Short takes: This week’s movie listings and reviews

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Josh Bell, Mike D'Angelo, Jeffrey M. Anderson

Special screenings

Harry Potter IMAX Week

Through 10/20, all eight Harry Potter movies presented in IMAX plus preview of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, times and prices vary. Theaters: AL, PAL, RR, SS, TS. Info:

Kirk Cameron’s Revive Us

10/24, encore broadcast of Christian inspirational event, 7 p.m., $12.50-$15. Theaters: CAN, COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info:

The Metropolitan Opera HD Live

10/22, Mozart's Don Giovanni live, 9:55 a.m., $17-$25. Theaters: COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. 10/26, Mozart's Don Giovanni encore, 6:30 p.m., $16-$24. Theaters: COL, SP, ST, VS. Info:

Movie in the Park

10/21, Hotel Transylvania 2, 6 p.m., free. Whitney Park, 5712 Missouri Ave., 702-455-8531.

Movie Night at the Museum

10/22, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), 6 p.m., free. National Atomic Testing Museum, 755 E. Flamingo Road, 702-794-5151.

National Theatre Live

10/25, encore broadcast of Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, 7 p.m., $18. Theaters: COL, ST, VS. Info:

RiffTrax Live

10/27, 10/31, Carnival of Souls with comedic commentary, Thu 8 p.m., Mon 7:30 p.m., $10.50-$12.50. Theaters: CAN, COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info:

Rob Zombie’s 31

10/20, movie plus bonus features, 7 p.m., $12.50-$15. Theaters: RR, SF. Info:

Saturday Movie Matinee

10/22, 1 p.m., free. Windmill Library, 7060 W. Windmill Lane, 702-507-6036.

Sci Fi Center

Sun, Westworld viewing party, 7 p.m., free. Mon, Cinemondays, 8 p.m., free. 5077 Arville St., 855-501-4335,

Summerlin Film Discussion Group

10/21, Crimson Peak plus discussion, 2 p.m., free. Summerlin Library, 1771 Inner Circle Drive, 702-507-3866.

TCM Big Screen Classics

10/23, 10/26, The Shining plus introduction from Turner Classic Movies, 2 & 7 p.m., $7.50-$12.50. Theaters: CAN, COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info:

Tuesday Afternoon at the Bijou

Tue, 1 p.m., free. 10/25, The Uninvited (1944). Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 702-507-3400.

New this week

Boo! A Madea Halloween (Not reviewed)

Tyler Perry, Diamond White, Bella Thorne. Directed by Tyler Perry. 103 minutes. Rated PG-13. Simmons family matriarch Madea spends Halloween watching unruly teenagers and fending off supernatural threats.

Theaters: AL, BS, CH, COL, DI, FH, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SHO, SP, SS, TS, TX

Denial Two and a half stars

Rachel Weisz, Timothy Spall, Tom Wilkinson. Directed by Mick Jackson. 110 minutes. Rated PG-13. The true story of the libel trial between academic Deborah Lipstadt (Weisz) and Holocaust denier David Irving (Spall) is told as a mostly dry procedural, with occasional clumsy appeals to emotion. The details of the case are fascinating, but the drama is one-sided and predictable, with minimal character development. —JB

Theaters: DTS, GVR, ORL, TS, VS

El Jeremias (Not reviewed)

Martin Castro, Karem Momo Ruiz, Paulo Galindo. Directed by Anwar Safa. 95 minutes. Rated PG-13. In Spanish with English subtitles. A gifted 8-year-old boy sets out on a journey of self-discovery.

Theaters: BS, ORL, SC, TS, TX

I'm Not Ashamed (Not reviewed)

Masey McClain, Ben Davies, Cameron McKendry. Directed by Brian Baugh. 112 minutes. Rated PG-13. A drama focused on the Christian faith and last days of Columbine shooting victim Rachel Scott.

Theaters: RR, SC

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Two stars

Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh. Directed by Edward Zwick. 118 minutes. Rated PG-13. The sequel to 2012’s Jack Reacher finds the title character (Cruise) determined to clear the name of his longtime military contact (Smulders), who’s been arrested and accused of espionage. He’s also saddled with a spunky teenage sidekick (Yarosh), and the generic plot and mediocre action scenes don’t help. —JB


Keeping Up With the Joneses Two stars

Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot. Directed by Greg Mottola. 101 minutes. Rated PG-13. A boring suburban couple get caught up with their neighbors, who are undercover government agents, in this dumb action-comedy. The actors are barely going through the motions, the screenplay is sloppily constructed, and the direction is listless and often visually unappealing. —JB

Theaters: AL, BS, CAN, CH, COL, DI, FH, GVL, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SHO, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

Miss Hokusai Three stars

Voices of Anne Watanabe, Yutaka Matsushige, Gaku Hamada. Directed by Keiichi Hara. 93 minutes. Rated PG-13. In Japanese with English subtitles. This animated biopic focuses on the daughter of legendary 19th-century Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, who was her father’s longtime assistant and a fellow artist living in his shadow. The mix of historical realism and whimsical fantasy isn’t always successful, but the movie effectively explores themes of family and creativity, and the tension between them. —JB

Theaters: TS, VS

Ouija: Origin of Evil Three stars

Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, Lulu Wilson. Directed by Mike Flanagan. 99 minutes. Rated PG-13. Director Flanagan (Oculus, Hush) scraps the previous, terrible Ouija (2014) and starts fresh with this sequel. It’s full of the usual white eyes and stretchy mouths, but its weird, deliberately off-putting compositions and morbidly funny twists turn it into an unexpectedly good chiller. —JMA

Theaters: AL, BS, CAN, CH, COL, DI, FH, GVL, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SHO, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

The Third Party (Not reviewed)

Angel Locsin, Sam Milby, Zanjoe Marudo. Directed by Jason Paul Laxamana. 117 minutes. Not rated. In Filipino with English subtitles. A businesswoman attempts to reconnect with her ex-boyfriend, who is now dating a man.

Theaters: ORL

Now playing

The Accountant Two stars

Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, Jon Bernthal, J.K. Simmons. Directed by Gavin O’Connor. 128 minutes. Rated R. Affleck plays an autistic accountant and combat expert in this ludicrous thriller that grossly mischaracterizes autism. The sometimes solid action is surrounded by increasingly far-fetched and clumsily delivered exposition. The movie piles on silly plot twists and reveals in service of a story that’s not even particularly interesting. —JB


American Honey Two and a half stars

Shia LaBeouf, Sasha Lane, Riley Keough. Directed by Andrea Arnold. 163 minutes. Rated R. Arnold’s shapeless, meandering road-trip drama follows a crew of young people selling questionable magazine subscriptions cross-country. It has a bracing authenticity thanks to a cast of mostly non-professional actors, but is often a chore to watch as it focuses on the tedious romance between two members of the crew. —JB

Theaters: COL

Asura: The City of Madness (Not reviewed)

Jung Woo-sung, Hwang Jung-min, Ju Ji-hoon. Directed by Kim Sung-su. 136 minutes. Not rated. In Korean with English subtitles. A dirty cop finds himself caught between internal affairs and the city’s corrupt mayor.

Theaters: VS

The Birth of a Nation Three stars

Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King. Directed by Nate Parker. 120 minutes. Rated R. As writer, director, producer and star, Parker has complete control over this drama about Nat Turner’s 1831 Virginia slave rebellion. It’s a shame, then, that he’s not a better filmmaker. Birth is often powerful but just as often clumsy and heavy-handed, with lazy movie shorthand, one-dimensional supporting characters and awkward symbolism. —JB

Theaters: AL, SC, ST

Bridget Jones’s Baby Two and a half stars

Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey. Directed by Sharon Maguire. 122 minutes. Rated R. The third Bridget Jones movie finds the rom-com icon (Zellweger) unsure of who’s fathered her unborn child: American tech mogul Jack (Dempsey) or onetime love Mark (Firth). Baby takes Bridget in a few new directions, but it’s still mostly redundant, dragging the predictable story over two full hours. —JB

Theaters: COL, SC, VS

Deepwater Horizon Three stars

Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez. Directed by Peter Berg. 107 minutes. Rated PG-13. Wahlberg demonstrates plausibly low-key heroism in this dramatization of the 2010 oil-rig explosion that killed 11 workers and dumped some 5 million barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico. Apart from a cartoonishly detestable BP rep played by John Malkovich, the nightmare feels distressingly accurate. —MD

Theaters: AL, CH, FH, GVR, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SF, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

Desierto Two and a half stars

Gael Garcia Bernal, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Alondra Hidalgo. Directed by Jonas Cuaron. 87 minutes. Rated R. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. An angry American stalks and kills illegal Mexican immigrants at the U.S. border in this monotonous thriller. Director and co-writer Cuaron builds occasional suspense but mostly sticks to the same generic and predictable beats, and the meager social commentary isn’t nearly as meaningful as it’s made out to be. —JB

Theaters: BS, SF, TX

Don’t Breathe Two stars

Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Stephen Lang. Directed by Fede Alvarez. 88 minutes. Rated R. Teens break into an isolated house, only to be confronted by the owner, a blind veteran who’s more dangerous than he appears. At first, Don’t Breathe is admirably gritty and visceral, but it’s ruined by increasingly gross and unbelievable twists. What started as an intense, gripping thriller becomes a ridiculous cartoon. —JB

Theaters: ORL

The Dressmaker (Not reviewed)

Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth. Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse. 118 minutes. Rated R. In the 1950s, a woman returns to her small Australian home town to face up to a scandal from her past.

Theaters: VS

Finding Dory Three and a half stars

Voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence. Directed by Andrew Stanton. 103 minutes. Rated PG. Forgetful fish Dory decides to track down her long-lost parents in this animated sequel to Pixar’s Finding Nemo. While Dory is thoroughly charming and enjoyable, with funny supporting characters and often gorgeous animation, it’s also a bit formulaic and repetitive, especially during the drawn-out third act. —JB

Theaters: TC

Ghostbusters Three stars

Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones. Directed by Paul Feig. 116 minutes. Rated PG-13. This remake of the 1984 movie about a group of misfits fighting a supernatural infestation in New York City features strong comedy with an impressively talented cast, but eventually ends up overwhelmed by the demands of its large-scale action storyline. —JB

Theaters: TC

The Girl on the Train Three stars

Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux. Directed by Tate Taylor. 112 minutes. Rated R. For all its misdirections, at heart this thriller based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel is a pretty conventional mystery with a fairly predictable outcome. But what it lacks in innovative thrills, it makes up for in engrossing, well-drawn characters, led by Blunt as an alcoholic divorcee fixated on a missing woman. —JB


Jason Bourne Three stars

Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones. Directed by Paul Greengrass. 123 minutes. Rated PG-13. Damon and Greengrass return to their signature super-spy character after nine years away, but they haven’t quite brought the same creative inspiration with them. Greengrass delivers several excellent action sequences, but the script fails to come up with a compelling reason to bring Bourne out of his well-earned retirement. —JB

Theaters: SC, TC

Kevin Hart: What Now? Three stars

Directed by Leslie Small. 96 minutes. Rated R. Hart’s third theatrical stand-up concert movie demonstrates just how phenomenally popular he is, with a performance recorded in front of 50,000 fans at a stadium in his Philadelphia hometown. It’s mostly funny, albeit a little stale at times, but should appeal to Hart’s fan base. An action-movie framing sequence pads things out unnecessarily. —JB

Theaters: AL, BS, CAN, CH, DI, FH, GVL, GVR, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SHO, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

Kubo and the Two Strings Four stars

Voices of Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey. Directed by Travis Knight. 101 minutes. Rated PG. Directed by Laika CEO Knight, the stop-motion animation studio’s latest wonder draws from Japanese folklore in its tale of the title character and his quest through a mystical realm. It’s a simple story, but the filmmakers give it nuance and resonance in the small character moments and the rich visual detail. —JB

Theaters: COL

La Leyenda del Chupacabras (Not reviewed)

Voices of Mayté Cordero, Eduardo España, Benny Mendoza. Directed by Alberto Rodriguez. 81 minutes. Rated PG. In Spanish with English subtitles. A pair of bumbling thieves in Mexico takes on the legendary monsters known as chupacabras.

Theaters: BS, TX

Lights Out Two and a half stars

Teresa Palmer, Maria Bello, Gabriel Bateman. Directed by David F. Sandberg. 81 minutes. Rated PG-13. Director Sandberg has a tough time expanding his dialogue-free, ultra-short horror film (about a malevolent entity that only appears when lights are turned off) into a feature. Still, Sandberg proves that he’s decent at creating scares, and audiences just looking for a handful of jump moments may find Lights Out satisfactory. —JB

Theaters: ST

The Magnificent Seven Two and a half stars

Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke. Directed by Antoine Fuqua. 132 minutes. Rated PG-13. Seven badasses (including Washington, Pratt and Hawke) band together to save a small town from a sadistic villain, each demonstrating his own specialized variant of combat-related magnificence. It’s such a durable scenario that not even a director as ham-handed as Fuqua (Southpaw, Shooter) can completely screw it up. —MD

Theaters: AL, CH, DTS, FH, GVR, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SF, SHO, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

Masterminds (Not reviewed)

Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson. Directed by Jared Hess. 94 minutes. Rated PG-13. A bumbling armored-car guard attempts to pull off a massive heist.

