i’m back! (sort of)

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Hello again, all you wonderful people!

I’d love to stay here and write for ages, but seeing as there’s currently no internet in my new home (and won’t be until at least December 1st – UGH) I’ll have to make do with a short post.  I’m at a new library right now and it’s awesome and I can’t wait to explore it further.  But first, I felt like I owed all of you some thoughts and an update.

The trip was amazing.  I plan to write a good long post about it when I get the chance, but for now, let me say that I met a million amazing people and the Ark Encounter was unbelievable, and I kinda want to live in the States now.  But Alberta is coolest place ever (literally – it’s freezing outside right now).

NaNoWriMo isn’t going all that well, word count wise, but I’m happy with what I’ve written so far, which I suppose is the important thing.  I recently finished reading a Louis L’Amour book – Killoe.  And the last full movie I watched was ‘Mockingjay: Part 1’ and I thiiiink ‘White Christmas’ before that.  I say last full movie because I’m currently in the middle of a watching Hamlet.  The one with Benedict Cumberbatch.  And so far it’s blown me away.  Seriously.  I knew the guy could act, obviously, having watched Sherlock, but him as Hamlet is an entirely different thing and it’s amazing to watch.

And now I must go. 😦

Don’t forget to be awesome, you guys!

Eva

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captain america: the first avenger VS wonder woman

Though I haven’t watched many superhero movies, I’ve been fortunate to see many of the good ones, and both Captain America: The First Avenger and Wonder Woman are in that category.  I’ve been a fan of Marvel for over three years now and only recently got into the DC-verse, but I like both pretty much equally.  Though these two films – The First Avenger and Wonder Woman – come from different studios, there are enough similarities between them to have sparked many blog posts, articles, and debates.  (Personally, I don’t think DC ripped off Marvel.)  And as you know my love for comparison posts, well, this one was inevitable.

(Spoilers throughout.)

// Story //

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CA:TFA – Steve Rogers, a short, weak guy with a heart of gold becomes Captain America, a tall, strong guy with a heart of gold and takes down loads of Nazis and HYDRA agents during WWII while still remaining, not a perfect soldier, but a good man.  Lots of feels and awesomeness.

Wonder Woman – Diana, princess of Themyscira, leaves her island home with pilot Steve Trevor to defeat Ares, god of war, and stop WWI.  Along the way, she learns a lot about herself, humans, and the struggle between good and evil.  Lots of feels and awesomeness.

// Hero/Heroine //

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CA:TFA – Steve Rogers is quite possibly the best fictional hero ever.  Period.  He’s basically the epitome of goodness.  He’s brave and strong and loyal to his country, his friends, and the world.  And the grenade scene?  I totally teared up the first time I saw that bit.  Powerful stuff.

Wonder Woman – Diana is everything goals. (So is Gal Gadot, but that’s a whole other discussion.)  She is the epitome of love, with her kind, caring, and compassionate outlook on life.  Seeing WWI through her eyes gives you a fresh realization of how horrific and devastating it was.  But even after all the awful things that happen around and to her, Diana does not give up her hope and joy or her resolve to help save humanity. ❤

// Villains //

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD FOR WONDER WOMAN.

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CA:TFA – The Red Skull bores me, frankly.  Zola is another thing altogether – I hate him, mainly for all the horrid things he does to Bucky.  Sure, he seems all compliant and boot licking, but I believe he always thought himself superior to the Red Skull.  At least, that’s the impression I got from The Winter Soldier.  But, overall, the villains in TFA aren’t much.  Though Richard Armitage’s HYDRA agent was rather good.

Wonder Woman – Dr. Poison is an interesting sort of villain.  Her experiments are… *shudders*.  That general dude, though…bleh.  He’s really forgettable.  But the best villain of the film is most definitely Ares.  The first time I watched Wonder Woman, I knew the big twist about Sir Patrick being Ares, and I wasn’t at all impressed with either of them.  David Thewlis is not one of my favorite actors.  But upon rewatching the movie, I found I couldn’t take my eyes off him.  He is an absolutely chilling villain, the way he’s infiltrated into the highest levels of British government and how he recognizes Diana right away and all that.  A great, great villain.

// Other Characters //

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CA:TFA – First, of course, there’s Peggy.  One of the best female fictional characters ever; she even got her own spin-off series, though it was regrettably short-lived.  I like Peggy lots.  Howard Stark is another one of my favorites – Tony, you had a great dad. 😉  And Bucky!  Sebastian Stan did a perfect job of capturing Bucky, first his fun, carefree side, and then – as the war progresses and especially after he escapes from Zola – his darker, more conflicted side.  It’s both great and wrenching.

Wonder Woman – STEVE TREVOR.  Just…Steve Trevor.  Love him.  Diana’s mom and aunt are good characters as well, and Steve’s secretary, and Charlie and all the rest.  But I definitely like the secondary characters in The First Avenger better.  Except for Steve. (Trevor, not Rogers.)

// Love Story //

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CA:TFA – *bawls* I like the fact that it was Steve himself and not just his incredible good looks/muscles that first attracted Peggy to him.  Like the thing about waiting for the right partner.  Or the flag pole.  Or the grenade.  It makes a good basis for a good relationship.  A good relationship that ends tragically, making “I had a date” now hiiiiigh up on the list of most heartbreaking movie quotes ever.  I WILL NEVER GET OVER THOSE TWO.

Wonder Woman – *bawls* I don’t think there’s much denying that Steve was attracted to Diana on a physical level at first, but I also think that they were just friends for at least the first hour or so of the film.  Maybe even more.  He was able to see just how amazing she was as a person, and she was slowly able to get over her distrust of people in general and men in particular.  AND THEN IT ALL ENDED.  I will never get over those two, either.

// Music //

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CA:TFA – I have this soundtrack memorized because I’ve watched the movie so much.  ‘Farewell to Bucky’ always makes me tear up because it’s rather emotional, especially when you know what happens later in the films.  And the main theme is rousing and patriotic and instantly recognizable.

Wonder Woman‘Is She With You?’  That’s all.

// Ending //

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CA:TFA – Will I ever get over the final scenes in this movie?  I don’t think so.  Everything from Steve and Peggy’s heartbreaking last (or so they think) conversation to Howard’s determination to keep searching to the war’s end (WHICH STEVE NEVER GOT TO SEE) to “I had a date”, it’s one big feelsy moment after another.  And I love it.

Wonder Woman – Uh…basically the same thing.  Diana’s epic, epic battle with Ares (who is her brother – #mindblown) and Steve’s sacrifice and the way that Chief and Charlie and Sameer all sort of huddle together in what they believe to be their last stand and Steve’s photo on the wall (I always think of the bit in TFA when the Howling Commandos are all like “To the captain”) and Diana’s inspiring final words.  Amazing.

// Overall //

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Captain America: The First Avenger is insanely close to my heart, but I think Wonder Woman is the better movie.  Almost all the characters in both are very huggable and relatable and awesome.  I’m torn!  I really can’t decide.  Though I would more readily watch Wonder Woman right now, just because I’ve seen The First Avenger a million times.  You can take from that what you will.

Have you seen either of these movies?  What do you think of them?

Eva

mini movie reviews {#5}

Just popping in with a short post.  NaNoWriMo is going swimmingly and I should be back to posting semi-regularly by the middle of this month.  Until then, please enjoy this post and accept my wish that I could write more of them.

A Bug’s Life (1998) – Aside from the fun of picking out the similarities to The Magnificent Seven (1960) there was little to make me enjoy the adventures of Flik & Co.

Gladiator (2000) – *is blown away by Russell Crowe’s amazing acting*  I’d only seen him as Javert in Les Misérables (2012) and he did an epic job in this film.  Made me cry several times.

The Last Sin Eater (2007) – Though not all the acting was great and script was a little weird at times, this movie sank into my heart all the same.  I can tell it’s going to be an epic read – where are libraries when you need them?

A Bear Named Winnie (2004) – I really want to see Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017).  And ABNW would make an excellent companion piece, one you could watch before GCR as a sort of prequel.  A good, solid ‘man and his pet’ story and not a bad WWI film either.

Superman (1978) – I, um, watched this mostly for Glenn Ford.  And he was great.  But even though Superman was pretty much the first great superhero movie, I never really got behind any of the characters or the story in general.  Meh.

Mission: Impossible III (2006) – Caught the last two-thirds of this on TV and it was a blast, even if I had to get the first part of the story from Wikipedia.  Phillip Seymour Hoffman is SLIMY.  Ethan Hunt got me to tear up and my little brother (who watched a bit of it) was thrilled that there’s a hero that shares his name.  Plus, I love and adore how these films stick so close to the spirit of the original TV show.

Cowboy (1958) – Again, I came into this movie for Glenn Ford, but stayed for Jack Lemmon.  Previously, I’d only seen him in Mister Roberts (1955) but he charmed me again in Cowboy.  And the story itself is very good as well.

Leap! (2016) – I don’t get the critics’ glitch with Leap!  It’s a fun, warm-hearted animated film with stunning visuals.  What more could you ask of a children’s movie?

Thor (2011) – I’m sorry, Marvel, but this one was a No for me.  I think I’ll like the Iron Man movies better.  There were some highlights: Loki (I don’t have a crush, but he was the most well-developed character – I thought), Clint’s cameo, and the beautiful cinematography.  But overall…nah.

The Ten Commandments (1956) – Last time I watched Ten Commandments, I was much younger and it was interesting to see it again with mostly fresh eyes.  I recognized a lot of actors this time (Vincent Price was an interesting casting choice) and the music, spectacle, and characters still hold up after all these years.  A truly epic epic.

Pride & Prejudice (2005) – Always the best version. *ducks flying tomatoes*

How many of these movies have you seen?  What do you think of them?  What are some movies you’ve watched lately?

Eva

“if they ain’t thrown it at me, they ain’t got it”

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We are actually both Watson, with a dash of Moriarty’s wackiness at times.

You may have known this, but then again, you might not, so just in case you didn’t… Eva (of Coffee, Classics, and Craziness) is at my house right now!!!

And this is Eva, popping in to say that I’m at Hamlette’s (of Hamlette’s Soliliquy)  house right now for all those who are reading this post on my blog instead of hers.

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And yes, we have been drinking coffee, watching classics, and being crazy.  By “crazy,” I mean staying up far past my bedtime, of course.  Nothing truly crazy like, I don’t know, spending all day walking around Washington D.C.

Oh, wait, we did that too.

Maybe I should let Eva write this post — I’m sleep-deprived and caffeinated, which is never the most coherent state of being for me.

That’s very true. *winks*  Last night, we watched a Glenn Ford western and a Combat! episode and we were both pretty crazy, even though we only had hot chocolate then.  We’re talking lots and lots of fangirling and general swooning.

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Anyway, I feel like I should properly start with the beginning of our visit, instead of just last night.  I got to Hamlette’s house on Monday evening – I thought it was later than it was, because for some reason my family and I assumed that Virginia was an hour ahead of Ontario, time zone-wise.  But it turns out I got there with plenty of time to spare.  We talked for over an hour that first evening, and also watched a few minutes of a Combat! Recon (AKA fan convention) so I could see what Conlan Carter and Jack Hogan look like now-ish. (It was taken a few years ago.)

Over an hour?  People, I think we might need to worry about Eva’s concept of time.  We talked from 10pm to 12:45am.  “Over an hour” is an understatement 🙂

Well, I don’t own a watch, so there’s that.

So yes, we talked a lot and completely disregarded our careful planning exactly what movies and TV show eps we planned to watch together.  Oops.  We meant to watch The Young Victoria the first night, but nope, just gabbed.

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And then yesterday, I played tour guide and led Eva and her pack of siblings (and their mom!) and my 3 kids all over D.C.  Highlight of the entire day was when we got to the area around the Lincoln Memorial where Steve Rogers was jogging in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  One of her little brothers just took off and ran around the whole reflecting pool.  And we all cheered and clapped for him — such a little hero!

He is!

Last night, we did finally settle down and watch a little of what we’d planned to watch together.  Sort of.  Since we’re both big fans (understatement) of Glenn Ford and westerns, I’d been telling Eva she needed to see The Fastest Gun Alive because he’s just awesome in it, and I love the townspeople, and yeah.  So we watched that.  And then we had planned to watch some Combat! together, since that show is what brought us together in the first place.  We were going to watch “The Hostages” and “The Walking Wounded,” basically her favorite ep and then mine.  But we chucked all plans out the window and watched “A Gift of Hope” instead because it’s wonderful.  We spent a lot of time talking about how lame I am for having had an idea for a fanfic story about the guest character in that one and never writing it.  Maybe I’ll throw caution to the wind and try to write it for Nanowrimo this year or something.  If a plot presents itself!

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A perfectly accurate representation of how we look when we watch Glenn Ford movies + Combat!

Well, I will definitely think about plots you could use for your fanfic.  I’m not clever enough to write Avery, but I could probably (maybe) come up with a good story.

Anyway…it was very difficult to figure out what to watch, even though we had a rough idea of what we wanted to do, because when I got to Hamlette’s house, I was rather overwhelmed by the number of amazing movies and TV shows she has on her shelves.  I WANT TO WATCH THEM ALL.  In fact, I took five films to my room last night, but was too tired to even finish one. *sigh*

Which is why we’re finishing it today.  I mean, you can’t just watch half of a Glenn Ford western.  Would be so wrong.  So yup, we’re finishing Cowboy while all the little kids are playing restaurant behind us.  And speaking of cowboys, my own Cowboy just flew back from his business trip, so I’m going to go pick him up, so I’m going to let Eva finish off this post 🙂

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Glenn Ford as Tom Reece in ‘Cowboy’

Thank you. 🙂  So, yes, these past few days have been very full of Glenn Ford and westerns and general awesomeness.  Including our trip to Washington DC, which was AMAZING.  Throughout so much of our visit there, I felt like Po in Kung Fu Panda – “I’ve only seen paintings of that painting!”  Only in this case it was the Washington Memorial (!!!!!!!!!!) and the White House (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and the Lincoln Memorial (!!!-okay, you get the idea) and two Smithsonian Museums (American History and Air & Space) and, yes, I loved everything.  There were many Winter Soldier and Night at the Museum jokes made, let me tell you.  My top three favorite exhibits were the LEGIT Star Spangled Banner (I had no idea it was even still around), the whip and fedora that Harrison Ford used/wore in The Last Crusade, and the original model of the USS Enterprise. *all the heart eyes*

Oh!  And I forgot to mention that I read all of Hamlet on the way to Hamlette’s house and I loved it and we talked about it more than a little.  Very cool.

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Somehow I don’t think there was a method to

Hopefully you got an idea of the fun we’ve been having together.  Just a little idea. 😉 (Oh, and the title of this post comes from the aforementioned C! ep we watched together.  It’s one of the coolest lines in the entire show.  For real.)

Well, I’m back from picking Cowboy up at the slug lot, and the movie’s over, so we should probably end this and see about adding pictures, sharing it with Eva so she can add her own pics, and then I’m thinking some supper might be in order.

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the finally fall book tag

Stolen Borrowed from Hamlette at The Edge of the Precipice. 🙂

1. In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting.

Nick of Time by Ted Bell.  It’s been over four years since I last read it, but I still remember the cramped submarine, the English beach, the dim tavern.  Vivid, indeed.

2. Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, hands down.  Not all people would consider it beautifully written, just weirdly written, but it is gorgeous.  Unexpected and unique and gorgeous.  It deals with death and WWII and the Holocaust and definitely grief as well.  But in between the tears, there are flickers of hope.

3. Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill opened my eyes to the fabulous, tumultuous lives of the Kennedy family and also sparked my interest in them, an interest that continues to this day.

4. In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.

I am going to copy Hamlette and say the Curtis brothers + their friends from S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders.  Though I would never write a self-insert fanfiction with myself as the Curtis’ sister, I would love to be part of their family.  My activities would mostly involve eating wayyyy too much chocolate cake and hugging Johnny a lot.

5. The colorful leaves are piling up on the ground: show us a pile of fall-colored spines!

Alas, all my books are packed up in preparation for our move to Edmonton.  I would love to do this, though. 😦  Maybe once we’ve moved, I’ll take a picture and come back to this post to add it.  In fact, I will do that.  Promise.

6. Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.

Dear Enemy by Jack Cavanaugh.  A superb WWII novel in which a bride tells her bridesmaid (or is it her maid of honour?) all about her adventures and trials in the Ardennes Forest during the Battle of the Bulge.

7. The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read.

I don’t read creepy books.  Macbeth was quite dark, though, and The Maze Runner by James Dashner did scare me a little.

8. The days are getting colder: name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

The Catch Colt by Mary O’Hara or The Candymakers by Wendy Mass.  The first is a short, darling, happy western.  The second is a middle-grade novel that will make you crave chocolate pizza.  And I just found out there’s a sequel, which makes me so happy.

9. Fall returns every year: name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon.

Emma by Jane Austen.  It’s been a while.  And The Outsiders.

10. Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: share your favorite cozy reading “accessories”!

Eh.  I read whenever, wherever, dressed in whatever.  I do have a ginormous red hoodie, inherited from my dad, that I love to curl up in. ❤

If the last book you read had an awesome character in it, you are hereby tagged!

Eva

life actually

For those of you who don’t know, my dad passed away to heaven on September 26th.  Life has been (obviously) difficult in many ways since then, but there have been blessings as well.  The outpouring of love, encouragement, help, and prayers from so many people has been amazing to see.  The funeral was on October 3rd, and while there were plenty of tears shed, there was also a quiet peace and comfort throughout the ceremony.  Dad was an amazing father, the best I could ever have had, but he’s free from cancer now in heaven and we “sorrow not, even as others which have no hope”. (I Thessalonians 4:13)

For the past few days, our house has been full of people – my aunt and uncle and their family + my family + a family that aren’t our blood relations, but feel as close as that all the same.  It’s been crazy and noisy and amazing, but it hasn’t all been fun and games.  Yesterday, we packed up a bunch of our things because in about a month, my family will be moving to Alberta, Edmonton. (Yes, that’s still in Canada, for those of you who were wondering.)  We’re getting close to the nitty-gritty of packing, where its just a bunch of little things that you just want to trash but you have to pack instead.  And I twisted my foot coming down the stairs this morning, so that’s going to be…interesting.

Before my family moves to Edmonton, however, we’re going to be taking a month-long trip around America, visiting family and friends wherever they may be.  I’ll finally get to cross an item off my bucket list: meet an Internet friend.  I’ll actually be meeting two: Ashley and Rachel.  So I’m pretty excited about that.

Anyway, that means I’m probably not going to be blogging until I get settled into my Edmonton home, which will be sometime around the middle of November.  I still want to participate in NaNoWriMo, mostly because this year’s theme is superheroes, and I have an idea for a WWII retelling of Cinderella brewing in my brain.  We’ll see.

Annnnd that’s about all I have to say right now.

Have a great day, y’all!

Eva

some thoughts on ‘texas’ (1941)

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This post is part of the Texas Blogathon hosted by The Midnite Drive-In.

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Confederate soldiers Dan (William Holden) and Tod (Glenn Ford) look to Texas for opportunities when the war ends. Upon witnessing a stagecoach robbery, the close friends ambush the outlaws and confiscate the stolen funds. Tod wishes to return the money, but Dan wants to keep it. After a sheriff gives chase, each man runs off on his own. They are reunited after some time, but with Tod now an honest ranch hand and Dan an outlaw cattle rustler, the two do not know if their friendship can survive.

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I was originally going to write a bona fide review of ‘Texas’, but I have a lot of scattered thoughts and comments to make concerning it, so I thought I might as well do a list thingy instead.  (There will be spoilers.)  (And if you want a more conventional review of this movie, I recommend this post.)

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~I’m highly amused by the cheery music that plays as ‘…The paths to the market were bloody trails of Indian depredations, outlaw, rustlers…’ scrolls across the screen.

~William Holden and Glenn Ford are, like, baby-year-olds in this film.  And very adorable.  I’m sort of used to Young William Holden because I’ve seen ‘Arizona’ (was ‘Texas’ supposed to be a sort of companion piece to ‘Arizona’?).  Young Glenn Ford is very attractive and he and William Holden both have cute dimples.  Plus, their acting is great.

~William Holden tends to play jerky guys, at least in most of the films I’ve seen him in.  I don’t really care for Dan (Holden’s character).  I mean, he joins up with cattle rustlers and doesn’t seem much bothered by it.  And he steals Tod’s girl (though he might not have known that extent of Tod’s feelings at first).

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~The fight near the beginning is HILARIOUS.  My siblings and I laughed so hard during it when we first watched the movie.

~Edgar Buchanan makes for a chilling bad guy.  I’ve only ever seen him playing kindly/harmless old codgers, but he was something else again as Doc.  Lots of nastiness, and it’s surprising twist considering his usual screen roles.

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~I love how Tod stands up and says his piece after Windy Miller makes his offer of two dollars a head of cattle.  If I were Mike, I’d have fallen for him right then and there (Tod, not Miller).

~*snickers at how Dan wants to keep the money and Tod tries to talk him out of it because Glenn Ford’s character in ‘The Sacketts’ does the exact opposite and why am I snickering about this when the situation is actually kinda heartbreaking in ‘The Sacketts’?*

~Thanks to certain comments on Hamlette’s review of ‘Texas’ (see link above) I will forever get Tod and Dan’s names mixed up in my head.

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~Man.  The way that sheriff and the posse are so quick to lynch Tod puts ‘The Ox-Bow Incident’ to shame.

~Also, the ending of ‘Texas’ is a bit of a downer and not something I expected from a 40’s ‘B’ western.  But I guess it all comes down to the fact that Dan’s life was in a mess and there wasn’t enough time to bring resolution, reconciliation, and redemption to him, so they killed him off. *sigh*

~Overall, though, a fun, entertaining, and enjoyable western film, one that I’ll be sure to watch and re-watch over the years.

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Have you ever seen this film?  What did you think of it?

Eva