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Lukasman Goes Out With That Hard Rockin' MARIE ANTOINETTE!!

Merrick again...

So...what kind of day is it when the words MARIE ANTOINETTE and NAPOLEON appear next to each other on AICN's front page?

Lukasman wrote in with a look at Sophia Coppola's new MARIE ANTOINETTE.

Actually, this isn't a review as much as a broad description of the film, which he recently saw. For those who haven't heard, this is one of those films that tells an "old" story in a "modern" way - including the use of contemporary tunes.

Not sure what to think about this. While I did rather enjoy A KNIGHT'S TALE (and, actually, would be really interested in seeing them make the proposed sequel...were they serious about A PIRATE'S TALE?), I know many folks were really turned off by its anachronistic style and music. And, in my mind, the most abrasive and self-indulgent example of this was MOULIN ROUGE. Of course, there was far more wrong with MR than just the music (like, say, its pacing, editing, mis-shot dance numbers, etc.)

As such, I'm curious to see how this turns out...but also a tad apprehensive.

Here's Lukasman...

I just got to see Sofia Coppola´s Marie Antoinette, and thought you would be interested in an amateur´s review.

I'm from Uruguay (remember the scoop on the loan for digital projectors a few weeks ago?, that was me) and the movie is due for December, and I'm not sure when it´s supposed to come out in the US, but I'm pretty sure it sill hasn't.

There will be a few spoilers, but there´s not much to spoil if you have ever read a history book.

As you probably know, the movie is about Marie Antoinette´s life, but it has a mix of "history meets a Knight´s Tale" approach to it that makes it different. If that comparison was not clear enough, Coppola chooses VERY different types of music for different scenes, going from a classical instrumental theme at one time (as you would expect from a movie about an 18th century French Queen) to a punk song in another (maybe not punk, but something of the likes).

Remember the scene in "A Knight´s Tale" where they dance at a party? Something like that...A classic story, with a modern approach. Again, this style is on and off throughout the movie, and I think that was pretty interesting.

There are several trademark Sofia Coppola scenes, although I must confess I only saw "Lost in Translation", you can definitely see her touch everywhere. Those wide shots of Tokyo and Ms. Johansson just staring, and get some of those too (just switch Tokyo for late 18th century Versailles of course). There are several scenes in which Sofia fans will recognize the soundtrack running in the back. Its hard to explain, but you´ll see...

The story, basically, follows Mary Antoinette from her palace in Austria to her newly appointed groom, Louis XVI, heir to the throne in France, as part of a treaty between both kingdoms.

We soon find that Louis is a pretty dull guy, although a nice one too. He doesn't pay much attention to her beautiful wife, and everyone starts getting worried about the future of the throne, if a heir is not "produced". Mary tries to get Louis interested in her, but he just doesn't want to "get it on".

Eventually, she starts to have fun, not worrying too much about that subject, and finally, the man steps up to his job and knocks her up (bravo). (one of her best friends, Rose Byrn, from Troy, is beautiful, as usual).

We see a very good Mary A. throughout the movie, although she is quite indifferent to the whole "the people need food and attention" issue that her advisors occasionally bring up. This, of course, will catch up with her eventually, as we all know. Before that, Mary A gets some "on the side action" with a Swedish military character (Count Ferson, or something).

The ending was actually good, not having to show explicitly what happens to the King and Queen, but with a few establishing scenes that show that the party is over (as my friend Mace would say). By then, you have grown to care for both of them, so it is definitely sad.

Hope you enjoy it, I would recommend it, IF you are not the type that needs constant action and lots of dialogue, this is more for the quiet and patient type.

Best regards from the South


Thanks for writing in, Lukasman.

To answer Lukasman's pseudo question: MARIE comes to America October 20. You can see the film's trailer HERE!

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 9, 2006, 9:06 a.m. CST

    I saw this in May and it caused much division

    by Silver_Joo

    I thought, whilst it looked fantastic and I would agree about the ending being strong, generally speaking I don't really want to see Coppola's rich girl fantasties anymore. The ONLY reason, you realise after watching this film, she got away with it in Lost In Translation was because Bill Murray acted his socks off and grounded the movie emotionally. Here, Coppola gives virtually nothing to her actors other than pretty costumes and it is depressing watching talent like this get wasted. This is a shadow of Coppola's previous work, and suggests that when she is left alone in the sandpit, she just pisses in it with a big smile on her face. Knight's Tale was a much better film; that had a beating heart at least.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Too soon

    by Badger999

    It's too early in the morning for this.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 9:16 a.m. CST


    by JackPumpkinhead

    Soon too soon to be enough.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 9:31 a.m. CST

