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Movie Reviews

E3 2018 Preview

The Harold & Maudecast are going to E3! On Episode 329 hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe preview the ultimate gaming convention taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center June 12-14. We go through the list of top games and news to watch for from Ubisoft's omission of Splinter Cell at their press conference, Sony's The Last of Us Part II and what will Nintendo's booth be like this year!?

Additionally they review HEREDITARY, now in theaters and AMERICAN MADE, now streaming.

HEREDITARY review - 31:20
AMERICAN MADE review - 51:21

For more episodes and for live updates from E3 follow us www.thehmcnetwork.com




To Infinity and Beyond - Avengers: Infinity War

On Episode 326 of The Harold & Maudecast, "Infinity and Beyond", Sarah and Jake review the movie with the biggest box office opening in history, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, and talk Marvel's master plan, how they got all these super heroes to play together like a well finessed boy(girl) band.

HBO's Westworld returned for Season 2 in April. Is it still surprisingly unsatisfying? We unpack all the episodes thus far and look toward the future of complex plot lines going nowhere.

Sarah and Jake go through their Most Excited to See Summer 2018 Movies, more Marvel, something that looks Incredible 2, Mr Roger's neighborhood, Cher's back? And much more.

Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more podcasts, movie reviews and more!




Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri - Movie Review

This episode of Justice & Doom Movie Reviews on The HMC, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI.

It's been 7 months since Mildred (Frances McDormand) has heard from the Ebbing police with any news on her daughter's killer. Taking matters into her own hands, she rents three billboards with provocative statements to force Police Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) into action.

Writer/Director Martin McDonagh (IN BRUGES) knows how to do dark comedies. And it's far darker and more violent then the movie trailers let on. Unfortunately the film does not capture the American heartland with the same degree of genius that Alexander Payne (NEBRASKA) or the Coen Brothers (FARGO) have done. Nor is the writing as good as McDonagh has it in him to do -- IN BRUGES is a far better script and story. The film drags a bit and is filled with random and unresolved subplots including one with Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as McDormand's love interest. There are some fantastic performances particularly from Sam Rockwell as police officer Dixon, who has the most complex character arc. Harrelson and McDormand are great as always. We didn't love it, but do give it some Justice primarily for the trifecta of brilliant acting -- McDormand, Harrelson, Rockwell. 7.5/10

For more movie, tv, game reviews and more visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




Justice League - Movie Review

This Episode of The HMC's Justice & Doom Movie Reviews, JUSTICE LEAGUE.
Yes! It's finally here, many many years in the making. We were super excited watching Jason Momoa run through the 6000 person crowd in Hall H to introduce the cast of Justice League. So was the movie worth all the hype? We break it down, talk Tomatoes, and compare universe blueprints -- Marvel v DC. The Justice League may crush The Avengers in a Super hero war ( Superman folks, come on, okay and Martian Manhunter, seriously, stop arguing this one), but Marvel is DESTROYING DC in the movie universe. We break it all down. Justice 7.3/10

JUSTICE LEAGUE is directed by Zach Snyder (with significant reshoots by Joss Whedon), written by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon, starring Ben Affleck, Gal Godot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Diane Lane and Jeremy Irons.

For more movie reviews & other podcasts, nerd culture and con coverage visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




Thor: Ragnarok & Murder on the Orient Express Reviews

On Episode 313 of The Harold & Maudecast hosts Sarah Mason & Jake Essoe review Thor: Ragnarok and Murder on the Orient Express.

Also, the Marvel blueprint for success, Infinity War preview and Disney gotten too big for its britches? The LA Times banned from advanced screenings of all Disney Films, 1st Amendment Smackdown! We discuss.

Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more podcasts, game reviews, movie, tv reviews and more!

Movie ReviewsThor Ragnarokmurder on the orient expresstaika waititichris hemsworthmovie reviewskenneth branaghagatha christiejohnny deppthorpodcasts





Brawl in Cell Block 99 - Now Streaming Movie Reviews

This episode of Justice & Doom Movie reviews, Now Streaming: BRAWL ON CELL BLOCK 99.

A former boxer (Vaughn) loses his job as an auto mechanic, and his troubled marriage to wife is about to expire. At this crossroads in his life, he feels that he has no better option than to work as a drug courier. He soon finds himself in a gunfight between police officers and his own ruthless allies. When the smoke clears, Bradley is badly hurt and thrown in prison, where his enemies force him to commit acts of violence that turn the place into a savage battleground.

Writer/Director S Craig Zahler (BONE TOMAHAWK) film BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99.




IT - Movie Review

On this episode of The Harold & Maudecast's Justice and Doom Now Playing Movie Reviews, Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review IT.

A new screen adaption of Stephen King's novel "It" has become the unlikely savior of the Summer box office shattering records with a $123m opening weekend. The novel which was originally published in 1986 was first adapted into a television miniseries in 1990.

Set in a small town in Maine in the 1980s, the story follows the interactions of seven children who in addition to being stalked by a bully and his gang, are being hunted by a killer being who appears [mostly] in the form of a clown named Pennywise.

The book weaves in and out of time periods alternating between the children's story and their reunion as adults. In this film it's all about the kids--a narrative choice which seems chosen solely to capitalize off the success of Stranger Things. Unfortunately, this film does not share the same charm and carefully crafted nostalgic atmosphere.

The unknown and underwhelming cast of kids in IT (which does include one of the actors from Strangers Things, Finn Wolfhard), struggles to carry the film when Pennywise is not on the screen. Bill Skarsgård, who takes over the role of Pennywise from Tim Curry (in the 1990 series), gives a career-defining performance. Terrified of clowns or not, it was hard not to crave his presence on screen.

The bond between the kids, the self-named "Losers Club", which is so beautifully developed in the book and the 1990 miniseries, seems thrown in only as necessary for their joint encounters with Pennywise and bully Henry Bowers. DIrector Andrés Muschietti (MAMA) took the helm after Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) left for creative differences. Fukunaga along with Chase Palmer and Gary Dauberman are credited with the script. Can't help but wonder what those creative differences were and if Fukunaga's vision would have been more fulfilling.

A sequel is already in the works which will undoubtedly feature the grown ups. If you have not read the book, love experiencing shared scares, and are NOT hopelessly afraid of clowns you will enjoy seeing IT in the theater. We give IT a 7.2 for Bill Skarsgård's performance and some visually intriguing oh-so scary creatures.

For more reviews visit out website at www.thehmcnetwork.com



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Nov 20, 2017 at 6:30:32 pm it, movie reviews, stephen king, horror, pennywise

Now Streaming Reviews: Shot Caller & Death Note

On this episode of Now Streaming reviews from The HMC, hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review SHOT CALLER and Netflix's DEATH NOTE.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game ofThrones) stars as white collar working suburban family man whose negligence leads to vehicular manslaughter. Released from prison, he must orchestrate a major arms deal in order to appease gang leaders whose protection saved his life in prison.

Coster-Waldau shines in this bloody, gritty crime thriller. Outside of Thrones, SHOT CALLER showcases Coster-Waldau skill at navigating complex character archs. Aided by an excepitional cast of supporting actors including, Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead), Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice), Emory Cohen (BROOKLYN) and Lake Bell (NO ESCAPE), and a solid script from writer/director, Ric Roman Waugh (SNITCH), SHOT CALLER is engaging, layered and tragic. We give it much Justice, 8/10.

DEATH NOTE began its story journey as a Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. It has since been adapted into a novel, video game, live action anime and now a live action film produced by Netflix.

The film is directed by Adam Wingard and written by Charles Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides and Jeremy Slater. The film stars Nat Wolff, Lakeith Stanfield, Margaret Qualley, Shea Whigham, Paul Nakauchi, Jason Liles and Willem Dafoe

High school student Light Turner (Nat Wolff), finds detention to be a bit more exciting after he discovers a notebook labeled "Death Note" that magically allows him to kill people by writing down their names. When Demon, Ryuk (Willem Dafoe), keeper of the Death Note, appears and educates Light on the rules of the Death Note, Light decides to launch his own crusade against bullies and criminals.

