Suspect's 2019 Movie Watch List

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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
John Wick 3: Parabellum




This is the first John Wick I was able to see in theatres and it was a great experience. The audience collectively would gasp and cheer at some of the intense fight sequences. Most notably the knife fight towards the beginning. This sequence was an expertly crafted scene in which characters are smashing glass cabinets to retrieve weapons and desperately throw them at each other. It was a more unique aspect to an action sequence than your typical point and shoot, which is becoming more or less tedious as the series goes on.

I made the mistake of watching John Wick right before I saw John Wick 2, I think that hurt my appreciation of the sequel a little. It felt a tad redundant and I preferred the original whereas everyone else I talk to loves the sequel. So I made a conscious effort to not watch either films before seeing this one. Even so, at the point Halle Berry shows up, the sequences were becoming a tad bland. Sure, they still look cool and there were some new elements involving dogs, but more or less I was watching a video game. Halle Berry's character feels forced into this series, maybe as a backdoor spin-off attempt for the female aspect. Not sure, but that's how it felt because she shows up and disappears just as quickly.

We are shown more of this unique world these characters inhabit and as the layers are peeled away, the more we understand. I don't know how much money these people have, but it seems to be endless. We get a sequence where John meets someone important in the middle of the desert. A Saudi prince type character, covered in gold and asking for John's "devotion". What happens next was somewhat shocking, but ultimately pointless. John decision doesn't affect how he operates later on, when one would think it might. It's almost as if nothing happened at all, which is a little disappointing. It would be interesting to see John be forced to change up how he does things because of a disadvantage.

I might be nitpicking and this review may seem more negative than the rating suggests. The movie was great. It's everything fans want from this series. It does feel a little bit video game like, as John goes through one bad guy to the next in order to get to the final "boss", but everything this film does, it does it very well. I've always been a fan of Reeves and it's nice to see him have a bit of a resurgence right now. John Wick might be his most famous character too, that's saying a lot from the guy who played Neo and Ted.
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Suspect's Reviews



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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Fate of the Furious




The biggest debate for me about this movie is regarding Dom's decision to go rogue. I'm trying to figure out the timeline for the baby and then I'm trying to figure out what Dom saw on the phone. He's willing to go through all this just for her? I ask this because he is surprised to see that he has a son. I would understand him doing this for his son, but not really just for her.

F8 wants you to ignore that past and embrace the future. Statham killed Han, but everything is good by the end of this film. Does this series have a confusing sense of good guys and bad guys? Is Theron going to be on their side in the next film? Maybe "familia" isn't as important to them as they claim. The film ends with a BBQ and Dom introducing his son to his "familia"...but where is Brian and his sister? Yes, I get it, Paul Walker is no longer with us, but for the sake of the story here it doesn't make sense. They don't want to include him in the dangerous missions because he has a family now. Okay, that makes sense, but what about random BBQ's? Brian is still alive in this world so naming his son after him is a little random too. Why not Paul? I thin that would have made it a bit more sentimental.

I forgot to mention how Kurt Russell is in these films now. He does nothing but looks good in a suit and makes quips. Im fine with that, I can always use more Kurt Russell in my movies. Helen Mirren makes a small cameo as well. Have they decided to up the "classy" factor here and have two Oscar winners in this series?

The writer's room was probably them brainstorming how to up the ante and someone yelled out "They out race a submarine!!!" Then they decided to try and write a script around that one basic idea. Cue Tyrese yelling more one-liners, Ludacris being more tech-savy and The Rock being more muscular. F8 does more of the same as the other films, but maybe the magic is wearing thin a little bit? It's still one of the better entries and I eagerly await the film where they drive in outer space.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Brightburn





This is the type of movie I would have rushed to see when I was in high school. I went to check it out with a friend of mine that I haven't seen a movie with in years. We always saw films together but the last one we saw was Now You See Me. So Brightburn came up and it had a high school nostalgia feel to it so we checked it out. Despite it hitting the marks that were expected, there is nothing really present here in the film to grab the viewer and be memorable.

Take the story of Superman and add a horror spin to it. Instead of being a hero for the people, he has an internal sense to destroy. Interesting take on a "classic" origin story. Unfortunately the filmmakers don't go far enough with it to truly make the horror aspect stick. There are a few scenes of gore that park some creativity, but not enough in my opinion.

Elizabeth Banks plays the mother, someone who will love her "son" undyingly. No matter what happens, he is her son. One would think that she would go to some extreme lengths to protect him, possibly a Rosemary's Baby type ending, but we don't get that. Fine, no big deal, but that would have really added a bit more of a gruelling sense of depression to it.

A lot of the final act is Man of Steel territory. The kid flies super fast through things, into people, etc. That is a little disappointing because it seems lazy. The more interesting use of his "skills" involve terrorizing someone in a vehicle in the middle of the road at night. Good use of horror tension in that scene.

It tries to add more of a troubled family dynamic, but it doesn't feel natural. At times I wondered where the hell the father was during some of the more creepier scenes, sequences that he should be there but it's only the mother. A cool looking mask helps bring a bit more evil comic book character vibes that I hoped the film would drench itself in. Brightburn is a tad predictable with some gore elements that don't add up to a full fledged entertaining film.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Murder Mystery




An exhale through your nose type laughter in a harmless comedy from Sandler and Aniston.

Sandler's Netflix movies haven't been that great. In fact I only kind of tolerated one of them, The Do-Over and that was because it had an actual plot. With Murder Mystery, Sandler teams up with his friend Aniston and they actually have a story to tell. Take your typical murder mystery set-up and throw in the standard Sandler style comedy (as of late, not his earlier stuff) and you get this. Not great, not bad, just kind of existing.

Sandler and Aniston have great chemistry, this was evident in their earlier film Just Go With It. That's the one benefit this film has going for it, the chemistry elevates the lacklustre comedy. There are no real laugh out loud moments or memorable comedy bits in this entire movie, instead you might smile and chuckle from time to time. Completely harmless, but nothing to laugh home about. Sandler continues to make films in exotic locations for the hell of it, good for him. He also continues to act like himself in his movies and throw sarcastic jabs at people. This is his thing now, so accept it I guess.

I expected the mystery element to add up differently and the lead you to believe that way for a lot of the film. So subverting expectations a little bit with the outcome, but at the same time it doesn't surprise you with the reveal. It's all there on the screen and a lot of it seems obvious. The murder mystery element leaves the one location set-up and our protagonists are 'on the run' trying to solver the murder and clear their names.

The supporting cast doesn't do much to assist with the comedy. Everyone except one person plays it straight. That one character that leans heavily into comedy feels like they belong in earlier Sandler films, so it's a bit jarring. You don't really end up caring for the murder mystery part by the end of it, but the journey there was tolerable and compared to every other Sandler/Netflix entry, this might be the best one.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Someone Great




After a devastating break-up just before she is suppose to move across the country for a new job, Jenny goes out for one last great NYC night with her two best friends.

A romantic comedy that likes to wallow in the depression of its characters. Gina Rodriguez plays Jenny, who is going through a bad breakup with LaKeith Stansfield. The chemistry between these two is really great and helps generate a believable relationship that one would be sad when over. I actually wanted the two to get back together by the end of the film. Both brought a welcomed sense of realism to their characters and their bond together.

The film litters in some flashbacks to the relationship, showing how good they are together, so we can be really sad back in the present when they are not together. Her two best friends are played by Brittany Snow and DeWanda Wise. Each have their own little stories to tell as well, but neither really dive into something tangible. Snow is in a relationship where she doesn't like the man and secretly wants to be with someone Jenny use to like and Wise is a lesbian who is afraid to commit to any real relationship. Just enough to flesh out some of their characteristics, but not enough to really make them interesting.

The film is a little different compared to the usual fare and we get to see the ups and downs of a relationship, something like 500 Days of Summer, but less cute indie and more female empowerment on the streets. Rodriguez really shines here and I wish she gets more roles in the future and Wise does well for a character that I normally wouldn't like. I've seen Snow in a lot of things and she tends to play the same character, nothing really different from her this time around.

