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Connor Macgregor Reviews Thread

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Connor Macgregor Reviews...Nerve

Intro: Nerve has a really interesting concept attached, but it's one of those films that takes its idea way too far than it needed to be. And thus what could've been a cool genre piece turned out a little too twisty at points.

Plot: 'Nerve' is about an online dare game, in which people give participants anonymous dares for money. The participants compete with each other to win the grand prize as the dares get tougher. Things get worse when the tasks get increasingly dangerous and lives are at stake.

The Good: The technical aspect of the film is its main strength. The cinematography, especially the lighting, are terrific, shooting New York City in a neo-noirish element. The Music is also trippy and effective, trying to create that nostalgic 80s feeling. The overall idea is interesting too. An online dare game with rewards such as money and items is appealing. And I like the fact that the dares get more dangerous as the price goes up.

The Bad: The film's ending is daft and very stupid. It's one of those "Teens/Young People are monsters" ending which to me is very cliche and unrealistic. As if the writers think that my generation is all sociopathic monsters. The plot and dialogue are both very clunky and awkward at times.

Overall: Nerve has good ideas, but not well paced or executed. Still, it provides entertainment where it needs to, and has some good cinematography attached.

Rating: 61% - B





Connor Macgregor Reviews...It (1990)

Intro: Because of the remake, I really was eager to watch both the original and the remake back to back to make a more interesting comparison. So straight after this review, I'll review the remake. For this version, there are both good and bad aspects to it.

Summary: In 1960, a group of social outcasts who are bullied by a gang of greasers led by Henry Bowers are also tormented by an evil demon who can shape-shift into a clown and feed on children's fears and kill them. After defeating the demonic clown as kids, it resurfaces 30 years later and they must finish it off as adults once again.

Dual Story: This film (miniseries) is four hours long, so there's a lot to get through. But the fact that its set in two parts helps make the story much more interesting than other horror stories. I personally think the kids part is better, and much more fun to watch. But both are good to watch, especially when they all reunite as adults and how awkward but touching it all is to see. You buy their friendship and how they all unite to take on this disturbing monster.

Pennywise: By far the highlight of this film, and Tim Curry creates another iconic performance for his filmography. For this, it's his most multi-layered. An American accent, heavy makeup, and a clown costume to give kids nightmares. Curry works hard with what he has, and makes Pennywise a creepy presence indeed.

The Bad: Made in 1990, this film hasn't aged that well. As much as I like Pennywise, he's not particularly a scary character as he doesn't strike at the kids when he has all the clear opportunity to. The adult actors aren't that great compared to the kids, and their whole story is quite awkward to watch at times, particularly with the love side of things. The biggest criticism also is the fact that it's not scary to watch. Not one jump scare or creepy moment in the story that put me on edge, which is why the film is so very dated.

Overall: This version of It is good, fun even, but not a horror classic for me. A good adaptation, even if its very tame and light in parts.

Rating: 81% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...It (2017)

Intro: Now it's time to move on to the film of the moment right now. 27 years after the original adaptation in 1990, Warner Bros go for another attempt at breathing new life in one of Stephen King's most famous stories. Will it succeed the original?

Summary: In the Town of Derry, the local kids are disappearing one by one, leaving behind bloody remains. In a place known as 'The Barrens', a group of seven kids are united by their horrifying and strange encounters with an evil clown and their determination to kill It.

Scary: Unlike the last version, this one is actually quite a scary film. The jump scares are effective, and you actually get the sense that our main characters are in some kind of danger. The music, the clever camera angles, and the performances make this film much more nerving to watch.

The Cast: It's a strong cast. I felt the kids were great to watch, and full of life too. Comparing them to the 1990 version, I think they're on par and work well as a unit and create a good friendship when fighting Pennywise. As for Pennywise himself, Bill Skarsgard is excellent as Pennywise, bringing his own spin and unique take, separating it from Tim Curry's completely.

