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RE: The Complete Ridley Scott

 
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RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 29/4/2008 1:43:15 PM   
kathryn2

 

Posts: 1506
Joined: 24/4/2006
Nice KOH DC review.

I would add about Balian, that although he goes on a journey as a character he is essentially the same guy at the end of it as he is at the start. Hence the lack of a radical character transformation.
He knows the cost of war before he goes to Jerusalem, and he sees the same thing while he's there,
and that's why his journey ends as it does.

My favourite lopped from the theatrical cut and reinstated in the DC character has to be the grave digger. You really wouldn't notice him missing in the theatrical version, but it's such a nice touch to see him in the longer cut.


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Post #: 211
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 29/4/2008 4:23:51 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8533
Joined: 13/4/2006
The thing about Orlando Bland is he is terrible is just about everything, including the version I've seen of KOH, and I found it hard to believe that The Directors Cut can really do much to make his performance look any better.  However the main flaw with the version I've seen (and there are a number) don't actually have anything to do with him, so as bad as he is, this time it's not his fault the film fails.

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Post #: 212
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 29/4/2008 4:40:56 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
quote:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Movieman Tom



Tom, I've only got two films left so keep your hair on! I'm considering just going ahead and letting Piles do the Kubrick one. He gets through lists like nobody's business and I do have exams to revise for and whatnot.



If you don't do it i will hate you forever.

Full Stop.


Me too. You have to do the Kubrick list, dude!

< Message edited by Piles -- 29/4/2008 4:44:57 PM >


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Post #: 213
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 29/4/2008 6:55:41 PM   
kathryn2

 

Posts: 1506
Joined: 24/4/2006
quote:

ORIGINAL: ElephantBoy

The thing about Orlando Bland is he is terrible is just about everything, including the version I've seen of KOH, and I found it hard to believe that The Directors Cut can really do much to make his performance look any better.  However the main flaw with the version I've seen (and there are a number) don't actually have anything to do with him, so as bad as he is, this time it's not his fault the film fails.


That begs the question - which version have you seen and what are the flaws?

Because the theatrical cut is flawed, especially in the pacing, and the director's cut fixes many of those flaws, so it is entirely possible that you would enjoy the DC.
But maybe not - it depends on the version you have seen and what you thought were its flaws.

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Post #: 214
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 30/4/2008 2:55:30 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

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Well I'm guessing there's only two versions, the cinematic released one and the Directors Cut.  In any case I saw the one which was on tv recently.  The main flaw I speak of is in the empityness of the script, the poor dilogue and lack of character depth.  You can get away with a lot in these kind of film if it's slickly written and well paced, sadly it isn't.  The one saving grace is the design and viseral effects of the film proving what a fine nuts and Bolts film Maker Scott is. 

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Post #: 215
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 30/4/2008 3:07:08 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8533
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Two more things one I suport the Kubrick list idea on because he's one of those classic examples of a Director I have a love/hate realtionship with.  And I love Matchstick Men too, Alison Lohman is really one to watch out for.

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Post #: 216
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 30/4/2008 6:04:34 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
quote:

ORIGINAL: ElephantBoy

Well I'm guessing there's only two versions, the cinematic released one and the Directors Cut.  In any case I saw the one which was on tv recently.  The main flaw I speak of is in the empityness of the script, the poor dilogue and lack of character depth.  You can get away with a lot in these kind of film if it's slickly written and well paced, sadly it isn't.  The one saving grace is the design and viseral effects of the film proving what a fine nuts and Bolts film Maker Scott is. 


Then I suggest that it was the TC you watched. Was it about 2 1/2 hours long, or 3 1/4 hours long? The DC really does address the issues you raise there.


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Post #: 217
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 30/4/2008 7:15:24 PM   
kathryn2

 

Posts: 1506
Joined: 24/4/2006
I don't *think* the director's cut has been shown on TV anywhere yet, and from the description you give of the film, I am almost certain that you saw the theatrical cut.

In which case, really you should try and catch the DC - there's huge amounts of character development re-instated, the scope of the whole film widens out, and although it's longer, it feels like it is much shorter than the theatrical cut, because the pacing is so much better.

Seriously, it's such a different film! Way, way better.

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Post #: 218
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 30/4/2008 8:12:11 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield


Unique in this list, this is the first film I'm reviewing as a first-time viewer, as opposed to a film I have seen before. I'll freely admit I was more than a little apprehensive, having heard the film variously described as, 'dull', 'boring', and a 'snoozefest'. Suffice it to say, I was expecting a film light on action. What I got however, with such low expectations, was quite a pleasant surprise. Easily Scott's lightest film to-date, this is a soufflé of a film, a story whipped from nothingness into something fanciful.

I'm probably not the first critic of the early parts of the film. It's unsettled, unsure of itself. We have a hard-nosed stockbroker (I think), and a cold (read, blue) London setting contrasted with a warm (read, yellow) Provencal setting. The quiver of comedy in the London scenes is at odds with the farcical (I daren't say Tati-esque, a comedian referenced by naming a dog after him) comedy as he first hits France, in a Smart Car - a car already used for comedic effect in the flawed, but vaguely entertaining The Da Vinci Code the same year. The sped-up circling round roundabouts, and criss-crossing through the French countryside, grappling with foreign Sat-Nav systems is unnecessary and doesn't set up the rest of the film very well.

The story truly gets going once Max stays in Provence, due to his suspension back in London. He meets the wondrous Marion Cotillard as the brilliantly-named Fanny Chenal under dubious circumstances and there grows the seeds of a relationship. Add to this the slow peeling away of Max's self-centred personality, the oddities of the Duflot's (an excellent Didier Bourdon), and the curiosity of the "is she/isn't she" appearance of an illegitimate child of Henry's, and there's a recipe for a charming, if devoid of surprise, story. The mystery of the vineyard is fairly obvious, and everything wraps up neatly. However, this is a languorous film, that while never reaching any great depths (or indeed, any shallow ones) is perfectly serviceable as a piece of light entertainment. I believe this is how it was intended. Consider Scott's projects either side. On the one hand, the poorly-received through editorial considerations in the epic Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, the epic gangster drama American Gangster. Two huge projects, involving several location shoots, casts of many, and a great deal of stress. Snuggled in between is this project that has a small dedicated cast, two locations, and the whole thing reeks of enjoyment. Whether they were enjoying matters too much to invest the film with much depth is a matter for debate, but I still found it much to enjoy in the film, not least the varied soundtrack. It does stick out as being a lightweight film, but why is this a bad thing? It requires no great involvement, but still manages to fill two hours perfectly.




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Post #: 219
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 30/4/2008 8:14:05 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Like buses, you get none for days, then two come along at the same time. Up shortly, American Gangster... 

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Post #: 220
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 30/4/2008 8:15:48 PM   
mafyou


Posts: 2562
Joined: 23/11/2005
Sorry, but for anyone interested i believe that the DC of KoH is on Film4 on Monday at 9. It goes on til 12.30 so it must be the DC. Sorry Homer, for reverting back to KoH when you have just put a new review up.

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Post #: 221
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 30/4/2008 8:39:08 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield


The first two images we see, either side of the title, and the information that this is based on a true story, are representative of the two sides of Frank Lucas. The first thing we see Frank do is douse a man tied to a chair, with fuel, set him on fire, watch him burn screaming for a few seconds, before unloading his clip into his head. All this while watched by his friend and mentor, Bumpy Johnson. In the second, we see Bumpy handing out Thanksgiving turkeys in Harlem, gesturing to Frank to come and help. This oxymoronic imagery perfectly demonstrates why Frank becomes such a successful figure, and why that success is found in the illegal world of drug-trafficking.

