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SERIES OPINION
Series : Ruse Of Engagement [TVB]
Where : Here
Status : Last episode on 18.04.2014. Coming up with a short review on characters and performances.

Series : Swipe Tap Love [TVB]
Where : Here
Status : Ongoing as at 02.04.2014

Series : Palace 3 : The Lost Daughter [China]
Where : Here
Status : Ongoing as at 15.04.2014


EPISODIC THOUGHTS
None at this moment

[O] RUSE OF ENGAGEMENT / 叛逃 [2014] [TVB]

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This is a collection of various commentaries and opinions about this series under one post. If you see this at the top, this means it is updated. For more under this post, do click the Read More button. I welcome your comments and your thoughts as well so do use Post A Comment and do indicate which episode you're talking about. Since this is a threaded comment system, you can reply directly to any given comments you wish to reply to. When this is done, I will move this to Reviews Database.




SYNOPSIS
Ruse of Engagement is an upcoming Hong Kong action/crime drama television serial produced by Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), with Amy Wong serving as the executive producer. The drama follows the story of two brothers who are working as paramilitary officers in the Anti-Terrorist Force (ATF), a fictional intelligence agency inspired by the Counter Terrorism Response Unit of the Hong Kong police force. Warehoused for nearly three years.

CAST INFO
Ruco Chan as Carson Chong Yau-ching
Ron Ng as Alfred Chong Yau-kit
Aimee Chan as Jessica Chung
Yoyo Mung as Yip Chi-ting
Louise Lee as Tong Suk-fun
Kenny Wong as Allen Chung
Eddie Kwan as Ngo Sir
Lai Lok-yi as Negative
Leanne Li as Beauty

and many many more

SOME INFO


WHERE TO WATCH/DOWNLOAD (IF YOU KNOW HOW!)
I found a few places you can watch the latest episodes without English subtitles. You can also download the a bit higher quality version in MP4 format. However the comments in comments section are quite colourful. Remember to try all the MIRROR link if one is not available. Anyway try HERE or HERE.

NOTE
I have written recaps for 2 episodes which you can view after the jump link. Due to this incident with a sexist pig bully, I have stopped the episodic thoughts and back to just ramblings. However do share with me what you think of this series. Further, please do not repost without consent. 
19.04.2014
THE INEVITABLE CONCLUSION
I'd rather a clear ending that Carson killed himself with Ting turning back and see his slumped over body and crying. The evidence seems to point to the inevitable conclusion however much I am in denial; Carson killed himself. The chocochinno, the message to his brother, his resignation, his smile, his memory, his tired appearance, the flowers, the location, etc etc etc. If it was clearer, Carson dying is in a way a great ending. And when I say clearer, Jessica should have been clearer in the sense she is not conflicted (bad vs good) and have clear scenes showing her good conscience instead of some scenes derailing all that, thus making Carson's overwhelming guilt a bit too underwhelming.

But I shall stick with director forgetting chococinno is not milky and he is very very tired.

19.04.2014
RUCO CHAN REPLIES!
Yes he did! He posted a cryptic message accompanied with a very nice picture at his Weibo account;


In Cantonese;

為了正義為了無辜的人,我只能犧牲自已所愛,對不起!我們會在别的空間永恆快乐[爱你]有正義敬上

Maybe you can help to translate more accurate but my translator says;

For justice and for the innocent people, I can only sacrifice my own love. I am sorry! We will be happy together in another realm/space (I love you). Sincerely, Yau Ching
It could mean Ruco is revealing Carson killed himself or stating the fact; that Carson had to sacrifice Jessica to save the innocent and that they will meet again in heaven, etc. Doesn't mean Carson killed himself, just that he was very upset.

Ruco, if you want to help, why not post the last 2 paragraphs of the script itself? That will answer the question once and for all.

Of course he won't or can't. Because this is TVB's way of generating discussion topic. For me that is the "cheapest" way to do so. The more I see the ending, the angrier I am. Great series but pulled down by a gimmicky nonsensical open ending.


19.04.2014
A-HA!! EVIDENCE OF POISON!!
A lot of emotional fans crying about Carson and his choice to kill himself whilst there are small majority out there who thought he was just very very tired and so he was asleep. Plus sometimes you bring your loved one's favourite flowers to your  favourite place to like "pray pray" them.

