Akeelah and the Bee

( 74 )

Overview

A young girl learns to believe in herself and value her intelligence in this critically-acclaimed, family-friendly drama. Akeelah Anderson Keke Palmer is an 11-year-old being raised by her mother, Tanya Angela Bassett, who was left on her own after the death of her husband. While Akeelah is a very bright girl, she's hardly a star student and seems afraid of acting like a bookworm around her friends and classmates. However, Akeelah's teacher sees genuine potential in her student and encourages her to enter the ...
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Overview

A young girl learns to believe in herself and value her intelligence in this critically-acclaimed, family-friendly drama. Akeelah Anderson Keke Palmer is an 11-year-old being raised by her mother, Tanya Angela Bassett, who was left on her own after the death of her husband. While Akeelah is a very bright girl, she's hardly a star student and seems afraid of acting like a bookworm around her friends and classmates. However, Akeelah's teacher sees genuine potential in her student and encourages her to enter the school's spelling bee, convinced Akeelah has the brains and the talent to win. Akeelah applies herself and emerges victorious in the local competition, but discovers the going gets tougher when she goes to a statewide bee, studying for the regionals under the aegis of strict English teacher Dr. Larabee Laurence Fishburne, who consents to act as her coach A college professor who was a spelling-bee champ as a child, Larabee is a stubborn taskmaster who questions Akeelah's ability and commitment, but in time he develops a respect for his pupil and helps her prove her talent as she climbs the ladder to the National Spelling Bee. Meanwhile, Tanya feels intimidated when she finds the contests are dominated by children from wealthy families and privileged backgrounds, and argues that the competition may not be in Akeelah's best interest, believing instead that homework should be the one and only priority in Akeelah's life. It soon becomes apparent that if Akeelah has any intention of entering the national spelling bee championships in Washington, D.C., she will not do so with Tanya's permission or blessing. This marks the first onscreen reunion of Bassett and Fishburne since their Academy Award-nommed performances as Ike Turner and Tina Turner in Brian Gibson's 1993 biopic, What's Love Got to Do with It.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Making of Akeelah and the Bee; Two Peas in a Pod; Inside the Mind of Akeelah; Keke Palmer "All My Girlz" music video; Gag reel; Deleted scenes; 16x9 widescreen version; 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital audio; English and Spanish subtitles
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A sober, heartwarming, and inspirational drama, Akeelah and the Bee employs intelligent writing and unusually sensitive performances, especially from young African-American actress Keke Palmer in the title role. Eleven-year-old Akeelah Anderson, who lives in south central Los Angeles with her working mother Angela Bassett, is an extremely bright girl whose grades are slipping due to unwelcome, outside influences. To get her back on track, the school principal has her enter the national spelling bee. Akeelah's coach for the event is Dr. Joshua Larabee Laurence Fishburne, a college professor on a leave of absence following the death of his daughter. Writer-director Doug Atchison draws his characters sharply, giving clearly definable traits to each but leaving a certain amount of room for interpretation by the actors, who rise to the challenge magnificently. Larabee keenly understands that Akeelah's love for words links her to the father she lost as a small girl, and she realizes on some level that she has become a surrogate for the daughter Larabee lost. Fishburne's demonstrative passion is perfectly balanced by Palmer's quiet strength, and their scenes together are pure, unadulterated movie magic. The climactic spelling bee doesn't unfold along predictable lines, and it demonstrates that Akeelah has learned things she can't get out of a dictionary or thesaurus.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
The average sports movie has a very predictable plot. The misfit learns that he or she has a particular aptitude for the game, there is a coach who knows how to motivate and turns out to hide a heart of gold underneath the gruff exterior, our hero overcomes self-doubt, and eventually everyone gets to "The Big Game." Akeelah and the Bee follows these points at every turn, but the fact that the "sport" is spelling, along with the remarkable skill of the cast and crew, makes it a very strong entry in the sports movie genre. The superb Keke Palmer plays Akeelah, the young black girl from the inner city who through skill and determination battles her way into the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. Palmer feels like she was plucked right off the streets, but she is in fact a professional actress. She handles the deep emotional scenes with a combination of resolve and helplessness that dramatically underscore her character's intelligence and vulnerability. Laurence Fishburne has an ability to express intellectual and/or physical authority alongside a charm that can make that authority seem either less or more threatening depending on the character. He embodies Akeelah's mentor, Dr. Larabee, with the sadness and severity of a man cut off from his own feelings, but smart enough to know this. Angela Bassett, as Akeelah's mother, must play the most difficult part in the film. How do you portray a mother who is opposed to her child being in a spelling bee without coming off like a monster? Because the screenwriters have done an excellent job fashioning an effective if obvious backstory for her, Bassett is never afraid to make her character unappealing when she needs to be. Anyone can see where and how Akeelah gets her dogged determined streak. The supporting cast, especially the group of actors who play Akeelah's friends and competitors, all feel natural and are very appealing. There are no surprises in the film, just rock-solid acting and flawless craftsmanship from the writer/director Doug Atchison. If nothing else, Akeelah and the Bee showcases the joys of solid story structure married to talented artists.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/29/2006
  • UPC: 031398195962
  • Original Release: 2006
  • Rating:

  • Source: Lions Gate
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Time: 1:52:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 1,183

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Laurence Fishburne Dr. Larabee
Angela Bassett Tanya
Keke Palmer Akeelah Anderson
Curtis Armstrong Mr. Welch
Tzi Ma Mr. Chiu
Lee Thompson Young Devon
J.R. Villareal Javier
Sahara Garey Georgia
Sean Michael Afable Dylan
Erica Hubbard Kiana
Julito McCullum Terrence
Dalia Phillips Ms. Cross
Eddie Steeples Derrick-T
Jeris Poindexter Steve
Sara Niemietz Polly
George Hornedo Roman
Craig Wasson Ted Saunders
Katie Kerwin McCrimmon Katie Kerwin McCrimmon
Marjorie Harris National Spelling Bee Head Judge
Jacques Bailly National Spelling Bee Pronouncer
Krysten Leigh Jones Tough Girl #1
Amirah Hawkins Tough Girl #2
Jeff Marlow District Judge
ChloƩ Conroy District Pronouncer
Lee Garlington Regional Judge
Sid Ganis Regional Pronouncer
Austin Herrera Davis Cheating Boy
Janet Borrus Cheating Boy's Mom
Wolfgang Bodison Akeelah's Father
Marcus Hawkins Dungey Chuckie
Bonita Friedericy Volunteer
Caroline J. Smith Mary Calveretti
Neil Soni Rajeev Subramonian
Jack Ong Korean Grocer
Lauren Sanchez Reporter
Fay Hauser Woman On Tv
Keshell Lucas Little Girl On TV
Corina Boettger Red-Haired Girl
Shyann Chatman Eighth-Grade Girl
Todd Wagner Regional Bee Assistant Judge
Brittany Elizabeth Curran District Speller #1
Alexandra Rieger District Speller #2
Eric Don Regional Speller #1
Julia Kelleher Regional Speller #2
Zachary Gardner Regional Speller #3
John A. Ausick "Sacciform" Speller
Maddy Kloss "Scutellate" Speller
Mason Green "Longicollis" Speller
Jessy J. Hwang "Ginglymus" Speller
Biplab Panda "Empennage" Speller
Alexander Christian Stephans "Souchong" Speller
Katie L. Brown "Intussusception" Speller
John Oxenreiter "Engastrimythic" Speller
Katie Olson "Escharotic" Speller
Jason Ortenberg "Flocculation" Speller
Lance Norling Boy In Wheelchair
Jmeka Cherrel Driver
Kahlil Ashanti Postman
Aaron Zigman Conductor
Technical Credits
Doug Atchison Director, Screenwriter
Jaki Brown-Karman Casting, Co-producer
Michael Burns Executive Producer
Marc Butan Executive Producer
Kim Coleman Casting
Aisha Coley Casting
Mark Cuban Executive Producer
Mark Czyzewski Editor
Danetracks, Inc. Sound/Sound Designer
Sharen Davis Costumes/Costume Designer
Glenn Farr Editor
Nancy Hult Ganis Producer
Sid Ganis Producer
Joel C. High Musical Direction/Supervision
Rodney Hooks Asst. Director
Michael K. Johnson Associate Producer
Shane Kelly Set Decoration/Design
Kent Kubena Co-producer
Laurence Fishburne Producer
Daniel Llewelyn Producer
Alicia MacCarone Set Decoration/Design
Michael Stern Sound Mixer
Christopher Mosio Camera Operator
M. David Mullen Cinematographer
Matthew Nicolay Sound Mixer
Tom Ortenberg Executive Producer
Michael Paseornek Executive Producer
Dalia Phillips Associate Producer
John Radzik Camera Operator
Michael Romersa Producer
Chad Rosen Asst. Director
Steven Douglas Smith Cinematographer
Helen Sugland Executive Producer
Roland N. Thai Sound/Sound Designer
Todd Wagner Executive Producer
Shelley A. Wallace Art Director
John Warner Set Decoration/Design
Warren Alan Young Production Designer
Aaron Zigman Score Composer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Akeelah and the Bee [WS]
1. Introduction [3:25]
2. Espn [5:10]
3. School Spelling Bee [4:27]
4. Do It for Dad [3:48]
5. Dr. Larabee [3:40]
6. District Spelling Bee [7:14]
7. Caught Cheating [4:19]
8. Woodland Hills [5:57]
9. I Need a Coach [4:05]
10. Javier's Birthday Party [5:01]
11. Words to Change the World [4:21]
12. I'm Not in the Mood [3:51]
13. Regional Spelling Bee [7:06]
14. Being Honored [5:25]
15. It's So Hard [2:45]
16. 50,000 Coaches [5:18]
17. Denise [4:52]
18. Off to D.C. [3:43]
19. Scripps National Spelling Bee [4:12]
20. Eliminations [4:57]
21. Break Time [2:47]
22. Xanthosis [3:54]
23. Head to Head [5:12]
24. Credits [7:09]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Akeelah and the Bee [WS]
   Play Movie
   Set Up
      Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio
      Audio: English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Making of Akeelah and the Bee
      "Two Peas in a Pod"
      "Inside the Mind of Akeelah"
      Deleted Scenes
         Play All
         Slow Your Roll Man
         Chuckie Spells Virgin
         Akeelah's Introduction
         Flashback Memories of Dad
         Thank You
         Comforting Advice
         Monkey
      Gag Reel
      Music Video: "All My Girlz" by Keke Palmer
      Trailers
      DVD Credits
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 74 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(30)