Other than Dafoe's entrance and some initial cow towing to horror fans with gore, this adaptation is so weak. The writers move the story from Japan to Seattle without developing culture backdrops, or commentary. There's no significant character development. The run away plot leaves you confused if you don't know the source material and, mad if you do. We were left wondering what the hell happened given the producers/director/writer had the blueprint to an amazing story. We therefore must Doom it 4.5/10



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Nov 20, 2017 at 6:28:37 pm shot caller, death note, movie reviews, streaming

Annabelle Creation & Castlevania Reviews

This week on The Harold & Maudecast, Sarah and Jake review the film ANNABELLE: CREATION and Netflix's Original Castlevania, Season 1, based on the Nintendo game.

For our full write up of these reviews and more podcast episodes visit www.thehmcnetwork.com/movie-reviews




Wind River - Movie Review

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review WIND RIVER, a new film directed and written by Taylor Sheridan (SICARIO, HELL OR HIGH WATER) starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen.

Veteran tracker Cory Lambert (Renner) on the hunt for a trio of lions causing trouble in the Wind River reservation discovers the body of a Native American girl on the Wind River reservation. When the FBI sends in a green young agent, Jane Banner (Olsen) to investigate, the two team up to uncover the mystery.

Sheridan's brilliant writing shows in this realistically bleak and desolate picture of life on the reservation. The pacing is slow which only furthers the sense of despair. Renner and Olsen deliver equally adept performances aided by a supporting cast of familiar veteran Native American actors most recognizably Graham Green (DANCES WITH WOLVES) as tribal police chief Ben. It definitely feels like a film that's directed by a writer -- not that that's a bad thing. But the film could be tightened up a bit. That note aside, it's a powerful statement on Native American culture with a well crafted story that makes you care about the characters deeply long after you leave the theater. 8.5/10

For more movie reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




Baby Driver - Movie Review

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review the film BABY DRIVER, written and directed by Edgar Wright (SHAUN OF THE DEAD) starring Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm.

Baby (Elgort) is a reluctant yet talented wheel man coerced into driving for crime boss Doc (Spacey) to pay off an old debt. Baby's unique use of music makes him unstoppable behind the wheel but draws suspicion from the crew. When Baby meets the woman of his dreams, Deborah (Lily James), he must decide how much he's willing to risk before it's too late for a new life.

BABY DRIVER is the not your usual bank heist, action film. It's highly stylized and makes clever use of its soundtrack--which is essentially the other lead character in the film. Edgar Wright, who along with collaborators Simon Pegg and Nick Frost gave us the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ and AT WORLD'S END, makes an uncommon but brilliant transition to action genre proving once again, a good film is all about the writing. The story drives this picture along with some great performances. With one fell swoop Elgort graduates from teen drama prince (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, The DIVERGENT SERIES) to Oscar worthy actor. He's fantastic as the questionably quirky, music-dependent orphan who finds his way out of his hard luck circumstances with love.

We highly recommend this film. Go see it in theaters -- it warrants a big screen view. 8.6/10

For more reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com



Ep 300 - Best of E32017 + Reviews - SCORE: A FILM MUSIC DOCUMENTARY & MY FRIEND DAHMER

This week on The Harold & Maudecast - Episode 300! Yes, it is our 300th episode thanks to our friends at American Giant and Toy Zoo and other awesome sponsors.

In episode 300, Hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe recap their week at the E3 video game conference with their Best of E3 highlights. Also in this episode movie reviews - SCORE: A FILM MUSIC DOCUMENTARY, from writer/director Matt Schrader featuring John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, Junkie XL, Danny Elfman, Enio Morricone, Trent Reznor, Randy Newman, Quincy Jones, Howard Shore & all the great film composers whose scores have elevated the movies they punctuate to greatness. Also reviewed in this episode, MY FRIEND DAHMER, based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Derf Backderf, this is the true, haunting story of Jeffrey Dahmer in high school. The film premiered at the LA Film Festival.

Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more reviews, stories, podcasts and interviews.




The Autopsy of Jane Doe - Now Streaming Review

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review, THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE, for The HMC's Now Streaming Reviews, 7.3/10.

Father (Brian Cox) and son (Emile Hirsch) coroners investigate a the death of a beautiful girl "Jane Doe," whose mysteriously unscathed body was found in the basement of a house where a quadruple murder occurred. As the pair uncover bizarre clues to the girls death and origin strange things start to happen leading to a terrifying truth.

THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE was the darling of the 2016 film festival circuit, particularly for horror fans and now we know why. Directed by André Øvredal (TROLLHUNTER) the film cleverly makes use of its solo location with a well crafted script written by Ian B. Goldberg (Once Upon a Time) and Richard Naing (DEAD OF SUMMER), that keeps you on the edge of your seat till the bitter end. Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch give convincing performances as father and son detectives. The film successfully finds a way to navigate genres which is most impressive. Diehard horror fans will appreciate the practical effects and creatures. There's just enough gore yet not so over the top to alienate fans whose preference leans more toward thriller vs hardcore horror. The filmmakers thankfully don't try to overcomplicate the story rather they rely on their acting duos performances in concert with a slow build up of suspense to a series of unexpected jump scares. The promise of the ending was more exciting than the actual ending, which is our only disappointment. That said, it brings something new and quite creative to the genre which is no small feat. This indie horror will surprise, scare and entertain you. Justice 7.3/10

For more movie, game and tv reviews and more visit www.thehmcnetwork.com



Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review 7.8/10


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Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 2.

The Guardians, now heroes having saved the galaxy in the first film, the (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) are hired by The Sovereign, a superior (according to them) alien race to protect their powerful batteries from invaders. Everything is going according to plan, they stop a giant alien worm creature, collect their requested payment, Nebula (Karen Gillan), Gamora's (Zoe Saldana) evil sister, but then Rocket (Bradley Cooper) gets greedy. Shortly after leaving The Sovereign's planet it's discovered that Rocket stole some of their batteries. Now The Guardians must fend off an attack from their vengeful leader Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) who has placed a bounty on their head with Yondu (Michael Rooker) Fortunately for them, Starlord's (Chris Pratt) past comes back to haunt him when his long lost and unknown father Ego (Kurt Russell) mysteriously shows up to save them.

It would be near impossible to capture the magic of the original GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. VOLUME 2, although entertaining and not without its charms, it suffers from sequelitis. Like its Marvel brethren's sequels that have come before it, Volume 2 has a weaker, more predictable script. The music trick of the first film, Awesome Mix strategically disbursed throughout the film, has lost its cool because you see it coming from a mile away. Bottom line, what was awesome in the first film is no longer fresh. Kurt Russell is his signature cool self but the direction they go with his character is a bummer and it does nothing to tie this film into INFINITY WAR--where the Guardians will be crucial. They also went way over the top with the Baby Groot cute factor, think Puss in Boots' cute trick x10. Chris Pratt is entertaining and funny as always but the real standout in these Guardians is Drax (Dave Bautista) who masters his too literal straight man and delivers the funniest lines of the film. Also shoutout Michael Rooker who shows up big time and has one of the best action sequences in the film.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 2 is worth seeing in the theaters. Just keep your expectations a bit lower and let it the experience be a fun escape. 7.8/10

For more reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




Free Fire - Movie Review

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review the film, FREE FIRE from Directory Ben Wheatley (HIGH-RISE, KILL LIST).

Justine (Brie Larson) brokers a gun deal in a deserted warehouse in Boston circa late 70s between two Irishmen, Chris (Cillian Murphy)and Frank (Michael Smiley) and a couple of arms dealers, Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and Ord (Armie Hammer). Things quickly grow tense when it's discovered that one of the Irishmen's hired sidekicks had been in a squabble with one of Vernon's men the previous night. A shot is fired and all hell breaks loose turning a friendly shopping transaction into a deadly gun battle. It's every man, or woman, for themselves as they try to survive the night.

We wanted to love this movie, it has all the ingredients to be a great gangster film; 70s backdrop, Boston, Sharlto Copley, Cillian Murphy, Executive producer Martin Scorsese, Writer/Director Ben Wheatley, heart-stopping gun battle. Sadly, we did not love it. The script is not strong enough to outwit the humdrum of 2 hours in the same location and the same day. This concept, when done well can be brilliant (Reservoir Dogs, Hateful 8), but this story failed to develop its characters enough to keep you invested in their survival. What could have been an awesome backdrop, Boston in the late 70s, was futile as apart from the costume design and the captions, the setting was incidental. One can only presume that the Irishman are shopping for guns for the IRA, they make no mention of the details or the background of any of these characters. We know literally nothing about them other than they need guns and the other guys have them. A underwhelming betrayal subplot emerges out of nowhere adding nothing to the story except a predictable conclusion. If you're a fan of stylized gun fights, you'll be charmed by some of the performances particularly Sharlto Copley and Cillian Murphy--who, no matter how bad or good his character is, you'll root for him out of respect for his exceptional talent.

We give this film a 7/10. Sound high after that review? We'll explain... The Harold & Maudecast is all about bridging the gap between fans and critics and our Justice and Doom Movie Ratings Meter (www.thehmcnetwork.com/movie-reviews ) is designed with this in mind. We rate on a combo of critical analysis and fan likability. FREE FIRE is worth a watch. It's entertaining and will satisfy many fans of the gangster genre. Critically, it's a flawed film. We recommend waiting for VOD to rent it.

For more movie reviews, tv, game reviews and more visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




Walter Hill's The Assignment - Movie Review

Now Playing Movie Reviews podcast hosted by Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe from The HMC. Review by Sarah Mason.

Legendary filmmaker Walter Hill first heard the story for his latest revenge thriller THE ASSIGNMENT in 1978. But it would take almost 40 years and many projects in between (THE WARRIORS, ALIENS, Tales from the Crypt, Deadwood) to bring Denis Hamill's original story draft, Tomboy, to the big screen.

Hit man Frank Kitchens (Michelle Rodriguez), double crossed by his client mob boss Honest John (Anthony LaPaglia) undergoes gender reassignment surgery against his will at the hands of a sadistic surgeon (Sigourney Weaver) who seeks revenge for the death of her brother. Aided by his nurse girlfriend, Kitchens sets out for revenge.

THE ASSIGNMENT is not a great film but its consistent action and strong performances, keep you intrigued throughout it's relatively short run time (1h 35m). Editor Phil Norden uses comic book style stills to move the story along from act to act. It's a kitchy but effective technique giving the film a cult classic charm.

Rodriguez performance is strong particularly in the second act when she loses the obvious and distracting male disguise. Weaver's scenes with Tony Shaloub, who plays a psychiatrist tasked with the doctor's diagnosis, are some of the best moments of the film and certainly the highlight of the script.

One could argue that THE ASSIGNMENT is both timely, and suffering from horrific timing. Though I don't think Hill intended the film to serve as social statement or lacking empathy he perhaps, should have considered the consequences. What Hill does do, he does well, good ol' fashion action, THE GETAWAY, 48 HOURS, to name a few. And that is what this film is, a B action film with a A cast. HUMAN CENTIPEDE meets SIN CITY if you will. Loyal fans of action films and Hill will surely dig it. If you can overlook the bad PR, which you should, it's worth a watch. 6/10.

For more movie, tv, and game reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




Ghost in the Shell - Movie Review 6/10

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review Ghost in the Shell for Now Playing Reviews on The HMC.

Based on the Japanese anime, Ghost in the Shell stars Scarlett Johansson as Major, first of her kind cyber enhanced human. It's the near future and there's a powerful new enemy killing people by hacking into their minds. Major and her District 9 police crew must hunt him down and stop him before he kills again. However, once face to face with this new cyber enemy, Major finds there's more to his story, and hers then she new. Will these revelations threaten her mission? Oh hell yeah.

Ghost in the Shell is a far cry from the thoughtful and clever vision created by Masamune Shirow and original anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii. This Americanized version is all action and no heart. It has some impressive visual effects and fans of science fiction may enjoy the futuristic production design but, Johansson's wooden and weak performance render this film almost unbearable to watch. Cyber punk and original Ghost in the Shell fans do yourself a favor and go watch the anime versions (this film was a melding of both anime films 1 & 2).

We are giving this film a 6 on the Justice and Doom Meter which is generous as this constitutes small Justice, very small. Consider the Justice rating a shoutout to the impressive supporting cast including the phenomenal Juliette Binoche as scientist Dr. Ouelet, Pilou Asbæk as Major's partner Batou (you'll recognize him as Theon Greyjoy's dastardly uncle in Game of Thrones), Michael Pitt and Takeshi Kitano. The stunning visual effects and production design equally deserve much Justice. Save those standout features, this film doesn't live up to its potential as a visionary classic in the realm of cyber punk.

Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more movie, tv and game reviews.



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Apr 19, 2017 at 12:07:04 amComments (1) ghost in the shell, movie reviews, anime

Get Out - Movie Review

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe Review the film, Get Out, on Now Playing Reviews on The HMC.

Jordan Peele of Key and Peele makes his directorial debut with Get Out, a thriller about an interracial couple headed to meet the parents for the first time. Chris (Daniel Kuulaya) reluctantly accompanies his white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to her parents house in the suburbs and soon finds that his worst fears were nothing compared to the terrifying reality awaiting him.

Get Out is a great first feature debut by Peele. His script is effective and fast moving with sufficient suspense and jump scares that will definitely grab you when you least expect it. Seasoned horror/thriller fans will not be particularly shocked or surprised at the reveal nevertheless its quite fun and scary. The only somewhat sour note is that Williams portrayal of enlightened rich white girl Rose felt like Marnie plays a part in a horror movie. Overall there are some great performances including lead Daniel Kaluuya and veteran supporting cast members Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener.

We are giving this film Justice. It's worth a trip to the theater to see it. 7.5/10

Release date: February 24, 2017 (USA)
Director: Jordan Peele
Screenplay: Jordan Peele
Producers: Jason Blum, Sean McKittrick, Ted Hamm
Production companies: Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment

Listen to our full review and visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more reviews, podcasts, videos, news and event coverage.




John Wick: Chapter 2 - Review

In this week's Now Playing Movie reviews on The HMC, John Wick: Chapter 2. Keanu Reeves is back as John Wick in this sequel to the knock out surprise kick ass hit of 2014. This time around he's got a new dog, and some new frenemies.

Strap in tight cause this ride is fast from the jump. After John Wick ties up some loose ends with his Russian pals he quickly finds that living a quiet life in the suburbs with his dog is never to be. Forced to carry out a task that will drag him deeper into the world of Assassins, Wick finds himself with a very large bounty on his head. Wick's got a few returning allies, chop shop man, Aurelio (John Leguizamo), Continental Hotel Manger, Winston (Ian McShane) and some new ones, Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne). He's also got some new adversaries fellow assassins Cassian (Common) and Ares (Ruby Rose).

If you're concerned that the sequel won't live up to the original, never fear. John Wick: Chapter 2 equals, and possibly rivals it's predecessor upping the anti on action whilst keeping its precise, albeit simple storytelling in tact. Director Chad Stahelski aided by Derek Kolstad's script, have built a complex and imaginative universe with the John Wick franchise. With this sequel, it continues to expand and grab you into it, not unlike other (magical) world building stories that have come before it. Thus far, it's the one to beat for 2017. 9/10.

Listen to our review and visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more tv, movie and streaming reviews and more.




The Harold & Maudecast Ep 283 "Westworld Ho"

This week on The Harold & Maudecast we check in with Westworld, HBO's drama/western/sci-fi/action/thriller based on the Michael Crichton book and movie starring Yul Brynner. We review episode 7, Season 1, which has a big reveal, but will the show keep us hooked the likes of Stranger Things, hmmm. Take a listen.

Also this week two new Now Streaming on VOD reviews, THE NICE GUYS and THE LEGEND OF TARZAN. Both films were theatrically released in the Summer of 2016 to disappointing box office returns. THE NICE GUYS stars Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe as private detectives who accidentally get tangled up in the same case. It's written and directed by Shane Black who knows a thing or two about Buddy action/comedies. He wrote the LETHAL WEAPON films and IRON MAN 3. THE LEGEND OF TARZAN stars Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood) in the title role and Margot Robbie as Jane (SUICIDE SQUAD), Samuel L Jackson (CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR) and Christoph Waltz (SPECTRE film) as the evil industrialist nemesis. Harry Potter fans will be enthusiastic to know that David Yates directed the film. He direct five of The Harry Potter films including the upcoming FANTASTIC BEASTS.

So, based on all that street cred, wouldn't ya think at least one of these is worth the watch? Well yes, one of them is. Listen to this episode of The Harold & Maudecast and you'll find out which one! hahaha sucked in. But it's worth it.

Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more movie and tv reviews, lifestyle, travel & con coverage!




Jason Bourne - Movie Review

In this 5th installment of the popular Bourne franchise, Matt Damon reprises his role as Jason Bourne the CIA operative gone wronged, gone rogue. Still out there in the world all alone, with a few familiar faces, Julia Styles reprising her role as Nicky Parsons and a few new ones, Alicia Vikander and Tommy Lee Jones, Bourne is older, still a badass but somehow much less the wiser. This film took what was a great character/series (The Bourne Identity particularly)and turned it into a scriptless, pointless, car chase, boom boom action film like every other we see today. And it has the distinction of being the first film of 2016 that we outright DOOMED, 5/10 on the Justice & Doom Movie Meter. Boo.




MAN vs SNAKE: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler - Review

We review the Now Streaming film, MAN vs SNAKE: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler, the inspirational and outrageous true story of one man's quest for the highest video game score ever. MAN vs. SNAKE is the Directorial debut by Editors Tim Kinzy, Andrew Seklir (Battlestar Gallactica: Razor). Tim McVey broke the billion dollar mark getting the highest video game score ever back in 1983 when he scored big on Nibbler, a lessor celebrated game under the shadow of the rockstars of the video arcades in the 80s, Donkey Kong and Pac Man. After decades, some questions about the validity of his record and a new challenger, Tim goes for it, again. He's an unlikely leading man who becomes the hero you find yourself rooting for in this delightful gem of a documentary. Fans of King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, look out for some familiar faces to appear, Billy Mitchell, Walter Day and more of the folks from the wonderful world of video arcade games. 9/10




MAN vs SNAKE: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler - Movie Review 9/10

We review the Now Streaming film, MAN vs SNAKE: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler, the inspirational and outrageous true story of one man's quest for the highest video game score ever. MAN vs. SNAKE is the Directorial debut by Editors Tim Kinzy, Andrew Seklir (Battlestar Gallactica: Razor). Tim McVey broke the billion dollar mark getting the highest video game score ever back in 1983 when he scored big on Nibbler, a lessor celebrated game under the shadow of the rockstars of the video arcades in the 80s, Donkey Kong and Pac Man. After decades, some questions about the validity of his record and a new challenger, Tim goes for it, again. He's an unlikely leading man who becomes the hero you find yourself rooting for in this delightful gem of a documentary. Fans of King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, look out for some familiar faces to appear, Billy Mitchell, Walter Day and more of the folks from the wonderful world of video arcade games. 9/10




Swiss Army Man - Movie Review

Famed music video directors DANIELS (Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert) make their feature film directorial debut with SWISS ARMY MAN. The film stars Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe who gives a brilliantly gutsy performance in what might be the weirdest film in the last several years. Dano plays a hopeless man stranded in the wilderness on the verge of suicide until he befriends a dead body (Radcliffe) who had washed up on the beach. The two find adventure, survival and love together and discover the unique and useful attributes of dead bodies.

We're big fans of Weird, Justice.




Weekly Episode - 271 "A Girl is Zelda"

So much going on this week's podcast! We Talk Thrones, Season 6, Ep 8 "No One', Our Summer horror movie reviews, THE CONJURING 2 & HUSH as well as our trip to the E3 Video Game Expo! It was like going to the chocolate factory, we literally stepped into a world of pure imagination in the Nintendo booth. Listen up for all the recaps, commentary and banter from the Harold & Maudecast.






The HMC Network is a podcast network featuring genre entertainment commentary, movie and TV reviews, video game reviews, lifestyle & travel, event & Con media coverage & more. Featured on the Creative COW is our flagship podcast, The Harold & Maudecast hosted by Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe. Combining critical analysis with passionate fandom, The Harold & Maudecast offers a fully-informed look at your favorite movies, TV and video games. Commentary and reviews include the latest Walking Dead and Game of Thrones episodes, film festival and Comic Con & fan fest event coverage, technology expos and more. Fandom Never Gets Old.


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