Contrasting this family-secured, confident young black man, is Richie Roberts a too-honest cop in a world of bent cops. A man whose marriage is falling apart, and who is still trying to become an attorney through night class. Made a pariah by simply handing in nearly $1,000,000 in untraceable cash - seemingly too honest, and so apparently more bent that anyone else - he is excluded, and eventually reassigned to head his own unit, away from any police stations, chasing the big dealers in the drug-trafficking underworld.

In one sense, this is a story we have seen before. The rise and fall of a mob boss has been told before, and been told better. The Godfather, Goodfellas. These are pinnacles of the genre and, if you excuse the pun, are untouchable. However, in another sense, this is a completely new story, albeit one that actually happened. Sonny Corleone never got down and dirty and went directly to the source of his industry like Frank Lucas sailing up a river in South West Asia. Henry Hill's story never followed a cop. No, these genre films were all about the gangster. Here, however, to mirror the rise and fall of Frank Lucas, we have the fall and rise of Richie Roberts. As his marriage disintegrates, his friends exclude him, or become junkies, as he reaches the nadir of his career, he's handed a lifeline and starts to investigate the drug-world. Here he finds some sense of personal justification, a realisation of who he is. He's certainly not as strong a character as Frank Lucas, nor is he painted as such. Nevertheless, there is a sense that they are evenly matched when finally they meet, even if that is solely because of the actors themselves.

The music in the film is notable. The use of Across 110th Street may be memorably used in Jackie Brown, but Tarantino doesn't own the rights, and the use of the song here is fully justifiable, as it accompanies a montage as we watch the heroin from the source, through shipment, distribution, sale, and finally to the junkies at the end.

As a genre film, it's a respectable addition to a genre that is as riddled with absolute gems, as the average corpse found in those films. As a Ridley Scott Film, it's a worthy entry to the canon and certainly resides in the top half of his career's work.


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Post #: 222
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 30/4/2008 8:58:39 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield


So, there we have it. 17 films: 28 years.

Historical Dramas - 5
War - 2 (I'm including G.I. Jane)
Science Fiction - 2
Comedy - 2
Thriller - 2
Drama - 2
Horror - 1
Fantasy - 1

Scott himself has been quoted as saying that he is a creator of worlds. Whether these worlds are in our past or our future is not important, and the genre breakdown reaffirms that fact. This is a man who has tackled nearly every genre, to varying degrees of success, but always makes his films look gorgeous. Is he getting better? Well, this is a difficult question because his two strongest films, and two of my favourite films ever, are his second and third films. That being said, with the exception of A Good Year and possibly Hannibal, he's had a streak of brilliant films since Gladiator. This definitely makes the 00s his best decade in terms of overall quantity of quality output.

I don't need to talk about his career high. For me that is Blade Runner - the pinnacle of science-fiction cinema, and a phenomenal achievement. His career low? Well, I'd have to say the film that came a decade after his best film - 1492 is the only film of his that I really didn't enjoy watching, and I think that came over in the review. It's odd, because it has had on average stronger reviews than many of his supposed 'flops'. Nevertheless, for me it represents the nadir of his career.

Later this year we have another Scott-Crowe collaboration with Body Of Lies, which looks promising. More appetite-whettingly, we have Nottingham scheduled for a 2009 release. Not only does this have the tantalising prospect of rewriting the Robin Hood mythology, but it is also set shortly after the events of Kingdom of Heaven and the idea of some sort of film linkage is appealing. Finally, on the distant horizon is Blood Meridian. I haven't read much about this project, but the formula of Scott + Modern Western + Cormac MacCarthy is pant-wettingly good. He's never done a Western, and until the end of last year I wasn't overly bothered with that fact. However, with the trio of fantastic Westerns released recently, the prospects are good.

Well, it's been a sporadic few months. Apologies for the huge gaps between some reviews as other aspects of my life interfered. It's been a great way of appraising a career, and I highly recommend it as a way of devouring a particular director. You not only get a wide range of genres hopefully, but you also get a better sense of a development of style, a refining and honing of skills.

As a side-note, I think I will still do the Kubrick list. He is a director who constantly fascinates me, so I'll be doing the list. Watch this space!


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Post #: 223
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 30/4/2008 9:59:28 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
Kudos on a brilliant list, dude. I joined late (I've only very recently become a fan of Ridley Scott), but I caught up quick. Your writing was brilliant and not one review was below standard. I never really had an urge to see American Gangster, but your review has got me curious. I look forward to your Kubrick list and, if you're still game, working on it with you.

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RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 1/5/2008 6:39:48 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77713
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
Congratulations Homer, it's been a pleasure following you on this odyssey. Nice to see some praise for the maligned A Good Year and your KoH review pretty much sums up everything I think about the film (although much more eloquently than I could ever hope to put it). Looking forward to your next list

< Message edited by Gimli The Dwarf -- 1/5/2008 7:49:14 AM >


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RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 1/5/2008 9:35:05 AM   
Vitamin F

 

Posts: 610
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: Norn Ireland, so it is
 
A great thread, sir.
A good inspiration to get me to watch the Scott films I've avoided/missed.

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Post #: 226
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 1/5/2008 3:08:33 PM   
shool


Posts: 10076
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
Excellent work Homer. A great piece of work and a fantastic list. I've enjoyed following and you have persuaded me to go and check out some og Scotts work that I had missed and previously had no interest in seeing.

Watched the final cut of Blade runner last night. Was truly excellent and a superior finish to the film, I'm glad I invested in the DVD.




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Post #: 227
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 1/5/2008 3:12:36 PM   
swordsandsandals


Posts: 12571
Joined: 6/1/2006
From: A magical forest
Really great list Homer, I've enjoyed reading them all. How about an order, like how you would place them all. Also, A Good Year looks quite good, I may give it a try some time. Roll on Nottingham is all I can say. Out of his films I have seen.

Blade Runner - 8/10
Gladiator - 10/10
Kingdom of Heaven - I'd have to see the DC, but from what I remember of TC it was around 6/10
Black Hawk Down - 7/10

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Post #: 228
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 1/5/2008 3:17:19 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8533
Joined: 13/4/2006
A very well done Homer.  While I can't agree with all the reviews, they were all very well written and totally fair.  As it is Ridley is is one of the most talented and iconic Filmmakers working in Hollywood and has created a number of classics thoughout his career with hopefully more still to come, and thanks everyone for info on the Directors Cut of KOH I will watch it on Monday on FilmFour and report it back. 

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Post #: 229
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 1/5/2008 3:25:44 PM   
shool


Posts: 10076
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
My Ratings would be as follows off the top of my head.

Blade Runner - 10/10
Alien - 10/10
Gladiator - 10/10
Thelma and Louise - 8/10
Kingdom of Heaven TC - 7/10
Black Hawk down - 7/10
GI Jane - 6/10
Matchstick Men - 6/10
Hannibal - 4/10






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Post #: 230
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 1/5/2008 3:31:45 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8533
Joined: 13/4/2006
Hannibal wasn't that bad, the script was a mess but i felt Scott bought a unique Visral style epscially to the scenes shot in Rome.  Plus Moore was just as good as Forster was.

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Post #: 231
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 1/5/2008 3:38:53 PM   
shool


Posts: 10076
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
I didnt like it sorry.


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Post #: 232
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 1/5/2008 5:24:29 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
quote:

ORIGINAL: ElephantBoy

Plus Moore was just as good as Forster was.


*spits out coffee*

What?!??!?!

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Post #: 233
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 2/5/2008 8:36:57 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
even I don't think that Julianne Moore was as good as Foster!

Thanks for the kind comments!

A list, eh? ok.

Well, in reverse order:


17. 1492 Conquest of Paradise
16. White Squall
15. G.I. Jane
14. Hannibal
13. A Good Year
12. Someone To Watch Over Me
11. Legend
10. Black Rain
09. American Gangster
08. Black Hawk Down
07. Matchstick Men
06. The Duellists
05. Thelma & Louise
04. Gladiator
03. Kingdom of Heaven (DC)
02. Alien
01. Blade Runner


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Post #: 234
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 2/5/2008 10:47:07 AM   
Mr E


Posts: 1667
Joined: 14/10/2005
Great thread Homer, well done!