4 Star

(32)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2011

    Must see Movie!!!!!!

    This movie is so cool!!!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Great movie for the whole family

    I bought this movie to help a very shy child I tutor after school. She never spoke in class though she'd read in a whispery voice if I asked her to and she did well in group activities. I hoped this movie would encourage her to be less afraid of speaking in front of the class. I would recommend this movie to every family with or without children. There are lessons for us all to learn and we are able to look at the situation from many points of view.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the Bee

    “Akeelah and the Bee” I think that “Akeelah and the Bee” was a really good movie for parents and children of any age to watch because it shows how Akeelah’s life was in the beginning of the movie and how it changed over the movie. This movie might help out people that might have the same problem as Akeelah. What I liked about this movie was that in some point of view Akeelah and the other students that were in the spelling bee where helping each other out and it seemed like it was impossible to get them to get along with each other in the beginning. I give this movie two thumbs up because it really encourages people into doing something that they thought that they couldn’t do. Some people might think that this movie is dumb but hey why no give it a try maybe you might like spelling and you could turn out to be good at it. And its not only the spelling it shows how Akeelah’s brother turned out to be a good person and not always a bad person.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the Bee

    Akeelah and the bee I think akeelah and the bee is a good book for students who love to spell and love to read. I also think it inspires kids and adults to learn and be educated. It is also A wonderful and creative movie. The movie is about a girl who was born in a poor but wealthy town in Los Angeles. She had a father but he died she has two brothers one of the brothers is very educated and turned out to be in the united states air force who had came back but had to go back in a couple of months. But with the other brother he turned out I guess to drop out of high school and and get interested in gangs but his sister needs his help so he thinks it is stupid and that she shouldn’t waist her time and I would rate this movie as a 4.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the Bee

    “Akeelah and the Bee” I think that “Akeelah and the Bee” is an interesting movie because Akeelah was a special in her own way. She did her best on the spelling bee. She was a fun girl did her best to learn the words and at the school the people helped her to study. Akeelah liked to spell words but she was never on a spelling bee. She was studying and having fun at the same time. Akeelah learned words that are difficult and when she was learning them, she learned not to get disturb by any other noise. She had all the people that helped her and she had her friend too. She wanted every person she knew to be by her side. And she knew her dad was by her side even though he was dead.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the Bee

    Honestly I believe that “Akeelah and the Bee” is a movie for little kids. I think this movie is kind of stupid for who makes a movie about a stupid spelling. What’s next a movie about checkers come on I thought if I saw it again I would die of the boringness. If you want to see a disasters movie go see “Akeelah and the Bee”. I promise you will not like unless you are a little kid that knows nothing about real good movies.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the Bee

    My opinion on “Akeelah and the Bee” is that it’s a very inspirational movie to watch. It’s good to watch with your friends and family. It’s a comedy type of movie, and also has some sad parts when Akeelah remembers her father. The cast fits the characters well. Once I saw that Keke Palmer was the star of “Akeelah and the Bee”, I became interested in the movie. I liked her in the movie “Jump In!” when it first aired on Disney Channel, and I liked her in this movie as well. The movie became really interesting once Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne) started coaching Akeelah they grew close because they both lost someone special to them in their lives. It seemed like at first they didn’t like each other at all. But eventually, they started to understand each other because of one topic that they both experienced, a death in the family. “Akeelah and the Bee” has a very important message saying “Don’t give up on whatever your goals are. If they seem like the impossible at least give it a try before giving up.” It’s amazing to see how one Spelling Bee can inspire Akeelah to go for the Spelling Bee, after her teacher mentioning the National Spelling Bee to Akeelah. I honestly think this movie is great. The ending is something I honestly didn’t expect, at all. I can relate to this movie because I have 3 goals I want to accomplish, and I am already getting there. Also watching this movie inspired me to not give up on dreams.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the Bee

    I think “Akeelah and the Bee” movie is very tense, because she goes through many problems and she gas to face herself. Overall, this movie is “okay”, because the ending seems a little obvious. This movie also teaches a good lesson. I give this movie 3 ½ stars, because I expected more from this movie. I believe they could have done better and add more scenes, because the ending needed more suspense or a little more competition for Akeelah. I recommend this movie for spellers or kids who have problems showing their inner strength.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the Bee

    Akeelah and the bee is about a little girl that lives in a bad neighborhood and is forced to join a spelling by her school that she doesn’t even like. In my opinion I did not like this movie. I thought it was boring and halfway through the movie I wanted to go to fall asleep. The plot made no sense to me and I didn’t like the ending. On the other hand the movie did cast some good actors and they performed good. Still in my opinion I think you should not watch this movie I give it two out of five.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the Bee

    Akeelah and the bee movie review This movie is about an 11 year old girl named Akeelah that starts off in a spelling bee that she won in school. With the help of a professor, Dr. Larabee she goes on to win many other spelling bees. Along the way she struggles with family issues. Her mother doesn’t believe that the spelling bee is important. Her final spelling bee is at the state spelling bee in Washington D.C. there she is head on with Dilan he has been 2nd place for the past 2 years. I would rank this film as a 4 star movie because I’m sure it inspired many people to do better in life.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A great movie

    Akeelah and the Bee it’s a great movie I gave it 4 stars. I gave the movie 4 stars because it’s a great movie because akeelah is a girl that lives in a poor neighborhood. Akeelah also goes to a poor school one day she had a spelling test and she past it. A doctor was asking her to spell some weird words but she misspell the lat word. After that she was asked to enter the national bee. She won the regional and the state. When she was in Washington she was one of the finalist.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah

    “Akeela and the bee” review Akeelah and the Bee was a good movie. Most of the actors were great. All except for the rap artist, to me he seemed very fake. The actor made me fell like I was in the movie. A great example was when the girls were making fun of Akeelah. I felt as if I was there. That’s why I gave it four stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the Bee

    “Akeelah and the Bee” I think that the movie was really inspiring because it really gives you that feeling when you can’t do something the movie gives you energy and courage to do it. Like Akeelah said that she couldn’t do anything because she had that fear in herself. But it is not she not good enough it is fear that she is better than what she can do. I also think that Dr. Larabee was a little hard when kicked her out because she was talking different. I guarantee you will like this movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the Bee

    I think that “Akeelah and the Bee” was a good movie its interesting, inspiring .the parts I liked the most were when Akeelah had to study 5,000 words. And Dr. larabee told her that she has 5,000 trainers and then she left with all the words and asked her family and the community to help her study the words. So they helped her and helped her until she new all the words she studied day and night and by time she new all of the 5,000 words. The other thing I liked about “Akeelah and the Bee” is how Akeelah always looks back to her dad playing scrabble with her and it makes her happy and strong when things are going wrong or if shes having a bad day. I like Akeelah because she falls and gets right back up, akeelah is a good friend to everyone. I really think you should see this movie it’s a really good movie for kids and teenagers its also a really good family movie, I think it teaches us when things get hard you can succeed its reminds me of the saying you fall and get right back up and do it again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the Bee

    I think “Akeelah and the Bee” was a good movie it wasn’t great but it was a good. Akeelah is an 11 yr old that knows and also like to spell words. But throughout the movie she has some distractions that make it difficult to go to the spelling bees. Another thing that was good about the movie is that it gives kids confidence to follow their own dream and not give up no matter if you have problems in you’re life. People can still succeed if they want to. And also if they make the commitment to reach their goal.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the Bee

    Kevin Diaz I think that “Akeelah and the Bee” was a real good movie because it shows that you can accomplish things if you try. It also showed that it doesn’t matter if you got problems at home you can still accomplish your goals. This movie also showed that bullies are just immature and if you ignore them you will succeed. “Akeelah and the Bee” was really impressive because there were a lot of hard words to spell. Akeelah also did well in the National Spelling Bee because she wanted her father to be proud of her. That’s why “Akeelah and the Bee” is my second best movie. I can connect to it because it tells me that I can accomplish in things if I work hard.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the Bee

    This movie shows the struggles of an 11 year old girl named Akeelah who lives on the east side of L. A. she has the gift of her father that past away when she was a younger. When the teachers realize her talent of spelling words they throw a school spelling bee where everybody from the school attends. The principal and an old student from UCLA named Dr. Larabee attend the spelling bee as well. Dr. Larabee also notices she has a great talent of spelling words and tells her about the national’s. She didn’t want any part of the spelling bee because of what her friends would have thought but decides to go for it anyway. She gets better and better along the way by receiving help from Dr. Larabee. She studies 5,000 different words to win the national’s but she has an obstacle in her way and that is a young boy named Dlyan whose dad wants him to win. Who will the winner of the National Spelling Bee be?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the Bee

    Akeelah and the Bee” Akeelah the movie was an o.k. movie it was kind of hard to understand because all that happen was one day she wasn’t interested in entering the spelling bee in school because she was scared that they will make fun of her in school specially some girls that teased her all the time so she didn’t want to but than she decided she wanted to be in it so she goes to the one in school and she beats them so the winner gets to represent their school in the finals but as she gets closer and closer to the finals her mom gets there and tries to take her. “

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the bee

    “Akeelah and the bee” This movie was an ok movie because after Akeelah goes through, she never gives up Her dream of being the spelling bee champion. It was great because Akeelah was getting publicity for her school. The school wanted attention because the never got good test scores and they never got notice. Akeelah when though being afraid to show her talent Of knowing how to spell because she would get pick on by two little girls and at the end of the story the two little girls support her with all the community that helps her out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Akeelah and the Bee

    Akeelah and the bee’ I think akeelah and the bee is a good movie because it shows you not to give up on what you want to do. It shows you how people that care about you push you to do your best. For example when Akeelahs coach Dr.larabee helps her how to spell words. How to spell all kinds ways of different ways like her jumping rope.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews