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Welcome to the Madness

Grab some popcorn, a cold drink, and a comfortable seat.

If you have been following me on Blogger then you know what to expect from this Blog, if not then please allow me to introduce myself.

I am Dee Jay and I review movies. From the classics to the most recent, the good, and the bad, I do my best to review the movies that you may be considering watching and letting you know where they stand.

I use a 5 star rating system, or skulls if it’s Halloween, and base all movies on this standard. As you may have guessed, a 1 star movie is not the best and a 5 star movie is outstanding.

My real goal is to help you make a great movie watching decision because, let’s face it, who has time to waste on a 3 hour long piece of crap that should have been a 25 minute short. Am I right?

Whether you are a fan of Horror, Scifi, Action, Drama, or Comedy I want to be the one you turn to for an honest and fast review. Oh, did I mention that I have A.D.D.? Yeah, I also have a very short attention span so my reviews are quick and to the point so you won’t have to read a novel to get the facts.

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Thanks for taking the time to read this and all my content and I look forward to hearing from you. Take care and be safe…it’s a crazy world out there.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

A short movie review for people with short attention spans!
Beware: Spoilers are possible…you have been warned!

Director
Director of the movies Up in the AirThank You for Smoking, and Juno. Jason Reitman took the reins in this Sci-Fi Adventure and never looked back.

Starring
Carrie Coon (The Nest), Paul Rudd (The Avengers), Finn Wolfhard (It), McKenna Grace (Annabelle Comes Home), Logan Kim, Celeste O’Conner (Freaky), Bill Murray (The Dead Don’t Die), Dan Aykroyd (Yogi Bear), Ernie Hudson (Redemption Day)

Plot
When a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.

What I Think
We start with an entity chasing a truck down a dirt road onto a small farm in the middle of nowhere. The man in the truck makes it to his door, ghost trap in hand, and looks toward the road. He awaits the arrival of the entity in the hopes of capturing it. His efforts fail and in hindsight this misstep will cost him his life. 

Fast forward a bit and we meet the daughter of our elderly man, Callie. She inherits the farm and travels to the property to get it sold. Callie is willing to part with the farm because she is broke and needs to pay her debts. I digress, her kids now get to attend school and work in this tiny town where her father is known as the dirt farmer. 

Callies’ daughter Phoebe is a genius and figures out small and large puzzles that lead her to uncovering the truth about the farm and who her grandfather really is. With this information and with the help of some unlikely companions this adventure becomes a matter of saving the world.

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What I loved about this movie is that there is plenty of visual stimulation that really pushes the movie to the next level and reminds the audience that previous events led to this moment. There are new ghosts and old favorites but the story is the same. You will be asking the question “Who you gonna call?”

With the soundtrack, little call backs, and easter eggs in the movie that will give a nod to the old school Ghostbusters fans, this movie does not disappoint. Be sure to stay after the credits for additional content.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars.

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Venom: Let there be CARNAGE!

Venom 2: Let there be CARNAGE! 

A short movie review for people with short attention spans!Beware: Spoilers are possible…you have been warned!


Director

As an actor he dazzled us with uncanny performances as a rebellious ape in Planet of the Apes and it’s sequels, pulled us in as the dangerous Gollum/Smeagle in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and had us hating him as the evil Ulysses Klaue in Black Panther. Andy Serkis occupies the director’s chair to bring this movie to the masses.

Starring

Tom Hardy (Legend), Woody Harrelson (Midway), Michelle Williams (The Greatest Showman), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Reid Scott (Black and Blue) and Stephen Graham (This is England)

Plot

Eddie Brock attempts to reignite his career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady, who becomes the host of the symbiote Carnage and escapes prison after a failed execution.

What I Think

Tom Hardy reprises his role as Eddie Brock/Venom in the second installment of the series. In this iteration Eddie is under constant assault by Venom himself as he goes down a spiral of depression and self doubt. All while trying to make it through his day to day life. Put on top of that his relationship problems and professional downfall, the future is bleak for Eddie.

Out of nowhere Cletus Kasady (Harrelson) invites Eddie to interview him so he can pass the word out on his exploits. This leads to a deeper dive on the character and shows that deep down past his psychopathic and homicidal being is a lover with a broken heart. During the interview Kasady ends up biting Eddie and this is where all hell breaks loose. 

From this point on the movie gets exciting. I can honestly say that I was annoyed by Venom for the first 30 of the movie. It wasn’t until Woody Harrelson came in that I started to enjoy where the story was going. What made this movie exceptional is that the plot contained 2 love stories, the story between Eddie & Anne and Cletus & Shreik. Not only that, was the background information that showed how Cletus became a Serial Killer and how he met Shreik in the first place. 

Special effects galore. How they animated Carnage was a work of art. You could visually see the violence within the character and feel through the screen the power that Carnage was able to harness and throw out. 

I said it before, this is not one of Tom Hardy’s best roles but the rest of the story made it a decent watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I give this movie 3 of 5 Stars.

Pictures, Plot, and Posters provided by IMDB

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GUNS AKIMBO

A short movie review for people with short attention spans!!
Spoilers Possible!!

Director
Mostly known for his visual effects work in movies like Prometheus and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Jason Lei Howden directs this Comedy Action Thriller.

Starring
Daniel Radcliffe (Swiss Army Man), Samara Weaving (Ready or Not), Rhys Darby (Jumanji: The Next Level), Ned Dennehy (Mandy), and Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Hotel Mumbai)

Plot
A guy relies on his newly-acquired gladiator skills to save his ex-girlfriend from kidnappers.

What I Think
We are introduced to a faceless computer program that introduces an intense, high action game of death via live stream. The game ends and we drop into the life of a nobody coder who works at a video game company that seems to be going nowhere. But today he will become famous because he trolled the wrong people.

This movie is high-octane murder porn with a lot of death, a lot of blood & guts, and a whole lot of profanity. It has a little bit of a Scott Pilgrim feel to it with the gaming effects as well as a Shoot em’ Up/John Wick action vibe.

This is a movie that you can watch with a bunch of friends, make fun of the funny parts, and really get into the action. I cannot recommend this movie enough to anybody because it really did stand out.

Daniel Radcliffe did a great job in this comedy action movie that pushed the limits of taste in my opinion. Although there were some rough moments throughout the movie, a bit of cheesy dialogue, and some grandstanding from our bad guy, the movie was actually very solid.

If you like the above-mentioned movie examples, including the movie Gamer, then you will definitely love this one.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m going to give it 4 of 5 stars.

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Rambo: Last Blood

A short movie review for people with short attention spans!!
Spoilers Possible!!

Director
Adrian Grunberg is mostly know for being the Assistant Director of such films as Man On FireApocalypto, and numerous episodes of Narcos: Mexico. He has also directed the film Get the Gringo.

Starring
Sylvester Stallone (Rambo Series), Paz Vega (Acts of Vengeance), Yvette Monreal (Monsoon), Sergio Peris-Mencheta (Life Itself), and Óscar Jaenada (The Man Who Killed Don Quixote)

What I Think
The RAMBO franchise has made it through four decades as an action paradigm that explores, possibly unwittingly, the lingering effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the perspective of veterans of the Vietnam War. 

This particular installment though shows “Old Man” John Rambo finally relaxing on a ranch in Arizona, training horses with his niece. He still has his trademark Bowie Knife and a decent assortment of guns in an underground bunker but those are just for a rainy day. 

What drives Rambo to return to his old way of killing happens when you mess with the only family he has left. Once he crosses that line…all bets are off.

This installment is okay to say the least. We are seeing Rambo in a non-war environment which already is hard to believe because that is where he lives in my mind. The fact that he is going head to head with a Mexican Cartel is believable though. If there is a group that causes plenty of problems domestically, that is fairly untouchable, cartels are at the top of that list.

