Category: Must See Films

Southeast Asian Choice Films

Southeast Asian Choice Films

Bokura no Gohan wa Ashita de Matteru (Our Meal for Tomorrow)

I have just seen this Japanese film and I have to say, it was pretty good. I love it. It is a love story between a rather melancholic young man and a feisty, confident young woman.

The girl or woman, Koharu, turned a loner into a more confident guy.  Koharu discouraged maudlin thoughts and talks over sad isubject, thereby ignoring it!

Back story was that Ryota’s young brother died of prolonged illness due to cancer and he felt a bit guilty thinking that it was rather a relief in the end.

There were some really cute, sweet moments between these two that you really wanted them to have a happy ending.  They talked about having a large family of two boys and a girl.

But this is a Japanese film, where it will wring your emotion like a soggy sponge. 🙂

They were engagingly loved up but  then one day the Koharu said they had to break up.  She was resolute.

Ryota (the guy) did not have a choice but to accept the break-up.  After three weeks, he found himself another girlfriend, who was slightly obsessing with his previous relationship with the Koharu.  As much as Ryota wanted to forget Koharu, he thought of her all the time and compared current girlfriend with her.

He broke up with current girl-friend and went back to Koharu, who still would not take him back.  But found out that Koharu was ill and her ovaries had to be taken out due to cancerous cells.  This was the reason Koharu broke up with Ryota.  She can’t have children with him.

Anyway the effigy of Colonel Saunders of KFC helped them to have a more lasting relationship.  Ryota loved Koharu that he married her anyway!  Ahhhh


Suddenly Seventeen

This is an engaging Chinese film. It is about a couple who have been together for ten years.  Liang Xia is now 28 years old and really wanted to get married with her boyfriend who she had been living with for 5 years.

But her boyfriend, Mao Liang, is so focused with his job and seemed to be cooling off from their relationship.

Heartbroken, Liang Xia wandered the street. She met a mysterious man who gave her a box of chocolate.  Upon eating one, she suddenly turned into her old 17 years old self.  Someone who was feisty, confident, artistic and carefree.  It was a new life for old life.

The chocolate has at least six hours effect and then she goes back to normal.

As she started eating more of the magic chocolate, she started to change, more confident and she also fell in love with a young boy.

This turn of event puzzled her old boyfriend.  She is no longer the clingy rather neurotic girl.

When all the chocolate had gone her transformation was complete, she is now a confident independent woman, who does not rely or expect marriage from the boyfriend, who she broke up with.

The movie ends with her gorgeous ex boyfriend running around town buck naked to get her attention.  Ahhhhh


Missing (2016)

Missing is a South Korean film starring Gong Hyo Jin as a Chinese Korean nanny hired by a workaholic divorcee to look after her 12 month old baby daughter.  The mother is so busy with her job that she hardly spend any time with her baby or at home and to top it all, she was also in a custody battle with her doctor ex-husband.

One day she came home after another busy day at work only to find the nanny and her baby gone.  She search everywhere and found out her nanny has a very mysterious past.

This film is not at all predictable though it does have some similarities to Hollywood’s blockbustre ‘The Hand the Rock The Cradle”.  Gong Hyo Jin’s character is more complex.  You feel sympathy for her.  You wanted to forgive her because she had such a sad life.  She was a bride brought from China by an abusive husband and an intolerant mother-in-law.  She managed to get away from the family but she was already pregnant.  She had to rely on the kindness of strangers but even that is not enough as the baby got seriously ill.

This drama not only tackle prostitution, it also deals with the underworld selling of human organs.

Totally recommend this film.


Train to Busan

This film is a Gong Yoo starrer.  It is a very watchable movie with lots of actions.

If you like zombie, this is the film.  Edge of seat scenes are aplenty.

Gong Yoo was very athletic in this film.  Lots of running round, lots of fighting against humans and the rabid zombies.  There are also scenes which show why humans are their own worst enemy.

This film was a box-office success and this says it all.

There have been rumours that a sequel is going to be made.  I hope Gong Yoo would reprise his role but, without giving too much away, I don’t really know how?!!!

Anyway this film is a standalone and will be enjoyed by anyone over the age of 12.