Here's my list of faves, in order:

  1. Alien
  2. Blade Runner
  3. Gladiator
  4. The Duellists
  5. Legend
  6. Kingdom Of Heaven (DC)
  7. Thelma and Louise
  8. Matchstick Men
  9. Black Hawk Down
  10. Black Rain
  11. Hannibal
  12. GI Jane

Still need to see the rest.

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Post #: 235
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 2/5/2008 7:04:19 PM   
Kadaj


Posts: 1299
Joined: 30/9/2005
It's really encouraging to see such effort and passion in your posts, and the enjoyment so many have gotten from this constant and well-written thread. You've even given me enthusiam to write a similar thread such is the fact that it's not as straining to write 'Director Catalogue' so to speak,rather than keeping up-to-date with ever changing Top 50 lists. Anyway bravo sir, bravo.

Next from Kadaj:

 
The Complete Works of Eli Roth. . . . . 

< Message edited by Kadaj -- 2/5/2008 7:07:52 PM >

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Post #: 236
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 2/5/2008 7:26:26 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Cheers! I'm glad folk have enjoyed it - it's certainly a great way of moving through a director, whether you're familiar with them, or whether you want to do an exhaustive look at their career. Some good choices would be David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, Peter Jackson... but anyone undertaking a Complete Woody Allen, good luck to them, simply for the sheer number of films he's directed! 




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Post #: 237
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 3/5/2008 10:20:49 AM   
jamesbondguy


Posts: 6238
Joined: 6/1/2007
From: The Village Green
quote:

ORIGINAL: homersimpson_esq

Cheers! I'm glad folk have enjoyed it - it's certainly a great way of moving through a director, whether you're familiar with them, or whether you want to do an exhaustive look at their career. Some good choices would be David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, Peter Jackson... but anyone undertaking a Complete Woody Allen, good luck to them, simply for the sheer number of films he's directed! 




I'm actually thinking about doing that one after my Truffaut one wraps up.

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Post #: 238
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 3/5/2008 10:24:34 AM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8533
Joined: 13/4/2006
Well you know who did think Moore was just as good as Jodie? 
Barry Norman!  So you know me and Baz are like that  
And by the way I don't rate Hannibal too highly all I was saying is it does have it's good points and was slightly overlooked at the time.  And as we know it was all down hill from there.

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Post #: 239
RE: The Complete Ridley Scott - 5/5/2008 4:03:22 AM   
dracovir


Posts: 1546
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Wolverhampton, England
Ouchies, I miss a week and three new reviews!  (By the way, blame a mixture of Virgin Media sucking balls when it comes to running a viable ISP and GTA IV addiction for my tardiness).

I've not seen A Good Year or American Gangster so I'll hold off on commenting on those, and I think I've said a ton about KoH already on this thread - an extremely great film, however I'd still place Gladiator above KoH DC in terms of cinematic greatness and perfection.

Great set of reviews Homey, and I will have to work on wathcing the outstanding Scott films I have to watch: White Squall, GI Jane, American Gangster, A Good Year and Matchstick Men, however that may take me some time as I'm sort of out of means at present.

Overall, Ridley Scott is my favourite director currently working, and I'd need to seriously think about not listing him as my favourite of all time.  Stylish and artistic, he is one of the few film-makers for whom you could watch a small part of any of his films and recognise it as his - even the closest knock-offs fail to nail his style.  Here's looking forward to the films he has in development at present!

PS.  If anyone needs any more Ridley Scott work to watch, then look out for:

RKO 281 - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120801/ a made-for-tv film dramatisatising the making of Citizen Kane

and

The Hunger - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118346/ a two-season TV series from brothers Ridley and Tony as well as Ridley's son Jake Scott, a strange anthology of weird (and often horrific) tales about the darker side of Human nature.


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Post #: 240
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