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Old 01-01-2014, 04:35 PM   #426
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Cheating should not be used as a word. It's cinema. It's editing. It's actually all cheating, because that's what it's all about. Playing with people's emotions, making people believe in things that aren't real. Fooling them.

Watch The Prestige and you will understand the ending of TDKR more, and why Nolan likes to do these things.
Well, yeah, that goes without saying. I work as a TV editor and that's just part of the lingo that gets used in the edit room. "We can cheat such and such with this shot", etc. That's why I said it. The whole cockpit thing is just a more heightened, exaggerated form of that because it's using a non-linear trick in a mostly linear sequence.

But rules are made to be bent and/or broken. Especially when someone such as Nolan has such a strong command of the language of cinema.

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Old 01-01-2014, 04:43 PM   #427
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Exactly. You've seen the 'alone' version of Bruce Wayne a dozen times over, so what's the problem in actually seeing him ending up happy?
It doesn't suit the character. I don't picture Bruce Wayne getting a happy ever after, DC has never given him one, and that's part of the tragic appeal of the character.

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Old 01-01-2014, 04:44 PM   #428
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Well, yeah, that goes without saying. I work as a TV editor and that's just part of the lingo that's used. "We can cheat such and such with this shot", etc. That's why I said it. The whole cockpit thing is just a more heightened, exaggerated form of that because it's using a non-linear trick in a mostly linear sequence.

But rules are made to be bent and/or broken.
Exactly. Im just saying the word "cheating" just comes with the territory in cinema. It doesn't even have to be used in this thread because it's just obvious you know what i mean? It's like some people on here never seen trickery in editing, etc. Nolan used it in a clever way, because you don't quite know the answers of when he escaped the Bat. But he still pulls it off. Chris still gets you thinking one thing then tells you something else by the end of it. Yet there's also little pieces to the puzzle, that if you really disect the final scene after multiple viewings, you can figure out what happened. Nolan loves exposition when he feels it's called for, but he also loves ambiguity.

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Old 01-01-2014, 04:45 PM   #429
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I don't agree with the notion that Batman has to be a completely tragic character.
I disagree. He's fighting a battle that in a sense can never be won. You can't totally eradicate evil and corruption. But the fact that he fights that battle anyways, knowing that, makes him all the more heroic. He's an inherently tragic hero who stands in defiance of unavoidable tragedy.

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Could anybody really begrudge Nolan's Bruce Wayne a happy ending? For that matter, could you really begrudge Bruce Wayne from any medium a happy ending?

I know a lot of people like the idea of these things going on for practically forever, like the comics and animated series, but it feels so very refreshing to actually experience a self-contained story with a clear beginning and end. It's one of the trilogy's great strengths IMO.
The animated series does not go on forever. If you've watched Batman Beyond it is quite clear that Bruce does NOT get a happy ending.

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Old 01-01-2014, 04:46 PM   #430
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It doesn't suit the character. I don't picture Bruce Wayne getting a happy ever after, DC has never given him one, and that's part of the tragic appeal of the character.
Agreed

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Old 01-01-2014, 04:54 PM   #431
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To me more than the tragedy, the appeal of Batman is that he is a personification of the resilience and triumph of the human spirit and the will to overcome anything. TDKR just was bold enough to finally include Bruce's own demons and self-destructive impulses into that equation. I applaud it for that. It's not something that I'd want in every Batman story, but I thought it was perfect for this one.

But of course, we all have our own Batman and as such value certain ideals he represents over others. And as has been stated endlessly, of course the "neverending tragic hero" model is the most common one for Batman...that is how he's able to exist as a perpetual character in the comics and other serialized media.

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Old 01-01-2014, 04:57 PM   #432
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That's because Nolan's Batman in TKDR was just a depressed James Bond instead of a psychologically scarred person who can never truly not be Batman. It was a character who could discard the Batman identity and all its rage because it was externalized, instead of a permanent and irrevocable part of who he is.

Unfortunately, this was an about face, as Nolan had already hinted in the prior films that Bruce could never let go of the Batman identity (usually through Rachel's view of him).

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Old 01-01-2014, 05:07 PM   #433
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It doesn't suit the character. I don't picture Bruce Wayne getting a happy ever after, DC has never given him one, and that's part of the tragic appeal of the character.
Precisely why it's a fresh take on the character. Bruce going on and on and on and on with his crusade gets rather sad at some point, since he'll clearly never be able to eradicate crime completely. From a human standpoint, it's a real triumph to see Bruce Wayne actually getting over the tragic murder of his parents...which, of course, means giving Batman up. It's still tapping into the potential of the character, albeit differently.

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The animated series does not go on forever. If you've watched Batman Beyond it is quite clear that Bruce does NOT get a happy ending.
Which is precisely what I was alluding to. I was a bit vague, I admit, but I was referring to the fact that in the animated series we get the obsessively relentless Bruce Wayne who, even in Beyond, still thinks of himself as Batman.

Which is fine...more than fine, actually. I enjoy that interpretation of the character, which is exactly why the Nolan take is great as well, since it's not the same thing. The character has potential either way, either as a tale of how unrelenting the human spirit can be, either as a tale of human triumph in the face of the most horrible of tragedies. It's an ideal to strive for, either way.

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Old 01-01-2014, 05:10 PM   #434
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Precisely why it's a fresh take on the character. Bruce going on and on and on and on with his crusade gets rather sad at some point, since he'll clearly never be able to eradicate crime completely. From a human standpoint, it's a real triumph to see Bruce Wayne actually getting over the tragic murder of his parents...which, of course, means giving Batman up. It's still tapping into the potential of the character, albeit differently.
When comic book fans dislike something, they call it disrespectful to the source material. When they love something, they call it a "fresh take." Neither makes something good or bad in and of itself. The real question is which take is better and more interesting. Obviously the happy ending route gets taken in Hollywood all the time... its the safe choice, the upbeat ending. That's not how Batman stories tend to be though, which is why choosing that safe ending was such a cop out and so ultimately generic, shallow, and boring compared to the deeper complexities of the Bruce Wayne character in the source material.

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Old 01-01-2014, 05:12 PM   #435
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The thing is, anytime someone cites TDK as evidence that Bruce's journey was originally meant to get darker and darker and that the balloon would grow bigger and bigger is looking at it like Nolan was looking to establish a long-running line of sequels based off of his movies and I really don't know if that was the case.

The direction of Bruce's character in TDKR was a change, but not a contradiction. Change is necessary for character. Bruce at the start of the film is yearning to return as Batman (we learn this through Alfred's views on him, similar to how Rachel's view of him informed us in TDK). The events of the film are his journey towards starting on a new, less self-destructive path. He regains the fear of death that he'd been suppressing since he heard his father's dying words. It's the completion of a character arc.

It seems like people essentially wanted the same character arc resolution we got in Batman Forever. He accepts his fate and resigns himself to his endless crusade, while somehow being healthier as Bruce Wayne too. And you know what? That was a perfectly fine arc. It works. But we'd seen it before. I desperately wanted something different from that and was glad that we got it. Emotionally the ending just worked like gangbusters for me.

I also think it's ironic that the "happy" ending would be deemed "safe". It's precisely that reversal that makes it so daring...we expect Batman stories to have more darkness in their endings and this played against expectations. Of course it's up to each individual to determine whether or not that works for them, but "safe" is definitely not a word I'd use to describe an ending that closed the book hard on a multi-billion dollar series and did so while giving its titular, notoriously grim protagonist a surprisingly upbeat sendoff.

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Old 01-01-2014, 05:13 PM   #436
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Precisely why it's a fresh take on the character.
By fresh you mean out of character.

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Bruce going on and on and on and on with his crusade gets rather sad at some point, since he'll clearly never be able to eradicate crime completely. From a human standpoint, it's a real triumph to see Bruce Wayne actually getting over the tragic murder of his parents...which, of course, means giving Batman up. It's still tapping into the potential of the character, albeit differently.
That's the beauty of the character. He is trapped in an endless cycle of obsession, even when he's an aging man. He can never let go of it. Anyone can throw in the towel after they think they've done a decent job and run off into the sunset. That's not interesting.

Bruce Wayne is much more complex and interesting than that.

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Old 01-01-2014, 05:13 PM   #437
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The thing is, anytime someone cites TDK as evidence that Bruce's journey was originally meant to get darker and darker and the balloon would grow bigger and bigger is looking at it like Nolan was looking to establish a longrunning slew of sequels based off of his movies and I really don't know if that was the case.
No I'm not. I'm not saying there shouldn't have been a definitive ending. I'm saying he went with the wrong ending.

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Old 01-01-2014, 05:23 PM   #438
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When comic book fans dislike something, they call it disrespectful to the source material. When they love something, they call it a "fresh take." Neither makes something good or bad in and of itself. The real question is which take is better and more interesting. Obviously the happy ending route gets taken in Hollywood all the time... its the safe choice, the upbeat ending. That's not how Batman stories tend to be though, which is why choosing that safe ending was such a cop out and so ultimately generic, shallow, and boring compared to the deeper complexities of the Bruce Wayne character in the source material.
The bolded part, we can agree upon.

I don't think there's anything really generic and 'safe' about the ending of TDKR though. I mean, sure, you can see it as Bruce Wayne ending up happily ever after with the girl, but are we given any indication that they'll be living happily ever after? It's a new beginning for both of them. Which brings with it a lot of uncertainties. And as BatLobster was saying earlier, Bruce is basically saying goodbye to the people who've been by his side throughout his time as Batman - Alfred, Gordon, Fox. He's leaving Gotham behind too, as much as it might've reminded him of the tragedy of his life, it was still home and the thing he had dedicated his life to fighting for since returning in BB. That's quite "a leap of faith", I'd say.

It's important to keep in mind the character's history of being depicted as the 'never ending tragic hero', because that's precisely why it's genuinely fresh to see him having a so-called 'happy ending'. Whenever they've alluded to something like that for Bruce in the comics and in the animated series, it's usually been depicted as a dream or something temporary.

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Old 01-01-2014, 05:28 PM   #439
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By fresh you mean out of character.
Nope. By fresh, I mean alluded to in the comics and animated series, but not actually done as a definitive ending. Which, you know, makes it fresh to a certain extent.

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That's the beauty of the character. He is trapped in an endless cycle of obsession, even when he's an aging man. He can never let go of it. Anyone can throw in the towel after they think they've done a decent job and run off into the sunset. That's not interesting.

Bruce Wayne is much more complex and interesting than that.
That's your opinion and it's fine. I think the beauty of the character (and complexity, if you want to go that route) resides in the fact that you can have these different versions of him, in some ways polar opposites and still make them work. Neither version is better than the other - different strokes for different folks and all that jazz.

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Old 01-01-2014, 05:33 PM   #440
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No I'm not. I'm not saying there shouldn't have been a definitive ending. I'm saying he went with the wrong ending.
Okay- so if your argument is that Batman is a 100% absolutely tragic character, would the "correct" ending be one in which Bruce actually died? No judgment, just wondering.

Because I still contend that any variation on the classic "rooftop" ending is in fact not a definitive ending at all and simply a return to the status quo. It's taking us from point A all the way back to point A rather than establishing a new status quo, which is a basic mandate of cinematic storytelling. Especially within a classic Hero's Journey structure like the one the trilogy employed from the start.

Also, just for the sake of sharing- one possible ending I was envisioning before I saw the movie was that Bruce would actually be crippled by Bane and wheelchair bound for the rest of his life, at the end serving as an "Oracle" of sorts to Blake's character if he were to inherent the mantle. I actually still don't mind that entirely, but it's hugely problematic in that it's important for Bruce to rise out of the pit himself and physically defeat Bane in the climax. He has to fight his last battle.

Another one I had was that Bruce would finally retire the mantle by the end and become a full-time philanthropist, helping with the reconstruction of Gotham...brick by brick.

Just wondering if there are any other crazy theories/alternate ideas for what the ending could've been that DON'T follow the "rooftop" model.

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Old 01-01-2014, 05:37 PM   #441
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I don't know that he has to die, I just don't think the happy upbeat ending is right for the character. There are other inventive ways to bring a conclusive ending.

I don't think "death," "rooftop," or "run into the sunset with the princess" are the only options here.

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Old 01-01-2014, 05:46 PM   #442
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When comic book fans dislike something, they call it disrespectful to the source material. When they love something, they call it a "fresh take." Neither makes something good or bad in and of itself. The real question is which take is better and more interesting. Obviously the happy ending route gets taken in Hollywood all the time... its the safe choice, the upbeat ending. That's not how Batman stories tend to be though, which is why choosing that safe ending was such a cop out and so ultimately generic, shallow, and boring compared to the deeper complexities of the Bruce Wayne character in the source material.
I see it as the opposite. Batman is known to go on forever. That's the norm. So rebelling against that by giving him a happy ending is therefore the risky, new route. The safe choice would have been to give a boring ending where Batman/Bruce Wayne is looking over the city like we have gotten and will get for the next 100 Batman movies. You'll see, in 40 years from now you will realize that ending a Batman movie with him flying off a rooftop or standing on top a skyscraper is now the normal, safe, comfortable ending and extremely predictable one. It will happen over and over again, and you and i may love it every single time. But it's still safe. Actually every superhero movie tends to end in almost the same fashion. TDKR supplied something different. And it won't be repeated for Batman.

The other thing you guys are forgetting, is that this version was always about the symbol, and not necessarily about Bruce Wayne being the one and only Batman. Batman still continues at the end of Rises. It's still a Batman ending. The final shot is in the cave, suggesting the cowl lives on to fight an endless war. But some fanboys want their Bruce as Batman forever, but that's just brainwashing from the comics. Because they must carry through. It's about money over story, even if the writer can come up with some deep material in the process.

It probably didn't interest Nolan to end the 3rd part of his series practically the same way as Godfather 3 where Michael dies an old & bitter man. But this time with Bruce. Ive seen that before in one of our biggest trilogies we have. Or Nolan not ending it with a cop-out. Promoting the trilogy as the end yet giving people the same old superhero movie ending where Bruce is still batman, so WB can just re-cast and keep putting out sequels. How is that a real trilogy? How is that an ending to a story?

Never cater to the fans. Ever. Tell the story you want to tell and deal with the reactions later. The cockiest thing about this is that the fans truly think these movies were made for them first and foremost. They weren't. And thank goodness, because **** wouldn't get done. Things would be stale. Just like when a musician or pop star makes a record for their fanbase..it's compromised art.

I doubt Nolan cares if some fans hated the happy ending. Good for him. Good for Burton if he doesn't care what i think about Batman Returns. Thank God he did something different and told his story.

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Old 01-01-2014, 06:14 PM   #443
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I don't know that he has to die, I just don't think the happy upbeat ending is right for the character. There are other inventive ways to bring a conclusive ending.

I don't think "death," "rooftop," or "run into the sunset with the princess" are the only options here.
Certainly there have to be some more options here, that's why I was listing some of my old fantasy endings.

Another popular one I remember was essentially a variation on the Dark Knight Returns ending with Bruce leading a reformed LoS underground as his disciples. But in addition to being derivative it also runs counter to the ideas of "rising" and overcoming pain, etc.

Regardless, ending Batman's story is always a tricky proposition and is seemingly always destined to alienate some segment of the fanbase.

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Old 01-01-2014, 06:36 PM   #444
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You know, one of my initial thoughts after seeing this film for the first time in theaters was "It was like a Batman Beyond film". Here is my reasoning:
- It was set in the future (Eight years after the events of the last film).
- It had a "flying Batmobile".
- It had the idea of a sucessor embodied by John Blake. (Which for me it was great, because even thought I made the realization that Blake was Nolan's Robin before the name reveal, I concluded that Blake was more like Terry McGinnis thematically)

I know it is not a solid argument, but it made recall the ending of Batman of the DC Animated Universe. The Future Batman Terry McGinnis is confronted by the realization that he was engineered to be an identical biological copy of Bruce, and that makes him question his existence, that perhaps he is doomed to be just like the old Bruce. And at the realization that he could drive his own fate the way he wanted, that he could be happy, he takes a step in that direction. He chooses a better life.

I thought the same thought process was applied in the film and, for me at least, it was great. It was a more mature take that could be believed in the context of the films, and resonated with me in a great deal.

Also it is not like DCAU Bruce gets a sad ending either, he gets to be in an Alfred type of role for Terry and manages to be a true parent figure (in his own way) for him.

The thing about Batman is that most of the times it is a bittersweet kind of deal. As I said before, Rises doesn't offer a fully "happy riding onto the sunset kind of ending". We get to see a tortured man giving life another chance, a chance for happiness. Nothing more. And we can put ourselves in Alfred's shoes and hope that he reaches it, inside of us we know he made it.

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Old 01-01-2014, 07:06 PM   #445
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Skimming through the past few posts, I have to ask: why does everyone think so black-and-white? Since when does happy ending automatically = not being Batman and tragic ending automatically = being Batman? Furthermore, since when does being Batman = depression for Bruce? That is an incredible two-dimensional way to look at a character that you all claim to agree that he is complex.

Those two scenarios are in no way correlated. My whole issue with the ending is Bruce quitting being Batman and the way he quits given the context. It has jack **** to do with Bruce being "happy".

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Old 01-01-2014, 07:18 PM   #446
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I never said Batman = depression? I'm trying to look at the type of dark, tragic heroic figure Bruce has always been and interpret the ending in contrast to that. Never said Bruce couldn't have moments of happiness, the issue is this particular happy ending. There's always an unfinished, interrupted aspect to Bruce's life. There has been since his childhood was irrevocably interrupted and lost.

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Old 01-01-2014, 07:21 PM   #447
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I never said Batman = depression? I'm trying to look at the type of dark, tragic heroic figure Bruce has always been and interpret the ending in contrast to that. Never said Bruce couldn't have moments of happiness, the issue is this particular happy ending. There's always an unfinished, interrupted aspect to Bruce's life. There has been since his childhood was irrevocably interrupted and lost.
I never said you said it. Someone here said something among the lines of "You don't want to see him quit Batman? Why must Bruce suffer from depression forever?"

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Old 01-01-2014, 07:22 PM   #448
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Have I been warped back to 2012?

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Old 01-01-2014, 07:25 PM   #449
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I see it as the opposite. Batman is known to go on forever. That's the norm. So rebelling against that by giving him a happy ending is therefore the risky, new route. The safe choice would have been to give a boring ending where Batman/Bruce Wayne is looking over the city like we have gotten and will get for the next 100 Batman movies. You'll see, in 40 years from now you will realize that ending a Batman movie with him flying off a rooftop or standing on top a skyscraper is now the normal, safe, comfortable ending and extremely predictable one. It will happen over and over again, and you and i may love it every single time. But it's still safe. Actually every superhero movie tends to end in almost the same fashion. TDKR supplied something different. And it won't be repeated for Batman.

The other thing you guys are forgetting, is that this version was always about the symbol, and not necessarily about Bruce Wayne being the one and only Batman. Batman still continues at the end of Rises. It's still a Batman ending. The final shot is in the cave, suggesting the cowl lives on to fight an endless war. But some fanboys want their Bruce as Batman forever, but that's just brainwashing from the comics. Because they must carry through. It's about money over story, even if the writer can come up with some deep material in the process.

It probably didn't interest Nolan to end the 3rd part of his series practically the same way as Godfather 3 where Michael dies an old & bitter man. But this time with Bruce. Ive seen that before in one of our biggest trilogies we have. Or Nolan not ending it with a cop-out. Promoting the trilogy as the end yet giving people the same old superhero movie ending where Bruce is still batman, so WB can just re-cast and keep putting out sequels. How is that a real trilogy? How is that an ending to a story?

Never cater to the fans. Ever. Tell the story you want to tell and deal with the reactions later. The cockiest thing about this is that the fans truly think these movies were made for them first and foremost. They weren't. And thank goodness, because **** wouldn't get done. Things would be stale. Just like when a musician or pop star makes a record for their fanbase..it's compromised art.

I doubt Nolan cares if some fans hated the happy ending. Good for him. Good for Burton if he doesn't care what i think about Batman Returns. Thank God he did something different and told his story.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:25 PM   #450
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No, 2012 never left us. Its the same ol', same ol'.

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