ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Scream 4 (2011)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Wes Craven

Starring:
Neve Campbell/Sydney
David Arquette/Dewey
Emma Roberts/Jill
Hayden Panettiere/Kirby
PLOT-CRUNCH
Silly Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell)… gal never learns. She decides to return to her home town of Woodsboro to push a book she wrote ON the 15th anniversary of the initial Woodsboro murders. Talk about AWFUL TIMING and a WORSE idea. She’s just ASKING for it! And yup, she f*cking gets it! Ghostface starts whacking peeps upon her arrival and poor old Syd and crew has to deal with the happy-go-stab-stab loony… AGAIN!
THE LOWDOWN

My "warm up" steps in writing my SCREAM 4 review were:

-Re-read my reviews of SCREAM 1-2-3 to re-familiarize myself as to how I felt about the original trilogy.
-Kill time on Facebook and Twitter cause I’m procrastinating.
-Have a huge cup of coffee.
-Open up the SCREAM 4 Wiki and IMDb pages for cast and crew references.
-Slap on the new SUM 41 album SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER (it was a coincidence that the word SCREAM was in the title BTW) as back-up music, never really dug them, but this album is dope.
-Should I answer my e-mails before diving into this?
-All right enough f*cking around, let’s write this shit.

It was a matter of time before this happened and now is the time yall! As we all know the original SCREAM (1996) gave the horror genre a much needed shot of Roids in the arse and brought it back to the big times after its early to mid 90's slumber. It helped horror into the new Millennium on a positive streak and nobody has looked back ever since. The sequels, although uneven in terms of quality made a shit load of che and ching and now that the SAW franchise has ran out of brains and traps; its time to dust off the old Ghostface mask and bring SCREAM back and hey, I’m all for it! So say hello to my little friend: SCREAM 4!

Before I dive into my thoughts as to this new entry; let me give ya my stance on the SCREAM films so ya know here I am coming from. I worshipped and still worship the original to this day; I was so-so on Part “Scoobi-Do” 2 and Part 3 was a tad more entertaining than the second one for me (I know I’m in the minority but that’s how I felt... what can ya do). I haven’t seen the sequels since I killed them on the big screen, so who knows, my opinion may have changed since then (happens a lot) but for now that’s what I got. So where does SCREAM 4 fit in all of this? Well to me, it’s the best SCREAM sequel yet! Look I can’t speak from the new audiences point of view who are cherries to this franchise, I can only speak from mine and I got to say it, just being thrown into the SCREAM universe once again was a freaking blast. I missed Woodsboro, Sidney, Dewy and Gale, missed Ghostface's zany phone calls, the clever dialogue and that booming score that kicks in when they crane shot down to introduce a setting. And SCREAM 4 gave me all of that and then some! It felt like I was re-visiting an old friend, one that I used to bang on all fours in her mother’s bed. Ya know, that kind of friend. So yeah, nostalgia definitely lent a hand in making this one a groovy watch for me. Do with that what you will.

Now, where the first flick deconstructed slasher movies in general, the second took on sequels and the third tackled trilogies; this fourth instalment took a stab at reboots/remakes (with varied success more on that below) and of course the originals that gave birth to them. There was a lot to love in SCREAM 4: the classic SCREAM opening was cranked up 3 notches (damn cool, talk about starting a movie with a bang), the dialogue often hit the mark in its humorous and self referential cleverness (Panettiere's listing of remakes was gold and also kind of sad, has there been so many, come on Hollywood...pathetic...), the teenage cast felt genuine (it sure helped that most of the teen roles were played by real teens) with the natural Emma Roberts and charismatic Hayden Panettiere standing out (looks and performance wise) and the older players came through as well. Dewey and Gale haven’t changed a bit and although Sidney was a tad older, she was still the strong and resourceful Sid we all love. You wouldn't think that 11 years or so have passed since SCREAM 3 as David Arquette, Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox came off as very comfortable and convincing in their roles. Loved them and it was a treat to see the old gang go at it again. This was an ideal “please the old fans”, “introduce the Ghostface love to new ones” affair. Quite the juggling act and the movie winged it. Speaking of stabbing; Ghostface woke up on the wrong side of the coffin once more here. The masked one went ape-shit with the grisly human laundry and thankfully Craven hasn’t lost his touch in terms of generating tension, making ya jump and delivering gory punch lines. Furthermore; the pace was tight, the takes on the new technology on the ball (Facebook, YouTube etc.), we had a couple of fun cameos (dug the Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell bit the most), a strong supporting cast (Marley Shelton was simply adorable, Alison Brie was deliciously annoying while funny man Anthony Anderson and oddball Rory Culkin nailed their roles), a handful of nifty plot twists and I dug playing the “spot the references to the original” game.

On the dull side of the blade; my peeves with SCREAM 4 were mostly on a screenplay level. I mean we all know that there was some drama with original screenwriter Kevin Williamson (writer of Part 1 and 2) being given the boot to make way for Ethan Kruger (writer of Part 3) on some re-writes. Craven even said this in one interview about the script process: “I always prided myself on coming to the set with a shot list. But quite often we’d literally get pages the night before, sometimes the day of. That part was very stressful.” Not an ideal way to make a movie (classic Weinsteins though)…and it kinda showed. Although SCREAM 4 was for me more enjoyable than part 2 and 3; on paper, it had a weaker script. The story was kind of one note, even for a SCREAM opus, the whodunit angle was unfortunately underplayed hence I wasn’t playing guess who the killer is (or killers) much with this one (the flick just didn’t prompt me to) and the red herrings were not ample enough. And was I alone in thinking that there was so much more to be done with the “reboot/remake” thematic? Apart from a couple of money monologues; the flick didn’t really run with it. It didn't incorporate these new rules into its narrative enough for my liking. At the end of the kill this one was more akin to a basic slasher with characters doing dumb moves, a slew of stalk and kill sequences strung together by a fly initial premise and some efficient humor tossed in here and there. Which is all good, I just expect more slyness from a SCREAM movie at this point. But hey, that’s just me and last I checked, wtf do I know!  Lastly, the way the killer (or is it killers, I won't tell) was revealed kind of came out of left field and underwhelmed me at first. For some reason I thought the story would unfold further, that it had more to say, but no dice, boom killer (or killers) is revealed... just felt premature. Once I “went with it” though and the movie took its warped shenanigans further, all was well in my neck of hell. I actually screamed "f*ck yeah" at the final moments of the movie, good times!

All in all SCREAM 4 made for quite the thrill ride! It won't cure jock itch but if its easy fun times you're craving... bend it over and get all up in there! It's a perfect movie to see with a bunch of friends and a couple of Brewskies in ya. It should please the fans of the original trilogy and send the SCREAM virgins to Netflix to tap the first film and its kin. Not sure where they can go from here in terms of a SCREAM 5 and beyond story wise (I hear they may happen); but hey if money talks, bullshit will walk. With that, if they’re as enjoyable as this one; all f*cking good! Count me in!

GORE
We get a f*ck load of stabbings (sometimes in the oddest of places...nice), guts ripped out and bullet wounds. Not too overly gory but brutal and cruel enough to satisfy the psycho in all of us.
T & A
Lots of chicks in bras and some cleavage action (thanks Panettiere, they looked great); didn't go further than that.
BOTTOM LINE
SCREAM 4 was a really fun and accepted (by me anyways) apology by Mr. Craven for the letdown that was My Soul to Take. The flick was a fast paced, well cast/acted and rousing sequel/quasi reboot that competently addressed the old and cunningly made way for the new. Laughs, suspense, mean spirited kills, slick plot twists and enough cleavage to make ya reach out for a 10 spot and ask for a lap dance; I was a happy mofo. Bummer that I kept feeling the story could have had more meat to it, that the incorporation of its "remakes" theme could’ve gone further within the narrative and that the whodunit should’ve messed with my noggin more; but on the whole, twas good slash-slash times. I laughed, jumped, scratched my balls, I yelled, ... all that matters. And yup, it definitely put me in the mood to watch the original trilogy again, back to back no less, thou shall be done! Ghostface is back! Recognize!
BULL'S EYE
The Weinstein Company announced Scream 4 in July 2008. Craven said he might do it if the script was good.

Wes Craven has a cameo in the film. Did ya see him?

Actor Roger L. Jackson is the voice of Ghostface.

Ashley Greene was considered for Emma Roberts role.

I'd kill to read Kevin Williamson's un-touched original screenplay.
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3:50PM on 08/25/2011

Scream 4: Review

Scream 4 is an alright film. There were very good stab scenes in the film and the story can be interesting at some stages. The problems with this film is the movie trys to be way too funny but it dosent reach it goals and as much as it does improve from the third one, it stills dosent reach the goal that 1 and 2 did. I would recommend this film to be a rental.
Scream 4 is an alright film. There were very good stab scenes in the film and the story can be interesting at some stages. The problems with this film is the movie trys to be way too funny but it dosent reach it goals and as much as it does improve from the third one, it stills dosent reach the goal that 1 and 2 did. I would recommend this film to be a rental.
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12:22AM on 07/03/2011

EDITED: ***SPOILERS IN THIS***

actually, i just took em out and re-edited it. **

i despised this movie. i hated the new characters, thought the story was silly and boring, the action and kills were lame, and i couldn't take the killer even remotely seriously as the unstoppable killer. terrible film.
actually, i just took em out and re-edited it. **

i despised this movie. i hated the new characters, thought the story was silly and boring, the action and kills were lame, and i couldn't take the killer even remotely seriously as the unstoppable killer. terrible film.
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12:38AM on 04/30/2011

Welcome Home Sidney

It felt good to be back in Woodsboro. It's not always perfect, but it was always entertaining as hell, which is why i went with 3.5 instead of a 3. (Struggled between the two) It was fast-paced, had better developed characters than the other sequels, and way to many references to the first 3 films to spot in one viewing. That kept me glued to the screen for fear that i might miss something. The scares were there, and there were enough cute ladies to go around for 2 slasher flicks. I've seen it
It felt good to be back in Woodsboro. It's not always perfect, but it was always entertaining as hell, which is why i went with 3.5 instead of a 3. (Struggled between the two) It was fast-paced, had better developed characters than the other sequels, and way to many references to the first 3 films to spot in one viewing. That kept me glued to the screen for fear that i might miss something. The scares were there, and there were enough cute ladies to go around for 2 slasher flicks. I've seen it twice and loved it on both viewings. They could have played up the remake theme more (at least earlier in the film, bc the last 40 minutes or so definitely brought it) but they still did enough with it to give the movie that self-refferential "bite" that made Scream so great when it premiered.
Arrow's rewiew is pretty well spot-on.. the only thing I would dissagree with him on is that "the red herrings were not ample enough." Maybe he meant that they weren't effective enough, bc i spotted them everywhere. I found reasons to suspect just about everyone in this flick. That doesn't mean that I bought all of it, but it was definitely there. Great review and very good movie.
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11:19AM on 04/21/2011
Didn't dig the movie so much, but DAMN Neve's still got it. No one can argue that.
Didn't dig the movie so much, but DAMN Neve's still got it. No one can argue that.
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1:42AM on 04/18/2011

Effin' loved it!

Huge Scream fan here (hey, it's the film that got me into horror) and let me just say this Scream fan had a huge smile on his face from beginning to end! It had the Scream feeling, the loveable characters as always (well, I'll always love Hayden though), good laughs and nicely done kill scenes! I think another viewing shall be in order, yeah I loved it that much!
Huge Scream fan here (hey, it's the film that got me into horror) and let me just say this Scream fan had a huge smile on his face from beginning to end! It had the Scream feeling, the loveable characters as always (well, I'll always love Hayden though), good laughs and nicely done kill scenes! I think another viewing shall be in order, yeah I loved it that much!
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+1
4:54PM on 04/17/2011

just back from seeing it.....

loved it! Really loved the story. I had guessed one killer (the biggest reveal) from the level of publicity released.
My main quibble is the amount missing from the trailers/publicity that ended up not being in the actual movie. A character or 2 could've done with a little bit more development. Plus if Brittany Robertson and Alison Brie reshot scenes to make them creepier/more intense I failed to see it in their final scenes.
The ending rocked. I havent been so on edge in a long time!
loved it! Really loved the story. I had guessed one killer (the biggest reveal) from the level of publicity released.
My main quibble is the amount missing from the trailers/publicity that ended up not being in the actual movie. A character or 2 could've done with a little bit more development. Plus if Brittany Robertson and Alison Brie reshot scenes to make them creepier/more intense I failed to see it in their final scenes.
The ending rocked. I havent been so on edge in a long time! Really happy with it!
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1:45PM on 04/16/2011

Best sequel yet

I agree - best sequel yet! I truly loved this film! The opening was clever and badass (although it could have been scarier) but it was a great opening to the film. It was great to see Sidney, Gale, and Dewey again and they were all likable and they each still had it. The actors all brought it home with gusto!
The suspense was there and so were the awesome and inventive death scenes. The gore was even upped and was brutal as fuck! The new cast of teens were all likable and well acted
I agree - best sequel yet! I truly loved this film! The opening was clever and badass (although it could have been scarier) but it was a great opening to the film. It was great to see Sidney, Gale, and Dewey again and they were all likable and they each still had it. The actors all brought it home with gusto!
The suspense was there and so were the awesome and inventive death scenes. The gore was even upped and was brutal as fuck! The new cast of teens were all likable and well acted and really meshed well with the veterans of this series. Kirby was my favorite, a feisty horror savvy girl that hands down gets the best scene of the film. Her listing of remakes is horror cinematic gold!
My favorite aspect of the film - it is really just a HATE letter against all those unnecessary remakes that are ruining our beloved genre. That right there, the film gets an okay in my book. But the likable characters and added suspense and the great dialogue creates a great film!
The finale literally had my mouth drop open! I was honestly surprised and I have to say to do that was kind of ballsy for a mainstream Hollywood horror flick.
Flaws: I have a few. First of all, they could have actually done more with the remake angle in my opinion. Not a biggie, but there was more potential. Plus the chase scenes were too short for my liking. The suspense was there, but I wanted more/longer chases. They ended way too fast. Sidney's stalk on the roof was nifty though.
My biggest gripe was that the final ten minutes or so fell a bit apart. There was an epilogue in a hospital that felt tacked on and was WAY too cheesy for my liking. It just clashed with the overall tone of the rest of the film in my opinion...but it was okay cause Sidney has one BADASS line that made it worthwhile!!!

This isn't the classic the original was, but it doesn't embarrass it either. I say go see this film. It isn't high art but it is a clever slasher film with great death scenes, some nice funny/clever dialogue, and a great finale!
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12:04PM on 04/16/2011

I never got Arrow's Scream 2 hate

To call Scream 2 "Scoobi-do" over part 3 is bananas! Part 3's gore was toned down to nothing, it was goofy as hell, the finale basically took place in a creepy mansion with hidden bookshelf doors and shit..lol..the fucking killer even comes out with a spooky casper the ghost sheet over his head a few times! If that doesn't scream "I would've got away with it if it wasn't for you medling kids!" I don't know what does!
To call Scream 2 "Scoobi-do" over part 3 is bananas! Part 3's gore was toned down to nothing, it was goofy as hell, the finale basically took place in a creepy mansion with hidden bookshelf doors and shit..lol..the fucking killer even comes out with a spooky casper the ghost sheet over his head a few times! If that doesn't scream "I would've got away with it if it wasn't for you medling kids!" I don't know what does!
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9:46PM on 04/15/2011

Campbell and Cox are still hot

My feelings on this franchise are different than most (I think Scream 1 & 2 are equal, 3 kinda sucks). I liked 4 though, thought it was fun and wildly entertaining. Look forward to adding it to my collection.
My feelings on this franchise are different than most (I think Scream 1 & 2 are equal, 3 kinda sucks). I liked 4 though, thought it was fun and wildly entertaining. Look forward to adding it to my collection.
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9:00PM on 04/15/2011
I just saw Scream 4 earlier today and had a freaking blast with it!

Brutal kills, good story, (as somewhat paper thin as it was) and just seeing Ghostface in action again was worth the ticket price.

The film also threw several twists my way and kept me guessing as to the killer/killers' identity/identities. Props to them for that.

Best sequel yet (and I'm a guy who freaking LOVED Scream 3!) and I can only hope for more. I do agree with you, Arrow, as to where else they could take
I just saw Scream 4 earlier today and had a freaking blast with it!

Brutal kills, good story, (as somewhat paper thin as it was) and just seeing Ghostface in action again was worth the ticket price.

The film also threw several twists my way and kept me guessing as to the killer/killers' identity/identities. Props to them for that.

Best sequel yet (and I'm a guy who freaking LOVED Scream 3!) and I can only hope for more. I do agree with you, Arrow, as to where else they could take the story, but I'm sure they'll come up with something good.

Bring on Scream 5!!
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2:28PM on 04/15/2011

Boring and suspenseless

Just came from Scream 4 and liked it far less. I thought it reeked of "been there done that" and was boring and predictable. It lacked the scares, suspense and cleverness of the first Scream classic and was basically what it mocked at times, a dull retread. Sad this is all they could come up with after 10 years.
Just came from Scream 4 and liked it far less. I thought it reeked of "been there done that" and was boring and predictable. It lacked the scares, suspense and cleverness of the first Scream classic and was basically what it mocked at times, a dull retread. Sad this is all they could come up with after 10 years.
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12:56PM on 04/15/2011
Think the review is pretty spot on my man. I had a blast with it. It brought back the hilarity of the first one and had my ass giddy laving the theater. Me and my friends had no clue who the killer or killers were so i thought the whodunit aspect was damn good!!
Think the review is pretty spot on my man. I had a blast with it. It brought back the hilarity of the first one and had my ass giddy laving the theater. Me and my friends had no clue who the killer or killers were so i thought the whodunit aspect was damn good!!
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11:29AM on 04/15/2011
Even better than I expected! It was a fun, bloody, surprising rollercoaster ride and even though I spoiled myself for who the killer (or killers) was/were, the final twenty minutes or so were very exciting.
Even better than I expected! It was a fun, bloody, surprising rollercoaster ride and even though I spoiled myself for who the killer (or killers) was/were, the final twenty minutes or so were very exciting.
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9:19AM on 04/15/2011
No worries man, like I say at least once day: to each his own! I had a blast! Got what I expected out of a SCREAM 4. Bummer you didn't dig it...
No worries man, like I say at least once day: to each his own! I had a blast! Got what I expected out of a SCREAM 4. Bummer you didn't dig it...
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9:02AM on 04/15/2011
I wanted to like it. I really did, but it felt more like I was watching a Scary Movie sequel more than a Scream sequel. I love your site, and I'm usually right there with you on reviews, I just couldn't see what you saw with this one. I think everyone in the theater with me left feeling like they had just got punched in the nuts and robbed of $11.50.
I wanted to like it. I really did, but it felt more like I was watching a Scary Movie sequel more than a Scream sequel. I love your site, and I'm usually right there with you on reviews, I just couldn't see what you saw with this one. I think everyone in the theater with me left feeling like they had just got punched in the nuts and robbed of $11.50.
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8:17AM on 04/15/2011

@RBForrest

What was I thinking? I wasn't thinking man, its SCREAM 4, a cheeky slasher sequel, I was too busy having a good time with it. What were you thinking?
What was I thinking? I wasn't thinking man, its SCREAM 4, a cheeky slasher sequel, I was too busy having a good time with it. What were you thinking?
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2:17AM on 04/15/2011

OMG! What were you thinking!?

Scream 4 was garbage! Just got back from the midnight screening and aside from the two or three dialogues dealing with reboots/remakes, the dialogue was crap. The killings were absolutely lame and unimaginative, and the characters had absolutely no character. That brings us to the reveal and final reason for the killings which was just overacted and extremely retarded. To be honest I don't know if this was better than My Soul to Take. It was cheesy and just plain bad...neither in a good way.
Scream 4 was garbage! Just got back from the midnight screening and aside from the two or three dialogues dealing with reboots/remakes, the dialogue was crap. The killings were absolutely lame and unimaginative, and the characters had absolutely no character. That brings us to the reveal and final reason for the killings which was just overacted and extremely retarded. To be honest I don't know if this was better than My Soul to Take. It was cheesy and just plain bad...neither in a good way. Actually this movie is basically the movie 'Stab' they keep making fun of in the movie. Play drinking games to this one kiddies cause its the only way you'll have fun with Scream 4.
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3:17PM on 04/14/2011
So glad you liked it, Arrow. I remember being a kid and googling Scream 3 when it was coming out and coming across your review, which is how I discovered your site. So it makes me feel like a kid again reading this review. I'm seeing it tonight at midnight, I'm so pumped!
So glad you liked it, Arrow. I remember being a kid and googling Scream 3 when it was coming out and coming across your review, which is how I discovered your site. So it makes me feel like a kid again reading this review. I'm seeing it tonight at midnight, I'm so pumped!
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+0
6:57PM on 04/13/2011

I SCREAM , YOU SCREAM , WE ALL SCREAM ....

Masterful job, my friend . I've been kinda hesitant to get too amped about the new entry(ies?)but the stills , clips and trailers, and now you're great review have me chomping at the bit, pumped for this badboy !!
Masterful job, my friend . I've been kinda hesitant to get too amped about the new entry(ies?)but the stills , clips and trailers, and now you're great review have me chomping at the bit, pumped for this badboy !!
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+0
4:11PM on 04/13/2011

Awesome review

Dang Arrow! I didn't think I could be more pumped for this movie but your review did just that for me. Agree with WalkAway was great review without giving anything away. Am glad also to hear some of my fave touches like the booming score kickin in at the crane shot are present.
Seeing this Sunday and I can't wait! I'm such a huge Scream fan.
On another note I'd be interested if you ever rewatch 2 and 3 to see if your opinion has changed. That's alot years since you last watched them. I
Dang Arrow! I didn't think I could be more pumped for this movie but your review did just that for me. Agree with WalkAway was great review without giving anything away. Am glad also to hear some of my fave touches like the booming score kickin in at the crane shot are present.
Seeing this Sunday and I can't wait! I'm such a huge Scream fan.
On another note I'd be interested if you ever rewatch 2 and 3 to see if your opinion has changed. That's alot years since you last watched them. I know you prefered 3 but it's interesting to see a lot of people defend it now.
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8:16AM on 04/13/2011
Or maybe it doesn't byobombs. :) I just tweaked my review to make that clearer.
Or maybe it doesn't byobombs. :) I just tweaked my review to make that clearer.
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2:28AM on 04/13/2011

Number of Killers

I still want to see this film, but your article technically gives away the number of killers, which could be a surprise.
I still want to see this film, but your article technically gives away the number of killers, which could be a surprise.
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+0
6:30PM on 04/11/2011

Nice Review

Looking forward to catching the flick at a midnight release on Thursday. Nice choice on the Screaming Bloody Murder album too
Looking forward to catching the flick at a midnight release on Thursday. Nice choice on the Screaming Bloody Murder album too
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5:47PM on 04/11/2011
Love this review! Makes me want to see the movie without giving anything away.
Love this review! Makes me want to see the movie without giving anything away.
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