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16 items from 2005


Lucas Injured on Movie Set

28 November 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hollywood actor Josh Lucas is sporting a cast on his left arm, after falling off a wall while filming his movie Poseidon, a remake of The Poseidon Adventure. Lucas, ex-boyfriend of Salma Hayek, has just had a steel pin removed from his left thumb, which sustained the most damage. He tells PageSix.com, "A blast of water caught me on the second-to-last day of filming Poseidon, and I fell 30 feet off a wall and tore some tendons." »

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An Unfinished Life

15 September 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Despite solid, albeit constrained, performances from Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez, Morgan Freeman and adolescent newcomer Becca Gardner, "An Unfinished Life" all too accurately lives up to its title. The film never realizes its dramatic potential, choosing to take predictable story paths with obvious characters. Indeed, the characters all but wear signs that sum up their essence: Bitter Old Cowboy, Abused Woman, Noble Wise Friend, Neglected Child. The story, for all its good intentions, never digs deep into their souls.

"An Unfinished Life", made by the usually reliable Lasse Hallstrom two years ago, is among many films caught up in Miramax's unfortunate change-of-business sale as the one-time indie darling is clearing its shelves in a troubling manner. The cast should mean a solid opening weekend, but without an enthusiastic marketing campaign, the film is not likely to dwell long in theaters.

In the end, even enthusiastic marketing probably won't save the stale story. For one thing, a traffic accident is a hard thing on which to hang a drama about nearly a lifetime's worth of regret, recrimination and sorrow. Lopez's Jean Gilkyson was driving a car that flipped over and killed her young husband many years earlier. Her father-in-law, Redford's Einar Gilkyson, still blames and detests her as if she were guilty of premeditated murder. Now the two are forced back together against their wishes.

Fleeing an abusive relationship with her boyfriend (a surly, two-dimensional Damian Lewis), Jean has little money and nowhere to go. So she shows up at Einar's gone-to-seed Wyoming ranch with his granddaughter, Griff (Gardner). The kicker is, she never told Einar he had a granddaughter.

The only person glad to see the two is Freeman's Mitch Bradley, Einar's hired hand and best friend for 40 years. He now needs a daily shot of morphine to keep going after being mauled by a grizzly bear. He is virtually the only person left in Einar's life following Einar's battle with the bottle.

The bear (Bart the Bear II) also shows up at the ranch, but Sheriff Crane Curtis (Josh Lucas) captures it before Einar can kill it. Strangely, Mitch insists that Einar feed the captive animal and later asks him to free it. So you get it? One forgives, the other doesn't. And boy, does that grizzly become one lumbering symbolic bear before the movie is done.

All plot developments are predictable. The granddaughter softens up the irascible cowboy. Jean hooks up with the handsome sheriff, but her daughter disapproves. Her boyfriend tracks her down and issues threats. Granddad gets to demonstrate that this young punk is no match for his aging macho. (He warms up by beating up a couple of drunks who harass Camryn Manheim's Nina in a coffee shop.)

The movie's best moments come in the older actors' interaction with young Gardner. The actors seem to genuinely relax in their scenes with her. Otherwise, the roles hem everyone in, forcing each to hit the same notes again and again.

Redford mumbles under his breath much of the time, playing the grumpy, mean old man to the hilt without ever suggesting what kind of a man he once was. On the other hand, Lopez could have used a dose of true grit as she looks too glamorous for her surroundings. Freeman, we now know, used this role to prepare for Scrap-Iron Dupris in "Million Dollar Baby". (At times, the Redford-Freeman old-codger quarrels echo those between Freeman and Clint Eastwood in "Baby".)

British Columbia substitutes nicely for Wyoming, as Oliver Stapleton's appreciative cinematography, David Gropman's Western design and Christopher Young's spare musical score luxuriate in those wide-open spaces.

AN UNFINISHED LIFE

Miramax Films

Miramax and Revolution Studios present in association with Initial Entertainment Group a Ladd Co. production

Credits:

Director: Lasse Hallstrom

Screenwriters: Mark Spragg, Virginia Korus Spragg

Producers: Leslie Holleran, Kellian Ladd, Alan Ladd Jr.

Executive producers: Joe Roth

Graham King, Mark Rydell, Matthew Rhodes, Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Michelle Raimo, Meryl Poster

Director of photography: Oliver Stapleton

Production designer: David Gropman

Music: Deborah Lurie

Costumes: Tish Monaghan

Editor: Andrew Mondshein

Cast:

Einar Gilkyson: Robert Redford

Jean: Jennifer Lopez

Mitch Bradley: Morgan Freeman

Crane: Josh Lucas

Nina: Camryn Manheim

Gary: Damian Lewis

Griff: Becca Gardner

MPAA rating PG-13

Running time -- 108 minutes »

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Stealth

16 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Stealth, Hollywood's latest virtual movie, features impressive action sequences -- all created through technology -- a thin story, cardboard characters and snicker-inducing dialogue. The film thus follows the inevitable equation: The greater the reliance on technology, the less human and therefore the less engaging the story.

Stealth, directed by XXX's Rob Cohen, targets the young male audience with a full payload of high-octane action, macho posturing, impressive military hardware and an old-fashioned cheesecake. This is a reliable demographic for a solid opening weekend. The real question is the film's staying power for the second weekend. Here the Columbia release might be vulnerable.

Funnily enough, the problem with the movie -- that it's a virtual movie with only cursory human interaction -- also is its subject: For the U.S. Navy of the "near future" is looking to replace human pilots with artificial intelligence-based drones.

As the movie gets under way, only three Navy pilots are excellent enough to fly its latest stealth fighter jet: Ben (Josh Lucas), Kara (Jessica Biel) and Henry (Jamie Foxx). Their commanding officer, Capt. Cummings (Sam Shepard), seemingly without any military superior of his own, has enough juice to ram through Congress and the Pentagon a pilotless aircraft that he insists will be the "new wingman" for our Terrific Trio.

The thing is called an Extreme Deep Invader or EDI, which everyone pronounces as Eddy when they are not calling the plane Tin Man. It does have a male voice, not unlike HAL's in 2001: A Space Odyssey, so you know what Ben means when he says, "I've got a bad feeling about that plane."

Rushed into action ahead of schedule, the drone watches -- and learns -- when Ben overrides his commander's orders and successfully destroys a target swarming with terrorists in downtown Rangoon without any collateral damage. (You do believe that, don't you?) Returning to the aircraft carrier, Eddy gets hit by lightning, goes haywire, nearly crashes, arrives in sick bay in bad shape -- and Capt. Cummings immediately clears him for duty.

(Essentially, Shepard is reprieving his Black Hawk Down role of the commander who receives bad news in a remote operation center, only this time with the sinister overlay. It seems that a rogue element within the military-industrial complex is determined to promote the invention of a wacky scientist with the James Bondian name of Dr. Orbit.)

Before Eddy returns to action, however, the movie indulges in a Thai Swimsuit Special, where the pilots repair to Thailand to strip down to beachwear so audiences can admire the buff bodies of Lucas and Biel. You also learn that the two pilots have developed romantic feelings for each other.

Back in clothes, the pilots fly off to a mission near the Pakistani border, where Eddy goes bananas. Having learned from Ben that orders are a sometime thing, Eddy ignores a command and creates a potential nuclear disaster. Then Eddy decides to continue the Joy Ride up to Siberia to launch World War III.

The nonstop action from this point does yield exciting dogfights and aerial gymnastics. The film marries two different technologies, namely Tergen (for terrain generator), developed by Digital Domain, which can create virtual backgrounds; and a special gimbal, a device that allows the mock jets to incline at different angles in all directions.

There also is an intriguing second-act twist in W.D. Richter's screenplay, in which Ben engages Eddy in a midair conference and talks him over to the side of the good guys. More excitement is then generated by Eddy and Ben's rescue of Kara, who has ejected over North Korea.

The movie never really establishes any compelling reason for the Navy to want to remove pilots from combat, and the illogic compounds itself from that point. The movie does deliver the video game goods but strands its characters in a no-man's-land of crude characterizations and silly dialogue.

The actors can do little to elevate these roles. Lucas displays bravery and guile, Biel resiliency and a sweet smile, while Foxx has the misfortunate to follow a truly great acting year with a role that numbs his usual exuberance.

Technical credits are where the real action is, especially the sleek design of the hypersonic fighters and cinematographer Dean Semler's excellent blending of the virtual movie with locations in Australia, Thailand and New Zealand.

STEALTH

Columbia Pictures

An Original Film/Phoenix Pictures/Laura Ziskin production

Credits:

Director: Rob Cohen

Screenwriter: W.D. Richter

Producers: Laura Ziskin, Mike Medavoy, Neal H. Moritz

Executive producers: E. Bennett Walsh, Arnold W. Messer

Director of photography: Dean Semler

Production designer: J. Michael Riva, Jonathan Lee

Music: BT

Costumes: Lizzy Gardiner

Editor: Stephen Rivkin

Cast:

Ben: Josh Lucas

Kara: Jessica Biel

Henry: Jamie Foxx

Capt. Cummings: Sam Shepard

Keith Orbit: Richard Foxburgh

Capt. Marshfield: Joe Morton

MPAA rating: PG-13

Running time -- 121 minutes »

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'Wedding' hits No. 1 at boxoffice in third week

3 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

After being a bridesmaid to the top spot in its first two weeks of release, New Line Cinema's Wedding Crashers took its vows in first place this weekend a haul of $20 million, Monday's final figures show. The R-rated comedy, starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn and helmed by David Dobkin, was off a scant 20% on its third session and has garnered about $116 million to date. In recent years only a handful of films have opened in a position other than the top spot before moving into first place in later weeks; Wedding Crashers joins a unique club that includes New Line's Elf, 20th Century Fox's There's Something About Mary and Buena Vista's The Santa Clause. But Wedding Crashers proved to be one of but a few bright spots this weekend at the boxoffice as the session overall fell well short of the comparable frame last year, when Buena Vista's The Village debuted with $50.7 million and the second-place film, Universal's The Bourne Supremacy, took in $24.2 million for its sophomore session. Sony's Stealth joins DreamWorks' The Island -- another expensive summer actioner with a budget north of $100 million -- that crash-landed in its opening session. Directed by Rob Cohen and starring Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel and Josh Lucas, Stealth was grounded in the fourth spot with a bleak $13.2 million. The PG-13-rated actioner is set in the high-flying world of U.S. Navy fighter pilots with a computer-run jet gone bad. »

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'Wedding' hits No. 1 at b.o. in third week

2 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

After being a bridesmaid to the top spot in its first two weeks of release, New Line Cinema's Wedding Crashers took its vows in first place this weekend a haul of $20 million, Monday's final figures show. The R-rated comedy, starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn and helmed by David Dobkin, was off a scant 20% on its third session and has garnered about $116 million to date. In recent years only a handful of films have opened in a position other than the top spot before moving into first place in later weeks; Wedding Crashers joins a unique club that includes New Line's Elf, 20th Century Fox's There's Something About Mary and Buena Vista's The Santa Clause. But Wedding Crashers proved to be one of but a few bright spots this weekend at the boxoffice as the session overall fell well short of the comparable frame last year, when Buena Vista's The Village debuted with $50.7 million and the second-place film, Universal's The Bourne Supremacy, took in $24.2 million for its sophomore session. Sony's Stealth joins DreamWorks' The Island -- another expensive summer actioner with a budget north of $100 million -- that crash-landed in its opening session. Directed by Rob Cohen and starring Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel and Josh Lucas, Stealth was grounded in the fourth spot with a bleak $13.2 million. The PG-13-rated actioner is set in the high-flying world of U.S. Navy fighter pilots with a computer-run jet gone bad. »

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'Wedding' hits No. 1 at b.o. in third week

1 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

After being a bridesmaid to the top spot in its first two weeks of release, New Line Cinema's Wedding Crashers took its vows in first place this weekend with an estimated $20.5 million. The R-rated comedy, starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn and helmed by David Dobkin, was off a scant 20% on its third session and has garnered an estimated $116.1 million to date. In recent years only a handful of films have opened in a position other than the top spot before moving into first place in later weeks; Wedding Crashers joins a unique club that includes New Line's Elf, 20th Century Fox's There's Something About Mary and Buena Vista's The Santa Clause. But Wedding Crashers proved to be one of but a few bright spots this weekend at the boxoffice as the session overall fell well short of the comparable frame last year, when Buena Vista's The Village debuted with $50.7 million and the second-place film, Universal's The Bourne Supremacy, took in $24.2 million for its sophomore session. Sony's Stealth joins DreamWorks' The Island -- another expensive summer actioner with a budget north of $100 million -- that crash-landed in its opening session. Directed by Rob Cohen and starring Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel and Josh Lucas, Stealth was grounded in the fourth spot with a bleak estimate of $13.5 million. The PG-13-rated actioner is set in the high-flying world of U.S. Navy fighter pilots with a computer-run jet gone bad. »

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'Wedding' hits No. 1 at boxoffice in third week

1 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

After being a bridesmaid to the top spot in its first two weeks of release, New Line Cinema's "Wedding Crashers" took its vows in first place this weekend a haul of $20 million, Monday's final figures show. The R-rated comedy, starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn and helmed by David Dobkin, was off a scant 20% on its third session and has garnered about $116 million to date. In recent years only a handful of films have opened in a position other than the top spot before moving into first place in later weeks; "Wedding Crashers" joins a unique club that includes New Line's "Elf", 20th Century Fox's "There's Something About Mary" and Buena Vista's "The Santa Clause". But "Wedding Crashers" proved to be one of but a few bright spots this weekend at the boxoffice as the session overall fell well short of the comparable frame last year, when Buena Vista's "The Village" debuted with $50.7 million and the second-place film, Universal's "The Bourne Supremacy", took in $24.2 million for its sophomore session. Sony's "Stealth" joins DreamWorks' "The Island" -- another expensive summer actioner with a budget north of $100 million -- that crash-landed in its opening session. Directed by Rob Cohen and starring Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel and Josh Lucas, "Stealth" was grounded in the fourth spot with a bleak $13.2 million. The PG-13-rated actioner is set in the high-flying world of U.S. Navy fighter pilots with a computer-run jet gone bad. »

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'Stealth' enters hostile airspace

31 July 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

If last weekend's The Island is any indication of the state of the boxoffice, this frame's action-adventurer Stealth might have a bit of trouble opening to its core audience. The two films have a number of similarities: an innocuous title, a well-known director and a cast that doesn't include guaranteed boxoffice draws. But if Sony Pictures' film starring Jamie Foxx, Josh Lucas and Jessica Biel gains more traction at the boxoffice than DreamWorks Pictures' Island did last weekend, the returns probably will have more to do with fans' interest in fighter pilots than the health of the industry. Sony will bow the Rob Cohen-directed film in 3,495 theaters. Stealth has been on theater chains' radar since March, when Sony showed ShoWest exhibitors the first 40 minutes of the special effects-riddled extravaganza. But after Michael Bay's Island opened to a dismal $12 million last weekend, what once seemed like a sure thing no longer is being viewed as a hit just waiting to take off. Stealth revolves around three highly trained fighter pilots who must fight a drone bomber that turns rogue and has the potential to start a war. The film is chock-full of high-octane action scenes, but without a top-name cast it might suffer the same fate as Island. Sony is hoping that Foxx's recent Oscar win will help. »

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'Wedding' hits No. 1 at b.o. in third week

31 July 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

After being a bridesmaid to the top spot in its first two weeks of release, New Line Cinema's Wedding Crashers took its vows in first place this weekend with an estimated $20.5 million. The R-rated comedy, starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn and helmed by David Dobkin, was off a scant 20% on its third session and has garnered an estimated $116.1 million to date. In recent years only a handful of films have opened in a position other than the top spot before moving into first place in later weeks; Wedding Crashers joins a unique club that includes New Line's Elf, 20th Century Fox's There's Something About Mary and Buena Vista's The Santa Clause. But Wedding Crashers proved to be one of but a few bright spots this weekend at the boxoffice as the session overall fell well short of the comparable frame last year, when Buena Vista's The Village debuted with $50.7 million and the second-place film, Universal's The Bourne Supremacy, took in $24.2 million for its sophomore session. Sony's Stealth joins DreamWorks' The Island -- another expensive summer actioner with a budget north of $100 million -- that crash-landed in its opening session. Directed by Rob Cohen and starring Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel and Josh Lucas, Stealth was grounded in the fourth spot with a bleak estimate of $13.5 million. »

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'Wedding' hits No. 1 at boxoffice in third week

31 July 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

After being a bridesmaid to the top spot in its first two weeks of release, New Line Cinema's Wedding Crashers took its vows in first place this weekend with an estimated $20.5 million. The R-rated comedy, starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn and helmed by David Dobkin, was off a scant 20% on its third session and has garnered an estimated $116.1 million to date. In recent years only a handful of films have opened in a position other than the top spot before moving into first place in later weeks; Wedding Crashers joins a unique club that includes New Line's Elf, 20th Century Fox's There's Something About Mary and Buena Vista's The Santa Clause. But Wedding Crashers proved to be one of but a few bright spots this weekend at the boxoffice as the session overall fell well short of the comparable frame last year, when Buena Vista's The Village debuted with $50.7 million and the second-place film, Universal's The Bourne Supremacy, took in $24.2 million for its sophomore session. Sony's Stealth joins DreamWorks' The Island -- another expensive summer actioner with a budget north of $100 million -- that crash-landed in its opening session. Directed by Rob Cohen and starring Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel and Josh Lucas, Stealth was grounded in the fourth spot with a bleak estimate of $13.5 million. The PG-13-rated actioner is set in the high-flying world of U.S. Navy fighter pilots with a computer-run jet gone bad. »

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'Stealth' enters hostile airspace

29 July 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

If last weekend's The Island is any indication of the state of the boxoffice, this frame's action-adventurer Stealth might have a bit of trouble opening to its core audience. The two films have a number of similarities: an innocuous title, a well-known director and a cast that doesn't include guaranteed boxoffice draws. But if Sony Pictures' film starring Jamie Foxx, Josh Lucas and Jessica Biel gains more traction at the boxoffice than DreamWorks Pictures' Island did last weekend, the returns probably will have more to do with fans' interest in fighter pilots than the health of the industry. Sony will bow the Rob Cohen-directed film in 3,495 theaters. Stealth has been on theater chains' radar since March, when Sony showed ShoWest exhibitors the first 40 minutes of the special effects-riddled extravaganza. But after Michael Bay's Island opened to a dismal $12 million last weekend, what once seemed like a sure thing no longer is being viewed as a hit just waiting to take off. Stealth revolves around three highly trained fighter pilots who must fight a drone bomber that turns rogue and has the potential to start a war. The film is chock-full of high-octane action scenes, but without a top-name cast it might suffer the same fate as Island. Sony is hoping that Foxx's recent Oscar win will help. »

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Lucas Concussed on 'Stealth' Set

21 July 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Movie star Josh Lucas suffered for his art while filming new fighter pilot action movie Stealth - he was concussed three times in the same week. The Sweet Home Alabama star found filming extremely tough on the set in Sydney, Australia because most of the scenes were shot inside a fake cockpit that would toss him around as he acted to a green screen. He says, "It would basically throw you around for eight hours at a time while you were doing dialogue to nobody. I'd get smashed up pretty badly." »

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Lucas boards 'Poseidon' for Warner Bros.

7 June 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Josh Lucas has finally signed on for Warner Bros. Pictures' remake of The Poseidon Adventure, being directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Lucas has been flirting with the role of the ship-hopping gambler for some time. Negotiations, which were on and off, broke down late Friday, leaving the part up for grabs. Both sides quickly reconvened over the weekend and sealed the deal. Like the 1972 original, the story follows the survivors of the S.S. Poseidon, a cruise ship that is capsized by a tidal wave. The survivors, trapped inside, are forced to work their way to the surface of the upside-down ship through the hull. »

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ShoWest taps Cohen helmer of year

8 March 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Rob Cohen will be honored as the ShoWest 2005 Director of the Year at ShoWest's closing-night ceremony March 17 at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas. Cohen, whose most recent film was Columbia Pictures/Revolution Studios' XXX, next directs Columbia's Stealth, an action thriller about a squadron of elite pilots that stars Jessica Biel, Josh Lucas and Jamie Foxx. The film was written by W.D. Richter and produced by Laura Ziskin, Mike Medavoy and Neal H. Moritz and is slated for a July 29 release. »

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Biel lauded as ShoWest Star of Tomorrow

4 March 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Jessica Biel will be honored as ShoWest's Female Star of Tomorrow at the convention's annual closing-night ceremonies March 17 in Las Vegas, Mitch Neuhauser, co-managing director of the event, said. Biel, best known for her breakout success on the WB Network's 7th Heaven, will next be seen in Sony Pictures' action-thriller Stealth, directed by Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious, XXX) and co-starring Jamie Foxx and Josh Lucas. "ShoWest has a long tradition of recognizing top breakout stars in this awards category and we could not be more excited about honoring Jessica Biel as this year's Female Star of Tomorrow," Neuhauser said. Biel's recent film credits include Blade: Trinity, the 2003 remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Cellular and The Rules of Attraction. In addition to Stealth, Biel will be seen in the summer in Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown for Paramount Pictures. »

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Graham in Love Split

7 February 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hollywood beauty Heather Graham is single again - after splitting with new love Josh Lucas. The Guru star, 35, and the Sweet Home Alabama heart-throb, 33, began dating in December, several months after Graham ended her relationship with film-maker Chris Weitz. Graham has previously dated Heath Ledger and Ed Burns, while Lucas romanced Salma Hayek. American gossip site Pagesix.Com reports Lucas attended a party at New York nightclub Gypsy Tea with former love, model Liliana Dominguez on Thursday. »

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16 items from 2005


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