Monday, July 1, 2019

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In July (2019)

According to: Cat

20 The Field Guide to Evil (7/26)

Production/Distribution: Faliro House, Aurum Film, EchoWolf Productions, Legion M, Moviebar Productions, Timpson Films
Directors: Ashim Ahluwalia, Can Evrenol, Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz, Katrin Gebbe, Calvin Reeder, Agnieszka Smoczynska, Peter Strickland
Writers: Robert Bolesto, Elif Domanic, Can Evrenol, Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz, Katrin Gebbe, Calvin Reeder, Peter Strickland, Yannis Veslemes, Silvia Wolkan
Actors: Jilon VanOver, Birgit Minichmayr, Fatma Mohamed, Claude Duhamel, Vangelis Mourikis, Sarah Navratil, Niharika Singh, Kannon Hicks
Genre: Horror
Rated: R
Length: 117 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: A feature-length anthology film. They are known as myths, lore, and folktales. Created to give logic to mankind's darkest fears, these stories laid the foundation for what we now know as the horror genre.

Anthologies don’t always perform very well at the box office, but that doesn’t make them any less interesting or worth notice. Of course, we’re certainly no stranger to such here – especially horror anthologies from the minds behind ABCs of Death (2012).

That’s what we have with The Field Guide to Evil. If this follows suit, we can expect some segments to be entirely bonkers; but we can also expect some that may just be surprisingly harrowing. I always love horror with a good twist on folklore. I’m quite interested to see what stories were adapted.

19 Critters Attack! (7/23)

Production/Distribution: Blue Ribbon Content, Warner Home Video
Director: Bobby Miller
Writers: Scott Lobdell, Domonic Muir
Actors: Tashiana Washington, Dee Wallace, Jaeden Noel, Jack Fulton, Ava Preston, Leon Clingman, Vash Singh, Steve Blum
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Sci-fi
Rated: R
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: [The story] follows 20-year-old Drea, who reluctantly takes a job babysitting for a professor of a college she hopes to attend. Struggling to entertain the professor's children Trissy and Jake, along with her own little brother Phillip , Drea takes them on a hike, unaware that mysterious alien critters have crash-landed and started devouring every living thing they encounter.

Yes. Those Critters. I generally have mixed feelings as various franchises jump on the 80’s nostalgia bandwagon to remake, reboot, or otherwise prolong old material. Some attempts have been more controversial than others.

Personally, I felt this series of movies was always a bit of horror fluff to begin with. I don’t think they can necessarily hurt the legacy of the ravenous furballs with teeth by tossing out a new movie. That being said, I’m curious to see what differences in production quality might be between the original Critters (1986) and the new. The trailer seems to indicate that they’ve stuck to their practical effects roots for the most part. We’ll see.

I was also surprised to learn than the Shudder network began to air a TV Series featuring these toothsome terrors starting back in March 2019 called Critters: A New Binge. I am unsure whether or not this film ties in with any of these episodes.

18 – Supervized (7/19)

Production/Distribution: Merlin Films, Riley Productions
Director: Steve Barron
Writers: Andy Briggs, Roger Drew, Ed Dyson, John Niven
Actors: Tom Berenger, Beau Bridges, Louis Gossett Jr., Fionnula Flanagan, Elya Baskin, Fiona Glascott, Ned Dennehy, Clive Russell, John Kavanagh
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R
Length: 84 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: Four aging superheroes in a retirement home in Ireland come together for one last hurrah.

The concept for this movie is both endearing and hilarious. One rarely hears about what happens to superheroes once they get past a certain age. Unless a caped crusader is immortal, such things are an inevitability – but one that’s covered about as often as media covering a hero’s need to visit the bathroom during a story. It’s something that plagues books and visual media alike.

Simply put, this movie looks like it’s going to be lots of fun.  

17 Astronaut (7/26)

Production/Distribution: Buck Productions, Eggplant Pictures
Director: Shelagh McLeod
Writer: Shelagh McLeod
Actors: Richard Dreyfuss, Lyriq Bent, Krista Bridges, Colm Feore, Art Hindle, Richie Lawrence, Graham Greene, Jennifer Phipps
Genre: Drama
Rated: Unrated
Length: 97 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: A lonely widower battles his family, ill health and time to win a competition for a golden ticket to space.

This looks like it will be a cute family movie. While the major box office juggernauts this month are also along those lines as well, the rest of this month’s cinematic offerings seem a bit on the heavier side – whether from the horror or action violence standpoint. It’s great that there’s another lighter option out there that offers a story of friendship and daring to reach for the stars.

16 Skin 7/26)

Production/Distribution: Maven Pictures, TUGAWOOD Pictures, Allusionist Picture House, Brookstreet Pictures, Come What May Productions, Hua Wen Movie Group (as Orient Imagine Entertainment), Item 7, Lost Lane Entertainment, New Native Pictures, PaperChase Films, Sight Unseen Pictures, A24
Director: Guy Nattiv
Writer: Guy Nattiv
Actors: Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, Daniel Henshall, Vera Farmiga, Bill Camp, Louisa Krause, Zoe Margaret Colletti, Kylie Rogers, Colbi Gannett, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mike Colter
Genre: Biography, Drama
Rated: R
Length: 118 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: A destitute young man, raised by racist skinheads and notorious among white supremacists, turns his back on hatred and violence to transform his life, with the help of a black activist and the woman he loves.

I will admit that I was on the fence about adding this movie to my list. The reasoning was purely personal. I just get skeeved-out by neo-nazis and that many facial tattoos. Skinheads make my skin crawl.

Once I took a moment to step back from my knee-jerk reaction, I realized that this film has a voice that needs to be heard. The message that people are capable of change and growth is important. I promise I’m not going to get all preachy soap-boxy here. The point, though, is that the story here feels powerful and meaningful. The cast also looks amazing. I may not see this one on the big screen this month but I will definitely be looking for it as soon as it’s available otherwise.  

15 Into the Ashes (7/19)

Production/Distribution: The Film Community, Michael Bruce Pictures, RLJE Films
Director: Aaron Harvey
Writer: Aaron Harvey
Actors: Luke Grimes, Robert Taylor, James Badge Dale, Frank Grillo, David Cade, Marguerite Moreau, Brady Smith, David Maldonado
Genre: Thriller, Action, Crime Drama, Mystery
Rated: Unrated
Length: 98 Minutes

Moviefone Blurb: Nick is an ex-con who's adjusting to a new job, a new wife and some semblance of normalcy in rural Alabama. When vengeful former associates track him down, he's soon forced back into the desperate and violent life that he thought he left behind.

This is certainly quite the month for Frank Grillo (The Grey, The Purge: Anarchy, Beyond Skyline) with two movies hitting the big screen in July. Both films are on my list! While both are action-oriented, his roles seem like they’re from opposite perspectives. In this film, he appears to be the antagonist.  I am looking forward to seeing how this revenge tale between his character and Luke Grimes’ (The Magnificent Seven, El Camino Christmas, Yellowstone) character plays out.

While I don’t feel like this film will stray far from the ‘you hurt my loved one and now you have to pay’ recipe, the trailer hooked me well enough to become invested in the story. This also seems to be the month for movies about guys trying to grow past bad choices and having to face their past.

14Cold Blood (7/5)

Production/Distribution: Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, Goldcrest Films International, Eight 35, Eastwest Productions, Seven 52, Wild Tribe Films, Universal, Paramount Pictures, Eagle Films, Screen Media Films
Director: Frédéric Petitjean
Writer: Frédéric Petitjean
Actors: Jean Reno, Sarah Lind, Joe Anderson, David Gyasi, Francois Guetary, Samantha Bond, Ihor Ciszkewycz
Genre: Thriller, Action
Rated: Unrated
Length: 91 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: A hit-man lives isolated in a cabin at the edge of a lake. One day, an injured woman arrives in front of his house. To save her, he could well risk his own life.

The first movie I remember seeing Jean Reno (Armored, Days and Nights, The Family Heist) in was Léon: The Professional (1994). Here, we find him in a similar role. This time, however, his character is attempting to live the retired life rather than actively working as a hit-man.

Between you and me, I’m also quite happy to see a movie with lots of snow in the scenery at this time of year. It’s freaking hot outside. Snow-laden summer movies allow for an escapism flight of fantasy that the air isn’t boiling outside the theater building.  

13 Above the Shadows (7/19)

Production/Distribution: Myriad Pictures, BondIt Media Capital, HIPZEE, Boundary Stone Films, Gravitas Ventures
Director: Claudia Myers
Writer: Claudia Myers
Actors: Olivia Thirlby, Alan Ritchson, Megan Fox, Jim Gaffigan, Maria Dizzia, Tito Ortiz, David Johansen, Owen Campbell
Genre: Fantasy, Drama
Rated: Unrated
Length: 105 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: A young woman who has faded to the point of becoming invisible must find her way back with the help of the one man who can see her.

Here we have the first of a couple sports-themed movies that have arrived on the list this month. It’s not the MMA fighting that sold me on this film, though.

I can completely relate to someone feeling invisible in their life sometimes. It’s something all-together different when someone actually becomes literally invisible. The fantasy and supernatural aspect to this story is intriguing. It certainly elevates this above your average coaching an athlete to glory tale. I am already buying what the trailer was selling. I am looking forward to see how the story plays out.

12 – Midsommar (7/3)

Production/Distribution: A24, B-Reel Films, Square Peg
Director: Ari Aster
Writer: Ari Aster
Actors: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Will Poulter, Vilhelm Blomgren, Isabelle Grill, Gunnel Fred, Archie Madekwe
Genre: Horror, Drama, Mystery
Rated: R
Length: 145 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown's fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.

I have been intrigued by this movie since I saw the first trailer a few months ago. The story looks a little bit bonkers – but some of the best bone chillers are just that.

Part of the allure is the twisting of the summer solstice-like festivities. Aside from that, my expectations are high because this is the second feature film from the same writer/director of Hereditary (2018). That was a brilliantly creepy tale. I can’t wait to see what ‘horror’ looks like to someone that considered his former movie a ‘family drama.’

11 Point Blank (7/12)

Production/Distribution: WarParty Films, Netflix
Director: Joe Lynch
Writers: Fred Cavayé, Adam G. Simon
Actors: Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Marcia Gay Harden, Christian Cooke, Teyonah Parris, Boris McGiver, Ming Wang, Adam G. Simon
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 86 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: To save his pregnant wife, an emergency room nurse teams up with an injured murder suspect in a race against time, rival criminals and renegade cops.

Here, we’ve come to the second of Frank Grillo’s (End of Watch, Zero Dark Thirty, Wheelman) movies on this month’s list. This time he shares the screen with Anthony Mackie (Real Steel, Runner Runner, Miss Bala). If not a hero of this particular tale, perhaps he’s an anti-hero at the very least.

I find it fascinating that both movies have some similar elements, however it’s likely purely coincidental.

All the same, the trailer promises some good action and the take-down of many bad guys. Sign me up!

10 Bottom of the 9th (7/19)

Production/Distribution: 3:59, Off the Chart Entertainment, Golden Engine Pictures, Saban Films
Director: Raymond De Felitta
Writer: Robert Bruzio
Actors: Joe Manganiello, Sofía Vergara, Kevin William Paul, Denis O'Hare, Michael Rispoli, Vincent Pastore, James Madio, Burt Young
Genre: Drama, Sports
Rated: R
Length: 111 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: After serving 17 years in prison for a violent mistake he made in his youth, a once-aspiring baseball player returns to his Bronx neighborhood.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not crazy about sports movies. I’ve seen a handful that haven’t bored me to tears, though. I’m sincerely hoping that this is the case here. I’m a sucker for a story about getting a second chance at your dreams. This month is heavy on the redemption tales.

I am also a bit giddy about seeing Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Rampage, Drunk Parents) and Sofía Vergara (Machete Kills, Hot Pursuit, The Con is On) on screen together. Their chemistry is just adorable.

Aside from being a fantastic ambassador for the geek community, and my favorite celebrity D&D gamer, Manganiello is more than just a chiseled frame with some salt and pepper sexiness going on. I like seeing him in roles that show off his range beyond type-cast as some sort of military personnel or supporting eye-candy. I may not be as excited about this movie as I am his upcoming comic-adaptation movies, but so far the odds are in favor of this movie being worth the watch.

9 Saving Zoë (7/12)

Production/Distribution: Studio71, Blue Fox Entertainment
Director: Jeffrey Hunt
Writers: Brian J. Adams, LeeAnne H. Adams, Alyson Noel
Actors: Laura Marano, Vanessa Marano, Giorgia Whigham, Ken Jeong, Chris Tavarez, Michael Provost, Nathaniel Buzolic
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Rated: R
Length: 95 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: It's been a year since her older sister's murder, and Echo is still far from being completely all right. Echo has been trying her hardest to be the strong one, while her mother takes too many antidepressants and her father works too much. Now, at the start of her freshman year of high school, Echo receives an unlikely gift from Zoe's old boyfriend: her diary. Echo is hesitant to read it but can't put it down after she gets caught up in Zoe's secret life.

After watching the trailer, I have a strong feeling that I need to add another book to my ever growing to-read list. I really enjoy a good mystery now and again. Sometimes they just drive me crazy when I can’t put the pieces together as fast as I’d like. The jury is still out whether or not this film will play out in a predictable path or if there will be twists and turns to keep audiences guessing. Frustrating or not, I hope it’s the latter.

8The Art of Self-Defense (7/12)

Production/Distribution: End Cue, Bleecker Street Media
Director: Riley Stearns
Writer: Riley Stearns
Actors: Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots, Jason Burkey, Phillip Andre Botello, Steve Terada, Leland Orser, David Zellner
Genre: Dark Comedy
Rated: R
Length: 104 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: A man is attacked at random on the street. He enlists at a local dojo, led by a charismatic and mysterious sensei, in an effort to learn how to defend himself.

This movie is described as an ‘offbeat comedy.’ I think that’s one of my favorite varieties. The trailer hints at an absolutely bananas story that is sure to be entertaining. Imogen Poots’ (Need for Speed, Green Room, I Kill Giants) character sold this one for me, really. I’m just not quite clear if this movie is leaning towards the parody angle or if it’s just quirky and unexpected.

7 Lying and Stealing (7/12)

Production/Distribution: Vertical Entertainment, COTA Films, Artina Films, Blue Swan Entertainment, GEM Entertainment, Film & TV House
Director: Matt Aselton
Writers: Matt Aselton, Adam Nagata
Actors: Theo James, Emily Ratajkowski, Fred Melamed, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Evan Handler, Frank Gallegos, Davie-Blue, Mia Cheung, Fernanda Andrade
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 100 Minutes

Moviefone Blurb: Hoping to leave his criminal lifestyle behind him, a successful art thief teams up with a sexy con woman to pull off the ultimate heist and set himself free.

I love the intrigue of heist movies. With this one, we get the added bonus of the sizzling chemistry between Theo James (War on Everyone, The Secret Scripture, Castlevania) and Emily Ratajkowski (Gone Girl, We Are Your Friends, I Feel Pretty). The trailer seems to indicate the film follows the ‘one more and I’m done’ recipe of a generally good guy wanting to turn his life around. Redemption is the word of the month!

Aside from that, the movie seems to have a good deal of wit and a lot of solid entertainment factor. I can’t wait to see it. 

6 Stuber (7/12)

Production/Distribution: 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Director: Michael Dowse
Writer: Tripper Clancy
Actors: Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, Mira Sorvino, Karen Gillan
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rated: R
Length: 93 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: A detective recruits his Uber driver into an unexpected night of adventure.

The premise of this movie is absolutely insane. When you add Dave Bautista (Blade Runner 2049, Hotel Artemis, Avengers: Endgame) and Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Fist Fight, Silicon Valley) into the equation of this police action-comedy, insanity seems to become brilliance. The unlikely duo and the scenario they find themselves in is utterly outlandish and hilarious. This film looks to promise a lot of laughs while also satisfying the usual summer movie action blockbuster elements.

5Dora and the Lost City of Gold (7/31)

Production/Distribution: Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies, Walden Media, Screen Queensland
Director: James Bobin
Writer: Chris Gifford, Matthew Robinson, Nicholas Stoller, Valerie Walsh, Eric Weiner, Tom Wheeler
Actors: Isabela Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Peña, Eva Longoria, Adriana Barraza, Temuera Morrison, Jeffrey Wahlberg, Nicholas Coombe, Benicio Del Toro, Danny Trejo
Genre: Adventure, Family, Mystery, Comedy
Rated: PG
Length: 100 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: Dora, a teenage explorer, leads her friends on an adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind a lost city of gold.

When I first heard that this movie was actually going to be a real thing, I thought that surely it was going to be a bit of a farce. My expectation was to find a live-action version of something cheesily like the cartoon aimed at really young kids. I was wrong – I was very wrong.

This film looks like it will be generally entertaining. I wondered how the production would work in the more supernatural aspects of Dora’s existence – such as her backpack, map, and monkey friend. From what I’ve seen of the trailers, it looks like the movie is approaching these things from a more realistic tack rather than hokey and outlandish.

As I mentioned before, this month is full of a lot of more adult-geared movies. This offers a great family movie alternative. I may actually watch this one, myself.

4Crawl (7/12)

Production/Distribution: Paramount Pictures, Fire Axe Pictures, Ghost House Pictures, Raimi Productions
Director: Alexandre Aja
Writers: Michael Rasmussen, Shawn Rasmussen
Actors: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Ross Anderson, Anson Boon, José Palma, Ami Metcalf, Morfydd Clark, Savannah Steyn
Genre: Action, Adventure, Horror, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 88 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: 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.

I have been anticipating this movie with bated breath since I saw the first trailer. I am excited for a new take on the alligator creature feature that’s more realistic than the gargantuan reptile of Lake Placid (1999). At the same time, I am also dreading the movie a bit for that very reason.

It’s easier for your subconscious to ignore clearly fictional creatures that might dwell half a continent away from you – but less so when the creatures are generally realistic and framed in a fairly plausible scenario. Hello nightmares, here I come. Why, you ask? I happened across a tidbit of news, you see. This movie was inspired by an actual alligator encounter in Florida during Hurricane Florence.

Have I mentioned I live in Louisiana, another state with a giant hurricane target on it? Bodies of water and alligators are everywhere. I don’t generally like to feed into the stereotypes of what everyone expects from my state… but in this case, I can’t help it. Of course, I don’t live on the actual coast. I’m in a land-locked portion of the state, so while water tables are high enough that you generally don’t see basements here – my area isn’t in danger of storm surge surfing gators. Thank goodness. 

All the same, I can’t wait to watch the movie. I guess I’m a little masochistic. 

3Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood (7/26)

Production/Distribution: Bona Film Group, Heyday Films, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Visiona Romantica
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Kurt Russell, Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, Damon Herriman, Austin Butler, Emile Hirsch, Luke Perry, Damian Lewism, Lena Dunham, Rumer Willis, Lorenza Izzo, Maya Hawke, Bruce Dern, Harley Quinn Smith, Michael Madsen
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: Unrated
Length: 159 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.

Here we have a heaping helping of Hollywood nostalgia. Just look at the cast for this one on top of that. This tale about Hollywood’s ‘golden age’ will likely be quite the golden ticket for Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill Vol. 2, Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight). 

I don’t really even have adequate words to describe how fabulous this movie looks. The trailers convey that the film really captures the feel of the late 60s. I love the character dynamic and can’t wait to see how this one unfolds. It’s said that the movie’s framework of parallel scenes in the storytelling is reminiscent of Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994). One thing’s for sure – Tarantino excels at topping his own work. 

2 The Lion King (7/19)

Production/Distribution: Walt Disney Pictures, Fairview Entertainment
Director: Jon Favreau
Writers: Jeff Nathanson, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton
Actors: Donald "Childish Gambino" Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key, Beyoncé , James Earl Jones, John Kani, Alfre Woodard, Amy Sedaris
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
Rated: PG
Length: 118 Minutes

IMDb Blurb: After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.

Do I really need to explain this one? The live-action remakes of the Disney animated greats are all worth giving a chance. This one is definitely no exception. I’ve loved what I’ve seen with the trailers so far, and I plan to see this one with my family during opening week, if at all possible.

1Spider-Man: Far from Home (7/2)


Production/Distribution: Pascal Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Director: Jon Watts
Writer: Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers
Actors: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Cobie Smulders, Martin Starr, J.K. Simmons, J.B. Smoove
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Adventure, Action
Rated: PG-13
Length: 129 Minutes

Moviefone Blurb: Peter Parker's relaxing European vacation takes an unexpected turn when Nick Fury suddenly shows up in his hotel room. Parker soon finds himself donning the Spider-Man suit to help Fury and fellow superhero Mysterio battle an evil new threat.

So let’s talk about ‘spoilerman,’ as the internet has taken to calling him.

I am unsure why Disney started releasing these trailers so close on the heels of Avengers: Endgame (2019), but here we are.

DO NOT WATCH THE TRAILER (or the movie, really) if you are bothered by spoilers and haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Endgame yet. Save yourself some frustration.

I have seen the films up to date, and can’t wait to see this one – feels and all – but beyond the fact that it’s another can’t-miss part of the MCU screen experience, I can’t really give any other feedback without becoming a spoiler, myself.

Make sure you’ve watched the movies in order – and then go check this one out!

Movies to Look out For
According to: Selina

Supervized .20
Critters Attack! .19
Astronaut .18
Skin .17
Sword of Trust .16
Lying and Stealing .15
Above the Shadows .14
Midsommar .13
Saving Zoe .12
Firecrackers .11
The Farewell .10
Dora the Explorer .9
Bottom of the 9th .8
Point Blank .7
The Art of Self Defense .6
Stuber .5
Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood .4
Crawl .3
The Lion King .2
Spider-Man: Far from Home .1


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