Phil’s 2020 Preview & Look Back At 2019’s Predictions…

Phil’s 2020 Preview & Look Back At 2019’s Predictions…

2019: In Review Quick Review Year In Review

Phil’s Quick look at what’s wetting his whistle for the upcoming year in films…

2019 was a good year all in all, with many smaller movies standing out from the crowded franchised blockbuster arena. That said Marvel killed it again and Star Wars Skywalker saga drew to a close.   So here’s the films I’m most looking forward to in 2020.  And a few that I’d be happy to miss.


The Must See’s


Most Excited: 
Top Gun: Maverick
The sequel to my second favourite film of all time, with a launch trailer that stuck the landing and an epic cast… okay so it will probably suck but I could not BE any more excited.



Following up the dire Spectre with a big budget World War 1 film, Mendes looks to be striking gold on a film that’s already getting Oscar buzz.  And teh single take idea really intrigues me.


3.Wonder Woman 1984
With Marvel having a quieter year it’s down to DC to deliver the goods this year and Wonder Woman 1984 may well be the film to do just that.  The best thing in all the DC movies to date and with a well regarded film already under her belt, Wonder Woman returns to battle new bad guys. This time without Zack Snider’s influence.



4. The Many Saints of Newark
The Sopranos is my favourite TV show of all time.  This feature length look at a young Tony Soprano (played by Gandolfini’s own son) could go either way.  But, much like Top Gun, nostalgia runs high here.


5. No Time To Die
A risky choice for sure but No Time To Die promises lots.  A great director, Craig reinvigorated (well that’s what he says) and a different story featuring a retired Bond dragged back into action.  Every other Craig film has been good so the odds are in it’s favour.


Bubbling Under: Tenet (Nolan is back, always worth a watch ), Bill & Ted Face The Music (Excellent! ), A Quiet Place 2 (The original was superb ), Last Night In Soho (Edgar Wright. Say no more.  ), Halloween Kills (The last Halloween was genuinely good ), Ghostbusters 2020 (a risk but with the original cast returning… maybe. Just maybe), Black Widow (Only a fool would bet against Marvel)



The Must Nots


Stinker Of The Year: The New Mutants
Shooting Fish in a barrel this one.  So the trailer looked okay, the property it’s based on is solid and the cast & crew impressive… so why am I not keen? Simply this should have come out two years ago, it’s had delays, reshoots and is rumoured to be dumped direct onto Hulu.  If it even comes out.

Also Dreading: Birds of Prey
(Robbie will be great but the film will not, sadly ), Bad Boys 4 Life (Michael Bay – so will be long and a slog) , Fast & Furious 9 (No Rock, No Stath, No Walker. Just Vin ), Godzilla Vs Kong (I think we are done with Godzilla now ), Dolittle (A film we don’t need), Minions 2 (The last DM film was weak and teh Minions film equally a let down), Coming To America 2 (Murphy has had VERY little to offer of late)


Last Year…

So how did I do last year?

This is the time of the year when I look back at my picks of the good, the bad and the ugly from 2019 and see how close I was (or as it often is the case, how far!)…


For best: I tipped Toy Story 4, Captain Marvel, Hobbs & Shaw, Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood as my most anticipated of 2019. Toy Story 4 was good but not in my top 5 of the year with Captain Marvel following suit. Hobbs & Shaw was a bust but Once Upon A Time In Hollywood delivered in spades.  As for Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker… it was good but not great but still a great watch!


As for the rest? Avengers Infinity War Part 2 was really good and closed off the saga in spectacular fashion,  IT: Chapter Two was better than most gave it credit (but still not on par with Chapter One).  Wonder Woman 1984 never came out and has been added to 2020’s list.  Glass was good fun but Godzilla: King of the Monsters died on it’s arse.Spider-Man: Far From Home  could well be the best Marvel film of 2020 whilst Joker was simply awesome.   Jumanji: The Next Level was good fun as expected, even if it as a step down from Welcome to the Jungle,  &  The Irishman was everything I wanted it to be (other than maybe a few minutes shorter)


As for the Stinkers? Terminator: Dark Fate was actually okay (and certainly not the bomb I expected), The Lion King remake was also pretty good fun, Pet Sematary was weak and Pokemon Detective Pikachu was great fun (think Deadpool for kids).  Never watched What Men Want , Aladdin 2019 was solid and X-Men: Dark Phoenix was pretty much what I expected.  Rubbish.   John Wick: Chapter 3 was a return to form but both Alita: Battle Angel & Men in Black Spin Off  both failed as expected.


So here’s to 2019… see you again next year!


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Phil’s Best & Worst 2019 Films… FINAL Edition (31st Dec 2019)

Phil’s Best & Worst 2019 Films… FINAL Edition (31st Dec 2019)

Quick Review Year In Review

So this is my semi-regularly updated of the BEST and WORST of the films from 2019 (2019 Films), as well as the best films I missed from last year and, of course, the Phil’s Quick Capsule Review ‘Sharknado’ Award.

All in my very humble opinion…


BEST Films Of 2019…

  1. Joker
  2. Booksmart
  3. Avengers: Endgame
  4. The Irishman
  5. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Honourable Mentions:

Rocketman, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Knives Out, Rambo: Last Blood, Spider-Man: Far From Home, The Peanut Butter Falcon, Green Book, Tucked, Toy Story 4, Shazam, Missing Link, Fighting With My Family,  Minding The Gap, Happy Death Day 2U, The Lion King, Long Shot, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Pokemon Detective Pikachu


WORST Films Of 2019… 

  1. The Dead Don’t Die
  2. Lucky Day
  3. Alita: Battle Angel
  4. Hellboy (2019)
  5. The Fanatic

Dis-Honourable Mentions:

Godzilla: King of The Monsters, 3 From Hell, Into The Ashes, Close, Velvet Buzzsaw, Anna, Killer Sofa, Child’s Play (2019), Crawl, Pet Sematary (2019), X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Gemini Man, Triple Threat, The Banana Splits Movie, Trial By Fire, Stuber, Rabid (2019), Angel Has Fallen



The 2019 Films I just couldn’t Finish…

Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers, Mary Queen Of Scotts


Great Films Of 2018 That I saw In 2019:

The Domestics, After The Screaming Stops, They Shall Not Grow Old, Assassination Nation, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, Free Solo, The Last Movie Star, Incredibles 2, Wonder (2017)


Worst film of 2018 that I thought was a 2019 release

Holmes & Watson


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Those We Lost… 2019 In Memoriam

Those We Lost… 2019 In Memoriam

2019: In Review Quick Review Year In Review

In memoriam.  2019 continued deaths relentless march through the great and good of Hollywood.  Here’s a selection of those who passed in 2019 whose deaths will be felt within them film library of Phil’s Quick Capsule Review…

(Apologies for any one we have missed out)


Gene Okerlund

Carol Channing

Windsor Davies

Andy Vajna

Albert Finney 

Jan-Michael Vincent

Lisa Sheridan

Luke Perry

John Singleton

Peter Mayhew

Doris Day 

Franco Zeffirelli

Rutger Hauer 

Peter Fonda

Robert Forster

Robert Evans

Danny Aiello 


Rest In Peace and may your considerable legacy’s live on.


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Worst Film of 2019: The Dead Don’t Die (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Worst Film of 2019: The Dead Don’t Die (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

2019: In Review Best & Worst Quick Review Year In Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Dead Don’t Die is a total waste of time. More than that it’s pretentious approach, intolerable fourth wall breaking and pretentious direction make it one of 2019’s worst films.  Don’t worry however it still cant beat Holmes & Watson.  Thing is… a film starring Bill Murray & Adam Driver (as well as many others) should be better than this just BECAUSE they are in it but Jim Jarmusch’s  direction just saps the life out of the performances.  I could go on but I couldn’t finish this mess so it just wouldn’t be fair…

Best Bit: Turning it off

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Shaun Of The Dead, Zombieland, Dawn Of The Dead


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Best Film of 2019: Joker (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Best Film of 2019: Joker (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

2019: In Review Best & Worst Quick Review Year In Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Let’s cut to the chase…. You can fully believe the hype here – Joker is one of the best films of 2019.  Period.   It’s dangerous, intense and brutal… a game changer of a film that does so much more than I expected it to do.  Playing out like part V For Vendetta part Taxi Driver, The Hangover’s Todd Philips delivers a film that you’d think had been done by a master filmmaker.  Not the guy who delivered some pretty average films.   Joker is stylish but without being in your face and, contrary to the Birds Of Prey trailer that screened beforehand, relies on performance and nuance over flash. Philips is a revelation.  But for all the films expert direction it would be very different without Joaquin Phoenix’s central performance as Arthur Fleck.  He’s mesmerising, edgy and, at least for a time, highly sympathetic. Phoenix must be a shoe in for an acting nomination at the Oscar’s next year. Joker delivers more than it had any right to and become essential viewing in the process.

Best Bit: Joker On TV

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: V For Vendetta, Taxi Driver, The King Of Comedy , Fight Club


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Phil’s 5 Worst Films of 2019

Phil’s 5 Worst Films of 2019

2019: In Review Quick Review Year In Review

So 2019 is almost over and it’s that time a year again where everyone reflects back on their best and worst films of the year.  So first up… the 10 WORST films of 2019 (with a few honourable mentions!).  And, as always, there were more than a few to choose from..



Stinker of LAST Year: Holmes & Watson

In Brief: The film so bad I actually forgot i watched it.  Nothing funny here just a total miss of a movie. Worst thing – It actually came out in 2018 and this whole year I had this down as my 2019 Worst film of the year. I now hate it even more.



Stinker of the Year (2019): The Dead Don’t Die

In Brief: Pretentious? Yup. Boring. Yup. Pointless? Even more so. The Dead Don’t Die is just a total slog.


2. Lucky Day

In Brief: Roger Avery is back.  And it’s pretty clear he has no idea how to make a film anymore.  Sub Tarantino garbage.


3. Alita: Battle Angel

In Brief: So many years.  So much money. So little point.


4. Hellboy (2019)

In Brief: It’s total garbage.  A boring, mess of a film that offers nothing new and even less interesting.


5. The Fanatic – It’s just really, really, really stupid.


6. Godzilla: King of The Monsters – Lots of money + lots of monsters + zero plot still equals a shit film

7. 3 From Hell –
Rob Zombie shits on his few decent movies with this tedium.

8. Close –
Another year another failed Netflix movie.

9. Anna –
A dull Luc Besson action film that the world could have happily have done without


10. X-Men: Dark Phoenix  – Big budget, big ideas, stupid film and worst… it’s totally forgettable. The 2nd worst X-Men movie (yes this is still not as bad as X-Men 3)


Dis-Honourable Mentions: Velvet Buzzsaw , Into The Ashes, Killer Sofa, Child’s Play (2019), Crawl, Pet Sematary (2019), Gemini Man, Triple Threat, The Banana Splits Movie, Trial By Fire, Stuber, Rabid (2019), Angel Has Fallen


The 2019 Films I just couldn’t Finish: Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers, Mary Queen Of Scotts


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Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2019 (Redux)

Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2019 (Redux)

2019: In Review Quick Review Year In Review

And that’s it.  Another year in the rear view mirror and another reason to take a look back at the BEST, WORST and, well, others of 2019.  So here it is… my pick of the Best Films of 2019.



Film of The Year: Joker

In Brief: Any other year Booksmart would have smashed this but this wasn’t any other year and Joker, arriving on the back of a great trailer but with lots of questions, delivered time and time again.  Edgy, dark, brutal, uplifting, odd… Joker was a rare beast that was critically and commercially loved.

2. Booksmart

In Brief: Smart, funny, charming – Booksmart was a special film that deserved to be a MUCH bigger hit than it was. Go on go watch it over Christmas.  You won’t regret it.

3. Avengers: Endgame

In Brief:  Better than Infinity war?  For me yes.  Yup it’s flawed with some pacing issues and yup it’s probably a bit long but man Endgame had a lot to go and for me it did it in spades.  A worthy end to a decade of story.


4. The Irishman

In Brief: Scorsese gets the gang back together and this time add’s Netflix money.  It’s bold, it’s cutting edge and it’s really bloody long.  But The Irishman is an epic story shot how he wanted by a master director.  This is cinema (even if ironically it ended up not being…)


5. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

In Brief: I’ve not LOVED a Tarantino film since Jackie Brown.  Finally Once Upon A Time In Hollywood reminded us that Tarantino CAN be a master filmmaker, even if he still needs a better producer to reign in those excesses (feet shots anyone?)

And then there was 6-10 (*and a few near misses!)…

6. Rocketman – Freddie one year, Elton the next.  In honesty Rocketman is a better film – it’s more creative approach far more at ease with it’s subject matter.

7. Spider-Man: Far From Home – 
A very different Marvel sequel that takes Spidey outside of New York and throws in one of Marvel’s more interesting villains. It all equals a lot of fun and a much needed lighter film after Endgame.


8. Knives Out – Funny, silly and with Daniel Craig actually looking like he’s enjoying himself there’s LOADS to love about Rian Johnson’s post Star Wars palette cleanser.  


9. Happy Death Day 2U – A sequel that ends up almost topping the original with some lovely new ideas and a more sci-fi bent to the previous’ horror genre efforts.

10. The Peanut Butter Falcon – 
A total surprise, The Peanut Butter Falcon is an odd slice of coming of age fun that could easily have not worked as well as it did.


Bubbling Under:  How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World , Rambo: Last Blood, Tucked, Toy Story 4, Shazam, Missing Link, The Lion King, Long Shot, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Pokemon Detective Pikachu



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Phil’s Best & The Worst TV Shows of 2019

Phil’s Best & The Worst TV Shows of 2019

2019: In Review Quick Review Year In Review

2019 was another epic year for TV.  Game of Thrones ended, Disney+ launched and  Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime continued delivering their strong original series.  Here’s my lost and the 5 best and a handful of Worst TV shows of 2019…


The Must Watch…

TV Show of The Year: Chernobyl
Yikes. Chernobyl was one of the most brutal TV show’s I have ever seen.  Charting the full disaster from start to finish , it was disturbing, superbly made and incredible to watch.



2. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

In Brief:  Damn.  The guy that made The Transporter (yup really) knocked this reboot of the cult 80’s film out the park and then some.  Dark, brooding and disturbing it defined epic from the start to the finish.


3. The Mandalorian

In Brief:  
Live action Star Wars FINALLY hits the screen and it’s the Western styled series that we always hoped for.  It was also the show that gave us THE most iconic character of 2019… nope not the titular bounty hunter but BABY YODA!!!!!!




4. American Horror Story: 1984
In Brief: 
American Horror Story hasn’t been essential to me for a long time but 1984, a slasher themed 80’s tribute hit everyone and rather than run out of steam it’s just kept delivering until the end.  Superb fun.


5. Mindhunter (Season 2)
In Brief:  
A much stronger year than you’d expect, the second season of Mindhunter felt better structured and put together than it’s initial outting. Dark and disturbing from the start.



Bubbling under:
Cobra Kai (Strong second season that expertly revisited characters form the film), His Dark Materials (Strong HBO/BBC Adaptation), Veep (Finished Strong), Watchman (Far better than I expected), Sex Education (Well made fun), GLOW: Season 3 (really fun year), Billions (Still OTT, still brilliant), Our Planet (Epic filmmaking) , Stranger Things: Season 3 (Just outside the Top 5), The Boys (Brilliant odd)


The Must Nots…

Miss of the year: Game Of Thrones: Season 8

In Brief: Look I enjoyed Season 8 of Game Of Thrones , I’m far from one of the haters .  But even I would admit that it felt rushed, unpolished and worst of all didn’t earn its shocking resolution.  Such as shame as with more time this could have been the best series ever.


Other shows I check-out ion this year: Treadstone (Just wasn’t interesting enough), Fear the Walking Dead (Became unwatchable),  The Flash: Season 5 (weak and disappointing) 


Grosse Point Geek’s Wrap Up Of 2019 (and 2020 preview)

Grosse Point Geek’s Wrap Up Of 2019 (and 2020 preview)

2019: In Review A Blog Grosse Point Geek Year In Review

As we approach the end of 2019 I have to say that on the whole it’s been a fairly good year for films. Stars Wars had a great send off with JJ Abrams’ The Rise of Skywalker, the Infinity Stones story arc which had been the backbone of the MCU since 2008 ended spectacularly with the outstanding Avengers Endgame, DC finally got their house in order and delivered an absolute humdinger with Joker  – which is now the first and only R rated movie to pass the $1 Billion mark at the worldwide box office.


There was utter lunacy to be enjoyed in Hobbs and Shaw which was really great fun, John Wick Chapter 3 delivered some top notch action and proved to be the best entry in the franchise so far, a very funny and rather endearing love story played out  in Long Shot and good old Sylvester Stallone returned for the fifth time as Rambo in a film so violent it may well have offended just about every single critic on the planet– not that he cared, it did big bucks at the box office and we film geeks lapped up every brilliant blood drenched minute of it – (the sound of Mexican drug gangs running for the hills in terror can still be heard).


We also witnessed the continued rise of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime  -it has to be said though that with the notable exception of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, these still haven’t quite mastered their film output but series wise they can’t be touched – The likes of the Expanse, The Man In The High Castle, The Crown and Jack Ryan were all excellent.


Finally there were some top notch performances from the likes of Adam Driver (Marriage Story and Star Wars) Daniel Craig (Knives Out) Mahershala Ali (Green Book) Brad Pitt (Once Upon a time in Hollywood) Matt Damon (Le Mans 66) and of course Joaquin Phoenix who was astounding in Joker


Naturally and as per bloody usual there were also some serious let-downs and downright dogs,  – Alita Battle Angel was staggeringly awful, Godzilla King Of The Monsters was beyond crap, X-Men Dark Phoenix proved to be even worse than we feared, Blinded By The Light was so appallingly bad and badly acted that I almost walked out of the screening, The Lion King remake didn’t work at all  and was nothing more than a shot for shot remake of the original , then there was Dumbo which failed to recreate any of the magic that made Disney’s original such a classic, Neil Marshall’s pointless Hellboy reboot showed promise in its design work and story but ultimately turned out to be an utter turd of a film, and whilst it had its good points, the highly anticipated Terminator Dark Fate proved to be nothing more than a complete re-tread of everything we had already seen before in this franchise.


Anyway, enough ranting  – here are my 2019 top ten best, top ten worst, top 15 honouree mentions, top 15 best performances and finally the films I’m most excited to see in 2020.


Top Ten Best films:

  1. Avengers: Endgame
  2. Green Book
  3. The Irishman
  4. Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker
  5. Joker
  6. John Wick Chapter 3
  7. Le Mans 66
  8. Knives Out
  9. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
  10. Rambo: The Last Blood (yes I know  – I’m on my way to hell for including this one!)


Top Ten Worst films

  1. Alita Battle Angel (pointless, boring, dull, piss poor)
  2. Hellboy (awful)
  3. Godzilla King Of The Monsters (definitely left a Michael Bay-alike stench in the nostrils – total crap and badly acted to boot)
  4. Blinded By The Light (the mere thought of this film makes me angry)
  5. The Lion King (cynical audience rip off)
  6. X-Men Dark Phoenix (damp squib – how did they screw this one up?)
  7. The Silence (terrible copy of a Quiet Place)
  8. Shazam (despite everyone really liking this one I absolutely HATED IT!)
  9. The Prodigy (forgettable rubbish)
  10. Glass (garbage sequel to Unbreakable and Split – I’m now beginning to seriously dislike M. Night Shyalaman)



Top fifteen Honouree Mentions:

  1. Long Shot
  2. Hobbs and Shaw
  3. Ad Astra
  4. Hustlers
  5. Angel Has Fallen
  6. The Mule
  7. It Chapter 2
  8. The Man who killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot
  9. Zombieland 2
  10. Last Christmas
  11. Captain Marvel
  12. Bumblebee
  13. Fighting with My Family
  14. Rocketman
  15. Marriage Story



Top 15 best performances:

  1. Joaquin Phoenix  – Joker
  2. Adam Driver – Marriage Story and Star Wars The Rise Of Skywalker
  3. Scarlett Johansson  – Marriage Story
  4. Joe Pesci  – The Irishman
  5. Jennifer Lopez  – Hustlers
  6. Seth Rogen – Long Shot
  7. Mahershala Ali – Green Book
  8. Viggo Mortensen – Green Book
  9. Robert Downey Jr – Avengers Endgame
  10. Matt Damon – Le Mans 66
  11. Brad Pitt – Once Upon a time in Hollywood
  12. Daisy Ridley  – Star Wars The Rise Of Skywalker
  13. Sam Elliott – The Man Who Killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot
  14. Daniel Craig – Knives Out
  15. Clint Eastwood  -The Mule



Most Anticipated Films of 2020:

  1. Tenet
  2. 1917
  3. Top Gun: Maverick
  4. Fast and Furious 9
  5. Black Widow
  6. The Eternals
  7. Bill and Ted Face The Music
  8. Ghostbusters : Afterlife
  9. Army Of The Dead
  10. No Time To Die
  11. Wonder Woman 1984
  12. JoJo Rabbit
  13. Dune
  14. The Gentlemen
  15. Bloodshot


Finally will someone at Warner Bros. please please please please release the Snyder cut of Justice League! You know it exists, we know it exists, Snyder has given us proof it exists, Momoa, Affleck and Gal Gadot have seen it and said its great, you and sodding Joss Whedon short changed us with whatever the hell that version was you released last year – we are pissed off, motivated, and we demand to see it NOW!


Right that’s it for another year, many thanks to all the fans of Phil’s Quick Capsule Reviews for sticking with us (whoever you are) , also a big shout out to my dear friend Phil Hobden, without whom I would have no one to win arguments with about films and who does such a sterling job of keeping this great website going all year round.


I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year


My name is Will Strong and I’ve Been Grosse Pointe Geek – may the Force be with you all.


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Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends Turd of 2019 Award: X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends Turd of 2019 Award: X-Men: Dark Phoenix

2019: In Review Quick Review Year In Review

The votes are in, they have been counted an verified and I can now proudly announce the Winner of 2019’s Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Guests Turd Of The Year award is…

X-Men: Dark Phoenix 

X-Men: Dark Phoenix brings this latest chapter of the X-Men franchise to close with a whimper rather than a bang.   It’s not bad (and it’s far better than Apocalypse & Last Stand)  but overall it’s just not good enough for the source material and talent involved.  Turner does okay as the conflicted Jean Grey but the story feels so truncated and rushed that it starts to feel like a box ticking exercise.

Worst of all, the few surprises the film does offer are very much hinted at (if not given away totally) in the trailer.  Thankfully Marvel now have control back and the X-Men have the chance to fulfil that potential once more.



Other Nominations: Holmes & Watson, Hellboy, The Dead Don’t Die



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