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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...Neal McDonough!

05.11.2015

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This is Movie Jail, a unique maximum security prison that houses some of the worst writers, directors, actors and producers from Hollywood and beyond. Their crimes? The offenses vary from convict to convict but most of these inmates have contributed negatively to the film world to some capacity* and his or her misdeeds have covered a long enough period of time that the authorities had to intervene. In each column a defendant is put on trial, arguments are made, and then it is up to YOU, the jury, to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of crimes against cinema. Their lives are in your hands, dude.

The Defendant

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li Neal McDonough

The Case

The Prosecution: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Bad Country, Company of Heroes, The Marine 3: Homefront, Ticking Clock, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, 88 Minutes, Forever Strong, I Know Who Killed Me, The Hitcher, Timeline

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, welcome to the odd case of Neal McDonough. While Mr. McDonough is a decent enough actor, he is up for Movie Jail because of his inability to land roles in quality projects. The prosecution isn't sure why, but for whatever reason, the actor is a bad movie magnet.

Mr. McDonough has appeared in multiple negatively reviewed films, and a few of them are notoriously atrocious, like the Lindsay Lohan-led trainwreck I Know Who Killed Me, Timeline, and his latest movie, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. He also starred in the worst of the two live-action Street Fighter films in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, the terrible 2007 remake of The Hitcher, and a bunch of crappy straight-to-DVD/VOD/limited release movies, including Company of Heroes and The Marine 3: Homefront.

It doesn't help that when producers need an actor to play the baddie or a cop, soldier, government official, etc. on the cheap they always seem to give Mr. McDonough a call. However, he does have the option of turning down roles, so a good chunk of the blame does fall on Mr. McDonough.

In the prosecution's opinion, Mr. McDonough has starred in way too many projects below his talents, and we believe he needs to be sent to prison for his "low hanging fruit" films.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Neal McDonough

The Defense: Red 2, Little Birds, The Philly Kid, Captain America: The First Avenger, Flags of Our Fathers, Walking Tall, Minority Report, Ravenous

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. McDonough's filmography is littered with Razzie Award-winning and nominated movies, however the defense doubts that the jury will want to lock my client up.

Although the actor has been active since 1990, he's never been an A-lister, so it's not like he can be extremely selective when it comes to picking his projects. Just like the rest of us, Mr. McDonough needs to pay his bills, and sometimes that means taking a role in a movie that has a high probability rate of failure, both critically and financially.

It's unfortunate that my client has appeared in numerous poorly received films, but he's a damn fine actor, and almost always delivers a solid turn, even in his bad movies. The defense thought Mr. McDonough gave great performances in films like Red 2, The Philly Kid, and Little Birds, and he's also done some fantastic work on the small screen, most notably as Robert Quarles on FX's Justified and on the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.

If Mr. McDonough was a bigger star, maybe the prosecution would have a case against my client. But as a working actor, he's just taking the roles that are offered to him, so let's cut him a little slack. Mr. McDonough's filmography might be abysmal, however that doesn't mean he belongs in Movie Jail.

Red 2 Neal McDonough

IN CLOSING...

What should we do with the Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Red 2 star? Do you believe Mr. McDonough deserves jail time, or does he just need a better agent? Is actor Neal McDonough GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?

*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil's advocate but you get the point. Anyway, this is all in fun so don't take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called "Troll Tower" and believe me you do NOT want to go there.

WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?

Falcoln Rising Neal McDonough Michael Jai White

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

Akiva Goldsman

Akiva Goldsman was found extremely GUILTY of all charges in last week's trial, with only one member of the jury fully supporting the filmmaker. Multiple jury members said they weren't impressed with his work on Batman Forever and Batman & Robin (no surprise there), however several also said they didn't care for A Beautiful Mind, even though he won an Oscar for the film's script.

