Last Movie You Watched

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Postby Kazuki_Fuse » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:51 am

Out of the Furnace- 8/10

I totally overlooked this when it was released. Glad I went with this tonight instead of the Oldboy remake.
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Postby robersora » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:30 am

Pacific Rim
Popcorn-cinema at its best. I especially fell in love with the drifting-idea.
7/10

Blue Jasmine
This was one of the funniest tragedies I have ever watched. Cate Blanchett did really good.
8/10

The Wolf on Wall Street
This movie was very entertaining, and I don't even know why. This movie contains nothing mind-blowing, but somehow it works perfectly. Also, the drug-induced driving was one of the rare moments I laughed out loud, albeit I've watched it alone. For this scene alone a must watch
9/10
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Postby delispin25 » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:13 am

Mermaids. Not actually about mermaids, thoroughly disappointing.

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Postby Oz » Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:16 am

After thinking about it for months, I have finally started to "marathon" the films of Hirokazu Koreeda, one of my ail-time favorite directors and the most critically acclaimed director working in Japan these days. I have seen almost all of his films before (many of them more than once), but I've never watched any of them in a row. The reason I wanted to do this is that I want to take a closer look at Koreeda's direction and figure out how his films have developed during his long career. I will go through his filmography in its chronological order although I had to watch his latest film (Like Father, Like Son) already because it was screened at a film festival.

Hirokazu Koreeda's Maboroshi: Having directed various documentaries in the early 90's, Koreeda set out to make his first non-documentary film in 1995. Maboroshi could be called the most objective film of Koreeda's career. The camera follows the characters from a long distance, remaining very still most of the time. Koreeda saves the closeups for only a few occasions, which works very well since those few shots become haunting and unforgettable. The close-up of the protagonist's husband haunts the viewer just as much as it haunts the protagonist herself. The film is also fairly quiet and most of the sounds are used to establish the two different settings (the city and the countryside). Maboroshi's cinematography is also notably dark and Koreeda uses water reflections in a gorgeous way (which he doesn't do in any other film). The form of the film comes together in a brilliant way to portray the slice-of-lifey storyline that is occasionally set off its rails by the traumatized past of the protagonist (which silently haunts her and the audience).

Hirokazu Koreeda's After Life: Koreeda's next film would take a surprising turn in style and it would also significantly raise his status among film buffs. After Life is a curious mixture of documentary and fiction, with a cast of dead characters reflecting on their lives before moving on. Koreeda's decision to use mainly non-professional actors is brilliant as it makes the film feel tangibly real. Visually the film mixes documentary-like hand-held camerawork with more traditional visual storytelling of fiction. The film's meditation on life, perception and memory is very striking and it also reaches a sort of metacinematic level as the characters have their most precious memories adapted into short films. The film is also very sneaky in its character development: before you even know it, the film has subtly planted seeds for the development of the most prominent characters and pulls off a great climax.

Hirokazu Koreeda's Like Father, Like Son: While I was aware of the critical acclaim Koreeda's latest had received around the world, I went in expecting another film like I Wish, a commercial compromise by Koreeda which can be very entertaining even if it is not as good as Koreeda's other output. However, Like Father Like Son blew me away. It is Koreeda's treatise on family and parenting that packs a strong punch. By now it can be said that Koreeda can make anyone put out magnificent acting performances: Fukuyama's lead performance stunned me. Koreeda might as well be one of the greatest directors of acting ever. Not only is his direction great in that regard, he is clearly in charge as the film's form is very sophisticated and well-polished. After just one viewing I could say that Like Father Like Son is one of the best film in the director's filmography. In the end, the only thing that gives the film away as a more "mainstream" release is its casting.

I have also watched a couple of other films in addition to going through Koreeda's filmography.

Andrei Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice: Tarkovsky's films are made to be seen on the big screen after all. It was my first time witnessing the Russian auteur's work in a theater, but it became even more obvious just how brilliant Tarkovsky really is. Even though the screened version was very badly damaged, The Sacrifice was a damn powerful film. Depicting one's turbulent relationship with religion doesn't really get much better than this.

Jon S Baird's Filth: Filth is completely built around James McAvoy's tour de force performance as a filthy, guilt-ridden Scottish detective breaking down in a cruelly humorous, tongue-in-cheek story. Just like the title suggests, the film digs deep into filth and plays around with it before ending with a bang. It is an entertaining ride although it often left me wondering whether it was intended to be silly or serious - until the ending which made the film's point rather obvious. Note to self: never go to Scotland.
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Postby Dima » Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:08 am

12 Monkeys

Loved it. There is something very crazy about this film and i am not talking about Brad Pitt. The film might get a bit confusing since there are times Bruce can't decide if what is happening is real or not (but it is definitely real) and the same flashback he keeps seeing is some times with different persons.

