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Monday, July 27, 2015

Mr. Holmes: Movie Review

By: Lakwatsera Lovers

Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) the world's most famous detective knows that his time in solving mysterious cases is over. He now stays in an old house tending with his bees with his housekeeper and her son Roger, who is also an aspiring detective. However, he finds himself haunted by a case that forced him to retire, but he can't remember the exact details, so he tries to search for some clues to close it once and for all. 

Mr. Holmes is all about Ian McKellen. He is simply fascinating throughout, and we did enjoy his compelling performance. We usually see him in big Blockbuster movies playing iconic characters like Magneto in X-Men and Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings. But here he is just a vulnerable detective who tries to reconcile the past while battling to revive his fading memory.   

It is not your typical Robert Downey Jr. film that is built in humor and explosive action pieces. It focused more on a series of flashbacks but still keeps the mystery vibe of the fictional detective made famous by Arthur Conan Doyle. Thanks to a wonderful Ian McKellen the film stood out even it is dragging at times. 

Overall, Mr. Holmes is exceptional with Ian McKellen leading the charge. It is a great take on an iconic character that is sidelined with sickness acknowledging that heroes also have weaknesses. It is not our usual Sherlock Holmes flick but its a fresh and welcome addition to his already impressive resume. 

Lakwatsera Lovers rates it 7.5 out of 10 stars 

Cast: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker

Directed by: Bill Condon
Distributed by: Captive Cinema
Now Showing in cinemas nationwide 

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Tom Cruise Goes Rouge in Fifth “MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE” Thriller

Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt, facing his most blisteringly impossible mission yet, in “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” the fifth installment in the constantly accelerating action-thriller series.

This time out, Cruise’s iconic character, Ethan Hunt, finds himself in non-stop peril – physical, mental and emotional -- from the film’s literally high-flying opening moments through one relentless situation after another. Hunt’s situation is precarious on every level. The IMF is on the outs, the CIA doesn’t trust him, and now he’s discovered a rogue agency with the spy-power to bring down any nation it targets – and they want him to join their crusade of destruction or they want him dead. On the brink, Hunt must test his team’s loyalty, his own illustrious endurance and the agenda of the alluringly secretive spy who saved his skin: Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson).

For Cruise, a fifth time playing Hunt and serving as producer presented another chance to see just how far he can take the character, and the entire genre of sophisticated global espionage games. He loves moving the bar, often hurling the bar, with each new “Mission: Impossible” film.

Each time I think ‘I’ve seen it all’ and I’ve been through every action challenge a film can have, the next film introduces new challenges of every kind-- because we’re constantly pushing not only the action sequences, but the storytelling and characters,” Cruise says. “To me the ultimate ‘Mission’ movie is never just about action and suspense – though we love innovating in that area. It’s really about the combination of action, intrigue and humor with this very specific, breathless kind experience we create for the audience. It’s about giving audiences the greatest sense of adventure and scale -- while keeping a classic sense of cinema. We do that more than ever in ‘Rogue Nation.’”

Rogue Nation” also finds Ethan more dedicated to defusing the destructive power of evil than ever –in part because he’s grown as an agent and a person. “Ethan has evolved,” Cruise observes. “He’s learning to listen to everyone else while still following his own instincts. I think he’s really progressed in terms of understanding people for who they are, including himself. I’ve always seen him as someone’s who’s highly skilled, who has a high level of athleticism and who will be relentless in pursuing what he believes is right all the way to the end – but he’s not a superhero, he’s very human.”

Ethan’s humanity is put under duress as Hunt confronts a nemesis who is his dark mirror image – an agent who has tossed his moral compass. “In this film, Ethan and his team come up against a terrifying villain who is a match for them, someone who challenges them physically, intellectually and emotionally,” Cruise says. “Right from the film’s first moments, Ethan and the team are on their heels, desperately moving from one situation to the next. The action is gripping but true to ‘Mission: Impossible,’ within the suspense, there’s a lot of humor and romance.”

Producer Dana Goldberg, Chief Creative Officer of Skydance, observes that for Cruise, embodying Ethan Hunt is something that he never sees as a completed job but as an evolution. “Tom always has a high bar of excellence in everything he does, but I think it is even higher when it comes to ‘Mission: Impossible,’” she observes. “He approaches Ethan by asking: what is the real way that Ethan Hunt would respond given this situation and under this amount of pressure? That’s one of the things that Ethan has always been good at – handling extreme pressure that never relents. But Tom also is revealing Ethan as a bit older and smarter, a spy who has grown up in some ways, who has come to accept what his role is and what the costs are. He’s a man who has learned to truly rely on his team, and he’s learned to reach out. You can feel the synergy between character and actor.”

