Author Topic: DCO third annual November Alphabet Marathon - discussion/review/banter thread  (Read 114227 times)

Najemikon

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Hot Fuzz *****
« Reply #255 on: November 25, 2009, 09:35:31 PM »
Hot Fuzz
5 out of 5




When top London cop, PC Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg), is reassigned to the quiet town of Sandford, he struggles with his seemingly crime-free world... and oafish partner Danny (Nick Frost). When several grisly accidents rock the village, it's not long before Danny's dreams of explosive, high-octane, car-chasing, gun fighting, all-out action become reality! It's time for these small-town cops to hand out big-city justice!

Yup. Another five-star review. I know, I know... "yawn". I tried to mark it down, but the only viable reason I could come up with was "it's not as good as Shaun". Well, it's not, but it's still better than every other British comedy for years.

Central to the success are the two main characters. Not only do Pegg and Frost work brilliantly and effortlessly together, but they're acting as well. A bit, anyway. This isn't the same Pegg as Shaun and I'm not sure Frost's Butterworth would be seen in the same pub as Ed. He has a puppy dog innocence in this. Just a big kid who loves his action movies.

Edgar Wright is that big kid too and this fun film rewards multiple viewings with all the classic action film nods, even ignoring the really obvious ones. He's no novice to action himself too. Some reviews say he lacks the punch of proper action directors, but I ask, who else does who can also balance such fantastic comedy? And he's far better than Michael Bay, who he affectionately takes the piss out of as much as anyone. I'd love to see him do a full-on, takes-itself-seriously action movie, though I doubt he ever will. He's a movie geek at heart, just like his target audience who understand things like the gay sub-text without thinking about it. Plus, a lot of fairly low-key comedies like this seriously lose pace when they try to handle the exciting stuff, but this doesn't. If anything, it gains it. The last half-hour is an absolute riot and the scene in the supermarket should be a modern classic! It's just so... British.

The real strength is in the script, which is wonderfully self-referential. Clever puns match with inspired sight gags and pop-up again with great timing. Take the scene where they eat ice-cream with the brain-freeze joke. Superb! The cast bring it to life of course. Paddy Considine is having a ball as Andy, as is Bill Bailey in an hilarious dual-role and I love Olivia Colman's snorting innuendo. Best of all might be Timothy Dalton who obviously relishes the villain role. And of course, the late Edward Woodward. His role is quite small, but perfectly delivered especially as the whole thing could be a Wicker Man homage.

It's just wonderful comic book stuff and I think I could watch it again right now.

Which is interesting, because I have seen it before and wasn't rushing back to it, though I always liked it. Maybe it needs to "settle". Shaun of the Dead had a huge advantage because everyone understands sitcom, everyone understands zombies and the characters were real and weren't compromised. Hot Fuzz is a bonkers idea with a central character at least who is faintly absurd is actually a high-concept film and perhaps you have to know it to love it. Just as I said with The Wrestler though, it's far better than it had to be as well.

Five star, solid gold gem. Watch it again if you don't believe me. :laugh:
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 09:37:33 PM by Jon »

Rogmeister

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Re: DCO third annual November Alphabet Marathon - discussion/review/banter thread
« Reply #256 on: November 25, 2009, 09:57:11 PM »
Emma yes, I do have a PS2 but I'm not crazy about it as a DVD player.  I'm used to using a regular remote rather than a game controller.  I do have a working unit now so I'll go with that.

Going back to The Long Riders, I believe I mentioned that Pamela Reed was in that but I meant to mention that she once punched my best friend in the stomach.  He got a job on one of her movies as an extra once (not a western) and apparently he didn't get out of her way quickly enough.  I guess she had a temper...  :laugh:

Najemikon

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Re: DCO third annual November Alphabet Marathon - discussion/review/banter thread
« Reply #257 on: November 25, 2009, 10:00:12 PM »
Going back to The Long Riders, I believe I mentioned that Pamela Reed was in that but I meant to mention that she once punched my best friend in the stomach.  He got a job on one of her movies as an extra once (not a western) and apparently he didn't get out of her way quickly enough.  I guess she had a temper...  :laugh:

Great story! :thumbup:

snowcat

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Re: DCO third annual November Alphabet Marathon - discussion/review/banter threa
« Reply #258 on: November 25, 2009, 11:46:28 PM »
Emma yes, I do have a PS2 but I'm not crazy about it as a DVD player.  I'm used to using a regular remote rather than a game controller.  I do have a working unit now so I'll go with that.

¬_¬ I know what you mean! that controller is a pain! I generally find I accidentally hit the shoulder buttons and skip chapters forward! but its nice to know its there as a back up just in case :)

I have the Xbox360 HD DVD so as long as I want to play a pal disc that works pretty much all the time :D... haha, unfortunately I have a large NTSC collection :/

Najemikon

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Three ...Extremes ****
« Reply #259 on: November 26, 2009, 12:42:23 AM »
Three ...Extremes
4 out of 5




This is a clever anthology of Asian horror. It's nicely produced, because each of the three is a separate country as well as director.

Dumplings (dir. Fruit Chan) Hong Kong
An ageing actress wishing to reclaim her youth goes to a woman who makes dumplings that supposedly have regenerative properties; however, they contain a gruesome secret ingredient.

Wow, this is intense stuff! It's rather unassuming, with straight-forward direction and there are no jump moments or gore, but the subject matter will probably stay with you for some time. I say there's no gore, but that depends on your perception; safer to say, don't watch it for gore, because it isn't that sort of film. It's a drama, that follows a middle-aged actress as she visits an enigmatic lady who promises she can restore her youth. This lady seems much younger, but claims to be far older. Her secret is in her special dumplings, which she prepares for her customers at her apartment.

You find out what is in the dumplings fairly early into this 40 minute story, though you see her preparing something even earlier. And it obviously ain't chicken! It's as sick an idea as they come and for the rest of the running time, it fairly wallows in the idea. When the actress finds out, she does a runner, but then comes back and gets stuck in. The camera lingers a lot on her eating and the sound effects really turn the screw.

As with much Asian horror, it has substance beyond it's premise and deals with societies obsession with youth. It's very good and is a short version of a feature length film. I have yet to decide if my stomach can handle another dose!  :devil:

(click to show/hide)

Cut (dir. Park Chan Wook) Korea
A successful film director and his wife are kidnapped by an extra, who forces the director to play his sadistic games. If he fails, his wife's fingers will be chopped off one by one every five minutes.

This was a bit disappointing, to say it came from the director of OldBoy. What did I say about about substance above? This is rather empty in comparison, relying on a torture setup. It's still better than most of what the Saw films came up with and it's an ingenious trap and visually powerful. Korean films love to push the boundary of what cameras can do and Park pulls out all the tricks to brilliant effect.

The story is good to, with the director forced to consider something truly awful to free his wife, or at least save her remaining fingers. The kidnapper also forces all sorts of confessions and has an interesting theory about how rich and poor are depicted on TV compared to real life. Ok, I concede it has plenty of thought behind it. It's just the ending that felt a bit sensationalist. Almost as if they'd written themselves into a corner. Anyway, well worth seeing.

Box (dir. Takashi Miike) Japan
A soft spoken young woman has a bizarre recurring nightmare about being buried in a box in the snow. Searching for her long lost sister, she realizes her dreams and reality may possibly be connected.

With perhaps some very deep rooted similarities to the notorious Audition, this is easily the most ambitious of the three, but you wouldn't expect less from Miike who is a true master. He's also clearly mad! Visually the most powerful as he creates wonderful compositions without using any camera tricks (apart from a couple of subtle "twitches" that work very well), just well-dressed sets and contrasting tones. There are scenes in a snowy landscape that are simply gorgeous.

The story is the cleverest and most substantial of the three, again, relying on deep rooted psychosis rather than anything sensationalist. That takes away some immediacy, but I dare say this is the one that will continue to intrigue me. It isn't in anyway obvious and marks Miike out as the most Auteur-ish of the three brilliant men who contributed. I'd try to tell you more of the story, but the overview is good enough. I'm not sure I completely agree with the sentiments of that last sentence, but I can't describe it any better so I'll keep my mouth shut! Suffice to say, the ending leaves you in no doubt of the situation and may fascinate you enough to consider watching it again. Quite brilliant.

Three ...Extremes works very well in it's own right and just about escapes the problem that so many similar releases get trapped by. That feeling of style over substance, undone in the final moments, is common with short horror stories, but here, only Cut suffered and even then, it's still very good.

It works as an excellent primer to Asian cinema as well. They've been the best for horror for some time and the short stories make it easy to stop and come back to it, if you aren't used to their styles or even subtitles.

Offline Jimmy

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Re: DCO third annual November Alphabet Marathon - discussion/review/banter thread
« Reply #260 on: November 26, 2009, 01:33:19 AM »
Hell of thing to make you look slow, Jimmy! By the way, I meant to say I'd be interested in your thoughts on two that I did: Lust, Caution (features copious amounts of sex, which you have a more thorough view on than the rest of us!) and the last one, Three ...Extremes (bunch of freaky horrors). That's one that might interest Pete too.
Not really a review but this is my comment after watching 3 Extremes the first time, just here

Lust Caution looks to classy for my taste...


snowcat

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Re: DCO third annual November Alphabet Marathon - discussion/review/banter threa
« Reply #261 on: November 27, 2009, 11:03:33 PM »
Looks like im stuck at 21.5 :/ unfortunately  I won't be able to carry on with my marathon, unfortunately just had some bad news and I wont be around for a few days, I won't have time to watch anything and I most likely won't be able to get on here for a few days at least. Im hoping everything is back to normal by next Friday and Ill try to finish up my reviews for those films Ive watched and not reviewed though.

¬_¬ sorry guys, Im gutted that I can't finish... but im sure there will be a christmas marathon next month right?


lyonsden5

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Re: DCO third annual November Alphabet Marathon - discussion/review/banter threa
« Reply #262 on: November 28, 2009, 06:00:10 PM »
Hot Fuzz
5 out of 5


Five star, solid gold gem. Watch it again if you don't believe me. :laugh:

I'll have to do that. I remember it being good, but not a 5 out of 5.

lyonsden5

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Re: DCO third annual November Alphabet Marathon - discussion/review/banter threa
« Reply #263 on: November 28, 2009, 06:13:45 PM »


Leave Her to Heaven

Hollywood Legends:
Gene Tierney
Cornel Wilde
Vincent Price


Overview:
This film won the Oscar® for Best Cinematography (Color) and received three other Academy Award® nominations: Best Actress for Gene Tierney, Best Sound Recording, and Best Art Direction/Interior
Decoration (Color).

Based on the best-selling novel by Ben Ames Williams, ‘Leave Her to Heaven’ is a stylish psychological thriller starring Gene Tierney as Ellen, the stunningly beautiful wife of handsome writer Richard Harland, played by Cornel Wilde. Ellen panics as her perfect marriage unravels and Harland’s work and invalid brother demand more and more of his attention. Her husband becomes unnerved by her compulsive and jealous behavior. And when the people close to him are murdered, one by one, it is obvious that this dream marriage has become a full-fledged nightmare.

My thoughts:
This is the movie that crapped out on me last week. It looked like it was going to be a good one though. Gene Tierney (who is gorgeous BTW) was just starting to show her psychotic side.  I had to skip 2 chapters on the DVD to get it to play so I could have finished the movie. What I would have missed was Tierney’s complete unraveling and that I do want to watch.

I’ll watch it again, I just have to get a new copy (or try Sébastien's suggestion). From what I saw it was going to be an enjoyable movie.

My Rating: Right now I have to rate it as a  :shrug: I did see enough to make me want to know what happens next, so as of now I am recommending it.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 06:29:39 PM by Rick »

Najemikon

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Re: DCO third annual November Alphabet Marathon - discussion/review/banter threa
« Reply #264 on: November 28, 2009, 06:23:40 PM »
Hot Fuzz
5 out of 5


Five star, solid gold gem. Watch it again if you don't believe me. :laugh:

I'll have to do that. I remember it being good, but not a 5 out of 5.

Hey, I was surprised myself. Last time I saw it I could have sworn it was a 4! It's matured...  :D

It's better thought of than I realised actually. Simon Pegg posted this on Twitter t'other day: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/6664716/Comedy-films-Britains-most-popular-genre.html

lyonsden5

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Re: DCO third annual November Alphabet Marathon - discussion/review/banter threa
« Reply #265 on: November 28, 2009, 07:06:01 PM »


Mogambo

Hollywood Legends:
Clark Gable
Ava Gardner
Grace Kelly

John Ford (Director) (duh)

"Hey! A kangaroo," Eloise "Honey Bear" Kelly says when she sees a baby rhinoceros being lifted from an African pit. A Broadway showgirl stranded in the African jungle, Eloise is better suited for the urban jungle. Yet one look at safari guide Victor Marswell and she knows exactly where she wants to be.

Times change but the fun remains when Clark Gable portrays man's-man Victor in a sassy, vibrant remake of Gable's 1932 Red Dust. Ava Gardner plays tough-hided, vulnerable-hearted Eloise. And Grace Kelly is the prim anthropologist's wife who catches Victor's roving eye. Both women earned Oscar® nominations*, with Kelly also winning a Supporting Actress Golden Globe. Directed by John Ford and filled with his lung-swelling zest for the great outdoors,Mogambo is classic entertainment for anyone's great indoors.


My thoughts:I find it interesting that this is a remake of one of hie own movies. I would like to see the original and compare the two.

I guess the movie was a big deal at the time, with it being filmed on location in Africa (AKA the White Man's Graveyard as they call it in the theatrical trailer). The location shots were good but a lot of the film was still some sort of sock footage or clips they added in later. Some of the scenery was good but again, not great. The couple of animal scenes that were 'live' were obviously filmed on a set somewhere, or so it seemed. There were a couple of scenes where it looked like an animal may have got hurt in the filming. I know they weren't always as careful as they are now. I'm thinking in 1953 it was possible to film them actually shooting an animal. Times have changed I guess. 

It was a good story well acted out by the players. Kelly won a golden globe for her performance but to me Gardner had a better performance. Clark Gable looked as though he was trying to show he "still had it" in this film. There was even a scene where he removed his shirt (one of those scenes that didn't need to be in the movie at all). Lookin pretty old and a bit wrinkly if you ask me Clark  :stars: Put the shirt back on now.... thanks  :whistle: Overall though he pulled off  the African big game hunter as well as ladies man role.

There were a few parts of the story that jumped around a bit, but nothing really that made me roll my eyes r anything. Overall I enjoyed watching it. I'm happy to say my 23 year old Nephew also watched with my wife and I. He is beginning to develop a true love for movies, not just the latest blockbuster. Kudos to him. He also left with a handful of DVDs that I had copies of on Blu-ray (including my old Godfather Trilogy  :thumbup: )

My Rating: :D

lyonsden5

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Re: DCO third annual November Alphabet Marathon - discussion/review/banter threa
« Reply #266 on: November 28, 2009, 08:21:53 PM »


The New World

Hollywood Legend:
Colin Farrell
Christian Bale

 :hysterical: Sorry - I couldn't even type them as 'Hollywood Legends' without cracking myself up, especially compared to those I have included  :hysterical:

I haven't even entered this into DVDP yet, and I may not! I got the Blu-ray cheap a while ago. It was a movie I hadn't seen so decided to watch with my nephew yesterday. My son had warned my not to, but I did.

The movie is about John Smith and Pocahontas, and the native Americans, and settling in a strange land, and communicating with people you don't understand, and apparently trees... lot's of them. Oh yea, and streams.  :stars:

This thing was so disjointed from the beginning I regretted watching it from about 20 minutes in. It is hard to follow because there is too much stuff thrown in there. It's 172 minutes long with about 40 of them just showing trees and streams. I'm guessing it was supposed to be the director's masterpiece (didn't even look to see who it is but will - so I know NOT to watch his movies). It just had that feel. To me it just came accross as  :yawn: Even at the end, I knew it was the end and was waiting for the credits to roll. Tyhe show a ship sailing away... then starts the zoom in. V E R Y  S L O W. The ship is a few hundred yards off when the scene starts. What seems like 10 minutes later (probably only a minute or two) the are finally zoomed all the way in on a set of rigging for one of the sails  ??? It was this sort of filming throughout. Something would be happening, the scene would end, then we would get to watch a stream for 30 seconds. And did I mention the trees? This guy was fascinated with trees. It looked like he has a crew just sitting in the woods with the instructions of "every time the wind blows make sure you capture it!". The scenes weren't even that good. You would think being in high def it would look OK but the views were too tight to appreciate. No big landscape shots (or very few I should say) If I want to watch all that nature footage I'll put on a Sunrise Earth DVD. At least I won't have to watch the camera man go from a view of a tree, then the s l o w  z o o m all the way to a leaf blowing in the wind.  :slaphead:

The Native Americans were shown as savages that hardly spoke and mostly used hoots and yells to communicate. The little bit of dialog there was had no subtitles, so you had no idea what was going on. There were a few scenes with the subtitles but most of them you had to just make up what you thought they were saying. Perhaps again this was for each audience member to find their own message in the film. If it was the only message I got was the film was crap! Add to the mix Colin Farrell, who's dialog I couldn't understand at all most of the time. HE could have used subtitles too!

There were battles, which I would usually like. They made no sense half the time though. What was there was done OK. Not too gory and not too fake. I guess there was something positive about the movie.

With it being Thanksgiving weekend I thought I might enjoy a movie about some of the first settlers and their experiences in settling a new land. Unfortunately what I got was close to 3 hours of some directors wet dream of fantastic cinema. I can appreciate movies on many levels and have a varried collection.  Very few films I have ever watched get the  :yucky: rating. There is usually something good in them. Not this one. In fact I think I'll give it a  :yucky: :yucky:

richierich

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Re: DCO third annual November Alphabet Marathon - discussion/review/banter threa
« Reply #267 on: November 28, 2009, 08:45:29 PM »


The New World



With it being Thanksgiving weekend I thought I might enjoy a movie about some of the first settlers and their experiences in settling a new land. Unfortunately what I got was close to 3 hours of some directors wet dream of fantastic cinema. I can appreciate movies on many levels and have a varried collection.  Very few films I have ever watched get the  :yucky: rating. There is usually something good in them. Not this one. In fact I think I'll give it a  :yucky: :yucky:

My review the same as yours Rick, absolute rubbish film.
The only person who I know to give this a high rating is Jon..... :hmmmm:..... explain yourself sir  :yellowcard:

Rogmeister

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Re: DCO third annual November Alphabet Marathon - discussion/review/banter thread
« Reply #268 on: November 28, 2009, 10:01:01 PM »


Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers (1956)  B&W  83m
Special Effects by Ray Harryhausen
Directed by Fred F. Sears
Cast: Hugh Marlowe, Joan Taylor, Donald Curtis, Morris Ankrum

Dr. Russell Marvin heads up Operation Skyhook, which is tasked with sending rockets into the upper atmosphere to probe for future space flights. Unfortunately, all the rockets are somehow disappearing. While investigating this strange occurrence, Russell and his new assistant/wife Carol Marvin are abducted by a flying saucer, where the aliens demand to meet with certain people in order to negotiate. But it was a trick; the aliens only wanted to kill them. The invasion has begun and if Russell and Carol can't find a way to get past their defenses and stop these creatures, it may be the end of the human race.

Science fiction movies seemed pretty rare prior to 1950...you got a few here and there (like Metropolis in the silent era) but they didn't really come into their own until the 1950s.  In fact Sci-Fi films of the fifties seem to be a genre all their own.  Some were excellent, some less so, but most of them seem at least interesting to check out, if for nothing but to see how we might react to aliens from outer space and other such things.  This is definitely one of the better ones with first rate special effects by Ray Harryhausen, a stop-motion artist normally known to work with mythological beasts such as might appear in the Sinbad movies but who nonetheless gave us some first rate flying saucer effects here.  Not only that, but we get to see most of Washington D.C. get destroyed...the Washington Monument, the Capitol building, even the Lincoln Memorial all reduced to rubble at the hands of these mysterious aliens.  Interestingly enough we do get to see the interior of a saucer but it's all rather bare and we do get one look at an alien but all in all it's quite a good action film.  Check it out.   ;D

I got this DVD as part of a set...The Fantastic Films of Ray Harryhausen: Legendary Science Fiction Series which includes four other movies.  The movie was also released by itself.  The disc has a few extras but it was re-released early last year in a 2-disc special edition.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 10:08:17 PM by Rogmeister »

Najemikon

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Re: DCO third annual November Alphabet Marathon - discussion/review/banter threa
« Reply #269 on: November 28, 2009, 10:23:28 PM »


The New World



With it being Thanksgiving weekend I thought I might enjoy a movie about some of the first settlers and their experiences in settling a new land. Unfortunately what I got was close to 3 hours of some directors wet dream of fantastic cinema. I can appreciate movies on many levels and have a varried collection.  Very few films I have ever watched get the  :yucky: rating. There is usually something good in them. Not this one. In fact I think I'll give it a  :yucky: :yucky:

My review the same as yours Rick, absolute rubbish film.
The only person who I know to give this a high rating is Jon..... :hmmmm:..... explain yourself sir  :yellowcard:

 :hysterical:

Rick, I disagree, but I do understand. Also, I do enjoy slagging off movies I don't like. I don't do it often, but I think it can be a fun read and yours gave me a few laughs, so thank you for that.  :thumbup:

So. Why were you both wrong?  :tease:

I am teasing. You weren't "wrong" (except in saying absolute rubbish. That was cheap!), because Terence Malick is cinematic Marmite. He is brilliant, but enigmatic to the point of infuriating and if you don't get his style, then you're in for a rough time. He is I think, the closest thing to a poet working in film. Dialogue is overrated! It's all about feelings and metaphors and... trees.  :laugh:

I appreciate his honesty, both to himself and the stories. As a director, he literally only does what he wants and can never be accused of being in it for the cash. The New World was only his fourth film since Badlands in 1973 and before you say "that's because no-one can stand his films!", you must understand that his first two are generally regarded as milestones and he is almost a recluse, so his films are very personal things to him. Days of Heaven was name-checked several times during press for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford as an obvious inspiration that shares Malick's sentiments. The Thin Red Line is his other most recent film and has a similar focus on nature that you describe, Rick, but it works much better because it's a contrast with the war. Fascinating viewpoint if you're willing, which...I guess... you're not...  :slaphead:

So I went into The New World prepared for it being slow. Because of that, it felt just right. Also, I'm an optimist at heart and that's what I mean about Malick's honesty, or commitment, to characters. He made the film rigidly from certain perspectives and refused to be drawn into any subtext. It's a story about a dreamy romance, so that's what we get. Very dreamily made. Rick starts his review by saying what he wanted to see, which was his first mistake. While I could understand him being mislead by the overview, he was actually watching the wrong film!

I'm not a Malick fan-boy. I love The Thin Red Line, but actually I didn't like the characters in Badlands so didn't enjoy that at all. The New World I think is technically superb and has a lot of depth, but ultimately, it's undermined by it being based on truth. Actually, in an ideal world, Mel Gibson would have done The New World, typical Braveheart-passionate-if-inaccurate style, and Malick could have done Apocalypto. I think both would have been five star movies then.

Basically, I look forward to watching his films again because you can sink into them, like you might choose classical music over rock one day.

Before defence rests, are there any other witnesses? Matthias maybe?  :whistle: