comedy | November 12, 2021 Storyline:

    An FBI profiler must work with the world's most wanted art thief to catch an elusive crook who always appears to be one step ahead of her pursuers.

    • 2.6
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    This is a film that thrives on the star power of three of Hollywood's most desirable actors. As the leads, Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot use sheer magnetism to distract you from what is undoubtedly a rehash of what we have seen many times.

    Red Notice is directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber and sees Johnson play John Hartley, an FBI agent whose hunt for famous crook Nolan Booth (Reynolds) leads him to international thief Sarah Black/The Bishop (Gadot).

    After being framed, arrested, and incarcerated, Hartley must find a way to work with Booth to capture The Bishop and clear his name.

    From the get-go, I knew this wouldn't be unique in any way. The director and producers solely rely on the three leads to make an unremarkable story remarkable, and for what it's worth, it works.

    Dwayne Johnson once again shows why he is Mr. Charismatic, Reynolds does what he does best, and Gadot shines as the typical femme fatale but with an ingenious brain.

    The pros: the cinematography is very good, the action will please fans of the genre, and the lackluster story gets a boost via a major twist no one could have anticipated towards the end.

    The cons: The plot is very predictable and Ryan Reynolds' unending jokes and comic depiction of a character we have seen him play in virtually every movie he has appeared in after Deadpool is becoming a drag. Also, the dialogue is mostly a combination of comic one-liners and unending banter between Johnson and Reynolds. 

    Conclusion: Johnson, Reynolds, and Gadot light up the screen and it's hard to deny that they make Red Notice watchable but it's not in any way comparable to some of the best action movies made in recent times.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 1.0
    • Acting 2.0
    • Dialogue 1.0
    • Screen Play 1.0
    • Visuals 2.0

    Home Sweet Home Alone

    PG - Comedy | November 12, 2021 Storyline:

    A remake of the original classic revolving Max Mercer, a young boy left by his family during a holiday trip. He is forced to contend with two thieves hellbent on stealing a priceless heirloom from his home.

    • 1.4
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    This remake was both unnecessary and bland, bereft of the charm and magical comedy that made the original an instant classic.

    For whatever reason, the producers deemed it fit to helm this movie, only this time making the protagonist and his mother British and the two thieves husband and wife.

    Archie Yates stars as Max Mercer, a ten-year-old boy whose sleeping inside a car throughout the night leads to his pea-brained mother leaving him behind when she and the rest of his annoying cousins and relations travel for the Christmas holidays.

    Home Sweet Home Alone is dead on arrival; the comedy falls flat, the characters are unmemorable, and the little hero is as insignificant as this pointless remake.

    There is a scene where a character makes a joke about a film he is watching is a remake that shouldn't have been made; that pretty much sums up this film.

    The acting is terrible (the two thieves make the clueless duo in the original look like geniuses) and the traps laid out for them could have been easily avoided.

    The film is so bad that the director includes the soundtrack from the original and even features an actor from the first two films but these don't help in any way.

    I knew that Home Sweet Home Alone wasn't going to be able to evoke the same feeling as the original film but I never expected it to be this bad.

    There is no need to waste more words on the film as viewers would have to see for themselves how terrible the entire thing is.

    A total and absolute disaster.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 4.0
    • Acting 4.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 4.0

    Finch

    PG - Sci-fi, Drama | November 5, 2021 Storyline:

    In a post-apocalyptic future, a lone man builds a robot to protect his life. The machine learns about life, love, friendship, and what it means to be human.

    • 3.6
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    Finch is one of those movies that fall into the category of those flicks that lack originality but when you have an actor like Tom Hanks headlining it, you easily forget that because he gives you countless reasons to.

    Directed by Miguel Sapochnik (the filmmaker behind some of those breathtaking battles in Game of Thrones), this sci-fi drama sees the eponymous character (played by Hanks) create a robot (Caleb Landry Jones) to take care of his dog after he is gone.

    Finch is sick and knowing that his end is near, begins to teach his robot the basics to survive in a harsh and unforgiving post-apocalyptic world. 

    Unlike many men who would crave the company of their fellow humans in a condition like the one he is in, Finch is a loner who has serious trust issues. Having experienced the lengths to which humanity can go after most of the world's population is wiped off, he prefers to be left alone to scrounge.

    Jeff (the robot) arrives to bring much-needed excitement to the hero's uneventful existence. His naivety is a sharp contrast to Finch's experience and the latter's patience is tested like never before as they embark on the journey of survival.

    Tom Hanks is one of my favourite Hollywood actors. He is without a doubt one of the best at what he does. Here, he brings his A-game and leaves no stone unturned in depicting a character who has accepted the inevitability of death.

    Jones' vocal delivery is pitch-perfect and one gets lost easily in his performance as the robot that evolves into something more.

    The score is apt, differing in melody and tone to match the various scenes and emotions, the cinematography is amazing, and the story itself isn't particularly extraordinary but may lead to a tear or two being shed when it concludes.

    Finch is definitely one of the best films of 2021 and Tom Hanks has shown that age isn't slowing him down when it comes to knocking it out of the park with his acting.

    Miguel Sapochnik, you've done well. I had a great time seeing this movie. Two thumbs up to you and Hanks.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 4.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 3.0

    The Harder They Fall

    PG - Western, Action, Drama | November 3, 2021 Storyline:

    Jonathan Majors stars as Nate Love, an outlaw who reassembles his former gang to seek revenge against the man who killed his parents.

    • 3.2
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    Jeymes Samuel's western is an intriguing tale of revenge made more appealing with a talented ensemble cast and hard-hitting action.

    Jonathan Majors' take on a protagonist bent on executing the man who murdered his parents is pretty convincing but it's the charismatic Idris Elba as the villain who makes you want to see how this bloody tale ends.

    Majors is Nate Love, a man who watched the notorious Rufus Buck (Elba) kill his parents as a child. For some reason, Rufus decides to spare the kid's life, giving him a scar on the head before leaving.

    Years later, Nate has become the leader of his gang. When he hears that Rufus is getting out of prison, he mobilizes his gang for the inevitable confrontation he has waited for all his life.

    If there is one thing that makes The Harder They Fall really unique is the way the director uses music to set the tone and mood of almost every scene. It works so well that you get lost in the plot and can't quite distinguish the melody from the mayhem which happens from time to time.

    Westerns aren't particularly known to boast spectacular cinematography so this one doesn't really shine in that category. But the action scenes which are well-choreographed and bloody make for a visual spectacle because of the way they are shot.

    Talking about the action, there isn't as much as one would expect given what is glimpsed in the trailer. After the first few scenes, the middle is more or less filled with dialogue and this is where there is a little lagging in terms of pacing. But when the final confrontation does begin, it's truly something to behold.

    The acting here is top-notch (that is to be expected given that the casting director managed to get some of the best black actors in Hollywood). Jonathan Majors as the lead is compelling to watch but I was a bit disappointed that his journey to becoming the outlaw he is wasn't shown. Also, it felt like there were some unexplored layers to the character.

    The supporting cast members gave phenomenal performances but three names come to mind as the ones who make this movie simply worth it. They are Idris Elba, Regina King, and Lakeith Stanfield.

    Zazie Beetz as the love interest of the hero isn't portrayed as your typical damsel in distress (that is until she becomes a damsel in distress). She is a fighter whose showdown with Regina King's Trudy Smith proves to be the best part of the third act.

    Idris Elba as Rufus Buck is simply amazing (I'm yet to see a role the actor messed up). He inspires fear in both his allies and enemies, plus he is a man of few words who lets his actions speak for him. The distaste I felt for the character disappeared when he and the hero finally had their moment in the third act. 

    The dialogue is well-written and apart from some questionable choices made by a few characters, The Harder They Fall proves to be worth it.

    Jeymes Samuel delivers with The Harder They Fall and I hope to see more action drama flicks from him in the near future.


     

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 4.0

    Army of Thieves

    PG - Comedy, Thriller | October 29, 2021 Storyline:

    A bank teller who is also a skilled safecracker is recruited by a mysterious woman to crack three legendary safes across Europe.

    • 3.2
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    Matthias Schweighofer makes Army of Thieves a fun encounter from start to finish. Unlike the dark and gloomy Army of the Dead, this prequel opts for a funny tone that works in making it a delightful surprise.

    I'm a Zack Snyder fan but his zombie movie was a major disappointment in all ramifications. I almost decided not to watch this sequel, especially with the involvement of Matthias Schweighofer whose take on the safecracker character in the first movie was an irritation.

    I wasn't particularly impressed with the trailer but when I saw the movie's rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I decided to see it for myself.

    Reprising his role from the first film (which is apparently the second chronologically), Schweighofer plays Sebastian, a bank teller whose insignificant life takes an exciting turn when the beautiful Gwen (Nathalie Emmanuel) comes along, offering him the chance to crack three safes made by a genius he has always admired.

    The hero joins Gwen's team and as they begin their heists, a vengeful Interpol agent closes in on their tail. 

    The humour fused here works so well, with the lead star making his character very interesting to watch. He is a nerd who is attracted to Gwen from the moment he sets his eyes on her. By agreeing to the mission, he is able to do that which he loves most and connect on a personal level with a man he has always revered.

    Directing and starring as the protagonist in a film is a daunting task but Schweighofer does both so well that the final product is commendable.

    While the actor was annoying and unconvincing in Army of the Dead, here he is the polar opposite, making you want to see how he may or may not be able to do the unthinkable.

    The delectable Nathalie Emmanuel isn't given the opportunity to show why she is regarded as one of the best pickpockets in the world. She is undoubtedly eye-candy material but I was more impressed with Ruby O. Fee, the actress who plays the hacker in their team.

    The comedy works for the most part except for when jokes come in when they are not needed. For the most part, the plot doesn't require a lot of acting input but when it does on the part of the lead star, he doesn't disappoint.

    I enjoyed the cinematography, camera shots and angles, and the effects used in a few of the action scenes.

    The major downsides of this film are the plot being totally predictable (that is until the final act which was quite touching) and the lack of a real villain. 

    Kudos to the lead actor and director for a job well done. Army of Thieves is a truly fun heist flick.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 2.0
    • Acting 2.0
    • Dialogue 2.0
    • Screen Play 2.0
    • Visuals 2.0

    Needle in a Timestack

    PG - Romance, Sci-fi | October 15, 2021 Storyline:

    In the near future where people can travel back in time, a man who feels that his marriage is threatened slowly realizes that his worst nightmare is playing right before his very eyes. As the life he knows vanishes, he decides to do anything possible to get back the love of his life.

    • 2.0
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 2 years ago

    This movie is quite ambitious and could have succeeded in its delivery but its over-reliance on melodrama proves to be a major hindrance.

    Starring Leslie Odom Jr. in the lead role, Needle in a Timestack is directed by John Ridley based on the short story of the same name by Robert Silverberg.

    Odom is Nick, a man whose suspicions about his wife being taken away from him slowly begins to consume him. When a 'time shift' wipes away their entire marriage history, he is left with no choice but to attempt the seemingly impossible task of getting his partner back.

    I didn't get to know about the film until a few days before its release. I stumbled upon its trailer and after watching it, decided it was worth seeing. Having seen the film, I would say that the trailer is far more interesting than the entire movie.

    Adapting a literary work is a tricky affair and if as a filmmaker, if you want to do it, make sure you create something remarkably resonant.

    I haven't read the story (and now that I've seen the movie, I don't plan to) but I daresay it's far better than its cinematic adaptation.

    First off, the whole concept of the 'time shifts' poses a lot of questions that remain unanswered by the end of the film. They happen regularly and can potentially mess with many lives, so why the heck are they even allowed? Who allows them? Who creates them? The rich people?

    I love sci-fi flicks that are believable and this one is anything but. A little background explanation before the unfolding of the plot could have helped a lot but that wasn't included. The director just expects the viewer to just catch up on everything happening.

    Leslie Odom Jr. is not quite the interesting protagonist that he should be. It got to a point where I literally got tired of seeing him drown in his own misery. His acting isn't bad but the character he portrays is very unlikeable.

    Cynthia Erivo is one of Hollywood's most promising stars. But like her co-star, she isn't given anything much to work with here. She is just the wife who is destined to be snatched away so as to create the conflict for the hero. There is zero chemistry between her and Odom's character.

    Orlando Bloom and Freida Pinto are wasted here. They are the supporting characters I got tired of seeing way too early after they were introduced.

    I could go on and on about how the film dragged and sucked in different ways but I will just bring up one more downside to it; Erivo and Pinto's characters switch between English and British accents that I didn't quite know what to make of them.

    Finally, the dialogue is as boring as hell and the pacing issues made me fight to stay awake until the end credits. 

    I expected an endearing romance film masquerading as a sci-fi thriller. What I got was a predictably bland love story masquerading as a sci-fi flick. A missed opportunity for whoever decided to adapt this to the big screen.

     

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