As the brains and heart behind the entire franchise, Cruise’s total commitment is not just to the role and to the stunts, but equally to the filmmaking, notes Skydance Executive VP of Production Don Granger, one of the film’s producers. “It's so impressive that in the middle of a ‘Mission: Impossible’ movie -- which has the most demanding stunts and the most physically exhausting schedule for Tom -- he not only gives an amazing performance as Ethan, but he’s also there all day and all evening after we shoot, and he’s always involved in an incredibly productive way with the big picture of the movie.”

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, July 30, “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.
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In the latest and heart-stopping trailer reveal of “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” the characters are again pitted against a series of death-defying obstacles in their continued search for the truth on who they really are and where they’re going after escaping the Maze.

Based on the (second) bestselling book series by James Dashner, Dylan O’Brien returns who reprises the role of Thomas, the biggest question for his character faces in “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” is whether he did the right thing by challenging the status quo and leading the Gladers out of the maze.

 Back on his directorial seat from the first box-office hit “Maze Runner” film, Wes Ball is not one to rest on his laurels.  Picking up on the story of Thomas and the Gladers now they’ve escaped the maze, the film introduces audiences to The Scorch, and a whole new set of challenges faced in a post-apocalyptic Earth.

Along with O’Brien, returning cast includes Kaya Scodelario, Thoma Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Dexter Darden, Alexander Flores and Patricia Clarkson with new cast members Aidan Gillen, Rosa Salazar, Jacob Lofland, Lili Taylor, Barry Pepper and Nathalie Emmanuel. 

Non-stop action adventure awaits when “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” opens in cinemas nationwide on September 9 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Check out the film’s second trailer reveal here:

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“HITMAN: AGENT 47” Second Trailer Reveal

His name is 47, based on the highly successful game, “Hitman: Agent 47” has just revealed its second trailer starring Rupert Friend, Zachary Quinto, Hannah Ware and Thomas Kretschman directed by Aleksander Bach.

A standalone film, the latest breed of new superhuman rises in “Hitman: Agent 47,” Friend takes on the titular role as an elite assassin who was genetically engineered from conception to be the perfect killing machine and is known only by the last two digits on the barcode tattooed on the back of his neck.  Bred as superhuman which makes Agent 47 an object of obsession for organizations who want to extract his genetic core to control the world, the stylish superhuman sets out to bring down the group behind the mayhem he’s dragged into.

Agent 47 is relentlessly pursuing his creator so they can discontinue the program that’s starting to wreak havoc,  “He’s actually a clone, a gun for hire, he kills people for money,” intros Friend of his role as Agent 47.  “I was intrigued by the idea of someone who’s had their emotions genetically removed,” further shared Friend.

Hitman: Agent 47” opens very soon this August 19 nationwide from 20thCentury Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. 

Watch the the film’s second trailer below: 
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James McAvoy & Daniel Radcliffe in “VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN”

James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe star in “Victor Frankenstein,” this year’s grand spectacle of a production and character driven film contemporizing one of the most beloved literary and film classics of all time under Paul McGuigan’s direction. 
In the coolest and electrifying reimagining of the mad doctor and his creation, James McAvoy takes on the titular role Doctor Victor Frankenstein, a brilliant scientist at the forefront pioneering medical research. With his research and experiments on trying to save lives, he then becomes obsessed with the idea of creating life itself.  Radcliffe, on the other hand, plays Igor, Frankenstein’s trusty and equally brilliant assistant from whose perspective the movie treads on. 

McGuigan’s “Victor Frankenstein” is an action adventure thriller, with a script by Max Landis inspired by Mary Shelley’s novel, which was first published in 1818. In Landis’ version of Frankenstein the story is set later, in 1861, a time when science was making rapid advances.
It’s taking the core themes of the book - the re-birthing idea, bringing the dead back to life and the science of that and the moral issues it brings up and all of those things. What Max Landis has done with his original script is cherry pick the best bits from the book and the best bits from the movies of the past so it’s a bit of art imitating art and reinventing it a little bit,” says McGuigan.  