Also the ending scene on the plain..... can't understand what it meant :um:
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Postby BrikHaus » Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:38 pm

Veronica Mars

It was good as a wrap-up to the series. It was basically a giant love letter to the fans. If you haven't seen the show, you definitely wouldn't like the movie. But as a fan of the show, I enjoyed it. Not perfect by any means, but the best ending we're going to get.
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Postby Trajan » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:58 pm

Throne of Blood - no one creates atmosphere quite like Kurosawa and the film may be the best example of that. It may not have the epic scope of Seven Samurai or Ran nor the emotional impact of Ikiru or High and Low or the entertainment value of films like Yojimbo, but it's worth seeing for the cinematography alone. It's been quite a while since I last saw this one, and I'd forgotten how good it was.

Watchmen - it's missing something and I'm not sure what it is. I think it would've been a masterpiece if they made it into an HBO Miniseries or something instead of a feature film and given it time to breathe.

Night of the Hunter - it's like a film retelling of a Grimm's Fairytale; it's amazing and there's no other movie quite like it.

Battle Royale - it's better than the Hunger Games and that's all I'm going to say on the matter.

The Bridge on the River Kwai - Alec Guinness's best role and the location shooting in the jungle is still amazing. There are still a few clunky parts, but the rest of the movie is so strong, I can easily look them over.
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Postby Madonna » Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:07 pm

The Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky (1973).

I'm really only compelled to discuss on here films I watched which made a significant impact on me, if I were to review all films I watch then I'd be posting in this thread almost daily.

But I just have to discuss the film, it's eerily powerful, some of it can be called dated and of it's time, but the social commentaries still stand as strong and relevant. It satirizes the commercialization of bigotry, to the brainwashing of children, to the police force, to war and even the world of art; it's all done with avant garde imagery and sometimes very crude imagery; but it's effective nonetheless.

Although it promotes enlightenment as the main goal in life, it also satirizes the rampant faux-spiritual groups that preach spiritual awakening but are just as materialistic and commercialized as the aforementioned things. If you have an interest in things like Kabbalah, the I Ching, Zen, Tarot etc then you'll enjoy the imagery of the film.

Despite the fact that it's often classified as an experimental film, which it is, there is a clear linear story which slowly reveals itself as the film transforms. Part one of the film is highly metaphorical and slightly confusing, part two of the film is much more linear and fills in the gaps of part one, part three is toned down compared to one and two but finishes the movie on a positive and powerful note; at least in my perspective.

I highly recommended this film.

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Postby Aiko Heiwa » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:19 am

I just watched Ring. I'd give it a 9/10, but I think I preferred the book slightly more.
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Postby Oz » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:37 pm

Xard and I marathoned 4 films today at Helsinki CineAasia, a small-scale film festival which only screens Asian films. All of the films turned out to be very intriguing and some of them even great even though we chose them fairly blind (based on directors or Mark Schilling's reviews).

Hirofumi Watanabe's And the Mudship Sails Away: A pretty hilarious indie comedy about a Japanese hillbilly hipster making fun of everyone around him. It goes from being free-roaming low-key comedy film (like Clerks) to something that resembles Hitoshi Matsumoto's Symbol in its absurdity. The black and white cinematography and the "ambient" soundtrack were refreshing and supported the humor of the film well. The director and his brother (who composed the soundtrack and produced the film) were present at the screening and answered a couple of questions afterwards. They were nice guys - too bad there wasn't more time to talk with them.

Ming-liang Tsai's Stray Dogs: Tsai being extreme Tsai. His long-take style was taken even further with the film testing even the patience of the director's fans. The film starts out as a depiction of a poor family trying to survive in a harsh, ugly city only to dissolve later into an unchronological jumble that digs deeper into the minds of the protagonists and their relationship. While the film has its share of problem, I was fascinated by Tsai's use of symbols and his update visual style that also featured creepy closeups this time.

Shuhei Morita & Hiroaki Ando & Katsuhiro Otomo & Hajime Katoki's Short Peace: An anthology of offbeat short anime films. Morita's visually stunning short of an umbrella maker was memorable for its looks, but felt short on content. Ando's short about a white bear (polar bear?) fighting a demon, a Christian warrior and God knows what else was gory as fuck, but rather incomprehensible on its own. Otomo's film was my favorite of the bunch: a gorgeous and visually experimental tale that depicted the Great Fire of Meireki. Katoki's sci-fi action piece started out like a gung-ho American action film and turned into something else by its unforeseeable ending.

Tetsuichiro Tsuta's The Tale of Iya: The biggest surprise of the bunch. Set in Iya Valley, The Tale of Iya is an epic, multi-layered scrutiny of the disappearing and ruined countryside of Japan. While it starts out fairly ordinarily, the story takes turns and twists, leading the film to an insane last third that betrayed my expectations and blew my mind. The film has faboulous cinematography that focuses a lot on producing absolutely gorgeous imagery of the mountains in the area. In addition to simply confusing the heck out of me, the film has one of the creepiest sequences I have seen in a long while: I'll just reveal that it completely interrupts the tangible and concrete reality of the story with a hint of fantasy. The film is bloody long at 169 minutes. However, it is worth its length even thought it meanders a bit in the later parts of the film, but it comes together as one heck of a cinematic experience. Too bad the director tried to stuff too much content into the film so it feels quite messy in the end, but it is by far one of the most interesting films that I have seen in the past year or two. In that way, it kind of reminds me of Sion Sono's films.
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Postby gatotsu911 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:10 pm

Dredd - Very good action movie. Uncompromisingly stark, bleak and focused, with gorgeously grimy set/art design and some surprisingly biting social satire on top. If the makers of the Chronicles of Riddick and The Darkness games made a Judge Dredd game, only instead of a game it was a movie, that movie would probably be Dredd. (That's a compliment.)

Blue is the Warmest Color - Not 100% sure how I feel about this movie in regard to the somewhat-valid feminist critique of its long, long, long, luxuriating, graphic sex scenes and its own in-film admission of men's arguable inability to truly comprehend female sexuality, not to mention its reliance on a handful of stereotypical high school drama/"coming out" narrative tropes in the first, weakest hour (there's even a an arbitrary GB - Gay Bestie). But I'm gonna say that for whatever ideological flaws it has, it's still a very good film, if for no other reason than that epic-length tonal narrative films examining a single character and relationship in painstaking detail are a sorely underserved genre, whether they're dealing with lesbians or Frenchmen or whatever. Nice use of color symbolism too, but that's another post for another time.
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Postby Xard » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:34 pm

Xard's festival report and other recent watches.


Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare: Who would've thought film starring, produced and written by John Mikl Thor would be one of the most terrible 80s horror flicks? Shocking, I know.

It was rather hilarious watch though, for all the wrong reasons. The ending twist is pretty amazing I must admit and the final fight that follows should've gone down in history of cinema as one of its greatest singular moments.

Barbarella: It has Jane Fonda stripping in all her 60s glory, lots of ludicruous bohemian free love sexuality, brilliantly boorish "dialogue" and general late-60s insanity in the best sense possible. It honestly isn't very good scifi but very enjoyable nevertheless for camp value and Fonda. I also had no idea Duran Duran took its name from this film which provided some extra laughs at places. Finally the theme song is freaking amazing 60s vintage. :lol:

World needs more Heavy Metal comic adaptations. Fuck Marvel and DC shit.

Filth: Big man pig man ha ha charade you are!

While not perfect film by any means Filth was pretty great fun and worthy continuation in Trainspotting tradition both stylistically and in terms of content. I guess I had the best time recognizing all the music in the film. Sweet soundtrack and very wide coverage in terms of genres and eras.

Note to self: never go to Scotland.


The Sacrifice
: The old 35mm wasn't in very good condition but that hardly took anything from the experience. Tarkovsky was beyond amazing tier as always so I didn't mind rewatching the film so soon after the previous time I saw it.

Gorgeous, terrifying, mystifying, anxious, spiritual. There are many ways to describe and honor this film. One of the best features of 1980s or ever for that matter. This is how the most talented filmmaker of his generations goes out with thunder.

Maboroshi: Haunting portrayal of life derailed by inexplicable loss. Koreeda's first feature is his most arthousy and I'd say interesting from purely formal angle. Cutting closeups to minimum and utilizing mid-distance to far shots for great majority of film gives the film's characters subtly striking cinematic space to dwell in and manages to make the few, carefully chosen closeups all the more memorable. This is combined very well with the low key, naturalistic narrative style.

If I have any criticisms they would be that there are couple of closeups in the film that seem to break otherwise highly purposeful pattern and the storytelling style borders on meandering in places but these are very minor problems in the greater picture if genuine faults at all.