However: There are one or two things I think the film dropped the ball in. For one, I'm not a fan of the new time period. The 1980s just wasn't nessacary when the 1950s was a perfectly suitable time period to work with. Secondly, several of the backstories and motivations were altered which I thought was a mistake. Like who knows the most about the backstory of Pennywise, as well as the bullies background too.

Overall: This remake is great. Scary, fun, and at the center, a great coming of age tale which is only half done.

Rating: 91% - A





Connor Macgregor Reviews...Alien: Covenant

Intro: Long has the Alien Franchise been something of a pop culture tentpole. The creation of one of the scariest monsters in film history has given this franchise the space and praise it's deserved. Sadly, Ridley Scott has had to turn it into something it's not and now we have Alien: Covenant.

Summary: Almost eleven years after the futile and disastrous expedition on the distant moon LV-223, the deep-space colonisation vessel Covenant equipped with more than 2,000 colonists in cryogenic hibernation, sets a course for the remote planet Origae-6 with the intention to build a new world. Instead, a rogue transmission will entice the crew to a nearby habitable small planet which resembles The Earth. The unsuspecting members of Covenant will have to cope with biological foes, beyond human comprehension. Ultimately, what was intended as a peaceful exploratory mission, will soon turn into a desperate rescue operation deep into the cold infinite space.

The Good: Production wise, this is a beautiful film. This mysterious new planet holds a lot of tension and mystery to it, and it`s beautifully shot and designed to make you feel that something happened a long time ago, and that something is going to happen again. Michael Fassbender is of course great in this film, both chilling and heroic at the same time. Without revealing spoilers, but the film's ending is great, even though I saw it coming. It just shows the level of performance and skill into Fassbender's acting and how far he can go.

The Bad: The film is however is widely weak. The story is just a letdown and not very scary to watch. This all boils down to pacing, and a weak selection of characters to root for. No one here is memorable, or at all interesting to watch. And you know you're just waiting for them to be killed off one by one. The standard for all horror films these days.

Overall: Alien Covenant is a disappointment for me. A lack of strong character and engaging stories refrains it from being one of Ridley's best works, and puts it more in his weaker selection of works.

Rating: 62% - B





Connor Macgregor Reviews...The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Intro: Boy have I waited to review this. And after watching it, I haven't had more fun watching a film in a long time.

Summary: While driving home during a rain filled night, straight-laced lovebirds Brad Majors and Janet Weiss end up by chance at the castle of one Dr. Frank-N-Furter and his strange and bizarre entourage, and find that he's having a party. This is no ordinary party, no ordinary night. This is the unveiling of the doctor's latest creation: Rocky Horror, a man-made Adonis that will give absolute pleasure. Over the course of the night, Frank seduces both Brad and Janet, Janet and Rocky become biblically involved, and Dr. Everett Von Scott arrives looking for his nephew Eddie (whom Frank killed earlier in this film). This is an exceedingly grand visual and musical camp satire of the golden days of the B-movie horror and science-fiction genres. Projected along with a musical soundtrack to give audience participation a new meaning in dimension, time and space, this shall be a night that both Brad and Janet will remember for a very long time.

Songs: What makes Rocky Horror so good is its songs. There are endless songs that are catchy and tap smashing. Time Warp of course is a classic, but you also have Sweet Transvestite and Touch Me which are just as good. Time Warp, however, reigns king. Fun, funky, and just plain silly to watch.

Characters & Camp: Of course the other worldly characters are hilarious to watch. Tim Curry's performance is fantastic, and one of the best of his career, and he's had plenty. Richard O Brien is also brilliant, and very funny to watch. Add in Patricia Quinn & Nell Campbell, and you have a fantastic foursome that both creep you out, and make you die laughing. The two young leads played by Barry Bostwick & Susan Sarandon are good to watch, as you see them get warped into this strange little world in the middle of nowhere. Charles Gray, the legend that he is, also has great moments too. All of this is aided also with the camp value of the film, which makes this so relaxed and enjoyable to sit through. They don't take themselves seriously and are overall playing for laughs and smiles.

