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Review: Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending
02.04.2015
3 10

PLOT: Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) – a lowly janitor – discovers she's actually the reincarnation of the Queen of the Universe when killers sent by the evil Balem Abrasax (Eddie Redmayne) try to assassinate her. Now, her only hope of survival lies with a genetically engineered soldier-of-fortune (Channing Tatum).

REVIEW: JUPITER ASCENDING is one of those movies that are just astoundingly bad. While space operas are a notoriously tricky thing to pull-off if you're not STAR WARS (heck, even then it's iffy as shown by the prequels), GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY proved that it can be done with the right combination of talent and material. As bad as this is (and it's terrible) The Wachowskis certainly have talent, but something somewhere has gone horribly awry as not only does this space adventure lack intrigue and excitement, but it's a crushing bore, something The Wachowskis, even at their worst (THE MATRIX sequels) have never been before.

JUPITER ASCENDING, which they also co-wrote, plays like The Wachowskis took DUNE, threw it in a blender with STAR WARS, mixed in some TWILIGHT and called it a movie. After a brief introduction to Kunis' character and plight (she slaves away at her family's house-cleaning company while dreaming of being whisked away to the stars – which, natch – is exactly what happens) we're thrust into a boring intergalactic plot where Redmayne's evil royal wants to harvest Earth, which is little more than the galaxy's livestock, to get a hold of an elixir that grants eternal life. It seems he and his scheming siblings (Douglas Booth & Tuppence Middleton) are part of the galaxy's 1% and don't have to age. Luckily, the earth is owned by Kunis, even though she doesn't know it yet.

It all winds up being a fairly dull story of the haves and have-nots, certainly no STAR WARS (or even BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS), but all of this wouldn't matter if at least The Wachowskis had brought their typical visual ingenuity to the table. Despite cinematography by John Toll (BRAVEHEART & The Wachowskis' own CLOUD ATLAS) the movie has a drab look, with none of the edge of THE MATRIX or the gonzo visuals of SPEED RACER. The movie is packed to the gills with action but it's all indecipherable. This is a real shock considering how much The Wachowskis broke the action movie mold on THE MATRIX. Now they've essentially turned into their imitators. It doesn't even have their trademark eccentricity, which made CLOUD ATLAS such a fascinating watch and even redeemed some of their lackluster producing vehicles like NINJA ASSASIN. It feels like this was their attempt to make a big, splashy commercial comeback, but it has no heart and no soul.

Part of the problem may also be the leads. Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum can be excellent if given the right material, but both feel way too contemporary to be doing fantasy. Kunis' seems to be struggling trying to make Jupiter at least somewhat three-dimensional, but when she spends most of her running time falling-off things there's only so much she can do. She's also saddled with some incredibly corny dialogue, such as the already infamous “I love dogs” line and a bit where she cheerfully tells someone, “call me Jup!”

For his part, Channing Tatum looks like he's in agony, floundering badly as a half-man/half-wolf hybrid (he even growls at someone). He's really not called-upon to do much besides take his shirt off and take part in the endless action scenes. He's not able to display any whatsoever . Movies like 22 JUMP STREET, FOXCATCHER and MAGIC MIKE show that he's got crazy charisma in the right part. Big-budget fantasy just does not seem like his thing – at all. Sean Bean manages to salvage a few bits as Tatum's Lando Calrissian-style pal, but he's sidelined too often. Of the principals, Eddie Redmayne fares the absolute worst, with this performance being bad enough that had this come out last year if might have really torpedoed his Oscar campaign. One can't help but feel for him here, but it's a performance completely without restraint and one that I'm sure will embarrass him for years to come (not that he won't bounce back quickly).

Maybe the only nice thing that can be said about JUPITER ASCENDING is that the score by Michael Giacchino is pretty good and that Terry Gilliam has a nifty cameo where he gets to channel some of the bits of acting he used to do back in his MONTY PYTHON days. Still, as far as big-budget blockbusters go they don't get much worse than this. This is maybe the most embarrassing misfire to hit theaters since WINTER'S TALE.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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6:17PM on 02/24/2015
I didn't take a fortune teller to figure out that tatum Christmas elf buddy the mercenary was going to fail in a big way. Will have to check this out, later for free, just so I can laugh my ass off.
I didn't take a fortune teller to figure out that tatum Christmas elf buddy the mercenary was going to fail in a big way. Will have to check this out, later for free, just so I can laugh my ass off.
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+0
11:43AM on 02/06/2015

Bumbray goes H.A.M.

Damn. I felt like this was going to be a bomb after the first leaks started hitting the web. It just looked, and looks, awful. He nails it when he says that Kunis and Tatum-- though both very, very talented-- are completely wrong for this type of movie. Tatum looks fucking ridiculous. He looks like Barf from Spaceballs commando son. It's sad to say, because they've really added something to cinema that all nerds should be grateful for, but it might be time to call it on the Wachowskis. They
Damn. I felt like this was going to be a bomb after the first leaks started hitting the web. It just looked, and looks, awful. He nails it when he says that Kunis and Tatum-- though both very, very talented-- are completely wrong for this type of movie. Tatum looks fucking ridiculous. He looks like Barf from Spaceballs commando son. It's sad to say, because they've really added something to cinema that all nerds should be grateful for, but it might be time to call it on the Wachowskis. They have done nothing of note since the first Matrix. That was 17 years ago. The two Matrix sequels were severe disappointments, Speed Racer was an interesting failure, Cloud Atlas is nearly unwatchable and now they have produced what is likely to be their biggest bomb to date. Whatever it is that made The Matrix the legend that it is, they've lost.

It may not matter what anyone thinks about their talents anyway. It's not show-friends, it's show-business, and Hollywood is not going to continue funding $200 million dollar daisy cutters. At this point I feel like a bit of restraint budget-wise might do them good.
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11:51PM on 02/05/2015

Just got back from seeing it

Wasn't as terrible as the 3/10 review but I wouldn't rate it higher than a 5. Didn't blow my nips off at all,

More just like eh...and Eddie Redmayne is terrible in this. Like awkwardly bad
Wasn't as terrible as the 3/10 review but I wouldn't rate it higher than a 5. Didn't blow my nips off at all,

More just like eh...and Eddie Redmayne is terrible in this. Like awkwardly bad
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9:27PM on 02/05/2015
Kinda got a "Fifth Element" vibe from the trailer...might go see it on cheap Tuesday. It looks like it should be seen on a big screen, but visuals of course aren't everything. "Cloud Atlas" looked pretty, but man the dialogue was awful.
Kinda got a "Fifth Element" vibe from the trailer...might go see it on cheap Tuesday. It looks like it should be seen on a big screen, but visuals of course aren't everything. "Cloud Atlas" looked pretty, but man the dialogue was awful.
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5:17PM on 02/05/2015

Way too harsh review.

Yes, some of the dialogue was corny. Yes, some of the acting was off. But the visuals were pretty damn awesome and the background story more interesting/original than any big-budget sci-fi in recent years. Credit has to be given where it's due.
Yes, some of the dialogue was corny. Yes, some of the acting was off. But the visuals were pretty damn awesome and the background story more interesting/original than any big-budget sci-fi in recent years. Credit has to be given where it's due.
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-1
4:46PM on 02/05/2015
This review makes the film out to be more awful than it really is. The world the Wachowski's have created is fantastic, the kind of universe we don't see anyone in Hollywood attempting to do anymore. While I agree the characters were probably the weakest part of the film, the action, world building, and visuals were fantastic, a far cry from how this review describes them. Though, as I suspected, most people were probably going to rate the film between 3 and 5. I'm not sure how the action was
This review makes the film out to be more awful than it really is. The world the Wachowski's have created is fantastic, the kind of universe we don't see anyone in Hollywood attempting to do anymore. While I agree the characters were probably the weakest part of the film, the action, world building, and visuals were fantastic, a far cry from how this review describes them. Though, as I suspected, most people were probably going to rate the film between 3 and 5. I'm not sure how the action was indecipherable, I couldn't agree any less with that. The visuals also are pretty fantastic. The best thing about the film is the mythology and to be honest, I would love to see more come out of this universe that they've created. I had fun with this movie. One thing that can be said about the Wachowski's: when they make a film, they don't leave many details to spare.
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4:28PM on 02/05/2015

Shame

I was really looking forward to this. Someone told me it's Phantom Menace meets Dune. I've been reading alot of Dune comparisons actually...
I was really looking forward to this. Someone told me it's Phantom Menace meets Dune. I've been reading alot of Dune comparisons actually...
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2:42PM on 02/05/2015
This is no surprise. But there is something I have to say.....I liked Speed Racer...yeah I said it!
This is no surprise. But there is something I have to say.....I liked Speed Racer...yeah I said it!
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1:37PM on 02/05/2015
I'm interested in seeing how much of the universe Eddie Redmayne devours while chewing the scenery.
I'm interested in seeing how much of the universe Eddie Redmayne devours while chewing the scenery.
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1:30PM on 02/05/2015
Nothing about this movie looked appealing in any way. The movie just looks like crap!

I find it odd that you mention the Wachowsi's have talent. Can you name one movie they've done since The Matrix (not the trilogy, just that one movie) that has been resoundingly as good? The only thing I can come up with is V for Vendetta and they were only producers on that not directors. Let's face it, they are not as great of filmmakers as everyone makes them out to be.
Nothing about this movie looked appealing in any way. The movie just looks like crap!

I find it odd that you mention the Wachowsi's have talent. Can you name one movie they've done since The Matrix (not the trilogy, just that one movie) that has been resoundingly as good? The only thing I can come up with is V for Vendetta and they were only producers on that not directors. Let's face it, they are not as great of filmmakers as everyone makes them out to be.
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5:23PM on 02/05/2015
They also wrote the screenplay for V For Vendetta.
They also wrote the screenplay for V For Vendetta.
+3
1:23PM on 02/05/2015
Not sure why all the comments that say "of course" are getting down voted but yeah, pretty sure everyone and their mother could tell from a mile away this movie was going to be pure shit.
Not sure why all the comments that say "of course" are getting down voted but yeah, pretty sure everyone and their mother could tell from a mile away this movie was going to be pure shit.
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11:05AM on 02/05/2015

Who actually had hope for this shit? It looked horrible from the first teaser.

This is one of those movies that is obviously going to suck.
This is one of those movies that is obviously going to suck.
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10:52AM on 02/05/2015
This is a bummer I was looking forward to this movie. But then again maybe this is what you get when you take the man out of the... well man! I will still most likely go see this.
I loved The Matrix but am glad to know I am not the only one that thought it was a definite Dark City ripoff. Dark City is one of the greatest movies ever imo.
This is a bummer I was looking forward to this movie. But then again maybe this is what you get when you take the man out of the... well man! I will still most likely go see this.
I loved The Matrix but am glad to know I am not the only one that thought it was a definite Dark City ripoff. Dark City is one of the greatest movies ever imo.
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10:41AM on 02/05/2015

what i expected

Five or below. The Wachowski Brothers are basically one hit wonders.
Five or below. The Wachowski Brothers are basically one hit wonders.
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10:14AM on 02/05/2015

Bad Review

Lolz at everyone saying they are sad the movie got a bad review, like its a shock or something. Anyone over the age of 16 should have been able to see this movie was a hack when that first photo of the lead actor using roller-blades to skate around while filing came out a few months ago. .
Lolz at everyone saying they are sad the movie got a bad review, like its a shock or something. Anyone over the age of 16 should have been able to see this movie was a hack when that first photo of the lead actor using roller-blades to skate around while filing came out a few months ago. .
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10:02AM on 02/05/2015

Well that's a bummer.

I was actually really looking foreward to this. Granted I wasnt excited at the outset but the second trailer really won me over. I really feel bad for the cast, Kunis has been mostley succesful and Tatum just came off his best year yet. When the first trailer came out I couldent have cared less but after Foxcatcher he really deserves better quality roles.

As for the Watchowskis they did make one of the best films of the last few years with Cloud Atlas but It's too bad here considering I
I was actually really looking foreward to this. Granted I wasnt excited at the outset but the second trailer really won me over. I really feel bad for the cast, Kunis has been mostley succesful and Tatum just came off his best year yet. When the first trailer came out I couldent have cared less but after Foxcatcher he really deserves better quality roles.

As for the Watchowskis they did make one of the best films of the last few years with Cloud Atlas but It's too bad here considering I thought this had some very intersting sci fi ideas. Also however bad this may be I dont know If its quite Winters Tale bad!

Proubably ultimatley catch it through Netflix.
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9:54AM on 02/05/2015
If Guardians is a 9/10 here and for me is more like a 5.5/10, maybe this is good.
If Guardians is a 9/10 here and for me is more like a 5.5/10, maybe this is good.
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+0
9:35AM on 02/05/2015

I knew it

Stupider Descending
Stupider Descending
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8:38AM on 02/05/2015
Without Dark City to rip off, The Wachowskis have proven to be pretty bad at creating their own stories.
Without Dark City to rip off, The Wachowskis have proven to be pretty bad at creating their own stories.
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8:30AM on 02/05/2015
I was surprised when this was announced because I figured for a studio to be throwing a bunch of cash at the Wachowskis they must have come up with something interesting again. Then the trailer hit and it looked like it was probably an embarrassing mess. Then the release was pushed back.
It would've taken very good reviews to make me believe it was worth seeing.
I was surprised when this was announced because I figured for a studio to be throwing a bunch of cash at the Wachowskis they must have come up with something interesting again. Then the trailer hit and it looked like it was probably an embarrassing mess. Then the release was pushed back.
It would've taken very good reviews to make me believe it was worth seeing.
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7:54AM on 02/05/2015
LOL. This looked absolutely terrible from the trailers. Not surprised at all with the score.
LOL. This looked absolutely terrible from the trailers. Not surprised at all with the score.
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+1
7:07AM on 02/05/2015

Not sure what you're talking about.....

but Cloud Atlas was an unmitigated failure (as was Speed Racer). Not only have the W brothers (or whatever) last handful of movies been a commercial failure, they've been critically panned as well.

Seriously, when is someone going to stop giving them tens of millions to flush down the toilet?
but Cloud Atlas was an unmitigated failure (as was Speed Racer). Not only have the W brothers (or whatever) last handful of movies been a commercial failure, they've been critically panned as well.

Seriously, when is someone going to stop giving them tens of millions to flush down the toilet?
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+3
6:50AM on 02/05/2015
Don't say "natch"....for god sakes Bumbray. Please don't turn my favorite movie site into a text conversation between Elle Woods and Paris Hilton
Don't say "natch"....for god sakes Bumbray. Please don't turn my favorite movie site into a text conversation between Elle Woods and Paris Hilton
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6:21AM on 02/05/2015
"...which made CLOUD ATLAS such a fascinating watch and even redeemed some of their lackluster producing vehicles..." Cloud Atlas was the cinematic equivalent of getting kicked in the balls for two straight hours. It makes this look like an Oscar worthy film. I've seen JA and by comparison it at least has some entertainment value going for it.
"...which made CLOUD ATLAS such a fascinating watch and even redeemed some of their lackluster producing vehicles..." Cloud Atlas was the cinematic equivalent of getting kicked in the balls for two straight hours. It makes this look like an Oscar worthy film. I've seen JA and by comparison it at least has some entertainment value going for it.
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4:32AM on 02/05/2015

One hit wonders

The Matrix is phenomenonal. It's a staple in sci-fi and quite frankly one of the coolest movies of the last 30 years.

It's also when the W sibs stopped making anything worthwhile, although admittedly I've never seen Cloud Atlas.
The Matrix is phenomenonal. It's a staple in sci-fi and quite frankly one of the coolest movies of the last 30 years.

It's also when the W sibs stopped making anything worthwhile, although admittedly I've never seen Cloud Atlas.
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4:19AM on 02/05/2015

Why?

Why do the Wachowskis keep getting work? They seem to have grand ideas but poor execution. The matrix trilogy got worse as it went on and nothing else these two have made is worth watching. I couldn't even watch Speed Racer cause it turned my eyes inside out.
Why do the Wachowskis keep getting work? They seem to have grand ideas but poor execution. The matrix trilogy got worse as it went on and nothing else these two have made is worth watching. I couldn't even watch Speed Racer cause it turned my eyes inside out.
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4:05AM on 02/05/2015
This looked and sounded awful from the get go. glad the review gave it a low score.
This looked and sounded awful from the get go. glad the review gave it a low score.
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6:22AM on 02/05/2015
why would you be glad? wouldnt you rather be pleasantly surprised and find out its a good movie? I dont think you are a movie lover, I think you are a troll.
why would you be glad? wouldnt you rather be pleasantly surprised and find out its a good movie? I dont think you are a movie lover, I think you are a troll.
3:00AM on 02/05/2015
I'm still seeing it.
I'm still seeing it.
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1:49AM on 02/05/2015
I will probably see this, but it has been downhill ever since the first Matrix movie for the brothers.
I will probably see this, but it has been downhill ever since the first Matrix movie for the brothers.
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1:39AM on 02/05/2015
I thought by a preview I saw that this could POSSIBLY be OK. I was willing to try to sit through it and just picture someone else's face anytime that they show annoying ass Channing (Even Roseanne would be an improvement to me). On top of that, I am sure this is one of those really fucking long movies that clock at an unnecessary 2 1/2 to 3 hrs, and even feels twice as long as that. NO THANKS!
I thought by a preview I saw that this could POSSIBLY be OK. I was willing to try to sit through it and just picture someone else's face anytime that they show annoying ass Channing (Even Roseanne would be an improvement to me). On top of that, I am sure this is one of those really fucking long movies that clock at an unnecessary 2 1/2 to 3 hrs, and even feels twice as long as that. NO THANKS!
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1:32AM on 02/05/2015

