Kodachrome (2017) Poster

(2017)

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6/10
Nothing new, yet compelling.
How much does a movie's originality in terms of storyline play into it's ultimate, overall quality? Should a film be seen only in terms of the movies that have come before it?

From it's title and poster to the actual film itself, Kodachrome sets itself up to be THAT kind of a road trip movie. The kind that features Hollywood jaw lines gazing into the setting sun as your quintessential bright red convertible speeds through a quiet countryside. This is accompanied with that melodious Indie track that rounds out the scene. Kodachrome is most definitely about something; it has meaning, it has purpose. The performances are affecting. The direction is largely unobtrusive and contents itself with letting the script do all the talking, exuding a tenderness that pervades and persists throughout the entire film.

Yet, all of these accomplishments are left denied by the aforementioned screenplay which not only resorts to a fundamental premise that is unoriginal but dialogue that routinely divulges into the perceived cliches of the 'road trip' movie. Characters repeatedly break into melancholy monologues about love, life and art, making biting observations on the human condition. From afar, the plot unfurls predictably and there is nary a moment where the viewer is surprised. Also, as a movie where the narrative is driven by the praise for tradition film format and analog technology, and despite having been aptly shot in 35mm film, photography as an art form itself does not play a more central role in dictating the nature of the storytelling. Given it's narrative simplicity, the experience could have been unique if the origins and vitality of preserving the old art form were entwined into the story, serving as an effective case for the preservation of the film format.

While these are my qualms with the movie, there is no denying that it is constructed with care and an eye for detail that could easily have been left out. The characters are fairly well realized through whom the movie commendably balances the humour with the drama. The performances manage to convey the gravity of the story and the simple confidence with which the movie progresses is sure to engage most viewers. Ultimately, Kodachrome stands as an undemanding, welcoming road trip movie; you won't feel new feelings, but you will revisit old ones, much the same way you might look at some personal Kodak photograph of old.
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9/10
Absolutely loved it.
ancwyatt23 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Great movie, of course a movie with any terminal illness will be somewhat predictable. What's not to get, we don't need plot twists or surprise endings, that's not the premise. But it still doesn't mean the scenario has any less sentiment. Jason and Ed in a film, I'm watching it, both are incredibly talented actors. Anyone who has experienced anything remotely close to situations in this story will be wrenched with emotion. Two big thumbs up for me.
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9/10
Not your typical road movie...
bills-steven21 April 2018
This isn't your typical road movie. When a nurse (Elizabeth Olsen) shows up at Matt's work to tell him that his father is dying, he couldn't care less. They haven't spoken in over a decade. But wait, there's more! Zoey wants Matt to accompany Ben (Ed Harris) to the only lab in the country that is still processing Kodachrome film before it shuts down in a week. He basically gawks at her and tells her to get lost, but she's persistent, to the benefit of all involved.

In 'Kodachrome', we're taken on a beautiful journey of years lost and bitter roads not traveled. The character arcs are believable, for the most part. Being a father, I got a bit teary-eyed at the "climax" of the movie (spoiler alert: You will never see it coming!).

The cinematography is excellent. They weren't afraid to let the action play out in darkness. Not everything is perfectly lit, and that lends to the authenticity of the film. The restitution at the end of the film feels well deserved: Just leave it to a road trip to have an estranged father and his down-and-out son come to terms with their past, as well as confront questions about their future.
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10/10
it got me tears
dannenberg-1734118 May 2018
Short review. this movie got my eyes wet, for the first time in 10 years i got a tear in my eye. i really needed it, and i know my people can reflect on this movie. it gets a 400% from me
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9/10
A delightful film with great actors, very well told
pjhoyles24 April 2018
A friend recommended this film from Netflix and I clicked it on, but could only watch the first twenty minutes because I had an appointment to go to. This first twenty really got me into the story. The getting-to-know-the-people of the story was very entertaining, absorbing and drew me right in. I suppose the title got me very interested in the first place, I have personally taken about 5,000 Kodachrome slides in my photography, so I am very well familiar with the medium and this was of particular interest to me. Yes, Ben is right, we do it to freeze time and save a moment. Overall the film got me involved right from the start and I went along with the personalities shown and it made a good story. It was good to see the characters and how they interacted and how the story played out. Entirely believable and I had strong and tender emotions while it played. Great entertainment. I recommend it to all. No shooting, no violence, no dazzling display trying to impress us, just a good story told by really great actors, shot well, edited well, believable.
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8/10
enjoyable and touching
dutchtea-322-78953023 April 2018
A man out of luck in his job at a recordlabel is surprised at work by his father's nurse. She tells him his father is dying and wants to take one last trip to Kansas to get his remaining kodachrome photo's developed. Needless to say the son is less than excited to go on a trip with his bad-tempered dad but he does it anyway. Though fairly predictable this is an enjoyable movie. The leads, Jason Sudeikis, Ed Harris and Elisabeth Olsen give fine performances. Especially Sudeikis excells in a role you don't really expect from him. The movie has a nice soundtrack and is nicely shot. Recommended
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9/10
Absolutely worth watching
ambervdhoff21 April 2018
If you love photography and music, this film is a must see.
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5/10
Touching But Predictable
melodypierson28 April 2018
The storyline was honest. You can't go wrong with Ed Harris. Dialogue was clever and at moments, profound.

With the exception of the father and son, depth of the other characters were lacking though they all had a role to play.

Editing moved it along. Cinematography quite good and appropriate. Music matched the tone; understated. Excellent sound and direction very good given the parameters.

The photos shone brilliantly to the contrast of the film. Perhaps that was the subtext of the father and the real point of Kodachrome. Sometimes you get what you see only at the end of the roll..
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7/10
Why Not?
alcibiadescult6 September 2018
Why in gods name you people have to be so damn hard,it was a nice movie,Harris was really good,Sudeikis too it was a brilliant soundtrack and two men on a road trip trying to finally understand each other before one of them is gone so the other can move on...Get a grip to reality you little babies....
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9/10
"Spoiler Alert" Absolutely amazing, but predictable.
ilitius23 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The film and story is very predictable. But it's still amazing and absolutely one of the best to come from Netflix.

It's not a typical road-trip movie, and as a fan based film for Kodachrome it dosent really do it justice. But if you put all that aside it's a beautifully story.

A broken down father of a man Ben Ryder (Ed Harris) who is a famous photo-journalist, who have dedicated his life to capture the moment and so to say "freeze time" forgotten all about living in the moment and doing so ruined all relations with his son Matt Ryder (Jason Sudeikis) and the rest of his family. Diagnosed with lever cancer Ben Ryder want his son to take him on the journey from New York to Kansas, where the last shop to develop kodachrome is ending the kodachrome service. Matt Ryder the son who haven't spoken to his father in 10 years is confronted by his father's nurse Zooey (Elizabeth Olsen) that this is his fathers wish.

Working as a music label represents Matt's career stands at a breaking point, Ben's Manger wants to arrange a meeting with the dream band that can save Matt's career, but only if he agrees to go on this trip with his father. Despite the hate he have for his father Matt agrees and the journey begins.

The cast of the movie is in my opinion perfect. The son Matt Ryder played by (Jason Sudeikis) who is mostly known for his comedy rolls in (We're The Miller's) (Horrible Bosses one and two) suit this more serious roll very nicely with his arrogant yet funny style of acting. Which surprised me to be honest.

The movie is very predictable but with a dying father and all it kind of set the directions of the story from the beginning. Other than that I like the overall atmosphere in the movie and it's only because of the ending I give it 9 and not 10 stars

Do not read this part if you don't want to know the ending! Instead of Zooey coming in at the end while looking alone at his father's last pictures and ruin it all by steeling the moment "do you want some company" it should have ended with Zooey coming in silently taken a seat right next to him taken his hand and just looked at the pictures as the movie ended. Instead of this cliche of a ending where it suddenly feels more about the women of his dreams instead of the roller-coaster journey that was the life of his father.
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6/10
Great A-Story; Problematic Overall
phubaliverpool22 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Kodachrome is different. Its A-story, that between Matt and Ben is stereotypical, and has no surprises. Just as expected at the start, Ben dies before the photos are developed. And it is up to Matt to see them alone, and deal with them. As expected, Ben, the asshole father, is not actually that much of an asshole at the end. Even with these unsurprising plot points, the A-story works because most of the emotions flow naturally. The movie does not manipulate you with some out-of-story music just to get you to cry. It really feels like a genuine story of a son and his dead beat father. What Kodachrome does so well is represent the hatred of this son for his father. Unlike other movies with this storyline, the son is not mad at the father because of all the football games or performances he missed. The son is mad because his father hurt his mother deeply. Jason Sudeikis did a good job.

The other storylines in the movie, however, are very problematic. Their script focuses so much on the main story that others do not develop, and some plot points come as surprises. The romance between Zooey and Matt is rash and rushed. The two of them share about two decent conversations (less than three minutes each) before they sleep together, and then suddenly, Zooey cares so much about Matt that she leaves to save him? The scene with the band and Matt is likewise rushed. Matt spends half the scene telling them how their music got him through his divorce, and then what, he suddenly loses *all* respect for them because they laugh at the old man who peed himself? This the old man that Matt clearly did not care about just a few hours ago. Many similar storylines are impatiently developed, and could have been easily cut out of the movie entirely. Because they were so impatiently build, they come across as expedient plot points that were only included to move the movie (not the story.)

I love Elizabeth Olsen, but not as this character. I do not blame her. I blame the writing. Her character was very shallow and fringe, and for all the time she spent on screen, the character's impact on the storyline was not to ratio.

P.S. That bit about Zooey being a freshman in 2000 -- that was just done to make the music she was into seem more interesting right? Because that scene puts the movie to have taken place in 2012. Is there a different reason? Did the last Kodachrome shop actually close that year?
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4/10
Starts ok, but continues soooo predictable!
birkenmeier20 April 2018
Good acting by all crew, but unfortunately the plot is incredibly predictable - I mean literally we guessed lines they say and gestures and obviously also "twists" in the plot... very sad - and a movie with analogue photography in title and intentions but not one single detail was interesting for fans of film... not recommended.
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6/10
It Is a Way to Capture and Preserve Time
rdg457 May 2018
A stale relationship between a father and son for longer than a decade comes to an understanding and final conclusion during a road trip from New York to Kansas to develop the last roles of Kodachrome 35 mm film. Enjoyable story.
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3/10
Kodachrome: a story as old as the actual film
mherrin-4325326 April 2018
Kodachrome: Directed by Mark Raso and written by Jonathan Tropper

Howdy folks let's take a quirky road trip to a small town in Kansas that is the last place to develop Kodachrome film to heal a broken father-son relationship and discover new things about ourselves along the way. If all this sounds familiar, it should. It fits that indie vibe like a tailored glove. It has the beats where they usually are, it has that coffee shop alt rock music to cue us to what the characters are feeling and therefore what we should be feeling. It has all that and some really good naturalistic performances to make things bearable.

It is about being in the shadow of a great artist as their progeny. It is about a dying artform in many respects. Ed Harris literally dying and his camera of choice and film of choice phased out for digital. Jason Sudekis' record label talent scout being muscled out by the big record companies and their manufactured version of music forcing out real artists. It has that bit about being a great artist doesn't excuse you for being a terrible person. All this is fine and is played well enough by highly capable actors.

I can not fault the actors. I know I've mentioned this before in the review but they were the highlight of this film. The story on the other hand hits that road trip check list. I love road trips. I sometimes enjoy road trips movies but when they are this obvious and this predictable, it takes the fun out of things. It is a harmless movie that never reaches the depths of emotions it clearly is trying for. I think the idea of the lasy photo shop processing an art format for the very last time and people travelling from across the country to get their photos done one last time is an interesting idea that I hoped might be explored more. It makes me want to read the article so that's something.

I give this movie a D.
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6/10
Predictable sentimentality
NikkoFranco23 May 2018
Estranged father and Son going on a road trip isn't entirely new material. Ed Harris as the father , Ed Harris as he is always delivers. Jason Sudeikis for some reason always looks like a Mister Know it all in many of his roles, it makes one wonder if he has other facial expressions or emotional depth, he always appears to be the same person in all his roles.

If you're a baby boomer like me, you will feel the nostalgia we have pre-selfie era. There is something magical with how the old cameras worked and the placing of the film roll. Indeed those were the days.

You'll know what happens in this film, predictable as it is there are still some charming elements in it.
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3/10
Low Hanging Fruit
zingkey4 May 2018
At the dinner table Ben (Ed Harris) used the term, 'low hanging fruit.' The script writers had some understanding of the concept but then went on to write a screenplay that is all low hanging fruit. From the dying dad and the resentful son, the pretty nurse who's just along for the ride, the innuendo about Ben's brother's wife, the girl who likes The Pixies and The Smiths, the english bandmates acting like jerks. This screenplay was artless. Amazing because it was about a film photographer and a music producer who are trying to retain art in the face of corporate commodification. It was fun and enjoyable but so ridiculous and predictable.
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5/10
A film of unfulfilled potential
CineMuseFilms1 July 2018
Films with excessive sentimentality, contrived narrative, and shallow acting are often labelled melodramatic, a term usually reserved for women's film Such descriptors, however, are equally relevant to men's films and Kodachrome (2018)is a case in point.

It's a simple plot: a dying father wants his estranged son to take him across America to the last lab that can develop a few long-lost rolls of Kodachrome film. The son is Matt Ryder (Jason Sudeikis), a music recording executive whose career is on the brink. He is angered by the sudden appearance of his father's carer, Zooey Kern (Elizabeth Olsen) who acts as his messenger. His dad Ben (Ed Harris) is an old school alpha-male, a famous photographer, and chronically obnoxious. Matt is bribed into the trip and the journey is predictably unpleasant for all three. Despite its potential as an interesting road trip or a late-life coming of age story, the film struggles on several levels. To even care about the travelling threesome, we need to like or have empathy with the characters but there is nothing that encourages this. Matt is a shallow self-interested wheeler-dealer; Ben is callously uncaring; and Zooey is unconvincing in her commitment to either man.

One scene stands out both for its lame attempt to find humour where there is none. The three are hurtling along in a convertible under GPS voice guidance, when Ben gets nostalgic for old-fashion maps. After asking for Matt's phone, he throws it out of the car and grins; so does Zooey, while Matt looks piqued. And this is a highlight scene worth including in the trailer!

Some viewers may be drawn to Kodachromeout of interest in the history of photography and the once-iconic Kodak brand. A photographer and a music producer on a road trip could have dwelled on the passing of an era and the onset of the digital age where few images are printed or albums built. There is little serious content in this predictable over-contrived story of guilt, redemption, and a finger-wagging reminder that our lives mean nothing if we do not leave behind loving memories in those who follow.

Some filmmakers seem to believe that if human failings can be exaggerated sufficiently it will turn into comedy. This sometimes works, but not here; nor does the film work as drama. Kodachrome falls somewhere between several genres into a space that feels like male melodrama.
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6/10
It's like watching a summer rerun like when I was a kid (spoilers)
rstearns5424 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
To paraphrase Syd Field, you can have a lot of things (acting, directing, etc.) turn a good screenplay into a bad movie, but none of those things can save a bad script and turn it into a good movie. That's the case here. This movie has a great cast (Ed Harris is one of the best actors of his generation, in my opinion) and a decent soundtrack. What is completely absent is an original thought in the entire movie. It had every chiche' imaginable. It was like the writers bought a book titled "How to Write a Road Trip Movie in Five Days" and got to work. I marked this review as having "spoilers", but honestly if you haven't figured out in the first ten minutes everything that's going to happen, then you should stick to coloring purple elephants from the refrigerator and eating paste. They used the same Saab convertible as they did in As Good As it Gets (In this movie it was red, Good As It Gets it was blue. And thank God they had the gratuitous sing-a-long with the Sudukis and Olsen, just before they fell in bed together. Here's a brief synapsis of the plot - that Ed Harris's character, a legendary photographer, is terminally ill and wants his estranged son to help him hand deliver 4 rolls of early film to have it developed. They bond, the son sleeps with the attractive nurse, he and the nurse fight (completely fabricated reason, btw), father dies, the rolls of film are of the son as a little kid, showing that the father loved him all along (blatant rip off of People Like US), son and nurse reconcile for ... reasons. Again, I pretty much knew all of this within the first ten minutes of the movie, and I intentionally try to turn my brain off to try to avoid figuring out the entire thing at the beginning and ruining it.
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6/10
Not bad, but not great
bbewnylorac15 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Ed Harris, as renowned photographer Ben Ryder, is worth the price of admission to this movie. Ben is dying of cancer, but Harris obviously relishes how crusty, blunt, and often offensive Ben is. Ben blackmails his long estranged son Matt, into coming on a road trip with him to get some old film rolls developed at a Kodak factory in Kansas. Don't know why they don't just fly!! I think Jason Sudeikis is too intense to play Matt, but he is a good actor. Matt is often as nasty and dysfunctional as Ben. His simmering anger that his father abandoned him as a child, to travel the world as a photojournalist, is understandable. However the father-son schtick does sometimes get a bit heavy. The go-between is Ben's paid carer, Zoe (Elizabeth Olsen) whose character, I felt, was too much the 'hot but shallowly written' love interest. She spends most of the film batting her eyelids and flicking her hair. There's never any doubt that she and Matt will end up together. But before that, some of her scenes berating both Ben and Matt for abusing each other, and urging them to make peace, are effective. The death scenes are handled movingly, and the final scene of viewing the newly developed slides, showing Matt as a child, with Ben (in the photos) looking on, are nicely done. It's all a little bit slight, though. 'Dad and son don't talk, Dad and son go on road trip. Dad and son make up. Dad dies. The End'. I think this movie means well. But it's far from excellent.
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3/10
Famous photographer, whose "great" pictures we never get to see
dierregi22 July 2018
Matt is a record executive about to lose his job. He receives the visit of smart*ss Zooey, his estranged father PA. Turns out, dad Benjamin is a world famous photographer and also about to die of cancer.

Benjamin is your standard cantankerous old man, not even cancer can redeem. Matt is resentful because dad wasted too much time travelling and taking photos, rather then being a good dad at home

Obviously, Matt proclaims he is not interested in meeting dad, but we know the two will eventually meet ... and what better that throwing in a road trip for the occasion?

The road trip involves delivering rolls of unprocessed Kodachrome film before they stop developing them for good. Seeing which photos are so precious for Benjamin is supposed to be the big surprise at the end of the movie, although anybody with minimal experience can see the "surprise' coming from a mile away.

And there lies the biggest weakness of the movie: we never get to see the photographic masterpieces Benjamin was famous for (Was he a war photographer? Travel landscape? Social commentary? Fashion?) but we're supposed to get very emotional when we discover what his most precious photos were about...

PS and expect the usual nasty repartees between characters, only to end predictably with love and affection
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7/10
Not about photography, but about a father and son
mxsuba2623 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Not a photography story. This is a father - son relationship movie. It is well-used story line - a son who deeply resents his father for his dismal parenting and cheating on his wife. It's not a bad film, but not great. The story-line could have been much better and there are several overly long scenes that should be deleted. Too much introspection by the son (get over it, your father is dying and he wants to see you for one last time). Ed Harris (looking pretty old and weathered but certainly in very good physical shape) is a coarse and abrasive dying photographer who reunites with his estranged son for a final road trip to have his last four rolls of Kodachrome developed at Dwayne's Photo in Kansas, the last lab left open that can process this discontinued film. Harris is not all that convincing as a photographer. He is shown handling his Leica rangefinder several times but takes few images, talks very little about photography and has few if any images displayed in his large NJ house.

His son, a music promoter (?), looks like an aging Gen Xr trying to look young. He wears untucked shirts and jeans and has bed-head and a 5 day beard growth in nearly every scene. He is certainly too old for this style. Ms. Olsen plays Ed's caretaker/nurse. She is OK, but does not convince one that she is a nurse and abandons Ed near the end of the film only to return after his death. There is very little discussion of photography or actual photography by Ed. Ed is described as one of America's greatest living photographers in the film, but we never see any of his work until the last couple minutes. No discussion of the impact of Kodachrome on photography in the film.

There are some odd scenes such as when Ed, his son and nurse visit Ed's brother in Ohio who raised his son after his mother's early death. Ed, for some strange reason brings up his fling with his brother's wife over dinner. Why include this scene? We already know Ed is a nasty old man. What is also odd is his son's old room in his brother's house. His son lived with his brother for many years - from age 13 to 20 or so. For some unknown reason, his boyhood room in his brother's house remains completely untouched even though the son moved away more than a decade ago. Rocky posters, LPs, record players, and toys are in perfect condition and still in place. Why would they maintain that?

All in all, it could have been better. However, the film does end well - a nice surprise and conclusion to the story.
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2/10
Clunkingly formulaic
calorne26 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
A disappointing film.

It has some very unnatural dialogue with characters making speeches rather than having a normal conversation. The script appears to be following a formula rather than telling a story and as a consequence the actors go through the motions unconvincingly. It has the feel of a daytime soap rather than a movie.

The Ed Harris character is particularly ridiculous. His whole essence is that of an artist who sacrifices and rejects in pursuance of his art. Near the end he then makes a going through the motions "emotional" speech that completely undermines his character so he is no longer true to himself.

All in all it is a clumsy and soulless film with a one track soundtrack set to "dreary".
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4/10
Pretty predicatable and boring
avni-436284 June 2018
Nothing new to see here, folks - it's all been done before...
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10/10
Brilliant
jbt_28118121 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The best work any of the three leads have ever done. Great musical references. Especially the scene Lightning Crashes is played. I love how it transitions from storyline in a bar to overlay of the flow in the film.

The analogy is precious. They could not have cast the film better and the actors put quality into their performance. Cinematography is done perfectly in the final scene of the movie.

I really enjoyed this film and would recommend it to anybody.
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2/10
Sentimental Glop
cekadah22 April 2018
This movie is plagued with problems! First there are way too too many scenes of Jason Sudeikis as 'Matt' in solitary reflective moments about exactly what he is doing. And Ed Harris as the cancer stricken 'Ben' is about as believable as an anorexic playing an obese person. Elizabeth Olsen as 'Zoe' sort of drifts between charming and being way to smart about the relationships Ben had with his family. This is just thoughts off the top of my head while watching this movie.

Kodachrome is too long and self absorbed to be enjoyable as a father/son reconciliation after many years of hate and misunderstanding of each other. If you can't figure out which direction this story is going within the first 20 minutes - I feel sorry for you.
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