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DISCussion: New on DVD and Blu-ray (11.13.12)

It has been 50 years since the release of the classic epic movie Lawrence of Arabia and to celebrate its 50th Anniversary the movie is coming out on Blu-ray and a Collector’s Edition, featuring the full director’s cut, documentaries, interviews and deleted scenes.

First Release
Brave (DVD and Blu-ray)
Savages (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Watch (DVD and Blu-ray)
Vamps (DVD and Blu-ray)
2 Days in New York (DVD and Blu-ray)

Re-Release
Trilogy of Life (DVD and Blu-ray)
Weekend (1967) (DVD and Blu-ray)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) (Blu-ray)
Empire of the Sun (1987) (Blu-ray)
Bill &Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) (Blu-ray)
Watchmen (2009) (Blu-ray)
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) (Blu-ray)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) (Blu-ray)
The Big Trail (1930) (Blu-ray)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Triple Feature (Blu-ray)
Ocean’s Triple Feature (Blu-ray)
Austin Powers Triple Feature (Blu-ray)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Double Pack (Blu-ray)

Lawrence of Arabia (1962) (Blu-ray)

Directed by David Lean
Written by Robert Bolt, Michael Wilson
Starring: Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Omar Sharif

The word epic is thrown around too often these days to describe movies, but the British classic Lawrence of Arabia truly lives up to word. Made on a grand scale by director David Lean (Bridge Over the River Kwai), Peter O’Toole tackles the role of T.E. Lawrence, a British Army Officer and diplomat during the First World War, who is assigned to united the Arab rebel against the Ottoman Empire and ends up becoming their greatest champion.

Lawrence of Arabia celebrates its 50th anniversary with a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray set. This classic movie won seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director and is one of Steven Spielberg’s favorite movies.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 98% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
8.9/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Picture-in-Graphic “Secrets of Arabia”; Peter O’Toole Revisits “Lawrence of Arabia”; The Making of Lawrence of Arabia documentary (Restored Version); 5 Featurettes; NY Premiere (Newsreel); Advertising Campaigns (Restored Version); Theatrical Trailer

Additional Collector’s Edition Special Features: Interview with Martin Scorsese; “In Love with the Desert”; Deleted Scene: “Balcony” with introduction by Anne Coates (never before released); Featurette: “King Hussein Visits Lawrence of Arabia”; Featurette: “Wind, Sand and Star” (1963)

Amazon Price: $18.99 (Blu-ray), $64.96 (Collector’s Edition)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 4.5 stars, Video 4.5 stars, Audio 4.5 stars, Extras 4.5 stars, Replay 4 stars (out of 5). DVD Talk Collector Series.

Many of this week’s releases have historical theme to them, including the big release of Pixar’s Brave, Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, the film adaptation of Watchmen and the time travel comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Brave (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Written by Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi (screenplay), Brenda Chapman (story)
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Julie Walters, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson

After the misstep that was Cars 2, Pixar returned to form with their Scotland-set princess movie Brave.

Merida (Kelly Macdonald), the headstrong daughter of King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), is to have her hand in marriage awarded to the son of one of the clan leaders, but she wants to carve out her own destiny and in doing so makes a grave mistake that puts her family in jeopardy.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 78% (very good)
Player Affinity Score:
8.1/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: “La Luna” Animated Short; The Legend of Mordu; Audio Commentary with Director Mark Andrews, Co-Director Steve Purcell, Story Supervisor Brian Larsen, And Editor Nick Smith; Audio Commentary with Director Mark Andrews, Co-Director Steve Purcell, Story Supervisor Brian Larsen, And Editor Nick Smith

Amazon Price: $15.99 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray), $27.99 (3D Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 4.5 stars, Video 5 stars, Audio 5 stars, Extras 4.5 stars, Replay 4 stars (out of 5). DVD Talk Collector Series.

Savages (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Oliver Stone
Written by Shane Salerno, Don Winslow, Oliver Stone (screenplay), Don Winslow (novel)
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, John Travolta, Benicio del Toro, Salma Hayek

Since the release of Nixon in 1995, Oliver Stone’s directing career has been very hit or miss, and that also describes the critical reaction toward Savages. It also constituted the third flop of 2012 for the unluckiest man in Hollywood, Taylor Kitsch (the others being John Carter and Battleship).

Based on a novel by Don Winslow, two Californian marijuana dealers, Ben (Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kick-Ass) and Chon (Kitsch) are forced to go to war with a powerful Mexican Cartel after their shared girlfriend (Blake Lively) is kidnapped.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 51% (average)
Player Affinity Score:
7.0/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price:
$16.99 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Watch (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Akiva Schaffer
Written by Jared Stern, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Starring: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Rosemarie DeWitt

The Watch had a lot of comic pedigree behind it being produced by Shawn Levy (the director of Night at the Museum and Date Night) with a script by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade (The I.T. Crowd). But the critical reaction was highly negative as four suburban men form a neighbor watch and end up having to fend off an alien invasion.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 17% (awful)
Player Affinity Score:
3.0/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Deleted Scenes; Gag Reel; Alien Invasions & You; Casting the Alien; Theatrical Trailer

Amazon Price: $16.99 (DVD), $22.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Vamps (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and directed by Amy Heckerling
Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Krysten Ritter, Dan Stevens

Vampires are in vogue and Clueless director Amy Heckerling tackles the demons of the night as two vampires, Goody (Alicia Silverstone) and Stacy (Krysten Ritter, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23) have to battle the New York dating scene.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 50% (average)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $9.99 (DVD), $12.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 2 stars, Video 4 stars, Audio 3 stars, Extras 0 stars, Replay 1.5 stars (out of 5). Rent It.

2 Days in New York (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Julie Delpy
Written by Julie Delpy, Alexia Landeau (screenplay), Julie Delpy, Alexia Landeau, Alex Nahon (story), Julie Delpy (characters)
Starring: Chris Rock, Julie Delpy, Albert Delpy, Alexia Landeau

2 Days in New York is a loose sequel to Julie Delpy’s 2007 movie 2 Days in Paris. Marion (Julie Delpy) is now married to radio host Mingus (Chris Rock) as her father (Albert Delpy, Julie Delpy’s real-life father), sister (Alexia Landeau) and loser boyfriend (Alex Nahon) come to the Big Apple to visit.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 67% (good)
Player Affinity Score:
4.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $27.45 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Trilogy of Life (DVD and Blu-ray)

The Decameron (1970)
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Written by Pier Paolo Pasolini (screenplay), Giovanni Boccaccio (novel)
Starring: Franco Citti, Ninetto Davoli, Pier Paolo Pasolini

The Canterbury Tales
(1972)
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Written by Pier Paolo Pasolini (screenplay), Geoffrey Chaucer (poem)
Starring: Hugh Griffith, Laura Betti, Ninetto Davoli

Arabian Nights (1974)
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Written by Dacia Maraini, Pier Paolo Pasolini
Starring: Franco Merli, Ines Pellegrini, Ninetto Davoli, Franco Citti, Tessa Bouche, Margaret Clementi, Francelise Boel, Ali Abdulla

The first major re-release from the Criterion Collection is the Trilogy of Life, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s (Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom) adaptations of three classic pieces of literature: The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales and Arabian Nights in the Trilogy of Life boxset.

The Decameron (1970)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
91% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

The Canterbury Tales (1971)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
71% (good)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

Arabian Nights (1974)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
89% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New visual essays by film scholars Patrick Rumble and Tony Rayns on The Decameron and Arabian Nights, respectively; New interviews with art director Dante Ferretti and composer Ennio Morricone about their work with Pasolini, and with film scholar Sam Rohdie on The Canterbury Tales; The Lost Body of Alibech (2005), a forty-five-minute documentary by Roberto Chiesi about a lost sequence from The Decameron; The Secret Humiliation of Chaucer (2006), a forty-seven-minute documentary by Chiesi about The Canterbury Tales; Via Pasolini, a documentary in which Pasolini discusses his views on language, film, and modern society; Pier Paolo Pasolini and the Form of the City (1974), a sixteen-minute documentary by Pasolini and Paolo Burnatto about the ancient Italian cities Orte and Sabaudia; Deleted scenes from Arabian Nights, with transcriptions of pages from the original script; Pasolini-approved English-dubbed track for The Canterbury Tales; Trailers; New English subtitle translations; PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critic Colin MacCabe; Pasolini’s 1975 article “Trilogy of Life Rejected”; excerpts from Pasolini’s Berlin Film Festival press conference for The Canterbury Tales; and a report from the set of Arabian Nights by critic Gideon Bachmann

Amazon Price: $79.95 (DVD), $55.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Weekend (1967) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Starring: Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne

The other re-release from the Criterion Collection is Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend. This French movie is a social satire as a Parisian couple tries to go away for a weekend while the French bourgeois society starts to collapse.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 95% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New video essay by film critic Kent Jones; Archival interviews with actors Mireille Darc and Jean Yanne and assistant director Claude Miller; Excerpt from a French television program on director Jean-Luc Godard, featuring on-set footage of Weekend shot by filmmaker Philippe Garrel; Trailers;  PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic and novelist Gary Indiana

Amazon Price: $24.99 (DVD), $27.86 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Watchmen (2009) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Zack Snyder
Written by David Hayter, Alex Tse (screenplay), Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore (uncredited) (graphic novel)
Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Billy Crudup, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Malin Åkerman, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino

Watchmen is one of the most celebrated graphic novels of all time: it is the only graphic novel to win the Hugo Award. Many directors were linked to the adaptation, from Terry Gilliam to Darren Aronofsky to Paul Greengrass, but it was 300’s Zack Snyder who made a mostly faithful adaptation of Alan Moore’s most famous work and the Ultimate Cut is being released with the graphic novel.

Set in an alternate version of 1985, masked vigilantes have been outlawed and only two are allowed to exist: the god-like Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup) and sadistic government operative The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, The Losers). Both are working for the US government. But after The Comedian is murdered, the dark vigilante, Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), investigates as nuclear war with the Soviet Union edges ever closer.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 64% (good)
Player Affinity Score:
7.2/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $49.99 (Blu-ray/Graphic Novel)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Empire of the Sun (1987) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by Tom Stoppard (screenplay), J.G. Ballard (novel)
Starring: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers

Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s autobiographical novel Empire of the Sun is an old-style epic very much in the style David Lean (Lean was originally set to direct it). A young Christian Bale stars as Jamie Graham, a bratty English boy in Shanghai, 1937. As the Japanese war machine expands into the city, Jamie is separated from his parents and becomes a prisoner of war. He has to learn how to survive with the help of an American maverick, Basie (John Malkovich) and a British doctor (Nigel Havers, Chariots of Fire).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 82% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 8.3/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $29.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Stephen Herek
Written by Chris Matherson, Ed Solomon
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin

Before making action movies like Point Blank, Speed and The Matrix, Keanu Reeves was best known for being one half of Bill and Ted. This time-travel comedy tells how a man from 2688, Rufus (George Carlin) is sent back in time to 1988 to help Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Reeves), two metalheads who are failing high school history.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 82% (very good)
Player Affinity Score:
6.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $13.86 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Tay Garnett
Written by Harry Ruskin, Niven Busch (screenplay), James M. Cain (novel)
Starring: Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway

Based on a novel by James M. Cain, The Postman Always Rings Twice is a crime drama about a drifter, Frank Chambers (John Garfield), and a married woman, Cora (Lana Turner), who fall for each other and plot to murder Cora’s husband (Cecil Kellaway).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 95% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $14.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Joel Zwick
Written by Nia Vardalos
Starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine

In 2002, the comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding was a sleeper hit starring Nia Vardalos as a 30-year-old Greek-American woman, Toula Portokalos, who falls for a non-Greek man and her family struggles to accept him. The movie still holds the box-office record for the highest-grossing movie to never reach No. 1 at the box office.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 76% (very good)
Player Affinity Score:
6.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: “A Look Back at My Big Fat Greek Wedding” – 30 minute retrospective on the making of the film, featuring Nia Vardalos and John Corbett; 3 audio commentaries with Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, and Director Joel Zwick

Amazon Price: $14.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Big Trail (1930) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Raoul Walsh
Written by Marie Boyle, Jack Peabody, Florence Postal, Fred Sersen (screenplay), Hal G. Evarts (story)
Starring: John Wayne, Marguerite Churchill, Tyrone Power Sr., El Brendel

Made in the early days of the talkies, The Big Trail is a Western starring John Wayne as Breck Coleman, a young scout leading a wagon train into the West to fulfil their destiny.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 100% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $14.93 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Triple Feature (Blu-ray)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
Directed by Steve Barron
Written by Todd W. Langen, Bobby Herbeck (screenplay), Bobby Herbeck (story), Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird (comic)
Starring: Brian Tochi, Robbie Rist, Corey Feldman, Josh Pais, Kevin Clash, James Saito, Judith Hoag, Elias Koteas

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)
Directed by Michael Pressman
Written by Todd W. Langen (screenplay), Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird (comic)
Starring: Brian Tochi, Robbie Rist, Adam Carl, Laurie Faso, Kevin Clash, Paige Turco, François Chau

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)
Directed by Stuart Gillard
Written by Stuart Gillard (screenplay), Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird (comics)
Starring: Brian Tochi, Robbie Rist, Corey Feldman, Tim Kelleher, James Murray, Paige Turco, Elias Koteas

Back in the late’ 80s and early ’90s Turtles mania was at fever pitch, with comics, a hit cartoon series and toys all over the place. This all culminated in a trilogy of live-action movies as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello tackle crime, the evil Shredder and a 17th Century Japanese warlord. All in a day’s work for our heroes in a half-shell.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 44% (poor)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 36% (poor)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 27% (bad)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $17.32 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Ocean’s Triple Feature (Blu-ray)

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Written by Ted Griffin (screenplay), George C. John, Jack Golden Russell (story), Harry Brown, Charles Lederer (original screenplay)
Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy García, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts

Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Written by George Nolfi
Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Andy García, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Julia Roberts

Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Written by Brian Koppelman, David Levien
Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy García, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Ellen Barkin, Al Pacino

Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Trilogy is his most mainstream and financially successful movie endeavor. The  comic-caper series features an ensemble cast perfomring a series of daring heists.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes:
82% (very good)
Player Affinity Score:
8.0/10

Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes:
56% (average)
Player Affinity Score:
7.1/10

Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
70% (good)
Player Affinity Score:
6.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $19.29 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Austin Powers Triple Feature (Blu-ray)

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
Directed by Jay Roach
Written by Mike Myers
Starring: Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York, Mimi Rogers, Robert Wagner, Seth Green

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
Directed by Jay Roach
Written by Mike Myers, Michael McCullers (screenplay), Mike Myers (characters)
Starring: Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Seth Green, Robert Wagner, Rob Lowe, Will Ferrell

Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
Directed by Jay Roach
Written by Mike Myers, Michael McCullers (screenplay), Mike Myers (characters)
Starring: Mike Myers, Beyoncé Knowles, Michael Caine, Seth Green

James Bond has inspired many imitators and spoofs. One of the most famous is the Austin Powers series, parodying the Bond movies of the ’60s and ’70s as British agent Austin Powers (Mike Myers) is reawakened in the ’90s to fight his arch-nemesis, Dr. Evil (also played by Myers), his son (Seth Green), mini-clone (Verne Troyer) and his hairless cat Mr. Bigglesworth.

Austin Powers: International Men of Mystery (1997)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes:
70% (good)
Player Affinity Score:
7.1/10

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes:
51% (average)
Player Affinity Score:
6.8/10

Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes:
54% (average)
Player Affinity Score:
6.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $19.29 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Double Pack (Blu-ray)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)
Directed by David Yates
Written by Steve Kloves (screenplay), J.K. Rowling (novel)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)
Directed by David Yates
Written by Steve Kloves (screenplay), J.K. Rowling (novel)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon

The final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was controversially split into two movies, but that move turned out to be a critical and commercial success for Warner Bros. Now, the five-hour epic is being released as a double pack.

Lord Voldermort (Ralph Fiennes) takes over the Ministry of Magic and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends have to find and destroy Voldermort’s horcruxes to ensure his eternal defeat.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 79% (very good)
Player Affinity Score:
8.6/10 (read our review)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 96% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
8.3/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $44.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

 

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