PREVIOUS VERDICTS

GUILTY Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, Tim Burton, The Farrelly Brothers, Michael Bay, Jessica Alba, Ice Cube, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marlon Wayans, Julia Roberts, M. Night Shyamalan , Katherine Heigl , Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tyler Perry, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Ashton Kutcher, Happy Madison Productions, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis, Paul W.S. Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen, Renee Zellweger, Shia LaBeouf, Renny Harlin, Diane Keaton, McG, Demi Moore, King Joffrey (Game of Thrones Special), David Spade, Spike Lee, Kevin James, Joel Schumacher, Ehren Kruger, Chris Rock, Mark Steven Johnson, Mickey Rourke, Ashley Judd, Uma Thurman, Josh Duhamel, Saw Franchise (Halloween Edition), Zach Braff, Sam Worthington, Melissa McCarthy, The Wachowski Siblings, Kate Bosworth, Garry Marshall, David Goyer, Akiva Goldsman

NOT GUILTY Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Nic Cage, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Wes Craven, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Costner, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Anna Faris, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Milla Jovovich, John Singleton, Jon Voight, Jack Black, Brian De Palma, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Freddy Krueger (Halloween Edition), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack, Chris Columbus, Clive Owen, Terrence Howard, Andrew Niccol, Drew Barrymore, Steve Martin, Joel Silver, Michelle Rodriguez, Kiefer Sutherland, Dario Argento, Susan Sarandon, Dennis Quaid, Rob Reiner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mel Gibson, Pierce Brosnan, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, Ivan Reitman, Stephen Sommers, Shawn Levy, Jai Courtney, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Luc Besson, Jason Reitman, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Connelly, Sienna Miller, Ben Barnes, Simon West, Len Wiseman, Brendan Fraser, Megan Fox

UPDATES: Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage and Roland Emmerich, Jim Carrey, Robert Rodriguez and Gerard Butler, Jessica Alba, Julia Roberts and The Farrelly Brothers, Ben Stiller, Tim Burton and Shia LaBeouf, Johnny Depp, Kevin Smith & Chris Rock

Extra Tidbit: Who should stand trial next week? Share your suggestions for actors, directors and writers below with your verdict!
Source: JoBlo.com

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12:44AM on 05/15/2015

Not guilty

In what world it this guy not landing good roles? Okay, not always GREAT roles, but the guy gets the jobs, does the jobs, and often the movies are better for it. Just because he's not a leading man doesn't make him guilty.

If he's guilty of anything it's that one-precenter Cadillac ad a couple of years ago. Which I'm sure he got paid for, just like all his other gigs. He is a working actor after all.
In what world it this guy not landing good roles? Okay, not always GREAT roles, but the guy gets the jobs, does the jobs, and often the movies are better for it. Just because he's not a leading man doesn't make him guilty.

If he's guilty of anything it's that one-precenter Cadillac ad a couple of years ago. Which I'm sure he got paid for, just like all his other gigs. He is a working actor after all.
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2:17PM on 05/12/2015

Hawkish

Let's not forget that he was in the last great hurrah for the old guard Star Trek - Star Trek: First Contact... and he had a decent bit on Justified.
Let's not forget that he was in the last great hurrah for the old guard Star Trek - Star Trek: First Contact... and he had a decent bit on Justified.
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1:46PM on 05/12/2015

NOT Guilty

This is Robert Quarles and Timothy Aloysius Cadwallader "Dum Dum" Dugan we're talking about here.
This is Robert Quarles and Timothy Aloysius Cadwallader "Dum Dum" Dugan we're talking about here.
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+0
9:39AM on 05/12/2015

howling commando

Not guilty the man kicks ass on suits red 2 Justified he is dum dum dugan for frak's sake
Not guilty the man kicks ass on suits red 2 Justified he is dum dum dugan for frak's sake
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2:18AM on 05/12/2015

Not guilty

Actually only seen him in Captain America, Walking Tall & Minority Report, so I got no issue with him. Why put him on trial then? Might be time to finally put this column to rest, it's losing steam big time.
Actually only seen him in Captain America, Walking Tall & Minority Report, so I got no issue with him. Why put him on trial then? Might be time to finally put this column to rest, it's losing steam big time.
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+1
8:26PM on 05/11/2015

Not Guilty

He's a very good character actor. He clearly takes work whenever he can, and I can't fault him for that. He's not one of these guys who can pick whatever role he wants. Not Guilty.
He's a very good character actor. He clearly takes work whenever he can, and I can't fault him for that. He's not one of these guys who can pick whatever role he wants. Not Guilty.
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7:21PM on 05/11/2015
[link]
CASED CLOSED
(minor justified spoilerish)
[link]
CASED CLOSED
(minor justified spoilerish)
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6:19PM on 05/11/2015

A Familiar Face

Not Guilty...
Not Guilty...
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5:37PM on 05/11/2015

Not Guilty

He is in a lot of bad movies. But he also makes some of this bad movies a little bit better.
He is in a lot of bad movies. But he also makes some of this bad movies a little bit better.
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4:59PM on 05/11/2015

Not Guilty

His choices are a little weird, but I like him.
His choices are a little weird, but I like him.
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4:55PM on 05/11/2015
Not Guilty. Band of Brothers. That's all I have to say.
Not Guilty. Band of Brothers. That's all I have to say.
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4:22PM on 05/11/2015

GUILTY

This guy pops up in so many bad movies taking himself way too seriously. And I've heard he's a jerk in person so GUILTY.
This guy pops up in so many bad movies taking himself way too seriously. And I've heard he's a jerk in person so GUILTY.
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6:38PM on 05/11/2015
The guy looks like a dick.
The guy looks like a dick.
3:10PM on 05/11/2015
Ticking Clock is under his negatives but I thought that was actually a pretty cool little thriller. Also surprised that Star Trek: First Contact wasn't mentioned in his positives. It's definitely a NOT GUILTY for me. He's done some movies but he's largely awesome. And if you want to see how amazing and full of range he can be watch the short lived TV show Boomtown. He was INCREDIBLE in that! Should have gotten an Emmy nomination for that role. Ditto for both Desperate Housewives and
Ticking Clock is under his negatives but I thought that was actually a pretty cool little thriller. Also surprised that Star Trek: First Contact wasn't mentioned in his positives. It's definitely a NOT GUILTY for me. He's done some movies but he's largely awesome. And if you want to see how amazing and full of range he can be watch the short lived TV show Boomtown. He was INCREDIBLE in that! Should have gotten an Emmy nomination for that role. Ditto for both Desperate Housewives and Justified. Love this guy. Super underrated!
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2:57PM on 05/11/2015
Not guilty.

BTW I am now hooked on this series. I found you by your sentencing of Ehren Kruger.
Not guilty.

BTW I am now hooked on this series. I found you by your sentencing of Ehren Kruger.
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2:30PM on 05/11/2015

Not Guilty

He's never meant to carry a movie, so not guilty. Thank you for bringing up Little Birds. That is such a little-seen fantastic movie.
He's never meant to carry a movie, so not guilty. Thank you for bringing up Little Birds. That is such a little-seen fantastic movie.
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1:35PM on 05/11/2015

not guilty!

I'm glad somebody already mentioned Tin Man. That was an awesome mini-series and he was awesome in it. Next week: Andy Samberg
I'm glad somebody already mentioned Tin Man. That was an awesome mini-series and he was awesome in it. Next week: Andy Samberg
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12:44PM on 05/11/2015

Not Guilty

While occasionally, the combination of awful script and terrible direction will combine in a way that leads Mr. McDonough to give a bland, lifeless performance (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. There's no way around it, he's abysmal in it), most of the time, even in dreck like I Know Who Killed Me he's one of the folks to come out unscathed (He gives a solid dramatic turn that in that movie, which it doesn't deserve). Plus. when he's given all the right ingredients, he's awesome, a la the
While occasionally, the combination of awful script and terrible direction will combine in a way that leads Mr. McDonough to give a bland, lifeless performance (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. There's no way around it, he's abysmal in it), most of the time, even in dreck like I Know Who Killed Me he's one of the folks to come out unscathed (He gives a solid dramatic turn that in that movie, which it doesn't deserve). Plus. when he's given all the right ingredients, he's awesome, a la the vastly underrated SyFy miniseries Tin Man.
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+0
12:17PM on 05/11/2015
Absolutely not fucking guilty!
Absolutely not fucking guilty!
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12:16PM on 05/11/2015

not guilty

For Justified and Band of Brothers alone he is not guilty.
For Justified and Band of Brothers alone he is not guilty.
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11:09AM on 05/11/2015
You trying to put Dum Dum Dugan behind bars? You've gotta be five finger f'ing me.
You trying to put Dum Dum Dugan behind bars? You've gotta be five finger f'ing me.
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10:44AM on 05/11/2015

Not Guilty

As the Defense mentioned, actors who aren't A-listers have to take whatever they can get in order to pay the bills. If he was headlining these movies, that's one thing but he's clearly playing supporting roles and he's often one of the better parts of those projects.
As the Defense mentioned, actors who aren't A-listers have to take whatever they can get in order to pay the bills. If he was headlining these movies, that's one thing but he's clearly playing supporting roles and he's often one of the better parts of those projects.
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10:17AM on 05/11/2015

Not Guilty

The guy is very underrated and is an incredible, likeable character actor. Huge fan of his and wish he would be in more high profile projects.
The guy is very underrated and is an incredible, likeable character actor. Huge fan of his and wish he would be in more high profile projects.
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10:04AM on 05/11/2015

Not guilty...

... but I'm starting to think this column should name itself as the next defendant because it seems to have run out of candidates. Actors or actresses who can't pick their parts because they're either too old or not famous enough for Hollywood should not be ridiculed for not getting better offers.
... but I'm starting to think this column should name itself as the next defendant because it seems to have run out of candidates. Actors or actresses who can't pick their parts because they're either too old or not famous enough for Hollywood should not be ridiculed for not getting better offers.
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-5
9:31AM on 05/11/2015

Pass.

I haven't seen enough of his movies. I don't even remember what he played in RED 2, CAPTAIN AMERICA and FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS. I do remember him doing an OK job (with what he was given) in 88 MINUTES and I KNOW WHO KILLED ME. I also thought he was great in DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES.

I must point out a paradox. A lot of you say he's not famous enough to choose projects and, therefore, to go to Movie Jail. It's true that he's not an A-lister, but he's not an unknown actor either. If he was, how is
I haven't seen enough of his movies. I don't even remember what he played in RED 2, CAPTAIN AMERICA and FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS. I do remember him doing an OK job (with what he was given) in 88 MINUTES and I KNOW WHO KILLED ME. I also thought he was great in DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES.

I must point out a paradox. A lot of you say he's not famous enough to choose projects and, therefore, to go to Movie Jail. It's true that he's not an A-lister, but he's not an unknown actor either. If he was, how is it that none of you have said "I don't know who he is" like you did with Ben Barnes and Dario Argento? It's a paradox because he actually is famous enough to be a little more picky.

Next week: Dennis Dugan, Kelsey Grammer, Roland Joffe, James Marsden or Reese Witherspoon.
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10:11AM on 05/11/2015
I must point out a paradox myself: how can you say he's famous enough to be picky about his projects if you haven't seen enough of his films and in the films you did see, his parts were often too small for him to leave you an impression? You think that's an easy sell for an agent?
I must point out a paradox myself: how can you say he's famous enough to be picky about his projects if you haven't seen enough of his films and in the films you did see, his parts were often too small for him to leave you an impression? You think that's an easy sell for an agent?
10:27AM on 05/11/2015
He's famous enough because YOU ALL know him. I know him because he did leave an impression in DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. Also, I tend to be good at remembering actors' names and faces, regardless of their fame.
He's famous enough because YOU ALL know him. I know him because he did leave an impression in DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. Also, I tend to be good at remembering actors' names and faces, regardless of their fame.
11:04AM on 05/11/2015
At the time I'm writing this, there's only been 16 comments written in this thread so "all of us" includes less then 20 people, most of them geeks very likely remember the name of an actor who appeared in a Captain America movie. They're also very likely to be like you, i.e. good at remembering actors names and faces, even if, like in this particular case, they're not really that famous. McDonough has a achieved a certain degree of fame and success but it's not enough to give him any lead role
At the time I'm writing this, there's only been 16 comments written in this thread so "all of us" includes less then 20 people, most of them geeks very likely remember the name of an actor who appeared in a Captain America movie. They're also very likely to be like you, i.e. good at remembering actors names and faces, even if, like in this particular case, they're not really that famous. McDonough has a achieved a certain degree of fame and success but it's not enough to give him any lead role and it's certainly not enough to allow him to be picky.
8:23AM on 05/11/2015

Not Guilty...

Neal hasn't been given the big chance to shine yet which sucks as he's had a career for a while now. He's a great actor despite the shit movies he sometimes gets snagged with.
Neal hasn't been given the big chance to shine yet which sucks as he's had a career for a while now. He's a great actor despite the shit movies he sometimes gets snagged with.
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8:21AM on 05/11/2015
Not guilty. Working character actor who commits 100% to every role no matter what.
Not guilty. Working character actor who commits 100% to every role no matter what.
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7:56AM on 05/11/2015

Great actor, definitely not guilty but....

....if he's up for movie jail I seriously think this column has run its course. It was fun while it lasted, but (to me anyway) movie jail was about actors, directors who could and should know better. Like Robert de Niro who's shown countless times what a great actor he can be, but still has done mostly shit for multi million paychecks in the last decade. Guys like mcdonough are just working men. It's great if they can get a good part in a good movie, but in the end they just need the paycheck
....if he's up for movie jail I seriously think this column has run its course. It was fun while it lasted, but (to me anyway) movie jail was about actors, directors who could and should know better. Like Robert de Niro who's shown countless times what a great actor he can be, but still has done mostly shit for multi million paychecks in the last decade. Guys like mcdonough are just working men. It's great if they can get a good part in a good movie, but in the end they just need the paycheck to pay the rent. So I can't fault actors like that for appearing in shitty flicks, especially if they always give a good performance(even when the movie itself is bad).
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7:53AM on 05/11/2015

Not guilty

I would also like to add the TV shows "Band of Brothers" and "Boomtown" to the defense list.
I would also like to add the TV shows "Band of Brothers" and "Boomtown" to the defense list.
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8:50AM on 05/11/2015
Band of Brothers is awesome!
Band of Brothers is awesome!
7:53AM on 05/11/2015
Not guilty. Despite being in bad movies, Neal McDonough gives his best performance the best he can.
Not guilty. Despite being in bad movies, Neal McDonough gives his best performance the best he can.
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7:42AM on 05/11/2015

Not Guilty

Did he even have any dialogue in Captain America?
Anyways, he'll never win an Oscar or be remembered for a specific role. He's more or less a B actor that gets some roles in the mainstream. He does his job and is a decent actor at that.
Did he even have any dialogue in Captain America?
Anyways, he'll never win an Oscar or be remembered for a specific role. He's more or less a B actor that gets some roles in the mainstream. He does his job and is a decent actor at that.
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8:05AM on 05/11/2015
Not much dialogue in Captain America, but I love his line when one of the Hydra guards knocks his hat off: "You know, Fritz, one of these days I'll have a stick of my own."
Not much dialogue in Captain America, but I love his line when one of the Hydra guards knocks his hat off: "You know, Fritz, one of these days I'll have a stick of my own."
7:20AM on 05/11/2015

NOT GUILTY

This column is going after character actors now? Come on, he's not an A-lister or a power player. A man of his stature shouldn't have even been considered for Movie Jail. Good movies, bad movies, it doesn't matter. He's just here to work. Plus he's a Goddamn BOSS. Not guilty a dozen times over.
This column is going after character actors now? Come on, he's not an A-lister or a power player. A man of his stature shouldn't have even been considered for Movie Jail. Good movies, bad movies, it doesn't matter. He's just here to work. Plus he's a Goddamn BOSS. Not guilty a dozen times over.
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7:06AM on 05/11/2015

No mention of Balloon Farm or Star Trek first contact by the defense?

He is not guilty on the basis of those movies alone.
Also, he's a dude.
He is not guilty on the basis of those movies alone.
Also, he's a dude.
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7:05AM on 05/11/2015

Neal, I have 2 monthes of holidays per year !

but I love you ! N'est ce pas ?????
[link]
Such a great and underated actor !!!!! Deserves more praise and more top billing roles...
but I love you ! N'est ce pas ?????
[link]
Such a great and underated actor !!!!! Deserves more praise and more top billing roles...
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