Pablo Berger's BLANCANIEVES, aka SNOW WHITE (2012, 100 min.) with live musical accompaniment by Black Lodge at Brooklyn's Nitehawk Cinema for the first time.The third and lesser known of the Snow White movies released in 2012 (after "Snow White and the Huntsman" and "Mirror Mirror"), "Blancanieves" is a loving homage/tribute to both the Universal Monsters movies of the 30's and 40's and silent German expressionistic movies of the 20's. Shot in B&W aspect ratio with English title cards, this is a silent re-imagining of the Brothers Grimm tale as something closer to "Cinderella"-meets-a-less-nihilistic-"Freaks." Transplanted to early 20th century Spain's world of bullfighting aristocracy, we watch as poor Carmencita (Sofía Oria) grows from a happy childhood to sad womanhood (Macarena García), when the attempts on her life by stepmother Encarna (Maribel Verdú) force her to team up with a band of bullfighting dwarfs.Though it lacks actual monsters (other than bulls and Verdú's mean-as-shit portrayal of the wicked stepmother from hell) everything about this movie looks like it came from a neighboring European country to the one in the Universal Monster land. By the time we get to an ending as bittersweet as it is lovely "Blancanieves" has given us the type of fantastical journey movies aimed at children seldom take them to anymore. It has a ton of digital effects, but they've been made to look like the hand-made feel of silent era films while adding some modern polish to the camera angles. Between this Spaniard production, Poland's "Ida" and Mexico's "Güeros" the mid-2010's are a mini-golden era of appreciation for the lost art of B&W aspect ratio filmmaking. Highly recommended.
Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988) - First viewingThe first one was crazy, weird and fascinating. This is not. There's no story, no characterisation, no depth to anything or anyone. Just simply a bad, bad movie.
Butbutbut Pamela Springsteen!
Lady Terminator (Pembalasan ratu pantai selatan) (1989) - First viewingAn American student visiting Indonesia in possessed by an ancient power, the spirit of the South Sea Queen, bites a few guys' dicks off with her vagina eel, then goes on a leather-clad murderous rampage to find and kill the Queen's old enemy's great-granddaughter, or something.A weird story, a huge amount of blood, a screenplay mostly copied from The Terminator (the hero actually says "Come with me if you want to live"), the cheap and cheesy 80's effects, the laughably incompetent dubbing and one of the greatest mullets in screen history make this a hugely enjoyable romp and a must-watch for exploitation fans!No contest, the best (and only) Indonesian movie I've seen.
That is the best and only review I've ever read on an Indonesian movie!
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Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters(2013)2nd watch.This movie is a blast!Unfairly lumped in with updated fairytales such as Snow White and the Huntsman and Jack the Giant Slayer, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters has more in common with a movie like Army of Darkness. It's full of bloody action and humor. The creature and witch designs are great and are brought life on the actors with practical makeup and animatronicsIt's criminally underrated and deserves to be seen.
This movie really is a ridiculous amount of fun. I dig it.
Did you see the Director's Cut or the Theatrical Cut? Any recommendation as to which is better? Amazon Prime has the Theatrical Cut but also rents the Unrated Director's Cut.
I've only seen the theatrical but I have heard that the DC has some good scenes, a lot more blood, and some salty dialogue that is said to be funny.
I saw a good amount of Hansel and Gretel and i was surprised how much i was enjoying it. The lady who played Gretel is very easy on the eyes so I'm sure that help.
Gemma Arterton! She is very cool. I love Witch Hunters a bunch! I do still stand by Snow white and the huntsman. Patrick and I might be the only ones but we know we are right.
It took me awhile to warm to Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. It's difficult to separate it from Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm.
Brain Damage (1988)Say No To Drugs! Say No To Drugs! Say No To The Mother Fucking Drugs! Say No To Drugs!LIttle Shop of Horrors, minus music, add gore, add fallic symbolism, multiplied by anti-drug afterschool special.Dont give people blow jobs behind nightclubs. Just.....just don't.
Street Crimes (1992) Dir. Stephen Smoke (only other film: Final Impact)Early PM Entertainment movie about a veteran cop (Farina) partnered up with a rookie cop (Michael Worth) who uses karate instead of a gun. The whole movie is basically just them jackin' up thugs and trying to clean up the street. There is a weird thing going on where cops fight thugs in a boxing ring to try and keep them from being on the street but it's never really clear how this started and if it's working. There's also a shit load of parachute pants going on! The movie's late night cable fare and not very good but it's got one thing going for it and that's Farina. Let me talk about my man, Farina for a minute - Damn do I miss the hell out of that guy! The minute he shows up on the screen it's like he grows the width of the entire frame and commands any scene he's in. His presence alone demands attention. He doesn't have much to work with here but I was happy that it wasn't just a bit role and that he's in the movie the entire time.
I could be wrong but i think i read somewhere that Farina was a Chicago cop before acting.
That is correct.
Flesh + Blood (1985, dir. Paul Verhoeven) (First Time Viewing): Rutger Hauer and his mercenary gang plunder their way through medieval times and contract the plague. It’s basically a hangout movie with a bunch of deplorable marauders. It’s also pretty trashy (in a good way). In a way this feels like Verhoeven’s pre-cursor to Showgirls, only with more boils being lanced. And Rutger Hauer turns in yet another mesmerizing performance. Recommended.
More boils being lanced than in Showgirls?! I just don't see how that could be. That scene where Harold Perrineau erotically lances Elizabeth Berkely's boil while Kyle MacLachlan watches is the apex of Verhoeven's career. In fact, every time I go to the doctor for a lancing now, I just ask him to give me "the full Spano" and boy does he ever. Perhaps I should save the details for F This Movie Nights...
Never Say Never Again (1983)I guess you could call this a mockbuster. The biggest reason for me to watch it was that I've been rewatching the Bond films alongside my second favorite podcast (after FTM of course), James Bonding, and their newest episode is on Never Say Never Again.For those who don't know, because of complicated legal reasons Kevin McClory had rights to this one Bond story (the same one Thunderball is based on) and made a "competing" Bond film the same year EON made Octopussy.I have a real soft spot for this movie. The story moves at a brisker pace than Thunderball, Max von Sydow chews the scenery in his brief appearance as Blofeld, Klaus Maria Brandauer and Barbara Carrera are both unhinged, Rowan Atkinson hams it up, Kim Basinger is one of the best Bond girls and old Connery looks better than old Moore. And of course since it's the 80's, Bond and the bad guy go face to face in an arcade game.
Jaws 3-D (1983)Imagine Jaws, only with all of the tension, character development, and overall quality removed and replaced with the worst compositing effects this side of Sid and Marty Krofft and you have some idea what this movie has in store. I wish they had gone with the original concept for this entry, a National Lampoon comedy called Jaws 3, People 0 (intended to be directed by the great Joe Dante).Instead we're left to witness the now-grown Brody kids take on a killer shark at Sea World, and the only real shock in the movie is the fact that Sea World allowed their name, logo, etc. to be used in service of this garbage. Admittedly the suggestion that there could be a deadly shark loose in their theme park is still better for their image than Blackfish (seriously, fuck you Sea World), but it's surprising to see and I couldn't imagine such a thing happening today.
You need to see Cruel Jaws. Definitely good for a laugh.
Beverly Hills, 90210: Class of Beverly Hills Pilot (1990) Dir. Tim Hunter (River's Edge)In 1990 I was a freshman in high school and Stacy B. had "90210" nights at her house once a week. While it was mostly girls from the neighborhood who were going over to watch the show, some of us guys would show up just to try and hook up with these girls. Revisiting this pilot brings back so many memories of those times. The style, music and lingo, Maxwell Caulfield who I totally forgot was in this, the kid who no one liked so they had him kill himself off of the show, the fact that Brenda and Kelly's friendship began because Brenda didn't want to be partners in class with a "fat girl" (wow!) and everyone on the show was at least 20, the extreme being "Andrea" 30 and "Steve" 26. This is absolutely worth revisiting. It defines the era and oozes everything that was "MTV" at the time. It's awful but I loved it.
