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: Rate The Last Movie You Saw  ( 4775086 )
dave jenkins
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« #20250 : March 07, 2022, 08:39:44 AM »

Of course, this one is actually a near masterpiece. Not sure how I would react if I didn't speak the language though. It's revolutionary in its mix of cinema verit? and "Zodiac-like films". This is one of the movies that highlights the future of Cinema (as opposed to the ocean of "content" we're drowning into, from tv shows to Marvel). It's also a landmark in the mini genre of "journalists movies" (from all the presidents men to spotlight): they all aged a lot because of that one. Even my beloved Zodiac is showing signs of cheapness and old age now.
Of course, the film is very talkative! (1) it's about journalists, and those guys spend their days talking. (2) it's for a good part a movie about the spoken word. Now, let's focus a bit on all this talk. HAven't you noticed something very particular about it? How there is no exposition at all? How the dialogue isn't there to make us like the people involved and isn't helping us taking a side? We're just thrown in the middle of the affair and we're grasping what we can just by watching those people arguing vs each other, selling something to each other. We're witnessing actual human beings doing there stuff, without any hollwyood/dramaturgy bullshit. The movie is about reality and it makes the audience more intelligent just by watching what happens, thinking about it, deciding what to look at. There isn't a single close up. You're always deciphering what is being said at least as much by watching the hands move, who's in the room and what's happening in the background than by listening to what is being said.
Of course it's made of long takes, aren't they incredible? Aren't they both naturalistic and gorgeous to look at? Aren't they showing you the real word in a much more tangible way than 99% of all the movies ever made? Aren't you astonished by the fact that, within these long takes, everybody in the fram, from the leads to every single extra (some of whom aren't extras but actual journalists actually working in the background while they're filming, actual customers doing their thing in the bar they're filming...) is as good as Robert DeNiro from the golden days?
Of course, you end up not caring as much as you'd think about the "scandale" from the title. Because the movie is very honnest about and goes exactly where Zodiac tried to go and then backed off at the last minute: nobody will ever know the truth about this kind of scandals. We will never know what part of what Hubert is saying is true and we will never know, even if everything is true, if there is an actual scandal. Because the truth is muddy, abstract, complex. The truth is the war on drugs mixed with political agendas and big administrations leads to abstraction. This is almost like a Coen moral, I'm surprised you aren't in love with it.

I'll see the director talk about it in a week. I'm also thinking of interviewing him. His previous movie (Une vie violente, about corsican terrorists) was already great but limited by its very low budget. I'm happy this new film confirms he's one of the great.
Hmm, you make some very good points. When I saw it, maybe I was having trouble digesting my lunch. I guess I'm willing to give it another try, if I could find a copy on disc.  Not likely in this market. Hey, what's your take on the 4:3 AR?

In the Q&A, somebody asked about the results of the libel case. The director said the newspaper won. Interestingly, we don't see that in the film. Would showing that have delivered the wrong message, ya think, in so far as it would have seemed to endorse one side over the other? By leaving the result out, things remain more ambiguous?

Hell, now I'm going to have to think about this film all day long . . . .  >:(




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« #20251 : March 07, 2022, 09:14:32 AM »

Hmm, you make some very good points. When I saw it, maybe I was having trouble digesting my lunch. I guess I'm willing to give it another try, if I could find a copy on disc.  Not likely in this market. Hey, what's your take on the 4:3 AR?

In the Q&A, somebody asked about the results of the libel case. The director said the newspaper won. Interestingly, we don't see that in the film. Would showing that have delivered the wrong message, ya think, in so far as it would have seemed to endorse one side over the other? By leaving the result out, things remain more ambiguous?

Hell, now I'm going to have to think about this film all day long . . . .  >:(

Well I'm not 100% sure of the timing but I know that while the movie was in the work, the whole case was still unravelling. So it's very possible they just chose an ending while they didn't now how the ending would be irl and then stuck to it. i'll be sure to ask the guy if I ever get to interview him (although I'd like the interview to focus on the technical aspects). But yeah i think it helps the movie to stay ambiguous. The last shot makes it very clear, to me it works as a metaphore for what the whole movie has been doing: throwing you in a very tangible, materialist situation right there with the characters, and the more you look at it, the more obscure and abstract it becomes.

About the AR, as well as those "slow lateral travellings coupled with pans so that the main subject stays at the center of the frame and it keeps going on for 2, 3, 5 minutes": that's a big mystery to me. I know I like those two things a lot, that it really works (for me I least). Especially those two things together. They create something powerful. I don't know what. Also I usually don't like squarrish AR. But I'm having a lot of trouble deciphering why I like it here. Which is a rare occurence for me (to like but not get a technical point). This is what prompted my willingness to interview the guy. Now that I learned a lot of stuff about how they filmed the thing, I have tons of other technical questions for him - about his work with actors, the sound, ADR...


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« #20252 : March 07, 2022, 09:58:13 AM »

I hope you do get a chance to interview him. Then you can start a page on him here.

Hey, the film is playing one more time on the program, Thursday night. Maybe I'll go again and watch once more, keeping what you said in mind. Maybe I can get Drink to go with me (although when I tell him it's all talk and camera moves he might not be too excited). He is supposed to be a journalist, though, so he might find some of the stuff his French colleagues do interesting. (Thursday, 8:45, Drink. You in?).



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« #20253 : March 09, 2022, 02:49:54 PM »

Samurai / Samurai Assassin (1965) - 9/10. 35mm. The Sakurada Gate Incident (Mar. 3, 1860) carefully explained . . . but with recourse to fictional characters. Oh well, at least the picture looks good (b&w TohoScope). What's really amazing is how Kihachi Okamoto anticipates Leone: long shots are contrasted with massive close-ups; long takes alternate with rapid cutting; suspense is prolonged prior to a "showdown." But as Stephen Prince states in his audio commentary for Sword of Doom (released the following year), it is almost certain that Okamoto never saw Leone's films (at least at that time). Two geniuses arrive independently at the same ideas at the same time (like Newton and Leibniz, nicht wahr?). What a world!

« : March 09, 2022, 02:52:23 PM dave jenkins »


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« #20254 : March 10, 2022, 10:21:17 AM »

Betty (1992) - 6/10. A dull film with a rather odd ending. Marie Trintignant plays an alcoholic woman at the end of her rope; Stephane Audran meets her one night and takes her in hand, in fact, ultimately saves her. I kept expecting the good Samaritan to reveal some kind of ulterior motive, but she never did. She does what she does, apparently, simply because she's very kind. And this, being a Chabrol film (based on a Georges Simenon novel), means she has to be severely punished.



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« #20255 : March 10, 2022, 03:28:15 PM »

Touchez Pas Au Grisbi (1954) - Not much to say other than it's one of the better hang out crime movies in the first 50 or so minutes (it's also beautifully and invisibly directed), and then things really ramp up. But I wonder if I like Razzia more than this...Grisbi has the big action set piece, but Razzia's journey through mid 50's Paris' underworld is shockingly good. There probably should have been some other plot development with the gold in the first hour or so, but it doesn't matter much. A

Coffy (1973) - The very best of the blaxploitation subgenre, and the under-appreciated Jack Hill's best work. This thing movies fast, is violent, gritty, well shot/directed and is a great time capsule of early 70's LA with a cool score. A



Claudia, we need you to appear in LOST COMMAND. It's gonna revolutionize the war genre..
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« #20256 : March 11, 2022, 07:58:59 AM »

Drink was right on time.

When I'd told him about the screening, he'd gone into an I-know-Lincoln-Center-but-I'll-ask-someone-when-I-get-there routine.

"It's the Walter Reade," I'd said. "Where we saw Once Upon a Time in America, many moons ago."

That had seemed to stir his memory. It brought things back for me too: Treat Williams and Jimmy Woods and William Forsythe in the audience. De Niro had been there too, but he hadn't stayed beyond the intro. Those other stalwarts, though, sat and watched the whole thing.

Good times. That was also when I'd first realized Drink had ADD, getting up every five minutes to go to the toilet or visit the concession stand or who knows what all else.