Someone Great feels like a film that people should watch when they are going through the same events of the main character.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Always Be My Maybe




A "classic" comedy that feels like a great throwback to the 90's rom-coms that actually make you laugh and feel like the two should be together in the end. Two people who grew up as best friends are reunited when her fiancé wants a break before the wedding.

Randall Park does a great job here in a leading role. He embodied the lazy but funny guy from those 90's rom-coms. Ali Wong is someone that I knew about, but never really experienced her stand-up. She comes off as someone who has dirty material and despite never seeing her material, I felt like she was being 'denied' her natural comedic chops and was a little restricted. Despite that, it doesn't hurt the film. She does a good job here and made me want to seek out her material.

Yes, Keanu Reeves makes a funny cameo and he plays himself. Really funny moments and he seems to be having a great resurgence which I am totally on board for. I'd like to also throw a shout out to James Saito, who plays Park's father. Really surprising role here as I was expecting a more stereotypical strict Asian father role, but they turn the expectations around and instead deliver a down to earth funny character that really stands out above the rest.

Always Be My Maybe is a welcomed entry on the "Netflix" roster.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Minority Report




Where's My Minority Report!!?!?!?!?!?!?!

An entertaining sci-fi action film starring one of the biggest movie stars, a legend and an up and coming actor. Spielberg crafts a movie with entertaining thrills with thought provoking ideas and has a success on his hands.

People do indeed claim that the ending is more or less a dream. I kind of like that theory, it fits within the story as Cruise mentions how the criminals dream when they are put in those status tubes. So it would make sense he would dream up his own rescue as things do seems to become a lot easier and go his way. While it works within the story, it doesn't work within Spielberg's film wheelhouse. He prefers the happy ending over the depressing one. So this fan theory must remain a 'fan theory'.

The action set pieces are really good, but I do notice some awkward wirework, especially during the jetpack sequences. The look of the film has this oversaturated feel, feels like they want it to feel futuristic. You get use to it.

Watching it this time around hit me a little harder with the disappearance of his son. The marital break-up because Tom reminds her of their son is depressing. Makes you think about how a film doesn't change, but how you perceive it does.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Wine Country




I look back at this movie and I just have to ask myself, what was the point? It's not really about anything, no real plot, just a bunch of middle-aged women walking aimlessly around wine country cracking inside jokes and sometimes making some self discoveries. It's a film that seems safe, lacking more than soft chuckles and ultimately feels more or less pointless. Which is a shame because this is Amy Poehler's first directorial effort. She does nothing flashy with the camera and I felt like this film could have been done by anyone.

Abby decides to celebrate her friends 50th birthday with an all-out girls weekend, this is in an effort to ignore the fact that she was recently fired. The girls all have a good time, until their own insecurities and baggage bring down the festivities.

Having a career on SNL helps you make connections and Poehler leans heavily on her friends to make the funny happen. Five out of the seven cast members are former SNL players. Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer and of course Poehler herself, all lend a helping hand to get some laughs. They all obviously have great chemistry and comedic timing. The other two ladies; Paula Pell & Emily Spivey have a connection to SNL as well, they were staff writers. So everyone is just a big happy loving family here. Pell actually gets the most laughs in the film, so it was a welcomed surprise to see someone fresh get the best material.

Wine Country is a film that you can miss. The laughs are very few and far between and the film offers very little of entertainment value. If you want to connect and enjoy the ladies on their someone conflict filled weekend, then by all means enjoy.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Midsommar




It's hard to get a handle on Midsommar, there is a lot going on with Ari Aster's sophomore effort. Those looking to find the next level in horror will surely be disappointed. This is more in line with his efforts in Hereditary, especially when both films deal with grief in such a personal and horrific way. This time around he feels like he can be a bit more creative with the camera, moving freely in the open land and leaving the family drama behind for a more blunt horror experience. With that being said, Midsommar is still not your typical horror film.

After a devastating loss in her life, Dani's relationship with her "on the fence" boyfriend gets even more strained. He plans on leaving for Sweden with his three friends, one of which is from there. He invites her to go with them, expecting her to say no, but she agrees and they soon find themselves at the mercy of a pagan cult.