Wasn't the first season of "90210" low-rated and didn't have much of an impact? That's how I remember it. Then Fox started airing new episodes during the summer of 1991, and it blew up into a phenom with 18-49 viewers. But if you were going to 90210 viewing parties in 1990 then it was already a big deal early on. God, we're old! :'(
You would be correct Vargas
It's just how I worded it. This came out in 1990 (I was a Freshman in High School). The 90210 nights started happening when it blew up. Oddly enough, I have a weird memory of seeing this pilot at like 10pm on TV and had no idea what I was watching.
Dunununih, Dunununih (clap, clap). The wife and I watched the whole series on the Soap network. It was great, stupid fun.
Man-Thing (2005) - First viewingAn oil tycoon sets up shop in an ancient swamp and awakens its guardian, the plant creature called Man-Thing. The new sheriff finds himself in the middle.It's based on a Marvel comic book but bears little resemblance to it besides the creature's appearance and a few character names. The simple horror story fails to excite and the acting is pretty wooden across the board. The lone highlight in the movie is the location, the swamp itself. It looks great and has a creepy, otherworldly quality.
Juice (1992)One of the group of early 90's movies dealing with the struggles of young black men growing up in poverty in America. Juice follows Q, played by Omar Epps, and his 3 friends in Harlem as their friendship is broken up. While definitely a sad inner city tale, Juice lacks the maturity of its inspiration, Boyz n the Hood. The tragedy of Boyz is that it presents characters with a lot of potential that gets either wasted or stolen by the culture of violence they live in. It's hard to admit, but the characters in Juice aren't really presented as having much aspiration or potential for a better life, with the exception of Q who wants to be a DJ. It's sad what happens to the group of friends, but the film never really hits on the deeper issues that Boyz and other movies like Do the Right Thing deal with in terms of the experience of a lot of black people in 90's America.
Sleepy Hollow 1999First time I've seen this movie probably since 1999 or 2000. As Im watching this i kept thinking what the hell Happen to Christina Ricci. I can't remember the last time i saw her. Anyway Sleepy Hollow is basically a period murder mystery with a supernatural twist.
I think that Lizzie Borden movie she was in went to series.
CAVEGIRL (1985) If you like grunting, this is the movie for you. A nerdy dweeb is flung back in time to the prehistoric days, where he finds slapstick and romance with the titular cavegirl. Most of the “jokes” come from him trying to civilize the cave girl’s tribe, which leads to long stretches of them sitting around and grunting. There are no dinosaurs, which is good for historical accuracy but bad for a cheesy exploitation comedy. You’re not missing much. Accompanying short film: A DINOSAUR STORY (2008). Animation demo has a cute baby raptor doing cute baby raptor stuff. Only two minutes long, so there’s that.
Ratburgers!!!As promised this one is for you Matt SollenbergerTroll 1986 A strange coincidence of a young man called Harry Potter who lives in a world of Witches, Wizards and magic 11 years before the JK Rowling's books! And this one has actually got Troll's in it which is nice compared to Troll 2 and some really great practical effects, and funny dialogue " Weird kid, He probably reads a lot" Cheers Matt. Good fun
Awesome!! Glad I didn't over sell it. And how about that musical number?! So good!
To be honest I had more to say but it was really late when I started it and I just put a quick comment together, The midway musical was kinda epic, I did not see it coming and it really worked, at that time of night it feels dreamlike like some Italian movies, all the different Trolls singing and I loved the Mushroom too, the old lady when she let her hair down turned hot, the opening scene introducing all the residents was a really well orchestrated shot, its got good production value and the Main Troll looked great and the young sister had a perfect idea of how to play the evil side of her character really well. Its one of those films I own but haven't watched in years, I watched part 2 due to Patrick and then the Better one second, im glad I did, you are right Troll is a good movie, not in an ironic way.
Little Shop of Horrors (1986) and Young Frankenstein (1974)A double bill of 2 great "horror"/comedy/musicals.Steve Martin as a sadistic dentist will always be one of my favorite things.I watched the director's cut of Little Shop of Horrors with the intended ending, and I must say it is such a great ending, I wouldn't want it any other way.
Very cool double bill!
SCANNERS (1981)Figured I'd take the opportunity to revisit a movie I haven't seen in probably 20 years. One of those that, while you enjoy it very much and have a fun time with it, for whatever reason you never get around to going back to it (and randomly kick yourself for it).Well, no more. It's time for Cronenberg. And McGoohan. And mufuckin Michael Ironside.Let's see some explody-type heads.
Cockfighter (1974)What a weird movie. I saw this DVD in the "cult" section at my local video store, the best rental store in the world, so I decided to check it out. I'm a sucker for any Southern hicksploitation movie, and this one stars Warren Oates and Harry Dean Stanton and is produced by Roger Corman. Corman said it was his only project in the 70's that lost money, but oddly enough it's Oates' highest rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes. It was banned in England for animal cruelty despite being praised by many European critics as one of the best films of the year. It's just a crazy anomaly. I can't recommend it to anyone, because there is some very real animal violence throughout the film. Some of the fights are staged, but some aren't. I do need to mention that it has some great performances, especially by Oates, and has a weird enough story to satisfy any fan of art films. I'd say check it out if you can stomach the violence and really love quirky movies about a rarely-explored subculture.
I'm a Monte Hellman completist, so I've really been wanting to see this movie and eventually add it to my collection. But speaking of video stores-- Independent video stores are starting to spring up here in the States again, slowly buy surely. I was just informed today by a friend of a new video store in Tampa called Grindhouse Video. I went to their site and it looks rather impressive.
If there's one group I'd recommend this movie to, it's Monte Hellman completists. Our local video store has been around for a couple of decades and it actually managed to kill off the chain stores here earlier than in most towns. It's really successful mainly due to a huge selection and being in the right location (a college town). I'd love to see more of those stores take off because it's alot cheaper than VOD.
Wild Wild West: So quirky and nuts. I would have liked it a lot more without it being packed full of homophobic 'jokes'. Selma Hayek is great though, as always. Star Trek the Motion Picture: Well this seemed like 6 hours of looking at people staring at lights. This will be an interesting discussion haha Eve of Destruction/Terminator Woman: Well the quality was terrible so I can't be too hard on it. Some good fight scenes but crappy script, acting and cinematography.Before I go to Sleep: I wanted to see this when it came out maily for Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth. Kidman keeps it engaging but the plot twists fall flat of doing much to support her.
The first time I saw Star Trek the Motion Picture was a terrible experience. Hated the mind numbing slowness and lack of action/adventure. Re-watched it a couple years ago and what a difference. I went into it trying to appreciate it for what it was, not what I wanted it to be, and ended up really enjoying it.
I love The Motion Picture, despite its flaws. Maybe because it's what started me on the path to becoming a Trekkie. I'd seen nothing of ST before it and I thought it had some cool science fiction ideas which gripped me.I even love the shuttle ride where you see the Enterprise for the first time, I don't care how long it takes. It's spectacular.
I'm in the middle of a book called Return to Tomorrow, a 600+ page oral history about the making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It started out as an article for Cinefantastique magazine to coincide with the release of the film but grew into such an unwieldy size that it remained unpublished until now. To call it exhaustive is an understatement.
LolliLove (2004)This mocumentary follows fictionalized/exaggerated versions of then-married Jenna Fischer and James Gunn as they work to help the homeless by giving them suckers with inspirational quotes on the packaging. What really makes the film work is that Fischer does such a great at blurring reality and the reality the film creates. You want to believe that no one would be so offensively clueless as Fischer and Gunn (and a few of their friends) are in the film but we all know people that easily fit that bill.With a directorial debut this strong, it is a real shame that Jenna hasn't directed anything since. Definitely worthy to be listed with the "best of the best" of the genre.
I haven't seen this in years, but I remember it being really funny and ahead of the curve. Glad to hear it still works!
God Told Me To (1976, dir. Larry Cohen)I knew almost nothing about this going into it except that Larry Cohen made it and that it features a sniper shooting bystanders. I thought that was the entire movie. Instead it's only the opening scene. I wouldn't dream of spoiling the crazy places this movie goes, but it's fascinating and really great. If you haven't seen it, go in blind.
I caught this blind in 35mm (struck from the same negative Bill Lustig used for the recently-released Blu-ray) a few months back at Brooklyn's Nitehawk Cinema. I loved the hell out of it. If you liked "GTMT" check out "Fight For Your Life" starring William Sanderson (also shown at Nitehawk in 35mm recently), a similar-in-vibe-but-completely-different mid-70's grindhouse flick (should be available on either AMC or Full Moon streaming).
The Lost boys: I really enjoyed Grandpa and mum. The overly lavish aspects are interesting... well least it was silly.Brotherhood of death: Well those KKK fuckers had that comin!Planet Terror: Rose with a gun leg is fucking awesome obviously. Glad I finally got round to it!
Forgot to add in between there was The battered Bastards of basketball. A lot of joy for the sport makes it even though I have never seen a game!
Did you mean "The Battered Bastards of BASEBALL"? Couldn't have been that great a documentary if it made you confuse one professional sport for another. ;-)
No I didn't say it was great. And yes baseball. My kindle corrected it. Baseball is a fun looking sport and all but cricket players could play a mean arse game of softball. Not sure about the ther way around! So maybe my kindle is a bit snooty. I on the other hand think it would be a cool thing to watch.
Wet Hot American Summer (2001) Dir. David WainBeen meaning to watch this for a whole, being a site favorite. And....I liked it, mostly. It's hard to explain how I feel about this, I never went to a sleepaway camp (tho I did date Angela), nor am I a big fan of "summer" movies. But, as an absurdist comedy, it just works. In under 90 minutes, it probably throws 200 jokes at you. Only about 50 of them stick, and I'm fine with that. I was in stictches a couple times, Paul Rudd's over-the-top character was awesome (especially his clean-up-the-floor tantrum.) And I have a feeling the whispered line "for my pussyyyyyy" will quickly enter my common vernacular.
Cheap Thrills 2014 If you've seen movies like Would You Rather, or 13 sins (both of which are on Netflix) Then you'll be somewhat familiar with the premise of Cheap Thrills. The main character Craig loses his job and is already waist deep in debt. While at a bar he comes across a gentleman who basically dares him to do various things for large sums of money. All I'm gonna say is watch it. Patrick did a review on it already and there isn't much more i can add. Its not available on Netflix so i watched it on Xbox video for 4.99. I believe its on iTunes also.
Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman (2012)Perfect for Junesploitation! A hapless DJ gets caught up in a ring of criminals and violence, who all want a piece of the aforementioned Machine Gun Woman (hint: she doesn't wear a lot beyond those machine guns she carries, guys). Done on a budget, but still fun and engaging enough, although I don't think it's as good as BOUNTY KILLER. I wasn't super fond of the Grand Theft Auto vibe, but the movie has a sense of humor and there's some ridiculous violence.
Spider Baby (1967)"Spider Baby"(said doing a flawless Sean Connery impression. I remember hearing about this on one of Massacre podcasts. I have a feeling this would have been a lot more fun with a bunch of people. I still enjoyed it but I think it would have been better in that setting. The 2 young girls are great. I guess I was expecting a little more but still worth the watch.
I love Jill Banner. RIP Jill Banner.
Watched two movies today, both of which sort of fit into Junesploitation-type categories but neither of which is really exploitation in any way.Sanjuro (1962)I have the world's worst reason for finally getting around to watching the spiritual successor to Yojimbo (one of my all-time favorite Japanese movies): I watched A Fistful of Dollars for Spaghetti Western day and want to watch the sequel, but was afraid it might likewise be a ripoff of this movie (just as Fistful was of Yojimbo) and I didn't want to be left behind. For my money this is a far cry from Yojimbo and most of Kurosawa's other work that I've seen so far, but that's not saying anything more than "it's not as good as some of the best movies of all time." The meticulousness of the planning makes this a constantly engaging watch; Toshiro Mifune doesn't miss a beat as usual; and Kurosawa's signature staging makes it a pleasure to look at (there's always something going on with his compositions). It's not as funny and not as morally complex as Yojimbo, but it's still enjoyable and well worth watching.Chinatown (1974) [second watch]There aren't many films that manage to pull off the private eye thing after the 1950's, and there were even fewer that managed it after the 1970's. Chinatown not only pulls it off, but successfully stands next to many of the greats in it genre and still looks pretty good by comparison. It's a sunshine noir about dirty politics and dirty water that seamlessly mixes in issues of trauma, sexuality, and even class (Jake makes a fuss about making an honest living while farmers are pushed off their land and millionaires pull the strings behind the scenes). Not that I feel I have the right to say this after only two viewings, but to my mind this is a masterpiece in every sense of the word.
You reminded me that I was in the midst of an Akira Kurosawa retrospective before #Junesploitation, which I'll be getting back to once we head into July. Of course, this month has also got me wanting to revisit some films I'll want to watch after #Junesploitation.
Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (1991)I tell you folks what's happened to good parody movies. It seems like the end of this series was the end of good parody. Sure now we do once in a blue moon get our Black Dynamites and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox stories but nowadays overall its gotten so cheap. So I decided to throw in this Lieutenant Frank Drebin (Police Squad!) and damn it does hold up really good from all the visual gags to some of the sex word play which I'm sure went way over my head when I was 10 seeing this in the theatres. Its a real shame Leslie Nielsen couldn't end his career on comedy as strong as this. If you haven't checked it out in a while give it a run- for the most part its aged pretty good8 Word Review (In Preparation for SMM)"Got a copy of Strokin the Love Muffin?"
Q - THE WINGED SERPENT (1982)Larry Cohen.Michael Moriarty.David Carradine.Candy Clark.Richard Roundtree.An ancient flying Aztec god that lives in the Chrysler Building and snatches up and eats unsuspecting sunbathers.You know you wanna watch it.
A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die (1968)This is a movie I never got around to reviewing on Spaghetti Western day. Of all the spaghetti westerns I've ever seen, this one felt the most American-made. Alex Cord is an infamous outlaw who has developed the shakes. Afraid he's become epileptic, he travels to a town promising lawful amnesty. Only thing is, the price on his head is way too valuable for the law in the town to grant it to him, even with the support of Governor Robert Ryan. Not a bad little movie. The only snag is Alex Cord's love interest in the film -- they have ZERO chemistry. The love scene is so comically terrible, it looks as though they made cuts to try to save it, but just made it worse.
Tracers (2015, Daniel Benmayor)Other than the romantic subplot this is not nearly as awful as it seems like it should be. Lautner is clearly pulling from the Tom Cruise handbook and does a fair amount of the stunts, which goes a long way towards selling a movie like this. And Benmayor has a clear love for movement, shooting the early scenes with an almost Mann-like sense of kineticism and thrust. But soon the movie gets away from this and settles in to a pretty conventional narrative. Which bummed me out in a genuine way. The first fifteen minutes of this have some real promise.
Why Don’t You Play in Hell (2014)Back onto the Junesploitation wagon with a movie that Patrick recommended towards the end of last year. This is an unhinged movie. I’m not too sure it makes a lot of sense beyond the sheer exuberance of the idea (a Yakuza boss needs to make a movie starring his teenage daughter before his wife is released from prison). It takes a while for the pieces to come together but when it does, the movie spins off its axis. A rainbow-infused cocaine-fuelled daydream sequence, a bloody farewell kiss, some creepy old dude being infatuated with a much younger woman (the daughter of his rival Yakuza boss no less), a lovelorn guy wandering around with a sword lodged into his skull, a Steadicam operator firing a gun into a crowd, and a recurring toothpaste commercial? My brain is struggling to process this all - and it's awesome.
Gargoyles (1972) (first time viewing)This made-for-tv movie was pretty dull. A guy and his daughter are doing research for a book. They come across a colony of Gargoyles (men in cheap looking costumes). They get chased. The end. Don't bother.
College Girls Confidential (1968, dir. Stephen C. Apostolof)If you really love Ed Wood, you've probably seen at least one A.C. Stephen movie; it's probably Orgy of the Dead but it could be any one of their eight nudie-cutie collaborations. Ed didn't write this one, but it's as plotless as the others. The theme of the movie is 'Kicks!' A college girl sleeps with her professor for a passing grade. Two of her friends have a three-way (make out for ten minutes without ever taking all their clothes off) with the class president, then take part in an initiation ceremony for a pledge to the Lambda Sigma Delta frat (get it?) A gay student ogles the football team in the shower, then looks at the camera and says "Smorgasbord!" The professor argues angrily with his wife, but then they go to a drug party with all the students where all the girls dance topless and the class prez jumps off a balcony after convincing himself he can fly. It ends with a strong anti-drug message delivered by same from a hospital bed. NSFW trailer.