Anyway my shock headline is because of the Chococinno, which is something Carson created for Jessica. Remember the colour of the Chococinno?



See? Black right?

Last scene of Carson;


Now looking like milk coffee or milk tea, except the straw is the same, the lime is the same. Perhaps that is poisoned Chococinno? Or maybe the director just forgot.

And  by the way if he was poisoned, that is the most cool looking poison-suicide. Nahhh.. just very very tired.

19.04.2014
OBLIGATORY NIP SHOT
I am drowning my sorry at the end of Ruse Of Engagement with lots of posts with pictures. There are sex symbols in any series; some may say Aimee Chan with her super short white pants or whatever else. For me it is Ruco Chan and here is an obligatory service to all womenkind (and some men) with his nip shot for you to enjoy. Ohhh la la.


Now before you think "wahhhh so sexy", do bear in mind he was being tortured/electrocuted here. But hey, white tee, wet, Ruco... great combination that will "electrify" you!

19.04.2014
CARSON & TING'S BEST MOMENTS
Forget about the possibility of Carson killing himself over his guilt over Jessica's suicide. I mean seriously, this man was shot in the head, electrocuted twice, tortured, blamed, slapped, had guns pointed at him many many times, insisted on arresting the woman he loved and he will kill himself over a trivial thing called guilt? I mean seriously, he wanted to shoot her! Ridiculous ending if interpreted that way. What a way to give a final insult to such a strong character. I prefer to think since it is an open ending, it can mean he dies or he goes to sleep. I hate how commenters are saying he betrayed Jessica who helped him so many times. No one seemed to think Jessica wanting to leave the country when she found out about Negative's supposed death, how she wanted to SELL the virus for her own gain shows her true character. Jessica's last words "I have loved the wrong man" which is very memorable should have been Carson to say "I have loved the wrong woman". Really really hate the ending the more I remember it.

Anyway let's move to something more cogent, more lovely and that is the best moments for Carson and Yip Ting. I found a GIF on the kissing scene and more!! Yeah!! All from here. Best if I could find the one where Yip Ting remembers the kiss and it was a closer angle. That one cannot find!



And got picture version also!!


Another cute scene in GIF.


 


And the pictures version;



Also the hiding in bathroom scene.



It is sad indeed that Carson thinks of Yip Ting only as a friend. He wasted his love on Jessica, and any guilt. Let me clarify; guilt is a powerful emotion that can drive people to either do something stupid or do something good. But in this series, I don't see why Jessica's suicide should be the overpowering reason for Carson's guilt when he wanted to shoot and arrest her when she repeatedly said she will kill herself just minutes prior. Guilt could come from her final hurtful words, the sense that he betrayed her trust. But that is not in Carson's nature and to suddenly end it the way it did if interpreted it that way is really the series' downfall. Just a shock ending. Is it different? No. Is it expected? Not really. Is it refreshing? Hell no! Is it a good ending? No. Could it have been a better ending? Yes and it does not have to involve Carson together with Yip Ting. It can be as simple as a hopeful ending without all the forced negativity. Surely Carson would have realised Jessica would have killed herself with him forcing her to the corner so to speak. So again, it makes no sense, not in real life and not on TV.

And finally the filming version of the cuteness to close it all! Something good to remember about this series.




19.04.2014
CLOSURE
Ok lar, Carson poisoned himself lar. Closure for me lar. Let's move on to another Ruco series. When?!


18.04.2014
DID CARSON COMMIT SUICIDE?
Barely 3 hours into the last episode being broadcast, as expected in Ruco's Weibo itself people are reacting negatively to the stupid ending. Because they don't see why Carson could ever kill himself. It makes no sense and I agree. One even commented why not end with Jessica's death being faked and she and Carson ran away, forever? Can't be because Jessica wanted to sell the virus remember? Carson refused, remember? Many are not happy it depicted Carson as having possibly poisoned himself. If he did, that was such a clean sort of poisoning. Or the effect was too fast.

Again I repeat, I think he was just very tired. So let's wait for Mr Carson aka Ruco himself to comment a bit. In the end I think the series meant to end with him dying, to add to the tragicness and therein lies the series' main and biggest problem; Carson committing suicide is out of character and does not make for a good ending even if it makes for one debatable ending.

18.04.2014
HOW? TELL ME HOW?!
Every night I chased this drama, every night I blogged about it, every night I have Ruco in my dreams. Now it has ended! My night is incomplete! How can I ever survive? I am having Ruse Of Engagement withdrawal just barely hours after it ended!! I need another Ruco series! I don't want to rewatch Ruse Of Engagement. Once is enough for the time being. But oh, I already miss my nights with Carson and Yip Ting!! Now the same time slot will be occupied by a bunch of pre menopausal women into dancing! That's not sexy, not for me!







18.04.2014
EPISODE 25 [LAST EPISODE]
The big finale; the big end! Before the last episode is broadcast, a few predictions as mentioned previously;

Either Jessica dies or doesn't die and turn state witness.Jessica's dad dies gloriously.Negative lives because ATF found the data plans for vaccines.  Even though King clearly said vaccines were not really working but Dr Sze may be able to help.Carson waits for Jessica if she doesn't die.Ting moves to US to fulfill her promise to Papa.Mama Carson has her sons back.Last scene will be another major terrorist attack and we see Carson, Ngo Sir, Alfred and gang efficiently move to work and that will be the last scene. If this is true, very disappointed because that is TVB's typical ending.
We shall see!!

I hate the last 5 seconds. It will be debated till no end and that is the intended effect so let me start with the end.

Last scene was a grieving Carson sitting at he and Jessica's favourite cafe and Ting came by to say is leaving for US but she will always be there for him if he needs her. Alone, he drank his Chococinno and remembered Jessica and he smiled and said "So sweet" and last scene was him slowly closing his eyes and then his head slumped to his chest and his hands slacked and the end.

First reaction was "Shit! What a stupid open ending!" and someone in forums was right; TVB did adopt an open ending. So does it mean Carson died? As in killed himself? Looks like it doesn't it? But I will say that is a red herring. He was probably very tired from days from not sleeping and haunted by Jessica's suicide and he was probably just very tired. Carson won't kill himself because;

1. he is a survivor
2. he has a mother whom he loves very much
3. if he had wanted to arrest Jessica who repeatedly told him she'd rather die than go to jail even for one day, does this look like someone who will kill himself?

Of course at the end of the day you can be the one who said "Look, obviously he killed himself" but again the ending is open ending. It is for you to interprete and for me, whilst Carson may be broken by oh so many traumas, with Jessica's last words haunting him, I give him more credit and I see him as someone grieving and tired and just went for a sleep.

So let us all bombard Ruco's weibo and Amy Wong's email and just demand for an answer.

Why can't TVB ever end anything well? Why can't they just give this series a proper end to make it complete? Do I need to wait 2 decades like Looking Back In Anger to know the definite answer?

And how did it all lead to this?

Well blame the destroyer, Alfred. With that I need to start from the beginning.

The bad guys did wanted to make an airborne virus so as to sell more vaccines or antidotes and they tasked it to Carson and Ting to install 2 separate devices in 2 different shopping complex. Ting refused and was hung high above with the device strapped to her stomach with 5 minutes left before detonation. Carson meanwhile beat the guys who held him, handed over the device to ATF members who just arrived and with Alfred, rushed to save Ting. Eventhough Carson cut the device and Alfred threw it away, it detonated in air and the yellow powder spread to the shopping complex and Ting panicking said don't touch her, she could be infected. I thought in that case everyone is infected.

At the hospital, lo and behold, the device held no virus!! What? Ahhhh because previously Jessica exchanged the virus, downloaded the vaccine and deleted all files. Her father knew it was her and even wanted to kill her out of anger. She argued with her father about killing innocent people, etc etc. He rushed after her. She pushed him away and he fell chest first to the sofa and knifed himself with the letter opener and died. Jessica ran away, wrecked with guilt for killing her own father and she was a murderer.