Clover

Clover is a Japanese movie starring Emi Takei who plays an inexperienced hotel employee working under an elite boss played by Tadayoshi Okura, who was rather exacting and strict.

After another mistake committed by Saya (Takei) she was asked to see her boss, Susumo Tsuge, outside.  Saya begged her boss to not beat around the bush with his castigation as she is a simple stupid girl.

The boss looked at her and said “I would like you to go out with me”

This was totally unexpected that Saya wanted confirmation what was just said.  And here is where the rather sedate romance begins.

This is a Japanese film so it is not a straight forward sweet romance.  Both leads were put through the ringers after all William Shakespeare did put it “The course of true love never did run smooth.”  LOL

There was a lot of misunderstanding.  But there is a happy ending.

As background, Saya when just 14 years old eloped with a boyfriend who was about to emigrate to the US with his parents.  The young couple was found in a field of clover trying to look for the lucky four-leaf clover.  Unfortunately they were found by their family before the can find the four-leaf.

Apparently the one who found the lucky clover has to be the one to make the wish for it to come true.

Near the end of the film, Saya found a clover in a bunch of flowers.  She lost the clover, which went under a table.  She searched only to find that Susumu Tsuge (boss/boyfriend) has found it.

And they got married and lived happily ever after.  🙂


Kimi Ni Todoke (Reaching you/From Me To You)

This Japanese film starring Mikako Tabe and Haruma Miura is a beautiful drama based on a manga.

Mikako plays the character, Sawako Kuronuma, who with her long black hair, is feared by everyone, young and old.  They thought that she looked so much as the scary girl Sadako in The Ring.  Rumours were abound that she brings bad luck, thus she was turned into a lonesome  girl.

But Sawako is a pure, innocent and kind girl who believes in doing good things each day.

One day she noticed a boy who was looking lost.  Though she was shy, she told the boy where the school was.

The boy is Shota Kazehaya, played by Miura.  He was a very good-looking boy and quite gregarious.  He immediately noticed how lonely Kuronuma was and how industrious she was.  He made it his mission to include her into his ‘world’ more.

Eventually Sawako did develop friendships but it was a long road.

It was a lovely film, funny at times especially when the actress was made to look like Sadaka of the Ring.

Totally recommend as a feel good film.


One Week Friends

Just finished watching this Japanese movie, which stars the super kawaii Yamazaki Kento and Kawaguchi Haruna. It is a youth romance.

Haruna plays Kaori, a girl so traumatised with previous events in her life that she developed a dissociative amnesia, where she has to restart her memory every Monday.  Thus it was hard to make friends and in the end she gave up and people around her as well.

Kento plays Yuki, a rather innocent boy who is rather obsessed in drawing and manga.

Their first meeting was rather eventful.  Yuki found Kaori’s ID/library card in the library.  He thought she was pretty and in the process of smelling the card rather like a perv when Kaori found him.

It was the start of 2nd year when they found themselves being in the same class.  Yuki tried to make friends with Kaori but she would just decline.

But Yuki is persistent and had the brilliant idea of presenting her with a couple’s diary so she has a reference of who he was and what they had done over the weeks.  This helped a great deal and eventually they did become friends.

But before their friendship really deepens, Kaori’s past started to catch up.  The boy, Hajime, she liked during middle school transferred to her school and into her class.  He was the source of her trauma.  Their backstory was that Hajime was a popular boy and all the girls loved him. They found out Hajime was into Kaori and they started to shun her.  She was ignored and being talked about at the same time.

She was meeting Hajime one night when a group of girls prevented her.  Kaori run into a car and woke up with amnesia.

Kaori and Hajime did reunite but she has flashes of her friendship with Yuki.  In the end she chooses to be friends with him.

It was a lovely movie, it has a lot of heart.  Kento is adorable as Yuki and Haruna looks beautifully lost, sad and alone as Kaori.  Highly recommend.


My Love Story!! (Ore Monogatari!!)

This is a Japanese film.  It is some sort of ‘beauty and the beast’ love story.

It is just the cutest, sweetest and unexpected story.  A kawaii girl fell in love with boy who could double for Shrek.  Actually he is much handsomer than Shrek.