    God damned awful movie

    by jackinitraw

    Pompous in a lot of it's "artistic" shots and painful in it's structure and variant dialects that range from 'Hollywood old English' to 'maybe French sorta'.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 9:39 a.m. CST

    This movie takes the cake!

    by durhay

    enjoy the buffet.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 9:53 a.m. CST

    uruguayan plant!

    by white owl

    I could've roused up that 'summary' by reading set reports and imdb.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 10:07 a.m. CST


    by blackwood

    Eat it! Looks worth a watch.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 10:17 a.m. CST

    A Knight's Tale

    by Hige-sama

    So, it'd be interesting to see a sequel to A Knight's Tale, huh? You're the first person I've ever heard say that and hopefully the last.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 10:21 a.m. CST


    by MrBoinfoint

    I loved her other movies. But this looks like a train wreck.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 10:25 a.m. CST

    This movie has "MADE BY A GRRL" written all over it

    by The Pusher

    which is the very reason I'll be staying away. Wish I could say there were some other reason besides the fact that Sofia Coppola doesn't impress me.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 10:39 a.m. CST

    this flick is a genuine curiosity

    by reckni

    Too bad though, apparently they don't show her head removed from neck.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 10:44 a.m. CST

    is this a joke?

    by Windowlicker74

    or marie antoinette 2? I know the first one is already out of the theatres for months. why review it? it's not like this is the scoop of the year is it?

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 10:51 a.m. CST

    I call train wreck.

    by Mechasheeva

    Kirsten Dunst playing a French while everyone around her including Jason Schwartzmann affects an accent and punk rock blares in the background does not sound like a good time to me. And I'm sorry, but Moulin Rouge rules.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Review sucks

    by Stollentroll

    If you get to see Sophia Coppola's new flick, you don't just summarize impressions from the trailer. Please post a review from someone who isn't out of his effing mind.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Marie Antwatnette

    by Cumlauncher

    Yea yea yea, enough with the weak plot summarizations. Does Kirsten Dunst take her fuckin gear off or what? That scene in the trailer where she's the naked except for a wig and fan? Do we see her Mary Jane spread eagle in that scene? Does she get up to some of that Victorian filet of fish sammich action with her friends? You know what I'm talking about. You think anyone gives a rip about this movie being..ha ha! GOOD?!

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Great movie.

    by no-no

    Loved it at the Cannes Film Festival. Loved it again when I saw it in a french movie theatre a couple of months ago. Extremely good looking, a tad boring and repetitive just before a redeming ending. Why care about accents and inacurate history points (She never had a liaison with Fersen and macaroons were invented after her reign, nobody wore Manolos at Versailles, Phoenix wasn't the queen's favorite band, etc...) Just appreciate it for what it is: an unusual perspective (girl's view) in cinema and History.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 11:31 a.m. CST

    MERRICK! What are you saying about Moulin Rouge?

    by Mister McClane

    HOLY CRAP! Moulin Rouge is one of the best films of the decade, and probably showed more originality and sheer balls than 99% of the shit I see every year (recent example - 'The Sentinel' - fucking hell, was anybody awake making that movie?) What on earth are you criticising? Seriously, I have serious reservations about someone's judgement if they don't rate 'MR'.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Looks like they tried in every way . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . to make me not want to see this flick with that trailer they put out. Can't wait to see if it's as overrated as Lost In Translation though.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Is there any Air music in this.

    by nemesisdarkside

    Hope so. I hope this film is good. On my list of films to see. I'm one of those rare people who enjoys Ms. Coppola Jr's films and visits this site. :)

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST


    by Cameron1

    kind of a flawed and lazy premise. The whole "lets have modern characters in a old fashioned setting" is completely lazy and what's worse it doesn't tell us anything about the people of that time. There's no insight. Fact is, Antoinette may have been in her teenage years but the teenage experience wasn't even invented until the 1950's. Trying to understand Antoinette by imagining her as some rebellious, confused teenage girl is total and utter bollocks. What a waste of a great opportunity to tell the real story. It'll just be more vacuous emo shite.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 12:24 p.m. CST

    le voyage de penelope

    by jrbarker

    chanson pour solal

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 12:58 p.m. CST

    A Knights Tale rules. Bring on a sequel!!

    by Teamwak

    So Say We All!! Or so says me anyway. I was a great comedy with killer performances by Alan Tudyk!! Paul Bettany and Marc Addy. Heath showed he could do self depreciating comedy too.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Hedwig And The Angry Inch rules Moulin Rouge

    by MrBoinfoint

    In virtually every way.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 1:27 p.m. CST


    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    oh wait, nevermind. this guy was just explaining that he doesnt know what punk rock is.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Mister McClane

    by jackinitraw

    You sir, while entitled to an opinion, have been designated a flame on retardo by a council of your professional and intellectual betters.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 2:11 p.m. CST

    This rocks

    by Henry Jones Jr.

    I can't wait to see this movie. And yes, I'm a hetro male over 30. All of Sophia's movies have been great so far. She rocks. Haters take a hike. Go see Snakes 5 times and let us cultured people discuss in peace. Besides, any director who uses Scarlet Johanson's ass as the opening shot is just plain genius.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Spoilers for the history illiterate

    by abominate

    They should start with the guillotine and work their way back in time. Just "cut" right to it, as it were. In fact, just make it a porn starring Kirsten Dunst getting nailed, then execute her. That's hot!!

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Respect points lost Merrick - Moulin Rouge is amazing.

    by DavidCamp

    Absolutely one of my, and my friends favourite films of the last decade. I love it with every inch of my being. Fantastic.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 2:48 p.m. CST

    I LOVE the soundtrack

    by zooch

    the trailer alone has Gang of Four and New Order in it! Two of my favorite bands.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Hated Moulin Rouge, but oddly enough...

    by rbatty024

    I actually enjoyed the modern music. I just didn't like the MTV style, the characters, or the paint by numbers love story. The "modern" Romeo and Juliet also sucked. Beyond the fact that it's one of my least favorite of Shakespeare's plays, it had some of the worst Shakespearian acting ever. Gimme Franco Zeffirelli any day. Baz Luhrmann is a hack. Oh, and Marie Antoinette looks pretty good. I'm there.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Oh, and it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyways

    by rbatty024

    Gang of Four and New Order fuckin' rule. Even if the film sucks, the trailers have kicked ass so far.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 3:54 p.m. CST

    moulin rouge is for bitches, new order isnt!

    by jrcash

    The trailer recovers and uses age of cnsent in a way that is fucking awesome! Sofia Coppola is an original filmmaker and feminist film critics will be studying her and her mise en scene for years to come. Moulin Rouge was ASS!! Ewan McGregor needs his deviated septum or whatever made his paper thin singing voice sound so nasal fixed, Baz Luhrmann and whoever else wrote the "script" can't write, and anyone who mixes Lady Marmalade and Smells Like Teen Spirit is insulting music, not reinventing it.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 4:37 p.m. CST

    New Order...

    by chavee

    is the shit. The one band I have yet to see and hope that they hit the road so I can catch them. Joy that's some good shite.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Off with her head!

    by Dokkalvar

    Oh boo-hoo, life was so difficult under the shadow of your much more famous and accomplished father. Waaaaaahhh. Waaaah Life was so difficult under the shadow of your more famous and accomplished ex-husband. I get it, alright. Loved you in Godfather 3.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Merrick is clearly a tasteless idiot.

    by Veraxus

    To praise A Knights Tale and lambast Moulin Rouge in same sentence? What in the fucking hell is wrong with you? That's like saying "Plan 9 from Outer Space is a masterpiece far ahead of it's time but Citizen Kane is a self indulgent amateurish piece of shit." Fuck you, Merrick. I know to ignore everything you write from now on.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 7:11 p.m. CST


    by Veraxus

    A Knights Tale wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. Truth be told it was barely TBS-afternoon-movie worthy. I also can't wait to see Marie Antoinette AND Snakes on a Plane. Fuck you haters.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Moulin Rougedid it right....

    by Archduke_Chocula

    KNights Tale, to the best of my memory was fun crap, there was a movie I caught on cable and they were piping in rock music while a woman strolled along what looked like 1800's London shopping for hats. Now that's just stupid.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Rose Byrne = my attendance

    by FlowCytometer

    That's all I needed to know. Of course, I knew she was in this before production started, stalker that I am.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 9:22 p.m. CST

    MOULIN ROUGE was wonderful

    by Sakurai

    i now add you to the list of people i hate.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 10:42 p.m. CST

    'postmodern' stuff not for everyone

    by oisin5199

    the whole point of that stuff is not that we'll get 'insight' into the people of that time or anything - it's not about psychological realism or any of that bullshit. It's about OUR culture and how we perceive, translate and manipulate history and story. Knight's Tale was fun - I loved it when the dance scene turned into Golden Years! And , sorry Merrick, Moulin Rouge was a fucking masterpiece of cinema. The use of pop songs brilliantly pointed up cultural constructions of 'love' - the 'paint by numbers' love story a brilliant retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth. The whole film works on many different levels - interchanging surface and depth in fascinating ways. And who could fault Kylie Minogue in a green fairy outfit? Anyway, I'm curious about Marie Antoinette - especially the New Order 80's connection.

  • Aug. 9, 2006, 10:46 p.m. CST

    grew up with Joy Division/New Order but...

    by oisin5199

    chavee - they're a bit of a snooze live (saw them back in the 80s). Except for watching Peter Hook play his bass down by his ankles. Although you'll probably be dancing so much you won't notice. Makes me want to watch 24 Hour Party People again.

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 2:27 a.m. CST

    New Order isn't a great live act.

    by The Selecter

    the music loses layers, and Bernard Sumner's shortcomings as a singer are laid out bare. I saw that same "Monsters of Modern Rock" tour that oisin probably did, and Echo blew NO away. Even Gene Love Jezebel put on a better set.

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 2:28 a.m. CST

    effing typos...

    by The Selecter

    where is the edit button?

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 2:59 a.m. CST

    I always thought Merrick was a prick bitch!

    by silentbobafett2

    I hope that was Irony about MR! Knights Tale sucked! ARE YOU SERIOUS about Moulin Rouge? The editing, camera work and everything was completly fucked up - JUST HOW IT SHOULD BE! Merrick, I've suspect this for a long time - you don't know didly FUCK about films! :-)

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 4 a.m. CST

    A very poor film - reminded my of Plunkett and Macleane

    by elab49

    And that wasn't great. Dunst's performance is particularly poor - that insipid pout seems to be her attempt at acting. The whole thing just didn't work. A bad idea, poorly executed.

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 5:37 a.m. CST

    new order

    by earl of sandwich

    I'm just curious, who many people are interested in this film soley because of the soundtrack? It seems to be a frequently mentioned reason why people are interested in seeing the movie. As for me, the use of new order (while it fits within the bands sesibilties) just kind of pisses me off. They are my favourite band of all time and it just irks me when some cool kid director beefs up her "coolness" factor by picking a wicked soundtrack to give weight to her admitedly well shot, but ultimately boring films. The use of jesus and mary chain at the end of lost in translation nearly klled me. If it means that more people will go out and buy new orders back catalog, great. I just hate the fact that coppola is being mentioned as having some sort of hand in making new order "relevant" again. They've never been anything but the best band of the 80's.

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 5:38 a.m. CST

    new order

    by earl of sandwich

    I'm just curious, who many people are interested in this film soley because of the soundtrack? It seems to be a frequently mentioned reason why people are interested in seeing the movie. As for me, the use of new order (while it fits within the bands sesibilties) just kind of pisses me off. They are my favourite band of all time and it just irks me when some cool kid director beefs up her "coolness" factor by picking a wicked soundtrack to give weight to her admitedly well shot, but ultimately boring films. The use of jesus and mary chain at the end of lost in translation nearly klled me. If it means that more people will go out and buy new orders back catalog, great. I just hate the fact that coppola is being mentioned as having some sort of hand in making new order "relevant" again. They've never been anything but the best band of the 80's.

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 6:59 a.m. CST

    I have no problem with post-modern stuff.

    by Cameron1

    But, how does this film tell us anything new about how we percieve history and story? It takes the standard teen angst drama and plays fancy dress. There's nothing new or innovative or anything beyond surface post-modernism there. Seting the Antoinette story in our times would have worked in the way you describe. But setting a confused teenager story in the past informs us neither about the past or of anything new to the story.

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Hey bacci40

    by lukasman

    Actually, Marie A does have a very hard time at the beginning, and she misses Austria deeply. She also feels very guilty for not being able to "consumate" the marriage (not her fault actually). That line "let them eat cake" is also made clear that she doesnt say it, but that people THINK that she said it. So, in that sense, you could say it is historically accurate. I also liked that MOST characters dont even try to have a french accent, they just talk in plain English accent.

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 11:03 a.m. CST

    At least Moulin Rouge touted itself as a musical...

    by tucson

    And you can take chances with a musical...or at least the audience knows there's going to be a lot of music and song (whether they know it's going to be anachronistic and/or buy into it is something else entirely. On the other hand, there is a certain degree of suspension of disbelief for a musical -- most people don't sing loudly or publicly). Knight's Tale was NOT a musical, so the anachronistic music only served to jerk the viewer out of the setting. I'm in the SCA, and thank god this piece of crap movie didn't "spill over" into our activities (I can live with Holy Grail references -- at least they tend to be witty). I love Rufus Sewell, and I saw Knight's Tale at its first showing in town, and I felt so embarrassed for him (I swear he was looking pretty embarrassed for himself in some shots, either that, or was plotting ways to kill his farkin' agent).

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 11:13 a.m. CST

    New Order live and historical films

    by oisin5199

    actually, I tried to see NO in that tour with Echo and GLJ, but I couldn't get to the show until it was almost over. I did catch them the second time around when they toured with P.I.L. and the Sugarcubes. But these guys were in my consciousness for a long time. One of my first high school bands did a cover of 'Ceremony.' Anyway, as far as the film goes, I haven't seen it yet, so I'll reserve judgement. But I do think of a similar flick - Stage Beauty (I think it was called) with Billy Crudup and Claire Danes. A period film with handheld camera work and some modern music. It was about a set period in time when men played women's roles on stage and the king decreed that wasn't allowed anymore, and almost overnight, a centuries old tradition and an entire culture changed, and a whole class of actors was suddenly out of work. There's a scene in the film that shows the transition between a declamatory style of acting and a psychologically 'realistic' style, as if it was discovered by one person in one night of rehearsal. Though so far from historically accurate (and what 'historical' film doesn't radically change or compress events?) it was laughable, it did demonstrate what it might have been like to experience that cultural shift. So sometimes, 'historical' films aren't about the facts and details, but about understanding the zeitgeist of the time or about how we see culture.

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Moulin Rouge rocked!

    by CrayonPie

    Moulin Rouge was a daring, exciting, and beautifully stylized movie! Its practically a genre onto itself!

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 2:55 p.m. CST

    and Marie Antoinette looks very interesting.

    by CrayonPie

    Ill be there opening day!

  • Aug. 10, 2006, 4:47 p.m. CST


    by PORKY

  • Aug. 11, 2006, 12:23 a.m. CST

    It's the music + images. What we call a

    by superninja

    music video. Only this one goes on for a bit. What intrigued me about Lost in Translation was more the feeling the film left me with. I think the characters conveyed it well. Here, not so much so.

  • Aug. 11, 2006, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Moulin Rouge is great. Knights Tale is

    by superninja

    not even comparable. It was cute, but much more of a misfire than MR.

  • Aug. 11, 2006, 8:30 p.m. CST

    This film offers nothing in way of commentary.

    by Silver_Joo

    It is a spoilt rich girl having fun, which is great for her and all involved but not an audience. There is no cultural weight to this film, it's a paper thin premise on which to hang a few nice songs and some pretty camera shots ripped off from French and Italian cinema of yore. There's no bite to it, nothing. I don't think Moulin Rouge is as great as some here but it has style and it's that which defines it and makes you choose as to whether you want to be part of the film, or to reject it. None of that is present in what Coppola does with this movie. The decay is evident from The Virgin Suicides (a fantastic book to base it on) to Lost In Translation (her own experience to draw on) and now Marie Antoinette (um ... Antonia Fraser's pop-history account of Marie Antoinette's life?). I'm a historian, and I can assure you that there is very little of merit in the sorts of history books Coppola has been reading. She seems incapable of making decisions, other than those involving costuming and on what days they are shooting what. After this film, I think she should embrace being a producer and leave us alone. Even a cameo by Phoenix can't save Marie Antoinette from complete banality.

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Sofia coppolla is

    by emeraldboy

    2/3 filmamkers. the first third of her films are very good but when it gets to 2/3 they collapse. the virgin suicides(which I think will be remembered as the best film of her directorial career) suffered becuase of this as did lost in translation. Which i hated.

  • Aug. 13, 2006, 1:02 p.m. CST

    I saw moulin Rouge on

    by emeraldboy

    the afternoon of 9/11 in dun laoghaire. Moulin Rouge has a great opening(the merging of smells like teen spirit and the can-can is sensational) pity the film tanked, i saw a doc on the making of MR and they literally dumped the movie in the sticks. The main prob with the film is your song. The song dominates the entire movie and nearly ends up stranling it. It is also a pity that Baz Luhrmans careers, despite the chanel ad, hasnt really got off the ground and not sure if he can make a non musical film, I am fan of his and love his movies but i am beginning to suspect he maybe a one trick pony. I want to see his Alexander film one day and hope he gets to make it becuase his version sounded stunning. Damn you oliver stone. BTW isnt amazing(not to mention nauseating) to see stone being feted by the right wing press people like Cal thomas of fox news. Its bad enough that thi guy forces his opinions on america but in Ireland we get to hear him too, what a jackass.

  • Aug. 14, 2006, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Have to agree with the moulin rouge fans.

    by minderbinder

    Great movie, wish more filmmakers would take risks like that. Loved it.

  • Sept. 13, 2006, 2:13 p.m. CST

    First... Over a month later!

    by Novaman5000