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Die Hard 6 screenwriter shares some details on how he is bringing John McClane back to basics

Nov. 20, 2013by:

If we can agree on one thing about the last two DIE HARD movies, LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD and A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD, it is that they are as far away from being DIE HARD movies as possible. Even so, the films grossed enough to warrant a sixth entry in the series. The currently titled DIE HARDEST is going to break with the pattern of the last three films and tell an original story not co-opted from an in development screenplay that has no relation to the DIE HARD franchise.

Ben Trebilcook is currently the writer working on DIE HARD 6 and he sat down with What Culture to shed some light on where he will be taking John McClane on his next adventure. He is a self proclaimed DIE HARD fanatic and was even involved in a proposed DIE HARD television series to be called MCCLANE or DIE HARD 24/7 that never took off. We have heard rumblings that the next movie would be set in Japan, but before you freak out, hear what Trebilcook is, well, cooking.

Hmm, what can I say? What can I say? What am I allowed to say? OK, without spoiling too much, I can say that McClane is invited to Tokyo by the Nakatomi Corporation to be commended for his bravery and efforts in saving 36 lives, celebrating this on the 30th anniversary of the Naktatomi Hostage Crisis. Its by no means BLACK RAIN. Perhaps has a slight RISING SUN type tone. Its also not a double-act buddy-buddy story. McClane began on his own and should end on his own. Of course hes had assistance in various guises, aiding him in his ventures; but its not Lethal Weapon or a Jackie Chan film.

Trebilcook goes on into further detail about the plot and where he is taking Bruce Willis in the story. The key is that it sounds like a return to the basics that made DIE HARD so good and not an over the top schlockfest that the last two movies became. He even showed it to an industry friend who had good things to say.

As a fan? A well known Hollywood director pal of mine is a massive Die Hard fan. Huge. He read it and adored it. Having him alone read it and say he liked it was good enough, but saying it ticked so many fan-boxes for him and made him smile and was a keen page-turner, well, if the script doesnt go anywhere, his comments were winter fuel on these cold, dark, London nights. For me, as a fan, familiarity. Id be saying Yes! throughout particular scenes and smiling fondly with certain lines of dialogue. Some insane action. Ive tied a lot of things together.

This is all well and good, but Trebilcook goes out of his way to say this is not a buddy action movie and yet references potential room for Samuel L. Jackson to return as Zeus. Either way this goes, DIE HARD 6 has a long road to win back fans who felt slighted by the recent entries in the series and I truly hope that this draft is as good as the writer thinks it is. For all of our sakes.

Source: What Culture

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9:55AM on 11/22/2013
The poster comments about Samuel L Jackson returning... but there are no comments at all in the quotes from Trebilcook to show this... Did I miss something?
The poster comments about Samuel L Jackson returning... but there are no comments at all in the quotes from Trebilcook to show this... Did I miss something?
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3:28PM on 11/22/2013
You did. Read the full interview by following the link at the bottom of the article.
You did. Read the full interview by following the link at the bottom of the article.
4:23AM on 11/22/2013
Ben Trebilcook: "It's a great script that goes back to the basics of what made John McClane such a great character in the first place. It's a perfect end to the franchise."

Fox: "You know what would make this script even better?"

Ben Trebilcook: "What?"

Fox: "Dinosaurs!"

CUT TO:

DIE HARD: EXTINCTION
Ben Trebilcook: "It's a great script that goes back to the basics of what made John McClane such a great character in the first place. It's a perfect end to the franchise."

Fox: "You know what would make this script even better?"

Ben Trebilcook: "What?"

Fox: "Dinosaurs!"

CUT TO:

DIE HARD: EXTINCTION
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5:03PM on 11/21/2013
I watched the last one on dvd, and though I didn't hate it I felt it was the weakest in the series. I think John getting back to basics, and involving the Nakatomi Corporation is a good start. I've said it before, that I feel Bruce has played sooo many tough action types that he's starting not to be able to distinguish one character from another. This is sad, as playing John McClane is what made him an action star to begin with. He needs to grow out his hair, and dig deep to remember who John
I watched the last one on dvd, and though I didn't hate it I felt it was the weakest in the series. I think John getting back to basics, and involving the Nakatomi Corporation is a good start. I've said it before, that I feel Bruce has played sooo many tough action types that he's starting not to be able to distinguish one character from another. This is sad, as playing John McClane is what made him an action star to begin with. He needs to grow out his hair, and dig deep to remember who John McClane is and how to play him again. it's not entirely his fault though, as a great script and director goes a long way too.
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3:08PM on 11/21/2013
I keep getting excited for these movies and lately been let down so im not getting my hopes up... true die hard fans know how simple they want the character be, not a superhero but they've messed it up... my review of the last die hard was "its a typical average bruce willis action movie..... but not a die hard movie"
I keep getting excited for these movies and lately been let down so im not getting my hopes up... true die hard fans know how simple they want the character be, not a superhero but they've messed it up... my review of the last die hard was "its a typical average bruce willis action movie..... but not a die hard movie"
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+4
1:26PM on 11/21/2013
There are no Die Hard movies after With A Vengeance. 4 was trash, 5 looked worse. I won't see this either.
There are no Die Hard movies after With A Vengeance. 4 was trash, 5 looked worse. I won't see this either.
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12:17PM on 11/21/2013
I love the first three films and I do not hate Live Free or Die Hard but five just killed it for me, I wish I could say it does not exist but how can anybody forget that mass amount of plain shit? While this seems like an earnest attempt at making a Die Hard movie, I honestly do not think I want any more Die Hard (God Damn, I never thought I would say that). After the abysmal A Good Day to Die Hard, I think I simply do not want to see any more entries. It was painfully obvious the franchise
I love the first three films and I do not hate Live Free or Die Hard but five just killed it for me, I wish I could say it does not exist but how can anybody forget that mass amount of plain shit? While this seems like an earnest attempt at making a Die Hard movie, I honestly do not think I want any more Die Hard (God Damn, I never thought I would say that). After the abysmal A Good Day to Die Hard, I think I simply do not want to see any more entries. It was painfully obvious the franchise was tired and done. As big of a Bruce Willis fan as I am, I am done with seeing him in action movies. Plus his off-screen antics does not help either, it certainly does not give me any faith that he is willing to do something right and not just for a mere paycheck. That said the only thing that will peak my interest in Die Hardest is if there is somebody that has some real clout behind the script and camera. This guy has a good idea going but he gives me no reason to be excited, his history and filmography (or lack there of) clearly is against him. I do not think I can excited about another Die Hard unless we get John Mctiernan back, and I do not know if that will ever happen.
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9:16AM on 11/21/2013

Can't get any worse

Die hard 5 doesn't exsist as far as I'm concerned
Die hard 5 doesn't exsist as far as I'm concerned
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9:10AM on 11/21/2013

Die Hard. Eh?

Blow McClane's head off in Act 1.. but his body just keeps going. It JUST KEEPS GOING!
Die Hard!
Blow McClane's head off in Act 1.. but his body just keeps going. It JUST KEEPS GOING!
Die Hard!
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9:05AM on 11/21/2013

Die Hard. Eh?

Blow McClane's head off in Act 1.. but his body just keeps going. It JUST KEEPS GOING!
Die Hard!
Blow McClane's head off in Act 1.. but his body just keeps going. It JUST KEEPS GOING!
Die Hard!
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9:03AM on 11/21/2013

Die Hard. Eh?

Blow McClane's head off in Act 1.. but his body just keeps going. It JUST KEEPS GOING!
Die Hard!
Blow McClane's head off in Act 1.. but his body just keeps going. It JUST KEEPS GOING!
Die Hard!
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8:45AM on 11/21/2013

Hold on a minute...

Isn't this the same guy that claimed he (co)wrote MI:3, wrote a screenplay that Luc Besson was going to direct and he's been going on about Die Hard for like 10 years now?
Isn't this the same guy that claimed he (co)wrote MI:3, wrote a screenplay that Luc Besson was going to direct and he's been going on about Die Hard for like 10 years now?
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8:49AM on 11/21/2013
I just scrolled down through some of the previous comments and I see FILMADDICT has pointed out the same.
I just scrolled down through some of the previous comments and I see FILMADDICT has pointed out the same.
7:55AM on 11/21/2013

It's time for John McClane to retire

These are just payday films for Bruce Willis who appears to have lost any and all passion for his trade. Name the last good film he was inSin City?
These are just payday films for Bruce Willis who appears to have lost any and all passion for his trade. Name the last good film he was inSin City?
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10:24AM on 11/21/2013
Moonrise Kingdom. For action roles, yeah, Sin City.
Moonrise Kingdom. For action roles, yeah, Sin City.
3:57AM on 11/21/2013
A sarcastic Bruce Willis doesn't automatically make it Die Hard.
A sarcastic Bruce Willis doesn't automatically make it Die Hard.
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1:03AM on 11/21/2013
ya i just cant anymore and besides i thought bruce willis was tired of doing action movies he just phones it in the story could be great but bruce will just phone it in
ya i just cant anymore and besides i thought bruce willis was tired of doing action movies he just phones it in the story could be great but bruce will just phone it in
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12:36AM on 11/21/2013

Unless his Hollywood director pal is John McTiernan

I'm not interested. Other than that, I hope this guy reads Cracked.

[link]
I'm not interested. Other than that, I hope this guy reads Cracked.

[link]
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12:11AM on 11/21/2013
Keep it in America and bring back Reginald VelJohnson as Al and maybe this one stands a chance. I JUST watched Live Free or Die Hard 2 nights ago and while it felt really short, it was too long. What a POS movie! I knew it would be and it met that expectation...which it is not supposed to in this case.
Keep it in America and bring back Reginald VelJohnson as Al and maybe this one stands a chance. I JUST watched Live Free or Die Hard 2 nights ago and while it felt really short, it was too long. What a POS movie! I knew it would be and it met that expectation...which it is not supposed to in this case.
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8:49PM on 11/20/2013
When movies like Dredd, Air Force One, and Olympus Has Fallen have done Die Hard better than the latest Die Hard entries it's really time to give up
When movies like Dredd, Air Force One, and Olympus Has Fallen have done Die Hard better than the latest Die Hard entries it's really time to give up
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8:21PM on 11/20/2013
When he comes back from prison, I want to see John McTiernan direct DH6. Having made the two best movies in the series, he knows McClane better than anyone, including Willis.
When he comes back from prison, I want to see John McTiernan direct DH6. Having made the two best movies in the series, he knows McClane better than anyone, including Willis.
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8:17PM on 11/20/2013
Rising Sun is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Bad move invoking that when describing the tone of the film. Wesley Snipes and Connery were really awkwardly paired and even though director Philip Kaufman apparently wanted to remove the anti-Japanese bias of the book, it still ended up being really offensive.
Rising Sun is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Bad move invoking that when describing the tone of the film. Wesley Snipes and Connery were really awkwardly paired and even though director Philip Kaufman apparently wanted to remove the anti-Japanese bias of the book, it still ended up being really offensive.
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11:48PM on 11/20/2013
Considering the primary goal of the book was to point out why it was bad to give so many concessions to the Japanese companies that were buying up the US in the 80's and why... taking that subject out would take out about 90% of the plot. The pairing of the two might have been a little awkward, but it really wasn't that offensive. Mostly truthful... and this comment is coming from someone who lived in Japan for 5 years and can speak the language.
Considering the primary goal of the book was to point out why it was bad to give so many concessions to the Japanese companies that were buying up the US in the 80's and why... taking that subject out would take out about 90% of the plot. The pairing of the two might have been a little awkward, but it really wasn't that offensive. Mostly truthful... and this comment is coming from someone who lived in Japan for 5 years and can speak the language.
4:14AM on 11/21/2013
I don't know, it just really seemed to demonise the Japanese characters, particularly Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa's. I do get the climate at the time surrounding business dealings between Japanese and American companies and that was the landscape against which the story took place.
I don't know, it just really seemed to demonise the Japanese characters, particularly Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa's. I do get the climate at the time surrounding business dealings between Japanese and American companies and that was the landscape against which the story took place.
+7
6:54PM on 11/20/2013
Ooooh, I don't know, I recall really enjoying Die Hard 4 in the cinema. Haven't seen it since though...that Justin Long line about have you done this kind of thing before did crack me up at the time. I recently saw Die Hard 5 and it's true to say, it wasn't a memorable entry. See...I do have some measure of good taste ;o)
Ooooh, I don't know, I recall really enjoying Die Hard 4 in the cinema. Haven't seen it since though...that Justin Long line about have you done this kind of thing before did crack me up at the time. I recently saw Die Hard 5 and it's true to say, it wasn't a memorable entry. See...I do have some measure of good taste ;o)
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6:52PM on 11/20/2013
People giving this a bad rating are frankly fools. They are only doing it because the last two films weren't good. This guy want s to give us something that made the first three so good. Of course we first need to see if this officially moves forward, but if it does it will be the first real Die Hard since part 3, 18 years ago.
People giving this a bad rating are frankly fools. They are only doing it because the last two films weren't good. This guy want s to give us something that made the first three so good. Of course we first need to see if this officially moves forward, but if it does it will be the first real Die Hard since part 3, 18 years ago.
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6:51PM on 11/20/2013
I can only hope this will be a Big improvement on Die Hard 5.
I can only hope this will be a Big improvement on Die Hard 5.
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6:34PM on 11/20/2013
last one was junk, blame it on bad script, director also the son sidekick. It just didnt feel like a die hard film. 4th one was still entertaining. first three are classic. As long as they take it back to the right direction this could work.
last one was junk, blame it on bad script, director also the son sidekick. It just didnt feel like a die hard film. 4th one was still entertaining. first three are classic. As long as they take it back to the right direction this could work.
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6:24PM on 11/20/2013

You'd think

after a studio ran Live Free and the abomination of A Good Day it would be time to call it quits? I say hang up the hat and re-watch the first 3 again. They will always be their and age well.
after a studio ran Live Free and the abomination of A Good Day it would be time to call it quits? I say hang up the hat and re-watch the first 3 again. They will always be their and age well.
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6:20PM on 11/20/2013
The last two more or less killed the franchise. I thought that 5 would redeem itself from the atrocity that was 4, but it didn't. This is unfortunate especially if they come up with a good story for the DH franchise.
The last two more or less killed the franchise. I thought that 5 would redeem itself from the atrocity that was 4, but it didn't. This is unfortunate especially if they come up with a good story for the DH franchise.
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6:11PM on 11/20/2013
The last one was so fucking bad I honestly think John Moore (the director) had never seen a Die Hard film in his life. A true fan would never have made that shit and missed the point so badly on why we love John McClane.
The last one was so fucking bad I honestly think John Moore (the director) had never seen a Die Hard film in his life. A true fan would never have made that shit and missed the point so badly on why we love John McClane.
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6:11PM on 11/20/2013

Sounds fun but...

The hay day for these films have ended. I didn't despise the last two die hard films but they weren't even close to the magic of the originals.
The hay day for these films have ended. I didn't despise the last two die hard films but they weren't even close to the magic of the originals.
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5:47PM on 11/20/2013
A good day to die hard isn't that bad but it looked like a straight to dvd film.there shouldn't be anymore die hard films unless they have a strong script
A good day to die hard isn't that bad but it looked like a straight to dvd film.there shouldn't be anymore die hard films unless they have a strong script
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9:32AM on 11/21/2013
There shouldnt be anymore Die Hard films period
There shouldnt be anymore Die Hard films period
5:31PM on 11/20/2013

Absolutely no confidence

After a bad Live Free or Die Hard and an unbearable follow-up, I want this series to end more than I did Saw.
After a bad Live Free or Die Hard and an unbearable follow-up, I want this series to end more than I did Saw.
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+9
5:29PM on 11/20/2013
I'm one of those people that actually liked Live Free, but yeah, I miss the original formula. I can't say I was disappointed with the last Die Hard because expectations were pretty low, but I can get behind this. I just hope it's the last one. Bruce Willis has kind of gotten on my bad side. His films are just so lazy and he seems so tired of acting. That's not a guy I want to see, especially when he returns to McClane. I do like the connections to the original, with Nakatomi and all that. I
I'm one of those people that actually liked Live Free, but yeah, I miss the original formula. I can't say I was disappointed with the last Die Hard because expectations were pretty low, but I can get behind this. I just hope it's the last one. Bruce Willis has kind of gotten on my bad side. His films are just so lazy and he seems so tired of acting. That's not a guy I want to see, especially when he returns to McClane. I do like the connections to the original, with Nakatomi and all that. I just hope they don't try to hard to be nostalgic. Taking elements from the formula (McClane alone, vulnerable, overcoming great odds, being creative, one liners, etc.), while also giving us something fresh will be the key. I can get behind the Japan angle, but I don't want another 20 minute, uninteresting freeway chase. Stick McClane in a building, create an interesting plot, and give him some bad guys to take down, mostly alone. That, I think, will please everyone.
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5:25PM on 11/20/2013

THIS ISN'T REAL. THIS GUY IS A FRAUD.

He's been trying to get his name in the news for over a decade (back when Die Hard 4 was originally reported as being a Caribbean action film with Ben Affleck co-starring, Ben Trebilcook was the one who fed that story to the press, and it was bogus). Fox has already stated that Die Hard 6 is not in production, and Ben Trebilcook was NOT hired to write jack shit. He's just a delusional fan trying to con everyone.
He's been trying to get his name in the news for over a decade (back when Die Hard 4 was originally reported as being a Caribbean action film with Ben Affleck co-starring, Ben Trebilcook was the one who fed that story to the press, and it was bogus). Fox has already stated that Die Hard 6 is not in production, and Ben Trebilcook was NOT hired to write jack shit. He's just a delusional fan trying to con everyone.
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11:39PM on 11/20/2013
Wasn't it supposed to be the Amazon instead of the Caribbean?
Wasn't it supposed to be the Amazon instead of the Caribbean?
5:24PM on 11/20/2013
A good day to die hard has become my most hated film

theres worse films but it destroys the memory of a great character to possibly one of the best action movies of all time
A good day to die hard has become my most hated film

theres worse films but it destroys the memory of a great character to possibly one of the best action movies of all time
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5:46PM on 11/20/2013
"I'M ON VACATION!!!!!!!!"
"I'M ON VACATION!!!!!!!!"
6:23PM on 11/20/2013
New drinking game everytime he said that take a drink
New drinking game everytime he said that take a drink
8:29PM on 11/20/2013
You'll be black out drunk 20 minutes in!
You'll be black out drunk 20 minutes in!
5:23PM on 11/20/2013
I would really like them to do one more just so it doesnt go out as such a huge suckfest
I would really like them to do one more just so it doesnt go out as such a huge suckfest
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5:21PM on 11/20/2013

whatever

die hard 3 was good til that awful ending, die hard 4 & 5 SUCKED. i'll be skipping this, maybe see it on dvd unless reviews and word of mouth are through the roof. heard it all before. this movie will most likely blow. especially cause ol mr. willis doesn't seem to care anymore.
die hard 3 was good til that awful ending, die hard 4 & 5 SUCKED. i'll be skipping this, maybe see it on dvd unless reviews and word of mouth are through the roof. heard it all before. this movie will most likely blow. especially cause ol mr. willis doesn't seem to care anymore.
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+3
5:17PM on 11/20/2013
AWESOME
AWESOME
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+0
4:58PM on 11/20/2013
Please just stop.
Please just stop.
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4:58PM on 11/20/2013
I know nothing of the work of Ben Trebilcook, but it's nice to hear that a self-confessed fan is writing it, not some Hollywood hack (cough cough Skip Woods cough). Time will tell what this thing looks like I won't let myself get excited again, but I still hold out hope that there can still be one last good Die Hard.
I know nothing of the work of Ben Trebilcook, but it's nice to hear that a self-confessed fan is writing it, not some Hollywood hack (cough cough Skip Woods cough). Time will tell what this thing looks like I won't let myself get excited again, but I still hold out hope that there can still be one last good Die Hard.
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4:54PM on 11/20/2013

I'm all for trying again.

Just nail the tone of the first one, and you've got it. Take the material further, without regurgitating.

And to Maidy, as far as I'm aware, A Good Day to Die Hard was written as a direct sequel, and wasn't with McClane shoehorned in like the third and fourth. Also, wasn't the first movie developed from a book, and then developed as a sequel to Commando?
Just nail the tone of the first one, and you've got it. Take the material further, without regurgitating.

And to Maidy, as far as I'm aware, A Good Day to Die Hard was written as a direct sequel, and wasn't with McClane shoehorned in like the third and fourth. Also, wasn't the first movie developed from a book, and then developed as a sequel to Commando?
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4:47PM on 11/20/2013

Meh

The old McClane is dead and gone. Bruce Willis plays himself in every movie now. G.I. Joe, RED, Die Hard- it's all the same.
The old McClane is dead and gone. Bruce Willis plays himself in every movie now. G.I. Joe, RED, Die Hard- it's all the same.
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4:47PM on 11/20/2013
the last 2 were just sad
the last 2 were just sad
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4:38PM on 11/20/2013
You know, back to basics! Diapers, drooling . . .
You know, back to basics! Diapers, drooling . . .
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