Carson visited Ting at the hospital and received a call from Jessica. He did not inform ATF and rushed to find her at a church and she begged him to leave HK with her. But she also knew Carson was ATF mole because she deduced ATF arrived too soon and so she thought there must be a mole, especially Carson's personality didn't make any sense to be a terrorist. She said she loved him very very much and they could run. Carson asked why not give up the virus and vaccine data so to get lighter sentence but Jessica said no, she will never go to jail, not even a day. Carson rightly said she killed her father out of self defence. But at this point she was beyond reasoning. I thought if wasn't for her, everyone would have been infected. So in the end Jessica is a hero and so will not get any punishment at all. HK and their skewered sense of justice on screen is really frustrating to watch. Ahhh but when you think of Jessica so nice, what she said next was chilling and showed her true nature; she intended to sell the virus and antidote to any country that wants it so that she can have loads of money and open the cafe she and Carson always wanted to. WHAT?! Crazy isn't it? In the end this woman is just a bad person, just like her dad. Carson finally agreed to run away with her, but he SMS-ed Ngo Sir their position. Ting was afraid Carson will let Jessica go and so with Alfred went to find them.

Jessica retrieved the virus, trusted Carson of course and as they were running away Ting rushed to stop Carson and angrily argued with Carson. Carson roughly pushed Ting away and warned her to leave them alone and Jessica handed over the package to him and he promptly threw it at Ting and said "Give it to Ngo Sir!" and at that point Jessica knew she was betrayed by the one she loved the most. Argument ensued and Jessica turned around and walked away and Carson held a gun at her and warned her. Jessica cried angrily "Either you shoot me or you let me go! Make you choice! Shoot me if you dare!!" and she walked away and Carson was aiming at her when Alfred rushed out and stopped him and kicked the gun at Jessica's direction. See? Alfred, the destroyer because what happened next was Alfred's fault. Jessica picked up the gun, both guys said don't! Don't! But Jessica said sadly "This is the inevitable end. This is how it should be. My only regret is I only realise now I have loved the wrong man" (because Alfred was the one who wanted to let her go) and she shot herself through the head. Carson rushed forward and oh so much blood! Realistic!


Carson and Alfred cried their hearts out. Carson resigned from ATF, he needed time and space and he told Alfred he will be away for a little while to think things through and meanwhile Alfred will have to take care of mama. Alfred agrees. Doesn't sound like a man who is about to kill himself.

Meanwhile at ATF Beauty was cleaning out Jessica's stuff and was crying when I think Ngo Sir said Jessica wouldn't want them to be sad. Frankly, I doubt Jessica cared. 

And the ending was what I wrote at the top.

Why I said Jessica was the most selfish is evident in this episode. It was all about ME ME ME all along. She could have given the virus to ATF but instead she wanted to sell it. In the end she never cared about the general populace. Carson would have been better off with Ting because Jessica did not deserve him. What I dislike is Carson's reaction when Jessica said she was gonna sell the thing for money. I expected him to argue with her, but instead he just wanted to retrieve the item and arrest Jessica but there was no sense of shock or revelation or anger that in the end, Jessica's true nature was someone so selfish. So it does not make any sense to have him so grieving for someone whose nature in the end is not what he expected. It makes no good sense onscreen to have him feel so much guilt for her killing herself because in the end she is a bad person. I would have loved it if the ending redeemed Jessica; meaning she never wanted to sell the virus, etc but she was just pushed to a corner, thinking she had no way out and so thought killing herself was the only option. If such is the case it made sense for her final words for Carson to have haunted Carson so deeply. But because of that virus thing, her last words seem to be from a person so skewed in her sense of justice for herself and others. In the end Carson's guilt is unjustified for someone like Jessica whose last moment was all about her and expected everything to revolve around her.

Anyway I don't think Carson killed himself. It was just a stupid open ending to have everyone discuss about this series. For once I wished it was the ending I anticipated;

Last scene will be another major terrorist attack and we see Carson, Ngo Sir, Alfred and gang efficiently move to work and that will be the last scene.
Because the open ending was also TVB's typical way of destroying their own story. I'd rather Carson go backpacking or something. Or look into the faraway distance as he drank his Choccocinno and said "So sweet" and smiled as he thought about Jessica and giving us a picture of a man in contemplation and let us feel his grieve and that he will forever live in his guilt. Anything but the stupid ending.

Anyway I suppose the ending in any way shuts down the idea of any sequel to Ruse Of Engagement.

Despite the stupid ending, wow what an end! I mean what a ride!! 25 episodes, minus the first 6 episodes, minus the last 10 minutes or so .. perfection! The adrenaline rush, the "high blood pressure" moments, all the cliffhangers and the second guessing, etc etc, all was on its way to make this series perhaps TVB's smartest crime drama ever. Or modern crime drama to be precise. It was stupid thanks to the few moments I have mentioned. The scene where Jessica argued with Carson was well written, the scene leading up to her suicide was harrowing. I did say Jessica in the end is a bad person due to her selfishness but in truth, it was a little sad to see her pushed to a corner like that. It also featured Aimee Chan's best acting even if she could have done with more tears, more red nose, more anger, more of everything.

I will say this much; the graphic content, the idea of Ruse Of Engagement is just fantastic. The last scene will not destroy the effort. Although I wished for a better ending, a more complete one, from episode 7 to 25, there were so many unexpected twists and turns that justifies Ruse Of Engagement as TVB's best drama of 2014. It may only be April, but I don't expect to see another drama as sassy, cool, smart, well paced, most time clever and at most times well acted as Ruse Of Engagement.

I will talk more in my short review later on but I will like to end my episodes commentary for episode 25 by saying this; even till the last moment, this series left me breathless. Except for the stupid open ending, TVB has exceeded all expectations with this one. Perhaps nothing is perfect.

Just 3 more observations;

Dr King is dumb.

What happened to Negative? Did he survive?

And I don't get why Carson even said to Jessica she will probably go to jail for a few years. The way  I see it, she won't have to because by turning state witness, she will be granted immunity and no jail time.

Anyway like I said, I don't think Carson killed himself. He was probably just very very very tired.

P/S I just remembered Carson has fragments or whatever in his brain from the head wound, remember? Could it be he died unexpectedly from that? Could be! BUT the doctor said the fragments posed no threat and he never had any problems from that so my guess is, no.


[O] Ruco Chan / 陳展鵬 [Actor] : Ruco Chan, in pictures

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INTRODUCTION
This post is of course very much connected to my other post about Ruco Chan, which is what I discover about Ruco Chan [read here] which is pretty much ongoing and quite active. I have always wanted to post his pictures, good or bad and made some comments about them but since what I am discovering about Ruco Chan is getting a bit too long, and pictures will make it even longer, I've decided for a separate post about Ruco Chan, in pictures. If you know of any of his good, bad, silly or OMG pictures, whether fashion or activities, please do use Post A Comment. Until now I have yet to find a wallpaper that truly wows me which is why I am using that picture on the left that caught my eye when I was googling some forum. That picture truly is one of those few that I went, wow. Everything is just right ... until I found the same picture with the bottom half. As you shall discover in this post, sometimes he doesn't get everything right. This post is ultimately about his public persona via his fashion choices and interesting magazine pictures. In other words, a lot of eye candy.

RECOMMENDED POST
[O] What I discover about Ruco Chan ... [Read here]

VARIOUS REVIEWS
Check out Reviews Database, type his name Ruco Chan in the search box and voila, reviews of his series I have seen.
IMPORTANT NOTICE
The pictures may be small but click on your desired one and the original size will pop up like a slides of pictures. Awesome feature of Blogger. So don't miss out on the HD details. Remember, any recommended pictures do post the links or where to find them using Post A Comment.

Let's begin!


19.04.2014
Like the last scene of Ruse Of Engagement, the following had me going "What the hell just happened?!"



Trauma thanks to Huang Xiaoming

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He is certainly proud of his new body and is probably paid enough to stuff his groin for bigger effect, even bigger bulge than Beckham's. You can see the pictures here and marvel at photoshop. But the following picture is to me pure trauma to my senses. Everything is just so wrong.


 

His real body and package circa 2011?


I do believe he has good defined toned body, more can be said than that of TVB actors. If Nick Cheung can do it, why not he? But the bulge is another question ...

[O] SWIPE TAP LOVE / 愛我請留言 [2014] [TVB]

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This is a collection of various commentaries and opinions about this series under one post. If you see this at the top, this means it is updated. For more under this post, do click the Read More button. I welcome your comments and your thoughts as well so do use Post A Comment and do indicate which episode you're talking about. Since this is a threaded comment system, you can reply directly to any given comments you wish to reply to. When this is done, I will move this to Reviews Database.