Overall: The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a musical masterpiece, and one of the most entertaining films ever made. Take a night out to watch what is a musical mastery of cinema.

Rating: 100% - A+





Connor Macgregor Reviews...Baby Driver

Intro: Edgar Wright's luck in Hollywood has been very mixed. Screwed over with Ant-Man, he now returns with a more original film based in the crime caper films of the 70s. Only with a more modern twist and groove to it.

Summary: Baby is a young and partially hearing impaired getaway driver who can make any wild move while in motion with the right track playing. It's a critical talent he needs to survive his indentured servitude to the crime boss, Doc, who values his role in his meticulously planned robberies. However, just when Baby thinks he is finally free and clear to have his own life with his new girlfriend, Deborah, Doc coerces him back for another job. Now saddled with a crew of thugs too violently unstable to keep to Doc's plans, Baby finds himself and everything he cares for in terrible danger. To survive and escape the coming maelstrom, it will take all of Baby's skill, wits and daring, but even on the best track, can he make it when life is forcing him to face the music?

The Good: Edgar Wright is just an absolute geek of a filmmaker, conducting sequences and setups in this film which really appeal to the cine-nerds of the world. The Opening sequence with the music is great and really sets you into the world of the film, and how much importance the music plays overall. I love the style, the type of music played throughout the film, and the gorgeous direction Wright sets out which separates this from all other blockbusters.

The Bad: The only downvote is the characters. I just felt a lot of them, if not all of them, were pretty dull and unoriginal for the most part. It's fine acting wise, everyone does a good job. But none of these characters are for me going to be remembered down the line as movie characters to go down in history.

Overall: Baby Driver is a solid flick, and a good alternative to the summer franchises that are pretty much dominated the cinemas these days. Its fast, action-packed, funny, and something very different, and slightly nostalgic to filmmaking of old.

Rating: 91% - A





Connor Macgregor Reviews...Battle Of The Sexes (London Film Festival)


Intro: Seeing this as part of the London Film Festival, I had to do the dreaded red carpet in Leicester Square, something which made me quite anxious, and eager to find a quick route into the cinema. I was no celebrity, crew member, or member of the press (sort of). I was just a regular attendee of a film yet to be released in wide distribution. But none the less, I did it and entered the cinema. Was it worth it?

Summary: In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women's movement, the 1973 tennis match between women's world champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men's-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. The fiercely private King was not only championing for equality, but also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, as her friendship with Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough) developed. And Riggs, one of the first self-made media-age celebrities, wrestled with his gambling demons, at the expense of his family and wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue). Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms ...

Performances: I think they're are some really sincere performances in this film, perfectly highlighting the frustration and attitude of the 70s. Emma Stone shines here as Billie Jean King, absolutely selling the hard work the character throws in making a difference in people's perception of tennis. It's great, and Stone delivers a strong performance. Steve Carell is also great too as Bobby Riggs, perfectly selling the statuesque factor to his character. it's all a show, all a performance, and not so very genuine. Much like a certain President of today... Other performances to note are Andrew Riseborough who I really enjoyed as Billie Jean's girlfriend Marilyn.

However: I feel at times that I was being lectured by the film. Like it was telling me how to enjoy and digest the story, and so I rolled my eyes at times throughout the film. Add to that Sarah Silverman's rather obnoxious performance which made me want to strangle the character so hard, or maybe just her. Another thing was the lack of tension in the third act. I was let down by how rushed and undramatic it all was. This isn't really due to the notable fact of the result, but really just because it was paced very badly and lacked any tension at all.

Overall: Battle Of The Sexes is fine. Its a good film with strong performances, but a poor narrative in my opinion.

Rating: 71% - B+





Connor Macgregor Reviews...Manifesto (London Film Festival)

Intro: I had an inkling feeling I was seeing something different. I just, never really thought It would be this bad....

