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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

January 1970 Archives

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genre

  • Action
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  • Romance
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  • Spy
  • Thriller
  • War
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quality

  • A+, A, A-
  • B+, B, B-
  • C+, C, C-
  • D+, D, D-
  • F+, F, F-

who's watching

  • My entire family
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age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
  • 4th - 6th grade
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Interview: David L. Cook of Seven Days in Utopia

posted by Nell Minow

Sometimes real life feels like a metaphor.  Sometimes it feels like a parable.  David L. Cook is the author of Seven Days in Utopia: Golf’s Sacred Journey.  He told me his story about his own time in the real-life town […]

Nickelodeon Explains 9/11 to Kids

posted by Nell Minow

Linda Ellerbee’s news programs for kids on Nickelodeon are some of the best journalism for any age available today and very important for family viewing and discussion.  Tonight, she explains what happened on September 11, 2001 to children who were […]

The Debt

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some violence and language
Movie Release Date:August 31, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 6, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence and language
Movie Release Date: August 31, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 6, 2011

Stories are linear.  Part of what gives them their power is that we jettison the details that are distracting or unimportant.  But real life is messy.  That may not be as compelling, but is honest.  As we are told in […]

Hasbro Makes Your iPhone 3D!

posted by Nell Minow

You can turn your iPhone (or iPod Touch) into a 3D console with the MY3D Viewer for iPod touch and iPhone, a very nifty new gadget from Hasbro. It comes in black and white. According to CNET: Apple’s App Store […]

Interview: John Madden of ‘The Debt’

posted by Nell Minow

John Madden, director of “Shakespeare in Love” and “Proof,” came to Washington, D.C. to talk about his newest film, “The Debt.”  It is a remake of an Israeli film about three Mossad agents who are revered as heroes for capturing […]

Guess Who’s On Dancing With the Stars This Season?

posted by Nell Minow

And the competitors include….talk show diva Ricki Lake, Cher’s son Chaz Bono, TV host Nancy Grace, basketball player Ron Artest, Kristin Cavallari of “Laguna Beach,” Chynna Phillips of Wilson Phillips (and daughter of Michelle and John Phillips of The Mamas […]

Family Media Rules for the New School Year

posted by Nell Minow

As families get ready to start a new school year, it is a good opportunity to sit down and map out the rules for managing media, which should be posted in the kitchen and signed off on by both adults […]

First ‘Hunger Games’ Footage on the VMAs

posted by Nell Minow

Did you see the first glimpse of “The Hunger Games” on the VMAs?  What do you think?

A Day in the Life — New Series on Hulu

posted by Nell Minow

Hulu has another new original series, “A Day in the Life.”  Documentarian Morgan Spurlock (“Supersize Me,” “Pom Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”) is spending time with fascinating people and showing us what one day looks like.  Want to […]

Movie Clips Online

posted by Nell Minow

The Movie Clips website is not a place to visit if there is someplace you have to be. It is, however, a fabulous resource for watching favorite clips and discovering new ones.  It’s a genius idea.  They have actual human beings […]

Five Better Movies With Paul Rudd

posted by Nell Minow

Our Idiot Brother is a disappointment, but Paul Rudd is always a pleasure.  Here are some better choices for those who miss that Rudd-alicious feeling: 1. How Do You Know  This was a massive box office flop, but it is now […]

Is ‘The Help’ Offensive?

posted by Nell Minow

The Help is a hit.  The book club favorite by first-time novelist Kathryn Stockett is now a box office success, with strong reviews and robust ticket sales.  Like the book, though, it is controversial.  Is it well-intentioned but insensitive for white […]

Higher Ground

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for some language and sexual content
Movie Release Date:August 26, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some language and sexual content
Movie Release Date: August 26, 2011

Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air,” “The Departed”) directed and stars in “Higher Ground,” the true story of a woman’s spiritual journey, based on Higher Ground: A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost by Carolyn S. Briggs. It is a rare […]

Our Idiot Brother

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for sexual content including nudity and for language throughout
Movie Release Date:August 26, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content including nudity and for language throughout
Movie Release Date: August 26, 2011

You can’t really make a bad movie with Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Rashida Jones, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, Zooey Deschanel,  Emily Mortimer, and Steve Coogan.  They are seven of the most able and appealing performers of our era.  But it […]

Win a Copy of Seven Days in Utopia

posted by Nell Minow

I have five copies of Seven Days in Utopia: Golf’s Sacred Journey, the book behind the upcoming film starring Robert Duvall and Lucas Black in the story of a young pro golfer who learns meaningful lessons from an eccentric rancher in […]

Interview: Vera Farmiga of ‘Higher Ground’

posted by Nell Minow

Vera Farmiga (“The Departed,” “Up in the Air”) directed and stars in a new film based on the memoir by Carolyn S. Briggs, Higher Ground: A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost.  As she spoke to a small group of […]

Film Stage calls ‘One Day’ Toxic

posted by Nell Minow

I did not like One Day much and neither did the audience.  The box office in its first week of limited release was under estimates.  But it really riled up Kristy Puchko of Film Stage, who called it “the most toxic […]

Who Scares the Scarers?

posted by Nell Minow

The New York Times asked people who make scary movies about the movies that scared them in a piece called What Spooks the Masters of Horror?  The answer turns out to be pretty much the same things that scare the […]

Tribute: Nick Ashford and Jerry Lieber

posted by Nell Minow

We mourn the passing of two greats who contributed to the soundtrack of our lives.  Nick Ashford, with his partner Valerie Simpson, wrote some of Motown’s most romantic and best-loved hits, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “You’re All I […]

Interview: Harry Markopolos of Chasing Madoff

posted by Nell Minow

The award for the biggest “I told you so” of all time has to go to Harry Markopolos, who fought for nine years to convince anyone — regulator, prosecutor, journalist, or customer — that Bernard Madoff was a crook.  Finally, […]

Family Movie Night: Encore Presentation of ‘A Walk in My Shoes’

posted by Nell Minow

Family Movie Night has an encore presentation of A Walk in My Shoes on Friday, August 27, at 8/7 central on NBC.  This is a terrific movie for the whole family about a teacher who gets a new point of […]

Win Win

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language
Movie Release Date:March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 22, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language
Movie Release Date: March 25, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 22, 2011

Writer-director Tom McCarthy gives us stories of the families we choose.  In “The Station Agent” and “The Visitor” the main characters were loners who found themselves unexpectedly drawn into caring for people who were very far outside their usual circles. […]

Interview: Barbara Dee of Trauma Queen

posted by Nell Minow

Barbara Dee is the author of Trauma Queen, a terrific new book for ages 9-14.  It is the smart and very funny story of a 7th grader named Marigold.  While most parents are what we might call amateurs in the […]

Smile of the Week: The Evolution of Dance in Movies

posted by Nell Minow

If it were up to me, every movie would have a dance sequence!  This includes some of my favorites.      

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 4D

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date:August 19, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 21, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date: August 19, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 21, 2011

Jessica Alba was dressed for her role in Robert Rodriguez’s ultra-violent “Machete” when, on a break from filming, she stopped to change her baby’s diaper.  Rodriguez says he saw her performing this most domestic of tasks in her action-movie attire […]

Free Issue of Roger Ebert’s Newsletter — This Week Only

posted by Nell Minow

Roger Ebert’s wonderful newsletter is a steal at $10 a year.  This week only, it’s even more of a steal with a FREE issue that includes a glimpse of his upcoming autobiography and trailers for some of the coolest upcoming […]

Coming from Pixar!

posted by Nell Minow

A panel at Disney’s D23 Expo 2011 has revealed some tantalizing details on two upcoming Pixar projects.  My friend Brendan Connelly at Cinema Blend reports that The first announced feature, currently operating under the tongue-in-cheek title ofThe Untitled Pixar Movie About […]

Trailer: ‘Courageous’

posted by Nell Minow

From the people who made “Fireproof,” a story of men who serve and protect as police officers but find the bigger challenge in serving as fathers.

Compare the Conans

posted by Nell Minow

MSNBC has come up with a handy comparison chart showing the differences between the 1982 version of Conan the Barbarian (the character) and the updated version with “Game of Thrones’” Jason Momoa.  One big difference — Momoa does not say […]

Even More Sequels and Remakes

posted by Nell Minow

2011 has more sequels and remakes than any year in movie history but it looks like the record will be broken soon.  This year’s Smurf and Pirates of the Caribbean movies already have sequels underway.   Mike Meyers has announced […]

Q&A With the Movie Mom

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks for these great questions! I saw the trailer for a movie but I forgot what it was called. There’s a girl who goes to seek out all her exes to see if any of them are still single and […]

The Hedgehog

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:August 19, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: August 19, 2011

It’s hard to imagine a less cinematic novel than The Elegance of the Hedgehog.  Author Muriel Barbery is a professor of philosophy, and the book reads more like a series of essays than a story.  What made it work was the […]

One Day

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity, language, some violence, and substance abuse
Movie Release Date:August 19, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 29, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity, language, some violence, and substance abuse
Movie Release Date: August 19, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 29, 2011

A gimmick that sort of worked in a novel becomes an obstacle that trips up this love story based on best-seller by David Nicholls.  It is better at telling us to care about the two characters than it is at […]

Help Tell The Story of Rwanda

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Jennifer Merin writes about documentaries for About.com.  She has a thoughtful new post about a new project from film-maker Anne Aghion to create a repository for historical documentation about Rwanda, including a huge cache of footage shot during the ten years […]

Audition Online for the ‘Christmas Story’ Musical

posted by Nell Minow

Ralphie will be not only waiting for his Little Orphan Annie decoder ring and hoping for a Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle but also singing and dancing in a new musical production based on the classic movie […]

MPAA Willing to Consider Banning the F-Word in PG-13 Movies

posted by Nell Minow

I have consistently criticized the MPAA for allowing the F-word in a PG-13 movie.  It used to be limited to one non-sexual use of the term but now they allow it more than once in some PG-13s.  It makes no […]

Smile of the Week: OK Go and the Muppets

posted by Nell Minow

The tribute album, Muppets: The Green Album, will be out next week!

The Tablet on Jewish Influences in ‘Dirty Dancing’

posted by Nell Minow

Dirty Dancing (1987) is an iconic and enormously influential film, now scheduled for a remake, directed by the choreographer of the original film.  (We will not discuss the awful sequel, though you should listen to “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me’s” Peter Sagel […]

More Gadgets from ‘Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 4D’

posted by Nell Minow

30 Years of The Best MTV Videos

posted by Nell Minow

Time Magazine has a great list of the best music videos in the first three decades of MTV.  It’s hard to believe now that MTV’s arrival was controversial because some people thought it would take away from the purity of […]

The Robot Dog from ‘Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 4D”

posted by Nell Minow

Robert Rodriguez told me that his favorite gadget in the new “Spy Kids” movie is the robot dog with the voice of Ricky Gervais.  Here’s a closer look.  

Winner! ‘Planet of the Apes’ Box Set

posted by Nell Minow

Congratulations to Lisa M of Walpole MA for winning the Planet of the Apes box set and thanks so much to all who entered!

USA Today on New Techniques in Marketing to Kids

posted by Nell Minow

USA Today has an important article on new technologies for marketing to kids. With the use of new, kid-enchanting technologies, are savvy marketers gaining the upper hand on parents? Are toy marketers such as Ganz, food marketers such as McDonald’s […]

Interview: Robert Rodriguez of ‘Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D’

posted by Nell Minow

Robert Rodriguez is a ground-breaking movie director whose first film, “El Mariachi,” was made on a micro budget of $7000 (with another $220,000 after it was purchased for release).  He is known for striking visuals and ultra-violence in movies like […]

Jewish Movies for Everyone

posted by Nell Minow

Malachi Kosanovich has a great Beliefnet gallery on six Jewish films everyone should see — all excellent choices. I’d also add: Fiddler on the Roof, Hester Street, Crossing Delancey, Gentleman’s Agreement, and Advice And Dissent.

Contest: Conan!

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of this week’s release of the new “Conan the Barbarian” movie starring Jason Momoa (“Game of Thrones”), I have a special Conan comic book from Dark Horse, based on the film.  Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with […]

More from The Moth: Adam Gopnick Learns the True Meaning of LOL

posted by Nell Minow

This is one of my all-time favorite stories from The Moth, and one of the all-time greatest stories ever about being a parent.  Adam Gopnick on virtually parenting a 12-year-old.    

Neil Gaiman on The Moth

posted by Nell Minow

I was thrilled to see that my favorite podcast, The Moth, now has a YouTube channel.  Here’s author Neil Gaiman telling a story about waiting at a train station to be picked up by his parents.  Warning: once you listen […]

30 Minutes or Less

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity and some violence
Movie Release Date:August 12, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 29, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity and some violence
Movie Release Date: August 12, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 29, 2011

Counter-terrorism expert Mark Sageman has described what he calls the “bunch of guys” theory.  Instead of looking for a mastermind and a bunch of crackerjack operatives, Sageman says more often the people who create mayhem are a bunch of guys […]

Glee Live! 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements, brief language, and some sensuality
Movie Release Date:August 12, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 20, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements, brief language, and some sensuality
Movie Release Date: August 12, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 20, 2011

Gather up, Gleeks, “Raise Your Glass” and get ready for “Fireworks!”  The musical TV series about a high school show choir, now poised to move from hit to cult, continues its juggernaut from television, CDs and iTunes downloads, live performances, a […]

Trailer: ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’

posted by Nell Minow

I’m captivated by this trailer for a new Disney film called “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” starring Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton.

Southern Accents in Movies: The Good, The Bad, The Very Ugly

posted by Nell Minow

When I saw New York Magazine’s Vulture blog did a slideshow about the worst Southern accents in the movies, with clips of real-life speakers from the actual towns that were supposed to be represented, I was delighted to see some […]

Letter to Steve Carell re ‘Crazy Stupid Love’s’ Teen Nude Photos

posted by Nell Minow

I was very pleased to hear that my friend Rev. Debra Haffner has written to producer/star Steve Carell about the scene where a 17-year-old girl gives a 13-year-old boy nude photos in “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”   This offensive scene, portraying […]

Interview: Joseph Dorman of ‘Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness’

posted by Nell Minow

The writer Sholem Aleichem was born Sholom Rabinowitz.  He grew up in a Russian shtetl. Today, he is most widely remembered as the author of the stories which became the basis for Fiddler on the Roof.  But a new documentary […]

The Help

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for thematic material
Movie Release Date:August 10, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 5, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material
Movie Release Date: August 10, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 5, 2011

The book-club favorite about African-American women working as domestics in the early Civil Rights era South has been lovingly turned into a film that like its source material engages with its sensitive subject matter humbly and sincerely. Kathryn Stockett grew up […]

The Real Offensive Language in ‘The Change-Up’

posted by Nell Minow

Ellen Seldman, the mother of a special needs child, has written a heartfelt post for Parents.com about the offensive language in The Change-Up.  It isn’t the (constant) four-letter words or graphic sexual references she objects to.  It is the crude […]

‘Star Wars: The Complete Saga’ — Sneak Peek App

posted by Nell Minow

Before Star Wars: The Complete Saga goes on sale on September 16, fans can get a sneak peek right now at the 40+ hours of bonus footage on the Blu-ray collection through the Star Wars Blu-ray: Early Access App. The App, available for all […]

What Facebook Does to Kids

posted by Nell Minow

Atlantic Wire has a good post on the impact of Facebook on the brains of the teenagers who use it, based on a presentation to the American Psychological Association by psychologist Larry D. Rosen’s called “Poke Me: How Social Networks Can Both […]

Google Loves Lucy!

posted by Nell Minow

Happy 100th Birthday, Lucille Ball!

posted by Nell Minow

Today we celebrate the 100th anniversary birthday of one of the most talented, hardest-working, and best-loved comic performers of all time, Lucille Ball.  She insisted on having her then-husband, bandleader Desi Arnaz, as her co-star in what became a comedy […]

Contest Winners! Dolphins and Teachers

posted by Nell Minow

Wow, thanks so much to all who entered!  The dolphin contest broke my all-time record for entries (previously held by “Space Buddies” — I guess you guys really like stuffed animals) and I loved each and every comment.   I […]

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense and frightening sequences of action and violence
Movie Release Date:August 5, 2011
DVD Release Date:December 13, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense and frightening sequences of action and violence
Movie Release Date: August 5, 2011
DVD Release Date: December 13, 2011

By the time they got to the line, “Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty ape!” I couldn’t help thinking, “Take your stinking paws off the franchise, Hollywood!”  Do we really need another apes movie? We do have […]

The Change-Up

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive strong crude sexual content and language, some graphic nudity, and drug use
Movie Release Date:August 5, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 15, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive strong crude sexual content and language, some graphic nudity, and drug use
Movie Release Date: August 5, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 15, 2011

The movie has barely begun and Dave (Jason Bateman) already has projectile baby poop all over his face and in his mouth.  There is so much excretory material in this film that doctors specializing in intestinal and urinary issues could […]

What to Watch for in ‘Rise of Planet of the Apes’ Reviews

posted by Nell Minow

Of course the reviews of this week’s prequel, “Rise of Planet of the Apes” will refer to the previous movies and I look forward to seeing how many references to the earlier films they find in this one.  I’m guessing […]

Who Is Simon Miller? Family Night TV

posted by Nell Minow

The latest in the Family Movie Night series on NBC is Who Is Simon Miller? this Saturday, August 6, at 8/7 central.    It is the story of a family discovery that the husband and father they thought they knew had […]

The Return of Mr. Rogers

posted by Nell Minow

“Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” welcomed children with low-key warmth and delivered its affirmations and lessons with great sweetness.  It ran nationally from 1968-2001 and its reruns are still watched by the children and grandchildren of the original viewers.  PBS has announced […]

Morgan Spurlock on 50 Un-Miss-able Documentaries

posted by Nell Minow

Morgan Spurlock of Super Size Me and Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is the host of a new series on Current called “50 Documentaries to See Before You Die.”  He quotes Alfred Hitchcock: “In feature films, the […]

Contest: Planet of the Apes Blu-Ray Box Set

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of this week’s release of the new “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” prequel, I have something really spectacular — one copy of the 40th anniversary Blu-Ray box set of the classic Apes series: “Planet of the […]

Joe Queenan on Movie Plots that Technology Killed

posted by Nell Minow

Brilliantly funny Joe Queenan has a great piece in The Guardian about how today’s technology would have saved some classic movie characters a lot of misery — and eliminated the plots for the movies and the enjoyment for the audiences. […]

Previous Posts

Trailer: Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro in "The Intern"
This new film from Nancy Meyers ("It's Complicated," "Something's Got to Give") stars Anne Hathaway as a young executive with a new intern played by Robert De Niro. [iframe width="560" height="315" ...

posted 8:00:02am May. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Contest: Reading Rainbow DVD -- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Levar Burton and Reading Rainbow present four classic episodes on this new DVD from PBS Kids. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie read by Beth Howland, ...

posted 3:49:25pm May. 29, 2015 | read full post »

The New Yorker's Actress Profiles: Tilda Swinton, Angela Bassett, Katharine Hepburn, and More
The New Yorker has created a section with some of its best profiles of actresses, including Angela Bassett, Julia Roberts, Diane Keaton, Tilda Swinton, and Katharine Hepburn. They are a treat to read and will inspire you to check out or revisit ...

posted 8:00:38am May. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: Wish You Well
[jwvideo vid='sTOlso40' pid='GvkPWNBE'] Ellen Burstyn, Mackenzie Foy, and Josh Lucas star in Wish You Well, a coming-of-age tale based on the best-selling novel by David Baldacci, who also wrote the screenplay. Foy plays 12-year-old Louisa, ...

posted 10:24:09pm May. 28, 2015 | read full post »

San Andreas
Another summer blockbuster-by-the-numbers, another dad who needs redemption and re-connection with his family, and the only way he can get ...

posted 5:55:26pm May. 28, 2015 | read full post »

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