There are a few questions that have to be asked when watching this movie, of which the answer to said questions is very much yes. Is he going to get these guys? Are there consequences for their actions? Is this movie just like all the other Rambo’s?

Like the series or not, this film does deliver the goods. In the end this movie didn’t need to be made but it does help to know that John Rambo did make it back to Arizona, the place he was headed before that cop got in his way in first blood 38 years ago.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I give this film a 3 1/2 of 5 stars
Poster, Pictures, and Plot courtesy of IMDB.

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Doctor Sleep

A short movie review for people with short attention spans!
Spoilers Possible!!

Director
Mike Flanagan is also known for directing Oculus, Before I Wake, Ouija: Origin of Evil, and The Haunting of Hill House the series.

Starring
Ewan McGregor (Star Wars Episode 1: Phantom Menace), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible: Fallout), Kyliegh Curran (I Can, I Will, I Did), Cliff Curtis (Fear the Walking Dead), Zahn McClarnon (Braven), Emily Alyn Lind (Replicas), Jacob Tremblay (Good Boys), and Carl Lumbly (A Cure for Wellness)

Plot
Years following the events of The Shining (1980), a now-adult Dan Torrance must protect a young girl with similar powers from a cult known as The True Knot, who prey on children with powers to remain immortal.

What I Think
As the movie opens we follow a little girl into the woods when she comes upon a strange lady with a top hat. They converse in a friendly manner. Suddenly, the mood of the conversation shifts and strangers appear in the forest closing in on the two. The top hat lady grabs the little girl and the strangers rush them and all goes black.

Fast forward, we are catching up with Danny Torrence almost 3 decades after the incident at the Overlook Hotel. He is still able to shine but he is using drugs and drink to block out all of those memories. Danny finds himself in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere where he meets a new friend that guides him to a path toward sobriety, helps him to get a steady job and a place to stay. Shortly after arriving in the small town a message appears on the wall of his room. The writing of a child.

Finally, a young couple are throwing a party for their little girl, after the party they discover that their little girl has a gift. This gift is new to her but what she figures out is magical, curious, and terrifying all wrapped into one.

Now that I have laid down a bit of a foundation on the movie, here is my biggest gripe. There are some flashbacks in the movie that showcase The Shining. Scenes like the long hall with Danny on the Big Wheel, the bar scene with Jack, the old lady in the tub, etc. In the film they casts lookalikes to play the part of Wendy and Jack. With the advancement of technology, specifically deep fakes, you are telling me that they couldn’t do a face swap to make those roles more authentic? All the money put in to make this sequel awesome and they skimp on deep fakes. I’m off my soapbox.

Moving on from my visual disappointment of the flashback I did like the story. The way we get to see what happened after the events at the Overlook is enlightening. How this rogue band of light eaters known as The True Knot enters the story and adds a new level of terror to the story is chilling. Finally, introduction of this new stronger keeper of the shine is also very cool.

With all that said, there are a couple of disturbing scenes involving kidnapping and child murder, elements of science fiction, and of course the paranormal.

If you enjoyed The Shining then know that this movie is a bit faster but just as long.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I give this film 3 1/2 of 5 stars
Poster, plot and pictures courtesy of www.imdb.com

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Crawl

Short movie reviews for people with short attention spans!
Spoilers Possible!!

Director
As well as directing Crawl, Alexandre Aja is known for his work directing High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes, Mirrors, and Horns. It was also produced by Sam Raimi famed director of The Evil Dead, The Quick and the Dead, Drag Me to Hell, and the Spider-Man Series (Tobey MacGuire)

Starring
Kaya Scodelario (Maze Runner Series), Barry Pepper (Snitch), Morfydd Clark (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Ross Anderson (Macbeth), and Jose Palma (Absentia)

Plot
A young woman, while attempting to save her father during a category 5 hurricane, finds herself trapped in a flooding house and must fight for her life against alligators.

What I Think
A college swimmer attending school in Florida gets a call from her sister saying that she cannot get a hold of their father who lives on the coast. A Category 5 hurricane is headed his way and she is worried. Since she is close to where her dad lives she makes the trip to his house in an effort to make sure he is okay.

As she gets close to the town, she encounters a roadblock manned by an old friend. He tries to turn her around due to the distance of the storm but she bypasses the roadblock to get to her dad’s place. She locates him in the basement of their old house but he has been injured and needs medical attention as soon as possible.

Just as she is about to get out of the basement to call the local emergency services she is suddenly stopped by an alligator. This is when the shit hits an already shit covered fan. As you would expect she and her dad become trapped in the basement fighting for their lives while the water level begins to rise in the basement due to the Hurricane.

This premise is exciting and pulse pounding and as much as I wanted to really like it the movie as a whole fell short. There were times I was saying, “There is no way they would be able to do that!” I am no animal expert by any means but I have seen enough nature shows to know how alligators attack, with that said some scenes were very unbelievable.

At the end of the day this is a movie and not everything in a movie will absolutely happen in real life so I cannot fault the writer or director for embellishing the action.

With that said, if you like animal attack movies such as Lake Placid, Cujo, The Edge, or Jaws, you may enjoy this flick.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I give this movie 3 of 5 stars
Poster, Pictures and Plot courtesy of www.imdb.com

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JoJo Rabbit

A short movie review for people with short attention spans!
Spoilers Possible!!

Director
JoJo Rabbit is the brain child of Taika Waititi director of Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt for the Wilder People, and What we do in the Shadows.

Starring
Roman Griffin Davis (first major movie role), Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Scarlett Johansson (Ghost in the Shell), Alfie Allen (John Wick), Stephen Merchant (Fighting with my Family), Rebel Wilson (Isn’t it Romantic), Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace), and Taika Waititi (Avengers: Endgame)

Plot
A young boy in Hitler’s Army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.

What I Think
A good little member of the Hitler Youth, JoJo is attending a camp that trains the German youth in military action. This includes marching, ambush tactics, in field survival, rifle use, first aid, and explosives training. During the training Jojo gets hazed and runs off to consult his imaginary friend Hitler…yes “THE” Hitler. After a pep talk with the Führer he goes head first into an explosive training session that causes him close to life threatening injuries.

He recovers from his injuries but they cause him to be disqualified as a future fighter of the German Army. This means he can only do menial jobs like passing out flyers and collecting metal for bullets. One day while he is home JoJo hears a noise coming from upstairs and investigates. His curiosity leads to him finding a small room behind the wall in his sisters room. He searches the room and finds a young Jewish girl hiding.

Making light of the atrocities that happened during World War II is a very hard thing to do. Making it funny from the Germans point of view is even harder. These are a people that blindly followed their leader to completely wipe out the Jews in Germany by murdering 6 million of them. With that said, the way that Taika Waititi injected a humorous, bumbling, cartoonish version of the dictator Adolph Hitler into the landscape of this film, artfully broke the tension, drama, and the heaviness of the situation.

The cast also injected humor into the whole movie even if it was just being flippant with the authorities, voicing misunderstandings, or in most cases saying things that were so outrageous that they instantly made you laugh. Sam Rockwell playing the hopeless German Officer that keeps getting demoted, Stephen Merchant as the heartless Gestapo, Rebel Wilson who is a camp counselor (of sorts) for the Nazi Youth, and Scarlet Johansen in the strong mother role made the movie. Great casting choices that solidified the movie as a fantastic viewing experience.

In short, this film is a genuine work of art, that plays like The Producers and hits like Blazing Saddles with a good drama added for good measure.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

With that I give this movie a 4 1/2 of 5 stars.
Poster, Pictures and Plot courtesy of www.imdb.com

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The Grudge (2020)

The Grudge (2020)…a short movie review for people with short attention spans.
Spoilers Possible!!!

Director
Nicholas Pesce wrote and directed this version of The Grudge as well as the movies Piercing (2018) and Fantastic Cinema Festival Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Editing Award winner The Eyes of My Mother (2016)

Starring
Tara Westwood (Hell Girl), Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion), Demián Bichir (The Hateful Eight), John Cho (Star Trek), Betty Gilpin (Stuber), William Sadler (The Hollow), David Lawrence Brown (Channel Zero), Lin Shaye (Insidious), and Zoe Fish (I Still See You)

Plot
A house is cursed by a vengeful ghost that dooms those who enter it with a violent death.

What I Think
The screams come immediately, no time is wasted as we start the story in Japan and bring it to the USA. A caregiver who was taking care of a sick patient in the original Grudge house is now back home and she brought home an attachment. Two years later everyone who steps foot in her home is cursed to deal with the horrors that follow.

Through the frights and the nightmares, a fresh perspective on what horror used to be can finally be seen in this movie. It has been a long time since I have jumped at a jump scare and there are a couple in this flick that accomplished this feat.

With that said the movie does have a good story, there are flashbacks between victims because everything is from the perspective of a case file which chronicles the deaths. With many affected by the curse, which is what I am calling it, there is plenty to pull from in terms of the nightmares that we all have.

I am not a slouch in the horror movie category, being a lifelong fan of all things scary, but after the movie I had to walk back to my home at night and I ended up being very paranoid.

The only real problem that I had with the whole movie was the fact that nobody ever drove a vehicle that was made in 2004 which is when the movie takes place. All the cars were pre 2000, very unsettling.

Other than that, the movie has kills, blood, gore, paranormal scenes and is definitely not for kids. Enjoy!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I give this movie 3 1/2 of 5 stars.

Poster, Pictures, and Plot courtesy of IMDB

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The Warriors (1979)

A short classic movie review for people with short attention spans!!
Spoilers possible!!!

Director
Walter Hill has been in the directing game for quite a while helming such films as 48 Hrs, Brewster’s Millions, Crossroads, Red Heat, Last Man Standing, and Bullet to the Head. He also Produced every Aliens movie ever made to include Alien Vs Predator 1 and 2 as well as Prometheus and Covenant.

Starring
Michael Beck (The Grace of Jake), James Remar (U.S.S. Indianapolis: Men of Courage), Deborah Van Valkenburgh (The Devil’s Rejects), David Patrick Kelly (The Crow), the late Marcelino Sanchez (48 Hrs.), Brian Tyler (Vamp Bikers), Dorsey Wright (Hair), David Harris (Quicksilver), Tom McKitterick, Terry Michos (The Great Skycopter Rescue), the late Roger Hill (The Education of Sonny Carson), the late Lynne Thigpen (Blankman) and Mercedes Ruehl (Hustlers)

Plot
The  armies of the night number 100,000; they outnumber the police 5 to 1; and tonight they’re after the Warriors.

Synopsis
Nine delegates from 100 gangs meet up to hear from Cyrus the President of the biggest gang in New York, The Grammercy Riffs. Halfway through the speech however Cyrus is murdered and the blame is put on The Warriors.

“Warriors…Come out and playay!!”

During the remainder of the movie, after escaping from the park where the event happened, they are relentlessly hunted by other gangs that are trying to take them out and deliver them to Cyrus’s gang. All they need to do is get on the train and go the 27 miles to Coney Island and they’ll be safe…They think.

What I think
This movie, when I was younger, was fantastic. It had everything that could pique my interest, such as gangs, mild violence, and a decent sense of life or death.

Once you see the first five minutes of the movie you realize that all of these gangs in it have a very strict dress code and they have to dress the same but in some cases the costume itself is ridiculous from The Boppers dressed as pimps to The Furies dressed like clowns in baseball uniforms to The Turnbull AC’s that are skinheads wearing bowling shirts. Even the Warriors have a vest that says Warriors on the back of it and blue jeans, very motorcycle gang (minus the motorcycle), strict when it comes to the dress code.

“Can You Dig It!!!”

Even though the costumes are outrageous, the action and story were interesting and exciting. The slow moments are jam packed with tension, the pace of the story is just right, and when it goes down the fights are very violent and entertaining. 

As you go through the story with The Warriors you can feel the tension as they make their way through the street where every alleyway could spell death. From the fights with the The Furies and The Orphans to the set up with The Lizzies, an all girl gang, to the final showdown with The Rogues in Coney Island. Every encounter whittled away the numbers of the Warriors. 

The Nitty Gritty of this review is that, for the time, the acting was pretty good, the look was good, and the wardrobe matched the time perfectly. The not so good is that when the movie was re-released, the production company inserted comic book wipes that, for lack of a better term, screwed up the flow of the movie. Between the scenes the film gets switched to a comic book cell and then moved over to another scene the changed back to a film. 

All and all, this was a great movie that I revisit on a regular basis. 

Look for The Warriors on Amazon Prime Video and let me know what you think.  

If you like gang movies, the 70’s, fighting, and action then this movie is good for you.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I give this movie 4 of 5 stars.
Poster, Pictures, and Plot courtesy of IMDB.com

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The Way Back

A short movie review for people with short attention spans!
Spoilers Possible!!

Director
Gavin O’Conner directed this movie as well as The Accountant, Warrior, Pride and Glory and Miracle.

Starring
Ben Affleck (Justice League), Al Madrigal (Night School), Janina Gavankar (Blindspotting), Michaela Watkins (Brittany Runs a Marathon), Brandon Wilson (Beyond the Lights), Jeremy Radin (Funeral Day), Matthew Glave (First Man), and John Aylward (A Million Ways to Die in the West)

Plot
Jack Cunningham was an HS basketball phenom who walked away from the game, forfeiting his future. Years later, when he reluctantly accepts a coaching job at his alma mater, he may get one last shot at redemption.

What I Think
Ben Affleck’s character, Jack Cunningham, is a construction worker with a drinking problem working long hours during the day in an attempt to distract from everyday life. It looks like life has  handed him the short end of the stick until he is given another chance, receiving a call that would bring him back from the brink of self destruction.

The opportunity to become a high school basketball coach at the school that he had once attended is on the table. He gets to take over the team after the regular head coach has a heart attack and is unable to continue for the rest of the season. This movie has several stories within it, the main story has more to do with Jack’s personal life and how he deals with it.

The second story has to do with his job as a coach for the kids of his old high school and what he must do to form them into a winning well oiled machine. He must also overcome his demons to take control of the team and figure out how best to become a leader who inspires while at the same time pushing them to become responsible adults.

The third story I’m going to leave as a surprise because this little detail threw me off while I was watching the film. There are many obstacles in the way, that Jack put there himself, throughout the whole movie.

What I like about this movie is the fact that it shows an extreme amount of emotion from extreme highs to extreme lows. With as heavy as the drama is there are some moments of levity but there are also moments of absolute despair. With everything that goes on in this movie it is hard to believe that someone can go through that amount of trauma and depression without killing themselves. Ben Affleck did a great job of conveying this story. Al Madrigal, who is more known for his comedy, delivered a very dramatic performance while also providing the needed laugh or two.

Through the heartbreak, triumph, losses and gains this movie pushes us through the thickness of addiction, love, hate, and death while at the same time guiding us down the path to a safe place that gives us time to catch our breath and for that I thank them. With enough heart you can pull yourself out of your head and straighten yourself out just long enough to make someone proud but on the polar opposite you can try just hard enough to push everyone away. Don’t do that.

With all the highs and lows throughout this film if it’s drama you are looking for then you found it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m going to give it 4 of 5 stars. 
Poster, plot and pictures courtesy of www.imdb.com

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