He wanted popcorn today too. There were three containers of popcorn on display behind the counter, a large, and two smalls. Drink asked if the popcorn were fresh.

"Our popcorn is always fresh," the guy minding the stand said.

"When was it made?"

The guy thought. "About an hour ago. That's what we have. We won't be making any more."

We were at an 8:45 showing, the last of the day. I guess they know their clientele. Those Lincoln Center f***s don't eat a lot of mid-to-late-night popcorn, it seems.

But Drink was determined to have some and he wanted me to have some too so he ordered two containers. At first he wanted the two small containers, but then decided he'd take one of the smalls, and I should get the large. Some kind of private joke he hadn't let me in on.

We got our snacks and a couple of drinks, leaving one small container of popcorn behind.

Drink suddenly flashed on an idea. "Hey, DJ, we could buy that last popcorn and scalp it."

I thought that was pretty funny. We went up to the woman scanning tickets and got our tickets scanned.

I asked, "Is the manager around?"

"I'm the manager. What can I do for you?"

Outside I'd seen a poster advertising the next retrospective that would play after the current series was done. The series we were attending was called Rende-Vous with French Cinema, or some such nonsense. The coming one was about Kinuyo Tanaka, a Japanese actress who had gone on in late career, in the 50s and 60s, to direct six films. The retrospective would feature those six films.

Anyway, the poster was a thing of beauty, and I wanted it, so I inquired.

"We don't usually give away our posters," the woman said. "But you can leave your name and contact info, and if no one else speaks up for it, after the series finishes . . . well, we might call you." Yeah, a long shot, sure. One worth taking, though.

We went in and found we had, pretty much, our choice of seats. Drink took a while to decide just where the perfect location was. He always likes to sit towards the back.

We caught up. He showed me a photo of his current squeeze, "Miss Baltimore." He asked if I thought there'd be a lot of trailers to watch or if the feature would start right on time. Trailers at the Walter Reade? Not likely.

The reason he wanted to know, he told me, was that he liked to time his pre-feature bathroom visit as close as possible to the actual start time of the feature. You know, take care of business and then relax for two hours. Hey, and I thought *I* was the old man here!

Drink got back just as the house lights were dimming.

"So, what are we watching, anyway?"

"It's a French film."

"Is it an old French film or a new French film?"

"2021. Noodles recommends it. He says it's the future of cinema."

Drink can be very chatty during a film. The movie, Undercover, started and immediately there was a title stating the locale, which was Marbella, Costa del Sol.

"Where's Marbella?" Drink asked.

"I think it's in Spain."

"You need to learn how to whisper."

"F*** you."

A few seconds went by and Drink noticed something. "It's in 4:3!"

"It certainly is."

The opening sequence ended, there was a dissolve to black, then a scene in a disco, then a cut to a guy on a motorbike, then a cut to the motorbike guy, a journalist, now walking into the office where he worked.

Drink said, "What was that B.S. with the motorbike? Just cut to the guy coming into his office!"

I dunno, I kind of like street scenes. And street scenes with rapid movement are killer. Happily, at that point Drink quieted down and watched the movie.

About an hour in, though, he took out his phone and checked the time. "DJ, how long did you say this movie is?"

I held up two fingers.

Drink tried getting a connection on his phone but found that the theater was shielded. Those Lincoln Center f***s!

Later during the libel trial scene Drink got excited. "DJ, no cuts!"

Great, another long-take-looney. It's just a technique like any other.

"Uh oh, a cut there!"

He was right, but the cut was admirably done. Always cut on movement and/or into movement. Noodles had taught me that. Undercover's director, Thierry de Peretti, is no slouch.

We got to the credits. The walk-out music was The Blue Nile's "Over the Hillside." Yeah, I remember 1989 too.

"What the hell was that?" Drink wanted to know.

"Noodles says it's the future of cinema."

Walking together back to the subway station at Columbus Circle I said, "Noodles says he might be coming to New York in September. We're all gonna meet up at McSorley's. I think the idea is that you'll be buying the drinks, Drink."

"Yeah," Drink said, thinking. "We'll go to McSorley's. And when we see Noodles, we'll pants that little French f***!"

I got on the platform for the "1" train, heading downtown.  Drink walked most of the platform with me and then headed downstairs. I think he said he was taking the "2" train.

Film: 4/10. Watching It With Drink: 10/10.

« : March 11, 2022, 09:19:40 AM dave jenkins »


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« #20257 : March 11, 2022, 09:41:05 AM »

"Yeah," Drink said, thinking. "We'll go to McSorley's. And when we see Noodles, we'll pants that little French f***!"
In that case, we will be there

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« #20258 : March 11, 2022, 11:02:01 AM »

I knew you guys wouldn't pass up those free beers.



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« #20259 : March 12, 2022, 05:39:37 PM »

Drink was right on time.

When I'd told him about the screening, he'd gone into an I-know-Lincoln-Center-but-I'll-ask-someone-when-I-get-there routine.

"It's the Walter Reade," I'd said. "Where we saw Once Upon a Time in America, many moons ago."

That had seemed to stir his memory. It brought things back for me too: Treat Williams and Jimmy Woods and William Forsythe in the audience. De Niro had been there too, but he hadn't stayed beyond the intro. Those other stalwarts, though, sat and watched the whole thing.

Good times. That was also when I'd first realized Drink had ADD, getting up every five minutes to go to the toilet or visit the concession stand or who knows what all else.

He wanted popcorn today too. There were three containers of popcorn on display behind the counter, a large, and two smalls. Drink asked if the popcorn were fresh.

"Our popcorn is always fresh," the guy minding the stand said.

"When was it made?"

The guy thought. "About an hour ago. That's what we have. We won't be making any more."

We were at an 8:45 showing, the last of the day. I guess they know their clientele. Those Lincoln Center f***s don't eat a lot of mid-to-late-night popcorn, it seems.

But Drink was determined to have some and he wanted me to have some too so he ordered two containers. At first he wanted the two small containers, but then decided he'd take one of the smalls, and I should get the large. Some kind of private joke he hadn't let me in on.

We got our snacks and a couple of drinks, leaving one small container of popcorn behind.

Drink suddenly flashed on an idea. "Hey, DJ, we could buy that last popcorn and scalp it."

I thought that was pretty funny. We went up to the woman scanning tickets and got our tickets scanned.

I asked, "Is the manager around?"

"I'm the manager. What can I do for you?"

Outside I'd seen a poster advertising the next retrospective that would play after the current series was done. The series we were attending was called Rende-Vous with French Cinema, or some such nonsense. The coming one was about Kinuyo Tanaka, a Japanese actress who had gone on in late career, in the 50s and 60s, to direct six films. The retrospective would feature those six films.

Anyway, the poster was a thing of beauty, and I wanted it, so I inquired.

"We don't usually give away our posters," the woman said. "But you can leave your name and contact info, and if no one else speaks up for it, after the series finishes . . . well, we might call you." Yeah, a long shot, sure. One worth taking, though.

We went in and found we had, pretty much, our choice of seats. Drink took a while to decide just where the perfect location was. He always likes to sit towards the back.

We caught up. He showed me a photo of his current squeeze, "Miss Baltimore." He asked if I thought there'd be a lot of trailers to watch or if the feature would start right on time. Trailers at the Walter Reade? Not likely.

The reason he wanted to know, he told me, was that he liked to time his pre-feature bathroom visit as close as possible to the actual start time of the feature. You know, take care of business and then relax for two hours. Hey, and I thought *I* was the old man here!

Drink got back just as the house lights were dimming.

"So, what are we watching, anyway?"

"It's a French film."

"Is it an old French film or a new French film?"

"2021. Noodles recommends it. He says it's the future of cinema."

Drink can be very chatty during a film. The movie, Undercover, started and immediately there was a title stating the locale, which was Marbella, Costa del Sol.

"Where's Marbella?" Drink asked.

"I think it's in Spain."

"You need to learn how to whisper."

"F*** you."

A few seconds went by and Drink noticed something. "It's in 4:3!"

"It certainly is."

The opening sequence ended, there was a dissolve to black, then a scene in a disco, then a cut to a guy on a motorbike, then a cut to the motorbike guy, a journalist, now walking into the office where he worked.