McAvoy adds: “The themes are all still there. It’s about man trying to become the ultimate creator, about whether that is right or wrong, and the discussion of that. It’s also about obsession, and it’s about ravenous scientific advancement over moral right and wrong, the film does pay homage to its heritage.”
I think our Frankenstein is a really kind of rip-roaring, fun adventure movie version of Frankenstein.  I would really struggle to class it as horror.  I think there are horror elements to it and nods to previous versions of Frankenstein, but it’s much more a film about – the thing that I hope will make it stand out is the relationship between James’ character and I.  Victor and Igor are two people who come to need each other very much… Igor feels forever that he has this sort of debt of loyalty and the film then becomes about how much can that debt be pushed? How much can that loyalty be pushed before – at what point do you have to step out from the shadows of the person that created you and go, ‘I am my own person?’  Or, do you forever defer to the person that is responsible for your life?  So it’s sort of, it’s a film about relationships set against the backdrop of creating monsters,” added Radcliffe in his previous interviews.
Victor Frankenstein” opens very soon this November 25 in (Phils.) cinemas from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. 

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Fast-Rising Star Alicia Vikander Spices Up “MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.”

Sweden's actress-on-the-rise Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”) stars opposite Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer in Warner Bros. Pictures' new spy action-thriller “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” centers on CIA agent Solo (Cavill) and KGB agent Kuryakin (Hammer). Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. The duo’s only lead is Gaby Teller (Vikander), the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.
Solo and Kuryakin’s working relationship requires a cover, and that’s where newly sprung East Berliner Gaby Teller becomes a more hands-on participant. In order to locate her father, presumably held captive in Rome by a criminal cabal, including Gaby’s odious Uncle Rudi, she is pressed into a ruse in which Kuryakin will pose as a Russian architect and she as his loving fiancée. In Rome on holiday while her faux husband-to-be studies structural design, Gaby will reach out to Rudi for her father’s whereabouts, in view of her upcoming nuptials. Solo, meanwhile, will work a parallel angle, pretending not to know the happy couple while remaining close.

We were fans of Alicia’s from ‘A Royal Affair,’” says producer Lionel Wigram, “and of course she’s gone on to so many other successes since then. “We wanted a European actress for the role, someone who could play German and had that fantastic mixture of youth and naiveté with real intelligence and strength.”

Making the transition from unpretentious garage mechanic to couture-draped arm candy isn’t easy for the straight-talking, down-to-earth young woman. “But if it will keep her this side of the Berlin Wall for the rest of her life, Gaby is game for just about anything,” says Vikander.

I loved the fact that they made her a cool, tomboyish girl with a lot of character,” she continues. “Gaby was brought up in a man’s world and so she’s quite feisty and she knows how to stand her ground. If anything, she has a tough time relaxing and pretending she wants to be just a pretty housewife, and I think it’s partly her desire to assert her independence that causes sparks to fly between her and Illya.”

Gaby creates sparks between Kuryakin and Solo, too, but only insofar as it gives them more to clash over, starting with a comical scene in which they try to one-up each other with their designer savvy while helping Gaby select her mod wardrobe…perhaps causing her to wonder if navigating Armageddon might be the easiest part of this mission.

Vikander has garnered international recognition since bursting onto the scene in her film debut, “Pure.” She won Sweden’s prestigious Guldbagge Award for Best Actress in 2011 for her performance as Katarina in the 2010 Swedish drama.

2015 will see her in no less than eight films, and her upcoming projects include a starring role in the next installment of the “Bourne” action franchise, opposite Matt Damon.

Vikander also starred in the lead female role opposite Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson in Alex Garland’s directorial debut, “Ex Machina,” released in the US in April. It has been storming the U.S. box office and enjoying critical acclaim across the board.

Vikander recently wrapped “The Danish Girl,” starring opposite Eddie Redmayne, inspired by the true story of Danish artists Einar Wegener and his wife, Gerda. The film is set for release in the U.S. in November. She will also be seen starring in Derek Cianfrance’s “The Light Between Oceans,” based on the M.L Stedman novel, opposite Michael Fassbender; and the 17th Century romance “Tulip Fever,” alongside Jack O’Connell, Dane DeHaan and Christoph Waltz, directed by Justin Chadwick.

Her other film credits include Joe Wright’s “Anna Karenina,” alongside Keira Knightley and Jude Law; and “A Royal Affair,” nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

  Set for release across the Philippines on Aug. 13, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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Ayala Malls Cinemas’ “THE GOOD LIE” Relishes on the Good Life has to Offer

Ayala Malls Cinemas’ exclusive offering, “The Good Lie” presents a realization how fortunate it is to be born with the comforts of life – a bed, a blanket, a light, a home, an education and the unlimited supply and access to food and water.

