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post #1 of 82 Old 12-15-2013, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
92





Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 109 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Action

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English/French, English/French SDH, Spanish
Starring: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Alice Braga
Written & Directed by: Neill Blomkamp
Music by: Ryan Amon
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 17, 2013







"Power isn’t only for the rich…"


Film Synopsis:

In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) will stop at nothing to preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium – but that doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in by any means they can. Max (Matt Damon) agrees to take on a life threatening mission, one that could bring equality to these polarized worlds.


My Take:

In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, resource depleted Earth where crime and poverty are the norm. In addition to the over-crowding the planet's rampant sicknesses attract the poor seeking the state-of-the-art medical care available on Elysium - but some in Elysium will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve their citizens' luxurious lifestyle. The only man with the chance bring equality to these worlds is Max (Matt Damon), an ordinary guy in desperate need to get to Elysium. With his life hanging in the balance, he reluctantly takes on a dangerous mission - one that pits him against Elysium's Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) and her hard-line forces - but if he succeeds, he could save not only his own life, but millions of people on Earth as well.

I saw Elysium during its theatrical run and had fairly high hopes for writer/director Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi actioner as I really like “District 9”. The plot here revolves around the film’s protagonist Max, a troubled but decent fellow with a checkered past. Growing up in the shadow of the orbiting Elysium Max longed to go there but into adulthood succumbed to the allure of crime that would eventually land him in prison and afterward on parole. His dream, those closest to him and the life he knew as a child faded but wasn’t forgotten.

My reaction to Elysium after seeing it in the theater was primarily lukewarm as I thought its script felt a bit uneven. Based on the subject matter one would get the impression that this is a sci-fi action film. I find it to be more of a sci-fi thriller containing elements of action. Max’s character isn’t developed well enough to carry the various subtexts found in the film. The villainess, Delacourt, is one dimensional as well which impacts the audience’s ability to truly set her apart. My favorite character and the one that is fleshed out the best is Kruger, Delecourt’s muscle. Right from the start it’s clear that he is a force to be reckoned with and that a showdown is on the horizon.

The early parts of the film depict the societal fragmentation in its future along with a rather noticeable agenda that speaks to the human condition regarding poverty, elitism, and cautions of the squandering of resources. The second act sets up the events that will play out in the finale however the plot points necessary to derive credibility regarding the tonal shift in the story are skimmed over. Things get a little sentimental and there is one or two too many convenient conveniences that detract from the edgier theme explored in the earlier parts of the film. Having said all of that there are some truly defining moments that support the underlying elements within the storyline.

Aside from the primary characters there are several supporting roles that play well but fall into the “skimmed over” category. This doesn’t make them any less effective though. This includes Max best friend, Julio, Delacourt’s minion John Carlyle (played by William Fichtner), Elysium’s President Patel and to a lesser degree Frey, Max’s long lost friend who reappears playing a vital role in the finale’s proceedings. Like “District 9” Elysium is a stylized film that portrays two worlds that are polar opposites. It succeeds at delineating them with an organic authenticity drawing the world above in an almost satirical fashion. The visuals are compelling and the production elements play perfectly against the narrative construct. The cast does a commendable job with what they are given to work with which I see as one of the film’s strengths. I really enjoyed Sharlto Copley’s “Kruger” while finding Jodie Foster’s “Delacourt” to be the least credible.

When all was said and done my feelings on Elysium this second time around are essentially the same. I found it to be one of those films that prove entertaining due to the total sum of its parts rather than having the benefit of rewardingly engrossing thematic flow/script.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong bloody violence and action throughout.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 92

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692




Video: 92

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692


Elysium comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.8 Mbps.

Elysium utilizes a stylized visual design comprised of various elements that represent the differing environs featured in the story. Earth has a limited color scheme that works aesthetically well for the subject matter with the color range limited to shades of dark blue, grays and black and muted sepia. Uneven light and shading are prevalent. Contrast is tamped down and grays are multi-staged and delineated. The sequences that take place on Elysium have deep chromatic emphasis with vivid primaries, golden fleshtones and boldly applied contrast. I find the film’s deep grays, rich blacks and intriguing use of color enamoring. The large amount of CGI featured in the film softened some of the background elements but I didn’t found it to be excessive or distracting. Overall the quality of the video is high. It isn’t always razor sharp but it is cleanly rendered with revealing refinement that increases the perception of fine detail. Blacks are dynamic and gradational and detail in shadows is just as strong. The video has a pleasing quality that coincides nicely with its gritty storyline.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has excellent dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s thematic elements. As I mentioned earlier I find this film to be more of a thriller than a dyed in the wool actioner. In that regard I find this audio presentation to be spot on. Ryan Amon’s music score, coupled along with well integrated discrete and atmospheric sound effects, plays an intricate role in this sometimes active surround mix. The additional rear channels aren’t always in play however when applied the detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is excellent. Early in the film when Max gets reacquainted with Frey in the hospital emergency room, the discrete placement of various sounds, including voices, electronic instruments etc. could be heard through the rear channels. The same is true during Max and Julio’s visit to Spider’s lair and Max’s “interview” with his parole officer.

The LFE channel is active as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the palpably rich bass and dynamic impact associated with the sounds of battle as well as a number of low frequency sweeps that shook anything loose in my room. The first that I heard occurs during the opening title sequence, another that I noted happens in the finale just after the military ship crash lands on Elysium. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I thoroughly enjoyed this audio presentation and found that it complimented the film’s thematic tone. I have heard complaints that the soundtrack suffers from lackluster bass response as well as low volume levels in the surround channels. I didn’t experience this. While there may not be perpetual use of truly deep bass I never found it to be lacking or disproportionate.

Both the audio and video presentations mimicked what I saw in the theater and together make for an excellent home theater experience.


Bonus Features:

  • (HD) *Exclusive* Extended scene

  • (HD) *Exclusive* Visions of 2154 - An interactive exploration of the art and design of Elysium.

  • (HD) *Exclusive* The Journey to Elysium (3 segments):
    1. Envisioning Elysium - This pre-production diary explores all facets of pre-production – 8 minutes
    2. Capturing Elysium - With production in Vancouver, Mexico, and on huge green screen stages, the challenge of filming was nothing short of massive. The filmmakers and cast discuss the journey through the film’s production – 26 minutes
    3. Enhancing Elysium - This post-production diary explores the editing process – 10 minutes
  • (HD) *Exclusive* In support of the story: The visual effects of Elysium - An in-depth look at the process of shooting visual effects scenes and incorporating CGI environments and vehicles into those scenes in post-production – 10 minutes

  • (HD) *Exclusive* The technology of 2154 - From independently functioning Droids to next-generation military tech that gives humans machine-enhanced power, get insight from the filmmakers on the technology of Elysium – 10 minutes

  • (HD) Collaboration: Crafting the performances in Elysium - Meet the dynamic cast and get insight into how they prepared for their roles – 13 minutes

  • (HD) Engineering Utopia: Creating a Society in the sky - A look at designing and creating the utopian space station – 11 minutes

  • Bonus DVD

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Elysium comes from the mind of writer/director Neill Blomkamp. It doesn’t resonate as deeply as his District 9 but proves entertaining enough to warrant interest for genre fans that enjoy his visionary style. Elysium comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring faithful and rewarding high definition video and rousing 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound coupled with a solid supplemental package that’s loaded with format exclusive content. If you’re already a fan this release is a no brainer. For those that may be curious it deserves a spot at the top of your rental queue.



attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 82 Old 12-15-2013, 01:06 PM
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Looking forward to watching this one again. Its a buy.
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post #3 of 82 Old 12-15-2013, 02:06 PM
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Ralph, thank you for yet another stellar review. Even if the plot is a little weak I'm going to have to pick this up on BD. I haven't seen many films with Jodie Foster lately but she is one of my favorite female actresses.
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post #4 of 82 Old 12-15-2013, 06:12 PM
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This was my *most* looked-forward to film of 2013. Unfortunately the not so subtle left-leaning agenda spoiled my enjoyment of the experience quite a bit. Technically, the film is just as stunning as District 9, was, but the script crossed the borderline into BAD at times. Kruger was an outstanding villain though, and quite impressive to see the range that Sharlto Copley has in his acting repertoire comparing this character to Wikus in D9; looking forward to seeing him in the Oldboy remake.

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post #5 of 82 Old 12-15-2013, 06:41 PM
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Ralph nailed it... "Fairly high hopes....primarily lukewarm".
I was really looking forward to this film and it left me disappointed
To put it mildly.
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post #6 of 82 Old 12-15-2013, 08:09 PM
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Buy,buy, buy thanks Mr. Potts nice review!!!!!
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post #7 of 82 Old 12-15-2013, 08:40 PM
 
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I am tired of the lack of non-dystopian films but it seems to be the main way we view our eventuality.
Well, I enjoyed Oblivion (enough to buy it after Netflixing it) and even though Ralph's take on this film is lukewarm, he manages to make it sound worth looking into.
It's like his take on Lone Ranger and Tonto, by the time I finished reading the review I was interested in seeing a movie that I had stayed away from in the theater.
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post #8 of 82 Old 12-15-2013, 10:21 PM
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I saw this at the theater with my gals, and was disappointed as well as a few of you were. I don't know but the story line seem to lack big time, and I was so hoping this Sci Fi would be great, especially now that I have very little opportunity to head to the theaters these days.

Ralph you're spot on, on point review as usual.


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post #9 of 82 Old 12-16-2013, 01:28 AM
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2 big actors don't have a scene togeather. hmmm rolleyes.gif
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post #10 of 82 Old 12-16-2013, 07:10 AM
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Thanks for the review. Does the film have a camera style similar to District 9? Shaking and wandering with quick pans and zooms... like in Man of Steel or Bourne Supremacy too? Makes me dizzy mad.gif
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post #11 of 82 Old 12-16-2013, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zebracatzebra View Post

Thanks for the review. Does the film have a camera style similar to District 9? Shaking and wandering with quick pans and zooms... like in Man of Steel or Bourne Supremacy too? Makes me dizzy mad.gif

Greetings,

There is some shaky cam cinematography used in this film. I wouldn't describe it as pervasive though...


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post #12 of 82 Old 12-16-2013, 08:03 AM
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I was glad I rented instead of bought - Jodie Foster was downright awful.
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post #13 of 82 Old 12-16-2013, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

I was glad I rented instead of bought - Jodie Foster was downright awful.


Yeah what was up with that, did she have an accent or something , she looked like she couldn't wait to get out of there and get back to her every day life.

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post #14 of 82 Old 12-16-2013, 09:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Djoel View Post

Yeah what was up with that, did she have an accent or something , she looked like she couldn't wait to get out of there and get back to her every day life.

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I hate to hear this. She's done do much good work. Contact et al.
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post #15 of 82 Old 12-16-2013, 10:27 AM
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I really wanted to see this. I would say District 9 is probably one of the best Sci Fi movies of recent times so I have high hopes for this one. I'll rent it when it comes to a Redbox.

Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.

 

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post #16 of 82 Old 12-16-2013, 11:26 AM
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Thx for the review.

My wife is a Scifi fan so we went the first week to see it. She had high hopes as she liked District 9 a lot. Lukewarm says it all. The acting all around was just awful. JF was unbelievable and even MD was a pain to watch. Too bad.
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post #17 of 82 Old 12-16-2013, 05:50 PM
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This movie is proof that a 20 page comic book doesn't always translate into a good movie.

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post #18 of 82 Old 12-16-2013, 08:45 PM
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The Mrs. and I wanted to see this when it was in Theaters, but never got around to it.  I'm a sucker for some storylines (For instance, I'm the only one in the world who LOVES the Transformers Trilogy for more than just its A/V), so I'll approach this one with an open mind.  Since it seems to be technically proficient, I'm going to pick this up anyway.  In my neck of the woods, buying a blu ray is often less expensive than seeing it in a decently-outfitted theater,  so, even if we don't like the story, at least I'll have a disc with a few demo scenes--all for less money than that trip to the theater that we kept putting off.  (It's amazing how a home theater will cause a sharp decline in household Cineplex attendance.)

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post #19 of 82 Old 12-16-2013, 09:32 PM
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Disappointed to hear about the storyline being uneven, I just asked for a BD copy for Christmas.
I do love Sci-Fi though and if my wish comes true I may still enjoy it. I'm sure I could think of a lot of other movies I wouldn't even watch for free biggrin.gif

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post #20 of 82 Old 12-17-2013, 03:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishniknork View Post

Disappointed to hear about the storyline being uneven, I just asked for a BD copy for Christmas.
I do love Sci-Fi though and if my wish comes true I may still enjoy it. I'm sure I could think of a lot of other movies I wouldn't even watch for free biggrin.gif

Greetings,

I'm sure you'll enjoy it. As I said in my review/rating, it's an entertaining film... smile.gif


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post #21 of 82 Old 12-17-2013, 12:07 PM
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Everything is basicly great with this film. cinematography, acting, sets etc. What hurts this film is the black&white story. Bought this on xbox since the bluray doesn't come until 23 dec in Sweden.
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post #22 of 82 Old 12-17-2013, 12:12 PM
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I've got this and "Man of Steel" queued up for watching over the Christmas break. Hopefully the preaching doesn't turn me off too much.

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post #23 of 82 Old 12-17-2013, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

I was glad I rented instead of bought - Jodie Foster was downright awful.

Yep. Unfortunately, most of the acting is sub-standard here, as is the plot, as is the direction. But Jodie Foster was truly bad.

Overall, a waste of time, IMO.

Saw "It's a Disaster" the night after and it's amazing how much more enjoyable it was to see a movie with a real story and better character development, costing probably a 10th of the production cost of Elysium.
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post #24 of 82 Old 12-17-2013, 02:14 PM
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if anything this thread is lowering my expectations so I will most likely be surprised at how good I actually find it to be!

Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.

 

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post #25 of 82 Old 12-17-2013, 04:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimeran View Post

if anything this thread is lowering my expectations so I will most likely be surprised at how good I actually find it to be!
That's what I've been thinking/hoping.

I had read several negative reviews in the Oblivion thread and decided to give it a chance anyway. Really liked it. Ended up buying it.
Somehow I don't think that will happen with Elysium.
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post #26 of 82 Old 12-17-2013, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrano View Post

That's what I've been thinking/hoping.

I had read several negative reviews in the Oblivion thread and decided to give it a chance anyway. Really liked it. Ended up buying it.
Somehow I don't think that will happen with Elysium.


Greetings,

You never know Cyrano.... wink.gif


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post #27 of 82 Old 12-17-2013, 08:05 PM
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I liked it. Predictable but had lots of eye and ear candy. Jodie Foster was horrendous though. Not sure what went on there. I've always found her to be overrated but just truly awful.

Kaboom.
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post #28 of 82 Old 12-17-2013, 08:53 PM
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I finally saw this tonight and I thought it was a great movie. No complaints. Didn't get too preachy. Great story, acting, script, special effects. Well done movie overall.

I'd say 4 out of 5 stars. My only complaint and it seems to be my most common gripe about movies is that the bass seemed pretty weak.

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post #29 of 82 Old 12-18-2013, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Djoel View Post

Yeah what was up with that, did she have an accent or something , she looked like she couldn't wait to get out of there and get back to her every day life.

Djoel
That's the character, not the actor, yes the character does have an accent. This is a different kind of role for Foster, it's good she is still trying different things.

"Bring out yer dead!".."Wait I'm not dead yet!"..(Sound Austrian here) "WRONG !!" (You know what happens next..)
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post #30 of 82 Old 12-18-2013, 06:09 AM
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Watched this film on a long flight. Very disappointed too and agree that JF. Mailed this one in.
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