On Episode 333 of The Harold & Maudecast, 2018 Fall and Holiday Movie Preview and review of Amazon Studios, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE and Netflix Disenchantment.
Hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE, an Amazon Studios release, written and directed by Lynne Ramsay (WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN) and starring Joaquin Phoenix. The film won both Best Screenplay and Actor, for Phoenix, at Cannes Film Festival 2017 and was nominated for the festival's top prize, the Palm D'Or.
Joe (Phoenix) is a traumatized veteran funneling his unearthed rage into brutal take-downs of sex traffickers. When Joe agrees to track down a high ranking government officials missing daughter, he finds himself in the middle of cover up leading to deathly consequences.
Phoenix gives an unapologetically brutal and layered performance. Joe's violence is balanced by his thoughtful care-taking of his mother played by Judith Roberts (ERASERHEAD, DEAD CALM. The film spares the audience the distraction of confusing subplots choosing to focus solely on the mission at hand. It's darkly artistic--feels like a film festival entry! But in all the best ways.
Additionally, Sarah and Jake go through the full list of upcoming movies releasing in September through the end of 2018 -- THE NUN, HALLOWEEN, OUTLAW KING, THE PREDATOR, HAL, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB, SPIDER-MAN INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, HOLMES AND WATSON, FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD, AQUAMAN and so many more.
Bonus! A review of Matt Groening's (The Simpson's), new Netflix series, Disenchantment.
For more episodes of The Harold & Maudecast and other podcasts please visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
On Episode 331 of The Harold & Maudecast hosts Sarah and Jake countdown to San Diego Comic Con 2018! A preview of all the confirmed panels and the now annual ConanCon, Conan O'Brien live at Spreckels Theater.
Also in this episode spotlight on actor Barry Keoghan, the 25 year old Irish actor who has caught the attention of Hollywood with his standout roles in THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER, DUNKIRK and AMERICAN ANIMALS.
Nominated for an Independent Spirit award for his role in Yorgos Lanthimos (THE LOBSTER) 2017 film, THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER and a standout performance in Christopher Nolan's Oscar winning film, DUNKIRK, Keoghan is one of the most exciting young actors on the scene today.
In 2018 Keoghan starred in Barry Layton's film, AMERICAN ANIMALS, about the real life story of four Kentucky college students who attempted to steal rare and valuable books from Kentucky’s Transylvania University. The outlandish heist attempt, predictably did not go well. The film, a Grand Jury prize nominee at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, received much praise including Keoghan's performance. AMERICAN ANIMALS, co-stars Evan Peters, Blake Jenner and Ann Dowd.
This September Keoghan will star in BLACK 47, alongside Hugo Weaving (LOTR, THE MATRIX) and fellow Irish actor Stephen Rhea (INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE). The film is set during the Great Irish Famine, about a young Irish ranger who has been fighting the British abroad, returns to his family in Ireland. The film is written and directed by Lance Daly (THE HALO EFFECT).
The busy Keoghan has yet another film and two television series in production. Look for big things from Barry Keoghan.
We review THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER, also starring Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman and AMERICAN ANIMALS.
Listen at 26:03.
For more podcast episodes, reviews and updates on Comic Con visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
On episode 330 of The Harold and Maudecast "Fall of the House of Nerd", hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe discuss the MeToo revelations about nerd mogul, Chris Hardwick and it's potential impact on Comic Con.
It's been 14 years since the Oscar winning animated film, INCREDIBLES became an instant success. Apparently time has only made this franchise more popular as INCREDIBLES 2 made history with the highest grossing opening of an animated film, ever. We review!
Also, we review the Netflix original thriller, OPEN HOUSE, now streaming starring Dylan Minnette (13 Reasons Why).
Spoiler hint: We loved one of these films, hated the other. Hmmmm... listen up to find out more!
INCREDIBLES 2 Review - @26:39
OPEN HOUSE Review - @40:09
For more reviews, news and podcasts visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
On Episode 328 of The Harold & Maudecast, hosts Sarah Mason and Jake review the movies SOLO and CARGO and checking in on Westeros, predictions for who will survive Game of Thrones.
Han Solo is finally getting his own origin story! Question is, did he really need one? SOLO, A STAR WARS STORY, was released on May 24th to lukewarm box office results, if you consider $115m lukewarm. Well Disney does. It appears SOLO may be the first victim of STAR WARS fatigue, as Disney continues to pump out spin-off films whether we want them or not.
We meet young Han (Alden Ehrenreich), the would-be pilot as he's escaping with his girlfriend Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) from their home planet, under siege by the Empire. Spoiler alert! One of them gets left behind, but we'll see her again in the future after Han completes his training, does some soldiering for the Empire, meets Chewie and joins a misfit group of space outlaws led by Beckett (Woody Harrelson). After their big score heist goes terribly wrong, they face certain death at the hands of big boss Drydon Vos (Paul Bettany) unless the team can find a ship that can make the Kessel run in 12 parsecs....luckily part time dandy, full time card shark, Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), has one.