Drink said, "What was that B.S. with the motorbike? Just cut to the guy coming into his office!"

I dunno, I kind of like street scenes. And street scenes with rapid movement are killer. Happily, at that point Drink quieted down and watched the movie.

About an hour in, though, he took out his phone and checked the time. "DJ, how long did you say this movie is?"

I held up two fingers.

Drink tried getting a connection on his phone but found that the theater was shielded. Those Lincoln Center f***s!

Later during the libel trial scene Drink got excited. "DJ, no cuts!"

Great, another long-take-looney. It's just a technique like any other.

"Uh oh, a cut there!"

He was right, but the cut was admirably done. Always cut on movement and/or into movement. Noodles had taught me that. Undercover's director, Thierry de Peretti, is no slouch.

We got to the credits. The walk-out music was The Blue Nile's "Over the Hillside." Yeah, I remember 1989 too.

"What the hell was that?" Drink wanted to know.

"Noodles says it's the future of cinema."

Walking together back to the subway station at Columbus Circle I said, "Noodles says he might be coming to New York in September. We're all gonna meet up at McSorley's. I think the idea is that you'll be buying the drinks, Drink."

"Yeah," Drink said, thinking. "We'll go to McSorley's. And when we see Noodles, we'll pants that little French f***!"

I got on the platform for the "1" train, heading downtown.  Drink walked most of the platform with me and then headed downstairs. I think he said he was taking the "2" train.

Film: 4/10. Watching It With Drink: 10/10.

I had more fun reading this than I did watching the movie! (I'd go a tad higher than 4/10, but definitely no better than a 6/10 MAX. which still means crappy movie.)

Every word of this post is true except A) my comment about pantsing n_l (I have no interest in seeing those little French briefs) and B) none of the cast members of OUATIA were there when we saw that movie with CJ.



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« #20260 : March 12, 2022, 11:58:21 PM »

Drink was right on time.

When I'd told him about the screening, he'd gone into an I-know-Lincoln-Center-but-I'll-ask-someone-when-I-get-there routine.

"It's the Walter Reade," I'd said. "Where we saw Once Upon a Time in America, many moons ago."

That had seemed to stir his memory. It brought things back for me too: Treat Williams and Jimmy Woods and William Forsythe in the audience. De Niro had been there too, but he hadn't stayed beyond the intro. Those other stalwarts, though, sat and watched the whole thing.

Good times. That was also when I'd first realized Drink had ADD, getting up every five minutes to go to the toilet or visit the concession stand or who knows what all else.

He wanted popcorn today too. There were three containers of popcorn on display behind the counter, a large, and two smalls. Drink asked if the popcorn were fresh.

"Our popcorn is always fresh," the guy minding the stand said.

"When was it made?"

The guy thought. "About an hour ago. That's what we have. We won't be making any more."

We were at an 8:45 showing, the last of the day. I guess they know their clientele. Those Lincoln Center f***s don't eat a lot of mid-to-late-night popcorn, it seems.

But Drink was determined to have some and he wanted me to have some too so he ordered two containers. At first he wanted the two small containers, but then decided he'd take one of the smalls, and I should get the large. Some kind of private joke he hadn't let me in on.

We got our snacks and a couple of drinks, leaving one small container of popcorn behind.

Drink suddenly flashed on an idea. "Hey, DJ, we could buy that last popcorn and scalp it."

I thought that was pretty funny. We went up to the woman scanning tickets and got our tickets scanned.

I asked, "Is the manager around?"

"I'm the manager. What can I do for you?"

Outside I'd seen a poster advertising the next retrospective that would play after the current series was done. The series we were attending was called Rende-Vous with French Cinema, or some such nonsense. The coming one was about Kinuyo Tanaka, a Japanese actress who had gone on in late career, in the 50s and 60s, to direct six films. The retrospective would feature those six films.

Anyway, the poster was a thing of beauty, and I wanted it, so I inquired.

"We don't usually give away our posters," the woman said. "But you can leave your name and contact info, and if no one else speaks up for it, after the series finishes . . . well, we might call you." Yeah, a long shot, sure. One worth taking, though.