He is Takeo, he has thick eyebrows, massive physique and extremely helpful.

He has a best-friend, Suna, who is gorgeous and popular with girls.

During high school graduation, Takeo resolved to confess his love to a girl but found her confessing to Suna.  Takeo was heartbroken.

When Takeo and Suna were in college, they saw a girl being harassed by a boy.  Takeo intervened. The girl was Rinko, a cute girl.

Rinko instantly fell in love him and he with her.  But there was a misunderstanding.  Because all the girls always go for Suna, he thought Rinko liked Suna rather than him.  And Rinko got upset because Takeo pushes her towards Suna all the time.

It took Suna to finally get the two together.  It is such a lovely, kilig, cute story


 Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, ONCE UPON A TIME

A truly visually wonderful Chinese drama.  Click for review here.


77 Heartbreaks

A romantic drama from Hong Kong starring Charlene Choi as Eve and Pakho Chau as Adam.  Please click here for the review!

Farewell Alan Rickman

Farewell Alan Rickman

 

Alan-Rickman

After the sad passing of David Bowie, we mourn too fast and say farewell Alan Rickman.

He was one of my favourite actors, truly!

He was born 69 years ago in Acton, North London not far from where I live.

I remember in 1982,  first seeing him brilliantly playing the slippery unctious almost creepy  Reverend Obadiah Slope in the excellent BBC drama series Barchester Chronicles, based on the novels of Anthony Trollope. Even then he was a standout.

Such role type would follow Alan Rickman throughout his long and varied career.

He appeared in many TV programes, theatre plays and movies. He was a theatre director as well as a consummate actor.

You could see in his eyes that he had a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ (not take seriously), some of his roles although he always gave a brilliant performance.

In movies as a co star, he often out-acted the lead actors/movie stars.

Sometimes underated and indeed he should have been the lead in many more movies.

Rickman was deliciously over the top, sardonically as the Sheriff of Nottingham to Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

Alan Rickman Sheriff of Notthingham

This was followed  by playing another baddie, Hans Gruber winning the battle of wit and acting  with Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a Vengeance.

alan_rickman_Die hard

The movie that for me showed Rickman was a brilliant actor and playing a non baddie role. was in the excellent humourous and moving 1990 movie Truly, Madly Deeply.

Alnn RickmanTruly Madly Deeply005

Alan plays the ‘ghost’ of a recently deceased husband who returns to his desperately grieving wife to try and lessen her grief by showing what he was really like.

To younger generations, he was famous by reverting to type but playing the ultimately heroic character sneering  Severus Snape in the immensely successful and popular Harry Potter movies.

Alan Rickman Harry Potter

For me, he would have made a superb Dr Who, He had all the attributes, eccentricity of Snape, humour (as he  showed in the funny sci fi comedy Galaxy Quest) and commanding voice of reason essential to the good Doctor.

Added to that,  Alan Rickman  could also have been a flamboyant USS Enterprise starship captain in Star Trek  🙂

Spock Who?

Spock Who?

 

Alan Rickman had a  wonderfully mefluous baritone voice and could supebly deliver & convey dry humour, sarcasic and sardonic undertones to his lines with a twinkle in his eyes.

As noted, he had a marvellous  range of expressions. Sneers, dry humour & poignancy  would play across his face.

English & British acting has lost one of it’s crown jewels.

Requiescat in Pace  Alan Rickman

 

 

Farewell Leonard Nimoy

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One of our Star Trek Commemorative Plates of the man or should I say Spock himself

Being an avid Science Fiction (sci fi)  fan, I have read many novels seen moves and TV and radios  series of the genre.

I prefer to read, watch or listen to sci fi that has potential to become science fact and indeed has happened!

One such TV series is Star Trek. I grew up in the 1960s and there was not much sci fi on TV. I listened with my parents to some sci fi plays such as  the classic ‘Quatermass’ on BBC radio every Sunday evening. When ‘Dr Who’ came along on BBC TV in 1963  (now the longest running continuous sci fi tv series in the world). I was so happy and despite the black & white viewing  and sometimes wobbly stage sets and  minimal primitive special effects (sfx), the excellent actors and stories ultimately enchanted millions of viewers.

With the advent of colour viewing TV in the mid 1960s, more  sci fi  Tv series were produced, many from the USA.

One such was,  of course ‘Star Trek’. Created by Gene Rodenberry, it introduced the crew & their weekly adventures in a faster-than-light travel space ship called the ‘USS Enterprise’.  There were  British sailing ships called HMS Enterprise AKA Enterprize)  in the 1700s and one in 1800s.

In the pilot episode (1964) of Star Trek, one of the crew was referred to as a ‘Vulcanian’ a humanoid from from the Planet Vulcan orbiting the star 40 Eridani  . about 16 light years from earth, Vulcan could reached in a few days in the warp speed Enterprise class star ships. The Vulcanian was called ‘Mr Spock’, as apparently his Vulcan name was unpronounceable to humans!

A new to the scene actor named Leonard Nimoy was chosen to play Spock.

The Vulcan race looked human except for pointed ears, arched eyebrows, distinctive hairstyles, a slight green skin pallor due to green blood.

Vulcans were stronger and faster than humans, due the higher gravity less oxygen rich atmosphere and heat on Vulcan. Vulcans were extremely long lived too 300 years. They exercise extreme control over their emotions as taught by  a venerated philosopher named Surak. as early in their history Vulcans were prone to violence.

My Spock was later described  as being  half human with his father the renowned, statesman like ambassador Sarek (well played by actor Mark Leonard) and human mother Amanda Grayson.

This early Mr Spock looked rather harsh and shouted a lot!

Spock Pilot Star Trek 1964

Spock Pilot Star Trek 1964

 

After the pilot show, Gene Rodenberry was not satisfied and made big cast changes for the series proper in 1966. A new captain of the Enterprise was brought in ( William Shatner as Capt Kirk), A new ships doctor, actor Deforest Kelly as Dr (Bones) McCoy.

Leonard and his distinctive appearance as Spock now known as a Vulcan, was retained and he became the second in command to Kirk.

Spock’s appearance was softened, as was his voice and manner, becoming calmer and most logical as befits a Vulcan.

Spock’s  ‘bantering’ and put downs with Dr McCoy with Kirk as referee were brilliant, but their underlying loyalty and friendship to each other shone through as the series progressed; His Vulcan catchphrase and hand gesture became legendary too!

Off course,  this crew became legendary in TV sci fi  & the motion picture history.

Leonard Nimoy was also known to us in early  ‘Mission Impossible’ TV show fans as ‘Paris’, a master of disguise brought in to the ‘Impossible Mission Force’ 1969-1971.  Mission Impossible was made at the same studios at the classic Star Trek series and so Leonard could swap pointy ears for various disguises!

Leonard was also a guest star in one my favourite detective series ‘Columbo’.  Spock’s logic was no match for Columbo’s detective ability

Mr Spock appeared in the various Star Trek sequels  and movies including the excellent  reboot of the franchise under JJ Abrams

Zachary Quinto’s likeness as the young Spock although in a different time line captures that essence of Nimoy.

Spock and then other characters live on in the Star Trek novels I enjoy reading.

Leonard  Nimoy crafted and evolved Spock into one of the most popular, recognisable & iconic characters in entertainment.

Where ever you are now in that ‘undiscovered country’ Leonard  “Live Long And Prosper“…

Spock LLAP

 

Classic  original crew of the EnterpriseClassic original crew of the Enterprise

 

 

Spock,_resurrected Zachory Quinot young spock

Spock in his second Century                             A young Spock (Zachary Quinto)

paris Leoanard Nimoy& Peter Falk in Columbo

Paris in Mission Impossible                 A baddie in Columbo

Farewell Leonard Nimoy

 

50 Shades of Red

50 shades of plaid

 50 Shades of Red

We may be familiar with Chicago’s St Valentine’s Day massacre, well  some new Valentine violence occurred at a cinema in Glasgow, Scotland this 14 February I suppose 50 Shades of Red!

To us Brits, Glasgow is known as Scotland’s most violent places and is legendary for introducing the so called ‘Glasgow Kiss’, which is a headbutt to the face!

Many years ago, a Scottish colleague/friend said that when there was a tense situation in a Glasgow pub, one of the protagonist’s would say to the other ” Pick a window you’re leavin’.”

The Glasgow cinema was showing the eagerly and hotly anticipated movie version of the British best seller ’50 Shades of Grey’ on St Valentine’s Day.

Three women were arrested for attacking a  man who apparently asked them to make less noise, as they were part of a group of ladies who were screaming during the screening!

The cinema theatre also sells alcohol, which appears to have fuelled the females flames of passion.

I guess this should not be too unexpected getting a group of Glasgow Gals together to check out and ogle the well ripped & fit Jamie Dornan 😉

We wonder if the man, the poor victim, did not produce 50 shades of sh*t (could also perhaps describe what many viewers & critics think of the movie),  when surrounded by a rampant hormonal horde 🙂

Philip Seymour Hoffman R.I.P.

We are shocked and sad to hear of death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The Academy Award (Oscar) American actor was found dead in his Manhattan apartment in New York.

Medical officials have not yet commented on the cause of death but a drug overdose is suspected.

Hoffmann made his name in the 1990s in films including Boogie Nights and the Big Lebowski, Mission Impossible etc before winning the best actor Oscar for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote in 2005.

 Philip Seymour Hoffman as Capote

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Capote

He was a talented and very versatile actor, we enjoyed his superb performance in ‘Capote’.

The Giant Mechanical Man Movie

Last night Jean & I chatted about what movie to watch  on TV, normally we watch stuff on Netflix.  As we have been watching a steady diet of action, crime horror, thriller movies. Jean suggested a romantic movie. Normally I guess men would not opt for watching these movies by choice, in order to not become in touch with their feminine side 😉

Anyway, I said OK and let’s have a look at the choices. I scrolled through the titles on offer. I came across one I thought sounded vaguely sci fi I like 😉

It was titled ‘The Giant Mechanical Man‘, it is directed by Lee Kirk. The synopsis sounded interesting so we watched the film. I must say that I enjoyed this off-beat & charming movie. This indie movie excellently conveyed loneliness at not being understood, feeling awkward socially and a bewilderment with today’s society. There is fine acting by all the main cast.

Spoiler alert!

The movie is about a man & a woman both well-educated, single & in their 30s, who though not knowing each other, live near each other.  Whilst not exactly mis-fits, they both still don’t know what they want out of life and find it too hard to conform to what is expected of them by their families and some friends. Janice(Jenna Fischer) is a shy woman, who is still trying to get to grips and navigate her way through adult life, trying to cope with jobs, relationships etc.

Tim(Chris Messina) is devoted to being a street artist.
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Janice Meets her future Man

Janice Meets her Future Man

He is a good listener!

He is a good listener!

Each day he becomes a silver-painted and silver suited giant( he wears stilts), android business man, complete with a silver brief case. When he finds a spot/pitch in a street, he performs his living statue, mechanical man mime act. He makes enough to pay the bills. His live in girlfriend does not understand him and tires of his lack of apparent ambition and so breaks up with him.

Janice loses her latest temporary job and the temp agency who find her work, lets her go because of complaints about her attendance and lack of interest. She is evicted from her apartment and forced to move in with her overbearing and interfering younger sister Jill (Malin Akerman) and her husband Brian (Rich Sommer). Janice is pressured by sister & brother-in-law to date Doug (Topher Grace), who is an egotistical self-help guru (probably socially inept and who tries to cover up by blustering) .

While out walking alone a few time, Janice sees this giant mechanical man street artist performing and is intrigued, she sees him as fellow non-conformist and kindred spirit. Janice tries to talk to the street artist, but part of his act is to remain silent and act oblivious to people.

Both Janice and & Tim search for a job (Tim finds he needs to supplement his street performing income). Both find low paying menial jobs at the local zoo (Janice eventually realises her potential in the job and gets promoted). They meet & chat while working and Tim recognises Janice as the lady who caught his eye while he was performing. They become good friends and realise they have much in common. Janice & Tim begin to date and become lovers. Tim has not yet told her that he is a street performer. However Tim becomes upset when as his alter ego, performing one night, he sees Janice walking with the persistent pompous Doug, who has his arm around her (much to her annoyance). She finally dumps Doug. Tim stops contacting her, she becomes sad and while out walking sees the street artist performing and walks up to him and desperately needing someone to talk to, she tells of her feelings for Tim, to the silent artist. He then looks down at her and smiles, she recognises the artist is Tim and the rest is history…living happily ever after 🙂

State of Being Happy

Photo by JMorton

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.
~Eleanor Roosevelt

Thought of the Day
21 January 2014
………………..
If you do something worthwhile there is a possibility that you become happy as a result. Happiness is something that you get from doing something really lovely to people; their happiness or good fortune makes you happy.

It can also be the result of achieving what you have wanted whether it is good or bad in a schadenfreude kinda way. Oh yes everyone is capable of feeling a fleeting happiness or joy in the misfortune of others, otherwise Charlie Chaplin would not have been such a successful actor with all his slapsticks skits. And Mr Bean, and like him, would have not tickled our funny bones (but to tell you the truth, I don’t really like Mr Bean, I find his television and film comedies too excruciating for comfort).

Whoops got a bit sidetrack there. Anyway happiness is not always the end result of something. Happiness can be found in the simplest of things. Happiness may come to you when you least expect it.

Classic Scenes & Quotes from Great Horror Movies

A bit early for Halloween, although ghostly tales are told around Christmas and winter time from pagan times to pass the time and entertain on the long cold and dark winter nights..Brrr! 😉
These quotes are from cult, iconic and classic horror movies from the 1930s to the 2000s.
See if you can identify and name the movie!

Classic Scenes & Quotes from Great Horror Movies

Caution: some strong language in some of the scene quotes.

R.I.P Peter O’Toole

 

Peter O'Toole Lawrence of Arabia

Peter O’Toole Lawrence of Arabia

 

Sadly just announced  the death of one of our greatest actors Peter O’Toole at age 81. I remember his mesmeric performance in Lawrence of Arabia. His amazing shining blue eyes out shone the desert sun! Despite many Oscar  nominations (7), he never won the Academy Award he so deserved.

Peter lived not far from us in Cricklewood, NW London.  He was an underrated actor, known for many fine acting roles. One I remember was in theatre, where he played the celebrated journalist and bon vivant Jeffrey Bernard (Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell) . Indeed in later life,I think  there was some resemblance in looks and lifestyle of both Jeffrey and Peter!

Another great actor and character makes his exit  from the Stage of Life. R I P Peter O’Toole.

Meeting Beetlejuice

Happy Hallowe’en!!!

As we all know today is All Hallows Eve, the day/evening before All Saints (a.k.a. All Hallows) on 1st November. Halloween is the night when all spirits of the departed can return to earth for one night only each year. It is the night when demons, devils, fairies, goblins, witches, wizards and warlocks wander abroad. November 2nd is All Souls Day, when the  departed, deceased family, relatives and friends etc.,  are commemorated by Christian churches in the West.

Beetlejuice imagesCAKBJ97AA dark murky 6.40am time, as I was on my 20 minute commuting walk to my local underground (Tube) station, I saw in the gloom ahead a figure in white striding ahead of me. As I got nearer and we have  both arrived at the station (Golders Green), I saw it was a man dressed as the cool horror movie character  ‘Beetlejuice’, the ghostly/demon exorcist, (played by Michael Keaton). Apparently the sequel Beetle Juice 2  may be made soon 🙂

 

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He was wearing a pure white suit with thick black stripes, he wore white face make up with blacked out eyes and mouth topped off with a green wig. He looked the part. I had to smile, also he was also carrying the commuter accessory of a back pack/rucksack and was wearing earphones, maybe he was listening to spooky music?
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When the train pulled into the platform, he sat opposite me in the carriage. He did indeed look so conspicuous and colourful  and stood out from us dull autumn garbed fellow Tube travellers!

No one seemed to look at him except me. I got spooked that perhaps I was the only that could see him!

He got (at least not floated ) off the train at Euston.

I guess he may have been an office worker wearing Halloween fancy dress for a fun ‘dressing up day’ at work, some  workplaces, firms & companies here do have  sometimes. Also  some wear costumes  to get charity donations too. Good for him as it brightens up a routine commuting and work day!

Hmm Miley Cyrus did Halloween twerking with BJ 😉

 

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