In the latest movie “The Good Lie” that will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide on July 29, we are introduced to the true stories of thousands of children left orphaned by the unfolding of the greatest humanitarian crisis in the history - the brutal civil war in Sudan around 1983.

Along with Witherspoon, the film stars Corey Stoll (TV’s “House of Cards”); real-life Sudanese refugees Arnold Oceng (BBC’s “Grange Hill”) and newcomer Nyakuoth Wiel; Ger Duany (“I Heart Huckabees”) and rapper Emmanuel Jal, who were both former child soldiers and lost boys; and Femi Oguns (BBC’s “The Casualty”).  Rounding out the cast are Sarah Baker as volunteer Pamela Lowi; Mike Pniewski as Mamere’s boss; and children of real-life Sudanese refugees Peterdeng Mongok, Okwar Jale, Thon Kueth, Beng Ajuet and Kejo Jale as the younger lost boys.

Together, against the backdrop of their shared losses, the Lost Boys and these unlikely strangers find humor in the clash of cultures, and heartbreak as well as hope in the challenges of life in America. They were known simply as “The Lost Boys.”  Orphaned by the brutal Civil war in Sudan that began in 1983, these young victims traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety.  Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3600 lost boys and girls to America.

"The Good Lie" centers primarily around three Lost Boys, Mamere, Paul and Jeremiah. These are fictional characters based on true events from the thousands of orphaned Sudanese children. We meet them-together with Mamere's eldest brother, Theo, and younger sister, Abital-as children, braving the grueling walk from southern Sudan to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. Then, 13 years later, we are re-introduced to them as young adults, and eventually follow the group to America, where they encounter the kind of culture shock we can't begin to fathom.

Sadly, many children died along the way, succumbing to starvation or thirst or crossing paths with the northern militia. But those who survived eventually found sanctuary in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. In 2000, as the numbers in the camp grew and there seemed to be no end to their plight, the United States, urged by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, began welcoming groups of Lost Boys to America, where they had the opportunity to build a new life.

Reese Witherspoon notes, "I was immediately pulled in by the story of the Lost Boys, just seeing their struggle and how they fought to survive...and then getting the opportunity to start over again in America and what inherent challenges that presented to them. The script really offered a perspective of these two worlds meeting."

  The Good Lie” opens exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide on July 29.  Check out for advance ticket purchase and reserved seats.
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Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks in Thrilling Film “BRIDGE OF SPIES” – Trailer Debut

A dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, “Bridge of Spies” tells the story of James Donovan (Hanks), a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Screenwriters Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen have woven this remarkable experience in Donovan’s life into a story inspired by true events that captures the essence of a man who risked everything and vividly brings his personal journey to life.

Directed by three-time Academy Award®-winning director Steven Spielberg, “Bridge of Spies” stars: two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks as James Donovan; three-time Tony Award® winner Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel, a KGB agent defended by Donovan; Scott Shepherd as CIA operative Hoffman; Academy Award nominee Amy Ryan as James’ wife, Mary; Sebastian Koch as East German lawyer Vogel; and Academy Award nominee Alan Alda as Thomas Watters, a partner at Donovan’s law firm. The film is produced by Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger with Adam Somner, Daniel Lupi, Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Matt Charman and three-time Academy Award winners Ethan Coen & Joel Coen.

  Bridge of Spies” will be released in local theaters nationwide on October 14 from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.  

Check out the film’s first trailer here:

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Simon Pegg's Got the Whole World in his Hands in “ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING”

Wholly talented actor Simon Pegg, widely known for his roles in franchise blockbusters such as “Star Trek,” “Mission: Impossible” and lending voice in animated and CGI films “Ice Age” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” stars anew in the upcoming fantasy action adventure in “Absolutely Anything” opposite Kate Beckinsale.
Absolutely Anything” tells the tale of a disillusioned schoolteacher, Neil Clarke (Pegg), who is suddenly granted the ability to do anything he wishes.  The fate of the world hangs in the balance. One man’s actions stand between Earth’s survival and its absolute destruction. The thing is, Neil hasn’t got a clue what’s going on.
Up in the distant reaches of outer space, the Intergalactic Council, a nasty bunch of alien creatures, intercept the Voyager space probe and look down on planet Earth. These cackling creatures have an appetite for destruction and believe that Earth and its inhabitants should be destroyed.   However, before such an order can be placed, Intergalactic Law states that the inhabitants of any planet must be given the chance to prove themselves. One person or being is to be selected at random and granted exceptional powers. How they respond will dictate the planet’s future.

Indeed, according to director Terry Jones, the filmmakers have assembled something of a dream team. “Simon Pegg plays our leading man, Neil Clarke, the teacher, and Kate Beckinsale plays the girl he is in love with,” the ex-Python says.
When working through the later drafts of the script together, Jones and Scott had the advantage of knowing which actors would bring their script to life. This was especially important in the case of their leading man, the secondary school teacher, Neil.
For Pegg, the chance to work with Terry Jones proved too big an opportunity to turn down. “Obviously the chance to work with Terry Jones was amazing, and the other Pythons being in the film was another big draw for me,” explains Pegg. “It was a chance to work with some of my comic heroes.
Pegg also loved the Neil character and his unusual journey. “Neil Clarke is a teacher who is a bit down-trodden, a bit down on his luck,” says the actor. “He has pretentions of being a writer and a literary figure, but he’s not either of those things. Then by some weird chance he is given the power to do anything by a conglomerate of aliens.”
This is a busy time for Pegg who has a number of very different films being released during 2015, and he says he was glad to tackle a straight-up comedy. “I come from a comedy background and comedy has always been my great interest,” he says. “I started out doing sitcoms and sketch shows and that led to comedy films. I love doing serious stuff but people know me for comedy. I do have to assert myself dramatically, but as I have a few of those coming up I was quite happy to go back to an out-and-out comedy because it’s something I really enjoy.”

  Absolutely Anything” opens very soon this August 12 from Axinite Digicinema.
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Quality, affordability meet in Amaia Scapes Cagayan De Oro

As part of its continued commitment to uplift the quality of living of Filipino families, Amaia Land Corp., the affordable residential arm of Ayala Land Inc., will be opening its first community in Mindanao,   specifically in Cagayan de Oro (CDO).

 Amaia Land continues to expand throughout the country to uplift the lives of more Filipino families. 
Situated along Macapagal Drive in Barangay Bulua, Amaia Scapes Cagayan De Oro is set to provide comfort and new opportunities to the people of CDO.

CDO, dubbed as the “Gateway to Northern Mindanao,” and the first-class, highly urbanized capital city of Misamis Oriental, which lies between the central coastline of Macajalar Bay and the mountains and of Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte, will serve as the backdrop of Amaia Scapes Cagayan De Oro.

 Homeowners can choose from different models, namely Bungalow Pod, Twin Pod, Single Home, Twin Home, and Carriage Pod, which are all well-designed and affordable.

The first phase of the project covering a  land area of 2.64 hectares will have 97 residential units.  Affordable and well-designed homes will be offered to buyers, who can choose from various house models, namely Bungalow Pod, Twin Pod, Single Home, Twin Home, and Carriage Pod. Lot areas range from 65 to 120 square meters.

Owing to its strategic location, Amaia Scapes Cagayan De Oro has easy access to key establishments like schools, malls, and hospitals. Nearby schools include Bulua National High School, Academy of International Education, City Central School, and Xavier University. Shopping centers like   Centrio Mall, Gaisano City Mall, Robinsons Mall, and Limketkai Mall are also nearby. 

Amaia Scapes CDO first phase boasts a total of 97 residential; units and a total land area of 2.64 hectares.

Future residents need not to go far to relax and unwind from daily grind as  they can spend their leisure time at the village patio, which houses a pavilion, swimming pool, basketball court, and playground for kids.   The Patio Greens, which serves as an extension of their homes, will satisfy their craving for open space, peace and quiet.

Safety will not be a cause of worry as Amaia Scapes Cagayan De Oro is carefully designed with guarded entrance and exits, a perimeter fence, and 24 hour roving security.   In case of emergencies, there are also nearby hospitals in the vicinity like the CDO Medical Center, Polymedic General Hospital, and Madonna & Child Hospital.

 Amaia Scapes CDO boasts is known for its strategic location and efficient transportation facilities. 

Families will benefit from a secure and organized living experience as the village will be managed by Ayala Property Management Corporation.

Availing of an Amaia home is easy with the sales office located near the development.  

 With Amaia Scapes CDO, families need not to go far just to relax and unwind because they can spend leisure time at the village patio, which houses a pavilion, swimming pool, basketball court, and playground for kids.

Buyers can choose from various financing schemes, such as cash payment, deferred, PAG-IBIG, Bank and In-house financing.

With Amaia Scapes Cagayan De Oro, your dream home is within reach. In this “City of Golden Friendship”, you can find true gold in the form of simple yet quality living with the people you love the most.

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