We went in and found we had, pretty much, our choice of seats. Drink took a while to decide just where the perfect location was. He always likes to sit towards the back.

We caught up. He showed me a photo of his current squeeze, "Miss Baltimore." He asked if I thought there'd be a lot of trailers to watch or if the feature would start right on time. Trailers at the Walter Reade? Not likely.

The reason he wanted to know, he told me, was that he liked to time his pre-feature bathroom visit as close as possible to the actual start time of the feature. You know, take care of business and then relax for two hours. Hey, and I thought *I* was the old man here!

Drink got back just as the house lights were dimming.

"So, what are we watching, anyway?"

"It's a French film."

"Is it an old French film or a new French film?"

"2021. Noodles recommends it. He says it's the future of cinema."

Drink can be very chatty during a film. The movie, Undercover, started and immediately there was a title stating the locale, which was Marbella, Costa del Sol.

"Where's Marbella?" Drink asked.

"I think it's in Spain."

"You need to learn how to whisper."

"F*** you."

A few seconds went by and Drink noticed something. "It's in 4:3!"

"It certainly is."

The opening sequence ended, there was a dissolve to black, then a scene in a disco, then a cut to a guy on a motorbike, then a cut to the motorbike guy, a journalist, now walking into the office where he worked.

Drink said, "What was that B.S. with the motorbike? Just cut to the guy coming into his office!"

I dunno, I kind of like street scenes. And street scenes with rapid movement are killer. Happily, at that point Drink quieted down and watched the movie.

About an hour in, though, he took out his phone and checked the time. "DJ, how long did you say this movie is?"

I held up two fingers.

Drink tried getting a connection on his phone but found that the theater was shielded. Those Lincoln Center f***s!

Later during the libel trial scene Drink got excited. "DJ, no cuts!"

Great, another long-take-looney. It's just a technique like any other.

"Uh oh, a cut there!"

He was right, but the cut was admirably done. Always cut on movement and/or into movement. Noodles had taught me that. Undercover's director, Thierry de Peretti, is no slouch.

We got to the credits. The walk-out music was The Blue Nile's "Over the Hillside." Yeah, I remember 1989 too.

"What the hell was that?" Drink wanted to know.

"Noodles says it's the future of cinema."

Walking together back to the subway station at Columbus Circle I said, "Noodles says he might be coming to New York in September. We're all gonna meet up at McSorley's. I think the idea is that you'll be buying the drinks, Drink."

"Yeah," Drink said, thinking. "We'll go to McSorley's. And when we see Noodles, we'll pants that little French f***!"

I got on the platform for the "1" train, heading downtown.  Drink walked most of the platform with me and then headed downstairs. I think he said he was taking the "2" train.

Film: 4/10. Watching It With Drink: 10/10.

 ;D ;D ;D

Review: 10/10


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« #20261 : March 13, 2022, 11:08:32 AM »

I had more fun reading this than I did watching the movie! (I'd go a tad higher than 4/10, but definitely no better than a 6/10 MAX. which still means crappy movie.)

Every word of this post is true except A) my comment about pantsing n_l (I have no interest in seeing those little French briefs) and B) none of the cast members of OUATIA were there when we saw that movie with CJ.
A) That's called artistic license. (By the way, "pantsing" isn't done to expose the briefs for its own sake, but to render a crotch burn.) B) Huh, I must have conflated two different screenings. I guess I was there for the star-studded gala on another occasion without Drink. I'm starting to lose it in my old age . . .



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« #20262 : March 14, 2022, 02:43:17 AM »

;D ;D ;D

Review: 10/10

... he he, indeed great fun ...


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« #20263 : March 14, 2022, 07:44:19 AM »

I'm seeing it again this evening, with the director and his editors. I'll tell them they haven't convinced New York.


dave jenkins
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"Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?


« #20264 : March 14, 2022, 11:18:38 AM »

Tell him we're eagerly awaiting his next one. Also, find out if he's interested in doing a Marvel movie.



"McFilms are commodities and, as such, must be QA'd according to industry standards."
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