NO. OF EPISODES
20

RELEASED IN
2014

FOR MORE INFO
Wikipedia

17.04.2014
EPISODES 14
Not worth recapping because too long flashbacks. Just know Natasha is dating Roger, Chor Kin is lonely in Belgium but having phone friend with Tin Sung. Edward seems to have disappeared from the face of this earth. The rest is on Gao Fei knowing Edward may be dating Chor Kin and was so despondent, so unhappy even Natasha had to cheer her up. There was an extended scene of her in her head thinking Chor Kin is Snow White kicking her Cinderella again and again and again which was so damn long it killed the momentum. I hated Gao Fei's reaction. Who would want to marry an obvious gold digger, even if her background is pitiful? So shallow. In the end she wondered with dread whether her only choice was the old man Golden Wong who was exceptionally nice to her.

The entire episode thanks to Gao Fei became almost unbearable to watch. One funny moment which was rather sad was when Mama Yu bumped into a rather young looking principal of Yau Yau's school and she was dressed in hot pants, etc and her boyfriend was 13 years young who runs a handphone shop. She knew everyone looked down on their relationship but she was determined to make it work. Mama Yu was skeptical. I am pissed. Why? A beautiful intelligent woman like the principal is shown to be so desperate for love she dresses, behaves and falls for a guy young enough to be her little brother. It's like no love will die. I find that rather offensive.

Other than that, nothing notable.


[O] Palace 3 : The Lost Daughter / 宫3 : 凤还巢之连城 [2014][China]

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This is a collection of various commentaries and opinions about this series under one post. If you see this at the top, this means it is updated. For more under this post, do click the Read More button. I welcome your comments and your thoughts as well so do use Post A Comment and do indicate which episode you're talking about. Since this is a threaded comment system, you can reply directly to any given comments you wish to reply to. When this is done, I will move this to Reviews Database.



SOME INFORMATION
Title
凤还巢之连城 / Feng Huan Chao Zhi Lian Cheng

Also known as
宫锁连城 (Gong Suo Lian Cheng) / 宫3 (Gong 3)

Previously known as
宫锁幂缘 / Gong Suo Mi Yuan

Episodes
45

Synopsis
At birth, Lian Cheng was exchanged for a baby boy Heng Tai. From then on their fates became totally different. Lian Cheng grew up in the streets and worked at brothels, while Heng Tai grew up in the majestic Wei'e general's mansion. By a mysterious coincidence, Lian Cheng and Heng Tai meet and gradually fall in love, resulting in Lian Cheng returning to the general mansion, her birth home. However, their love is not looked upon kindly, and meet with several obstacles along the way.

Cast
Yuan Shan Shan as Lian Cheng
Lu Yi as Heng Tai
Dai Jiao Qian as Xing Dai
Yang Rong as Yu Xiu
Gao Yun Xiang (高云翔) as Jiang Yi Chen
Wang Ren Jun (王仁君) as Ming Xuan
Madina Memet as Bai Yue
Zhang Ya Meng (张雅萌) as Ru Mei
Kou Zhen Hai as Fucha Wenhadai
Wang Lin as Ying Yue
Xu Xing as Guo Mo Mo
Zhang Tian Yang (张天阳) as Guo Xiao
Zhang Zhe Han (张哲瀚) as Physician Sun
Chen Xiao as Sa Man
Tang Zhen Ye (汤镇业) as Qianlong Emperor
Yang Yu Na (杨昱娜) as Concubine Min
Alyssa Chia as Xin Yu
Fan Qiong Dan (范琼丹) as Tan Mo Mo
Pan Hong as Empress Dowager

MORE INFO

17.04.2014
EPISODE 22
I really really pity the princess, more so in here than in original series. Can't Hengtai just accept he will have 2 wives? And he seems to be using the princess to get rid of Liancheng due to some reasons I do know but too stupid to elaborate. This is typical Qiongyau effect and Yu Zheng obviously copied the whole thing wholesale. Lu Yi is great but the story is beneath him.


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