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Eclipse Movie Review – Third Time’s A Charm

I’ve been sick the last few days, hence this was not posted mere minutes from getting back from the theatre on Wednesday night! I saw The Twilight Saga: Eclipse on June 30th and it did not disappoint. To me, the biggest triumph for Eclipse was the successful adaptation from book to movie. Eclipse transitioned smoothly off of the pages written by Stephenie Meyer into an engrossing movie with just the right balance of action and romance.

I asked a couple of my friends (non Twilighters) what they thought of Eclipse and all of them were quick to show support for the third Twilight film. Some who had read the book even liked the movie more. There have been lots of interesting reactions to Eclipse as a movie, perhaps because of all the hype and lead-up, but also maybe because this is the point in The Twilight Saga where there is a concrete story to be dealing with. It’s also the point where characters have been developed thoroughly; there’s not much set up going on anymore, just the telling of the story between Edward, Bella, and Jacob. People seem to love Eclipse because as a movie it has it all: concrete plot, good complex characters, a narrative that moves along steadily, and the climactic moments on the mountain where everything is fully realized.

The best thing about Eclipse, for me, was the performance by Kristen Stewart. It seems that with every Twilight movie she progresses into an even stronger portrayal of Bella. Each time is different, and that’s how it should be because Bella grows as a character throughout the Saga. It just felt like Kristen carried this movie – in a good way. Everyone screamed over Rob Pattinson in the first Twilight movie, and girls fawned over Taylor Lautner in New Moon, but Eclipse felt like Kristen’s movie. She really stood apart in this one. I realize that her character is kind of secondary to the love triangle debacle and the whole newborns versus Cullens story, but Kristen really did shine. I felt like every word that came out of her mouth was honest, and that she had worked really hard to make this representation of Bella’s situation as real as it could be. I’m sure Kristen fans everywhere would agree that she really stepped up for this one.

Other great things of note in Eclipse would be the dynamic cinematography. I loved the close-up shots of Edward, Bella, Jacob, Rosalie, Victoria, and Xavier. The experience of watching a movie seems to become much more personal when you are brought so close to the characters – literally. Every emotion is highlighted, and every line that a character speaks seems to have some greater significance. This kind of close-up shot worked well for the scene where Rosalie told her tale to Bella, and explained her reasons for wishing to have stayed human – a defining moment in the book.

Character wise, I loved Xavier Samuel‘s performance. He really brought something extra special to Eclipse and it was a richer movie with his addition. The relationship between him and Victoria set up the opening for the movie, and continued to feel real throughout the rest of the film. He enhanced some of the nuances from Eclipse the book that might not have translated into the movie otherwise. An example of this would be how Riley is so infatuated with Victoria that he cannot see that she is simply using him for her own endgame against Bella and the Cullens.

The action and fight scenes were another success. The fighting looked real, and it was clear that everyone had trained hard for these scenes. The moments where the Cullens are running through the trees with the wolves in pursuit of Victoria were some of the coolest to watch due to the dizzying speed and pumping music. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the scenes between Edward and Bella felt real and honest because they proceeded with a natural pace, and the conversation wasn’t stilted. It felt like going about your day and momentarily seeing a couple together – like we were getting a glimpse into their lives, no acting and rehearsing involved. Who knows what that really means, I’m just saying it’s a testament to the natural chemistry that Rob and Kristen have going on.

I guess a review is never really a review unless you point out some things that could have been improved upon. For me, there are a few things that could have been better, but they don’t come close to overshadowing the many successes of Eclipse. Seemingly minor things like Bella’s disastrous wig actually become quite noticeable throughout the film. I’m so happy Kristen will be filming with her own natural hair for Breaking Dawn this fall! Continuity wise, I find it hard to get used to seeing another actor playing a role we have become accustomed to. Bryce Dallas Howard gave a solid performance as Victoria, but it just feels weird seeing a different actor playing such a vital character to the storyline. The last thing I would fix up would be the soundtrack placement throughout Eclipse. There were so many amazing and evocative songs on that soundtrack and I feel like they were wasted on some insignificant moments. Key scenes between Edward and Bella, and Bella and Jacob could have had much more weight with the addition of some of those amazing songs.

Like I said, these are small, seemingly trivial things to nitpick at when considering the movie as a whole.  I feel like a movie is really a success when nothing feels contrived. In Eclipse, every moment of dialogue felt genuine, the action looked real, and the characters interacted fluidly. These are three pretty important things to achieve when you’re working with such a fictional storyline – and the Eclipse team managed to pull it off with ease and grace.

Here’s to a great addition to The Twilight Saga films, and to what I hope will be an amazing adaptation of Breaking Dawn to come!

Amy’s Top 5 Fave Scenes From Eclipse:

1. Edward and Bella bedroom scene: raw emotion, honest portrayal, and undeniable chemistry between Rob and Kristen. Why did it have to end!

2. Jacob and Bella mountain scene: powerful and affecting, a critical moment in the storyline, and it felt real.

3. Bella visits Renee scene: so emotional, sets up story, again – it felt so genuine I actually got kind of choked up.

4. Xavier’s opening scene: such a great way to start the movie, dark and edgy, and set the tone for the movie.

5. Wolf pack and good vamps vs. Victoria and newborns scenes: action really came to the forefront, exhilarating to watch, and visually dynamic.

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July 3, 2010 Posted by | Eclipse | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner – An Eclipse Novella Review

Last night I read The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, the new Eclipse Novella written by Stephenie Meyer. It was a really quick read – I got through it within one evening – because once again that addictive quality in her writing is right there from the first page. At first I was skeptical to even buy and read the book, but once I settled in to read the first few pages, it was really hard to put down.

If you love the writing style from The Twilight Saga, then the Eclipse Novella won’t disappoint. The story feels (surprisingly) separate from Eclipse as a novel (or any of the Twilight books for that matter), and I think that’s because Meyer has done a really good job of stepping into a new character’s shoes. We’re so used to reading the The Twilight Saga through Bella‘s first person point of view, and this time, Bella’s world is shown to us from Bree‘s perspective. While Bella is so certain all the time of what she wants, we see that for Bree everything is a struggle to figure out in her new existence as vampire.

Until the last quarter of Bree Tanner, the story is largely unrelated to what’s going on in the actual Eclipse storyline, particularly the love traingle between Jacob, Bella, and Edward. We get inside Bree’s head instead and experience all of these conflicting feelings and impulses that come with being a newborn vampire. It’s a very sensory experience because her apprehensions and drives are described so vividly that you imagine just what she is going through – the same way that we do with Bella throughout the Twilight books.

The characters in Bree Tanner are developed decently enough, and the story progresses at a good speed. We meet Bree’s companion and best friend in the newborn clan – Diego – and he’s a really likable guy throughout the story. He kind of reminds me of Jacob and that kind of relationship that exists between him and Bella. There’s also this newborn vampire, Fred, who is capable of repelling everyone around him – kind fo a cool power to read about. He forges a kind fo silent bond with Bree, who isn’t interested in a fight or a battle – although she’s made to join.

The main Bree Tanner storyline follows Bree and Diego as they tried to uncover the reasons for the building of a newborn vampire army of which she is now a part of. All we know, according to Bree, is that an un-named “she” (Victoria) is the creator, and Riley is her right-hand man. The story deals with Bree’s developing friendships and insecurities about who to trust and who to be wary of. The emotions are portrayed very honestly, and Bree does become a more dynamic character by the end of the Eclipse Novella.

I think the most interesting part of this Eclipse Novella is arriving at the ending battle scene that we read about in the original Eclipse, and seeing it from the opposite side. It’s so interesting to read about Bella, The Cullens, and the wolves through Bree’s perception. I love that the point of view is flipped upside down. Even though we know the sad outcome and Bree’s fate, it feels like a brand new story being told. She doesn’t even know who the Volturi are until they arrive in the field, and we see the betrayal of Riley dawn on her in a shocking and emotional twist we all knew was coming. Bree simply thinks the fight is to defend the newborn clan’s hunting ground, Seattle, while she has really just been used as pawn in Victoria‘s plan of revenge against the Cullens and Bella from the start.

I think Twilight fans will really like this story and appreciate how it lends itself to the story of Eclipse specifically. I love that The Twilight Saga is given to us through Bella, but sometimes it’s nice to step back and consider things from another person’s point of view. It was cool to get to know Bree as a character during her short second life.

Reasons to read The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner:

  • Same addictive Stephenie Meyer writing style
  • Character relationships and development that we love from Twilight
  • It relates closely to Eclipse and contains some of our beloved Twilight characters
  • It’s an emotional ride that you can delve right into
  • Bree is a cool character who is really a lot more complex that Eclipse suggests

June 13, 2010 Posted by | Eclipse | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Review

Just picked up the Eclipse soundtrack deluxe edition today and I love it! Whether you’re a Twilight fan or not is kind of irrelevant when it comes to this soundtrack as it’s jam-packed with so many good artists such as Bat for Lashes, Metric, and Sia just to name a few. The entire Eclipse soundtrack list reads just like a playlist from Kristen Stewart‘s own iPod (or so we can imagine). I’ve put an asterisk* next to the songs by bands or artists that Kristen is a fan of. I’m tempted to read through the thank yous and credits on the cd fold-out pages – KStew‘s name’s got to be on there somewhere (:

Here’s my take on The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Official Motion Picture Soundtrack (Deluxe Edition) and all of the amazing songs that have been written for the forthcoming Eclipse movie!

1. Metric – Eclipse (All Yours)*

This is the perfect opener for the Eclipse soundtrack. “Eclipse (All Yours)” is supposed to  represent Bella‘s point of view throughout the course of the film. Emily Haines smooth voice is the perfect accompaniment to Bella’s thoughts. This song is so Bella, it just feels and sounds like the character without any further explanation needed. I bet Kristen Stewart loves this song – after all, it is her character’s musical representation for the movie, and we know she’s a Metric fan. This is definitely a KStew song as well as a Bella song.

2. Muse – Neutron Star Collision

We’ve all pretty much heard this song a billion times since its release as a single a few weeks ago, but it’s still great to hear it again as part of an entire compilation for the Eclipse soundtrack. This song pretty much sums up the whole feel of Eclipse for me: a story about everlasting love that must first overcome difficulty and the trials and tribulations that life throws in the way. Muse has infused this song with a power-ballad feel that is made even more evocative with the piano chords and electric guitar keeping pace with the lyrics. For me, this song mostly resonates with the latter half of Eclipse – everything to do with the battle.

3. The Bravery – Ours

So far this is my favourite song on the Eclipse soundtrack. I’m a big fan of The Bravery, mostly their older stuff, but this song proves they are back. They have such an original sound that you don’t even know what to do with it in terms of categorizing. Indie/pop/rock I guess? This song is so Edward and Bella. It’s all about what they would do for one another, how time is theirs and theirs alone when they’re together. “Ours” captures that magical relationship between them that is so hard to define otherwise.

4. Florence & The Machine – Heavy In Your Arms

This is a bit of a darker song on the Eclipse soundtrack. The storyline of Eclipse definitely takes some darker turns. This song to me captures the relationship between Jacob and Bella. The love between them is a heavy weight that neither of them can ignore. It’s a heavily emotional song that resonates with the characters and their complex situation in Eclipse. “Heavy In Your Arms” kind of reminds me of the New Moon soundtrack and the angst that came with many of those songs as an almost tangible feeling.

5. Sia – My Love*

Sia’s voice is so emotionally loaded, that the simple strings and piano in the background are all that’s needed to accompany her lyrics on this song. “My Love” is so sad and beautiful at the same time. It makes me think of a dream sequence or something ethereal and almost unreal. Once again, I think this is another song that fits in well with the emotional tone of Eclipse in terms of love and just how much strength comes attached to that concept in this story.

6. Fanfarlo – Atlas

This is the first song on the Eclipse soundtrack to offer a more folk rock sound. It’s lighter, a littler less emotionally loaded, and an easy song to listen to. This song should definitely accompany some of the lighter moments in the Eclipse movie. It seems to fit the light and carefree feel of those moments when all seems right in the world of vampires and werewolves, even if just for a moment.

7. The Black Keys – Chop And Change

This song by The Black Keys offers a really different, unexpected sound for the Eclipse soundtrack. The song doesn’t immediately make me think of Eclipse or any of the characters, so I’m interested to see where it fits in within Eclipse the movie.

8. The Dead Weather – Rolling In On A Burning Tire

The lyrics of this song by The Dead Weather definitely connect with the storyline and theme of Eclipse. The opening lyrics say it all – with subtle references made to the conflict between the werewolves and the vampires. It’s a territorial song, about history, and about the impact that one group has on the other. It really grasps the complicated dynamics between the vamps and wolves that Stephenie Meyer worked hard to develop in The Twilight Saga. This really resonates with Eclipse as a story because Bella finds herself in the middle of these two groups while struggling to identify and bond with both.

9. Beck & Bat For Lashes – Let’s Get Lost*

Love love love this song – my second favourite on the Eclipse soundtrack so far aside from The Bravery. The bass in this song combined with the echoing, haunting lyrics make it so irresistable. I think this is an Edward and Bella song for sure. It’s such a good song to escape into, and I think that fits well with the two of them. Amidst the chaos that surrounds them, they can find moments of peace and escape by getting lost together. Listening to the lyrics more closely though, I’m thinking this could be a song for the epic tent scene, hmmmm. Definitely a big fan of this song!

10. Vampire Weekend – Jonathan Low

I’m not the biggest fan of Vampire Weekend. I like their music but am not really blown away by it. Some songs I like, others are a bit hit and miss. I think that sometimes you just love the sound that a band creates and constantly infuses their music with, and for me they aren’t really one of those bands. “Jonathan Low” is an okay song, once again not sure where this will fit in on the Eclipse soundtrack so will have to wait and see. I’m sure that guy in the band that likes Kristen is stoked to be on the soundtrack though!

11. U.N.K.L.E – With You In My Head (ft The Black Angels)

This song immediately hits you with an eerie sound that is very “Twilight” if that makes any sense. I like this song because just when you think it’s all going to be dark and edgy, it transitions into a lighter and more energetic sound, and then back again. This is a cool song – I can’t really define it, or keep up with it. I like that it sounds like nothing else. The pace and sound of this song makes me think of the Volturi, or Victoria, or maybe the wolves and the vamps preparing for battle towards the end of Eclipse.

12. Eastern Conference Champions – A Million Miles An Hour

This is another darker addition to the Eclipse soundtrack. It feels like a song that is leading up to something – maybe the battle at the end of Eclipse. My next best guess would be Victoria – this song feels like something that would accompany her. The title also evoked her character traits (super speedy), so that’s kind of a clue there.

13. Band Of Horses – Life On Earth*

I’m obsessed with Band of Horses right now. I got into them a few years ago, but their newer music (especially every song off ‘Infinite Arms’) is blowing me away. This new song for Eclipse is no exception. It’s got their hauntingly beautiful sound as usual, but once again offers up something different to listen to. This is another song to parallel the themes of Eclipse – the darker ones that is. Because of the danger that Victoria poses, and her imminent return, I think this is a Bella song. It expresses what we’re told she feels and it just sounds like a Bella song. Her character is so quiet but strong at the same time and this song feels like that.

14. Cee Lo Green – What Part Of Forever

My third favourite song on the Eclipse soundtrack after The Bravery and Beck & Bat For Lashes. This song just makes me smile. The harmonies and the lyrics are undeniably catchy. “What Part Of Forever” feels like a happy love song. This song just makes me smile. It’s also another one of those songs that just “feels” like a Twilight song. I wonder if anyone is understanding what I’m rambling on about. Anyway, this is a cool song. I love it.

15. Howard Shore – Jacob’s Theme

Beautiful melody that carries the weight of Jacob‘s pain in Eclipse. The poor guy has so much to deal with. I love that Jacob always tries to do the right thing while still staying true to his heart. This song really captures that essence of Jacob – this good and honest guy who has so much to give.

16. Battles – The Line

This song has a really unconventional melody, it’s eerie and unexpected. I don’t know if I’m a huge fan of this sound but it could definitely fit in well with the darker moments of Eclipse. I would say this song belongs with some action sequences for sure.

17. Bombay Bicycle Club – How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep

The first thing I think of when I think of the title is Jacob and how he sleeps for ages after running patrols. This song reminds me of the wolf pack and how they back each other up. They take turns making sure everyone is safe, and they’re there for each other. This song also just feels like a Jacob song. I think it fits well with the wolf pack.

* * *

My overall verdict on the Eclipse soundtrack? It’s amazing. There’s a little bit of everything, and much more. We’ve got Kristen favourites on there such as Band of Horses and Bat for Lashes, and some awesome unexpected new songs from artists that are lesser known. It’s a great soundtrack and I cannot wait to see where these songs will fit in the Eclipse movie. Thanks for reading!

June 9, 2010 Posted by | Eclipse | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Eclipse Soundtrack Listing: From Kristen Stewart’s iPod Playlist?

As of this morning at 10:30am, MySpaceMusic has been releasing the track listing for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack. Individual track information has been released periodically throughout the day, no doubt to generate hype and pre-order sales for the highly anticipated Eclipse soundtrack. With June 30th looming in the not-so-distant future, many Twilight fans will want to know the Eclipse soundtrack in and out before they see the film hit the big screen this summer.

Once the Eclipse soundtrack details started to pop up online and on MySpaceMusic’s twitter, @MySpaceMusic, the first thing I thought was: ok this is blatantly off of KStew’s iPod. When I hear Metric, Bat for Lashes, and Band of Horses I can’t help but think of Kristen and her favourite music. So the question on KStew and Twilight fans’ minds today is – did Kristen Stewart compile this Eclipse soundtrack? Because it really does look like it.

Don’t forget that Kristen had her say on the original Twilight soundtrack with the Iron & Wine song – Flightless Bird, American Mouth. There was a song already in place for the prom scene at the end of Twilight and Kristen suggested the Iron & Wine song instead. Low and behold, it made its way into the movie and onto the Twilight soundtrack. Maybe Kristen threw her two cents into the mix for the Eclipse soundtrack or maybe it’s pure coincidence, but this track listing will be a welcome addition for KStew fans playlists either way.

Eclipse Soundtrack Listing:

  1. Metric – Eclipse (All Yours) | @Metric | Metric MySpace
  2. Muse – Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever | @Muse | Muse MySpace
  3. The Bravery – Ours | @thebravery | The Bravery MySpace
  4. Florence + The Machine – Heavy In Your Arms | @flo_tweet | Florence MySpace
  5. Sia – My Love | @siamusic | Sia MySpace
  6. Fanfarlo – Atlas | @fanfarlomusic | Fanfarlo MySpace
  7. The Black Keys – Chop And Change| @BlackKeysNews | The Black Keys MySpace
  8. The Dead Weather – Rolling In On A Burning Tire | The Dead Weather MySpace
  9. Beck & Bat For Lashes – Let’s Get Lost | @Bat_For_Lashes | @Beck | Bat For Lashes MySpace | Beck MySpace
  10. Vampire Weekend – Jonathan Low | Vampire Weekend MySpace
  11. Unkle – With You In My Head | @UnkleOfficial | Unkle MySpace
  12. Eastern Conference Champions – With You In My Head | @ECCMUSIC | ECC MySpace
  13. Band Of Horses – Life On Earth | @BandOfHorses | Band Of Horses MySpace
  14. Cee-Lo Green (from Gnarls Barkley) – What Part Of Forever | Cee Lo Green MySpace
  15. Howard Shore – Jacob’s Theme | Howard Shore MySpace

This is the order the songs were announced in via @MySpaceMusic but that order may be different for the actual Eclipse soundtrack. All of the songs are original and new material by the above bands and artists written for the Eclipse soundtrack. This soundtrack looks simply amazing upon first glance – I think Kristen in particular will be very happy with this selection of music for Eclipse!

You can pre-order the Eclipse soundtrack via the official Eclipse soundtrack website where there are 2 versions to choose from:

  • The Deluxe CD in Panoramic Gatefold Packaging: includes 2 un-named bonus tracks that do not currently appear on the Eclipse soundtrack listing. Price – $16.99
  • The Deluxe Digital Album: includes 2 bonus tracks like the above version. Price – $12.99

You can also check out amazon.ca Eclipse soundtrack pre-order information for Canadian Twilight fans. The Deluxe cd is listed at $16.99 in Canada.

The track by Muse – Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever) will be available as a single on May 17th.

The Eclipse soundtrack will be widely available for sale on June 8th, just a few weeks before the theatrical release of Eclipse in theatres on June 30th. It’s going to be an amazing summer Twilight fans!

My Other Kristen Stewart Music Posts:

[Track list via @MySpaceMusic | Photo credit Summit Entertainment LLC]

May 12, 2010 Posted by | Eclipse | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Final Eclipse Trailer: 5 Great Things About The New Eclipse Trailer

Everyone is buzzing about the final Eclipse Trailer for the upcoming Eclipse movie release on June 30th and I can definitely see why. The new Eclipse Trailer is so much better than the short Eclipse teaser trailer that was released a while back. The final trailer showcases the elements of action, the Edward/Bella/Jacob love triangle, and the newborn vampire story that are all prevalent in the third Twilight Saga novel. It shows just enough to get non-fans interested, and more than enough to get Twilight fans counting down to the movie release of Eclipse.

Many people including myself were initially disappointed with the Eclipse teaser that has recently been making the rounds in movie theatres as part of the previews. This is the one where there’s a whole lot of disjointed dialogue going on between Edward and Bella, Bella and Jacob, and random scenes of Victoria flying through the trees. The dialogue is stunted, there’s a lot of those terribly awkward pauses we’ve come to dread, and to me it just didn’t seem to depict what the story of Eclipse is really about. The Eclipse teaser focused more on dialogue with jagged transitions, and less on actually previewing the movie and the storyline. The release of this new Eclipse Trailer has definitely gotten things back on track – according to everyone’s discussions that I’ve witnessed, we’re all loving it! Without further introduction…

5 Great Things About The New Eclipse Trailer:

  1. It actually gives the Eclipse movie some backbone by setting up the storyline of where the characters are at post New Moon. Edward has proposed to Bella (Bella’s engagement ring makes an appearance), Jacob is anxious about Bella’s safety in terms of the vampires, and we are given enough info to glean that there’s an army of newborn vampires who will be causing havoc in this movie. The trailer instantly grabs your attention and tells you what is happening in Eclipse. Basically, the plot is set up for anyone who hasn’t read the books, and it is visually actualized for the Twilight fans who have waited so long for this to come together.
  2. The newborn vampires, specifically Riley, get a proper introduction in this final Eclipse Trailer. We’re taken out of Forks to new settings with glimpses of the attacks in Seattle and then back again to Forks. I loved the clip of the bad vamps  slowly ascending out of the water looking menacing (and in my opinion, creepy as all hell).
  3. We see the wolves and vampires clash right before our eyes in the final seconds of the Eclipse Trailer. The fight scenes look incredible and are pivotal in the Eclipse storyline as Jacob and the wolves team up with the Cullens and the good vampires to face off with the vicious newborn vamps. Overall I really think they did a good job of showing clips that would make the viewer instantly want to go see the movie, Twilight fan or not.
  4. Everyone’s hair and makeup is looking good, despite fans concerns with stills and set photos that circulated. They’ve changed up characters’ hair such as Edward, Jasper and Carlisle but I think it works. The characters are evolving with the storyline so why shouldn’t their appearances alter a bit with those changes? Also, I was relieved to find that Bella’s wig did not seem to look hideous at all in this Eclipse Trailer. In fact, I’ll go as far as saying that it looks fine.
  5. We get glimpses of some of the best scenes from the Eclipse book – essentially, everything that happens up on the snowy mountain ranges towards the end of the story. Seeing Victoria in a flurry of snow and the arrival of the Volturi just solidified how amazing it’s going to be to see the story we love come to life. Eclipse is a lot of peoples’ favourite book in the Twilight Saga and it is also mine. The Eclipse Trailer mirrors the detail-rich writing from the book. I feel like it accomplished this without looking, sounding, or coming off as corny in any way.

Verdict of the final Eclipse Trailer? Total success. Check out the new Eclipse Trailer (Eclipse Trailer 2) in HD below:

[Eclipse Still via TwilightersAnonymous | Video via clevverTV]

April 24, 2010 Posted by | Eclipse | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment