Well Hello Duplass Brothers

Lately I seem to have a mild obsession with the Duplass brothers. As in Jay Duplass a producer/writer/director and Mark Duplass a actor/writer. It’s not intentional, not at all actually. None the less every time I que up my Redcrack TV or HBOGO and choose a movie it ends up being a Duplass production. Either a movie starring Mark Duplass or one written and produced by a Duplass brother or both. It’s weird. Also I feel I’ve developed another little crush. Mr. Mark Duplass is my go to nerd crush these days. Last night was the last straw on the camel’s back. It was a typical night. I’d gotten all of my adulating responsibilities done, my kids were in bed and so it was mommy time.  I did the usual Iphone dance, I checked Facebook and yup Facebook still sucks, I checked Pinterest and yup it made me feel thoroughly inadequate, I checked my email and nope nothing new or pressing, so it was on to Netflix. A quick look into a few movies and I saw Adult Beginners which stars Rose Byne and Nick Kroll. My interest was piqued since I have a pretty heavy girl crush on Rose and since I knew that Nick Kroll once dates Amy Poehler. That kind of gossip always intrigues me into giving a film a chance. Shallow thoughts like how did Amy Poehler go from hotty pants Will Arnett to Nick Kroll?  And then I thought well maybe he’s cute in that I’m funny and charming sort of way? And then I had to watch the movie to see for myself. This is how my petty brain works to pick a film sometimes.

So I began watching it and what do you know? In the first 5 damn minutes of the movie I read that it is a Duplass Brothers Production! Of course it is. I cannot hide from these fuckers it seems. So that is how this little post was born. I needed to ask other Lemons if they too find their TV’s invaded by the Duplass. On another note do any of you read the opening credits? You should because you inadvertently learn so much movie trivia by reading the credits. Useless knowledge mostly, unless you end up in a movie trivia game and then bam! You will be the one to destroy them all. Which is always my goal.

 

Now to the point. All the Duplass productions I’ve watched in the last few weeks are below. With of course a short and sweet review. Also they all seem to have a very common theme. Being an adult can really suck and relationships are insanely hard sometimes. Let’s begin!

 

Adult Beginners

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This one is produced by the Duplass Brothers Production Company. I’ll be honest here and say this was not my favorite Duplass movie. I was not attached in any way to the main character played by Nick Kroll. I did enjoy watching Rose Byrne try and save the movie with her amazing comic delivery. Also the supporting character Danny played by Bobby Cannavale was truly one of the films highlights. Casting wise this movie was great but the story itself was just meh… I can’t in good conscious suggest it. Let’s move on to the shit I did like!

 

The One I Love

the one i love

Also produced by both Duplass brother and staring Mark. The first ever Duplass encounter I had was when I watched The One I love. This is a strange little romantic comedy / indie film / sci-fi. I LOVED it! And I cannot recommend it more. But I must admit that you have to be into this type of movie to appreciate it. It’s Indie in that it’s a small budget with a small cast but unlike some Indies it does not have an artsy pretentious full of my own bullshit feel to it. The story line is typical for its genre, which is the 30 something young couple who are just floating in life and in their relationship ect… So at the start of the movie you think “Ugh I’ve seen this movie before. Stop reminding me that adult life blows! We all know this!” But the movie quickly takes a dramatic turn and that’s where the strange sci-fi element takes place. I can’t say more because it’s one of those easily spoiled movies and you’re better off not knowing much before going in. Watch this movie with your favorite red wine, some snacks, and a blanket. Perfect staying home on a Friday night flick. Also prepare to start feeling the vapors for Mr. Mark Duplass as he brings on the charm and cute to this flick BIG time.

 

 

 

 

Togetherness

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Again, produced by the brothers, written by them and stars Mark. About a year back I saw the trailer for the HBO series Togetherness. Again I was intrigued by the fact that Amanda Pete was cast. She’s one of my faves in the actress world. But life got in the way and others shows / movies took up my time and I quickly forgot about the show all together.  Then one Sunday afternoon while folding laundry I decided to give the show a whirl. It is awesome. It’s funny with both heartwarming and heart breaking moments. It’s about four adult family members who are in their late 30’s and really trying to keep their lives together. Every 20 year old and new comer to the thirties hopes that by the time you’re knocking on 40’s door you’ll have your shit together. Sorry to disappoint but this show reveals how that is not always the case.  Sadly, this show was only given 2 seasons on HBO. In fact, a few weeks ago they released the show’s series finale. It’s a bummer because well written shows about real life are few and far between. It seems all the good show out there are all fantasy driven. Zombies, vampires, Russian spies, gladiator fixers are given multiple seasons and chances to keep their audiences even when the show hit it’s peak in season two and now seems to be rehashing the same old same old. I’m look at you Walking Dead and Vampire Diaries. Grow some balls and actually KILL a main character people care about why don’t you?! Anyway, it was a real bummer that this fantastic piece of real life inspired fiction was not given that same chance. But the two seasons Togetherness did get were great and you’ll not be disappointed should you decide to watch.  Plus, the soundtrack on the show was fab, another plus.

 

Animals

And now it seems the Duplass brothers will be back with an adult cartoon also on HBO called Animals. They lend their voices to some of the characters and of course produce and write for the show.  I have yet to watch it but the trailer alone had me in stitches.  I’m sure it will only add fuel to my obsession with all things Duplass.

 

 

 

Stitch Fix Box #2 – February

Happy Leap Day! 

Can’t believe today is the end of February. But you know what that means—Stitch Fix Box review!

If you are not familiar with Stitch Fix, here is a quick run down.

Stitch Fix is a subscription service for women. Signing up is free. Shipping and returns are also free. Your stylist is going to require a $20 styling fee, but if you choose to purchase any items in your box the $20 styling fee will be credited towards your purchase.

Here is how it works.

  1. Fill out a Styling Profile. Your Styling Profile will let your stylist know your size and preferences. If you have Pinterest, make a board to show your stylist. Your Pinterest board will communicate to your stylist what styles you are into or want to try. The Styling Profile will also indicate what you are willing to pay for certain items.
  2. Based on your styling profile, you will receive 5 handpicked pieces from your Stitch Fix stylist.
  3. Try the clothes on. You will have 3 business days. On the third day send back what you don’t want.

If you choose to keep all items in your box, a 25% will be applied to your total cost.

I was so excited to get this box that I cheated. Yeah, I cheated a bit. Stitch Fix now has an app that makes it easier for you to change your styling profile preferences and also leave love notes to your stylist. And also cheat a bit by looking at what’s in your box before it arrives at your front door. I think they know their clients are going to do this, so they only have a few pieces you can preview.

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Stitch Fix stylist, Lauren, put my February box together.

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I had mentioned in my notes I wanted more sweaters and it’s nice that Lauren tried. It’s also nice that she mentioned my Pinterest board. And yeah, I am a sucker for floral prints.

41Hawthorn Lisbon Stud Detail Blouse – $58

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When I previewed this blouse on the app, I wasn’t sure about it. The studs threw me off and I thought it was too busy.

I pulled this one out of the box first. I was pleasantly surprised how I really liked this blouse, even with all those studs. The back of the sleeves have slits for your elbows. I thought those were neat. The print is pretty too. Even though I liked this top and fit perfectly, I didn’t love it enough to keep it.

Kensie Rebekah Stretch Crepe Blazer – $88

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This blazer had me at polka dot lining, but the olive color was a turn off. If it was navy blue or gray, it would’ve been hard for me to put this one back in the box.

For $88 I have to love everything. The fit of the jacket was perfect though. I almost kept this one.

Gilli Viola Dress – $68

This dress has a great fit. The side sinch is a really nice touch and the waist floats away from the body. It would be perfect for the office or church. If you are a teacher, this dress would be a nice dress to wear. The fabric is also great if you hate ironing or press for time in the morning.

I’m just not crazy about the pattern and the boat neckline. I decided, even though there are a lot of great things going on with this dress, to put it back in the box to return.

Fate Medano Pullover Sweater – $68 

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I previewed this Fate Medallo Pullover Sweater on the Stich Fix app. I was super excited to get this sweater. I knew I was going to love it.

The sweater is very light, perfect for the transition from winter to spring. Love the color and color block stripes. But why $68? There was nothing special about the sweater and I found some minor imperfections like a visible dark spot on the sweater. I wanted to keep this sweater, but not for $68.

Collective Concepts Saron Split Neck Blouse – $68

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When I unfolded this blouse I was for sure going to keep it. It had the floral prints I love. The fit was great. It was even in petite. The only petite size in the whole box.

The floral print was pretty and feminine, but not too much. This blouse went really well with the Rebekah Stretch Crepe Blazer, as Lauren suggested. It would be perfect for work and on weekend errands around town. But it had many loose threads.

If I”m going to pay this much for a blouse I expect it to not have this much loose threads. I was really disappointed and sighed a lot as I folded this one to be returned.

Here is my Stitch Fix Bill. I returned everything.

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For my next box I requested more dresses. If I am going to pay the same amount for a dress and a blouse, I would definitely pick the dress since it is more of a complete outfit.

I am not complete unhappy with this box. It had lots of potential, but Stitch Fix and I are not there yet. Maybe third time is the charm?

Again this post is not paid or sponsored by Stitch Fix. 

 

 

All The Bright Places

Acacia always suggest the saddest books. Always. But when she suggested All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven I was optimistic. I mean the title alone is pretty hopeful. Ah…when will I learn.

bright

All The Bright Places is a YA about a girl named Violet and a boy named Finch. When we meet this pair they’re both atop a bell tower contemplating suicide. Finch talks Violet down and so begins their very unlikely friendship. Shortly after their bell tower meeting the two are paired up for a class project where they have to wander their home state of Indiana. This is how the book earns that deceivingly hopeful and beautiful title All The Bright Places.

To Acacia’s credit she was right in that it is a sweet story with amazing writing. Niven’s describes mental illness and what it’s like to live with and live around perfectly. One of my favorite lines comes early on in the book it goes..

“It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.”

And as simple as this quote about grief is it describes it down to a T.

“The thing is, there are good days and bad days. I feel almost guilty saying they aren’t all bad.”

So yeah the book is both sad and great. This book creates some of the happiest and sweetest images in your brain and some of the darkest and loneliest too. I want to say more but I hate it when people get to involved in their reviews and ruin a book. Or ruin your view of the book going in and sometimes after. Instead I’ll leave you with cryptic hints…

I believe Theodore Finch would approve of this method.😉

Below is a link to an excellent playlist the author created and titled “Finch’s Playlist: Songs That Will Change The World” and to me it’s perfect. Give it a listen. Its great music to get shit done at work or rainy day listening. Also perfect to listen to while reading the book. If you do actual reading. I cheat and listen to Audiobooks. This Audiobook btw is fantastic and has one of my very favorite narrators Mr. Kirby Heyborne.  Ariadne Meyers also narrates and is now on my list of faves.

http://8tracks.com/jenniferniven/finch-s-playlist-songs-that-will-change-the-world

And I’m attaching links to REAL and AWESOME websites based off the book. After you’re done reading take a gander.

http://www.eleanorandviolet.com/

http://www.germmagazine.com/

**It has been expressed in a few reviews and blogs that this book can be a trigger. Know your triggers and take this as a warning**

Are You Still Listening To Serial?

Because you should be. Yes I agree that the new season isn’t as exciting as last season. It’s not a murder mystery with crazy Romeo and Juliet plot twists. But it’s still a good story and dare I say an important one too. As much as I enjoyed season 1 and hearing all about Adnan and what has to be the worst case of memory loss ever, I can’t say I learned much. And maybe it’s a false sense of education, but I feel like this season is teaching me about important current events that I would otherwise gloss over.

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If you’re not in the know, Serial season 2 is all about Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl aka that dude who walked off his base in Afghanistan and got captured by the Taliban. If you’re thinking this guy is just a bucket of dumb, I hear ya. I’m not going to try to convince you to think otherwise or take some sort of political side on the issue. I just feel like it’s a good story.  While Serial is covering Bowe and trying to get to the bottom of why Bergdahl walked off base they are also covering a lot about how the US military and politics play out when an American is taken hostage overseas. It’s interesting stuff.

One of the last lines spoken on the latest episode really got to me and basically sums up why I think it’s worth listening to. It was said by Mark Bowl a filmaker who provided Serial with hours worth of audio tape of him interviewing Bowe. Mark said about Bergdahl “The story that he told didn’t really ever change, but my understanding of the person telling that story changed.” I don’t know if my mind will change about Bergdahl but I’m listening. You have my full attention Serial.

Also if you haven’t listed to Serial Season 1 go get on that shit. You will be hooked.

And if you have listened to season 1, Serial has posted 3 new mini episodes with updates about Adnan and his efforts at obtaining a new trial. Exciting stuff I promise.

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Stitch Fix Box #1

 

Christmas morning my mother-in-law handed me a Christmas card with a Stitch Fix gift certificate inside. I looked at it for a moment wondering what is this exactly. I’ve never heard of Stitch Fix. Naturally, I googled.

Stitch Fix is a subscription service for women. The idea is for a Stitch Fix stylist to basically shop for you, mainly clothes and accessories. Sounds exciting right? You will have your very own personal stylist. Who wouldn’t want that glamorous lifestyle? I was intrigue.

Signing up is free as well as free shipping and return. There is a $20 styling fee, which you can use towards your purchase.

So here is how it works.

  1. Fill out a Styling Profile.
  2. Based on your styling profile, you will receive 5 handpicked pieces.
  3. Try the clothes on and send back what you don’t want.

I am petite and worried Stitch Fix would not have any petite sizing. While filing out the styling profile I came across the petite option. I was relieved. Being petite it can be very difficult to find clothes that fit properly.

While I waited for my first box to arrive I decided to look online for reviews. I found many happy customers, but found as many unhappy customers. I wondered which side I would fall under. I read many disappointing first box reviews, so I tried to lower my expectations.

My first box arrived in January.

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Susan left me a note, which I thought was nice. The styling cards were pretty neat too.

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This is what Susan, my personal stylist, picked for me.

Skies are Blue Ettora Textured Knit Top in Green $48.00

Loved the color, but did not like the top. And it did not fit right. It was way too big. This top is not petite, but regular small.  At $48 I thought this piece was overpriced. I could find something similar at TJMaxx for $16.

RD Style Miley Airy Knit Cardigan in Black $78.00

I have a soft spot for cardigans and when I pulled this one out I instantly loved it…until I looked at the price. I would pay at the most $30 for this cardigan, not $78. I’ve seen a similar cardigan at Target for way cheaper than $78.

BRIXON IVY Roana Dress in Black $68.00

When I pulled this out, I realized I don’t have enough LBD in my closet. I loved this dress. It was adorable! The scalloped detailing on the bottom of the dress is just sweet—BUT it did not fit. From the waist down it fit perfectly fine, a little loose and a bit long, but it was fine. The top portion of the dress was too loose. When you are petite the arm holes on regular sizes are always big. This dress is a regular size small. Maybe if it was xsmall it could have fit fine. I would have paid $68 for this LBD.

Alice Blue Cassidi Contrast Sleeve Raglan Knit Top in Black $54.00

I wanted to like this top. It’s casual and the fabric was soft. I also love stripes. It was also too big and my petite self looked lost in this top. I think the sides made me look wider. I looked at the price tag of $54 and decided to place it back in the box along with the rest of the pieces. Again I have found a similar top at Marshall’s for less that $20.

Just Black Connely Skinny Jean in Black $78.00

YAY it’s actually a petite size!!! I almost kept this one. I should’ve kept this one. This one was my one regret in this entire box. I actually need a pair of black jeans, but I didn’t think this one is special enough for the price they were asking for. I would’ve paid $58.00 for it with my $20 styling fee, but I decided to put it back in the box.

If I decided to keep everything I would have received a 25% discount.  My mother-in-law gave me $100 GC and it is reflected on the bill below. So if I would have kept everything with my GC and 25% discount, each piece would’ve have cost me $28.90. Without my GC it would have been $244.50, $48.90 per piece. janstitch-12

If I would have shopped myself and picked similar pieces it would have cost me less. I am sure of this. I don’t mind paying more money for quality pieces, but the fit has to be perfect.

Sadly, I am not impress with my first box. I wanted to be impress. I wanted my stylist to do a better job shopping for me than me. I am also not impress with the price. I gathered all the clothes and placed them in the prepaid return envelope to be returned.

I have $80 to go, which equals to 4 more boxes. I will try it out 4 more months to see if there is any improvements. I’ve updated my styling profile and gave my stylist good feed back. I am hoping my next box will be better than the first.

Let me know if you’ve tried Stitch Fix and what your experience was like. If you have any suggestions for me to make my experience better with Stitch Fix or have similar subscription service you would like to suggest, kindly leave me a comment.

BTW this post is not paid by Stitch Fix–technically this is brought to you by my mother-in-law who gave me the gift certificate. Thanks Mom!

 

 

Dive Right In

Another title I was considering for this post was Weird Shit I’ve Recently Discovered. That title was based on the fact I’ve recently discovered both my kids can not roll their tongues. Neither can my husband. I am the lone tongue roller in my house. My husband says it’s because my tongue is a foot long, (sorry TMI) but I say it’s because I’m half Puerto Rican. This makes my kids a quarter Rican and as Acacia put it “the minuscule Puerto Rican was drowned out by all that white.” Sorry kids.😉

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Woman sticking her tongue out

It’s been awhile since I posted. Over a year actually. If it’s worth anything I have blog post ideas all the time in my head.  But they’ve stayed in my head as laziness, procrastination, and lack of motivation has won the battle. It’s just not as fun writing on a blog that was abandoned by your BFFs. For VERY good reason though as Acacia pointed out in her return post. I’d love to put the blame for my lack of writing squarely on my baby making homies because let’s face it I kind of love blaming them for all things gone awry. Truth is though I just lost that loving feeling.

Since Acacia called Rosalie and I out, the warm and fuzzies have come back. Acacia’s gauntlet throw was what we needed. We do love a good challenge around here. One day we’ll tell you all about our EPIC theme parties and the wonderful smack talk that ensues. We are serious when it comes to one upping one another. Some would say it’s the jelly to our sandwich. Or no one would say that.

Anyway, I have about 100 new post ideas and I’m committed to seeing at least 1 of them through. So stay tuned! Also I know for a fact Rosalie is working on some pretty great posts  that I’m sure will be full of hilarious commentary and swoon worth pics.

Bye bye Lemons. Be back soon with quirky posts and TONS of grammatical / spelling errors. You know you’ve missed it.😉

Oscarpalooza!

  
It’s about that time again.  No, not that little Super Bowl thingy – does anybody actually watch that?  No, the good stuff – The Oscars!  We are so excited this year at Hello Wacky Lemon we are having an Oscars viewing party.  This sounds a lot fancier than the reality of us sitting in our PJ’s with a jug of wine and junk food – in our defense we do use fancy plates.  You have probably seen the controversy over the Oscars – if not see #OscarsSoWhite.  It is a bit disappointing that this year again there is not one single person of color. I agree that the nominations should go on merit and not race but I also think there were better non-white actors who deserved a nod.  Michael B. Jordon was excellent in Creed and for Sylvester to get a nod and Michael to be overlooked is a travesty I tell ya!  I think the biggest snub for me was Will Smith.  Concussion is probably one of his best performances and it had all the makings of an Oscar worthy performance; Biopic- check, hot button topic- check, immigrant looking for the American dream- check, c’mon Oscars what more do you want!  Anyway, before I sound all ranty- this is not a political blog and we try to keep it pretty lighthearted but I couldn’t do an Oscars post and not mention the drama surrounding it.  On to the movies…

In honor of our partay I wanted to watch at least all of the Best Picture films. This year there is a whopping 8 to go through – which is better than the 10 that have been in years past. The Best Picture nominees are:

The Big Short

Bridge of Spies

Brooklyn

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Room

Spotlight

As of today  I have seen Mad Max, The Martian, and The Revenant. So…yeah I have a ways to go. Although, I do really want to see Spotlight, The Big Short and Room I am not as excited about Bridge of Spies.  Brooklyn I haven’t seen much about but I have loved Saoirse Ronan since I saw her in The Lovely Bones so I have high hopes for this one. For the ones I have seen…

The Martian

  

Oh Matt Damon you little rascal, you just can’t stay out of trouble can you?  I recently saw an article claiming we have spent billions of dollars saving Matt Damon.  He’s just so charming though- would we do the same for Ben- would we?  I really enjoyed The Martian, it was heartfelt and entertaining although it did kind of remind me of Castaway on Mars.  It was also funny, really funny.  I wasn’t expecting that and that levity in the face of such a bleak scenario really united you to Matt’s character.  Did I think it was Oscar worthy – yes I do actually.  They really could have cheesed this one up and I think it was a great balance of dread, heartbreak, thrill and comedy to make you feel all the human emotions that connect us with a story.   4 Wacky Lemons!

The Revenant

  

So here comes the hate – I know I am probably going to be in the minority on this one but I really disliked this movie.  I had such high hopes too!  I think the hype probably hurt this for me.  I was expecting greatness and this way underwhelmed.  I will say Leonardo’s performance was great – Oscar worthy yeah I can see it but I would have to say it’s one of those – “it was good -he’s done so many great roles and lost, it’s his time, blah, blah, blah.”  I would hands down say his role in The Wolf of Wall Street was better.  My problem with The Revenant is not Leo’s performance but the movie itself – it’s too damn long.  Let me be clear I am not against long movies per say- in fact I would prefer a longer movie if it’s actually adding to the story.  This was not the case in The Revenant.  It start off with a bang, lots of shooting, drama and then that damn bear scene – I actually had to look away for a second.  Then it’s all down hill from there.  I am not a baby I don’t need constant action to hold my attention – in fact too much action is distracting and can make a movie just as bad (I’m talking about you Transformers). However, slow to the point of no point is ridiculous.  There is easily 45 min that could have been cut of just long, sweeping shots of snowy wilderness.  It’s like the director wanted to beat the audience over the head with the brutal, freezing environment.  We get it – it’s cold, like really cold.  That sucks.  What I really wish they did was add more dialogue to flesh out more of the relationships.  More interactions with Leo and his son, why was Tom Hardy such a douche?  What was up with that pyramid of cow skulls! We will never know! Instead, here’s some rocks, a freezing river – ooh how profound.  The next time I want to guess at supposed profound symbolism I will watch The Leftovers.  3 Wacky Lemons.

Mad Max: Fury Road

  

The other Tom Hardy movie.  And get ready for more hate because I absolutely LOVED this movie!  I know, I know, I was actually shocked at how much I loved this movie too.  Maybe going in with no expectations I was just so thoroughly entertained.  It’s a Pulp Fiction shot to the chest of adrenaline from start to finish.  What I loved best about this movie was Charlize Theron’s Furiosa.  Seriously hands down one of the most badass characters on screen, male or female.  I loved everything about her, it is badassery that is realistic, flawed and emotional – not superhuman, just raw and gritty- simply amazing.  Tom Hardy as Max I thought was brilliant, he probably says less than 10 words in the whole film but I think it’s that silence that brings the character to life.  I know a lot of people are perplexed at how this film is nominated for Best Picture and before I saw it I would have said the same thing, a Mad Max movie?  I think people see an over the top spectacle and think it’s ridiculous but what’s missed is it’s trying to be ridiculous. The sheer slap you in your face action- one onslaught of sound, color and feeling after another. The imagery is jaw dropping.  Not for one second can you take your eyes away, from the opening scene to the end you are glued and isn’t that what movies are all about?  5 Wacky Lemons!

 

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