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Empire Newcastle Upon Tyne

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The Gate, Newgate Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 5TG

Before I Go To Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 92 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Rowan Joffe
  • Cast: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong

Christine (Kidman) is an amnesiac, unable to recall her marriage to husband Ben (Firth) and the incident which caused her amnesia in the first place; can neuropsychologist Dr Nash (Strong) help? Stylish but superficial thriller which makes for an entertaining evening's viewing, but – like Christine – you may not remember much the next day.

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Wed 1 Oct
Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct
Wed 8 Oct
Thu 9 Oct

The Boxtrolls

The Boxtrolls
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 97 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi
  • Cast: Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Ben Kingsley, Elle Fanning, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan

Eggs (Hempstead-Wright) lives underground with a family of Boxtrolls, marginalised creatures who make their home from rubbish. But then the trolls are hunted by a group of exterminators, led by the grotesque Snatcher (Kingsley). Adventurous, intense and sometimes disturbing animated movie, with plenty to keep adults occupied; whether kids will respond is another question.

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Wed 1 Oct
Thu 2 Oct
Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct
Wed 8 Oct
Thu 9 Oct

Dolphin Tale 2

Dolphin Tale 2
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 107 min
  • Directed by: Charles Martin Smith
  • Cast: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble

Winter, the bottlenose dolphin with the prosthetic tail, needs a friend, and teenager Sawyer (Gamble), kindly mom Lorraine (Judd) and moody doctor Clay (Connick Jr) have to find one. An overqualified cast are wasted in this colourless true-life story, set firmly in the cinematic tradition of tiresome animal-related do-gooding.

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Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct
Wed 8 Oct
Thu 9 Oct

Dracula Untold

Dracula Untold
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • Directed by: Gary Shore
  • Cast: Luke Evans, Charles Dance, Sarah Gadon

In this Dracula origin story, Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (Evans), is a warrior and a family man, who sells his soul to protect his people from the Turkish hordes. There's good work from Evans and Gadon and a show-stopping performance from Dance (under layers of prosthetics), but overall it's po-faced and humourless.

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Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct
Wed 8 Oct
Thu 9 Oct

English National Opera Screen: Otello

  • 2014
  • UK
  • Directed by: David Alden

Live performance of Shakespeare's tragic tale of Otello and Desdemona, celebrating the 450th birthday of Shakespeare.

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Tue 14 Oct

The Equalizer

The Equalizer
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 131 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
  • Cast: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz

Obsessive-compulsive loner McCall (Washington) befriends Teri (Moretz), a teenage Russian prostitute; when her pimp hospitalises her, he decides to even things up a bit. Nominally derived from the 80s Edward Woodward TV series, it's really just a relentless, brutal, unsubtle thriller, with Washington an effective killing machine and Fuqua expertly cranking up the tension.

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Wed 1 Oct
Thu 2 Oct
Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct
Wed 8 Oct
Thu 9 Oct

The Giver

The Giver
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 97 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Phillip Noyce
  • Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep

In a bland, conformist future, one person – the Giver (Bridges) – retains the collective memory of a time before conformity, and it's time for a replacement (Thwaites). Despite good work from Bridges and Streep, it's odd that a story which prizes individuality should make for such a formulaic teen movie.

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Wed 1 Oct

Gone Girl

Gone Girl
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 145 min
  • Directed by: David Fincher
  • Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike

Nick (Affleck) comes home on his fifth wedding anniversary to find his wife Amy (Pike) gone, and a series of revelations cast him in the worst possible light. Fincher directs with cool proficiency and a sense of brutal fun; Affleck is perfect, and Pike gives a bravura, breakout performance.

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Thu 2 Oct
Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct
Wed 8 Oct
Thu 9 Oct

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 122 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: James Gunn
  • Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro

When space adventurer Peter Quill (Pratt) finds himself sharing a prison cell with assassin Gamora (Saldana), genetically-modified bounty-hunting raccoon Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and other crims, they must face power-hungry evildoer Ronan (Pace). With a gag-stuffed script, lively direction and outstanding performances, this adaptation of an obscure Marvel comic is enormous fun.

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Wed 1 Oct
Thu 2 Oct
Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct
Wed 8 Oct
Thu 9 Oct

The House of Magic

The House of Magic
  • 3 stars
  • 2013
  • Belgium
  • 85 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Jeremy Degruson/Ben Stassen
  • Written by: James Flynn/Dominic Paris
  • Cast: Cinda Adams, Edward Asner, Emily Blunt

Thunder, an abandoned young cat seeking shelter from a storm, stumbles into the strangest house imaginable, owned by an old magician and inhabited by a dazzling array of automatons and gizmos.

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Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct

How to Train Your Dragon 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 102 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Dean DeBlois
  • Cast: Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig

Sequel to the 2010 hit film with the original cast returning.

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Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct

The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Hundred-Foot Journey
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • India/United Arab Emirates/USA
  • 122 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Lasse Hallström
  • Cast: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal

Indian patriarch Papa (Puri) decides to open a restaurant in the French countryside, directly opposite a Michelin-starred joint run by Madame Mallory (Mirren); cue romantic complications between son Hassan (Dayal) and Mallory's sous-chef Marguerite (Le Bon). Mirren's imperiousness almost redeems it, but an undercooked third act makes for an insipid conclusion.

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Thu 2 Oct

I Origins

I Origins
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 106 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Mike Cahill
  • Cast: Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey

Biologist Ian (Pitt) and research partner Karen (Marling) are investigating the human eye; when Ian has a whirlwind romance with model Sofi (Bergès-Frisbey), a tragic accident propels the story in an unexpected direction. Thoughtful and intelligent filmmaking with some intense physical horror, and a welcome willingness to shoot for the big questions.

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Wed 1 Oct
Thu 2 Oct

If I Stay

If I Stay
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 106 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: RJ Cutler
  • Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley

When young cellist Mia (Moretz) and her family are involved in a car accident, she finds her spirit self wondering whether her life is worth returning to. An interesting premise spoiled by an almost comically soft-focus tragedy-lite approach and a screenplay that swarms with clichés.

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Wed 1 Oct
Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct

In Conversation With Russell Brand

Russell Brand talks to the Guardian's Owen Jones.

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Thu 23 Oct

The Inbetweeners 2

Inbetweeners 2
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 96 min
  • Directed by: Damon Beesley, Iain Morris
  • Cast: Simon Bird, James Buckley, Joe Thomas, Blake Harrison

Eternal teenagers Will, Simon, Neil and Jay head to Australia in pursuit of Jay's lovely ex, Jane (Bewley). Heaving with bad-taste humour, it manages to feel less tired than the first film thanks to energetic direction, honed performances and some truly spectacular stupidity.

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Wed 1 Oct
Thu 2 Oct
Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct

Let's Be Cops

Let's Be Cops
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 104 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Luke Greenfield
  • Written by: Luke Greenfield, Nicholas Thomas
  • Cast: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr, Rob Riggle

Ryan (Johnson) and Justin (Wayans) are two loser flatmates who decide to pretend to be LAPD officers, only to fall foul of psychopathic criminal Mossi (D'Arcy). Some good ideas and the leads' comic chemistry are let down by uncertain writing, misguided directorial choices and sloppy editing, but it's amiable enough.

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Wed 1 Oct
Thu 2 Oct
Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct
Wed 8 Oct
Thu 9 Oct

Life After Beth

Life After Beth
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 91 min
  • Directed by: Jeff Baena
  • Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Gray Gubler

Zach is devastated after his girlfriend, Beth, unexpectedly dies. When she suddenly rises from the dead, he sees it as a second chance and decides to do and say every thing he wishes he had while she was still alive.

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Wed 1 Oct
Thu 2 Oct
Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct
Wed 8 Oct
Thu 9 Oct

Lucy

Lucy
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • US/France
  • 89 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Luc Besson
  • Written by: Luc Besson
  • Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Analeigh Tipton

Lucy (Johansson) is forced to be a drug mule by crime boss Mr Jang (Choi), but when the drugs leak into her system, she acquires superhuman powers. Insane and largely humourless but ambitious and entertaining action flick, and it's satisfying to see a formidably intelligent and physically ferocious female at the centre.

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Wed 1 Oct
Thu 2 Oct
Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct
Wed 8 Oct
Thu 9 Oct

Million Dollar Arm

Million Dollar Arm
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 124 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Craig Gillespie
  • Cast: Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Bill Paxton, Suraj Sharma, Lake Bell, Alan Arkin

JB Bernstein (Hamm) is a struggling sports agent in Major League Baseball who has the idea of harnessing the fast-bowling skills of cricketers. Based on a true story, this is an uninspired triumph-of-the-underdogs dramedy with little to offer anyone who isn't besotted with baseball, cricket or the leading man.

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Wed 8 Oct

National Theatre Live: Frankenstein

NT Live: Frankenstein
  • 2011
  • UK
  • 15
  • Directed by: Danny Boyle
  • Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller

Mary Shelley's classic gothic tale realised by Danny Boyle in his return to theatre. The roles of Dr Frankenstein and the Creature are alternated between Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller.

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Thu 30 Oct
Mon 3 Nov

National Theatre Live: JOHN

National Theatre Live: JOHN
  • 2014
  • UK

DV8 Physical Theatre perform their new production, conceived and written by Lloyd Newson, based on stories of love and sex told by a real-life man named John.

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Tue 9 Dec

National Theatre Live: Treasure Island

National Theatre Live: Treasure Island
  • 2014
  • UK

The National Theatre present their adaption of Robert Louis Stevenson's tale of murder, money and mutiny.

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Thu 22 Jan

The Nut Job

The Nut Job
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 100 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Peter Lepeniotis
  • Written by: Lorne Cameron/Peter Lepeniotis
  • Cast: Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson

An incorrigibly self-serving exiled squirrel finds himself helping his former park brethren raid a nut store to survive, that is also the front for a human gang's bank robbery.

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Wed 1 Oct
Thu 2 Oct

One Direction: Where We Are – Live from San Siro Stadium

One Direction: Where We Are – Live from San Siro Stadium
  • 2014
  • UK
  • Directed by: Paul Dugdale

The crowd goes wild.

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Sat 11 Oct
Sun 12 Oct

Planes: Fire & Rescue

Planes: Fire & Rescue
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 83 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Roberts Gannaway
  • Cast: Dane Cook, Ed Harris, Julie Bowen

When perky aeroplane Dusty (Cook) is forced to give up racing, he decides to retrain as a firefighter under crusty-but-fair Blade Ranger (Harris). Gannaway's sequel is better than the dismal original, but even as simple-minded entertainment it's a pity about the sexual and racial stereotyping and broad, male-orientated humour.

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Wed 1 Oct
Thu 2 Oct
Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct

Pride

Pride
  • 3 stars
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 120 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Matthew Warchus
  • Written by: Stephen Beresford
  • Cast: Bill Nighy, Dominic West, Andrew Scott

During the 1984–84 UK miners' strike, a group of young lesbian and gay activists travel from London to Wales to help a mining community in trouble. Unashamedly fizzy and cheering take on a true story about two groups who bonded together against small-mindedness and vile tabloid headlines.

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Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct
Wed 8 Oct
Thu 9 Oct

Pudsey the Dog: The Movie

Pudsey the Dog: The Movie
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 87 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Nick Moore
  • Cast: Olivia Colman, David Walliams, Izzy Meikle-Small

Heartwarming film about a cheeky stray dog.

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Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct

The Riot Club

The Riot Club
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 107 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Lone Scherfig
  • Cast: Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Holliday Grainger

Affable Oxford undergraduate Miles (Irons) is courted by the Riot Club, an exclusive university society devoted to hedonism, but then a Club dinner in the back room of a pub becomes increasingly vile. Claflin is outstanding as the villainous Alistair, and Scherfig's film, in its portrayal of dangerously antisocial upper class twits, is appropriately discomforting and immersive.

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Wed 1 Oct
Thu 2 Oct
Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct
Wed 8 Oct
Thu 9 Oct

Royal Opera House: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Royal Opera House cinema
  • 2014
  • UK
  • Directed by: Christopher Wheeldon

The Royal Ballet presents Christopher Wheeldon's entrancing ballet. All all the zany characters are there, including the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter and, of course, the questionably affected Alice herself.

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Tue 16 Dec
Sun 28 Dec

Royal Opera House: I due Foscari

Royal Opera House cinema
  • 2014
  • UK
  • Directed by: Thaddeus Strassberger

Live screening of Verdi's tragedy, starring Plácido Domingo.

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Mon 27 Oct
Sun 2 Nov

Royal Opera House: L'elisir d'amore

Royal Opera House cinema
  • 2014
  • UK
  • Directed by: Laurent Pelly

Laurent Pelly directs Gaetano Donizetti's opera in which a 1950s Italian village provides the backdrop to a spirited tale of love's twists and turns.

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Wed 26 Nov
Sun 30 Nov

Royal Opera House: Manon Lescaut

Royal Opera House cinema
  • 2014

Puccini's opera, beamed straight to the cinema screen from the Royal Opera House in London.

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Thu 16 Oct
Sun 19 Oct

Sex Tape

Sex Tape
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 94 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Jake Kasdan
  • Cast: Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz, Rob Corddry

Happily married Annie (Diaz) and Jay (Segel) try to spice up their sex life by recording it on his iPad, but an accidental sync sends the film to several other devices; charmless slapstick ensues, with an interesting premise spoiled by a fumbled and decidedly old-fashioned treatment.

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Wed 1 Oct
Thu 2 Oct
Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct
Wed 8 Oct
Thu 9 Oct

Stephen Fry Live: More Fool Me

Stephen Fry Live: More Fool Me
  • 2014
  • UK

Good/smart guy Fry launches his new memoir, More Fool Me, in high style, with a live simulcast.

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Wed 1 Oct

The Two Faces of January

The Two Faces of January
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US/UK
  • 96 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Hossein Amini
  • Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Oscar Isaac

An American con artist and his wife strike up a relationship with a stranger in 1960s Athens, then get caught up in the murder of a police officer.

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Wed 1 Oct

A Walk Among the Tombstones

A Walk Among the Tombstones
  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 113 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Scott Frank
  • Cast: Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, David Harbour

Drug dealer Kenny Kristo (Stevens)'s wife has been kidnapped, with unfortunate consequences, and he hires alcoholic private eye Matt Scudder (Neeson) to find out who did it. Unintentionally amusing adaptation of Lawrence Block's novel, with a half-hearted performance from Neeson and hackneyed dialogue; an absurd mix of deadly serious thriller and Cop and a Half-style buddy movie.

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Wed 1 Oct
Thu 2 Oct
Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct
Wed 8 Oct
Thu 9 Oct

What We Did On Our Holiday

What We Did on Our Holiday
  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 95 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin
  • Written by: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin
  • Cast: Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, Billy Connolly, Celia Imrie, Ben Miller, Emilia Jones, Annette Crosbie

Doug (Tennant) and Abi (Pike) have separated, but when they go north for the birthday of Doug's father (Connolly), they instruct their kids (Jones, Smalldridge and Turnbull) to keep quiet about the separation. Charming and hilarious: Tennant and Pike are excellent, and despite the kids' scene-stealing improvisation it feels tightly scripted, exploring adult themes without mawkishness.

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Wed 1 Oct
Thu 2 Oct
Fri 3 Oct
Sat 4 Oct
Sun 5 Oct
Mon 6 Oct
Tue 7 Oct
Wed 8 Oct
Thu 9 Oct

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