I'll still see it.

I've a history of liking their films when others hate them. I'm finding myself rather sad by this review. I hope you are wrong.

It has the look of a film that's too big. Too many ideas and visuals, to the point that there's no room for the characters. It seems like a recent curse. Blockbusters that get too blockbuster.
I've a history of liking their films when others hate them. I'm finding myself rather sad by this review. I hope you are wrong.

It has the look of a film that's too big. Too many ideas and visuals, to the point that there's no room for the characters. It seems like a recent curse. Blockbusters that get too blockbuster.
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1:29AM on 02/05/2015

I'll still see it.

I've a history of liking their films when others hate them. I'm finding myself rather sad by this review. I hope you are wrong.

It has the look of a film that's too big. Too many ideas and visuals, to the point that there's no room for the characters. It seems like a recent curse. Blockbusters that get too blockbuster.
I've a history of liking their films when others hate them. I'm finding myself rather sad by this review. I hope you are wrong.

It has the look of a film that's too big. Too many ideas and visuals, to the point that there's no room for the characters. It seems like a recent curse. Blockbusters that get too blockbuster.
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12:58AM on 02/05/2015
That's a shame.

That's a shame.

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12:34AM on 02/05/2015

Damn, I'm sorry to hear this

I was hoping this would revive the Wachowskis' fortunes after CLOUD ATLAS tanked (I actually really enjoyed that movie). But I suspected as much after the "I love dogs" line - I started laughing my ass off every time I heard it.
I was hoping this would revive the Wachowskis' fortunes after CLOUD ATLAS tanked (I actually really enjoyed that movie). But I suspected as much after the "I love dogs" line - I started laughing my ass off every time I heard it.
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11:31PM on 02/04/2015
I'm expecting many "Shut up, Meg!" comments from the audience when watching this movie. :D
I'm expecting many "Shut up, Meg!" comments from the audience when watching this movie. :D
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11:28PM on 02/04/2015
Based off of the trailers, this isn't surprising. It's going to bomb pretty hard and I'm sure it won't do any better now than it would have back then with it's original release date.
Based off of the trailers, this isn't surprising. It's going to bomb pretty hard and I'm sure it won't do any better now than it would have back then with it's original release date.
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1:31AM on 02/05/2015
Maybe this means smaller budgets in the future. I think it'd do them good. The Tim Burton Overkill diet.
Maybe this means smaller budgets in the future. I think it'd do them good. The Tim Burton Overkill diet.
1:31AM on 02/05/2015
Maybe this means smaller budgets in the future. I think it'd do them good. The Tim Burton Overkill diet.
Maybe this means smaller budgets in the future. I think it'd do them good. The Tim Burton Overkill diet.
6:24AM on 02/05/2015
Based off the trailers? I wouldn't say its surprising. The movie looked very different and definitely had everything needed for a unique Sci fi Opera.
Based off the trailers? I wouldn't say its surprising. The movie looked very different and definitely had everything needed for a unique Sci fi Opera.
10:58AM on 02/05/2015
LoL, ConMan always debates The Soloist
LoL, ConMan always debates The Soloist
11:25PM on 02/04/2015
Kind of expected this after seeing it get pushed back. I've typically liked all the Wachowskis films to some degree, but sounds like this one might be their worse. And it always seemed like Tatum and Kunis were miscast, they should stick to comedy.
Kind of expected this after seeing it get pushed back. I've typically liked all the Wachowskis films to some degree, but sounds like this one might be their worse. And it always seemed like Tatum and Kunis were miscast, they should stick to comedy.
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