Summary: Manifesto draws on the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Suprematists, Situtationists, Dogma 95 and other artist groups, and the musings of individual artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers, editing and reassembling them as a collage of artists' manifestos, ultimately questioning the role of the artist in society today. Performing these 'new manifestos' while inhabiting thirteen different personas - among them a school teacher, a puppeteer, a newsreader, a factory worker and a homeless man - Cate Blanchett imbues new dramatic life into these famous words in unexpected contexts.

Cate Blanchett: Right, so before getting into the bad, I'll talk about the only really good film in this: Cate Blanchett herself. This is the type of film she should show casting directors to demonstrate the fact that she can pretty much do any role possible. I found each role fun to watch, even though most of the time I had no idea what the hell is going on. If you like to see an actor/actress perform a bunch of nothing, this really is the film for you.

The Bad: Where do I begin? Most of this is artsy rubbish in my opinion. I'm not a big art man myself. I don't go to art galleries often, and I don't really have much interest. I saw this film simply for Cate and nothing else. And really it was hard enough understanding what in christ's name was going on. For a regular filmgoer, it's no fun whatsoever. The dialogue makes zero sense, and is often comedic at points. There were often points I was just laughing at how ludicrous it all was. The scene with the family in particular was brilliant, as well as the school children drawing film sets. Aside from that, its pretty boring to sit through, even if it is 90 minutes.

Overall: Don't bother, Its artsy crap. Unless you're very artsy that is.

Rating: 24% - C-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...Blade Runner

Intro: This is a film long regarded as a game changer for science fiction. More so than Star Wars perhaps. And finally I was going to see it, after a long wait. So, was it worth the wait?

Summary: In the futuristic year of 2019, Los Angeles has become a dark and depressing metropolis, filled with urban decay. Rick Deckard, an ex-cop, is a "Blade Runner". Blade runners are people assigned to assassinate "replicants". The replicants are androids that look like real human beings. When four replicants commit a bloody mutiny on the Off World colony, Deckard is called out of retirement to track down the androids. As he tracks the replicants, eliminating them one by one, he soon comes across another replicant, Rachel, who evokes human emotion, despite the fact that she's a replicant herself. As Deckard closes in on the leader of the replicant group, his true hatred toward artificial intelligence makes him question his own identity in this future world, including what's human and what's not human.

Production: I'll start with the production side of things. Its amazing what they could do in 1982. Make an alien world, but be it on Planet Earth. The Visual Effects are fantastic and capture the tone of the world perfectly. The streets, apartments, technology, costumes, etc. All of them come together wonderfully to create a grim, unsettling future that could've easily come true if nature took a different course.

Music: The score by Vangelis is to die for. Very new, weird, but wonderful to listen to. Like the production, it adds layers to the world, and feels classic as well as new. You just get hypnotised by the sounds, however small or big they are. And if anything, it makes you feel that you're actually living in that world, and the music is your guide to the grim and ginormous landscape Earth has become.

Acting: Lastly is the acting which is pretty terrific. Harrison Ford creates a memorable role in Rick Deckard. Its the fact that he is silent more than anything, and how his eyes pretty much tell you everything you need to know about him. Rutger Hauer is a perfect tragic character in Roy Batty. His desire for a longer life, and the means to get it, are sad to watch, especially when it all comes down to the ending of the film. Sean Young is great as Rachael. Very mysterious to watch, and you feel that you're still trying to figure her out when the film ends.

Overall: Blade Runner is for sure a classic. Memorable music, Brilliant production, and visuals you'll never forget in your life.

Rating: 100% - A+





Connor Macgregor Reviews...Blade Runner 2049

Intro: The long-awaited sequel to Blade Runner was always going to have high expectations, but did they live up?

Summary: Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

Production Value: The film technically is marvellous to watch. The Cinematography by Roger Deakins is award winning and beautiful to watch. The images so unique and daring to the screen, and capture the unworldly feel that the first Blade Runner captured so perfectly. The visual effects are also marvellous, very modern and fun to engage with.

Story & Characters: The film's story is primarily a mystery, and keeps you guessing all the way through. I kept getting fooled by the various false roads the story kept leading me on. But its enriching and gripping at times. Ryan Gosling is the lead and is very good, capturing that same mystery Harrison Ford created with the first film. Sylvia Hoeks is great as Luv, very deadly but fun too. Jared Leto is also fun as the villain, but sadly his story is unresolved and you're left a bit miffed by his character at the end.

Harrison Ford: The film's weak point is surprisingly Harrison Ford. I felt he was tired, and not physically there for the role. I don't think he put much effort in the performance and thus felt like a burden to the story.

Overall: Blade Runner 2049 is a solid sequel, but slightly overpraised as I don't regard it as the greatest sequel ever made. But still a worthwhile film to experience.

Rating: 94% - A





Connor Macgregor Reviews...Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

Intro: What else can you say about the most iconic film in modern cinema. Creative, classic, and a colossal in scale, effects, and cuture. Star Wars Episode IV really did change the game for Hollywood.

Summary: The Imperial Forces, under orders from cruel Darth Vader, hold Princess Leia hostage in their efforts to quell the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, work together with the companionable droid duo R2-D2 and C-3PO to rescue the beautiful princess, help the Rebel Alliance and restore freedom and justice to the Galaxy.

Iconic Film: Where do I begin really with Star Wars? Really from the opening crawl to the closing credits, you feel like you're on an incredible adventure like no other. Travelling from multiple planets, and engaging in intense but fan conflict, Star Wars takes old Sci Fi tropes and reimagines them with a fantasy overtone. The visual effects were groundbreaking for the time. Much like Avatar, the effects compliment the world in many ways. Whether its the death star battle, or the first appearance of the Lightsaber, Star Wars's iconography is born with these first memorable moments.

Iconic Characters: Then of course are the characters. Luke Skywalker & Leia Organa play classic stereotypes, but with their own unique twists. Han Solo is a truly terrific rogue, in which Harrison Ford embraces like a fresh pair of gloves. Alec Guisiness is wonderful as Obi Wan Kenobi, being the only one in the cast to earn an academy award nomintion for best supporting actor. Then of course, is Darth Vader. Terrifying, huge in scale, and intimidating in all of his scenes. He could've been easily mocked because the design is pretty goofy when you first see it. But its James Earl Jones's performance as the voice of the sith lord which makes him intimidating to watch. Add in alien & robot characters such as Chewbacca, R2D2 & C3P0 and you have a very colourful and brilliant set of characters.

Overall: Star Wars Episode IV is magical in all ways, and I think sets the standard for modern day cinema all over.

Rating: 87% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...mother!

Intro: It's quite a film to sit through, especially once it's all over. The conversation about it when it was released was quite wild. Such polar opinions on this film made me quite intrigued to see it.

Summary: Amidst a wild flat meadow encircled by an Edenic lush forest, a couple has cocooned itself in a secluded grand mansion that was not so long ago burned to the ground, devotedly restored by the supportive wife. Within this safe environment, the once famous middle-aged poet husband is desirous of creating his magnum opus, however, he seems unable to break out of the persistent creative rut that haunts him. And then, unexpectedly, a knock at the door and the sudden arrival of a cryptic late-night visitor and his intrusive wife will stimulate the writer's stagnant imagination, and much to the perplexed wife's surprise, the more chaos he lets in their haven, the better for his punctured male ego. In the end, will this incremental mess blemish irreparably the couple's inviolable sanctuary?

Jennifer Lawrence: Let's start with Jennifer Lawrence, who really does carry the film, literally. Most of the shots are a close up of her, and so a lot of her facial expressions change as well as her emotions. It must've been an exhausting role for her as very few of the other cast get that same attention. It's up there as one of her best performances, especially when things really go haywire.

Themes: The amount of themes that are thrown into this film are mad. First there's the theme of Fame centred around Javier Bardem's character, and how much everyone adores his profession. Branching out of that is the theme of greed, and how much someone really wants out of life. Add in more religious themes and the ideas of power and time and you have a film that really throws so much at you in a quick span of time.

Experience: By the time we reach the film's climax, everything is really in chaos. The film goes down a route you really don't see coming, and gives us one of the most out there endings Hollywood has really ever done. Mainly because its just not something you really expect to see, and you're left feeling miffed at what you got. And as I left the theatre, I just felt slightly attacked from the sides, and trying to make sense at what I saw.

Overall: mother! is a good film and contains some really strong performances, but I can understand the divide and the hostility at some towards the film.

Rating: 84% - A-





Connor Macgregor Reviews...Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Intro: The Empire Strikes Back is widely considered the best Star Wars film of the lot. But is it flawless?

Summary: Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca face attack by the Imperial forces and its AT-AT walkers on the ice planet Hoth. While Han and Leia escape in the Millennium Falcon, Luke travels to Dagobah in search of Yoda. Only with the Jedi master's help will Luke survive when the dark side of the Force beckons him into the ultimate duel with Darth Vader.

Darker: This instalment of the Star Wars saga is much darker than Episode IV. The Empire are in full force, with the rebels all over the place. The opening battle on Hoth is fun to watch, and the snow setting is a fresh new environment rather than another space battle. Seeing the story split into three POVs is also creative: Luke, Han & Leia, and Vader. You learn about the characters more, as well as their motivations and inner desires. The new characters are also great, particularly Frank Oz as Yoda. Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian is also really fun, and proves to be capable in the film's third act.

Climax: The film's third act is one of the best in cinema history. With Han being frozen, Lando's double turn, and the epic lightsaber duel between Luke & Vader. It's powerful and intense, especially when it contains one of the most infamous plot twists of all time. It's great, emotional, and makes you wanting more.

Overall: Empire Strikes Back is great cinema, and one of the most complex and intense Star Wars films of the saga. It's action-packed, philosophical, and thrilling in one go.

Rating: 95% - A





Connor Macgregor Reviews...Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi

Intro: The last of the original Star Wars trilogy is in fact the first Star Wars film I ever saw. So there is a hint of bias here due to the huge role it had on my childhood. But looking back, where does it rank now?

Summary: Luke Skywalker battles horrible Jabba the Hut and cruel Darth Vader to save his comrades in the Rebel Alliance and triumph over the Galactic Empire. Han Solo and Princess Leia reaffirm their love and team with Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, the Ewoks and the androids C-3PO and R2-D2 to aid in the disruption of the Dark Side and the defeat of the evil emperor.

Underrated: For me, this is the underrated film of the three. Its strongly concluded, it has a array of great characters, and the action sequences are sublime to sit through. The beginning on Tatooine with Jabba is slow but still good to watch. Its the last great obstacle before the big fight to come, and in many ways, preparation. We see a more mature and confident Luke than before, now aware of the truth behind his past. The stuff on Endor can be made fun of, but its still good, especially the speeder bike chase.

The Final Battle: The final battle is told from three perspectives; Han & Leia on the ground of Endor, Lando in space, and Luke on the death star. All three are thrilling and dramatic, all playing a crucial role in the outcome of the story (Luke's can be debated though). I found it fun but also slightly tense. The way its paced is very well done and each battle has its fair share of time.

Overall: Return Of The Jedi is underrated in the Star Wars conversation. Great battles, strong dilemmas, and a clash between two great forces to determine the fate of the galaxy.

Rating: 99% - A



"""" Hulk Smashhhh."""
Nice reviews mate. How many reviews have you posted now.
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@Optimus

I have no idea at this stage. I've been doing reviews now since 2009 so fair to say its a lot.
@edarsenal

Thanks. The format was done recently as it makes it easier to write and not have to rethink about the film. Simple bullet point notes and then vomit out a review. I'm not looking for A+ writing skills or anything like that. Its just rambling thoughts on the film, nothing more. I'm not a film critic by any means.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
you're welcome!
It's rare that I get time to explore other reviews - so many with such diverse styles; and I rather find someone who loves movies than someone who critiques them. Though there are a couple of folks here that are able to do both brilliantly.
Regardless, really enjoyed your reviews, thank you so much for taking the time to write and post them