It's easy to make things scary when things take place at night, Aster has the ambition to craft a horror film that takes place entirely in the daytime. He expertly crafts a sense of dread throughout the film, which is an incredibly slow burner one as well. We know what to expect, to some degree, when these people arrive at this commune, in the middle of nowhere. The characters of course, do not. We as an audience know we are watching a horror film, the characters think they are just at a friend's family home. Slowly the safety and sanity is picked away one by one, until we have no idea what we are witnessing and neither do the characters. Is a drink being offered simply a drink? Or is there something more sinister in the liquid? These were questions I was constantly asking myself throughout the film.

Is the film scary? Not at all. It's terrifying in a morbid way, but you never feel scared. Instead you are repulsed by the imagery Aster forces you to watch. These images are violent in nature, absurd to the next level and are few and far between. He simply sprinkles these moments in, which add a shock value because everything leading up to these moments have been a little slow.

Florence Pugh leads the film and has the difficult task of being incredibly fragile, but needing to be a strong presence. She pulls it off with ease. Hearing her tormented crying is painful and strikes right through the heart. The rest of the cast includes her boyfriend played by Jack Reynor and his three friends, played by William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren and Will Poulter. You look at these people and you just know that nothing good is going to happen to them.

I suspect that this film will be dissected, much like Jordan Peele's recent horror entry, Us. Aster litters the film with literal images depicting what could possibly happen to these characters at some point in time. You'll be looking in the background for these pictures to get a sense of what's to come. One sequence uses this to comedic effect, which then turns extremely weird and than horrifying. That's how Midsommar is in a nutshell. It plays with tone and at points the audience is laughing at the absurdity on the screen. I still have no idea if the funny bits are intentional or not.

I do prefer Hereditary to this, as I was simply not prepared for that film whatsoever. It left me speechless. Midsommar treads familiar ground and could leave some people shocked, but it might even leave some people wanting more. Aster, after two films is an auteur and he loves taking his time getting to where he wants you to go, to the point where it could frustrate some viewers.

Oh yeah, great score too.



I mostly agree with you on Midsommar. I definitely felt terrified at moments, but I feel it would be more of a comedy on a rewatch. The characters do play dumb on more than one occasion, tragically towards the end. This is a hard movie to recommend, but I THINK I'm glad I saw it haha



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Going Overboard




Man....that was tough...

So as I mentioned previously, we did a Fast and Furious marathon for a friend of mine. It was decided that we should make this a regular thing and each of us pick a movie that we all sit down to watch. My friend was nervous about picking his movie because he was the first one to go. He decided to go with this piece of work because he bought it from a dollar bin and was curious to see it.

I am considering unfriending him in life.

Going Overboard is Adam Sandler's first starring role film in which he plays a waiter on a cruise that desperately wants to become a comedian. Cue unfunny jokes throughout the entire movie and you have yourself something that soldier's should use to torture prisoners.

I hated this movie. It wasn't even so bad that it was fun to make fun of it. It was just bad. a boring film with piss poor production quality. I can't stress enough for you to stay away from this movie. Just stay away. Burn it should you ever come across it.

It has a 1.9/10 on IMDB. Think about that for a second. Battlefield Earth has a higher rating. As does Glitter, Gili, Kazaa and God damn Bratz.

Trash...utter and complete trash. Sandler is so shamed of it, he doesn't even list it on his credits.

Nominated by my friend Tyler.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Night of the Creeps




I nominated this for the B-Movie HoF Sequel and it won. So when it was my turn to nominate a movie for out little movie chat sessions, I felt like this would be a decent one to start off with. It's something to watch in a Mystery Science Theatre type setting and it worked. They liked it a lot. We had a lot of laughs and comments on the cheese factor being pretty high.

It's a shame that Fred Dekker's career basically died with Robocop 3. This and Monster Squad (more on that later) are real gems and capture the b-movie 80's spirit perfectly.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Grosse Pointe Blank




Our third friend chose this little 90's gem. It's a romantic comedy about a hitman going back to his hometown for a high school graduation. His mark is there, so it's the perfect time to check in on the high school sweetheart he left high and dry on prom night.

John Cusack when he was still a bankable star, brings his usual awkward charms here. The added layer of him being a hired killer is unique enough to spin an interesting yarn for the viewer. Cusack manages to be believable enough unlike the other hitman, Dan Aykroyd. Minnie Driver is an actress I wish had bigger career, she is instantly likeable in a lot of her roles and this one is no exception.

A typical 90's soundtrack (which his a good thing) and good chemistry between the cast make this action romantic comedy a decent watch.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
PCU




Another entry in our PSN chat flicks. Another comedy from Tyler.

This time it's watchable and has a Jeremy Piven as a Van Wilder type character that must come up with X amount of money or their club will be kicked off campus. So what do they do? They throw a party of course. Also starring David Spade in his typical David Spade smart ass roles. Jake Busey, Jon Favreau and Jessica Walter round out the supporting characters.

Typical college comedy that doesn't have any real memorable laughs, just soft chuckles at most. I've seen these movies done before and done better. PCU is a forgettable flick that doesn't really hurt anyone. Would I watch it again? Probably not.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Monster Squad




This film was a childhood classic of mine and it was my choice to view with our chat group. It went very well as they enjoyed the hell out of it and it holds up pretty well.

The universal monsters are in town and are looking for an emulate to destroy so that evil can roam the world freely, forever. Only a small group of kids who call themselves The Monster Squad can stop them.

Really great monster effects, especially on the creature from the black lagoon. A pretty scary Dracula performance and a creepy mummy all make this film extremely memorable. Let's not forget the wolf man, a creature that can survive TNT because it wasn't a silver bullet.

Complete with an 80's montage, Monster Squad is a great throwback film that any fan of the decade/genre will enjoy. People call it a ripoff of The Goonies but I disagree.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Teen Witch




In an effort to nominate a "so bad it's good" movie, we have Teen Witch. This was originally supposed to be the female version of Teen Wolf, but I guess the translation was lost somewhere between the filming of the movie and the editing. Teen Witch is indeed a terrible movie and I only had a good time watching it because I was chatting with friends.

I had never heard of it before, but the film seems to have a cult following. It's easy to see why. Just look at this scene for instance:



I don't think anything could top that.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Dance Till Dawn




This film was nominated because our one friend saw it as a kid and wanted to revisit it.

The film is a whose who of future stars with Matthew Perry, Christina Applegate, Alyssa Milano and Tracey Gold with Alan Thicke and Kelsey Grammer playing parents to the kids.

One of those films that take place in one night and follows multiple people with their own little storylines. I appreciate those movies as they feel "in the moment". This film was a decent attempt at that and managed to surprise me in an odd way with avoiding, yet falling trap to character cliches. I say both because we have the classic case of the good looking guy asking out the geek girl for bad reasons. She finds out, but he has fallen for her. Cliche... So what grand gesture can he do to win her back? Nothing...he doesn't. Surprising. The guy looks like a typical good looking jerk and his original intentions were questionable, but by the end he sees his wrong doings and wants to right them. Didn't expect that.

A lot of the comedy falls flat, but Kelsey Grammer manages to get a few laughs as the overprotective dad who follows hi daughter around town to make sure she doesn't do any funny business. Dance Till Dawn was a TV movie and not a terrible one at that. It would also fall into the it's bad, but kinda good at the same time.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood




Once Upon A Time...in Hollywood doesn't feel like a typical Tarantino movie for the simple fact that this movie has no real plot or story. Instead of following a plot, we are basically dropped into this immersive world and spend 3 days with these dynamic characters Tarantino has given us. At 160 minutes, it would seem like a lot to ask the audience to sit in a theatre and watch a film sort of meander around for the middle portion and I can see a lot of people hating this movie because of this, but I found myself immersed in this world, these characters and my expectations of what was going to happen went wild.

Rick Dalton is a washed up TV actor coming to terms with the fact that he's a
'has-been'. His best friend and stunt double, Cliff Booth can't find work due to a shady past and finds himself being Dalton's driver and pretty much does anything Dalton asks. It's Hollywood in the late 60's and the hippie movement is taking over and right next door to Dalton is Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate.

The more I think about this movie after the fact, the more I like it. DiCaprio is absolutely stellar as Dalton. His insecurities, ego and alcoholism are all traits for a great performance and DiCaprio nails it. His chemistry with Pitt is spectacular, Pitt himself plays calm cool and collected so well. Is it the writing or the acting, that make people like a character like Cliff when in reality they should probably hate him? He has a backstory that seems completely out of place at first, but then a lot of the scenes in this film feel that way until they all come together in the end.

Then there is the case of Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate. Tarantino and Robbie humanize her here. She has forever been known as the famous murder victim of the Manson family, but now we have a look into the life of a young girl just enjoying life. There is a sequence when she is in a movie theatre watching one of her latest movies. She is taking in the pure enjoyment of the audience reacting positively to her scenes. It's a nice way to have the audience view this person in a different light, despite what we expect to happen to her by the film's end.

This wouldn't be a Tarantino movie without a killer soundtrack, which this film has, obscene violence, which this film ends with and an over infatuation with women's feet. In the same vein of Inglorious Basterds, Tarantino plays with history a bit and yet it works when it takes place in his universe. The climax is where the violence comes in, it's bloody and gruesome. It feels more over the top given the fact that there is virtually no violence in the entire film until that moment. We do get a tense sequence involving Pitt at the Spahn Movie Ranch and I was on the edge of my seat not knowing what to expect.

What a lot of films lack these days is surprise. With sequels, adaptations and reboots we get a sense of what the characters want and where the story will go. With Once Upon a Time, you get to enjoy the sheer unpredictability of it. I didn't know where Tarantino was going to take us and I was happy to go along for the ride. As the title suggest, this is a fairytale and I await my chance to re-enter this world.



Impressive that you're still churning out so many reviews even with a newborn in the house. Let the wife handle those baby duties. Gotta keep your priorities straight. After all, who else is going to write reviews for the latest Netflix exclusive?

Can't comment much since I haven't seen most of these recently reviewed films. It's a shame that everyone seems so underwhelmed by Brightburn since the premise boasts a lot of potential. I thought Murder Mystery was ass. It was annoying, lazy, devoid of laughs. Felt like I was watching Sandler play Clue in an exotic locale, and I don't even like Clue all that much (the game or the movie). Sounds like the talented ladies of Wine Country followed Sandler's template, using a paid vacation as an excuse to make a half-assed movie. I'd thought about watching it but will probably skip it now.

I wasn't as crazy about Hereditary as most. I felt that the movie took a nosedive in the last act. Still curious about Midsommar, though. Gonna have to check out Going Overboard sometime to see if it's as terrible as people make it out to be. Minority Report is great. Night of the Creeps is a really fun B-movie. Loved Monster Squad as a kid but haven't watched it in ages. At least you've picked worthwhile movies for your little viewing parties, unlike your friends. I've always wanted to do something similar with my own friends, but they'd probably hate everything I made them watch and vice-versa.
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A few comments from the last few posts. Firstly, Monster Squad is great. To even compare it to the crap that is The Goonies is evil. I've probably not seen it for 7-10 years now, but it was great in the 80's, it was great in the 90's and in the 00's so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and say it's still great.

How have I not seen Teen Witch? I don't know if I could take that amount of cringe for 90 minutes but I might have to give it a go and see. That clip was like a musical episode of Saved By The Bell or a suburban Electric Boogaloo. Both of which are descriptions which would get me in front of a screen.

Thirdly, I really like him, but has John Cusack even been a 'bankable star'? Wonderful film though.

Lastly, I know it has it in the title, but I think I've only read two reviews (yours and MV's) and both have mentioned fairy tale. I mean, I probably wasn't going to see it at the cinema anyway, as I just have no faith in QT anymore, hell I might never see it, but I was hoping this'd be different and be something I could get excited about.
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5-time MoFo Award winner.