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Sunday, 25 April 2010

California Dreaming

I know, I know. I didn't post anything last week because well, I was busy and this week I'm busy yet again. I've got two assignments and a Japanese test to study for this upcoming week and am doing the best I can to balance this and university life at the same time. The good news is, I've finished this Professional Writing assignment so now I won't have to worry about any other major outcomes for that subject. The last piece of assessment for Professional Writing is a folio of writing pieces so I'm okay with that. Anyways, I've incorporated a few of the more notable bits and pieces from this week and last week for this blog post. It's still the same length as a regular post though. :)

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Last Saturday I attended the Supanova convention here in Melbourne and it was a pretty awesome day. I was out with a few mates and had a pretty good time geeking out about geeky things. Below are a few of my favourite snaps from the event.

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The closest I'd ever get to wielding a lightsaber. :(

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It's not everyday you get to violate R2-D2. :)

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It's come back to kill me. D:

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A rather rotund Obi-Wan.


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"The Sand People are easily startled, but they'll be back. And in greater numbers."

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I took up a free Brazillian Jiujitsu (referred to as BJJ from here on out) class the other day and enjoyed it so much that I'm willing to go back. For those of you who don't know what BJJ, it's a martial art discipline that is focused predominately on grappling. My parents aren't crazy about the idea though but I really want to get into something physical as I don't get much exercise done ever. Now if only I had a job to actually pay the fortnightly fee. I wouldn't even be taking up this class had it not been for my newfound interest in the UFC (totally want to get 'UFC Undisputed 2010' for the PS3).

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I have a question for those of you reading this. Would it be true to say that as we get older and mature, so does our taste in music? I can't remember where I read this statement but the other day it just popped into my head again and I've noticed that I've been listening to quite a lot of different types of music from different genres and different time periods. Hell, I was listening to an Al Green album the other day, haha! Care to discuss what you think about this bold statement?

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Anyone reading this excited about 'Red Dead Redemption'? I'm totally getting this game when it comes out because it looks fuh-riggin' amazing. There was a game on the PS2 that I really loved called 'Gun' and this looks to be quite similar and even more fun. What I'm mostly excited about is the fact that it's like 'Grand Theft Auto' (and how appropriate seeing as how it's developed by Rockstar Games), only with cowboys and in the wild west. Massive open world to explore coupled with, what looks to be, an engaging and immersive experience with online multiplayer. The deathmatches start off with awesome Mexican standoffs and your game lobby is basically the open world of 'Red Dead Redemption'. They've turned it almost into a full out MMO! And now to end nerd-out. Anyone with a Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 should definitely consider getting this for their console. Can you say Game of the Year?

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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

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"Ninja Assassin" was my kind of stupid. Stupid plot, stupid characters but insanely awesome action, especially in the first 5 - 10 minutes of the film. The script was apparently written within 50 or so hours and it shows because the dialogue is dead and flat. It reminded me of "Punisher: Warzone" only with ninjas and without Ray Stevenson punching a guy's head in so hard it explodes.


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Holy God, almighty are we scraping at the bottom of the bin now. "Future X Cops" is a complete mess. Normally I love stupid films but this was one I genuinely hated. I expected it to be bad from the trailer, sure, but not THIS bad. What's worse is that Andy Lau, one of the most recognisable faces in Chinese entertainment associated his name to this terrible film. Andy Lau's a great, great actor and I have no idea what he was doing in this. I thought the script for "Ninja Assassin" was bad until I saw this! Nothing is ever explained and you're going to have a massive migraine figuring out what's happening. The film itself was a compelte rip off of other more successful films such as "The Terminator", "The Matrix" or "Iron Man". It's so bad that it's also funny too in some parts (if that made sense).


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My cinema class screened Wong Kar Wai's, "Chungking Express" this past Monday and it was a film that I was very interested in seeing. The reason for this is because my friend and her sister are big fans of Wong Kar Wai's works and recommended I watch his films. I believe that the director's next feature is another Yip Man biopic titled "The Grandmaster". It has no relation to the one starring Donnie Yen and instead has Tony Leung as Yip Man. Leung is in fact a long time collaborator with Wong Kar Wai. I'm guessing Wong Kar Wai is to Tony Leung as Martin Scorsese is to Robert De Niro? Anyways, the film was terrific. Both halves of the film were great and I can't distinguish which I liked more. I will say though that Faye Wong's character stole the movie for me and I fell in love with her weird and quirky character. Now if you'd excuse me, I'm off to seduce an airflight attendant. Tony Leung + Valerie Chow = Hot.


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I had heard a few good things about "Hot Tub Time Machine" but was a little apprehensive watching it. I'll admit, it's got a kick ass movie title like "Snakes on a Plane", but I wasn't sure if it was going to be funny to me or not. Well, it was and it was a really awesome film I thought. I didn't feel the nostalgia of the 80's of course but the situations these characters were in was completely hilarious and was a lot better than I had imagined it to be. I'd recommend this film, definitely. Funny how I keep saying I'll write a review but end up not doing it. I'd write one for this as well but I can't be bothered seeing as how I've got other things to worry about this week.



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I'm planning on watching the first "Iron Man" film again in preparation for the sequel coming out later this week. The only problem with this is that Donnie Yen's, "Ip Man 2" releases this week too. Decisions, decisions.
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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS

I barely remember much from this and last week's movie news so here are three news pieces to perhaps keep you happy enough.

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Joss Whedon has been in talks with Marvel to direct "The Avengers" movie. This movie is a franchise crossover that will see Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Hulk on screen together which also means you will see Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsowrth, Chris Evans and possibly Edward Norton together on screen in one massively epic movie. The question is, can Whedon do it? Whedon is responsible for creating "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Angel" and the short lived series' of "Firefly" (epic win) and "Dollhouse". You'd think I'd have faith in Whedon but I'm a little apprehensive about this decision. At least he's not being watched over by Fox producers. Whedon and Fox do not mix well together at all.

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So this quick teaser trailer/clip for Emma Stone's upcoming film, "Easy A" is rather...interesting. I've watched it quite a few times now and the song that Emma sings is quite infectious and has been stuck in my head for the past few days now. Here's what the plot of "Easy A" sounds like:

After a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out, a clean cut high school girl (Emma Stone) sees her life paralleling Hester Prynne’s in “The Scarlet Letter,” which she is currently studying in school – until she decides to use the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.

The film also co-stars Amanda Bynes, Cam Gigandet, Stanley Tucci, Lisa Kudrow and Malcom McDowell and Penn Badgley.

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Twilight-Eclipse-Poster.jpg picture by hieuyy

For anyone interested in the "Twilight" series of movies, the latest trailer for the third installment, "Eclipse", hit the interwebs last night and here's a peek at the third movie.

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And now to finish off, below is my current desktop wallpaper. My life couldn't get any more awesome than this right here.

http://www.cyberblack.it/wp/wp-images/wallstarwarsrock.jpg

End post.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Be Quick Or Be Dead

I'm gonna dive straight into today's post for three reasons:

1. I can't remember much that happened this week.
2. I've got homework that needs finishing.
3. I wasn't sure how to start things off, haha.

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http://morningaftershow.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/swoon1.jpgclick to zoom

Bought myself two albums this week and both of them are damn awesome albums. I bought Silversun Pickups' "Swoon" album and Tokyo Jihen's latest album "Sports". Both are fantastic listens though I do think that Silversun Pickups' benefits a lot more on my stereo system at home. There were a lotta sounds and instruments that I never really picked up on the first time around with what I had on my computer. Tokyo Jihen's album sounds awesome on my stereo as well, although the only flaw I'd have to give it is that I can't really hear lead singer, Shiina Ringo's, all that much. It's still a good album though (much better than her solo "comeback" effort last year).

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I also got myself a new game yesterday - "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune". I already had "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves" when I got my Playstation 3 earlier this year and loved the hell out of it and wanted to see what it's predecessor was like. "Drake's Fortune" was still very enjoyable and gorgeous to look at but the one thing I didn't like about "Drake's Fortune" (which they completely scrapped in the sequel thankfully), was the use of Playstation 3's six-axis controller. I felt stupid having to tilt the controller in order to throw a grenade. Another thing that sets "Drake's Fortune" apart from it's sequel is the fact that it's grounded in one place, whereas the sequel, you're travelling the world. Not saying it's a bad thing or anything like that, just saying how the game series has progressed. I honestly did not want to put the controller down beacuse I was so immersed and sucked in playing it. I ended up beating the game in one sitting over the course of 8 hours. 8 hours of a game may sound short but, looking at it as a movie, the pacing of the story was almost perfect.

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This gambling addict wants to go back to the casino and gamble! My friends shouldn't have introduced me to "Casino Wars". I only just found out about the game and how to play it and I love it. It's you versus the dealer and whoever has the highest card out wins. Easy money to be made and lost. Yeah, I so wanna go back next week for it, hahaha.

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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

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"Layer Cake" was an awesome movie. It's a nice British gangster film that isn't directed by Guy Ritchie. it's got an awesome cast and some pretty good direction from Matthew Vaughn (seen directing this week's release, "Kick-Ass") Daniel Craig is NOT the suave, debonair 'James Bond' character he is now in this but certainly looks the part in a few scenes. Starts off simply enough and might get a tad confusing with who's dealing with who but things tie up well in the end. There's a scene in particular that I really liked that saw one of Daniel Craig's character's associates beating the hell out this other guy while Duran Duran's "Ordinary World" playing during the scene. It's a wonderfully shot scene and using that song with that particular scene was really awesome.


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As mentioned just above, "Kick-Ass" was released this week and it did not disappoint. Truth be told, however, I imagined it to be a little more funnier but I'm happy with the end result cause what I got was something worth my money and rea;ly enjoyable (especially when watching it with a bunch of your mates). I see potential in the future for actors, Chloe Moretz and Aaron Johnson.


Ya know I feel like I saw one more film this week though I'm not sure what that could be. Like I said before, I can't remember this week all that well.
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No 'Tidbits of Film News' section this week because I can't be bothered writing any in. Well, that and there weren't many things to share this week. I'm sure you can all do without a long mega week post anyway. I know I've said I'd put reviews up but with the constant bombardment of University work, I kinda can't be bothered. I guess so long as I put what I thought about recent films in this weekly blog post, you can see if I liked it or not.

Anyways, ending this week's rather short and lazy post is this silly thing.funny pictures of cats with captions

End post.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

All Is Love

WOOOO! A full week off from University - nice. It's not really much of a break though cause I've got about three critical assessment pieces due after the break. I'll leave it for next week, haha. In the mean time, here's another usual post chock-full of stuff that happened during the week.

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I realise that this post was supposed to be done yesterday but I was at my mate's place having an incredibly chilled time. Thankfully, it's the weekend so that's why I've said that I'm starting to only update on Saturdays and/or Sundays (just to remind anyone if they wanted/needed to know).

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I recently signed up to take part in "The World's Greatest Shave".
Yes, I know that I'm not doing it during the week that the event took place but The Leukemia Foundation are pretty much happy to have anyone volunteer at anytime of the year. Initially, I was just going to spontaneously shave my head for no real reason but as I thought about it more, I thought I might as well have done it for something good. A friend of mine had a shaver and shaved it for me on Friday afternoon because I was too afraid that I'd screw up and leave ugly bald patches, haha.
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supergod3.jpg picture by hieuyy

The third issue to "Supergod" finally landed!
Actually, it may have hit stores a lot earlier than I expected but I can't be sure cause I checked in with the comic book store and they kept telling me it wasn't arriving in yet. I don't know why it was delayed but oh well, it's here now. It was okay, it didn't leave me with my jaw hanging on the floor but it was a nice read. The narration is starting to piss me off a little though.

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I also grabbed Mark Millar's new creator owned comic, "Nemesis". He reteamed with artist Steve McNiven to create an awesome comic that, I believe, will be quite big within the comic community. I liked the duos work on Marvel's "Civil War". The first issue is quite awesome, even if it's a few pages short. Can't wait for the next one.

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I was also able to get the only two issues of "Breaking Into Comics: The Marvel Way". Both issues contain several one shot stories that show off art and drawing styles from Marvel's up and coming artists. It's a great read through and provides inspiration to those who want to break into comics. I know I certainly feel inspired to pick up a pencil and draw when I see these. At the back of both issues are some words from the up and coming talent Marvel are fostering and it's nice to read about how they got into comics and how they approached Marvel with their folios of work.
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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

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I've never watched an Alfred Hitchcock film until I saw "The Birds" on Monday morning. It's a well made film, that's for sure, but I find it a little hilarious (though I'm sure that wasn't the intention). I dunno if it was just me, but I kept thinking that this movie reminded me of your average zombie film. Have everyone holed up in a small local area and have everyone panic over an invading and somewhat apocalyptic threat. This was what "The Birds", basically was. I read elsewhere (after watching the film) on the Internet that this film helped George A. Romero create "Night of the Living Dead" and was cited as his inspiration for creating his zombie classic. If that's the case, then I have Alfred Hitchcock to thank for allowing "The Birds", to be the catalyst for epic zombie apocalypse movies.


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Regular readers would probably know that I really wanted to check out Spike Jonze's "Where The Wild Things Are" last year but, unfortunately, never got the chance to see it in cinemas. Now that I've seen it at home, I think that I still should've seen it cinemas instead. I just feel that some of that awe and wonder of being a child would be better understood if it were projected in a theater instead. Nonetheless, the film lived up to my expectations, though I did think that it was somewhat strange at times. It's not quite a children's movie but more like an adult's perspective on what it means to be a child. I enjoyed it, but I'm not sure if I'd own it on home video for myself. I will give credit to the wonderful cinematography in the film. Some really picture-perfect choices of shots throughout the film. Also the soundtrack in this film is really good too! I found myself humming a lot of the tune after the credits were done, haha.



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Went to catch a screening of "Clash of the Titans" on Friday night and was pretty disappointed with the overall product. I wasn't expecting much to be honest (plot and character wise) and was looking for a good, fun time with the screen. I'd like to think that I sort of had a decent time but the film could've done so much better. I might write a review on the film in a seperate post so look out for that (if you're interested) during the week.



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I felt a little apprehensive seeing this French film because it was deemed to be very graphic and very shocking. "Irreverisble", aroused much controversy during it's release due to it's unflinching depiction of violence. A mate of mine recommended it to me and I took it as a challenge and sat myself down to see it. In all honesty, the film wasn't as horrificly violent as I had envisioned but it was still rather confronting (not something I'd recommend to everyone, but it is tolerable). I actually really liked the film. The story unfolds much like "Memento", in that the movie literally starts from the conclusion and ends in the beginning. It's a rather interesting film that's very well directed and very well shot. It kind of makes me want to go and see some of the director's (Gasper Noe) other films. One of his films, I'm told, is much like Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" (at least in terms of subject matter).

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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS

Step Up 3D Movie Poster

First piece of film news today. The "Step Up" franchise isn't a franchise I particularly like but I don't mind and kinda enjoy the dancing sequences because they're pretty cool to watch. I remember seeing "Step Up 2" in theaters with some friends and thought it was pretty boring and had a very cliche formula running through it. All these movies are pretty much the same - we've seen it all before. In this type of movie, story, characters and acting are all secondary to the dancing. Much like how "The Fast and The Furious" franchise is mostly about girls and cars.

Well, I would've thought this was an April Fool's joke but it looks pretty legit to me. A trailer has been released for the third installment in the Step Up franchise: "Step Up 3D". I don't think 3D has any business being near a movie like this. Sure, 3D is used as another element of film immersion, enhancing one's experience and the overall quality of a scene, but for a dancing movie, it's really unnecessary and gimmicky. Damn you James Cameron for making Hollywood cash in on your success. What made me laugh in the trailer though was the title card "From Director Jon M Chu". Very pretentious considering that I've never heard of this guy. A quick Google search shows that he directed the second "Step Up" movie.



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A full length trailer for Hong Kong production, "Ip Man 2", was released this past week and it looks super crazy and hella awesome! Donnie Yen reprises his role as the grandmaster of wing chun, Yip Man. In this film, Ip Man migrates to Hong Kong with his family and tries to have his martial arts discipline of Wing Chun spread. I hope this movie gets screened on Australian cinemas! By the way, the soundtrack used in the trailer is epicly good! Wonder if there would be an "Ip Man 2" score soundtrack.



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The official theatrical trailer for Sylverster Stallone's 80's action movie throwback, "The Expendables" hit the interwebs this past week! While I love the product that Stallone's producing (and the talent he was able to acquire for an awesome film like this), I'm kinda disappointed that the trailer had ruined the cameos of Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger for me. I knew in advance that the film was going to include cameos from these two action megastars but I didn't want to see it until the final product was complete. It's not like the inclusion of both Willis and Schwarzenegger ruined the entire film for me though. I'm still going to go see this testosterone charged film, no matter what.



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I've never watched "The A-Team" television series before and the only thing I know about it is that Mr T was in it. The second theatrical trailer for "The A-Team" came out this week and it's even more over the top and ridiculous than the first one. Thing is, I'd much prefer "The Expendables" over this because it's not as appealing to me. Oh and I don't believe for one second that a fine lady like Jessica Biel would be working with the military! So out of place, haha.


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Support Aussie films! Although production wrapped last year, Aussie crime-drama, "Animal Kingdom", will be released later this year and I think people should get behind it if they want to support the film and television industry in Australia. "Animal Kingdom" has gotten a lot of positive feedback from audiences and critics alike at a few film festivals and is still picking up momentum. The film is set in Melbourne during the mid 1980's and features a pretty well rounded Australian cast. Below is the synopsis of the film and the theatrical trailer.

Welcome to the jungle known as the Melbourne underworld. Animal Kingdom uses this edgy locale to unspool a gripping tale of survival and revenge. Pope Cody, an armed robber on the run from a gang of renegade detectives, is in hiding, surrounded by his roughneck friends and family. Soon, Pope’s nephew, Joshua “J” Cody, arrives and moves in with his hitherto estranged relatives. When tensions between the family and the police reach a bloody peak, “J” finds himself at the center of a cold-blooded revenge plot that turns the family upside down. Pearce plays a troubled cop and is the one who thinks he can save the 17 year-old.



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The second theatrical trailer for the Angelina Jolie action film, "Salt" was released this past week also. There are only a handful of women in Hollywood that could pull off looking hot while blowing stuff up and getting into brawls with other men and Angelina is one of them. If it were someone else headlining Salt (let's say, Amanda Seyfried), then I couldn't take it seriously, no matter how good the production is. I wouldn't mind seeing this film as it it does look kinda interesting. Getting a bit of a Bourne vibe from it actually.



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This doesn't really count as news but I'll report on it anyway. Below are fan made posters depicting Chris Evans as Captain America. I really like the first one but hate the second one. After seeing these though, I can actually see him as Captain America. One tiny problem about this, however, is that Captain America is a BIG guy. I wonder if Evans will bulk up even more just for this, haha.

Captain America: Artwork by DorkyFresh from the SuperHeroHype forums

Captain America Poster: artwork by Sanket Tanka from CGSociety.org and Cth from SuperHeroHype forums

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Below, you can find the first few official photos for "Resident Evil: Afterlife". It's the fourth installment to the "Resident Evil" film franchise but I don't want this to continue any longer. It's not even set in the "Resident Evil" world (never really was). They're just taking characters from the game and putting them into a completely different environment. That and they've completely miscast a lot of people too. Wentworth Miller (of "Prison Break" fame) was cast as Chris Redfield. Really?








There's also a teaser trailer that was released this morning as well. The trailer doesn't really tell you much and for those who've played the game, this movie looks to borrow way too much from "Resident Evil 5" (and it's not even a proper adaptation, just borrowing characters and concepts). There seems to be a heavy push on the 3D aspect in the trailer and it also seems that the film was made in 3D so it might be worth a look in 3D (as opposed to the other films that were converted to 3D in post-production).

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And now, to end this post, a LOLcat image depicting a fat cat as Jabba The Hutt from "Star Wars". :D

Jabba the Hutt Cat

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