SOLO is full of edge-of-your-seat action sequences including a intergalactic space train heist that invokes the spirit of Indiana Jones. Although Ehrenreich's name is a mouthful to say and he looks nothing like Harrison Ford, he's the right guy for the job. He pulls it off thanks to a wonderful supporting cast and a strategic script penned by the great Lawrence Kasdan (THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, SILVERADO) and his son Jonathan Kasdan (IN THE LAND OF WOMEN), the younger Kasdan clearly supplied the many satisfying albeit obscure easter eggs like a reference to the 1997 video game, “Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi. Director Ron Howard stepped in after Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (THE LEGO MOVIE) were fired for presumably being too silly? Regardless, it was the right choice as Howard's steady vision steered this film into maturity. Oh there's fun, and silliness, lots of crazy Lucas inspired creatures. But what makes this film enjoyable is the feeling that it's being produced by real filmmaking pros. You may not walk away thrilled as you were after THE FORCE AWAKENS, but don't forget that came after a long dry spell and the disasters that were Episodes 1, 2 and 3. Seek to be entertained in the spirit of Indiana Jones and get over Harrison Ford's absence and you'll dig this film as much as we did. Justice!
Review for CARGO, the Netflix original re-invention of the zombie genre starring Martin Friedman (Sherlock, THE HOBBIT) starts at 29:17.
In the outback of Australia, Andy (Friedman) and wife Kay (Susie Porter), with baby in tow, are struggling to stay alive in the new zombie stricken world. When tragedy strikes, it's up to Andy to find a family to take care of their baby girl before it's too late.
In some ways CARGO is your typical zombie story. It's got all the trappings of the genre, biting, walking dead, apocalyptic world, dangerous people who may kill you before the zombies do. Yet, it's far from the maddening crowd of Walking Dead and George Romero films. We don't know why or how the outbreak occurred but if you're lucky enough to have survived this far you're probably familiar with the government issued kit equipped with countdown bracelet and suicide tools. The film rests largely on the performance of Friedman, who delivers. Equally delightful is his young aboriginal companion, Thoomi (Simone Landers), who he must help in order to find refuge for his baby. The countdown/doomsday clock formula of the story combined with the baby, makes the stakes impossibly high for even a zombie movie. It is that urgency and the desperation of Andy that keep you engaged and nervous throughout. It's a tough film to watch -- not entirely tragic, yet sad and draining. Writer/Director team Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling (JUNGLE), stretch and breath life into this genre which seemed to be on it's way out. Justice!
For more podcasts and reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
On Episode 327 of The Harold & Maudecast, "Princess Deadpool". Host Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review DEADPOOL 2.
Ryan Reynolds returns in the title role for DEADPOOL 2, opening May 18. This time the R rated wisecracker finds himself in the unlikely role of mentor and protector after meeting an angry teenage mutant orphan played by Julian Dennison (HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE). Russell becomes the target of Cable (Josh Brolin)a genetically enhanced soldier from the future... let's just call him terminator, seriously. In order to help the kid fight Cable, Deadpool assembles a super squad aka X Force, Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård) Domino (Zazie Beetz) and Peter! (Rob Delaney) No powers, he just read the ad in craigslist.
DEADPOOL 2 is jam packed with cheeky quips, celebrity cameos and lots and lots of ironically placed licensed music -- insert Enya during fight sequence. It's also filled with amazingly choreographed action and fight sequences, great comic performances by Reynolds, Dennison, Beetz and special shoutout Rob Delaney who made us belly laugh as the overweight, middle aged white dude who just wants to hang out. The budget appears to have grown as a result of the success of the first film, DEADPOOL which is evident in the CGI fight between Colossus and Juggernaut. But it seems if they cut back on the music licensing they may be able to afford more X Men.
All in all much fun was had by our audience of two. We give it a 8 on the Justice and Doom meter. Listen to our full review for more of our thoughts.
Bonus! Despite the Royal Wedding threatening to overshadow the release of DEADPOOL 2, it made over $300m worldwide opening weekend. We weigh in on the wedding in our special way, the Hollywood class system, Royal Wedding addition.
For more episodes of The Harold & Maudecast visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
On this Episode 324 of The Harold & Maudecast, 'Hidden Gems & Missed Opportunities', celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the film, ROLE MODELS and reviews of TOMB RAIDER and DOWNSIZING.
ROLE MODELS is a story about energy drink reps Danny (Paul Rudd) and Wheeler (Seann William Scott) trash the company trunk and are facing jail time until Danny's recently former girlfriend Beth (Elizabeth Banks) does some legal wrangling allowing them to do community service with a mentoring program instead of jail time.
ROLE MODELS was released in 2008 to modest box office results initially, $19,167,085 but it has since been streaming its way to cult status. It's grossed $92,380,927 worldwide thanks to its popularity on DVD and streaming services. Rudd co-wrote the film with David Wain (WANDERLUST, WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER), Ken Marino (WANDERLUST) and TImothy Dowling (PIXELS). The cast is filled with comedy character favorites including Jane Lynch (GLEE, 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN), Ken Jeong (THE HANGOVER), Matt Walsh (Veep), Kerry Kenny (Reno 911), Nicole Randall Johnson (Reno 911), and of course McLovin himself, Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
ROLE MODELS is currently streaming on HBO Go & Now. It is one of the funniest movies you've probably never seen. Listen to our commentary and review to find out why.
Also in this episode we dive into two films that shoulda, coulda been better than they turned out to be, now in theaters, TOMB RAIDER and now streaming, DOWNSIZING.
After finding a clue that may lead to the whereabouts of her missing adventurer father, Lord Walter Croft, Lara Croft embarks on a perilous journey to his last-known destination -- a fabled tomb on a mythical island possibly off the coast of Japan.
TOMB RAIDER, based on the mega popular game series, Tomb Raider developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix, is a reboot of the movie franchise [based on said game series] starring Angelina Jolie. This time, Alicia Vikander (EX MACHINA, THE DANISH GIRL) takes on the role of Lara Croft. This new film is based on the widely successful 2013 reboot of the game series. Confused yet? The film also stars Dominic West (The Wire) as Lord Walter Croft and Walton Goggins (Justified) as bad guy Mathias Vogel. Screenplay by Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Alastair Siddons, Directed by Norwegian filmmaker, Roar Uthaug (THE WAVE).
Hardcore fans will be disappointed as the stakes are so much lower and far less adventurous than the game itself. We dissect every missed opportunity and compare movie action to game action.
When scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall as a solution to overpopulation, Paul (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in order to get small and move to a new downsized community — a choice that triggers life-changing adventures.
Directed by two-time Oscar winner Alexander Payne (SIDEWAYS, THE DESCENDANTS) and written by Payne and fellow Oscar winner Jim Tayler (SIDEWAYS), starring Oscar winners Damon, Christoph Waltz and Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis, DOWNSIZING had the pedigree of a winner. Unfortunately this was Payne's weakest film and another missed opportunity.
If TOMB RAIDER's stakes were too low, DOWNSIZING's stakes were too high for what should have been a much simpler comedy. The premise alone paired with the A list cast and Payne's signature brilliance in elevating the mundane to fascinating, would have been all this film needed to be entertaining. Instead, the script veers off into several complex and conflicting plots lines taking the story far away from the concept of downsizing.
Listen as we unpack all the missed opportunities in both of these films.
For more movie, game reviews and other podcasts visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
On this episode of The Harold & Maudecast, hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review Netflix 'The Frankenstein Chronicles'.
Just in time for the 200th anniversary of the publishing of Frankenstein, Netflix picks up 'The Frankenstein Chronicles' starring Sean Bean, the most bingeworthy new drama series. After years in purgatory, (first bought by A&E in 2015 but never produced), the series refused to die. Created by Benjamin Ross and Barry Langford, it is a loose reimagining of the Frankenstein legend. At its core a bold, solid detective story cleverly weaving literary giants like Mary Shelly and William Blake into the story without being too cheeky.
Sarah and Jake review Season 1&2 and talk origin stories as well as future possibilities. For more reviews and podcast episodes visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
Episode 315 of The Harold & Maudecast "Punish This Netflix", hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review the Netflix original Series, The Punisher, Season 1 and the Netflix original movie, 1922.
Marvel's The Punisher hit Netflix on November 17th. This live action serial installment of the popular comic book franchise stars Jon Berthal (The Walking Dead), Amber Rose Rivah (Indian Summer), Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Girls) and Ben Barnes (Westworld). Created by Steve Lightfoot (Hannibal, Narcos), the story picks as ex-special ops Frank Castle/The Punisher (Bernthal) tries to pick up the pieces of his tragic life after his wife and two children are brutally murdered. His revenge spawned blood quest to punish everyone responsible is dealt with as flashbacks in Ep 1. The series follows Castle, presumed dead, living low in NY under an alias, Homeland Security Agent Dina Madani pursuing the source of an anonymous source outing the CIA for murdering an innocent Afghan police officer and David Lieberman aka Micro, a former CIA agent and hacker who becomes Frank's unlikely ally.
Like the other series in the Marvel Defender's universe (which this will presumably tie into), The Punisher is dark, brooding and filled with a lot of unnecessary drama. If you're looking for all out Punisher action, it's there but, with the exception of the first episode, you'll wait till the last 10 minutes of every episode to get it. That said, Bernthal is fantastic and worth all the bloated dialogue spent attempting to make this a drama. 7.5/10
1922, also now streaming on Netflix, is an adaptation of a Stephen King novella. The film stars Thomas Jane (The Mist, Hung) Molly Parker (Deadwood) and Dylan Schmid (Once Upon a Time), written and directed by Zak Hilditch (These Final Hours).
After his wife Arlette (Parker) decides to sell the land they live on bequeathed to her by her father, Wilfred (Jane) conspires to kill her enlisting the help of his son Henry (Schmid). Though it appears they may escape the consequences of the law, Wilfred can not escape the karmic wrath of the spirits that haunt him leading to tragedy for all those around him.
This film is dark, really dark, tragic, sometimes scary and at times hard to watch. It's filled with blood, ghosts and gore. Jane gives a career best with this performance--he is almost unrecognizable, completely transformed into a 1920s era farmer. The film has a similar vibe as the 2015 indie horror film, Witch, creepy, dark but also gripping and well written. This too is well written and Zak Hilditch takes Stephen King's story and both captures the grimness of 1920s heartland America yet modernizes it for today's very sophisticated horror fans. It's slow moving, so don't expect a lot of jump scares. This film takes its time making you uncomfortable. Justice 8.5/10
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TV & Streaming Reviews
This week on The HMC's flagship podcast, The Harold & Maudecast, Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE OF EBBING MISSOURI, Stranger Things Season 2 & another episode of We Talk Dead, Ep 804.
We Talk Dead - 5:06
Three Billboards Review - 31:05
Stranger Things 2 - 45:40
Bonus stuff! Robert Kirkman's new show Secret History of Comics, the Rotten truth about Rotten Tomatoes.
For more podcast episodes, game, movie and TV reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
This episode of The Harold & Maudecast, 312 "Dead Weight". Hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe preview It's Alive: Classic Horror & Sci-Fi from the Kirk Hammet Collection at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.
We Talk Dead is back for Season 8 of The Walking Dead. We review the premiere Ep 801 "Mercy" and 802 "The Damned".
Now Streaming Movie Reviews, BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, starring Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter and Don Johnson, written and directed by S. Craig Zahler (BONE TOMAHAWK). We gave it much Justice 8.5/10.
For more podcast episodes, movie, tv, game reviews and more visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
Movie/TV Reviewspodcastsbrawl in cell block 99the walking deadtwdvince vaughnharold & maudeharold & maudecast
|Posted by: Sarah Mason on Nov 20, 2017 at 6:38:17 pm|| walking dead, podcasts, tv, amc, zombies, horror, reviews, brawl in cell block 99, movies, vince vaughn|
On Ep 311 of The Harold & Maudecast, hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review BLADE RUNNER 2049 and give their recommendations for some creepy October horror films Now Streaming.
Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. His discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who's been missing for 30 years.
BLADE RUNNER 2049 captures the texture and silence of Ridley Scott's original film(BLADE RUNNER), whose involvement is reduced to Exec producer, but don't let that discourage you. This much anticipated sequel has an A+ crew including Director Denis Villeneuve (THE ARRIVAL), screenwriters Hampton Fancher (BLADE RUNNER), Michael Green (LOGAN), multiple Oscar nominated Cinematographer Roger Deakins (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, SKYFALL) visit his imdb it's incredible www.imdb.com/name/nm0005683/?ref_=nmawd_awd_nm). Ryan Gosling masterfully takes the lead backed by a phenomenal cast, Jared Leto, Dave Bautista, Lenny James, breakout star Sylvia Hoeks as bad girl replicant Luv and a potential Oscar winning performance by Harrison Ford reprising his role as Deckard.
Do yourself a favor, see it in the theaters. It's a stunning, thoughtful, brilliant film. 9.6/10 on our Justice & Doom movie meter.
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On episode 310 of The Harold & Maudecast, "Sequels", hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Goon: Last of the Enforcers.
All too often sequels don't quite live up to their originals, with some notable exceptions (Godfather 2, Superman 2....) we examine the art of the sequel and review two new film sequels whose originals were unexpected sleeper hits.
After the Kingsman's HQ is destroyed by drug dealer, Poppy (Julianne Moore), Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) must team up with their American counterparts, The Statesman to take Poppy down before she destroys the world. The Statesman, whose front is a Bourbon distillery in Kentucky, are headed up by Champagne (Jeff Bridges) along with Tequila (Channing Tatum), Whiskey (Pedro Pascal) and Ginger Ale (Halle Berry). Kingsman: The Golden Circle is Drected/Co-Written by Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman the Secret Service, X-Men: First Class) and Co-Written by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass), Kingsman the Secret Service) . The film was theatrically released on September 22, 2017.
Sidelined after one too many hits and now married to Eva (Alison Pill) with a baby on the way, Doug "The Thug" Glatt (Seann William Scott) hangs up his skates and tries to live a 9 to 5 life. But when Doug's nemesis, Anders Cain (Wyatt Russell), is made captain of the Highlanders and new ownership threatens to tear his team apart, Doug's old nemesis Ross Rhea (Liev Schreiber) helps him get back on the ice. Goon: Last of the Enforcers is Directed by Jay Baruchel and Co-Written by Baruchel and Jesse Chabot. The film had a limited theatrical release on September 1, 2017 and is available on Streaming services.
For more movie, tv, game reviews and other podcasts, articles and news visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
This week on The Harold & Maudecast, Episode 309 "The Scary Truth About Horror Nights" hosts Sarah and Jake visit Universal Studios Hollywoods annual Halloween Horror Nights and review the RIP (VIP) Experience.
We get into every detail from arrival and parking to which mazes are the best and scariest, the terror tram, tram or scam? The VIP buffet and tour, scare zones, the maze set designs and performers and so much more. If you're wondering whether to spend the cash on HHN 2017, listen up! We got all the info you need to make an informed decision.
Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more podcasts, movie, tv, game reviews, lifestyle and travel survival tips & more!
On Episode 308 of The Harold & Maudecast Weekly, "Creature Feature", hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe explore the Dark Universe. We discuss Universal's lineup for its Dark Universe, monster movie reboots which kicked off with Tom Cruise's THE MUMMY and will include, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE INVISIBLE MAN, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, DRACULA UNTOLD 2 and more of Universal's classic monster features.
We also review two Now Streaming reviews including THE MUMMY and WIND CHILL, a thriller starring Emily Blunt in an early career role.
Also a preview of Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights which we will be touring this week!
For more podcast episodes, movie and game reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
This episode of The Harold & Maudecast's Now Streaming, Marvel The Defenders and BUSHWICK reviews.
Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) team up to stop mysterious and powerful bad guy org, The Hand, from destroying New York in Marvel's The Defenders.
Marvel sure knows how to build universes and market them really well. The individual series of each character masterfully set up the convergence of all their worlds in The Defenders. That's about the only impressive thing about this series. The writing is incredibly weak, the acting is uneven and there is very little super hero action for a super hero show. Some cool action packed sequences and a few stand out performances from veteran actor Scott Glenn as Stick, Daredevil's mentor and Charlie Cox as Daredevil saved this from a DOOM rating, barely. 5.8/10
When a Texas military force invades the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, grad student, Lucy (Brittany Snow) and former marine Stupe (Dave Bautista) must depend on each other to survive.
Dave Bautista proves himself worthy of dramatic acting gigs in BUSHWICK. The film directed by Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott (COOTIES) and written by Nick Damici and Graham Reznick (STAKE LAND), is thrilling and provocative survival story. The story starts out with a literal bang and wastes no time unveiling the plot, which was refreshing. Brittany Snow (PITCH PERFECT) does a nice job with an abrupt character arc as her damsel in distress quickly adapts. The story loses steam about midway through the film when unnecessary and clichéd characters are introduced. The ending is exactly what you'd expect from a film festival darling -- a bummer. Still, Bautista's performance and the excitement of the chase and action sequences are worth it. 6.8/10
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On this episode of Confessions of a Basement Dweller, host Jake Essoe reviews Telltale's Batman: The Enemy Within, Episode One "The Enigma"
In this latest chapter, both Bruce Wayne and Batman will be forced into precarious new roles. The Riddler has returned to terrorize Gotham City, but his gruesome puzzles merely foreshadow an even greater crisis. With the arrival of a ruthless federal agent and the return of a still nascent Joker, Batman must navigate uneasy alliances while Bruce Wayne undertakes a perilous series of deceptions. Which of Batman's new allies will you choose to trust? And how deep into the darkness will you let Bruce descend?
Batman: The Enemy Within will be a standalone product separate from the first season of Batman: The Telltale Series and is licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and based on DC's iconic character. Episode one, 'The Enigma,' has been rated 'Mature' by the ESRB. Now available for download on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
For more episodes of Confessions of a Basement Dweller game reviews, visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
Winter is here! And Thrones is finally back to fill our Sunday nights with Dragons, Dire Wolves, White Walkers and Giant Zombies. The premiere episode kicked off on July 16, "Dragonstone". We find our old friends haven't changed much. Jon and Sansa are arguing over strategy, Cersei is the Wicked Witch of the South, The Hound is still grumpy, but might have grown a conscience, Arya is more of a badass then we ever imagined, Samwell Tarly is knee deep in shit and asking Professor Slughorn for books from the restricted section, and Daenerys has finally come home to Westeros to find that Stannis wasn't a very good castle guest, the place is a freakin mess!
Also bonus, look for that famous Ed Sheerhan cameo that's hating up the internet. Stay tuned for our weekly recaps as we take up the torch for tormented fans everywhere.
For more episodes of We Talk Thrones and other tv, movie and game reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
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
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Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review ALIEN: COVENANT.
Ridley Scott knows a thing or two about Aliens. After all he started this whole crazy thing with his 1979 film ALIEN, hailed by sci fi purists as the superior of the franchise. With adjusted gross estimates ALIEN is at the top of the franchise box office total -- which collectively is over $1 billion. His last revival of the said franchise the 2012 film PROMETHEUS was successful ($126m) but disappointed fans and critics by alienating itself from its own brand (literally). Will bringing back the ALIEN moniker be a big enough bone for faithful fans to chew on? And will it be enough incentive for to bring in new fans? It's all about the story. And this one is pretty good.
Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created in ALIEN: COVENANT. A crew of colonists aboard the ship Covenant sets out for a remote planet. Captain Oram(Billy Crudup) leads them after an unforeseen accident pushed him up the chain of command. After discovering what seems to be an uncharted paradise, Oram's second in command Daniels, warns of the dangers of the unknown. Shoulda listen to the woman Captain Oram. After exploring the earth-like terrain of this new planet they are quickly met with the dark truth about their new potential home, and its not just the aliens.
Michael Fassbender brilliantly reprises his role from PROMETHEUS as David and as new android, Walter. At its core, ALIEN: COVENANT is the Frankenstein story. David, the creation of Weyland (Guy Pearce) becomes the monster and yet also the creator. It's a fascinating refreshed look at this Alien universe with all the textures and complexities of the original. There's just the right amount of action and creature featuring to bring fans back. It moves pretty fast and wastes very little time. The ending is frustrating and revelations about the fate of Dr Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) are frustrating yet lay out a path for the continuation of this story.
Katherine Waterston (FANTASTIC BEASTS) gives a convincing performance, albeit no Ripley, let's say Ripley Light. Danny McBride (VICE PRINCIPALS) known largely for his comedic roles also shows up proving himself worthy of the franchise.
We give it a solid 8.3/10. It's not ALIEN, it's not ALIENS, but it will give you a renewed faith in the franchise and leave you wanting more.
Jake Essoe, host of The HMC's Game Review series, 'Confessions of a Basement Dweller' is back with a review of The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series, New Frontiers Episode 3 'Above the Law'.
After the shocking events of 'Ties That Bind: Part Two', Javier struggles to find a role in his newly reunited family. Meanwhile, tension within the walls of Richmond grow. Will Clementine and the rest of the group turn against Javier? It may be time to choose between the family you're born into and the family you've made...
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier acts as both a new beginning for players fresh to the series and unfamiliar with Clementine, as well as a continuation for players who have experienced Seasons One and Two.
The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series - A New Frontier Episode Three: 'Above The Law" is rated 'M' (Mature). It is available for download March 28, 2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC/Steam, iOS, and Android-based devices.
Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more video game reviews, movie & tv reviews and much more!
This is We Talk Dead, a weekly Walking Dead podcast hosted by Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe from the HMC.
In this week's episode of We Talk Dead, review & recap of Episode 714 "The Other Side". At the Hilltop, Simon and the Savior crew need a doctor since Negan threw their last one in the furnace. Gregory is not too happy about this but after some strategic ass kissing behind the trailer, he bends the knee -- but not before getting a get out of death free pass from Simon should Gregory choose to visit the Savior compound -- Huh? Meanwhile, Daryl and Maggie hide out in the food cellar where Daryl finally breaks down and apologizes to Maggie for killing Glenn. Ah but Zen Maggie is way ahead of him, seeing the big picture, placing no blame on his winged shoulders and simply asking him to help her win.
Rosita and Sasha decide to take an ill advised and most probably ill fated road trip to the Saviors compound to Kick Ass! After some friendly cat fighting over Sasha's necklace, you know, the one Rosita made for Abraham who then gave it to Sasha, they work out their differences. At the compound they bump into Eugene who apparently really is Negan. What the hell Eugene!
For more We Talk Dead and other podcasts, movie, game and product reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com.
arah Mason and Jake Essoe host "We Talk Dead" for The HMC Network. This week, review and recap of The Walking Dead Episode 713 "Bury Me Here".
Meanwhile back in The Kingdom... We find trouble in Ezekiel's royal garden as an infection threatens to take out all the gardens. Carol's starting to get hip to the fact that something much more serious went down in Alexandria and she confronts Morgan for answers. Benjamin wants Carol to be his sensei after seeing her handily take out 5 Walkers with a sign post. Richard itching to get the fight started, sabotages The Kingdom's weekly drop with The Saviors leading to unintended and unforgivable consequences. Morgan figures it out and spirals out of control -- Uh oh, Clear? Carol to the rescue, for now.
Episode 713 continues where 712 left off in bringing us back to why we love The Walking Dead -- great zombie action, characters and a story we love that's actually getting somewhere. Big shout out to Karl Makinen aka Richard, for is phenomenal performance in this episode. Lennie James is equally amazing, as always.
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Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review The Belko Experiment for The HMC Now Playing Reviews.
Writer/Producer James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) took a little break from making blockbuster super hero movies to write this wonderfully gruesome horror/thriller. When the office workers at Belko came into work they had no idea they would be the subjects of a twisted social experiment. The American company, in Bogota, Columbia, is put on lock down and a mysterious voice over the intercom announces that they must kill 30 of their fellow co-workers or 60 will die. Assuming this is a hoax, COO, Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn) attempts to calm the nervous staff now assembled in the lobby. When it becomes clear that this is no joke, things start to unravel pitting co-worker against co-worker in an ultimate survival of the most moral test.
James Gunn's script, the phenomenal ensemble cast and Greg McLean's careful direction of Gunn's vision make The Belko Experiment one of the best indie horror/thriller/action films in years. It lives up to its tagline, "Office Space meets Battle Royale" with the level of gore and violence, which could have gone way over the top. But McLean's steady Direction keeps the film grounded. The ending, which could go many ways, will surprise you and leave you questioning your own humanity. Shoutout to the the practical effects team who did a fantastic job with such a small budget. Horror fans will be utterly charmed by this film and moviegoers in general will enjoy the psychological thrills and relentless action.
The Belko Experiment hits theaters on March 17, 2017.
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This week Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review Logan for The HMC Network's Now Playing Reviews.
Hugh Jackman reprises his role as Logan/Wolverine for the last time in this darker, grittier X-Men universe film. Set in the not so distant future, 2029, the world is looking pretty bleak for Logan (Hugh Jackman) and Charles Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart) last surviving mutants. The once powerful leaders of the X-Men are weak and vulnerable suffering a mundane human existence. Logan is showing the effects of adamantium poisoning which has slowly been taking away his healing powers. Charles, suffering from a form of dementia is dependent on Logan and another surviving mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant) for care and medicine which has become necessary for more than his safety as his disease as certified his brain to be a weapon of mass destruction. Logan seems content in his miserable existence, driving a limousine and popping pills, until a mysterious little girl drags him into one last heroic venture.
Unlike any of it's franchise predecessors, Logan is extremely dark with more of an apocalyptic Road Warrior feel to it. It is the first R rated film of the X-Men franchise making us wonder why they all didn't do the same. Thanks to the success of 2016's Deadpool, also R Rated, and now the success of Logan ($85m opening weekend), look for Hollywood to start slowly opening the gates on R rated super hero films. In the case of Logan, the freedom to go balls out opens up a whole new dimension for the character(s) -- Dr. X dropping F bombs? Yes! It's the Wolverine we wish we had seen before, no implied destruction, actual visual confirmation of it. Thank you! Finally. Don't count on a Marvel happy super hero ending, this film has way more soul. Much justice.
Logan is in theaters now.
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Sarah and Jake from The Harold & Maudecast recap and review the Season Finale, Episode 8, of Taboo on FX starring Tom Hardy, created by Hardy, Chips Hardy, Stephen Knight and Executive Produced by Ridley Scott.
It appears the true identity of Keyser Soze has been revealed and he's James Delaney. The season finale was bloody, explosive, and filled with good ol fashioned cursing -- bout time. James Delaney (Hardy) always 100 steps ahead of the audience, and Sir Stuart Strange The Company, orchestrated a brilliant getaway. Bound and awaiting trial in the Tower of London thanks to Sir Stuart Strange (Jonathan Pryce), Delaney played the cards he had be holding all along. But if you think everyone gets out of this episode alive, and they all sail off together on the high seas, think again and be prepared for some sadness. In the end, the season finale of Taboo delivers justice, and ties up all the loose ends in Season 1 with a promise for adventure in Season 2.
Spoilers abound in our recap and review which we are giving an enthusiastic 9.5/10.
For all of our Season 1 episode reviews of Taboo and more TV and film reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe from The Harold & Maudecast on HMC Networks, review & recap the FX Network drama, Taboo, episode 7.
James Delaney (Tom Hardy) better have a longterm plan up his sleeve cause Solomon Coop (Jason Watkins) is about to get medieval on him in the Tower of London. Our (anti) hero has been arrested for treason, thanks to Madame Helga (Franke Potente) who thinks Delaney killed her daughter Winter (Ruby-May Martinwood). Meanwhile the Company thinks it's sittin pretty now that Delaney is in prison, not so fast Stuart Strange (Jonathan Pryce), George Chichester (Lucian Msamati) has another witness up his sleeve --our cross dressing Company man Godfrey (Edward Hogg). Big revelations about arsenic and old lace from Delaney's Houseman/Butler Brace (David Hayman) and half-sis Zilpha (Oona Chaplin) minus two men.
Take a listen to our full review and visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more tv, film, streaming, game and other reviews as well as videos, news and all kinds of FANcinations!
This week on The Harold & Maudecast TV Reviews, the FX Series Taboo Episode 6. Things are heating up for James Delaney (literally) as he has to scramble his ragtag crew together to move his newly manufactured gunpowder after his factory is discovered by the Company. As we know, betrayal doesn't sit well from Delaney, tongues and guts are a flyin in this episode. Also, we find out that hat pins are useful weapons for killing abusive husbands, the creepy meaning of Taboo sister/brother style and foreshadowing of more sinister deeds a foot in this dark and brilliant period thriller. Still not sure what to make of Taboo? Don't fret, we're with you but we're lovin it.
For more TV and movie reviews, videos, podcasts and more visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
The good folks at The Harold & Maudecast are back with their weekly recap of the FX Network series, Taboo, starring Tom Hardy. This week, Episode 5.
Up for a duel at dawn? James Delaney is, and the result is a surprising twist. Meanwhile a raiding they will go, looking to recover the stolen goods from Delaney masterful heist the Company puts the pressure on his band of thieves. Delaney gives his accomplices a thumbs up on the benefits of loyalty. Half-sis gets an exorcism. Delaney fends of a tail, but finds himself blackmailed by The Doctor who seems to be playing his fellow Americans for fools. Meanwhile at the farm, chemistry lesson 101: How to make gunpowder in a hurry.
Take a listen to our recap and visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more episodes, videos, movie reviews and more!
Confessions of a Basement Dweller
In this episode of "Confessions of a Basement Dweller", Jake Essoe of The HMC reviews the highly anticipated next installment of Telltale's The Walking Dead Series - "A New Frontier" Episodes 1 & 2. This is the third season of the on going story of Clementine and her survival in world of the Walking Dead. Told in Telltales patented 5 part episodic series, we get a new experience with them releasing the first two episodes at once in a two part series. We get a brand new playable character named Javier, and we see how his world crosses with Clementines... How does this stack to the first two seasons in Telltales flagship franchise? Listen and Find out.
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The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series - A New Frontier Episode One: 'Ties That Bind' Part I is rated 'M' (Mature) for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, and Use of Drugs by the ESRB. Episode Two: 'Ties That Bind' Part II is rated 'M' (Mature) for Violence, Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, and Strong Language by the ESRB. Future content in the season is yet to be rated.
Developer(s) Telltale Games
Publisher(s) Telltale Games
Distributor(s) Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
On Now Streaming Reviews on The HMC, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, the 2016 reboot of the 1960 classic western of the same name starring Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner.
The town of Rose Creek has been taken over by gold digging bad guy, Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Saarsgard) who besides forcing the townspeople out, is literally gunning them down in the street. With new found motivation for vengeance after Bogue murders her husband, Emma Cullen (Haley Bennet), employs bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) to take back the town. With the help of a ragtag group of outlaws, gamblers and gunslingers, this Magnificent Seven prepare for a violent showdown and find themselves fighting for more than money--righteousness.
If you're a Western fan, you'll dig this. It's not spectacular, but it delivers on action and performances. The original theme song makes a cameo at the very end, lots of critics have complained about it's absence in the film. Never fear, the new score by James Horner & Simon Franglen (AVATAR, TITANIC), is superb elevating the film to a higher level that perhaps it deserves. It's a simple story, based original on Kurosawa's SEVEN SAMURAI, so don't go looking for anything complex or profound Westworld fans. Denzel is fantastic, also shoutout to Korean actor Byung‑hun Lee (I SAW THE DEVEL, GI JOE), who shines as Ethan Hawke's protector/BFF.
7.3/10 for this film, it's worth a Stream! Justice.
In this episode of Confessions of a Basement Dweller, Jake Essoe reviews the final episode Telltale's Batman Series, BATMAN The Telltale Series Episode 5: 'City of Light'.
In Episode 5, the leader of the Children of Arkham prepares to execute the final act of a plan to destroy the Wayne family name, and the people closest to you are in their path of vengeance. Can Batman's ultimate secret be kept - his very identity - when it is causing chaos and death in Gotham? The fate of the Wayne family and of the city itself rests on your choices. What will you do? How far will you go? Which mask will you wear?
Listen up ! And visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more game reviews, movie/tv reviews and lots of fun stuff.
In this week's episode of The Harold & Maudecast's We Talk Dead, a review of The Walking Dead midseason finale, Episode 708 "Hearts Still Beating".
Happy now TWD Fans? We told you to look on the bright side cause things always get better. There's a lot to talk about in the midseason finale of The Walking Dead; Rick and Aaron go kayaking with Walkers, Carl and Olivia sit down to spaghetti dinner with Negan, Spencer plays pool with Negan (spoiler alert, Negan wins), Michonne discovers the scope of the Saviors lair, The Kingdom's Richard tries to recruit Morgan and Carol to strike first at the Saviors, Maggie tells Gregory what's up, Rosita and Eugene find out how useless that single bullet was and we are introduced to the mysterious character "Boots on the Ground. In the end, sadness, yes, but also hope and hugs. It's a good one.
Bonus! We Harold & Maudecast it up with a recap of the Smash Brothers tournament & some upcoming December movie previews!
Take a listen and visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more episodes of We Talk Dead recaps & reviews, game reviews, movie reviews and lots more fun stuff for fans.
On this week's episode of We Talk Dead on the HMC we review The Walking Dead Season 7, Ep 707 "Sing Me a Song".
After Jesus tucks and rolls out of the moving truck, Carl stays on board to venture behind enemy lines into the Saviors compound. After some some savior ass kicking, he is greeted by his ol pal Negan. Unfortunately the giant factory he's about to tour ain't Wonkaland and he gets a lot more than he bargained for -- and we get a song (thanks Carl, you are our Sunshine too). Meanwhile back at Alexandria, Rick and Aaron have gone out foraging for Negan's tribute, Rosita browbeats Eugene into making her a single bullet, Gabriel shows his loyalty to Rick as Spencer tries to recruit him for a coup and Michonne is busy building a walker road block to trap a savior. Lots going on to the lead up of the midseason finale including getting to see Carl's empty eye socket and Negan cradle Judith on the porch. Will Rick and the Gang ever be able to beat Negan? Will we ever get to see that cool tiger again? Will the gang ever be back together!? Listen up and stay tuned for our midseason finale coverage.
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This episode of Confessions of a Basement Dweller hosted by Jake Essoe, 'BATMAN - The Telltale Series' Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham.
In Episode 4, Penguin has taken control of Wayne Enterprises, and the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane has a new guest - you - Bruce Wayne. With the Batman removed from the streets of Gotham City, Harvey Dent's forces and the Children of Arkham are at war, with innocent citizens caught in the crossfire. To escape the 'comforts' of your padded cell, you must choose allies to aid in your escape, even if they aren't the sort to put a smile on your face. How far are you willing to go for justice? For vengeance? What now, Dark Knight?
BATMAN - The Telltale Series Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham is rated M (Mature) for Violence, Blood and Gore, Language, and Use of Drugs by the ESRB. The series is published by Telltale Games in partnership with Warner Bros.
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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.
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.
This week on We Talk Thrones, Season 6 Episode 8 "No One". We find out that Arya's blind girl training really paid off, Jamie & Brienne are still a thing, The Hound is out for revenge, gets it, meets some old friends, Cersei's hopes for trial by combat are squashed by her son & Daenerys is back in town, and she's not too happy bout what they've done with the place. Listen up for all the details and our thoughts on where this is all going.
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.