After Life: This still is Koreeda's best film, I think. Upon rewatch I think I could figure out better what characters/stories were scripted and what weren't but the seamless symbiosis After Life achieves is nothing short of amazing regardless. Great feature with genuine substance and some of the most subtle and gracefully handled character development you can find from modern cinema.

This is basically 3DPD Haibane Renmei in most respects, really.

**********

Festival roundup


Like Father, Like Son: Shockingly good and self-justified fourth entry to Koreeda's Top Three features (don't ask me how that works out). Now I was expecting a good feature given director but I expected I Wish, not Still Walking. It is beautifully lit and shot and has some pleasant use of the subdued, piano driven score but the unquestionable focal point of this film's greatness is the tight, carefully crafted script and stunning lead performances from everyone involved. I'm more often than not a bit taken aback by Japanese acting in dramas but that is definetly not the case here. Koreeda pulls out some amazing performances here as usual.

One of the better "family drama" films I've seen in past few years. Really, if there's any issue with this film it's that it is "nothing but" exquisitely crafted drama film. It is well executed but orthodox stylistically whereas I kinda miss the offbeat narrative style of early Koreeda - this isn't something Like Father, Like Son "fixes" but complaining about this feels petty given how good the actual product here is.

Today and Tomorrow: Yang Huilong's no-bullshit naturalist drama from last year depicts the lives of three young friends on outskirts of Beijing as they struggle to fulfill their dreams in shitty job world with no prospects and pyramid schemes around just about any corner. Still, all in all the film doesn't really present anything that leaves that strong impression... except the final scene with the insane red colour filter. Coming at the end of this feature it's great and surprisingly clear fuck you message directed at Chinese government.

Story of Yonosuke
: Japanese Forrest Gump/asian indie comedy. That pretty much sums it up. It is very charming and likeable film that carries its massive lenght as if it weighted as much as single feather - unfortunately it is just as lightweight in terms of actual substance or truly memorable material.

I still recommend this because it is very entertaining and has that peculiar over the top brand of Japanese characterization and acting that makes me think this could work really well, perhaps even better, as anime. The ojou-sama character would, at least :lol:

The Mudship Sails Away: Deadpan, black and white shoestring budget arthouse comedy about 40 year old (36!!) hipster bum in middle of hillbillville, Japan and the shitty life he and people around him lead. This describes the film overall very well except the wacked out final segment of the feature that is over the top and out of nowhere in the best sense possible.

Really charming little film that makes great use of amusing dialogue, some neat artsy symbolism and carefully thought through mise en scene that extends to anything from editing to location picks.

As nice bonus the brothers duo (director and composer) behind the film were present as guests and I got a chance ot ask them some serious and non-serious questions in the Q&A session afterwards. Great blokes with very good taste in films!

Stray Dogs:

View Original PostOz wrote:Ming-liang Tsai's Stray Dogs: Tsai being extreme Tsai. His long-take style was taken even further with the film testing even the patience of the director's fans.


Like me! :lol:

Anyway, my viscerally hostile reaction Tsai's newest feature first provoked from me has passed with time but all in all I'd say this is one of his lesser features. His sense of framing is still as impeccable as ever (even if he SCANDALOUSLY dares to move camera few times :P) and I could appreciate the basic ideas and themes he tried to communicate in his own, roundabout and symbolic way. There's also one particularly good scene that features Tsai's best mishandling of food since glorious melon fuck days of Wayward Cloud.

Overall though I have plenty of issues with the film. It simply is way too long and drawn out given the actual substance story and themes carry, I found the narrative quite awkward especially early on (those placard bearer shots early on in film that went on for minutes with no clear connection to anything at that point, urggghh) and to be frank the arthouseness of ending reaches self-congratulory masturbatory degrees in a way that's really something. It's been years since I was so, uhh, offended by pretentiousness in execution, I think.

I doubt I'll ever rewatch this Tsai film but even bad Tsai provides experience I don't overall regret having.

Short Peace: The recent Otomo-led anime anthology film. It was pretty good overall with best pieces being every-award-stealing Otomo directed short about Great Fire of Meireki and the final piece of delicious SF and mecha action adapted from Otomo's short manga story. Fuller review to appear in anime topic eventually, I guess.

The Tale of Iya: Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy THIS FILM. :rofl:

To be frank Tale of Iya is something of a overambitious mess that has some serious stumbling blocks in the story it crafts and sheer WTF elements (in a bad way). So I can't bring myself call it exquisitely sculpted piece of art or anything. But is is VERY interesting experience that leaves lingering impression.

Basically the film starts out as naturalistic year-in-life-of-small-village drama with some exquisite aesthetics and memorable characters, morphs into LOLWTF Arjuna-meets-Only-Yesterday-(Or-Something) and ends with straightforward "wait what" material.

Well, if nothing else the 35mm cinematography was probably the most gorgeous footage in the whole Cineasia festival I got to see and the floating, vaguely new ageish/post-rockish soundtrack was exquisite. I also happened to greatly enjoy first two hours or so so despite not being the best film in the festival by a longshot I think this might've been the most memorable as experience out of the whole bunch.




All in all second Cineasia film festival in Helsinki was great fun and I'm not surprised if I attend the third one next year.
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Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:57 pm

I last track of what I last posted (Lego Movie, if I didn't mention that) but I just watched Pixar's La Luna. 10/10 short. Very much in line with The Little Prince and Miyazaki's stuff, I was getting The Little Prince vibes the whole time I watched.
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Postby Gus Hanson » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:14 pm

Frozen - Every bit as awesome on DVD as it was seeing it in theaters. This time around, I tended to pay more attention to Anna's adventures seeing as how I clearly got distracted the first time by Elsa and her "Let It Go" craze.

Oldboy (Remake) - I haven't seen the original yet so I can't compare and yet Josh Brolin as the main character imprisoned for 20 years and writing letters to a daughter he has never met touched me deep inside. A guilty pleasure here for me was watching Samuel L. Jackson getting tortured which I don't think happens a lot in the movies he's appeared in. :lol: As for the twist ending, it did have me with my mouth wide open as I watched it and all I gotta say is that if the ending in the original is similar to the remake, they definitely outdid themselves with this one. Doesn't hold back, a mighty twist.

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Postby Blue Monday » Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:08 am

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012):

Image
A moving, action-tinged drama that is told in three distinct acts with flourishes of really pleasing cinematography. Even though it starts to feel a little long in the tooth by the end I found the conclusion rewarding in its solemnity. Surprised how much I liked this actually, because just prior to watching I found out it was from the director of Blue Valentine, a film which I didn't think much of at the time - The Place Beyond the Pines is probably more my kind of movie I think though and definitely worth a once-over at least.

Also, three Ryan Gosling films in the span of a couple months.
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Postby Bomby von Bombsville » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:59 pm

Strange Circus

Even thought I've never had much of a problem with dark and explicit subject matter, depictions of rape/sexual abuse have always been significantly more difficult for me to watch than other subjects. As a fan of Sono, I planned to watch it anyway, but knowing that rape was a major plot, it took me a while to bring myself to it. So I finally watched it this afternoon, and for the first forty minutes or so, I was completely engaged. "Wow, only a great filmmaker like Sion Sono could pull this off in such a spectacular manner."

Then it fell the fuck apart.

not sure how much of a spoiler this is but might as well put it in a tag  SPOILER: Show
I strongly admire both David Lynch's Mulholland Dr. and Kim Ji-Woon's A Tale of Two Sisters, which had stylistically similar mindscrewy endings to this one. In fact, those both rank among my favorite films from the aughts. Sono just couldn't pull it off.

Because I was engaged in the first 40 minutes, I can't say I particularly disliked the film (unlike my visceral hatred for Cold Fish [for real, fuck that movie]), but I was definitely disappointed.

View Original PostGus Hanson wrote:Oldboy (Remake)

So would you say you liked the movie overall? When I saw it), I thought it was inferior to the original, but that I likely would have enjoyed it on its own had I not seen the original.
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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:39 pm

View Original PostSquigsquasher wrote:Must...Reist...Temptation....To...Mention...Battle...Royale...

They're both based off the legend of the Minotaur. Just sayin'.

Gus Hanson
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Postby Gus Hanson » Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:56 am

View Original PostBomby von Bombsville wrote:So would you say you liked the movie overall? When I saw it), I thought it was inferior to the original, but that I likely would have enjoyed it on its own had I not seen the original.

Overall, I thought it was a decent movie but some action scenes seemed a bit too good to be true such as when the main character takes hits with huge wood sticks without a scratch or an inkling of fainting but then again, it probably was part of his impromptu training.

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Postby Dataprime » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:15 am

Army of Darkness
3/5

Not as good as Evil Dead 1 & 2 although better than the Evil Dead remake.
Had a few laughs here and there but nothing too Groovy

I genuinely love how good Evangelion hurts
- Suicidahlia

She's so cute. Like crazy cute. Like "She's giving me the diabetus" cute. - Gendo'sPapa

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Postby C.A.P. » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:44 pm

Muppets Most Wanted needs to win some kind of award. To say it's one of the most compelling post-Henson projects is an understatement.
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