Theaters: DI, ORL, SC

Max Steel (Not reviewed)

Ben Winchell, Maria Bello, Andy Garcia. Directed by Stewart Hendler. 92 minutes. Rated PG-13. A teenager becomes a superhero after encountering an alien being.

Theaters: AL, BS, CAN, CH, COL, DI, FH, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SHO, SP, TS, TX

Mechanic: Resurrection One and a half stars

Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Sam Hazeldine. Directed by Dennis Gansel. 99 minutes. Rated R. No one asked for a sequel to 2011’s The Mechanic, and this generic action movie does nothing to justify its existence. Statham delivers his typical punching and kicking as an assassin lured back into the game, but the plot is moronic and convoluted, the effects are cheap-looking, and the characters are less than one-dimensional. —JB

Theaters: TC

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (Not reviewed)

Griffin Gluck, Thomas Barbusca, Lauren Graham. Directed by Steve Carr. 92 minutes. Rated PG. Fed up with his strict school, a sixth-grader enlists his friends to help him break every rule.

Theaters: AL, CH, COL, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Two stars

Asa Butterfield, Ella Purnell, Eva Green. Directed by Tim Burton. 127 minutes. Rated PG-13. Based on a popular series of young-adult novels, Peculiar Children is a tedious mash-up of familiar teen-fantasy tropes, starting with the ordinary kid who learns that he’s part of a secret, magical world. Burton displays none of his trademark dark creativity, and even the special effects are lackluster. —JB

Theaters: AL, BS, CAN, CH, COL, DI, FH, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

No Manches Frida (Not reviewed)

Omar Chaparro, Martha Higareda, Monica Dionne. Directed by Nacho G. Velilla. 100 minutes. Rated PG-13. In Spanish with English subtitles. An ex-con poses as a substitute teacher in order to access his hidden loot.

Theaters: TX

Pete’s Dragon Two and a half stars

Oakes Fegley, Bryce Dallas Howard, Karl Urban. Directed by David Lowery. 102 minutes. Rated PG. This Disney remake is pleasant and entirely forgettable, with a bland hero (young orphan Pete, played by Oakes Fegley) and his bland CGI dragon sidekick (named Elliot) befriending some bland adults in a bland small town and overcoming a villain who’s barely even villainous. —JB

Theaters: COL

Priceless (Not reviewed)

Joel Smallbone, Bianca Santos, Amber Midthunder. Directed by Ben Smallbone. 97 minutes. Rated PG-13. A truck driver discovers he is carrying cargo for a human-trafficking ring and attempts to shut the organization down.

Theaters: SF

Queen of Katwe Three stars

Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o. Directed by Mira Nair. 124 minutes. Rated PG. Based on the true story of young Ugandan chess champion Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga), who rose up from a slum outside Kampala to compete in international tournaments, Queen meticulously follows the beats of the inspirational sports movie. But its strong performances and unique setting offer a pleasant variation on a comfortable formula. —JB

Theaters: VS

Sausage Party Two stars

Voices of Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera. Directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon. 89 minutes. Rated R. With its rudimentary computer animation, talking foodstuffs and relentless, heavy-handed messages about religion, Sausage Party is the atheist equivalent of a VeggieTales movie. Rogen voices a hot dog who tries to enlighten his fellow groceries about human eating habits. While there are occasional amusing puns, the nonstop gross-out humor gets tiresome quickly. —JB

Theaters: ST

The Secret Life of Pets Three stars

Voices of Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate. Directed by Chris Renaud. 90 minutes. Rated PG. The hyperactive animated story, with loyal dog Max (C.K.) and his dog frenemy Duke (Stonestreet) lost in New York City, isn’t nearly as sophisticated as something from Pixar or even DreamWorks Animation, but it’s good for a few laughs and is entirely kid-friendly, with plenty of cute characters and madcap set pieces. —JB

Theaters: COL, TC

Shin Godzilla Three stars

Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi, Satomi Ishihara. Directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi. 119 minutes. Not rated. In Japanese with English subtitles. Japanese studio Toho’s new Godzilla reboot is a bit of an unexpected turn for the franchise, focused more on the fairly realistic depiction of the governmental response to a giant monster attack. The movie becomes a surprisingly melancholy meditation on national character, along with some questionable but endearing special effects. —JB

Theaters: COL, ORL, RR, SF, ST, VS

Snowden Two and a half stars

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Rhys Ifans. Directed by Oliver Stone. 134 minutes. Rated R. Edward Snowden (Gordon-Levitt) took enormous risks to expose U.S. government domestic spying programs, but Stone plays it pretty safe with his biopic. Mostly lacking in Stone’s flashy filmmaking style, Snowden is a straightforward retelling of its title character’s time as a government analyst and contractor, and his subsequent disillusionment and whistle-blowing. —JB

Theaters: COL, ST

Storks Two and a half stars

Voices of Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Anton Starkman. Directed by Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland. 89 minutes. Rated PG. Set in a world where storks magically create and deliver actual babies, Storks gets points for weirdness, but writer and co-director Stoller mostly glosses over it in favor of kid-friendly animal antics. There are some vague lessons about family and togetherness, but the plot is too incoherent to make any of them stick. —JB

Theaters: AL, CAN, CH, COL, DI, FH, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SF, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

Suicide Squad Two and a half stars

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman. Directed by David Ayer. 130 minutes. Rated PG-13. This super-villain team-up features a slightly more streamlined narrative than previous DC movies. But it’s still overstuffed, an ensemble piece with nearly a dozen main characters, telling origin stories for half of them, bringing them together into a new team and facing them off against two different antagonists. —JB

Theaters: AL, COL, TC, TX

Sully Two and a half stars

Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney. Directed by Clint Eastwood. 96 minutes. Rated PG-13. When pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Hanks) landed a passenger jet on the Hudson River following dual engine failure, saving everyone on board, the incident lasted just 208 seconds. Stretching that into 96 minutes proves difficult for this true-life drama, which adds in narrative filler to build a few heart-stopping minutes into feature length. —JB

Theaters: AL, FH, GVR, SC, SP

JMA Jeffrey M. Anderson; JB Josh Bell; MD Mike D’Angelo


(AL) Regal Aliante

7300 Aliante Parkway, North Las Vegas, 844-462-7342 ext. 4011

(BS) Regal Boulder Station

4111 Boulder Highway, 844-462-7342 ext. 269

(PAL) Brenden Theatres at the Palms

4321 W. Flamingo Road, 702-507-4849

(CAN) Galaxy Cannery

2121 E. Craig Road, North Las Vegas, 702-639-9779

(CH) Cinedome Henderson

851 S. Boulder Highway, Henderson, 702-566-1570

(COL) Regal Colonnade

8880 S. Eastern Ave., 844-462-7342 ext. 270

(DI) Las Vegas Drive-In

4150 W. Carey Ave., North Las Vegas, 702-646-3565

(DTS) Regal Downtown Summerlin

2070 Park Center Drive, 844-462-7342 ext. 4063

(FH) Regal Fiesta Henderson

777 W. Lake Mead Parkway, Henderson, 844-462-7342 ext. 1772

(GVR) Regal Green Valley Ranch

2300 Paseo Verde Parkway, Henderson, 844-462-7342 ext. 267

(GVL) Galaxy Green Valley Luxury+

4500 E. Sunset Road, Henderson, 702-442-0244

(ORL) Century Orleans

4500 W. Tropicana Ave., 702-889-1220

(RP) AMC Rainbow Promenade

2321 N. Rainbow Blvd., 888-262-4386

(RR) Regal Red Rock

11011 W. Charleston Blvd., 844-462-7342 ext. 1756

(ST) Century Sam’s Town

5111 Boulder Highway, 702-547-1732

(SF) Century Santa Fe Station

4949 N. Rancho Drive, 702-655-8178

(SHO) United Artists Showcase

3769 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 844-462-7342 ext. 522

(SP) Century South Point

9777 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-260-4061

(SC) Century Suncoast

9090 Alta Drive, 702-869-1880

(SS) Regal Sunset Station

1301-A W. Sunset Road, Henderson, 844-462-7342 ext. 268

(TX) Regal Texas Station

2101 Texas Star Lane, North Las Vegas, 844-462-7342 ext. 271

(TS) AMC Town Square

6587 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-362-7283

(TC) Regency Tropicana Cinemas

3330 E. Tropicana Ave., 702-438-3456

(VS) Regal Village Square

9400 W. Sahara Ave., 844-462-7342 ext. 272

  • This year’s event features another packed lineup of short films, with more than 120 selections spread over 20-plus thematic programs and four days.

  • The three-day event—which will showcase more than 50 short films, along with one feature—kicks off with a free night of films at Backstage Bar and ...

  • Returning to the Palms, LVFF 2018 offers talked-about indie films shorts programs, animation, student films, parties and more.

  • Get More Film Stories
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